Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A look back and 2014 - A look forward

A lot has happened this year.  I hadn't expected 2013 to be eventful, but it surprised me!

2013 was the year that...

I went from being "obese" to "overweight"

I got back into the racing game.

I discovered DietBet and I won money losing weight!

I ran a 10K and discovered the wonders of the run/walk (Galloway) method.

I tried Zumba for the first time and fell in love!!

I gave up on DietBets, only to join another (albeit different) one.

I discovered I was average.

Oh yeah... and I was freaking featured on HUFFINGTON POST!!  (still amazed by that one!)

You have probably noticed that I haven't posted in almost a month.  It's been a month of ups and downs.  The holidays hit me hard.  My tour went on a three week hiatus for the holidays and not having work to distract me, allowed my mind to wander to sweet and delicious treats.  I'm staying with a friend of mine in the Dallas area, and while he has a gym in his apartment complex, I haven't been utilizing it as much as I should.  I've unknowingly given myself a bit of a breather.

During the month of December I saw (but didn't officially post on here) a number on the scale that I never expected to see, only to have it snatched back away again a mere week later.  It wreaked havoc with my brain and I really hate that I allowed that to happen.  In fact, almost this entire break, I've been riddled with guilt over every single morsel that goes into my mouth.  That's no way to enjoy the holidays!  I've also been gaining anxiety by the minute over what I'm going to do when the tour starts up again next week.  For the first six weeks back, we hit the ground at turbo speed.  We will be averaging 4-5 towns per week for almost all of January and February.  The ability to go food shopping will become non-existent.  I will be struggling to SURVIVE this next six weeks, let alone try and lose any weight.

So, that's what my goal has been for at least the first half of 2014 - Survival.

I want to just maintain my current weight (we'll call it 220) up through June.  Then, for July onward, I want to start losing weight again.  I'm still not done with my journey, but I think I need to make sure I don't completely burn out.  I'm afraid burnout will turn into massive weight gain.  That.  Won't.  Happen.

So, here's what I have to look forward to for 2014:

Maintaining my current weight of *cough* 220 *cough*  (You'll see my real current weight in a moment, but we're going to have that as my maintenance goal weight for these six months, mmmkay?)

Start training for my first half marathon in EDINBURGH!!  (I haven't forgotten about that.  It's still very much happening) Which leads me to...

My exciting trip to London!

Finishing up this year of tour with Million Dollar Quartet.

These will take me to the summer, at which point I will have some exciting news to share.

But, until then, he's a bomb I'm going to drop on you all...

I've decided I'm going to take an extended break from this blog.  Honestly I don't think I'll have the time to update that frequently, and also I think it might be contributing to the burn out.  So, I might pop back in here and there, but ultimately you probably won't see me again in the blogosphere until I decide its time to take these last 20 pounds off my body.

Until then, I wish everyone a very Happy 2014!  May it be filled with health, joy and laughter.

Weight at Beginning of 2013:                                            239.4
Weight at End of 2013:                                                     224.0

Total Weight Lost in 2013:                                                 15.4

Total Weight Lost:                                                             86.0

Current BMI:                                                                    28.8

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 12/4/13 - Finishing the Year Off Strong Edition

Last Official Weigh in:                                          221.8
Current Weigh in:                                                 219.4

Current Weight Lost:                                                2.4

Total Weight Lost:                                                  90.6

Sorry it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted.  The week following my last post was kind of a train wreck.  Stuff in my family life kind of went haywire and I experienced probably the worst 48 hours of my life.  Then last week, with the holiday, I kind of just forgot to post.  I meant to, I swear!  I wasn't hiding!

I have to admit that I'm kind of proud of myself that considering what all happened in the last two weeks, between the drama and the most gluttonous holiday of the year, I managed to lose weight.  I will admit, I kind of pushed exercise to the side.  I still managed to get in probably 3 workouts per week, but certainly not the 5 per week that I had been averaging.  My eating was not the greatest, but I guess it wasn't as horrible as I had made it out to be in my head.

I had my follow up call with Dr. Dan  in the midst of that horrible first week and I felt bad for him because he kind of just became my therapist.  We didn't so much talk about weight loss as he just listened to my problems.  But, he's a great listener!  And he randomly helped me set up an email filter over the phone.  He's just a jack of all trades!

In exercise news, I ran outside last week a couple of times.  The first was for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  I had never done one before and I think its such a great idea that I decided to find one while I was in Palm Desert.  I found one, but I wasn't quite prepared for it.  Sure, I could run a 5K, but a 5K in the desert?  In sand?  On rugged terrain?  With rocky uphills and downhills?  That... I was not, so much, prepared for.  Then on top of all the trail issues aside, they only really had one water stop and we were running in sand (ie - dust was EVERYWHERE in the air) so I inhaled quite a lot of sand while I was running.  So much so, that I actually could taste blood as I swallowed at about the halfway mark.  At that point, I decided to just walk and did so for about a half mile until I hit the water stand.  Then, with some hydration back in my throat, I finished out the race.  I was not happy about it.  I don't know if I've ever hated a race as much, to be perfectly honest.  But, the one good thing about it was, there were some incredible views along the trail!   My second run outside was to make myself feel better after the Trot.  I ran on the streets by my hotel and it definitely redeemed me.  The Trot just made me feel weak.  The second run I felt strong.  I didn't want anything to get in my head like after that treacherous 10K back in the day that ended up pushing me into a year long running sabbatical!  I wanted the redemption and I got it.  I need to stay strong in the mental running game if I am going to run this half marathon in Edinburgh!  I will not let anything distract me from that goal.

This week I'm in San Diego.  I'm so excited to be here!  It's such a great city, with so much to offer!  I was so excited to run outside while I was here, and then guess what?  The day we arrive, BOOM!  I get sick!  Yay...  I have some sort of weird sore throat/congestion thing going on.  I'm still actually hoping to get out there and run this morning.  Even if I can't go that far, even if it's really slow, I want to do something.  Why?  Why not just stay in bed until I feel better?

Because I am determined to finish 2013 stronger than ever.

As you might (or probably don't...) remember I had decided a month or so back to experiment with the idea of Paleo and with Intermittent Fasting.  Well, both of those fell by the wayside.  Neither quite worked for me.  What does work?  Counting calories and exercise.  So my goals for the month of December are pretty simple:

1.)    Counting every single calorie that goes into my mouth as best I can.  If I eat it?  It gets counted.  If I cheat and eat a delectable holiday treat?  I make up for it.  I won't say that I won't eat bad things this holiday season, but I am vowing that when I do, I will either trim down my calories in another way, or I will get my butt to the hotel gym and burn it off.

2.)    I will exercise for 45-60 minutes 5-6 times per week.  No excuses.  None.  Not even sickness.  I took a rest day yesterday when I was truly feeling like crap.  I feel better today, but still not 100%.  Guess what?  Exercise is calling my name!

3.)    I will drink at least 100 ounces of water per day.  I had been slacking in my water intake for a while there, but I honestly do feel better when I try and keep up with it.  Plus, I drink less soda when my stomach is full of water instead.  So, there's that.

That's it.  My three goals to try and meet every single day until January 1st.  Hopefully, if I do this right, I will lose some weight in the process.  I'm currently on Day Four of the plan, and so far so good.  I have a real follow up phone call with Dr. Dan this Friday so we can actually discuss weight loss this time, and not my crazy personal life.  I'm hoping he'll be pleased with my goals.  In the mean time, I have some homework I have to work on for him, but before that?  I gotta go to the gym!

I'll update you guys after my session with Dr. Dan.  Until then, have a good week!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Lean You with Dr. Dan Giuglianotti - aka My Meeting with a Weight Loss Expert

I mentioned in my Weigh In Wednesday post this week that I had a phone call on Saturday with a "weight loss expert."  It was a perk of being part of the beta test for the Diet Bet 10.  We would get a free 30 minute introductory phone call with Dr. Dan Giuglianotti, a consulting doctor for the Diet Bet website and who has his own weight loss website called The Lean You.

Well, he called me on my cell phone yesterday morning and what was supposed to have been a 30 minute phone call turned into a 60 minute session!  So far, so good.  The initial part of the call was him explaining a bit of his history and then me going into my weight loss history and what my life is currently like.  He seemed quite intrigued by the challenges that my life presents and he seemed kind of excited to try and help me.

I think the fact that I've been at this for a while and have managed to keep a large amount of weight off successfully convinced him that I'm not just looking for a quick fix.  He really did seem to care and really seemed to want to help me get over this last hurdle and help me meet my ultimate weight loss goals.

He asked about where I saw myself in a few months, a year and multiple years down the road, and the best part is that he gave me homework to think about and we're going to have a follow up phone call at the end of this week.  I told him that this year on tour my biggest challenge is going to be the fact that sometimes I'm going to be forced to eat in restaurants as there won't be time or even opportunities to eat anywhere else.   He asked me to try and look at eating at restaurants differently and to come up with alternatives to my current perspective (I've always seen eating out as a treat and will choose food accordingly.)  He asked me to come up with 5-10 healthier options that I could look for on a restaurant menu, and one other thing that I can't think of off the top of my head (I don't have my list in front of me.)

Of course, the real point of these phone calls and introductory sessions are to try to eventually sell me a package to continue on working with him.  Some of them are quite pricey and I don't think I can afford them, but I am contemplating buying one of his lesser packages.  With the package I'm considering, I would get phone calls with him every other week plus his "kit" which includes a restaurant guide (I could really use!) and a ebooks and guides.   I like the idea of having an outside perspective.  He even said that he could log onto my profile on MyFitnessPal (my food tracking app) and so that he could get a real in depth look at what I'm actually eating and give me tips on things that I could change that could have a big impact.

When he asked me what I imagined for myself in a few years, I actually said something that surprised even me (even though it was coming out of my mouth.)  I told him that I'm looking forward to the day when I don't think about losing weight from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep.  I said that I look forward to living a "normal" life.  It's true.  I thought about it, and I've now been actively losing weight for 10% of my entire life.  I'm 32 1/2 years old, and I've been working on losing weight for the last 3+ years.  I think 10% of my life is long enough to focus on every single calorie that goes into my body and every single calorie burned.  And if Dr. Dan can get them to that point, I think the money might be worth it.

The thing is, if I do this, I think the next three months (how long the package is) might be some of the most intense since I started this journey.  Someone else will basically be monitoring everything I do.  I will be held accountable to someone else,and that's a bit scary!  But, on the other hand, it might just be the push I need to finally get to 200 pounds.

So, that's my findings of the "weight loss expert."  I liked him, he seemed like a nice, knowledgeable person and I can't lie, I like that he seemed excited about the challenges that I presented to him.  I like that I'm different than his normal patients and can keep him on his toes.  I'll let you know how my second phone call goes this Friday and if I decide to move forward with purchasing one of his weight loss packages.

Until Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: Nothing to Report

Last Weigh in:                        220.4
Current Weigh in:                   221.8

Current Gain:                             1.4

Sorry, today got away from me and I totally forgot to write a "Weigh In Wednesday" post.

This week has been pretty stagnant weight wise.  I was sitting at 220 all week and then all of a sudden, BOOM!  A pound and a half gained overnight.  It's probably water weight from the pasta I ate yesterday (I NEVER eat pasta anymore!) so I'm not worried about it.

I got in a run outside today in Santa Barbara.  Phew - forgot it takes a bit more out of you to run outside than it does inside on a treadmill in a climate controlled gym.

I'm still in California and hope to get in some more outside runs while I'm here.  Don't know how feasible it will always be, but I'm definitely hoping to try!

The holidays are fast approaching and I really hope I am able to keep on track with my goal to hit 210 by Christmas.  I have a phone call with a weight loss specialist on Saturday and I hope that they are able to help me meet this goal.  This phone call is part of my Diet Bet, as I am part of the beta test group.  I guess we are getting some special privileges. :)  I just really want to get over this hump and into the 210s!  I know that in order to do it, I need to be super strict.  I need to stop grazing on things - a little bit here, and a piece of candy there.  In my head I tell myself that it can't hurt, but it can!  Those nibbles add up and I need every calorie I can spare!!

Something that I think will help me, is I am getting a replacement for my heart rate monitor soon.  My other one died and so I've been guessing how many calories I've been burning per workout.  Not exactly great when my formula for losing weight has been so math based.  Number of calories eaten minus calories burned plus calories eaten back = Net calories for the day.  Net calories per day goal: 1300-1600.  Sometimes I'm not able to eat back everything, and sometimes I go over 1600, but as long as it balances out to be in that range for the week I think I'm good.  When I don't know how many calories I'm burning, then I'm missing a vital part of the equation!  I do want to talk to his weight loss specialist about how much he thinks I should be eating a day.  I never saw a professional when I started losing, so everything I've learned, I've either figured it out for myself or I've done the research and read articles.  Will be nice to finally have a professional tell me whether or not I'm on the mark.

My phone appointment is Saturday morning, so I'll be sure to report back with my findings.

Until then, have a good week!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Century Christmas

As the third month of my six month Diet Bet gets underway, I realized that because I was basically stagnant this past month weight wise, that it will pretty much take a miracle for me to hit my month three goal of 210.5 pounds.  I'm currently 220 exactly and at my current weight and fitness level, I just don't think I can pull of a ten pound loss in a month.  I am certainly going to try my hardest, but I just don't think it's feasible.  I'm okay with that.  The reason I joined this Diet Bet was to keep me on track and accountable, and it's certainly done it's job thus far.  I initially weighed in at almost 229 pounds, so a loss of 9 pounds in two months works for me!  However, what I DO think is feasible is to hit 210 by Christmas.  

What's the big deal about 210 pounds, you say?  Because me hitting 210 pounds means that I will have officially lost 100 pounds.  I think that if I work REALLY hard and kick my butt, I can lose 10 pounds in a month and a half.  

What a wonderful Christmas gift to give to myself, right?  I mean, there are not many people in this world who can say they've lost 100 pounds, and believe me, I never thought that I would be one of them.  I want this for myself.  I want the bragging rights.  I want the ability to say that I did this for myself.  I want to be able to say that I love myself enough to choose a happy, healthy life.

Oh... And not to mention, I think I'll look dead sexy. So, you know... There's that too :)

So, stay tuned folks!  Here's to a Merry Century Christmas!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday: 11/6/13: California edition

Last Week's Weight:                                            225.5
This Week's Weight:                                            220.4

Current Weight Loss:                                               5.1

Total Weight Loss:                                                 89.6

So, I obviously was still holding onto some water weight last week during that weigh in, because while I worked hard, I didn't work quite hard enough to lose 5 pounds of fat.  But, I'm VERY happy to be back at 220 and I'm ready to break through right on into the 210s.  I'm ready to say goodbye to the 220s (hopefully) forever.

This week, my work brings me to California for about a month, and boy am I happy to be here!  This week I'm especially excited because I get to be in one location for a full week.  I hope to get in a couple of runs outside while I'm here, and *fingers crossed* a Zumba class at the gym near the hotel where I have free access.  After this week will bring challenges again as I will be hitting up about six different towns in the next two weeks.  Thankfully though, for the week of Thanksgiving (ooh, just realized, I am giving thanks for Thanksgiving week!) and the week right after I will have one week sit downs.

I'm looking for a Turkey trot race to run the morning of Thanksgiving.  I've never done one before, and it just makes so much sense to me!  Run off and burn some calories before sitting down and gorging yourself.  Sounds logical!

My "Kickstarter" campaign has hit a snag.  I don't think this Paleo thing is going to really be feasible.  I think I can incorporate aspects of it when I can, but with life on the road, there are just going to be times when I don't have access to the proteins and fruits and vegetables that I need.  So, I'm going to try my best, but not beat myself up for not being able to live a Paleo lifestyle.  I'm still not where I need to be with the Intermittent Fasting either, but I'm doing better with that.  I'm at least cutting myself off by 8 PM every night, but I need to work on eating later in the morning as well.  I think I can get there with this one, but it's just going to take some more discipline on my part.  I'll keep you posted as this progresses.

Well, as I mentioned yesterday in my Month Two Summary for my Diet Bet, I joined another 6 month bet.  I'm really excited to only be 20 pounds away from goal again, and only 10 pounds away from the 100 pounds lost mark.  I'm really hoping I can hit that 100 pound mark before Christmas.  What an amazing Christmas gift to myself, right??

So, that's my goal I'm setting for myself.  210 pounds by 12/25/13.

I can do it.  I know I can!

Have a good day everyone!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Diet Bet 10 - Month Two Summary

Month Two Starting Weight:                       222.4
Month Two Ending Weight:                        222.2

Total Weight Lost:                                            .2

Month Three Goal:                                     210.5

Weight loss needed for Month Three:            11.7

Well, as you can see, I didn't lose much in this second month of my six month Diet Bet.  I guess, on a positive note,  my weight is technically lower than it was last month, but two tenths of a pound is nothing to write home about!  I will take pride in the fact that I didn't gain at least.

I struggled this past month, as those of you who read my blog on a regular basis are well aware.  This month was full blown TOUR mode.  Last week alone, I was in three different cities.  Not exactly a great situation for massive weight loss.

But, I do feel like I'm back on the right track.  Now, will I win the third month of this bet?  That's a tough call.  11.7 pounds in one month is a lofty, lofty goal and so I'm not really expecting to win this month.  I'm going to use this month as a time to play catch up a bit.  The fourth month, my goal for the entire month is just to lose an additional 3 pounds, so I think I could be completely caught up by the end of the fourth month.  That gives me essentially two months to lose 14 pounds.  I can do that.  I need to be strong and vigilant.  It will be hard, especially with the holidays looming ahead, but it's possible.

I am the most motivated I have been in a while, I must admit.  I'm making pretty good choices eating wise (although the leftover Halloween candy needs to disappear sooner rather than later.)

I'm still really loving this Dietbet 10 format over the Dietbet 4s.  I think it's interesting, because the website has started to call the month long 4% bets, the "Kickstarter" and the Dietbet 10 the "Transformer" and I agree.  I think the month long Dietbet 4s are meant for those people who need a kick in the pants and something to set them up for weight loss.  I don't think they are meant to be done continuous over and over, because 4% is too much to lose on a consistent basis!  I personally feel like it's taking things to such extremes to lose the 4% month after month and you aren't necessarily learning habits that will be sustainable once these people reach the maintenance stage of their weight loss journeys.  I feel like losing slowly and consistently is what sets people up for a lifetime of success and I think it's even proven that those who lose slowly and steadily are much more likely of keeping it off for good.  Okay, that's the end of soapbox rant.  Essentially, for me... Dietbet 10s = YAY!  Dietbet 4s = Boo.

Going off of that subject, I decided to join a second Dietbet 10 game.  The number of people in it is ENORMOUS and so I don't think I will be enjoying the social aspect of that game as much as I have been the current Beta test game, but I joined it because it will take me up to the month of my half marathon and I am hoping that it will keep me accountable with everything right up to the last moment.  Also, and here's the best news, if I hit my goal for that second bet I will be EXACTLY at my goal weight.  I will be 200 pounds!  I'm SO CLOSE.  It will have been three and a half years of blood, sweat and tears, but I'll have made it.  I want it so bad, I can taste it!

Okay, sorry for this long and rambling post, but to sum up: This month wasn't the greatest, but I'm back on track.

Here's to month three!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday 10/30/13 - Piecing the Puzzle Together

Last Weigh in:                                           222.0
Current Weight:                                        225.5

Current Gain:                                               3.5

Alright, so obviously there is some info behind this gain.  As I mentioned in my last post, I didn't work out a lot the last week of Boston because of just a general "wonky" feeling.  Well, my first workout after I felt better I made a rookie mistake, and one that I knew better to make...  I overdid it.  I felt so happy to be back on the treadmill that instead of easing myself back into my routine, I went whole hog and ran 4.5 miles.  It just felt so great to sweat again!  Well, the next day I was walking around Boston and all of sudden, BAM!  Knee pain in my right knee.  It never swelled up too much (just slightly) and I just had some shooting pain.  And just like that, I was out of commission until it felt better.  Let this serve as a lesson, don't overdo it people!!

So, I basically didn't exercise for over a week, with the exception of the run where I injured myself.  Then, to top it all off last weekend we played a casino.  A casino that provided us with food coupons.  The problem being that all of their food options were DOUSED with sodium and there weren't that many healthy options.  I felt so dehydrated and overloaded with sodium, that it actually hurt to bend my fingers in the morning!  They felt like they were in sausage casings!  The good news was that I started to ease myself back into my exercise routine over that weekend and got in a workout on the elliptical and a short run.  Slow, but steady start.

Needless to say, this week and from here on out I'm trying to get back in my routine and detoxing the sodium from my system.  I'm trying to not eat out this week and drinking as much water as possible.  It's tough, but I need to figure out a way to make this work on my new schedule this year.

That's where my puzzle analogy comes in.  The first year I was on this tour, I couldn't figure out the puzzle.  I had the pieces there, but I couldn't figure out how they fit together to make it work so that I could successfully continue on this journey and so it meant that I basically plateaued for a year.  I fluctuated between the same ten pounds, and by the time I started the second year of the tour, I was 15 pounds heavier than when I started the first.  However, maybe I needed that first year to happen because it sparked my motivation and I finally managed to put the pieces together and make it work last year.  The pieces were the same as the first year, I just figured it out.  I got in my routine and the results speak for themselves.  I am currently 30 pounds lighter than I was one year ago.

This year, however, the pieces have changed on me and I am still struggling with figuring out how they go together.  I am in cities for less amount of time.  It's harder to get to grocery stores.  I'm having to eat out at restaurants more.  I know that there is a way to make it work, but I just need to be patient and try and figure it out.  I am pretty positive that I won't have as drastic results as this last year had, but I would still like to see the scale moving in the right direction again.  I am tired of bouncing around the 220s.  I would like to break free!  Which brings me to my current plan, or as I have been referring to it, my Kickstarter.

This is my current plan:  I have downloaded a new running app called "Running for Weight Loss" that I am going to be using for a few months.  It should actually take me up until I need to start the actual training for the half marathon.  With this app, it incorporates walking, running and sprinting and it claims that with a ratio of these three things you should actually lose more weight than simply straight running and it is supposed to make you faster.  It is structured pretty similarly to a Couch to 5K or 10K program, and I like that it is going to make me run for about 45 minutes each time.  Less easy for me to cop out.  I am going to be more stringent about  my cross training in between these days and am going to make myself actually strength train this time.  I keep saying that I'm going to do it, and then I never follow through.  I have to admit, this summer while I was doing the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred video, I did actually notice a difference with how I felt and so I want to get back to that.

The diet is going to be the hard part, as it's the thing that throws the most kinks into the formula.  I am going to continue to try and eat out as little as possible, but I know that there are going to be times where that just isn't possible.  Somethings that I'm also going to explore is incorporate some paleo aspects.  I know, I know... I've been pretty anti-paleo as I haven't seen it as sustainable for me, but I think to get me over this hump, I'm going to try and incorporate it for a bit.  I need to do some more research on the topic, so I won't be doing anything until I fully feel like I have a grasp on what I am doing.  The other thing that I'm going to incorporate is intermittent fasting.  To be perfectly honest, I was trying to do this already but just didn't know that it had an official title.  I'm not going to any super extremes here, like not eating for 24 hours, but more that I am giving myself a timed window in which to eat and get in my calories.  Like I said, I pretty much was doing this already (I try to stop eating by 8 PM) but I wasn't as strict in the morning eating hours.  For now I'm going to try 10 am - 8 PM, and then slim it down a bit more over time.  I have more research to do on this topic, and hope to share some of it with you as I become more comfortable with it.

So, that's my plan at the the moment.  I hope every has a great Halloween.  Allow yourself a treat or two, but don't let it do a trick on you (see what I did there?) and try not to overindulge too much.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday - Something is not right edition

Hey there,

I'm not posting a weigh in today because I am not happy.  Something weird is going on and I have no clue what it is.

Like I mentioned before, I am weighing in more than weekly for this Diet bet, and I have inexplicably gained 6 pounds this week.  Actually, I gained 6 pounds in two days and the worst part is that I don't know why.  I mean, I will admit that I have eaten some more sodium this week than I should have and I did allow myself to get dehydrated on Monday but it was nothing that should have led to a 6 pound gain.  Usually I see an uptick of a pound or two, but 6 is ridiculous.  And I know it's water weight because in order to gain a pound, that is 3500 extra calories that you need to eat above and beyond your daily caloric intake.  There is NO WAY that I ate an extra 21,000 calories.

Did.  Not.  Happen.

Right now I feel puffy, swollen (the skin on my fingers actually feels tight) and I have a slight headache even though I've been drinking water constantly so I shouldn't be dehydrated or still retaining water.  It's not that certain time of the month, so that's not the reason why this is all happening...  To add to all those feelings of wonderfulness, I couldn't work out last night because the headache that I still feel came on quite suddenly and intensely last night and the very thought of working out almost made me vomit.

There is something just not right going on and I can't wait to figure it out and get back to feeling normal and on the right track weight wise.  I feel gross and I hate it.

On a happier note though, I have a major announcement!

I signed up for another half marathon!  And this time, there is no escaping it because I have to go to another country to run it!

I signed up to run in the Edinburgh Half Marathon!!

I was already planning on going to London next May during a scheduled week off from work and I decided to see if there were any races going on while I was over there.  I've always wanted to see Edinburgh and this will be the perfect way to do it!

I like that I have plenty of time before I actually have to start training, so I can spend the next few months working on building up my stamina and my speed.  I plan on incorporating some interval training at least once a week to try and get my pace up and while I still plan on doing the run/walk method for this, I want to lengthen the time I spend running.  I would love to get to where I'm 10:1, but I don't want to push it.

I'm super excited because a friend of mine who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders (Hi Jamie!) will be running the full marathon that day.  He's continually said that he has wanted to run with me on my first half and having him there as a cheerleader will help push me through.

So despite how I feel right now, I can't wait for the next few months.  It's going to be exciting!

Hopefully I'll feel better next week and will have some idea of what's going on with me.

Have a good week people!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 10/9/13 - Movin' Right Along Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                   223.1
Current Week's Weight:                              222.0

This Week's Loss:                                          1.1

Total Weight Lost:                                         88.0

Yes, it's a loss but I must admit that I'm a little disappointed.  Over the weekend I got down to 220 and now I'm up a couple of pounds. I really need to remember that even though I'm weighing myself more frequently because of the Diet Bet the only ones that really count are these weekly ones.  I need to remember that weight can fluctuate greatly throughout the week and what it says on Saturday doesn't necessarily mean that it will read that same number, or lower, on Wednesday.

But... a loss is a loss.  The scale is overall moving in the right direction and I'm moving right along towards my goal.  This month for the Diet Bet I have to hit 215, so I got some catching up to do with regards to that, but even if I don't hit this month either I'll just be happy to get as close as I did this last month.

I will admit that I haven't been as careful with my eating the last couple of days.  I definitely overindulged with the salty goodness and one night have a ravenous hunger that just wouldn't be silenced.

My plan for the next two weeks in Boston is to try and be as good as possible, and I actually want to try and run a 10K on the treadmill.  I've been pretty consistently running 3 miles several times a week and I would like to get that 6 mile distance under my belt again.  After our Boston run we aren't in one place for longer than a few days for a while and I feel like this is the best place to try and go for it.  I don't know what the hotel gym situation is going to be like in some of these places and I need to try my hardest to make it work the best I can.  I have a feeling Jillian Michaels and I will be getting to know each other pretty well on some of these shorter hotel stays.  Maybe if I do a couple of her videos back to back in my hotel room I'll be okay.  Who knows though!  It's going to be trial by fire!

I just really want to get out of the 220s.  I've been here all summer long and it's time to bump down into the next bracket.  Gonna have to put my nose to the grindstone to do it I think, but I know that I can.

Alright, that's all from me for today!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Words of Wisdom or Maia's Two Cents

Dear Parents (or Grandparents) staying in hotels with children:

Please remember that the hotel gym is not, in fact, a playground at your disposal to tire your children out so they will fall asleep.  Allowing them to run races on the treadmills on steep inclines is not only dangerous, but can potential damage the incredibly expensive equipment (how would you like to see THAT pop up on your hotel bill?).

If you absolutely must take your children to the gym please remember that if other people are in there attempting to work out, even if they have their headphones on, that you should remind your children to use their inside voices and not shriek at the top of their lungs sounding as if they are being murdered.

It's not cute.

I know that the hotel says that children are allowed with adult supervision, but do you call this supervision?

For many adults, their workouts and gym time are their moments of reflection and their "me time."  Having your children running frantically from one machine to another, turning them up to top speed, laughing at how cool they are and how fast they are going even though you are standing directly next to them, infringes upon others.

Please remember these other people are paying to stay in this hotel too.


A (near deaf from having to turn her iPod up to max volume) hotel guest

Friday, October 4, 2013

Diet Bet 10 - Month One Summary

Official Diet Bet starting weight:                                           228.8
Official Month One weigh out:                                              222.4

Total Weight Lost in Month One:                                              6.4

Weight I needed to lose to win Month One:                               .5

In a weigh in post  from a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I joined a new Diet Bet, but that this one was different than the previous ones I joined.  This one was a beta test version of a six month long bet they are calling "Diet Bet 10."  It's called that because rather than the standard bet, where you are betting you can lose 4% of your body weight in a month, you are betting you will lose 10% of your weight in 6 months.  I am much more of the "slow and steady wins the race" mentality and was glad they adopted this approach as well.

Well, the first month is complete.  This first month we were betting we could lose 3% of our body weight.  I, unfortunately, was a half a pound off, but I'm okay with that!  1.) I signed up for the bet late.  There were only 3 weeks of the month left when I joined.  2.) I didn't even really get my head in the game until half way through the month.  So, in essence, I lost those 6.5 pounds in the last two weeks.  I know that most of that was water weight from the crap food and lack of exercise for the past month, but it's still nice to see the drastic drop.

I'm happy to be back in the low 220s again.  It's so weird, and such a mental thing, but I really do feel like I look drastically different when I'm sitting around 220, than I do when I'm around 230 (like I have been the last few weeks.)  I feel like my legs look leaner and my stomach flatter.  For a person of my height, I know that ten pounds really can't make that huge of a difference, but oh well!  The mind thinks what it wants to I suppose!

I must admit that I like this six month version of the bet so much better.  Even though I was only required to lose 1% less this month than the standard bet, that's still (in my case) a couple of pounds.  When losing weight, a couple of pounds can be HUGE and a lot of work.  I was losing close to 10 pounds in a month in those standard four week bets.  That's no easy fete and honestly, in my opinion, shouldn't really be done on a consistent basis.  It's too much weight to constantly be striving for.  If someone wants to jump start their weight loss, or has been stagnant for a while and needs a boost?  Sure, I say go for it.  But the staggering of bets (people sign up for multiple bets at a time and they will have one or two bets that end per week and then cycle through) that's where I think it gets to be too much.  But, that's just my opinion.  I guess if it works for them, and they are winning?  Who's to say it's bad I suppose...

Anyway, I figured I would write a little round up post for this first month of the bet.  My goal weight for this next month is 215.1.  So, I have four weeks to lose 7.3 pounds.  It will be hard work, but I think I can do it.  These next two weeks I'm in Boston, and while there is lots of good tasting (but bad for you!) food choices there, I also know that there is lots of good tasting (and good for you!) food as well.  My hotel is right next door to a YMCA and I'm hoping to get in a couple Zumba classes per week while I'm there.  Would be silly not to!

Alright - that's it for this post.

Diet Bet 10 - Month One.  Complete.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday 10/2/13 - The OH YEAH Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                                 228.2
Current Weight:                                                        223.1

Current Loss:                                                               5.1

Total Loss:                                                                 86.9

I knew I was going to have a big loss this week.  After I eat poorly and don't exercise for a while, the first week back of being strict and diligent always shows a big loss.  I assume a large portion of it is water weight, but hey!  It still counts!

So this week was a pretty good week!  I got in a couple of runs.  One really great one, and one not so great one, but that's the life of a runner I suppose.  You can't win them all!  The rest of the week I exercised by walking (and walking and walking).  My tour is in DC for two weeks and so I've been walking all over town, and it's a good thing I saw as much as I did because now everything is closed due to the shutdown (I'll restrict my opinions on THAT subject...).

Also, this week (for those who might not already know) I was featured on Huffington Post's Healthy Living page!  I was the weight loss story!!  Everyone has been so supportive and been giving me such wonderful words of support and encouragement.  It's been quite mind blowing.  A few new people have found their way to my blog through the HP piece, so "hi!" to the newbies!

My new 6 month Diet Bet is going well.  The weigh in for this first month is tomorrow and Friday.  I'm currently 1.2 pounds away, so there is actually a chance I could win this first month!  I REALLY didn't expect that to even be a possibility.  I really thought that I would just have to lose as much as possible and just try for the second month instead.  It's nice to be in the running already!  I really do like this longer "slow and steady" format that they are trying out.  It's just not so "HURRY UP AND LOSE WEIGHT!"  I mean, I get their theory behind the one month formats, to push yourself as hard as you possibly can (and it's not supposed to be an easy fete!) but for me to win I was having to go beyond where I was comfortable and it resulted in me overindulging.  This 3% weight loss just feels less drastic, so I'm glad it's working so far.

Fancy new shoes
I finally broke down this week and bought new running shoes.  While I was in NYC this summer I went to a running store to get refitted and I overpronate (my ankles come in) pretty bad, so of course that means I need the most expensive running shoe that companies make.  I didn't have the money this summer, but now that I'm back to work full time I was able to swing it.  I'm kind of in love with the new shoes.  I feel very "Jem and the Holograms" when I wear them.  I do feel a difference while I'm running, although it's definitely going to take some getting used to have the additional support.  It's good, but just different.

Anyway, sorry this week was a bit long winded.  Just had some stuff to say evidently!  To the newbies to this blog, I hope you stick around.  I have some exciting stuff on the horizon (100 pound mark, end goal approaching) and I would love to share that with you all.

I hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Just saying a quick "hi!"

Hello out there to you people who found me through Huffington Post!!  Welcome to my humble little corner of cyberspace where I share my dreams, aspirations, successes and failures (thankfully more successes than failures...).

Feel free to take a look around and I hope you'll stick with me through this next, and possibly last, phase of this weigh loss journey.

As you can see from my last weigh in I've gained a few pounds back from the time that I wrote that Huffington Post piece, but I'm back on the wagon (I took a breather for various reasons) but I always come back stronger and ready to concur the world.  I will admit I've peeked at the scale and you'll be happy to know it's going back in the right direction...

Anyway, I hope that you pop back in and visit my little blog from time to time!

Have a good night and see you on Wednesday for my weigh in!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday is back - The Oopsie Daisy edition

Current Weight:                                                   228.2
Last Weight:                                                        223.3

Weight Gained:                                                       4.9

Okay, I'm back in this thing.  Obviously I've been off the wagon for a while, as you can see from the weight that I've gained in the last few weeks.  But I'm ready to shed this current gain and hopefully even more.

As I mentioned in my last post, I joined another Diet Bet, but this one is slightly different.  It's a six month long bet, and I am betting that I will lose 10% of my starting weight rather than the 4% in a month.  I like that it's a slow and steady kind of race, rather than the extreme of the other one.  Each month has weight loss goals and each month you place money on making it.  Like for instance, this first month's goal is to lose 3% of my starting weight, and I bet $25.  If I don't make it, the goal for the second month is another 3% (for a total of 6% of my starting weight).  If I don't make the first month's weight goal, the weight goal for the second month doesn't change, it just means I have to play catch up.  At the end of each month, if you make your goal weight, you can win money but if you don't make it you are still eligible for the next month's bet as well as the grand prize pot at the end.

My weight goal for this first month is 221.9,  and the weigh in days are October 3rd and 4th.  I'm obviously not going to make that weight, but I'm okay because I'm doing this for the motivation and to have set goals to strive towards.  I was late joining the game, and I really only found my stride and motivation this week.  My eating is pretty much back on track (no really!  We have kitchens in our hotel this week and I've been tracking everything I eat!  Yay!) and I've been really good about exercising.  So, while I might not be able to drop 6 pounds in a week and a half, but I might get pretty darn close.  The bonus is if I make my 10% goal, I will be at 205.  That's a great number to see on the scale in March when this thing ends.  I really can't wait to see that number on the scale!

Other than this Diet Bet, I've just been adjusting to life back on the road.  For this week and next week I'm in Washington DC, and my show is playing at the Kennedy Center.  It's gorgeous weather and I'm really enjoying being here.  I can't wait to see some of the sites I've never seen before and to just enjoy my time here.  After this we head to Boston, another city that I'm REALLY looking forward to.  I've only been to Boston one other time in my life and that was for a long weekend.

Alright my friends its time for me to get ready for my day.  Have a good one!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oops I forgot!!

Sorry for no weigh in yesterday!  I have been a bit busy with work and preparing to leave NYC to hit the road and I honestly just plain forgot!!

To be honest, I'm okay with forgetting.  I'm feeling really gross right now.  I just feel puffy and disgusting and I think it's because my diet has been sub-par and my exercise almost non-existent.  I'm ready to get back out on the road and back into my routine.  I've enjoyed being in NYC but I've allowed myself to cross that line of "relaxing and enjoying myself" over to "giving myself excuses to eat poorly at every turn."  I think I needed to finally cross that line so that I could mentally be ready to get back on the bandwagon.  I was burned out before and needed to hit the point that I'm at now.

Which brings me to my next point...

I know you're probably all wondering why I'm doing this, but I've decided to do another Diet Bet.  This one is different than the others though.  The website has set up a beta version (by invite only actually) of a 6 month version.  In this 6 month version you are betting that you will lose 10% of your starting weight.  You are actually betting every month and you are actually held accountable each month (and have to pay additional money to the pot each month) and still have goals that you need to meet each month in order to continue on with the bet (this way you aren't crash dieting at the last minute.)  This first month I need to lose 3% of my body weight, or about 7 pounds.  I don't honestly care if I win this bet or not, but I would like to have this bet to keep me accountable and on track so that I don't allow myself to completely let go this next year.  Plus, if I win this bet I will be at my goal weight.  I would LOVE to be at 200 pounds 6 months from now.  I would actually LOVE to see a 1 at the beginning of my weight, but I'm getting ahead of myself there.

We'll see how I do with this one.  I may end up hating this bet and getting burned out and quitting.  Or, I could end up loving the different structure and killing it on the scale.  Only time will tell.

I do know that I will be changing up my workout routine for sure this year.  I'm going to only run AT MOST 3 times a week.  I want to try and find Zumba classes while out on the road (whenever that's possible at least...)  I want to continue using my Jillian Michaels' DVDs.  I want to crosstrain and lift weights.  I want to start toning up my weaker muscles.  I know how to do cardio, but I don't really know how to get fit.  It's time to get fit.

Alright, that's the current game plan guys!  I'll post my official starting weight for the Diet bet tomorrow.  I might even post my official weigh in photos - we'll see how I feel.

I'm ready to start feeling better again.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three Year Fativersary (and Weigh in!)

Starting Weight 9/4/10:                                     310.0
Current Weight 9/4/13:                                     223.3

Total Weight Lost in Three Years:                      86.7 (gained 1.5 since last week)

Total Weight Left to Lose for Goal (200):          23.3

Well here it is folks!  Today is the third anniversary of having an epiphany and deciding to take control of my life.  I really can't believe that it's already been three years!  Time really has flown by!

I look back at my old self and I don't even recognize her.  I never even could have imagined what my life would be like now.  I know I say this every year, but I'm really proud of myself for having recognized that I wasn't happy and changing my ENTIRE LIFE.  I really think that almost nothing is the same as it was then. (Well, except maybe my shoe size...)  I have completely transformed into a different person and I have to say that I'm quite fond of this new Maia.

Maia circa 2013 is a strong, healthy and (most importantly) happy person.  I struggled a bit this last year, not with the health and weight loss portion of this journey but with the happiness aspect.  I found myself getting angry and frustrated all the time and I started to not like myself.  So what did I do?  Basically the same thing that I did before!  I told myself that I was going to change it, and I did!  I feel like I'm looking at things in a brighter light.  I find myself smiling more.  I find myself laughing more and honestly, I'm just enjoying life more!

I'm hoping to take this new perspective back out on the road with me when I leave NYC for tour once again. (I depart September 17th!  I can't believe it's right around the corner!)  I still have this last bit of weight that I want to lose and I'm determined to lose it, but I also want to enjoy myself a bit more this next year.  I was so gung ho this last year that I actually very rarely went out and enjoyed myself in the various cities we visited.  I'm going to allow myself a few more indulgences this year and not let them stress me out like they did last year.  Last year, if I had a popcorn at the movies I was beating myself up for days!  That's no way to live life...  We'll see how it goes!

I can't wait for this next year of this journey.  I'm sure that so much will change and I'm ready for the new adventures that life will bring my way.

Life is good.

I'm happy.

And that's awesome.

Sharing my happiness with Mr. Darcy

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/28/13 Taking a Breather Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                           220.2
Current Week's Weight:                                      221.8

Current Weight Gain:                                             1.6

Total Weight Lost:                                              88.2

So, after last week's realization that I needed to take a break from the Diet Bets, I decided that it was time for me to take a breather and my body is thanking me for it.  I'm watching what I eat for the most part, but I'm not going overboard.  I've exercised a bit, but not as much as I had been the rest of this summer.  Basically, I'm hitting the reset button.

I've done this several times through my process.  Whenever I get exhausted by everything (both mentally and physically!) I've taken a step back.  I don't go to any sort of extreme, I just kind of stop letting it rule my life.  I stop thinking about every single thing that goes into my mouth.  I stop counting every single calorie.  I stop exercising ALL THE TIME.  Whenever I take these breathers, I come back even stronger and am able to lose even more weight than if I had plowed through.

I'm actually happy that I only gained a pound and a half, because I really think I ate enough calories to warrant a larger gain.  It tells me that my body is comfortable with kind of staying at this weigh if need be.  I'm debating how long I want to take this break.  Maybe I'll just take a week, maybe I'll take a couple more.  Maybe I'll come back from the holiday weekend and hit the ground running (literally!).  We shall see.

In other news, I'm back at work now.  No more carefree summer days!  I'm back to the real world of preplanning meals and scheduling time for my workouts.  No more flying by the seat of my pants.  I'm still in NYC and will be for a couple more weeks and then I head off to the mystical land of York, PA with the show.  

All I gotta say is... Working is hard y'all! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/21/12 - The Epiphany Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                       222.7
Current Week's Weight:                                  220.2

Current Weight Lost:                                         2.5

Total Weight Lost:                                           89.8

I'm glad to be back at 220.  It's a good place for me right now, and it's a place I feel comfortable sitting at when I go back out on the road.  My clothes fit me well (even a tad on the loose side) and I just feel good in my skin.  It's a place I think I can maintain if it comes to that.

Here's why I'm talking about maintaining weight at the moment, rather that losing it: I had an epiphany this week with regards to Diet Bets and how they pertain to me.  I realized that in order for me to win them, I was going completely against my philosophy that I had developed about weight loss and the ability to maintain it.  Over the course of the past three years I've realized that the only way for me to lose weight and keep it off is to not deprive myself.  If I wanted to splurge on french fries, then I splurge!  But, I don't go overboard with it.  I get a small fry and move on.  If I wanted a slice of pizza, I got a slice of pizza!  I did this because I knew that if I didn't I would be depriving myself which would result in me going overboard to compensate. Tame the beast!  It's all about BALANCE! (see how it always comes back to balance?)

In order for me to win these Diet Bets I've been super strict with my eating, not allowing myself even the slightest indulgence and it worked in order to achieve the large weight loss numbers you need in order to win.  But, then as soon as the bet was over, I was going overboard with "rewards."  Ice cream, fast food, you name it!  I wanted it because they weren't even options when I was on the bet.  Even stuff that I never crave, I craved once that bet was over and that is why my weight ballooned back up to 228!  I binged, and I have never been a binge eater.  The small amount of money that I was winning on these bets weren't worth the deprivation and mental toll it was wreaking on me.

I realized that with me being as close to my goal weight as I am right now, my body just doesn't need to be losing 10 pounds a month.  I only have 20 more pounds to lose!  I need to go back to losing weight my way, because that is the way that I've managed to keep it off for three years.  It could take me three months, or it could take me a year!  I have no clue when I will finally see the magical 200 on the scale.  But, I know that I will eventually see it and that's the only thing that's important.

Also, I'm in New York City for just another three and a half weeks.  I'm going to want to go out with my friends to dinner and brunch and drinks.  I don't want to not enjoy what this city has to offer, because I honestly don't know when I will be back.

So, basically... I think Diet Bets are a good idea.  I think they are great for people who need motivation to start losing weight, or who need a kick in the pants because their weight loss has stalled.  I think it's a very supportive environment (at least the bets I've joined have been) and I really liked that you can talk with other people and make friends with people who struggle with the same things you are struggling with.  Unfortunately, Diet Bets just aren't what I need right now.  I don't need the pressure to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain amount of time.

In other news, I've moved to my new sublet about a block from Central Park and I couldn't be happier.  I've gone on three runs and have taken numerous walks just around the neighborhood and in the park as well.  I love it.  I love having such easy access to something as wonderful as Central Park.  It's made me realize that when I eventually move back to NYC on a more permanent basis that I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that I am able to move back to this neighborhood.  I miss it.

Well, that's all from me this week!  Next Monday I start back to work, so it should be interesting!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Yesterday, a friend and I decided to both try our very first Zumba class together.  For those who don't know (and if you don't, I think you might have been living under a rock) Zumba is a fitness class that combines latin and hip hop type dance moves for a big calories burn.

I've heard lots of people rave about how much fun it is, and how effective its been in their weight loss.  It was something that I always wanted to try, but just never really got around to finding a studio in whatever city I was in.  Well, being in NYC for a while it just made sense for me to take advantage!

My friend said that she had attempted to take a class at the Alvin Ailey Extension but it had filled up, so we decided to give it another try.

They offer two Zumba classes back to back on Sunday mornings, so we decided to go ahead and try for the early class in the hopes that if we couldn't get in the first one, we could take the second class.  There was a substitute instructor, so it wasn't as packed as it normally is.  We had no problem getting into the first class.  I bought an introductory 2 class package for $25 since it was my first time at the studio.  I think they are normally around $20/class (although you can buy multi class packages and it makes it cheaper).

I wore my heart rate monitor during the class and I'm so glad I did!  Holy.  Crap.  I BURNED SOME CALORIES!  The class was about an hour with a 5-10 minute cool down.  In the hour class, I burned almost 800 calories!  My heart rate hit levels that it only ever hits when I'm running!  I got my ass handed to me!  I dripped in sweat (tip: bright a hand towel to wipe down quickly between songs.  I sweated so much it stung my eyes.) I can safely say, it's a great work out!

The instructor was pretty good, but I can see how if you got a not-so-great instructor, how it wouldn't be a good experience.  Our instructor had a few combinations that were a bit overly complicated, and she didn't ever really say what she was doing.  Those are my only two complaints.  But, I think that she did a good job of trying to walk the room and correct people if they weren't doing particular moves correctly (so that the right muscles were being worked).  But, it's a great judgment free zone.  If you aren't a great dancer?  So what!  Not a skinny minny?  So what!  You can still get a great workout.  Also, it's for people of all ages.  We were probably the same age of the vast majority of the people in there, but there were quite a few people significantly old.

I am definitely going to try Zumba again! (I have that second class I have to use before I leave NYC!)  I think I might try and do it whenever I can on the road.  It might be a good addition to my running.  It will change up my routine, give me a great workout, and it definitely worked some muscles that I don't use all the time.

I personally loved going with a friend.  It was fun to be able to look over at someone I knew and be able to laugh when I felt silly, mostly because I couldn't get a particular combination correct.

If you are looking for a great workout and to have some fun, you should definitely find a Zumba class near you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/14/13 - Injury edition

Last Official Weigh In:                        220.0
Current Weigh In:                               222.7

Current Weight Gained:                           2.7
Weight Gained since DietBet:                   3.3

Total Weight Lost:                                87.3

As you can see, I did a little bit of celebrating after I won my Diet bet last week.  As I already wrote, I ate McDonald's, but then for the next few days I kept splurging and allowing myself some treats here and there.  I also didn't really exercise.  Eating more plus no exercise = weight gain!  Shocker!

I'm sorry to admit that my weight got all the way back up to 228, so I'm actually QUITE happy to see 222 on the scale this morning.    I did start a new diet bet this week which will probably be my last for a long time since I don't think I will be able to do it on the road.  When I weighed in for this bet, I was 225.3, so my goal to win this one is 216.3.  This time I have to say I don't think I'm going to win and I'm okay with that.  I'm dealing with some injuries right now and I would rather be healthy and lose whatever weight I can, rather than almost kill myself to get to a specific number on the scale.  I think that's actually why I have these current injuries.  I was supposed to have rested the final day of the last bet, and instead I went out and ran and did a Jillian Michaels' video.  My muscles and joints are now getting back at me.  My right knee is sore and popping occasionally (I believe it's runner's knee so I've been icing, etc.) and now my left ankle is a bit wonky.  I'm not really sure what's going on there, but again I'm resting and we'll see what comes of it.

While I rest these injuries, it's forcing me to get back on track with my eating, which is always a good thing.  I've always believed that losing weight is 80% about the calories and food that go into your body and 20% about the exercise.  Do I think you should lose weight without ever doing an ounce of exercise?  No, absolutely not.  But, could you do it?  Yes, I think that you could.

So, my goal for the month or so that I have left in NYC is to just continue to keep balanced in my life and lose as much weight as I can in as healthy a way as possible.  I had hoped that by my 3 year Fativersary (Labor Day) I would hit the 100 pounds lost mark, but I know that's not going to happen.  I'm disappointed, but I have to keep my health as the number one goal.

I have to share something that might be a bit TMI, but it's an exciting Non-scale victory.  I've been noticing for quite a while that my bras were all a bit big.  I'm a big chested girl and so if my boobs were shrinking, that was making me a happy girl.  They get in the damn way!  So, I went to a higher end store and got fitted.  I not only went down in the band size, but I went down TWO cup sizes!  That's insane!  The woman at the store was in shock, because she said that whenever she's fitted people who have lost weight, they've always lost in the band, but rarely in the cups.  I'm an overachiever I guess.  :)  It does suck though, because I can't afford to buy all new bras!  I just have to keep wearing the old ones until I can slowly replace them with more properly fitted ones.  That sucks, but it's good to know where I stand!

Also, a little side note...  I bought a bikini, but I returned it.  Could I have worn it?  Yes, but I'm just not comfortable enough with that yet.  We'll see if I get there eventually.

Today I move to a new sublet in Manhattan that's about a block from Central Park and I couldn't be more excited.  Even though I don't know if I should run for a couple more days, I am excited to just go and walk around the city.  I only have a few more weeks here and I want to enjoy as much as possible before I head back out on the road and into middle America.

Until next week!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Non Weigh In Wednesday - Winner Edition

You may have noticed that I didn't post a weigh in this morning... Well, that's because I WON my second Diet Bet yesterday and I celebrated last night with McDonald's and a Crumbs cupcake.  With all of that sodium and extra calories for the day, I knew that my weigh in would be a bit off, and so therefore I'm not posting it.

I will say what my official ending weight for the Diet Bet was, and that was 219.4.  Although, I must admit that's not entirely accurate either.  Unfortunately, I timed this Diet Bet poorly.  It's a certain week of the month when water retention is inevitable and no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to shake the last half pound.  So yesterday I woke up and even though my eating had been completely on point the day before, had drank plenty of water and walked about 3.5 miles my weight had actually gone UP and was reading at 220.2.  I needed to lose .6 pounds and FAST.  So, I put on my work out gear and did level 2 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and then went outside for a 20 minute jog.  Luckily, when I came back the scale cooperated and I logged my weight.  So, did I cheat a little?  Um, yeah... BUT that doesn't negate the fact that I did actually lose 9 pounds in a month.  Just meant that I was a little bit short and fudged it a little to win the money.  I don't know how much the winnings are yet, they are still finalizing everything, but it will probably end up being another $20 or so.  

I'm definitely going to do another bet immediately after this.  I have less than a month until my 3 year anniversary of this whole she-bang and I have a VERY important goal that I want to hit by that time.  I'm going to wait a week though and join then so that the timing isn't as unfortunate as this last bet was.

The interesting thing about my cheat meal last night...  I did not feel good after having eaten it.  It's weird because during the past three years I've had plenty of cheat meals and I never really felt any differently after having eaten that as opposed to the healthy stuff.  I always heard of people's body's have negative reactions to unhealthy foods after they had changed their habits to more healthy ones, but I never really did.  Maybe it was because I stuffed myself until I was uncomfortably full.  Maybe it was packing a week's worth of sodium and sugar into one meal.  Maybe it was the entire day's worth of calories in one sitting.  I don't really know which of the factors that it was, but I do know that it reminded me that I'm not the person that I once was.  I felt gross afterwards, and that made me feel bad about myself.  Did I deserve a reward after my hard work?  Sure, but did I need to eat all that I had?  No.  Will I know this and use this information for the next time?  Yes.  And that's the most important part:  Learning and growing.  Take the knowledge from your mistakes and grow from them.

I like knowing that I'm still learning new things about myself.  I like that I can still surprise myself.

For now though, I'm taking a complete day of rest, meaning no exercise at all.  My muscles are SCREAMING at me because yesterday I was supposed to have rested but instead exercised to get that last bit of weight off for the weigh in.  So, I'm looking forward to using my muscles as little as possible today.  I think they will thank me for it, considering how much they hate me at the moment.

That's about all I have to say, so I guess I will just see how this recovery week goes.  

Until next week!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Average - And Proud Of It!!

When I first started this journey (almost three years ago!!) I had a couple of non-scale victories that I hoped to accomplish.  The top of that list though was to fit into (and then buy!) a Burberry trench coat.

I know this makes me sound like a label whore, but in terms of high end clothing, this is really the only true thing I've strived for.  It's a classic item that won't go out of style with age.  Anyway... the largest size that they carry is a size 14 (for the most part anyway... you can find an occasion 16 of a trench at a department store, but the retail stores only go to 14) and so for someone who hasn't been a size 14 since 8th grade, it was definitely long term goal...

In the fall of 2011, I wandered into a Burberry store in Charlotte, NC and decided to try on a coat and see how far (or close) I was from fitting.  It was tight everywhere and I couldn't close it.  I was pretty solidly a size 16 at the time, but on a rare occasion could find a 14 that fit.  I had been hoping that this was one of those occasions!  Um, I was beyond wrong in my optimism.  I weighed probably 240-245 at the time and was pretty solidly stalled at that weight.  I got a bit defeated.  I hadn't lost any real weight since that summer and I didn't see that changing anytime soon.  Would I ever actually achieve these goals that I had set out for myself?  Or would I be doomed to (in my head) failure?

As you well know I did break through that plateau and am well on my way to a huge milestone, but I hadn't really ventured back to a store to retry my Burberry experiment.  Well... today was that day!!

I was trying to walk as much as I could today before my final weigh in for my diet bet tomorrow (I ran yesterday and my legs were utterly exhausted, so walking would have to do!) and walked by Bloomingdale's.  Honestly, the only reason I went in was because I had to pee and figured I could browse afterwards.  I was wandering around when I happened upon their Burberry store and it stopped me in my tracks.  I moseyed over there and started perusing.  Dare I try?  Would I be disappointed?  I wasn't sure how I would react if the coat still didn't fit even though I was 20-25 pounds lighter than the last time I had tried.  I decided to risk it and pulled the coat off the hanger.

One by one those buttons closed, and didn't pull tight either.  Before I knew it, the coat was on and fastened.  My jaw dropped open and I can't lie... I almost cried.  Granted, I won't be buying one of these coats anytime soon, because 1.) it would be silly to travel on tour with a $1000 coat and 2.) I ain't got that kind of money to spend on a coat!!  And rest assured, when I do eventually buy myself a coat, it will be from the outlet store, because maybe I won't burn a hole clean through my checking account at that store.

So, I did it.  I had achieved one of my goals!  To be honest, it made me feel normal.  I still hadn't been sure if I was a size 14 or a 16.  This size 14 fit me perfectly.  So ladies and gentlemen, it's official!

I'm a size 14!

The average woman in America is a size 14.  I know this is going to be a bit weird to say, but I've never been more proud to be average.

My next goal clothing wise is to fit into a size 12.  This might take a while, but I hope to eventually get there!  I don't really see myself getting much smaller than a 12, but I would feel good at a 12.  I feel like if I were to wear a 12, I could easily walk into any store and be able to buy something (probably not pants, but that problem is never going to go away!).  A size 12 is the largest size that a lot of boutique stores, especially in NYC, will carry.  I've walked into many a store only to be disappointed when I held up a top that looked like it could fit a prepubescent girl.  I have never wanted to be "thin" or "skinny" - I have always said that I wanted to be healthy.  A size 12 is probably the smallest my body could really comfortably go.  I'm a curvy girl.  I always will be, and I'm actually happy with that.  But, I've wanted to be "average" for a while and I'm very happy to say I've made it.

I'm average y'all!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In: 7/31/13 - The Kind of Slacked Off Edition

Last Week Weight:                                 220.7
Current Week Weight:                            220.0

Current Weight Lost:                                   .7

Total Weight Lost:                                   90.0 (YAY!  New Milestone!)

Weight Left for Diet Bet:                             .4 (one week left - I can do this!)

Okay, yes... I had a loss this week.  Honestly, I wish it had been more - and it should have been more!  But, I ate somethings that I shouldn't have and I didn't get in as much exercise as I should have.

This is my last week of the Diet Bet and I have about a half pound left to lose to win it.  I need to be as on my game as possible!  I know I CAN do it, I just need to DO IT.  I just can't wait to see the 210s on that scale.  That's so exciting!

Today I won't be able to exercise unfortunately... I got a little bit too much sun yesterday when I went to the beach.  It's not a horrible sunburn, but enough to make it uncomfortable to put on spandex workout pants.  Also, I'm training today for a temp gig I lined up for next week.  I'll need to keep my eating on par and then tomorrow exercise will be back on full blast.

As far as the 90 min/day exercise goal?  Yeah... that didn't really happen.  I did it that first day, but that was really it.  I did get in some 60 minute runs, but 90 minutes just was a bit much for my knees quite frankly.  Maybe I can work my way up to that, but I was used to doing 30-45 minutes at a time.  It might have been too much to expect to be able to double that immediately.

So, this week I just want to go balls to the wall.  I'm not giving myself a weight loss goal (aside from winning the diet bet) and I'm not giving myself an exercise goal.  I just want to kick my own ass and push myself.  That's my goal for this week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 7/24/13

Last Week's Weight:                        222.2
This Week's Weight:                        220.7

Current Weight Lost:                           1.5

Total Weight Lost:                             89.3

Weight Left for Diet bet:                      1.1 (in two weeks!)

Well, this was quite a week!

Thankfully, I survived the heatwave that hit NYC.  Because I couldn't get out to run, I started using my Groupon for the gym.  I ran a 10K on Sunday, which I hadn't completely trained properly for but survived!  I have taken the last two days since the 10K off because, wow... I was sore.  But I'm going to gym this afternoon.  I'm going to play around with my run/walk ratio.  We'll see how it goes.  I am thinking that I might do 45 minutes on the treadmill running and then make go to the stationary bike for another 30 minutes.  The thing I've realized is that I have NOTHING but time on my hands.  Why am I not making the most of it?  As I sit here watching "Extreme Weightloss" and watching these people working out hours upon hours each day, then I can too!  My goal is to workout 90 minutes a day, five days a week.  So, that starts today!

But, I am excited because I only have a pound left on this Diet Bet.  I TOTALLY have this in the bag.  I'm hoping that I can lose a few pounds more than required, and I've already made the decision that I'm going to start a new bet right afterwards.  I seem to be quite successful with these and maybe if I can squeeze in one more bet before I head back to work, then I will be super close to my goal that I set out for myself.  (I had in my head to be at 210 when I go back out on the road, for a total loss for 25ish pounds for the summer.)

So, hopefully next week I will have met my Diet bet goal and will be well on my way to 210.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Queens 10K Recap or How I Learned to Love Run/Walk

As you may know, I had been wavering back and forth about whether or not I was going to do this 10K.  After my craptastic run in Central Park last week, I was ready to throw in the towel.  I texted my friend Abby (who I knew was also going to be running the race) and I told her that the heat was too much, I couldn't get over my mental block and that I couldn't do the race.  As I mentioned before, she talked me off the ledge and convinced me that I COULD in fact do it.  I was still not completely sure, especially considering my last experience with a 10K, so I asked Abby if I could run with her.

Last week I mentioned that Abby uses the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway where you basically plan a run to walk ratio ahead of time.  I had always heard of this method but for me, I always had it in my head that if I was going to be a runner, I wanted to RUN.  I saw it as cheating if I walked during a run.  I had it in my head that I was failing if I walked.  But, honestly my goal was just to FINISH this Queens 10K, so if I could run and walk through it?  I thought I might have a fighting chance.

Abby was fine with me tagging along beside her during the race, so I felt good knowing that I would have a supportive friend right by my side to push me through if need be.  I'm happy to say, that I didn't!

This week in NYC, there was a huge heat wave.  Everyday, the temps soared to at least 100 degrees and I knew that I wasn't going to even attempt to run outside in that (I hit the gym instead).  The forecast was calling for the heat to break the night before, but I told myself and others that if it didn't, I wasn't going to be doing it.  I really didn't want to put myself through that kind of hell.  I knew that my running confidence couldn't take that kind of hit considering it was on shaky enough ground.  Luckily the heat did break and this morning was actually quite pleasant!  I popped out of bed at 6 AM (and by popped I mean, of course, crawling out of bed and shuffling) and made a breakfast of some eggs whites, a bagel thin with peanut butter and a banana.  I was a little worried it might be too much, but I was giving myself plenty of time to digest and I knew that I was going to have to eat something to have energy to get through this thing.  Might have been the perfect amount because I didn't feel full or gross, but I also didn't feel sluggish and fatigued from lack of fuel.  I probably should have had more water as I did feel slightly dehydrated towards the end, but live and learn!

I got there, met up with Abby, and then we were off and running!  We decided to do a 1:1 ratio and see how we felt.  I have to say, I think I might be a full on run/walk convert.  I LOVED it.  I felt like it broke up the monotony and gave your legs a break!  I think I might play around with the ratio a bit and see which one suits me best, but I definitely am a HUGE fan of the run/walk.  For anyone out there who thinks that they can't run?  Guess what, yes you can!

The other thing I gotta say, was it was amazing having Abby by my side for this race because we just chatted the whole time!  I never had a chance to hit a mental blockage because I never had a chance to get inside my head!  By the end, yes... my legs were starting to get tired, but we just kept going!  I was very happy that I never had to resort to the "I can't do this!  Talk me through this!  Hold me hand and drag me along!" whining that I thought I might have to do in order to finish.  Abby checked in on me, made sure I was feeling good and strong and we trudged along!  At around the 3 mile mark Abby passed me a Gu energy gel, which I had never had before.  I had read all about them from other running bloggers and knew that they supposedly helped and I don't know if it was the Gu or the run/walk, but I never felt depleted in this race like I have in almost all my other ones.  So, note to self... buy Gu gels.

There were no medals this time (boo...) but that's okay.  I crossed that finish line and that was my goal.  The plus was that I finished it feeling strong and like I could rule the world.  I just checked my results and we finished in 1:28 and change.  My goal was to finish before the 1:30 mark, so I accomplished that!  Our pace was around 14:13.  My pace EXACTLY from my last New York Road Runners race, which I think was actually that awful 10K!  So there you go!  I finished this one feeling great at that pace, and that one feeling like someone hit me with a mack truck!  Do I wish it were faster?  Maybe, but I got time for that.

I really did have a great runners high at the end of this race.  I felt like I could rule the world.  I also felt like I could actually run a half marathon!  I think I can do it now!  I mean, REALLY do it!  I know I've signed up for them in the past and two I've backed out on, and the third was cancelled on me but I always felt like I just wasn't ready.  I just wasn't a good enough runner.  Well, guess what?  I don't feel that way anymore!  I CAN do this!  I CAN complete a half marathon!  Now I just have to find one that fits into my schedule... That might actually be the trickier part!

So, there you have it folks.  I did it!  Phew... Now I need food because, damn... I'm hungry!