Thursday, January 31, 2013

Keep calm and Poon on

Thank goodness the week is almost over. I am tired.  Dog tired.  It has been a very busy week work wise, but also running wise.  I figured out how many hours I will have spent this week doing running stuff.  This includes  runs, clinics, physio, massage, exercises, stretching.  By the time the week is over on Sunday, I would have put in about 15 hours just doing stuff related to running. This is one heck of a time consuming addiction to have!

Yesterday I went for my second physio appointment and Graham stretched me out good to prepare me for my run right afterwards.  The temperature here was insane!  It  was about 13 degrees Celsius by the time I headed out with Brett to run NINE hills.  Yep.  I ran up and down a 400 meter hill nine times in a row.  Crazy you say?  You would be right.  Crazy but endurance building.  And confidence building too.  Ten and a half months ago I struggled to run for 1 minute straight.  Now I'm running 45K a week up and down hills!  I never thought I would commit to any form of exercise, let alone a sport.  And become an athlete in the process.  But here I am. Sometimes I manage to amaze myself.  And even though losing the weight was an accomplishment in itself, the running surprises me the most.  Remember me?  I'm the former morbidly obese woman who rejected any form of exercise.

Not only am I running, but I'm doing what I need to in order to keep running.  I'm faithfully stretching and doing my physio exercises even though it annoys me because it takes up even more of my time.  But I can't not run, so there you have it.  I don't have a choice and I look forward to the day (in the near future I'm sure) when I will run pain free.

Tonight was a crazy night.  My clinic was slated to run 8K after a clinic talk on speed training, which we begin next week.  The talk was less than informative.  Not one Back of the Rat Pack girls showed up to run with me. One, who shall remain nameless, showed up for the clinic talk wearing jeans!  She was not going to run because it was too cold.  I will admit, the temperature was a bit frigid, but I've run in colder weather with her.  Luckily someone I just met did run with me. And I was very thankful for it because there was an area of the route that was not lit and I would have been a bit freaked running it by myself.  I ran 7K at a 6:32 pace.  Not too shabby!  I'd been running a 7:00 or more pace for the past three weeks due to my hamstring.  At the 7K point, I had to stop running all together because my knee felt like it was going to buckle beneath me.  I walked it out for a few hundred meters, then had to run again because I was freezing cold.  The feeling didn't come back and it scared me a bit.  Something new I have to keep my eye on now.

I'm surprised I ran so well tonight.  I went for a massage this morning and my massage dude stripped my left calf.  There was a very noticeable muscle knot in it.  Believe me when I say that I have never felt anything more painful in my life.  And yes that includes labor.  It made me scream A LOT.  I was on my stomach at the time and almost came up off the massage table.  I wanted to kick him, mostly because he was laughing while he was torturing me.  I didn't cry, because there is no crying in running.  But my eyes teared up real good.  There is a good side to this story.  The knot is gone and maybe that is why I ran so well tonight.

My food has been the same.  Same boring breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Well now, that's not completely true. Dinners are usually different, but this week, lunch has been the same.  Oh, and have I mentioned that I still don't care?  I read Myra's post on Tuesday about burning calories and how it's easy to misjudge the amount of calories we burn at the gym working out. I don't reward myself with food after a run.  I don't reward myself with food ever.  I don't eat any different on days that I run versus days that I rest.  The only difference is I eat a couple of tablespoons of natural peanut butter before I run on my long run days and I eat energy chews or Gu during my long run. That's it. Everything else stays the same.  I run because it releases endorphins that make me feel good. Food fuels me so I can run.  I don't run so I can eat whatever I want.  I eat so I can run.

Love this!  Penned by Mary Margaret:)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another post about my weak ass

So last night was my physio assessment.  I was VERY nervous going in because I pictured the physiotherapist, Graham, telling me that I had to stop running.  I'm a glass half empty kinda gal. He told me he wasn't going to tell me to rest because he knew I wouldn't, so he agreed to work with me through my injury and help me get into tip top shape for my half marathon in 4.5 weeks. Four-and-a-half freaking weeks!  That seems very close now.  And then a few weeks after that is the Around the Bay relay.  Lots of racing going on!

Anyway, back to physio.  So Graham reconfirmed what I already knew.  I not only have a flabby ass, but a pitifully weak one as well.  My issues with my hamstring, and crampy toes have to do with a weak lower back and even weaker glutes.  Everything is connected.  He did some testing on me that confirmed his theories.  Now I am exercising daily with some back and butt strengtheners. They are easy enough exercises, but annoying.  I will do them though if it means I can continue to run.  And I look forward to eventually running pain free!

Funny how priorities change in your life.  A year and a half ago, I wouldn't have cared an iota about doing any kind of exercise to strengthen an area I just wanted to sit around on all day.  Now?  I'm doing everything I can so that I won't be sitting around on my ass.  I am also proud to report that after my early morning run today, I stretched my hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.  That's right. The non-stretcher stretched.  I'm not gonna lie though.  The hamstring that has been bugging me has been aching all day.  More than usual.  See!  Stretching is BAD!  It's not really.  Stretching is just sticking it to me because I neglected it for so long.  Serves me right!

I'm back to see Graham tomorrow and Friday.  Then he wants to see me three more times next week and a couple of times the week after before we move onto weekly appointments.  Thank goodness for excellent work benefits!  I currently have a muscle knot in my calf that has to be worked on Thursday when I see my massage therapist.  I know it's a knot because it feels just like the one I had in my quad a couple of times.  I can't roll it myself because my calf is too fat.  I need someone who is not me to work it out.  My husband is still sick and has declined:(

I wanted to thank everyone who has sent me emails, messages and comments regarding, well, everything and anything!  I have been lax this past week in commenting on blogs myself.  The problem is that I read many blogs while I'm out and about on my android.  It is very hard to leave comments using the android, and forget about having to do a captcha on an android.  I never get them right!  I will get back to leaving comments again when I read through my blog list tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder about comments and comment etiquette.  I don't respond to every comment I get.  I do however try respond to every direct question in a comment, and I respond to every email I get.  I wish I was more on top of things and responded to every comment.  It's always nice when other blog writers respond to comments I leave!

Looking more like me!

I'm very proud of myself.  I really listened to what Kristjan taught me about styling my hair last week and I can actually make a decent go of blow drying my hair all by myself.  Just like a big girl! The key component to styling my hair is the brush I use.  Since I won't ever have the $150 boar bristle brush Kristjan has, I opted for a similar brush in my price range.  The same style, but a fraction of the price.  It cost a whopping $8.99 and it is purple.  A quick sale for me.  It really does make a huge difference when I blow dry my hair.  Makes everything straight and smooth.  And it works the arms out real good.  It won't eliminate the bat wings for sure, but every little bit helps! The only thing that sucks is I have to actually spend time on my hair in the morning now.  No more air drying my hair or my bangs will go wonky.  Not good!  And although I didn't ask him, I'm pretty certain Kristjan will decline my request of daily hair styling sessions in my home at 6:30am. After all, he'd have to come to Hamilton.   And I wouldn't be able to pay him.  I would however provide unlimited coffee.  And not in a fancy Keurig brewing system with flavored coffees either.  My house rocks the old style drip brew coffee maker.  Tempting proposition for anyone I'm sure!

It's only Tuesday and I'm already beat.  I have NINE hills to run tomorrow evening and a physio appointment, a Speed training clinic, an 8K run and a massage on Thursday, physio on Friday, a 6K run on Saturday, and an 18K on Sunday.  Oh, and I'm working all week too.  Almost forgot about the full-time job, and how could I?  It's the most demanding aspect of my life this week, and next, and the week after that.  I wish I could just have running and sports injury appointments as my full-time job.  Then maybe I wouldn't be so run down by Tuesday evening.  But I don't know where I would get paid to do that.  That could be my dream job.  Professional trainee for half marathons and muscle builder of weak asses.  It's got exist somewhere no?  If you happen to find an ad, pleases send me the link.  But only if benefits are included in the salary and I have access to a Keurig brewing system.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jacques Cousteau, take 2

I always feel better once I get out the door.
Saturday morning run along the Rail Trail.
I am such a nerd!  After reading my blog post from Friday, Kristjan emailed me to tell me I got the punch line on the Jacques Cousteau story wrong!  So before I get into anything, I need to rectify that situation.  I know why I subconsciously did it.  I hate it when I tell people that I run and they call it jogging.  Jogging suggests that I'm barely breathing hard.  At least to me.  I run.  Hard most of the time.  And I'm a hot mess when I'm done.  So anywho, back to Jacques Cousteau.

So Kristjan and his friend are training for a 10K race that they entered.  His friend runs too fast and is done by 5K and he tells her she has to slow it down.  So they're leisurely running down Queen Street West in Toronto one day and a car passes and someone yells "Jacques Cousteau" out the window.  They can't figure out what that means and continue to run along.  His friend eventually has a ah ha moment and says, "They didn't say Jacques Cousteau, they said, YOU JOG TOO SLOW".  Much funnier than the way I first told it!  Thanks for the edit Kristjan:)

Back to me now.  Life has returned to normal here at the Costa residence.  My hubby's sick with a bad throat this weekend and the boy has Impetigo. Good times.  My weekend consisted of running errands, and just running.  I got out the crock pot and made a great beef stew yesterday with some red wine and lots of root veggies.  It was yummy.  Today on the menu we have curried chicken with sweet potato and rutabaga.  I'll have all my meals prepared for the week.

Friday was a rest day for me running wise.  I did trek on out to Peterborough to visit a young lady I work with out there.  On the way home, I drove into a major snow storm that crippled the highway and caused a 70 car pileup.  I was in front of that accident, but seriously?  It was brutal to drive in and I haven't felt that scared driving ever.  I wanted to stop on the side of the road but then thought that I wouldn't be seen and someone would run right into me.  It was bad.  I couldn't see five feet in front of me.  I luckily made it out of Durham, and the snow had let up by the time I was in Scarborough.  A slow drive back to Hamilton, but I took my time.

Mr. Blake and I hanging at Phillips Automotive.
The best mechanics in the GTA!
Before I drove to Peterborough on Friday morning, I stopped into my mechanics for an oil change. I ran into a very nice gentleman there and we were talking about running and television.  He mentioned that he was a teacher for 35 years and retired recently to help care for his elderly mother who sadly, had recently passed away.  He looked familiar to me and I asked him where he taught.  He taught at Woburn!  My alma mater.  Now I never had Mr. Blake for English, but I definitely knew who he was.  He was a great teacher and I would have loved to have had him teach me in high school!  Everyone loved Mr. Blake!!!!

Yesterday I ran 6K.  I was procrastinating all morning.  Hubby was sick in bed, and I was going to use that as an excuse not to go out, but knew I could not do that.  I had to go.  I have to be just as regimented with my running as I am with my eating.  And for whatever reason, regardless of how short the distance is, Saturdays are my hard to get out and getter done day.  I made hubby get out of bed and lie on the couch so he could supervise the boy while I ran.  Felt so much better once I was out and running.  I always do!

This morning the Back of the Rat Pack Girls were only three.  Monica, Tanya and I.  We were going to attempt 18K even though we were supposed to pull our long run mileage back to 12K this weekend.  We made 16.5K before all three of us became plagued with some sort of ache or pain. Monica was having knee issues, Tanya's legs were feeling like lead, and my toes cramped so badly at 16K that I had to stop running to loosen them up.  I'm hopeful that my physio appointment tomorrow will shed some light on my aches and pains.

My piriformis muscle is feeling MUCH better, but my crampy toes are an ongoing issue when I do long runs.  And I can feel a sharp pain in my left calf today.  I was supposed to see my massage therapist on Friday, but he had to reschedule due to a family emergency.  I will see him this Thursday coming and I'm really looking forward to it.  I need some good stretching done!  But I should get off my ass and start stretching myself.  I'm sure I'll be given stretching exercises by the physiotherapist that I'll have to do daily.  That's exactly what I need.  Someone telling me that if I don't do A, B and C, that I won't be able to run.  That is all the motivation I need to smarten up and take care of business!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Steven and Chris

I was soooooooooo tired last night that I just didn't have a blog post left in me by 11pm.  I was up at 5:30am to get ready to leave my house by 7:30am with entire family in tow so we could make it to CBC studios for 9:30am.  I made it just on time and was whisked up to the wardrobe area by Tara to wait for Kristjan.  Jessica arrived at the same time as me.  I got to see my outfits again and the killer shoes I'd be wearing.  These are from my second outfit.  I'm just surprised I didn't fall on my ass!

Anyway, I'm nervous as all get out.  Like seriously, I am taking deep breaths to try and regulate my breathing and my stomach HURTS!  I really just wanted to go for a run.  Kristjan arrives and we're sequestered in a locked make-up room.  Locked?  Why yes.  Just in case Chris tries to sneak a peek.  They went to great lengths to keep us apart before the big reveal.  I suppose it was so his reaction on the show would be genuine.  The footage you will see of us on the stage is the first time he sees me.  Now Steven on the other hand?  I saw him back stage and he was lovely. Very complimentary and just as sweet as could be.

Waiting for makeup!
Warning...except for this one and the last pic,
I don't look like myself!

This is Kristjan's arsenal:)

So Kristjan and I, we're putting on make-up.  Or, he is mostly, but letting me do some so I can practice.  Have I mentioned how amazing he is?  He is funny, sweet, personable.  He told me he went for a run that morning and thought of me because he read my blog and I run some mornings. He said to himself, "If Leigh can do this, so can I"!  So sweet.  He shared a funny running story with me that I told him I was going to repeat on my blog.  He and his his best friend ran a 10K together.  And while they're training for this 10K and they ran together for the first time, she takes off like a shot out of hell.  He tells her that she runs too fast.  So fast forward to another practice run and they're running a nice slow pace on Queen Street in Toronto one day.  They're running along and somebody yells "Jacques Cousteau" out of their car window. They can't for the life of them imagine what that means.  And while he's telling me this I'm thinking real hard and wondering if this is some kind of secret runner's lingo.  Anyway, they keep running and eventually his friend turns to him with a AH HA moment and says, "they weren't saying Jacques Cousteau", they said, "You jog too slow"!!!!!!  I thought that was hilarious and it definitely made some of my nervousness go away. His goal I'm sure!

Kristjan applied camera make up on me.  Basically makeup that is way too much to wear in public, but enough that a camera can pick it up.  He also styled my hair in a way I will never be able to duplicate myself, because I don't own and never will, the $150 brush he used on my hair! Did I mention that he does make-up and hair for major fashion magazines and famous people? That's right, and he did my hair and makeup.  Once again, a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Let me brag just this once!

So anyway, Kristjan finishes up with me and I'm brought back to the wardrobe area.  I'm put into my Spanx.  I'm not gonna lie, I can rock the Spanx because they feel just like compression running pants!  At this time they tell me that Jules is restless and needs to come see me.  So he comes back stage to hang with me for a bit.  It only lasts about 15 minutes before he's totally freaked out by my transformation and he has a major break down with tears and everything and has to return to his father in the audience.  So now I'm nervous and feeling completely ill because my baby is traumatized.  Just before I went out on stage, they told me that he was fine again.

Tara and Jessica were great.  They kept me grounded and tried their best to keep me at ease.  I'm not even going try to pretend that I was all easy going and and carefree.  I was not.  I felt like I was going to vomit at any moment.  I had no idea what Chris was going to ask me once I got on stage, and I hadn't worn heels since my wedding day 10 years ago.  I pictured myself falling on stage as I walked out for the big reveal.  I was watching the show in back and did see my hubby get his picture taken with Steven and Chris.  I didn't even get my picture taken with them!

That's my daddy between Steven and my hubby's head.

I had two outfit reveals.  A daytime look and a night time look.  You will have to wait for the show to see the outfits.  I can't even tell you what happened during the first reveal except that while I was waiting back stage to walk out in front of the audience, I was shaking so much that my teeth were chattering.  While I was on stage, I kept thinking, "Thank God I'm wearing pants".  My legs were shaking so much.  After the first reveal, I hurried back to the wardrobe room to change into my second outfit.  Anyone who knows me personally knows I don't normally like to be touched.  I had to let go of every inhibition I have between wardrobe changes.  I had to change in front of whoever because I needed help to not smudge my make up on my dress while Kristjan changed my makeup to the night time look.  And funny thing was, I didn't give a shit.  I just needed to complete the process and get back on stage.  The second reveal I was much more relaxed.  Thank God! Because I was wearing a dress.  I was relaxed until I talked about Julien being my inspiration for my weight loss , then I got tearful and choked up.  I cannot talk about that boy without getting emotional.  Not even on national television.

While on stage I didn't know where to look.  I tried to look into the audience to see some of my supporters. I had a bunch.  The most ever for a make over show.  Thanks to all of you who came out to support me.  I really appreciate it.  Some of you left before I could make it out to the audience area after the show let out and I'm sorry I missed you.  I had my hubby, son, father, sister-in-law Maria, Aunt Mary, cousin Rick, Nokomis, Eli, Estelle, Mandahh, Beverly, Linda, Nina, Brett, Caroline, Monica and Rossana.  It meant so much to me to see so many friendly faces in the audience.  Since I didn't know where to look, I kept looking at myself in the monitor and wondering, "how did you get here?"

After the second reveal I could relax.  I changed back into my street clothes and waited for the show to end.  Jessica and Kristjan changed and got ready to leave too.  Before he left, Kristjan and I took a picture together of him wearing bangs he used at a photo shoot the day before.  Hilarious! He looks like Moe from the Three Stooges! I said goodbye to Jessica and Kristjan and thanked them for helping me build my confidence.  They were great and I felt so comfortable with them.

This doesn't even look like me!
In case you're wondering, I wore this make up
out to lunch at Jack Astor's:)
Just before I walked out into the audience area, I ran into Steven again who thanked me for being on the show and told me I looked beautiful.  And seriously?  Thanking me?  Thank you for letting me be on your show!  Audience members stopped me and talked to me as I made my way to my family.  It's so strange to be acknowledged by strangers.  Strange but nice too.  Everyone was so friendly.  I had to say goodbye to Tara.  She was so awesome and one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of working with.  She's going to send me some pictures of me during the taping.  I will post them at a later date.

After the taping, a bunch of us went to Jack Astor's for lunch.  I had a celebratory glass of wine and chicken fajitas with lettuce leaves in place of tortillas.  The wine was my treat.  Everything else was on plan!  We made it home before 5pm and I got ready to go to my running clinic.  We ran eight hills the night before for a total of 10K.  My water and my eye lashes froze because it was -15 Celsius with the windchill.  Last night was a 7K run.  My eye lashes froze together again, and I got a little frostbite right under my eyes.  My outer jacket also began to freeze because it was wet from sweat.  It wasn't supposed to be as cold as the night before, but it felt colder to me.  Either way, I still got my runs in regardless of the temperature.  I got home from my clinic after 8pm, ate a quick dinner, changed into yoga pants without showering and went grocery shopping at Walmart. Ah the glamorous life!

From this...
To this!

Now back to regularly scheduled blogging.  I promise not to bore you with the details of my awesome experience any longer.  I will mention the show again just before it airs to remind you of the date (February 7th @ 2pm on CBC...NOT February 1st like I previously said) in case you feel like watching it.  Back to my boring mundane life.  My fifteen minutes of fame is officially over!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

15 minutes of fame

So I'm ready to share my big news.  Didn't want to say anything before it happened, lest I jinx myself!  It will take a couple of posts, so I best get started.  But first I want to start by saying that losing 122 pounds has been the absolute best decision I have ever made for my health.  Obviously, right?  So now I suppose I'm cured of obesity.  Not so fast. Once you lose the weight, there is still lots of stuff that goes on in your head that is hard to shake. There's the poor self esteem you have to work on.  The constant food temptation and worry that you're not going to be strong enough and fall off the proverbial wagon.  Understanding that you're not just on a diet, but have to commit to a lifestyle change if the weight loss is going to stick. There's tons more emotional things that go on with weight loss  but for me the one that is constantly on my mind all the time is my "inner fat girl".

Now don't get me wrong, she's good to have around because she makes me remember how difficult my life was when I was morbidly obese.  But most of the time, I can't get her out of my head, even when I should.  For instance, I always want to shop in the plus size section of a store. I would never willingly sit in a space between two people (in case I don't fit and make a fool of myself).  Just yesterday I panicked when I took the GO Train from Hamilton to Toronto because I thought I wouldn't comfortably fit in the seat and lean over onto my neighbor.  Silly I know, but these thoughts go through my head on a daily basis.

So, being a person of average size is still pretty new to me and I'll admit I'm waaaaay out of my comfort zone.  Even though I wasn't "comfortable" in the true sense of the word when I was morbidly obese, it was all I knew for the majority of my life.  Learning a new way of life in a new body definitely takes some getting used to.  So I thought it was time to really take a risk and try something that (if it worked) would put me right out there and way out of my comfort zone fo sho! So I did something completely out of character (for me) and sent an email with a link to my blog to the Steven and Chris show on December 12, 2012 asking for a make over.

Tara Williams, the fashion producer for the show, contacted me on January 2nd and asked me if I would still be interested in a make over for an episode being filmed on January 24th.  To be chosen for such an awesome opportunity is a once in a lifetime chance.  I still can't believe that I got picked at all!  But I was definitely going for it, even if it did scare the bejeezus out of me.  It is scary, but in a good way.  This will definitely be a HUGE self esteem builder for me.

Where I got to play dress up for  three hours!

Although the episode is being filmed in front of the studio audience on Thursday (for the reveal), I had a day of shopping and  salon/spa treatments yesterday.  Tara, Jessica Albano (who is also a runner), Jane from Reitmans and our CBC camera technician Ved met me at Reitmans in the TD Center at 7:45 am. I was so nervous, I think I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep the night before. We started the day with shopping and filming at Reitmans.  That is where my reveal outfits come from.  What an experience.  Everyone was super nice and made me feel special and so at ease. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous as hell talking in front of the camera, but as the morning went on, I became more and more comfortable.  Jessica was great fun and I love her style.  She's got such a bubbly personality and exudes such confidence.  She could be wearing a potato sack and make it look glamorous!

Check me out...I'm all mic'd up baby!!!!
The video that was shot in the store was of me and Jessica.  We're shopping, and I'm trying on different outfits so Jessica can help determine what will look best on me.  It was so much fun and I felt like an important person for the day.  Tara said something that stuck with me.  She said that I already inspire many people with my blog, and I'm going to inspire so many more by being on the show and telling my story.  That made me feel real good because if I can help others through motivation and inspiration, that truly means something to me.

After we finished up at Reitmans, Tara, Ved and I headed over to Civello at McCaul and Queen Street West.  There we were greeted by none other than the creative director of Civello salons, Kristjan Hayden.  Kristjan is a very talented hairstylist and makeup artist to the stars.  And he did my hair and makeup!  That's right, I got to rub shoulders with one of fashions great artists!  And he's not too shabby to look at either.  He has piercing eyes and nice teeth (I always notice people's teeth first and his were very white).  He was also super nice and made me feel like I was special.  It was strange to me that everyone knew so much about me already (through my blog), but I knew very little about them.

Ahhhh, the glamorous life!  Wax on eye by Jade,
hair foils courtesy of Ben!

The salon is only open for retail on Mondays, so everyone that was there, was there for me.  Ben came in to put highlights in my hair, Jade came in to do my eyebrows and nails, Kristjan gave me a cut and style and also gave me a full makeup lesson and application.  Ved filmed Kristjan and I for a quick clip when I first got there discussing my hair and makeup routine a bit.  We only had to do it a couple of times because by that time I was feeling pretty chill in front of the camera.  And Kristjan?  Why he's an old pro and could shoot off his dialogue in his sleep.

Lunch was still on plan thanks to Tara!

All in all I had a wonderful day at the salon and I would highly recommend it to anyone!  I'm gonna let you in on a secret.  I have never been to a salon before.  Okay, that isn't true.  I have set foot in one before, but I have never gotten service at one before.  I could never afford it.  I still can't, so this was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.  If you live in the GTA and you want a fabulous salon experience, head on over to Civello.  They were fabulous and treated me like a million bucks (even after the cameras were gone)!

So Thursday is when the big reveal is filmed before the live studio audience.  My hubby, son and 17 of my friends and family will be in the audience.  I'm excited, but once again nervous. This is different than being filmed around a few people.  When I watch the show on TV, the audience looks big.  And it will be filled with strangers!  Oh, and I'll be with Steven and Chris too!  Or maybe just Chris.  I think he does the makeover segment.  Tara thinks the show will air on February 1st at 2pm EST on CBC.  Don't quote me on that.  If the date changes I'll let you know.  And if you happen to miss it and really want to watch it, you can watch it online at  Till Thursday, or maybe Friday.  I still have to run with my clinic after I film the show in the daytime:)  I may or may not be too tired Thursday night!

A little sneak peak without giving too much away.
I was beat by the time I got home last night!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The wind cries Leigh

Enjoying my morning cuppa coffee this morning before
the dreaded long run.

I'm not gonna lie.  My long run today SUCKED!  I ran 16K again with my half marathon clinic.   We ran along the Rail Trail this morning.  The winds were gusting!  The first 8K was slightly uphill and towards the wind.  It was snowing sideways into our faces.  The winds were so strong, they took my breath away.  And not in a good way.  I'm sure we were running on the spot at times because it felt like we weren't getting anywhere too fast.  The Back of the Rat Pack Girls were not happy campers. All we did was bitch and moan the entire time.  Once we got to turn around at the 8K marker, we were all happiness and sunshine.  But that first 8K?  Not something I want to relive again in the near future...or ever!

These are the type of obstacles we had to contend with this morning.
L-R: Monica, Brett, Tanya
I had a HUGE NSV (Non-scale victory) on Friday.  I went to see a client of mine who is heavily pregnant with twins.  She lives on the 15th floor of an apartment building and when I arrive for the visit with take-out food in hand for her, I discover that the elevators are out of commission.  I swear excessively under my breath as I make my way to the stairs and start climbing.  Not only did I climb 15 floors, but I did it without even breathing hard.  My breath never changed.  Her apartment is right across from the stairwell/elevator and when she answers the door the first thing I say to her is, "You couldn't have lived on the second floor"?  She says, "The elevator's out again?  Why aren't you breathing hard?"  Because I'm fit!  That's why!  That was the most exciting thing that happened to me all week.  Seriously.  Made me realize that I am an athlete, 'cos surely only athletes can climb excessive amounts of stairs and not get winded right?  See, hill training really does build endurance!

I have my physio appointment set for January 28th.  I go in for a full one hour assessment, and from there, the therapist determines my course of recovery.  Not only do we need to address my left upper back leg problem, but my crampy toes as well.  They cramped again today during my long run.  It really sucks and happens near the end of the run.  Once I stop my run, the cramping ends pretty quickly.  It could be something as simple as my toes getting used to longer distances, or something more involved like orthotics.  I really don't want orthotics, but will do whatever I need to do to continue running.  On a happier note, my leg issue was not as bad today.  Feels better, but the problem is still there and something I need to address.

My little peanut is sick AGAIN!  I'm hoping he just needs a day of rest today and maybe tomorrow, then will return to his adorable and chipper self.  There's something major a brewing this week that I can't share right now except to say that it's a once in a life time opportunity for me.  Very exciting to say the least.  Just my luck if Jules is sick and misses it.  Good vibes that he gets well soon, and I don't get sick!  That will derail my entire week and truly suck!  Details to come soon.  I'm off to make some eggplant lasagna!

Right after my 16K this morning! Someone
mentioned that I post some unflattering pictures of
myself.  That's because I try to stay as real as possible.
I'm not a super model.  Just a mother, wife, runner, blogger....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The post where I need physiotherapy, as well as regular therapy

After the 7.3K tonight.

It's a snowy night here in Southern Ontario.  Snow made for a tricky run tonight.  I ran 7.3k with my half marathon clinic.  It was real pretty to run while it snowed, but I slipped real good a couple of times.  Didn't go down though.  I have to finally admit that I need help.  The piriformis muscle, glute, hamstring, IT band or what ever the heck I pulled a couple of weeks ago while doing yoga has not gotten better.  It hasn't gotten worse, but certainly not better either.  It hurts the most when I first start running, then turns into a dull ache.  It has definitely affected my performance as my pace has gone down. I will be calling a physiotherapist tomorrow and making an appointment.  I have to take care of it now before I do some real damage.  Not an option for me.  I have a half marathon to run six weeks!

Last night was hills.  I dread Wednesday night runs, but once I'm running and doing the hills, I feel great.  Real strong and pumped.  We did seven hills last night and I thought I was done after five. Then I got a second wind on my sixth hill and the seventh hill almost felt easy.  I know I can definitely do eight next Wednesday.  Not looking forward to it already though!  Hills really help to build your endurance.  Doing the 7.3K tonight was a nice recovery run.   I completed the run in 48:22 with a 6:41 pace.  Slower than I have been because of my injury, but only 44 seconds slower than my time for the 5.6K Inspiration Run I did back on June 23rd.  That's the kind of progress I like to see.  Almost running a whole 2 kilometers more in relatively the same amount of time, give or take a minute.

Eating has been the same.   Still eating the same boring stuff.   Again, I do not care if I eat the same stuff over and over.  I did incorporate some dairy back into my diet but don't like how it makes me gassy.  So I've cut it out once again.  I'm prepared to stick to what I know works best for me.  The lean protein, veggies (minus white potatoes), and fruit.  Also some almonds thrown in once in a while.  I've stopped buying them in bulk amounts because I was popping them like candy and it was getting out of hand.  Although I eat protein and veggies until I'm full, I cannot eat unlimited amounts of almonds.  I'm nuts enough as it is.

After my weigh-in on Monday, I bought a bag of deliciousness (aka Fruit and Nut Clusters) from the Ontario Nutrition Store.  That was going to be my weigh-in treat.  It was too big a serving to eat all at once.  Big mistake.  All I did was obsess about it ALL THE TIME because I wanted to eat the entire bag in one sitting.  I was able to pace myself slightly and ate the bag over three days (with a little help from my friends and clients), but let me tell you, I did not like the way I thought about that bag of snacks constantly.  I could have done the obvious thing and given the remainder of the bag to the first client I shared with, but I didn't.  Don't judge me.  Just another addition to my growing list of "don'ts".  Don't buy a treat bigger than a single serving!

I hate feeling like I can lose control with my food at any moment.  Just when I think I'm strong enough to overcome bingy behavior, I prove myself wrong.  It is important that I am always mindful of what I am eating.  That is why eating the same stuff, no matter how boring it may seem to someone else, keeps me in my comfort zone.  It is familiar territory and a place I feel most in control.  For me, giving up the control I have over my food will end in disaster.  I refuse to ever let food control me again.  It controlled me for 35 years.  Actually, I let it control me.  But never again. I'd rather eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the rest of my life than end up back where I was.  There's nothing I could eat on earth that would make gaining back anything I lost worth it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fight the good fight

After my run on Saturday.  I like this photo because I
 think I look BADASS! I don't really though.

Yesterday I had a full day and most of it was spent in my car.  I drove out to Pickering in the morning for my monthly weigh-in at Dr.  Poon's clinic.  I was up 1.5 pounds from last month.  I am not even remotely concerned and I'll tell you why.  That is what happens when you don't drink enough water.  You start to retain it.  I have been much better at drinking my water since yesterday.  I probably got about 10 cups into me which was quite a feat.  Especially since I drove out to Peterborough after my weigh-in.  I had to stop several times at gas stations and coffee shops, but it was all good.  Gave me a reason to get out of the car.  I was stiff from my 16K the day before.

I saw Dr. Marmina instead of Dr. Stephen because it was Monday.  Dr. Stephen isn't in on Monday.  Dr. Marmina was very impressed with me and commented on my "athletic" resting heart rate.  Then we chatted for about 15 minutes about running.  I told him that even though my weight can stay the same for weeks on end, I keep getting smaller because my clothes are once again loose.  He said that is because I'm gaining muscle and it's making me leaner.  I like his theory! That being said, my size 8 jeans are getting loose around the waist and in the leg and butt area.  I need to purchase another pair (not Joe Fresh because I think they are sized big) to compare.  I'm just too cheap right now because I still have pants that fit.  Maybe I'll go shopping in a couple of weeks.

For whatever reason, I cannot add captions to these photos today. Here's a side by side. The left I weighed 295. The right was taken yesterday at 169 pounds. I'm, wearing my size 8 jeans which are  looser in the legs than they were the first time I wore them 2 weeks ago.

Strange again with the captions.  Anywho, A recent side view beside an old picture (obviously).  I already have a good gap in my waist in my size 8 jeans.  See a number on the scale is not always a way to gauge your progress.  Just say'in!

I saw my dentist yesterday and everyone was shocked by my appearance.  The funny thing is I just saw them 6 months ago and there's only about a 30 pound difference in my weight since the last time I was there. For whatever reason, they couldn't remember that I lost a lot of weigh the last time I was there.  It even said in my chart that I had lost 95 pounds (back in  July).  They were looking at me like they hadn't seen me in over a year.  They had to update the head shot of me on file.  The old one was about six years old and definitely does not look like me anymore.  I should have asked them to email it to me for comparison.

I supervise a Child and Youth Worker student from George Brown College.  We were talking today about me doing something that is out of my comfort zone.  More information on this to come soon. He was offering me support and pointed out that everything I have done to get me to where I am today is out of my comfort zone.  That is absolutely true.  I was always the morbidly obese person who was most comfortable hiding away at home and comforting myself with food.  Then I decided to take control of my life.  I adopted an eating plan that I can do forever, began writing a blog, then began a sport that completely changed my life.  I have absolutely gone waaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.  I am no longer private and haven't been for a long time.  People actually read and care about what I have to say.  This still amazes me.  I am not a very interesting person!

I started to write this blog to keep myself accountable.  Now I write it to encourage and help others who may benefit from my experiences.  It has become a part of me and I can't imagine not doing it now.  I share much more on this blog than I do with people close to me.  They all read my blog and it's easier for me to express my feelings in writing.  Thank you for reading and letting me use this as an outlet for my inner most thoughts.  It's very therapeutic, along with running of course. Although I (mostly) continue to write for others, it makes me feel good to know that I "inspire" and "motivate" others.  It will make me feel even better when I see you all reach your own personal goals whether they be weight-loss or other.  Keep fighting the good fight.  You are all so worth it and remember, if I can do it, so can you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Muscle spasms, cramped toes and dog-tired

Post run photo taken at the Running Room!

I am dog-tired.  Not sure where that figure of speech came from because I can assure you, my dog is not tired.  He is sleeping on his double bed in my guest room right now...but trust me he's good. He went for a nice long leisurely walk today and ate some turkey mixed with kibble, but other than that, he took it pretty easy today.  Me on the other hand?  I ran my longest distance to date. 16K!!!!!!!  That's right.  I ran 16 kilometers.  That's 10 miles for my American friends.  Ten freaking miles!  A year ago I weighed just under 250 pounds and never dreamed I could run around my block let alone 10 miles.  See what you can do with perseverance and determination?  Anything you want, that's what!

Friday I went to my massage therapist and he spent one hour just working on my glute, hamstring, quad and the hip flexors on my left side.  Turns out we were able to pin point the area of my pain. My piriformis muscle. I'm not gonna lie.  It hurt like a (insert expletive here).  He used his elbows on my glutes and kneeled on the floor beside me for better leverage.  WTF?  He's a big guy!  When I drove to work afterwards (Hamilton to Toronto = 75K), my butt really hurt.  Almost like it was bruised.

Yesterday I ran a quick 6K in the morning after my hubby hauled his ass out of bed.  I ran around in a lot of circles and just in my neighborhood, but gotter done.  Boring run, but served it's purpose. I'm listening to some new smut on my MP3 player, so it was virtually painless and I may have tacked on an extra kilometer because I wanted to hear what would happen next.  Shameful I know. Please don't judge me.

This morning when I woke up, it was pouring rain here in the Hammer.  I got up before six in anticipation for my long run because I actually wake up at 5:30 every morning.  Don't ask me why. I just do.  When I was running on my own, I had to get up early 3 days a week to do my runs before work, so that is now permanently programmed into my hardware.  Sucks, but there's nothing I can do about it now.  Anywho, my gal Dawn texted me at 7:30am asking if I wanted to delay the run until 1pm.  Hell yes!  Tanya already texted me saying she'd have to put off the run until the afternoon and it was pouring rain.  Now if I had to, I would run in the rain.  After all, I'm a runner for God's sake!  But if given an out?  I'm gonna take it.  So the "Back of the Rat Pack Girls"(a name I came up with because we're usually at the back on Sundays), met at the Running Room and did our run together.  Now, that's a cool name I penned.  It would be even cooler if we smoked and drank hard liquor.  Probably wouldn't be able to complete our runs though...

We did our 16K long run today with a ginormous hill thrown in.  Anyone who has ever run the Around the Bay will tell you that the last hill is a doozy.  Seriously, it never ended.  I'm proud to say I ran the entire hill.  Proud and probably a bit stupid.  My piriformis muscle...or maybe my glute is screaming right now.  And I got horrible cramps in my toes when I reached the top of the hill.  I wonder if I need orthotics.  Something else I should get checked out.  What really sucked was that we still had 4 more kilometers to run after the hill.  Between my leg muscle in spasm and my toe cramps, I did not have a good last 4K run.  Oh well, it's over now and that's all that matters. On a positive note, the weather was beautiful.  It was 11 degrees Celsius (51.8 Fahrenheit) and mostly sunny.  A runner's dream!

My running socks...just in case I forget which foot is which.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The post about weak glutes, diabetic cats and dirty girls

LOVE Instagram.  I don't look as old and sallow as I usually do.

I went on Instagram today.  I'm really not sure what it is.  Twitter with pictures?  It only took seconds to set up on my android.  And I have to admit, it makes me look pretty good.  All my wrinkles and facial flaws gone!  Almost like I was air brushed.  Why did I not know about this miracle app earlier?  I saw Instagram photos on Twitter and Facebook, but wasn't sure what it was or how to do it.  I tell you, I'm becoming more internet savvy by the day.  Thank God I have young, hip clients who keep me in the know.  Sadly I learned today that it's not considered "cool" to have a blog among the younger crowd.  Who knew?  I guess I'll just have to act my age.  I'm on Blogger, FB, Twitter and Instagram.  Three out of four ain't too shabby.  My client did tell me that I should just lose the blog.  Said it sounded like too much work:)  Ah kids!  What do they know?

Wednesdays are my most dreaded running day of the week.  We did 6 hill repeats yesterday.  My gal Monica told me that the hill loop we run is actually 1K.  So all in all, I ended up running just over 8K.  My IT band was still a little sore, but the more I ran, the more it loosened up.  I rolled it once I got home, but woke up sore today.  I'm debating about whether or not to go for a full movement assessment.  I know that I have weak glutes and my balance is pitiful.  I'm surprised I can even stay upright.  I know of a couple of people who have come in and lectured at the Running Room who do these assessments.  It will make me a better runner, so I'm thinking that I will definitely benefit from it.

Today's clinic talk was about Bio-mechanics and Runner's Knee.  I don't think I have runners knee, but I know that my alignment's off.  Goes back to my bad balance.  I definitely need to do some exercises to strengthen my glutes, quads and my core overall.  Today's speaker is a pilates instructor, so that is an option.  Yoga was something I enjoyed but just don't have the time for now. I need to make time somehow, but running 5 days a week and adding a day or two of yoga would keep me from home way too much.  I also commute which takes a big chunk out of my day.  I'm definitely going to look into Wii yoga.  At least it's something.  Who am I kidding?  Unsupervised Yoga?  I will surely break myself.  That's how I pulled my IT band in the first place!  I wasn't being supervised properly.

My lunch from Mr. Greek.  I love Greek food!
What I did not eat for lunch.  This was taken just
 before I left.  My client ate 2 pieces of bread.

Today's food was super boring.  I don't really care, but I basically ate the same thing all day long.  I ate hard boiled eggs for breakfast, chicken Greek salad for lunch, an apple and mini Clif bar for my before run snack, a chicken Greek salad for dinner and an orange.  My dinner salad was HUGE and extremely filling.  I definitely didn't drink enough water today, or this week in general.  I've been on the road most of the week and I tend to drink less when I'm in my car all day.  I hate having to use the bathroom at gas stations so much.  Just an excuse and not a good reason to slack on my water intake!  Runners need lots and lots of water.  Actually everybody does, not just runners. Well, with the exception of camels and most cats.  I say that because my small cat never drinks water, but my obese cat drinks a lot.  Diabetic perhaps?

A short boring post.  Not much to share from the last two days.  See how mundane and boring my life is?  I'm surprised I have 72 followers on Twitter already.  Although truth be told most of them follow me because I followed them first. Oh, and to all the dirty girls who follow me and I then have to block, Poonapalooza does not mean what you think it does.  Now go put some clothes on before you mother sees you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Well, I've finally done it.  I've set up a Twitter account (at the suggestion of my gorgeous sister-in-law) and I have no idea what I'm doing.  Why, it was only a week or so ago that I learned what a hashtag was.  What the hell do I tweet?  My life is way too boring and mundane to tweet anything of interest.  Does anyone care that I was up and leaving for my run this morning at 6:36 am? Likely not, 'cos if you care or find that interesting, you need a life right along with me.  If you're on Twitter and you feel so inclined, you can follow me @Poonapalooza.  I promise to follow back!

Nice face Jules!

Ah yes.  The requisite "two people in old fat pants" shot.  We are squeezed in there, and that's pretty much how my lower half used to look in them when I was nearing or over 300 pounds. Although I didn't lose half of my highest weight (my highest non-pregnancy recorded weight was 302 pounds), I think I'm pretty much half my size.  Going from a size 24 to a size 8/10 is pretty significant.  I didn't do measurements from the beginning of my weight-loss to now, but when I was squeezing into a 24, my measurements would have been  51" bust, 45" waist, 53" hips (according to sizing charts).  Now my measurements are 36" bust, 29" waist, 39" hips.  Right now I can wear size 10 very comfortably, and squeeze into size 8.  I have one pair of size 8 Joe Fresh jeans that fit comfortably.  Joe Fresh has big my goal is to fit into all size 8s comfortably.  I just want to be a single digit and medium size kinda girl.  I'm probably only 5 pounds away...or maybe 100 more kilometers (2.5 weeks of running).  Which ever comes first!

The last two days I have been HUNGRY.  Today I ate my hard boiled eggs after my run, then didn't eat again until about noon...and I was starved.  The salad I had at lunch with extra chicken just didn't cut it, and I ended up buying almonds at a gas station in Peterborough.  Then when I got home, I made a huge taco salad for myself, then had to snack on carrots and hummus afterwards. I forgot I ate an orange when I got home from work too.  I'm doing hill repeats tomorrow, so I need to drink a lot of water and get a good lunch in.  I may have to get a protein bar to eat on the way to my practice run.  Hill repeats take up a lot of energy and we're doing 6 tomorrow!  I'll have run about 8.5K before all is said and done.

My IT band is still on the mend.  I had a short run this morning, 6.3K.  Funny that, how 6.3K is considered a short run now.  I never thought I'd be able to do 5K let alone 6.3K.  Tomorrow will mark my 10 month running anniversary.  I think I'll go for a run to celebrate.  Anywho, back to the IT band.  After my short run this morning, I rolled my IT band again.  It hurt, but not as badly as it previously did.  I will definitely roll again tomorrow night after my hill repeats and Thursday after my clinic.  Friday brings me to professional relief and my sports massage.  I'm counting down the days like it's Christmas all over again!

As we move into the second week of January, I hope everyone is making good choices and sticking to their guns.  New Years resolutions don't work, at least they never did for me.  But a lifestyle change will if you're ready, determined and really want it.  Make sure you pick a sustainable eating and exercise plan.  Something you can do forever. I know I can do this forever, and I will because the alternative is not an option.  I am never going to be obese again (my new mantra).  And putting your health first is no special feat.  Just like the Man in Black, I am no one of consequence.  Just your average working class mother and wife.  Make yourself and your health a priority.  Because if I can do this, anyone can!

LOVED The Princess Bride:)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm with the band...the IT band that is!

My crew after our 14K.  L-R:  Brett, Tina, Monica, me, Dawn.

First I want to start off by giving my girl Jenn over at Day #1 Again a much deserved shout out. She wrote a very sweet blog post about me and how I inspire.  Well that feeling is completely reciprocated. She is also a HUGE inspiration to me!  She's a mother of fraternal twins, works a couple of part-time jobs, ran a freaking donation drop-off from her home after Hurricane Sandy (which took up ALL of her time for weeks on end), she's a successful loser of a substantial amount of weight and a CrossFit goddess!  She makes me want to learn what a burpee is and do a bunch! Bottom line is she's walking the walk, not just talking the talk.  She's a HUGE supporter to me and many others out in the blogosphere.  Her blog is honest and definitely one of my favorite reads. And her kids are super adorable to boot!  Thanks for the love Jenn.  You are definitely one of my heroes:)

Today was my longest run to date.  We clocked 14K this morning, me and my Running Room crew.  I was a little freaked out the past couple of days.  Friday I woke up unable to move comfortably.  In my last post I mentioned that my hamstring or glute was bugging me.  By the time I commuted to work, I could barely walk from the underground parking to my desk.  I had to go to Shopper's Drug Mart at lunch and get muscle relaxants which completely stoned me and made me super sleepy.  My afternoon at work was a comedy of errors to say the least.  I went out with my girlfriend Elin (who also helped me come up with this snappy title) Friday night and as soon as her hubby Scott opened the door, I asked him to get me his foam roller.  I rolled out my glutes and hamstrings and didn't really feel any different, then moved onto my IT Band.  Bingo!  That is what was bothering me.  It made a HUGE difference after I rolled out my IT Band and I only cried for a moment.  Scott lent me his roller and I rolled again on Saturday in preparation for my long run this morning.

Me looking glamorous as all get out while I roll out my IT Band.
Afterwards, I could only lie there...

I'm gonna roll again tonight.  I know I need it.  I'm achy after my long run and  although I could feel the ache along my IT Band during the entire run, it wasn't uncomfortable to the point where I couldn't run.  I ran at a slower pace and gotter done!  Rolling hurts like nothing I've ever felt before. When we did rolling a couple of weeks ago at clinic, we took a poll as to whether rolling hurt worse than child birth.  Rolling was worse for me.  Even though I labored for 12 hours when Jules was born, I actually had a c-section.  I didn't find the labor as excruciating as rolling out muscle knots. Especially my IT Band and quads.  Makes a grown woman want to cry like a baby.  No running tomorrow.  I'm off until Tuesday morning when I will run at 6:30am.

My hubby asked me why I felt I had to run so much. He's been slacking a bit with the weather. Says it makes him not want to run.  I told him that I have no option but to run.  I can't slack off. That's just the way it has to be for me.  And I'm alright with that.  Once you reach "athlete" status with your doctor, there is no going back.  I've only ever been the morbidly obese woman with a resting heart rate of 80 bpm or worse.  I never want to lose my athletic status.  I mean, I'm not as fast as other runners I take the clinic with, but I can complete the runs.  The hill repeats don't even phase me anymore.  This week we're moving onto six hill repeats and I know I can do them.  I knew I had another one in me last week.  My confidence as a runner is improving and that excites me.

Food is no longer my enemy.  We have found a peaceful balance together based on respect.  I only use food to fuel my body. I no longer obsess over it and I know I have replaced one addiction with another.  I have replaced carbs and sugar with running.  Not a bad trade off.  It took me 35 years to figure out and if you want it bad enough, you'll figure it out too.  As Nike says, "Just do it!" Because if I can do it, anyone can.  And those that "can't", don't want to.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Runners they do get weary

I am feeling weary!  I just finished my 5th day in a row of running and my body is in need of a rest day.  I ran 40K over the last 5 days and did some serious hill repeats yesterday.  Maybe I need 2 days rest.  Sunday is my long run, and it will be my longest run to date.  14K I think.

It has been a busy couple of days.  I'm back to work and even though I like that the traffic has been very light because lots of people are still off on vacation, I have tons of paperwork to catch up on. Tomorrow is strictly a paper day in the office.  Hate those days:(

Check out what I found under my bed.  An old pair of pants I wore at my heaviest.  Size 24 Addition Elle black jeans.  I've done the old skinny pants on fat pants comparison   Holy Hanna!  I can't believe that I used to squeeze into those babies!

Size 10 American Eagle jeans on top of size 24 Addition Elle jeans.

I also found a HORRIBLE before picture of myself that I nabbed off of my girlfriend Nokomis's Facebook page.  This was taken at one of her family's barbecues about six years ago.  I was pregnant here, but you can't even tell.  I'm wearing the same shirt in both pictures below.  I truly don't look any less pregnant in the picture on the right than I do from the picture on the left.  Maybe I look more pregnant...even though I wasn't.  I'll say this again.  My mother must have been guiding me from Heaven because it's a miracle I had a problem free pregnancy!

Pregnant here...
Not pregnant here.

I ended up making a big turkey dinner for New Years Day.  I love turkey.  And although I ate some at Christmas, I didn't really get my fill.  So now I am officially full of turkey...until I make soup next weekend with the frozen carcass.  This is pretty much what I have been eating over the past few days.  It was really yummy and I love rutabaga and sweet potato mash.  The best stuff out there!

From nine o'clock, clockwise...turkey, green beans with pepper flakes and
garlic, rutabaga and sweet potato mash, squash, cumin carrots.

Tonight my butt is sore.  Or maybe it's my hamstrings.  No doubt from doing the five hill repeats yesterday.  I need a good stretching.  I see my massage dude next Friday and I'm looking forward to being manually stretched, and maybe my quads need stripping again.  We did a quick yoga class before our run tonight and I may have actually pulled something while doing the pigeon pose. I like yoga, but tonight's quick class was a bit too rushed for my taste.  I wasn't doing any of the stretches properly because the instructor moved on too quickly before I could work on my form.

I was chatting with some co-workers today about my lifestyle.  I mentioned how I have never felt better in my life and I actually feel good almost all the time (except for the odd ache and pain from running).  I never have digestive problems and because I'm so regimented with my eating, it's much easier to resist temptation.  I went from almost 300 pounds to 167ish (I go in for my maintenance weigh-in on the 14th, but my pants are getting lose again).  I also went from being completely sedentary to a pretty avid runner with the resting heart-rate of an athlete.  I still wonder how in the hell I did this!  Trust me, if I can do this anyone can.  And now that I'm here, I can't ever imagine going back to the way I was.  There's no food on earth that tastes better than how I feel! And did I mention that I love running?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's make this year count!

A very happy New Year to everyone!  I have accomplished more in the last year in regards to my health and fitness than I have in all the previous years of my life.  I read my post from last New Years, and I didn't make a resolution per se, because I don't believe in them.  I did however commit to eating well and to do the best that I could to become the healthiest person I could.  I accomplished what I set out to do.  Read the snippet below...

I never make New Years resolutions, but this year I think I'm going to resolve to be conscious of one thing and one thing only.  Taking each day one day at a time and not worrying about what next week or next month might bring me.  We worry too much about making goals for ourselves.  Other than work related goals, I have never been able to keep personal goals.  That is mainly because I have sabotaged myself year after year because I'm the queen of making unrealistic goals for myself.  That being said, I'm making a resolution right not make a weight-loss goal for myself, but to continue to eat the way I am and focus on my health.  There.  I just took the pressure off and now I think, no I know, I can keep that resolution:)

This year will find me focusing less on weight-loss, and more on maintenance and running of course.  Moving on to maintenance has been a scary prospect for me, but Caron over at  At Goal Weight Watcher made an excellent point.  I've been on maintenance for the past year.  This is true.  I've already made adjustments along the way and I believe I'm currently in my comfortable eating zone.  No refined sugar, no processed carbs, low fat, low sodium.   A recipe for success.  It has been for me anyway.  And the only way it will continue to work for me is if I continue to eat this way forever.  Something I can totally commit to.  The other option is not at all appealing.  I'm never yo-yo dieting again.  Or at least that is the plan Stan.

My running?  After my half marathon in March and the 2 person relay for The Bay, I'm going to start teaching clinics again. I'm also going to make a goal to run my first full marathon in the fall. I'm going to attempt the Road 2 Hope, a local Hamilton marathon.  It's also a Boston qualifier and although I'll likely not qualify for Boston this year, I'm gonna try.  I need to complete the marathon in under 3:45:00 to qualify for Boston.  That's a 00:5:03 kilometer doing 10:1 intervals.  I have a lot of work to do this year.  I'm not likely to qualify for Boston come the fall.  And that's okay.  I'll try again in another year if I don't.  No biggie. I'll definitely try though.  I need a running goal to work towards.

Yesterday I woke up at 6am to go out and get a quick run in.  I had grocery shopping to do, a couple of visits, and hors d'oeuvres prep for the evening. My BIL came for the night to celebrate the New Year with us.  Every New Years eve hubby and I stay in and eat appetizers for dinner.  I threw together some that I could eat too and drank a couple of glasses of wine.  My days eats were pretty simple...Breakfast was 2 hard boiled eggs, coffee with cream and a couple of handfuls of nuts over at my gal Tanya's place.  Jules and I went over for a play date with her little guy in the morning.  We went home and ate lunch around noon.  The rest of my food intake is detailed below...

Lunch was left over chicken curry with rutabaga from Saturday...
Mid afternoon snack...I ate about half of what's here.
New Years eve spread. I stuck to the carrots, hummus, shrimp
and I had some olives...Hubby and BIL ate the rest!
Yesterday afternoon we went to visit my running partner Beverly and her family.  I hadn't spent time with her since before her surgery December 6th.  It was great to catch up and she gave me a very special Christmas gift.  The mug on the right is mine.  It's purple of course since purple is my signature color   I just made it my signature color right now.  Everyone knows I LOVE purple!  The mug on the left is Beverley's.  On the back it says...Walt Disney Marathon 2014.  That is our "together goal".  What a wonderful gift!  I will also always think about Carol when I use my mug...Carol's partner Lou made them:)

What was the one thing I wanted to do this New Year's day?  Run of course.  My hubby and I decided to do a New Year's run together.  Because my BIL was visiting, we had a baby sitter.  I'm making a turkey dinner for today and after I got my turkey in the oven, we headed out to the Running Room for a 9+K run.  This was super exciting because it's my hubby's longest distance to date.  I chose a course I ran about a month ago with my clinic.  There was no snow the last time I ran this trail, but it was breathtakingly beautiful and I'm so glad we did this together.  There's no one I would have rather done this run with.  Here's to a healthy and happy 2013!  Let's make this year count!

At the 5K mark!  Goofy faces:)

My most beautiful run to date:)