Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To Life! To Life! L'Chai-im!

Back at the end of August 2010, I had my epiphany.  My "ah ha" moment.  It was Divine Intervention.

Whatever you want to call it, I decided to get my shit together. (pardon my language, but I gotta be frank about this.)

As a bridesmaid last March.
Size 20+ (in denial of being a 22)
I realized that I had spent the majority of my time during my unemployment in my bed watching TV, eating incredibly unhealthily and being unhappy.  I realized that while the fate of my employment status was essentially in the hands of others, I could at least get my fat ass out of bed and enjoy the fact that I live next door to Central Park.  I was having to cook at home to save money, so why not start cooking healthier meals?  Make a damn salad once and a while?  It was time to exert some control in my life.

So, I did.  And I haven't looked back.

I remembered that my sister had lost a good chunk of weight by simply taking walks, so that's what I thought I wanted to do.  I had no plans to ever run.  I was not a runner.  I could never even run a mile.

I had never even attempted to count calories before.  Nutrition Facts were just on the side of food to taunt me.  I started measuring and weighing and logging everything I ate.  And within a matter of days, I saw the pounds start to melt away.

There have been some massive ups and a few downs a long the way.  Some lapses in judgement have occurred, but for the most part I've been strong and getting stronger every day.  (Physically and Mentally.)

A lot has happened since Labor Day. I have run 2 official races, and my longest jog ever: 5 miles. I got a job, which I like to think I got because my world had found balance.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason and when they are meant to happen.  I have had far too many examples of that in my life to not believe in fate.

As I sit here writing this, I am 260 pounds.  I am the lightest I have been in my adult life (or really since I started paying attention to my weight at the age of 24.)   I am a size 16, a size I haven't even ATTEMPTED to fit into since junior year of high school.

50 pounds lighter.  Size 0X(?) top.  16 Jeans.
I have lost 50 pounds.  This is a milestone that I wished that I would see one day, but honestly never really thought that I would.  This number says so much to me, but the thing that it says the most?  That I'm capable of anything once I truly devote myself to it.  I never thought I could run 5 miles, but I can.  I never thought I would fit in a 16 again, but I do.  I never thought I would be happy with the way I look, but I am!

But, you know what?  While I am happy with the way I look, I still have a ways to go.  This isn't even halfway to my goal weight of 200 (remember I'm 6'2").  I started at 310.  This is just a stepping stone in my life long journey.

Because when that day comes that I see the number 200 on my scale (because it will happen...) my journey doesn't end there.  My life will be my journey at that point, because I won't be letting my weight control my life anymore.  I will be controlling it, for probably the first time ever.

I want to thank you all for helping me.  You have given me a plethora of support.  You have given me strength when I couldn't find it within myself.  You guys have helped make this possible.

Here's to life, and no longer being afraid to live.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Massage Adventure

Today I had my first professional massage in almost a year.  My legs and back were starting to me constantly sore and I figure it wouldn't hurt to have someone who knew what they were doing, to get in there and squeeze out all that wonderful lactic acid.

I booked an appointment at a spa that I've visited before so I wasn't really worried about being disappointed.  It was, however, my first experience with a deep tissue massage.  Usually I've just gotten the regular ol' Swedish massage.

I have to say, I quite enjoyed the deep tissue massage.  I don't know if it was because my back and legs were just riddled with knots and were essentially as solid as rocks but really the deep tissue massage felt like a regular massage but with really firm pressure, which is what I prefer anyway.  (In all my other massages the masseuse never used firm enough pressure and left going, well I feel better...for now.)

I do have to say I feel immensely better.  Before, when I booked a massage it was always the neck and back portion that I looked forward to the most.  The rest was just kind of filler.  In fact, I always wished that I could ask them to just spend the entire 60 minutes on my back and forget the rest of my body.  But not this time.  This time I was looking forward to the leg portion of the massage just as much as I was the back/neck portion.  My masseuse actually commented a couple of times about how intensely tight my calf muscles were.  When she started on those it was a bit painful at first, but a good pain.  

The one thing I always forget about getting a massage is how much my nose runs when my face in the little donut thing.  It never fails that about 20-30 minutes in, my nose starts dripping and no matter what I do, I can't stop it.  And it tickles!  I mean, it's like gross snot or anything.  Just a drop of nose juice I guess.  I really have no clue.

Anyway, to conclude this rambling, I feel great.  I really need to remember to get massages on a more regular basis during my training for the Brooklyn Half. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ode to (candy) days gone by

Halloween.  Christmas.  Valentine's Days.

They are all holidays where candy plays a part.  Be it candy corn, candy canes or candy in a heart shaped box the candy is there and hard to miss.  But honestly, I have no problem saying no to those.

The holiday candy I do have a problem avoiding?

Easter candy.

I went to the drug store today and was hit with a wall of Cadbury.  Seriously, I love it all!  Jellybeans (of the Starburst variety), Whoppers Robin Eggs, Cadbury mini-eggs, Cadbury cream eggs and Cadbury caramel eggs (notice a Cadbury theme?).   Chocolate in the shape of a bunny, and you have to admit that Reese's cups taste better when they are in the shape of an egg.  And Peeps!  We can't forget Peeps!  It all tastes amazing!  And I never said "no" to it before, but I am going to now.

At the egg dyeing
I am going to have to exert some MEGA self control through Easter.  I may partake on a rare occasion, but seriously last year I would buy a bag of Whopper Robin Eggs and eat it in about two days.  Who even knows how many extra calories that was on top of my regular unhealthy meals.

A couple of years ago a few of my friends all got together and had an egg dyeing party.  I'm thinking we should definitely do it again this year.  So this way, whenever I am having a hankering for an Easter treat I can eat an Easter egg (sans yolk) instead.  We'll see how it goes I suppose!

This week hasn't been great for me in terms of my diet.  I have been fighting some of the worst cravings I've ever experienced since this whole thing began.  I don't know if its an adjustment I just need to fight through, if it's a hormonal thing (not to be too explicit, but you probably get my drift) or it its just a fluke.  All I know is that I can't seem to get enough salty goodness.  For serious.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Times, they are a changing'

Went for a 2 mile run tonight.
One of those nights I pushed myself out the door because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. That’s the first sign tonight that I’m a hugely different person than when I started this Labor day weekend. I would have simply gotten home, ordered in dinner and watched tv all night.
My second sign tonight of how much my life has changed was the fact I have a HUGE blister on my heel. It hurt so bad walking home I contemplated walking barefoot. What did I do? I bandaged it up, taped it down and ran. This would have prevented me from barely doing anything just a mere seven months ago.
Third sign I have changed: When I got home I changed into my running gear. What?!? I barely used to wear gym shoes before let alone a whole second wardrobe of clothes devoted purely to running! My newest acquisition were my first pair of running pants. I broke ‘em in tonight. I NEVER would have imagined that I would currently be buying more work out clothes than normal clothes!
I kept it at an easy 2 miles tonight because this weekend I’m going to attempt my longest run yet. 5 miles. We’ll see…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cupid's Chase 5K = Epic Fail

This morning was not fun.

It didn't start out that bad.  I got up, ate a good breakfast and walked over to Riverside Park where the race was going to take place.

Then I got to the registration area...  Let me just say this 5K was not nearly as well organized as the Gridiron Classic race last week.  I finally found where I needed to pick up my bib, and then headed over to pick up my t-shirt.  Gotta say I love this aspect of races.  Gotta love "free" stuff!  I mean, I know I essentially paid for it by registering, but still I love it.  When I got there the woman asked if I was single or taken.  After being slightly taken aback, I remembered that this was a Valentine's run, so I told her I was single.  After asking my size, she then hands me a white long sleeve t-shirt.  (The other choice was red, which was what I actually wanted.)  As I'm getting situated before I race I look at the back of my shirt and in big capital letters it says "UNAVAILABLE."


Um, I know that there was like a .00001% chance of anyone paying attention to this, let alone using it as a means to strike up a conversation, but really?  Ugh...

So, the run began and I realized almost immediately that I hated the course.  I had never run in Riverside Park before and after today I don't know if I will again for a long time.  This was the most monotonous and tedious course I've ever run.  It was almost all flat (which for me is actually a negative) and we did a loop and a half.  I crossed the finish line twice before the final time.  That seriously messes with your head!!    You also see the people who are zooming through consistently throughout the course.  So, if you are anything like me, you are beating yourself up because you are so slow...

I swear this was the longest 5K I've ever run.  It seemed never ending and a lot longer than a mere 3 miles.  At about the 1.5 mile mark I literally started saying to myself, "I hate this.  I hate running.  I want this to be over."  I  have NEVER said that to myself when I've run before (well, not since I started running for real.  I said it all the time in gym class).  I most certainly didn't like it.  By the end I was just pissed off.  Nothing seemed to get my  mind back to running this 5K.  I mean, even my music couldn't motivate me.  I ended up flipping through songs the entire time.

I walked about 1/3 of the race because I just gave up.  When I started I wanted to be sure to beat my pace from the 4 miler, but by the end I couldn't have cared less.  My unofficial time was around 45 minutes which means I was pretty close to the same pace as last week, but considering this was a completely flat course I should have been going faster.

Oh, and don't let me forget the ice.  Ice was everywhere on this course.  I'm sorry, but if you are in charge of a race in the middle of winter?  Why don't you take an hour and walk the course and, oh I don't know... SALT IT!?!  It was seriously ridiculous.  There were a few times I had to stop and take my steps very carefully.

Speaking of ridiculous, I also had a guy who was walking his dog in the park decide to completely walk out in front of me and I had to literally JUMP over his dog.  I yelled some not so nice words at him.  I mean, seriously people...

I mean, I guess to look at the bright side I did get outside and run/walk a 5K this morning.  But for me?  It was far from successful.

After last week's race and the Do Life unofficial 5K the week before, I walked away with such a high.  I felt great and like I could accomplish anything.  I walked away from this one with a feeling of complete failure.

Ugh...  Oh well.  I guess I just gotta shake it off and look towards my next run.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Born to Run

Hey guys!

Tonight I went for a run.  Shouldn't be that big of a deal at this point, right?


This week marked the second week of my return to the great land known as Broadway.  Right now I'm Monday through Friday 10-6 PM.  By the time I get home I'm cold, tired (because I still haven't gotten my sleep schedule readjusted) and hungry.  The old me wouldn't have even contemplated going for a run in nice weather, let alone the frozen tundra.  While I'm not running as frequently as I would like (4-5 times per week) I am staying consistent with a minimum of 3 solid runs.  My eating isn't too bad, and I managed to lose a pound during my weigh-in this week.  I'm readjusting my unemployed work-out schedule with the employed work-out schedule and I'm pretty happy with the results.  The old me would have used this as a perfect reason to quit.  Not the new Maia.  Tonight when I walked through the door my voice kept telling me to just blow off the run tonight.  It was too cold.  You have things to do.  But instead, I put on an extra layer, my heavier earmuff head band and a pair of gloves and I got out there and ran.  A very wise man has said that the only run you'll ever regret, is the one you didn't take.  After tonight's run, I totally agree with that statement.  I have never been so happy I ignored myself.

I do have to admit that tonight's run was a bit of a challenge.  After I signed up for the half marathon I realized that I needed to try and quicken my pace and so during the flat straights of my run I decided to sprint.  This was a good idea until I got to the first hill...  Towards the top I was grunting, growling, swearing and it was not a pretty site.  I never make these sounds while I'm running but I decided that I was going to push myself and so fought the desire to slow to a walk and just kept running.  The second huge hill wasn't as bad, but again I fought the desire to slow down.  The result?  I cut my record for this path by 5 MINUTES!!  I'm pretty happy with that!  During the last half mile as I was sprinting my iPod started playing Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run.  I thought it was very fitting.  It kept me pumping.

This Saturday marks my second official race.  I'm running a 5K about two blocks from my house.  I'm excited.  The weather is supposed to be decent (40 degrees instead of the 25 it is currently...) and it's in Riverside Park which I haven't run in yet.  Some new scenery should do me good.

On a couple of personal notes (because this blog isn't personal enough already) I'm encouraging everyone to please head over to and donate towards her half marathon fund raising goal.  She is completing the half marathon in honor of her late mother (an amazing woman!) who passed away WAY too young due to Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.  If you know anything about Parkinson's, you know that it is a wretched disease that needs to find a cure.  And now.

Also, a little shout out for the new show I'm working on.  It's called Baby It's You and its coming soon to Broadway.  We start previews the end of March and officially open on April 27th.  We started rehearsals this week and I'm having so much fun!  I'm working in a new office with a great bunch of people that make coming to work everyday a blast instead of a chore.  I mean, I work in theater.  It should be fun, right?  Anyway, check out the video below.  It's an interview with our star, Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (who is AMAZING and so funny) and was filmed during a recent photo shoot.  If you are in NYC and want to see the show, let me know!  I'm the lady who knows how to get things...;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Half Marathon Mania!

Alright, I did it.  I bit the bullet.

I signed up for a half marathon!!

Brooklyn Half Marathon, May 21st.

Holy CRAP!

I have a lot of training ahead of me.  A lot of sweat and probably a lot of tears.  But I'm going to do it.  I'm scared, but that's probably a bit of a good thing, right?  I'll keep you posted on my training!!

Also, in half marathon news...

Skinny Emmy (an amazing blogger who you should follow if you don't already) fortuitously decided to run a half marathon in Kentucky as well!  Please check out her post on the subject.  She is completing the half marathon in honor of her amazing mother who died way too young due to Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.  Her vlog says it best.  So please, if you can, follow her, support her, donate, etc.  She deserves every bit of support we can give her!

Yay for half marathons!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New York Road Runners Gridiron Classic 4 Mile Race

I did it.

I can't believe it.  The furthest I've ever gone is a 5K.  I was hurting at about 2.5 miles, but I just kept pushing and changed my music to something pumping to drown out the "you know, you could just walk the rest..." thoughts in my head.

I had an unofficial time of 1:02:14.  That's about a 15 min/mile pace.  While that is slow compared to most, it is probably the fastest pace I've ever kept.  I ran the entire time, no walking for me!

I do have to say that it was a little frustrating at the beginning.  My starting corral was the last one, and being a slow runner I was definitely at the tail end of the race.  I just have to remember that I've only been running for 3 months, and the majority of these people have been running for years.  I do have to say that I was a little frustrated when a woman who was easily 100 pounds heavier than me was kicking my butt and finished a good 5 minutes ahead of me.  But, then I just decided to shrug it off and say "good for her!" and realize that I was doing the absolute best I could, and running the fastest race I could.

So, all in all it was a great morning!  Now I'm going to sleep.  I'm exhausted!

Oh, and P.S. to the New York Road Runners volunteers?  I know you may think that you are being encouraging when you tell me "Don't give up!"  You can keep going!" but really in my head, it's like saying "I'm assuming because you are a bigger girl that you want to give up, so I'm going to help you not to by giving you encouragement!"  Thanks anyway, but giving up was never an option...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz

This has been a bit of an odd week...

My drug of choice
Let me start with the good news.  Hell, the GREAT news!  On my weigh in this past Wednesday I am down FOUR pounds from last week!  I made some alterations to my diet/exercise last week and I'm thinking those 4 pounds are proof positive that I made a move in the direction.

One of the biggest changes that I made last week is that I cut down on drinking diet soda.  This has been the one thing that I've been holding onto and refusing to give up.  It wasn't until I realized just exactly how much I was spending on soda and how much sodium even a Diet Coke contains that I decided it might be wise to cut back a bit...  As we all know, salt and sodium causes us to retain water and I wondered if the extra sodium I was intaking through diet sodas was in fact hindering my weight loss.  I'm guessing the proof is in the pudding.  I still drink it, but not nearly close to the amount I was drinking before.

Last week I also started to increase the length of my runs.  Instead of doing a full loop in north Central Park (2 miles) I'm going 3/4 of the loop and then turning around and run home the same way I came (3 miles).  I'm getting in three huge hills this way and its definitely kicking my butt.

I'm also doing some more ab work again.  Mostly crunches and planks.  Ugh, my abs hate me.  I'm feeling stronger than ever before so again, I'm definitely thinking that even if this isn't really causing weight loss, its helping me get healthier and that's the goal.  Always have to keep my eyes on the goal.

The last major change that I made this week is that I am no longer logging my exercise in my food diary.  May seem like a weird decision, but here's my thinking behind it.  Before, I would not only log my calories in, but my calories out during the day.  With the food diary that I use, it automatically adjusts your calorie goal for the day to accommodate for the calories I burned.  Meaning, that according to them, I could then eat more and still stay within my calorie goal for the day.  This was a dangerous thing for me.  I didn't usually eat back all of the calories that I burned, but I did love to use that cushion as an excuse to eat more.  Even though according to the site I was still able to lost 1-2 pounds per week by eating back my calories I just think I was using it as a crutch way too much.  So, what I've done is actually increase the number of calories I'm eating each day (albeit it only slightly...  I'm at 1300 now.  Was at 1200 before.)  But, that's it.  I'm trying my hardest to not go above that number no matter what.  So far I've been able to stay pretty close.  So, by not logging my fitness I'm not as tempted to use my "extra" calories.  Make sense?

Now on to the odd part of my week...  My appetite has been huge and insatiable this week and I had to FIGHT through my run tonight.  Hell, I even walked a couple of times for a minute or so each time.  I haven't had to walk in a long time!  It was a bit discouraging.  I'm running my first official race this Sunday and it will be the longest I've ever run at one time: 4 miles.  I really hope that I don't have to walk during the run.  I know its not a horrible thing if I have to walk, but its my personal goal to be able to run the entire thing.  The massive appetite I'm hoping is stemming from an increased metabolism.  A girl can hope, right?  Who knows... All I know is that when I finish each meal I'm still hungry.  That hasn't been the case since the very beginning of my journey.  Hmmm...

I did start my new job this week (yay for having a paycheck again!  Woohoo!) and I am curious to see how this ends up affecting my weight on the scale next week.  The weather has, once again, been a factor in my work outs.  We didn't have a blizzard this week (shocker!) but we did have an ice storm, so having an inch of ice on the ground made running even that much more difficult.  I ran tonight for the first time since the Do Life 5K last Saturday, and even though the ice storm was two days ago I was still really scared I was going to bite it during the run and break my tail bone.  I just have to fight through my urge to be a sloth when I get home at the end of the day.  I need to keep up my progress, because I do still have a long way to go.  If I keep my eye on the prize, I'll get there.

Just like the tortoise that raced the hare, it's slow and steady that wins the race.  I'm definitely slow, but I'm staying pretty steady too.