Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter blessings

Thanks to all for your supportive comments and emails regarding my last post.  It is all good.  I did some side by side comparison shots and feel a whole lot better about things.  My size cannot be accurately measured through my weight.  In the pictures below, I weigh one pound less in the Christmas pics than I do in the one taken today.  I am wearing size 10 in the Christmas pics, and size 8 in the pic from today.  I am noticeably smaller in today's pic.  So there you go.  I did not gain 1.5 pounds of fat in the last two weeks.  And that being said, I'm continuing with Phase 1 for 2.2 more weeks before moving onto Phase 2 for a couple of weeks, then Phase 3 (which is maintenance) once again.

167 pounds
167 pounds

167 pounds
168 pounds

I knew I was getting smaller.  And I can definitely see differences in my hip, leg, and arm area.  My waist and stomach area is also starting to firm up nicely.  It was feeling a little flabby over the past couple of weeks, but I'm starting to notice a difference in my stomach roll when I'm sitting.  It's getting smaller.  I'm actually purchasing a weighted hula hoop and I'm gonna start hooping.  I hear it's good for the core as well as firming up the tummy.  I'm sold.  I need a more stable core and a firmer tummy is definitely a bonus!

Yesterday I had my family over for Good Friday dinner.  Being raised Catholic means that it was a fish only day.  My mother was Polish and it was tradition that she would make perogy every Good Friday.  I used to eat perogy until I was sick to my stomach!  Well, not to break tradition, I made perogy for my family yesterday.  You know the real yummy kind with the cheese and potato filling. It was a lot of work and something I'm happy to only make twice a year.  I loved watching my family enjoy the fruits of my labor, and I'm gonna be honest, I did not miss them.  I remember how stuffed I would feel after eating them and I'm so glad I have not felt that way for over a year and a half.  It's not worth it, and it's just food.  I enjoyed the fabulous salmon and broccoli I made as well. That was truly delicious and I made it perfectly!

What my family enjoyed...
What we all enjoyed!
Today was a fun day with Jules.  Hubby was working so it was just the boy and I.  There was a neighborhood Easter egg hunt and we went to the local park to participate in the festivities.  Julien had a great time because he got to play with some school friends. He got to meet the Easter Bunny (creepy), and practice his soccer shot.  We hung around and played outside for a good hour and a half.  When we got home we played a couple of board games.  Operation and Mouse Trap! Fun afternoon!  Games from my childhood!

I got a ten kilometer run in with Monica this morning.  I was going to start half marathon training today, but will start tomorrow morning with my long run instead.  We're off to my in-laws for Easter, so I'll get up early and run once the sun comes out.  I'm looking forward to running on the rail trail tomorrow.  I miss running up the escarpment, and with the snow finally gone, I'm thrilled to be returning to my happy running place.  Easter blessings to all who celebrate!  And to everyone else, have a fantabulous weekend!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oh, it is on!!!!!!!

I know what you're thinking...HAWT! Hot mess
that is.  After my vigorous exercise this morning!

I was real excited to see Dr. Stephen yesterday for my weigh-in.  I've been following Phase 1 of Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet for just over three weeks.  With the exception of when I ran The Bay this past Sunday (I ate Phase 2 on that day), I have been on Phase 1 pretty religiously.  And by pretty religiously I mean I have not been measuring the measurable veggies, but doubt I have eaten more than 4 cups per day.  If you've been reading me for a while, you know that I don't normally weigh myself in between weigh-ins.  Got me a little crazy when I was actively losing weight and it became a bit of an obsession.  I knew that I was doing well because of several things that have happened over the past week.

No less than six people who see me pretty regularly commented that I have lost more weight.  My belt had to be taken down another notch, my fuel belt had to be adjusted to a smaller size and the pants I bought at Reitman's last week (in size 7) were a touch snug in the bum and thigh area when I tried them on but fit me perfectly when I wore them this week.  I know my body pretty well and I know that I have been getting smaller.  So imagine my surprise when I get on the scale and it tells me that I have a three pound GAIN.  That's right!  I gained three pounds!

According to the Tanita Body Composition Analyser, I gained a pound and a bit of water, and the rest I gained in fat.  I told Dr. Stephen that it was not possible, but he kept telling me that the scale does not lie.  Well neither do I.  I wasn't angry, but I was frustrated and pissed that he didn't seem to think my explanation of someone who is more athletic may not be accurately measured on the scale.  He kept saying they were $3000 scales and were extremely accurate.  So I leave the appointment with the attitude of, "I'm gonna show him and that damn scale!  I'll just eat protein and leafy greens".  Then I smartened up and realized that I can't do that.  I'm already eating EXTREMELY low carb, and I can't go any lower and continue to run like I run.  My half marathon training starts Saturday!

So I go on the Tanita website and find this important piece of information in their FAQ section.
Q: Why is there an "Athlete Mode"? 
A: The Athlete mode was developed to provide a more accurate reading for athletic body types. Athletic body types are physiologically different than standard adult body types, due to muscle mass and hydration level differences. Athletes tend to have greater muscle mass and tend to be more dehydrated. These differences would skew the body fat reading high, when taken with the standard Adult mode.

What?  There's an athlete mode?  Tanita describes an athlete as being someone who does approx. 10 hours of vigorous exercise per week (I do 7+ right now, 10 when I'm training) and has a resting heart rate below 60 (mine's been recorded at both 50 and 54).  I'm a bit short on the exercise (since I ran my half marathon on March 3), but my heart rate is right on!  I can guarantee you, I have never been weighed on athlete mode at the clinic!

There is no way that I gained 1.5 pounds of fat by eating lean protein, leafy greens and 4 cups per day of other veggies that grow above ground.  I gave up everything I love!  Red wine, nuts, root veggies, fruit, dairy!  Haven't had any of it for 3.5 weeks!  I had to laugh because Dr. Stephen asked if I chewed gum.  I looked him straight in the face and said, "You really think that me chewing sugar free gum a couple times a day totaling 70 extra calories per week when I burn over 3000 calories per week by running would make me gain 1.5 pounds of fat?"  He had to admit that wasn't probable.  I asked him if it was possible that the fat gain was really muscle and the scale wasn't able to determine muscle from fat.  He said no.  The Q & A from above would suggest otherwise.

So there you have it!  I have had my first "fat" gain in 18.5 months.  While following Phase 1!  So where do I go from here.  I'm staying on Phase 1 baby.  If I'm meant to weigh what I weigh but continue to gain lean muscle (which is fine if you're a runner, or anyone for that matter), then so be it.  I have 2.5 weeks of Phase 1 left, and I intend to see my commitment to fruition.  Makes me feel good that my butt and thighs are finally getting smaller.  Even if the number on the scale is not going down, everything else about me is!  I'm back to see Dr. Stephen again in 2 weeks, and I think I'll bring him the above piece of info printed off of the Tanita website.  Not to stick it to him. I'm always respectful.  But he really should know what he's talking about!  Bring it on!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Purple haze all in my brain

Back to my regular running routine today!  Since The Bay was more of a fun run for me, I only needed a day of rest.  Hubby's still feeling the side effects of running in his first long distance road race.  He needed two days rest!  But he admits that even though he's sore, it hurts so good.  He's pumped for getting into longer running distances and has committed to losing another 15 pounds so he can get down to his fighting weight.  I'm happy to have inspired him.  The only thing that sucks is now we're going to be competing for races!  I'll have to share entry fees.  It's worth it though to see him at the best shape he's ever been in.  When he started running in June (our birthday is when I took him out on his first run), he didn't think he wanted to go further than 5K ever.  But once you run in a big race, the atmosphere and energy gets you and you're hooked.  I'm very proud of him.

It wasn't easy getting this shot at 6:30 am.  I just got back
from my run and didn't want to wake anyone.  I love that
the shirt says "Older than Boston"!

Not my color, but nice and visible .
This morning's run was awesome.  It was 3 degrees when I left the house just before 6am.  I didn't have to wear a jacket!  Made me feel like spring has finally sprung!  I also saw more people out and about.  Runners and walkers.  It's pretty isolated when I run so early in the morning.  I always like to see and greet other runners during my workouts.  You give that little wave and knowing look.  It's almost like a brotherhood.  The "knowing look" usually says, "You're just as crazy as me out here in the frigid cold at 5:45am.  Good on ya"!  That's a lot of information in one look!

Hubby and I have decided to work on strengthening our core together.  I have two yoga mats, an exercise ball and a brand new DVD.  Since we both need stronger cores to become better runners, we're gonna start doing the DVD Monday, Wednesday and Friday after Julien goes to bed.  Julien is so adorable.  He was watching Bananas in Pajamas right before bed and was lying on his side doing leg crunches.  He claimed that he did his "exercises" the entire episode, but it was really just for a few minutes.  After we read books, he told me that when he gets up tomorrow morning, he's going right down stairs to do his exercises again until it's time for breakfast.  I'm not sure what time he plans on getting up, but I hope it's not before I go for my run.  That would really suck for hubby!  See!  The healthy lifestyle is rubbing off on the boy.  Makes everything totally worth it!

$12.99 @ Chapters.  They have Pilates and Yoga
too.  May get them as well to switch it up!

Today I was contacted by the Marilyn Denis show and asked to be in their next makeover show.  I spoke to her Production Assistant and told him that I was just made over two months ago on the Steven and Chris show.  He was disappointed but understood that I didn't want to appear on another makeover show.  I don't think I need a makeover and wouldn't want to take that opportunity away from someone else.  He did say he would keep my contact information though and consider my story for a future weight-loss show.

Today I got the guts to wear clothing that I never, in a million years, thought I would have the cojones to wear.  LOTS of color.  I went shopping for a couple spring outfits last week at Reitmans and picked up this "little" number in size 7 pants and a medium top.  So strange to walk around in such a small size.  Felt fraudulent all day.  Like at any moment someone would approach me and say, "Ma'am, you have no business wearing those pants.  Go put on these 24W slacks and 3x top so the world can return to normal."  I got lots of compliments and have to admit, that I actually felt small.  I think I could get used to these new clothes.  Maybe the spring weather is actually making me feel reborn because I am, in a sense, "born again" in a new body.  Life is too short.  I'm accepting the new me, giving myself props where I deserve them and moving on!  Weigh-in with Dr. Stephen tomorrow!!!!!

Michael loves taking the candid
Of course it's in purple!
My favorite color:)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Around the Bay - 30K relay

It's still all about the bling baby!

What an awesome day!  Today was the Around the Bay Road Race.  Hubby and I were team Runapalooza.  We each did a 15K leg of the 30K race.  Hubby started in downtown Hamilton just outside of Copps Coliseum and ran to the relay exchange just before the lift bridge on Eastport Drive in Burlington.  We had to exchange the chip timer from his shoe to mine, then off I ran.  I had to wait quite a while for hubby.  Over two hours.  But the upside was that I got to see the elite runners go by.  That's what I love about running in these kinds of races.  I will never compete in the Olympics, but I get to run in the same races with world class runners.  That is really cool!

Waiting for hubby just before the lift bridge.

Watching the ELITES run by.  The runner on the left won.
He completed the 30K in 1:35:44.

Hubby running towards me at the exchange.

Hubby's time to get to me was 1:59:02.  I called that real good 'cos I predicted a two hour time for him to run the 15K.  Not too shabby for someone who hasn't been running a year yet and ran his longest distance to date today.  We finished with a 3:37:30 chip time which means I ran my 15K in 1:38:28.  I'm happy with this time.  I had to run about 7 hills, the last one was approximately 800 meters in length.  Hubby had it easier than me.  His course was nice and flat, but boring.

The energy on the course was electric.  The spectators that came out to cheer us on were full of energy, and it made me feel so alive just to be running.  I caught up with a couple of runners that I knew.  My gal Monica was running the full 30K and I caught up with her just before the 20K mark. She was getting tired by that time, and her knees were starting to bother her.  She was a kilometer short of running a half marathon.  And even with her arthritic knees, she kicked ass!  My other gal Tanya came out to see me just before the 25K marker.  Loved seeing a familiar face along the course.  I ran all the hills, but walked a few times through water stations and to chat with Monica and other people I knew along the way.  I wasn't really running for time.  It was more of a fun run where I could stop and snap photos if I wanted to.

Some of the awesome cheerleaders along the course.
A church group waving palms at us:)

Don't fear the reaper.  He was situated in front
of the cemetery on York Blvd.

I cannot wait to get fitted for orthotics.  My toes cramped super early today.  Only 9K in and my feet were going numb.  I did start out pretty fast and ran quite hard until I caught up with Monica almost 5K into my run.  The faster I run and the more that my feet hit the ground, the crampier my toes get.  All I know is that I have to get this fixed ASAP so that I can run my next half marathon in June pain free.

Right after I crossed the finish line.

The one thing I have to say I was disappointed with was the food.  Hubby didn't even get anything when he finished running.  No water or recovery food.  I did get stuff because I ran into Copps Coliseum, but for such a big race with a hefty entry fee, I was expecting more than a mini Clif bar, a rice Krispie Square, a mini pita, apple juice and banana.  The Chilly Half Marathon gave us MUCH better recovery food...and we could take as much as we wanted.  Being on Phase 1 of the Dr. Poon Metabolic Diet didn't give me many options with the recovery food.  But I did eat the mini Clif bar, which reeked havoc with my stomach very soon after eating it.  I decided to follow more of Phase 2 today anyway because I needed more fuel before my run this morning.  I had to resort to what settled best in my stomach before a long run.  Natural peanut butter and strawberries!

Monica and I showing off our bling at the Anchor Bar.

Recovery food!  Wasn't enough so when I got home, I ate
left over pork tenderloin and sauteed cabbage.

Afterwards, hubby, Monica and I went to the Anchor Bar in Jackson Square for lunch.  My recovery meal was a salad with chicken and hard boiled egg.  That would have been my 5th hard boiled egg today.  I'm not gonna lie, I'm all egged out.  I asked hubby how he liked the race and I knew what his reaction would be.  He wants to run a half marathon.  Being in a big race like The Bay is a different energy than being in a 5K. Still a great accomplishment, running a 5K, but I knew that he would get real pumped running in such a big historic road race.  He's looking to running his first half in the fall now.  I have created a monster:)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wish you were here

My mother when she was 18.
Circa 1949
I got up at 6am and ran this morning.  An easy run before The Bay tomorrow.  I felt good.  I had a good pace (6:39 per kilometer) and I felt like I could have gone for 6 more kilometers, but I had to keep it short.  My physiotherapist taped my feet for The Bay yesterday which was fine, but the tapes came off in the shower after my run.  I'll be running tapeless tomorrow!  During my run this morning I heard this Pink Floyd song (Wish You Were Here) and it brought tears to my eyes.  I always miss my mother more before or during holidays and Easter is a week away.  But I was also thinking about the Around the Bay tomorrow and wishing that she was here to see me run.

My mother has only known me morbidly obese.  Throughout my life, she tried everything she could to get me healthy.  Some of it was supportive, some of it not so much.  But I know that whatever she did, she did because she loved me.  She wanted me to live a long happy life.  Regrets?  I definitely have a few.  My biggest regret though?  Not getting healthier sooner.  I wish I was ready 15 or even 20 years ago to take control of my life.  It would have been a relief to my mother if she knew that I lost all the weight and became a runner.  Me being healthy wouldn't have prolonged her life.  Cancer cut her life short.  But my getting healthy would have given her one less thing to worry about.  I hope she can see me now.  I know she would be proud of me and at least I have that to hold in my heart.

I'm feeling very emotional today.  While I was writing the paragraph above, I got an e-card from my former running coach/mentor Carol who's in Regina, SK.  She wished me luck in The Bay tomorrow and said she wished she could run it too.  Made me cry.  I am such a baby.  I haven't signed up for it yet, but as soon as my MasterCard gets replaced (it was used fraudulently in California last week), I'm registering for the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon.  Carol's already registered and at least I'll get to run in one race with her!

Today was a special day.  I trekked out to Keswick to meet a group of women who also follow the Dr. Poon lifestyle.  What a wonderful bunch of people.  I felt a little awkward at first because although I know these people via the Dr. Poon Facebook support page, I have never met any of them in person before.  They know way more about me than I know about them because I post my blog to the Facebook page.  My apprehension was short lived because they all made me feel very welcome.  We talked about following the diet and the struggles that go along with that.  It was great to hear from people who know exactly what I go through on a daily basis.  I like knowing that I'm not alone.

We talked about advice that you would give a "newbie" to the lifestyle.  My advice was what I personally did for the duration of the diet, and still do today since I'm back on Phase 1.  I made two week goals for myself, that I would follow the diet to the best of my ability. I told myself that I can do anything for two weeks.  I'm not committing to a month, or a lifetime, just two weeks.  After the two weeks, I would re-evaluate and make a goal for the next two weeks.  I had 130+ pounds to lose and thought I would never get there.  It seemed like an endless road for me.  But two weeks turned into two months, then six months, then a year, then 18 months, and here I am 125 pounds lighter.  Life is short and I wish I had been in the right space to be ready to do this earlier.  I'm not going to dwell on that, but my other piece of advice?  Don't waste anymore time.  You'll never get it back and life is just too precious.

A wonderful group of women!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Don't dream it's over

Crazy running hair after this morning's run.
Spring my ass!  It was -8C this morning!

I am not getting enough sleep.  Yesterday morning's run was brutal.  I know it was because I only got about 5 hours of sleep every night for the past four days.  I really need at least 6.5 to function well.  That means I need to start getting myself to bed by 11pm every night.  Five-thirty comes quickly!  So here I am writing a post at 10:05.  Let's see if I can get done in 55 minutes!

The good news is tomorrow is a rest day.  The better news is that I didn't get my feet stripped today at my massage appointment.  The bad news is that Mark spent A LOT of time working my left calf and hamstring, and it hurt, but not as badly as the last time he stripped my calf.  OUCH! The good news is that by the time I left his table, my hamstring felt much, much better.  He did a mostly "maintenance massage" (as he calls it) to prepare me for the Around the Bay relay this weekend.  I'm excited, more so for hubby than me. It's a HUGE deal for him.  It is a big race, the biggest I've done, and hubby's longest distance to date (15K each).  I know he's anxious, but he's also really pumped!

Graham, my physio dude, also delivered some news to me yesterday.  I'm going to have to get fitted for orthotics.  I knew that it was coming.  He said he could give me exercises to do, but the best way for me to get rid of the crampy toes is for me to get orthotics.  So orthotics it is!  I need to run, and I want to be able to run long distances.  I'm going to get fitted when he comes back from vacation the first week of April.  I'll have them for the Niagara Falls half marathon at the beginning of June.  I'm excited to see what my time will be without my toes cramping!

My $350 worth of purchases.
Doesn't look like much.

I made a goal to spend $300 at Reitmans by the end of April.  Well, I spent $350 today.  Now, I bought some things a couple of days ago, and I'm returning two of those things which totals over $100 in returns.  I'm also on the fence about a few things I purchased today.  I may be returning them because I'm second guessing stuff that bought.  I hate that feeling!  I just wish I could get something, love it, and wear it.   I do it at thrift stores no problem, but I'm feeling real anxious about my purchases today.  I don't know why, they were gifted to me!

The hardest thing about shopping today was getting stuff in my real size.  I kept trying on things that were too big for me, and they made me look bigger than I am.  After roaming the store for a while, I finally approached the sales staff for assistance and they were a tremendous help. Although we put together some great outfits at the store, I'm not sure I want to keep them all.  I bought three pairs of pants in size 7.  I felt like I had no business walking out of that store with size 7 anything!  But they fit me.  A very surreal moment.  I have never, in my adult life, fit into such a small size.

It's such a strange process to go through, self acceptance after weight-loss.  I'm still getting used to the new me and I feel panicky and anxious at times when I'm doing something where my size is in question.  One of the sales girls that helped me today corrected my size because when I told her a size that I thought I was, she gave me that size as well as the next size down and told me to try both.  Others see me differently than I see myself.  They have no idea that I was morbidly obese a year and a half ago.  They look at me in my Value Village Danier leather coat, new haircut and 5 in 5 make-up regime that Kristjan gave me and assume that I'm full of confidence.  The truth is that sometimes I feel like a fraud.  Sometimes I feel like I'm living a life that isn't mine.  It's one I dreamed of for many years and now that it's reality, I'm just waiting to wake up and for everything to be the way it used to.  The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is feel for my hip bones just to assure myself that I am no longer morbidly obese.  Then I take a deep breath, and start my day in a body that I still can't believe is mine.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Lone red spoon" and "Dried coffee"

Lone red spoon...

I call this one "Dried coffee at the bottom of the cup".

Check out my Instagram photos.  Artistic huh?  The top one was encouraged by my friend Michael. We were waiting for grilled chicken and broccoli at Gingers and he told me to shoot the soup spoons because there was one lone red one.  Good eye Michael.  The second photo was my China Tim Horton's mug with dried up coffee in the bottom strategically placed on Nina and Linda's work table.  I think I lost my calling!

Yesterday was pretty uneventful.  I had to take the Go Train to work because my car was at the shop.  I got into Toronto at 8:15am, and walked from Union Station to my office, 45 minutes away. I stopped at Reitmans (the store that gifted me the $1000 from when I was on the Steven and Chris Show) to look around for 10 minutes, and was so confused about what to buy.  I need my stylist!!! Aside from the dress I wore on the show (which cost only $23 on clearance), I have spent nothing. Part of that reason is because I'm still losing the last 10 pounds or so, and I don't want to purchase pants that will be too big...but I'm also a lousy shopper!  I do much better at Value Village.  That's where I feel most comfortable.  No one hounds me and I can look around at my leisure.  I'm making a personal goal for myself to spend a few hundred dollars of the gift card by the end of April.  That gives me time to get the last ten pounds off and my head around the idea of paying regular price for stuff.  Even though the card was gifted to me, it will still hurt to spend $40 on a pair of pants.

I think the only reason I'm smiling is because
I'm done.  The sleet and darkness sucked!

This morning I had to wake up super early to run.  I needed to be out my door by 5:30am because I had to be on the road to Peterborough by 7:30am.  We had a little blast of winter last night. Although Hamilton didn't get too much snow (just a dusting), north of the city (Peterborough) got a bit more and I was unsure of the driving conditions.  I had a tricky run this morning because there was a layer of sleet on the sidewalks and I wasn't feeling too steady.  I ran on the road as much as I could, but even the edges of the roads were slippery.  Despite the obstacles of my run this morning, I still managed to run at a 6:50 pace.  Not too shabby.

Have I mentioned how done I am with winter?  Driving today was a real treat.  I drove through rain, sleet and finally a lot of snow.  Luckily the roads weren't slippery as nothing was really staying down.  It snowed all day in Peterborough.  Big HUGE snowflakes.  Pretty, but I'm ready to move on.  The good news is that it looks like there will be good weather for the Around the Bay relay on Sunday.  I'm really excited.  I know I can run the route no problem because I did it two weeks ago with Monica.  My only concern is my crampy toes.  Graham is taping my feet on Friday so I should be okay.  And it's 15K, not 21.1K, or 30K.  I should be okay even without my feet taped.  I'll be waiting for my hubby at the 15K mark and get to see all the elite runners go by.  I'm really pumped. It should be quite the experience.

I'm still rocking Phase 1 of Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet.  I'm not feeling hungry, and even though I'm keeping up with my running schedule of 5 days per week, I'm feeling strong so I'm definitely eating enough.  I really just want to get as lean as I can as quickly as possible so I can start speed training for the half marathon in June.  I've worked out my training schedule and the real long runs don't start until April 14th when I do a 16K.  That's the day before my six weeks of Phase 1 is up.  I think I'll be good.

I had to purchase a giant exercise ball for my physio exercises.  Graham has me doing these leg curls with the giant ball which are not my favorite thing to do.  I'm still doing clam shells, bridging, squats, monster walk and a few other core things that are not fun.  None of the exercises are fun. Physio is not fun.  Neither is therapeutic massage.  The next thing to be stripped?  Likely my feet. I've already been warned that it's very painful.  I can't imagine anything being more painful than having your calves stripped.   I'm going to see Mark on Thursday morning.  I'll tell you which one is more painful.  It should be lots of fun.  I don't like having my feet touched.  The lengths I go to so that I can run!  My how times have changed.  I went from being someone who didn't like to be touched at all, to someone who is touched several times a week so that I can be stretched, taped, massaged, muscle stripped and adjusted.  When do I get a hug?

Could be my last Roll up the Rim.  They
ran out of cups in Peterborough!
I'm still a loser:(

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I need a pedicure...badly!!!!!!!

I used to have pretty feet...pre-running!
Taped and ready to rumble...

So I went to physio on Friday for my movement assessment.  My BIL Ross came with me and video taped me on the treadmill.  This was so I could actually see how I run.  Graham wanted me to watch the footage of myself because I come down harder on my left side than I do on my right side.  Not a pretty sight, me running.  I'm way too jiggly!  He also did a thorough examination of my ugly running feet and adjusted something on the middle of my foot.  It popped and didn't hurt, but I definitely felt something go back in alignment. He did it on both feet.  So anyway, when I run, I put most of my pressure on the pad of my foot by my big toes. This causes my toes to curl when I run, which then results in the cramping during long runs.  And I just want to add quickly, I do not like the treadmill. Not even a little bit.  The whole time I was on it, I felt like I was going to veer off one way or the other.  I felt real wobbly, and it wasn't just my thighs!

Still smiling after my 6K with taped feet!

He taped my feet so that I'd feel the pressure on the outside of my feet, which would keep my toes straighter.  I tested out the tape during a 6K run yesterday morning.  It was all good.  Didn't cause any new pain, and I could definitely feel my weight falling on the outsides of my feet.  Since it worked out during my shorter run yesterday, he's going to tape my feet for The Bay next Sunday. That will be the true test because that's a 15K run.  If that works out and my toes don't get numb or cramp, we will know exactly what the problem is.  He says that he could put me in an orthotic to put pressure on the pad of my foot which would keep my toes straight, but wants to look at other options first.  Everything he said made total sense.  He really knows what he's talking about!

Yesterday I had Beverly and her family over for dinner.  It was a special occasion.  It was our friendaversary (and yes, it is a real the urban dictionary)!  We met one year ago yesterday because she started the Learn to Run clinic one week later than me.  I'm so blessed to have met her a year ago.  She has been a great running partner and co-instructor.  Although she's just coming back from her surgery/injury now, she has some great running goals that I'm excited to watch her work towards.  She's a real trooper, so I know that she'll be successful!  Go Bev!

Looking forward to future races with my gal;)
The beautiful necklace
Bev got me for our

I met Dawn, Monica, an Brett at the Running Room today for our long run before The Bay next Sunday.  It wasn't a terribly long run (10K), but long enough.  I have to sit down, maybe tonight and figure out the training schedule I have to follow if I'm really doing the Niagara Women's half marathon at the beginning of June.  I'll have to train alone and run it solo, but I'm a big girl. Maybe I can talk someone into coming and sitting with the boy overnight, then hubby and I could go to Niagara Falls for a night that weekend.  We haven't been away from him over night since he was born.  I'll act like this is a good plan now, but closer to the date, I'll chicken out and end up trekking out to Niagara Falls on my own.

I'm a little tired of people in my life making assumptions about my lifestyle.  This has been happening more and more frequently of late.  At times I feel like I'm being judged and my eating habits are being scrutinized.  It's highly unlikely that I'm ever going to be "skinny".  I like to eat way too much!  I don't believe that I am harming myself by following this lifestyle.  Trust me, when I was 300 pounds and lying around like a sloth, I was doing way more harm to my body than running could ever do to me now.

And just for the record, even when I'm not on Phase 1, I will not be eating cake, pastries, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, brownies or any other baked goods made with or without flour.  Those are trigger foods for me.  Remember the story about how I'd sneak my mother's Christmas baking out of the freezer and binged on it?  I may never be able to safely eat baked goods again, and I'm okay with that.  I just wish others would accept it as well.  I really cannot have just one.  I'm not strong enough for that.  And I do not deserve a restricted (for me) food because I've worked so hard.  That is how the obsessive behavior begins and I become preoccupied with food again.  I hate when that happens, and I don't like the way it makes me feel.  It's not something easily understood unless you've been a binge eater and had to battle obesity the majority of your life.  This is just one of those things that I always have to be consciously working on.  It sucks big time, but it's my reality. I'm touched that people make a special effort, but I always ask that there be no fussing for me.  If you're unsure, just ask.  That way no one is disappointed in the end.

I just wanted to show this medal.  It's Monica's.
I really want one.  It has jewels on it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspiration is all around

My inspiration:)

Yesterday was a day off for me.  It's March break here, so I took Wednesday and Friday off.  I still got my butt out of bed at 5:30am so that I could get an early morning run in. Hubby had to do some volunteer drives yesterday morning and was out of the house by 7:45am.  I had to be up and about and ready for the boy to make his appearance.  Jules came down at 8am. I had already run, stretched, eaten, showered and had a couple cups of coffee.  A very productive morning indeed! After breakfast and cleaning up the house a bit, we were off to visit my gal Tanya and her little guy for a play date.

Even though it was my day off, I felt like I was busy all day.  Once we got back from Tanya's and I made and ate lunch (extra lean ground beef with sauteed cabbage and mushrooms...sounds unappetizing, but was pretty good if I do say so myself!), I played with the boy for a bit, then went to pick up some groceries before heading out the the Running Room to speak to the manager about teaching the next 10K clinic.  Then it was back home to pick up the boy, drop him off at my girlfriend's place while I went to physio and hubby did another volunteer drive.

The 10K instructors for the April session!

After discussing running plans with Monica ad Dawn over coffee on Sunday, Monica decided to instruct the 10K clinic with me.  I'm super excited because I think we'll make a good team.  I'll miss instructing with Beverly, but she's still on a running hiatus but will be coming back full force very soon.  There's always gonna be a clinic to instruct in the future and I'm confident Beverly and I will be co-instructors again in the future!  Instructing the 10K clinic works really well for my personal running schedule over the next 8 months.  It doesn't start until the middle of April and ends the third week of June, one week shy of when the half marathon and marathon clinics begin. I'll be taking one of those clinics.  The are taught together so I'm hopeful that some of my running gals from the last half clinic who will be training for a half in the fall will be with me once again. Who knows what I'll be feeling by that time.  Will it be the half or the full?  I really want to do the full.  I'm hoping that I'll get faster by June so that I can run with the big boys, but we shall see.  If it doesn't work out this year, I'll do the half again.  And my foot issues need to be worked out as well. I won't be running any marathons with crampy toes!

I'm excited and nervous about my assessment with Graham tomorrow.  I'm being given a full movement assessment to help determine what is going on with my crampy toes.  I'll be running on a treadmill for the first time EVER!  Should be interesting, but that's not what makes me nervous. I'm nervous he's not going to be able to figure out what's wrong with me.  That would really suck.  I have confidence in his abilities as a physiotherapist.  He really knows his stuff!  Fingers and crampy toes crossed that I get some much needed answers!

I am always blown away when people call me inspirational and admire me for what I have done over the past year and a half.  The truth is, I have done nothing special.  Many others have done this exact same thing before me.  I'm still not at my goal weight and I'm not sure what my goal weight is just yet.  Those who have lost a substantial amount of weight and maintained it for years are the real success stories.  I hope to get there one day, but in the meantime, I keep plugging along, fighting the good fight.

Find inspiration where you can.  If you find me inspirational, then make me proud baby!  But more importantly, make yourself proud.  Remember, I was you eighteen, twelve, or even six months ago. If I can do this, so can you.  I finally stopped making excuses and found the inspiration to take my life back.  You have the strength within yourself to do the same, I promise.  You just need to be ready, willing to put the work in (because it is a lot of work), and be prepared to make permanent changes in your life.

Losing weight and getting fit is hard work.   It sucks, it hurts (physically and emotionally), it's inconvenient.  It requires planning, dedication and consistency.  But it is SO worth it!  I'm at a place in my life right now where I can never imagine going back to where I started (300+ pounds was my heaviest).  Nothing I could eat would be worth it.  That is why my before picture is my phone's wall paper. Keeps me on the straight and narrow.  Keeps me honest.

It  has been over a year and a half since I've been plugging along here.  I have become a runner in the process and accomplished things that I never thought possible.  I fit into a single digit size (8) and a regular medium (no more size 24 and 3x for me).  I wanted to be able to run 10:1 intervals (run ten minutes walk one minute) as many times as it took to run a 5K.  Two weekends ago I ran my first half marathon in what I though was a pretty decent time (2:19:47).  The pain (which is hard to remember after the fact) is so worth the pride I feel within myself.  It's addictive.  And that my friends is why it is so worth it!  Make it happen!

LOVE this.  Made me laugh out loud!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hello it's me

The title of this post actually has nothing to do with it's content.  I listened to some great music on my way out to Peterborough today and came across this one on an old CD I had in the car.  Love this song by Todd Rundgren.  I may or may not have played it over and over.  It's now permanently embedded in my brain.  A happy day over all.  Listened to some retro 80's too.

I swung into the Pickering clinic to see Dr. Stephen and get weighed.  I hadn`t been weighed for 7 weeks!  I didn`t realize it was so long.  Dr. Stephen and I discussed my weight-loss goals.  He was surprised that I wanted to lose more weight.  He said that BMI doesn`t always work accurately for athletes.  It never gets old when someone refers to me as an athlete!  I told him it had nothing to do with BMI, I just wanted to get lighter and leaner so that I could kick my own ass at the Road2Hope Marathon in November.  He chuckled at that.

I lost 3 pounds since my last weigh-in January 14th.  Dr. Stephen says that my weight was likely higher than 168 when I started last week, because my fat percentage went down as well which means I have built more muscle (which we all know weighs more than fat).  So then I got curious and looked at the picture taken of me on Saturday versus one taken of me a few months ago when I weighed about four pounds more than I do today, and I can see a difference.  Not a huge difference, but definitely more toning going on.  And I have FINALLY lost weight in my calves!  I can wear regular calf boots now.  It`s about freaking time! There`s nothing worse that having fat dimpled calves when the rest of your leg looks relatively normal.

My legs, waist and bust are bigger here.
I`m wearing the same pants and jacket
in both photos.
The first thing my husband said was,
``Your breasts are gone!``
True, but it`s all the better for running!

So Dr. Stephen was originally apprehensive about me losing more weight, but I talked to him about the whys and hows, and he agreed that a runner carrying an extra 10-15 pounds was a big deal. We chatted about my half marathon and my upcoming races and he was very interested...or maybe a little bored.  It was a slow morning in the clinic.  He`s a super nice man, and I`m glad I stuck with him.  He`s always been super supportive and told me the hard truth when I needed to hear it.  That is exactly what I needed to stay on the straight and narrow!

So I`m officially done week one of Phase 1.  Only five more to go!  It hasn`t been as hard as I anticipated, but it`s also never easy. Why just today I had to fight some demons.  I bought two pieces of sugar-free halva, and one package (2 in package) of chocolate pecan clusters.  Both allowed treats on phase 1.  I ate all of them at once with Tim Horton`s coffee.  That`s 290 calories ingested at one time.  Definitely not allowed on Phase 1.  Then I justified it in my mind by saying that I would work the extra calories and more off tomorrow morning when I run 6K. Not cool. That`s not a healthy way to rationalize anything when I`m trying to lose weight.  Just another reminder to myself that I cannot be trusted with treats.  That`s why I only bought three.  I also had a mental battle with myself on the way back from Peterborough.  I wanted to go back to the Ontario Nutrition Store and buy more treats.  My conscience won that fight.  I drove right by and feel better for it right now.  No more treats for two more weeks when I get weighed again.  It`s celery and cucumber slices tonight.  Sigh...

All in all I had a good day.  It didn`t start out great.  I didn`t win on my Roll Up the Rim which sucked royally. But then I had a good weigh-in and visit with Dr. Stephen, got gas in Peterborough that was 11¢ a liter cheaper than in Hamilton,  didn`t buy anymore treats (even though I really wanted them) and finally won a free coffee on my second Timmies coffee of the day.  I won a free coffee and I didn`t pay for the coffee that won the free coffee, if that makes sense.  A total win, win! It doesn`t take much to make this girl happy!

My first coffee where I am clearly a loser!

Finally success:)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy runniversary to me

April 11, 2012.
About 220 pounds
March 9, 2013
About 168 pounds

Today marks one year that I have been running.  I walked into the For women Only clinic on March 9th 2012, in hopes that I would one day be able to run 5K.  I was scared, but determined that I would give running my best effort.  That first night I had difficulty running for one straight minute. We did 2:1 intervals.  That`s 2 minutes walking, 1 minute running.  My cardio was so bad that I could not catch my breath.  Since I promised myself that I would try my best at running, I committed to attending every clinic (once per week) and every practice run (twice per week). About a month into the clinic, I added and extra running day and I was running 4x per week.  I have come a long way baby!  A year ago I could barely run a minute, last week I ran for 14K straight at a 6:24 per kilometer pace.  Amazing what a difference a year can make!

When I started running I weighed about 230 pounds.  I was heavy, but took it nice and slow.  My first 5K race was run with almost a 9 minute per kilometer pace.  It took me just under 45 minutes! Today I can comfortably run a 5K in 31:30.  I`m sure if I tried, I could do a sub 30 minute 5K, but I`m going to wait until my hamstring is completely healed before I give it a go.  Running kick started my weight-loss again.  I had already lost 60 pounds, but was hitting a plateau and needed something to get me moving again.  Running was my answer.  Once I started running, my weight started heading downward once again.  I was on Phase 1 for six  months and running made it possible for me to move onto Phase 2 and still lose at the same speed (10 pounds per month) as I did when I was on Phase 1.  A win win if you ask me!  Plus, since I started running I needed more carbs and the veggies in Phase 2 helped with that.

Today is a day that means a lot to me.  It`s the day that changed my life.  Not only did I meet one of my running gals a year ago (Tanya), but next Saturday will mark the anniversary of my friendship with Beverly as well.  She started the For Women Only clinic one week late.  Such awesome relationships I made by going to the Running Room.  I can`t forget Dawn, Monica or Brett either. Such a great bunch of women to run with!

That`s the Burlington Skyway in the distance.  Monica and I started running
just to the left of the bottom of the bridge.  I stopped running about a
kilometer to the right of where I took this picture.

Today I celebrated my runniversary with Monica.  We met up at Dundurn Castle and I parked there, then Monica drove us out to Burlington.  We parked along Lakeshore Road in Burlington and ran back to Hamilton.  I did 12K in all, Monica doubled back at about 10K and did 21K in total.  She`s running the whole Bay (30K), I`m only doing 15K as part of a two-person relay.  We ran along the actual route for the Bay, and did all the hills.  I had been dreading all those hills and I gotta tell you, I worried for nothing.  They weren`t nearly as bad as I had thought they would be.  The last hill is a doozy, but I`ve run it about half a dozen times now and there`s a nice break where the rolling hills of North Shore Boulevard end and the big giant hill of Valley Inn Road begins.  No sweat, especially since I`m starting my run at the 15K point.

Monica and I just before we parted at about the 10K point.

I felt good when I completed my run.  Today`s run was my last long run before the Bay which is two weeks away.  I was nervous about my crampy toes.  They did start to get pins and needles, but never cramped.  It would have royally sucked since I was doing such a short distance!  I fueled up with chicken breast and coffee before my run, and had to have one Clif Shot Blok (a gummie) during because I was feeling  little sluggish. Not Phase 1 friendly, but I doubt it will affect me.  The first ingredient is organic brown rice syrup and they`re 33 calories each.  My first cheat of the week!  I only use those Shot Bloks during long runs.  I forgive myself:)

It was a pleasure to run with Monica today.  Monica is an amazing lady.  She has also lost a substantial amount of weight (100+ pounds) and has arthritic knees.  Talk about inspirational.  She could use her arthritic knees as an excuse not to run, but she does not.  She ran the Disney Princess half marathon two weeks ago and is running the entire 30K Around the Bay in two weeks. We run into each other at physio because she does whatever she needs to in order to keep running.  Regular physio is what she needs to do and Graham is keeping her in her running shoes. She often says that stopping is not an option for her and she will continue to run for as long as she can.  You truly can do anything if you want it badly enough.

I wasn`t sure how good my running performance would be since I`ve never run the distances I do now while only following Phase 1 of Dr. Poon`s Metabolic Diet.  I`m doing surprisingly well.  My pace is good and I feel fine during runs.  I just eat when I`m hungry, and I eat LOTS of protein. This Phase 1 stint certainly is not forever, it`s just for right now.  Day six complete, only 36 more to go. Who knows, I could end up reaching my goal sooner than the allotted six weeks, which would be awesome!  I miss my fruit.  We shall see where things are when I see Dr. Stephen on Tuesday.

Just finished my 12K.  Lots of  dried salt on my face!

Monica and I met up with a woman named Deanna while we were running along North Shore Boulevard.  We talked about training for the Bay, and she shared her story about how she began running.  I told her my story as well and she was shocked that I had only been running for a year. She`s been running for 3 years and we were pretty much the same pace.  She told me she wants to drop 5 pounds (even though she has never been overweight) so she can get faster.  I totally get where she`s coming from because that is exactly where I am right now.  The 15 pounds is about speed, nothing else.  She was a real sweetheart.  She told me I looked great, but understood completely how 15 pounds could make a huge difference in my running speed.  When we parted, she said she`d see me in two weeks.  Not likely since 9000 people will be at the starting line of the Bay, and I won`t be one of them.  Hubby is the first runner of my relay team.  Best of luck to Deanna though!

My recovery meal.  Mushroom omelette with Frank`s Hot Sauce.
And lots and lots of water!