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The two-day juice thing is OVER. I am so glad, I have no words. I haven’t done anything like that in quite some time, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy it very much. I would much rather eat 1,200 calories of real food than 1,200 of liquid any day. Maybe it had some benefits that I can’t see from the outside, but I have a feeling all it was really good for was some significant sugar crashes and starvation. That can’t be good for the metabolism. So happy we only did it for 48 hours! Now, back to a regular eating schedule. I am actually looking forward to our other two challenges this month: one week of vegetarian and two days of vegan. I believe that starts on the 14th, so I will keep you posted on how those go.
This weekend is Artwalk here in Birmingham! Soooo excited. James is coming down today on the Megabus and we plan to hit up the loft district downtown for some amazing local art. Before we head that way we will be having dinner with my good friends Charles & Carrie Beth. I haven’t gotten to see them much since their wedding a few months back, so it will be great to catch up on their lives. I know Charles just finished his book, so we will be celebrating that for sure. Once it’s published I will post a link for it!
Speaking of books, I’ve actually been working on mine lately. I’ve done a big overhaul on the storyline that I think fits much better. What I’ve come up with now feels perfect, and it is flowing much easier. God only knows when I will actually be done with it, but I have a feeling it is going to be a faster process. My friend Gin who is an accomplished novelist told me that her first book took her years, and she was still never 100% happy with it. However, her second and third books were much easier to write and were more successful. That makes me feel a little bit better about my snail’s pace. You know though, I think some congratulations are in order for me on that because I am always in such a rush to complete creative projects. I am proud of myself for giving this time to breathe and unfold as it’s ready. Mark my words, this book will be written and it will be a true labor of love!
Last night was my monthly “drinks with Debbie”, and we couldn’t have had a better time. It makes me so happy to see her happy, and she was beaming from the inside out. We have an interesting relationship, as we don’t really hang out outside of our dates, and we don’t share many close friends. This actually makes us feel more comfortable to share personal information, and makes our time together very special since it doesn’t happen very often. She has several wonderful things going on for her right now, and they are all greatly deserved. I see so many good things coming for her in the near future too, which makes me want to do a little happy dance. I think I will do one now! If you’ve never checked out her blog, you should do it now. We’ve been doing our monthly dates for a little over a year now, so that’s something to celebrate.
Today is the last day of spring! Seems like summer already, doesn’t it? I am looking forward to many days poolside or beachside with my SPF 1,000,000 and a cold drink in hand. I also love running in the heat, which I think I’ve mentioned before. I’m always really careful about hydrating before and after a hot run…as I know it is tough on the body. I feel like I’m a little behind the pack these days, as Vero & Brandi have become superstar runners. I have been there before as well, and I know that I can return to that state of fitness when I am ready to mentally go there. But it’s been nice for a change to run just because I want to, and to relax a little bit when it comes to my fitness goals. I do get the itch when I hear about someone’s amazing 7 mile run and how much faster they are getting, but I also enjoy going at my own pace right now. Luckily, Vero doesn’t mind going my speed when we do our runs together, as she really appreciates the social side of it. I am very thankful for that! What I do need is new running shoes, as the ones I’ve got now are about to bite the dust. And that’s not good at all for your joints….so hopefully this weekend I can make that happen.
What I put in my body makes such a big difference in how I feel. Eating too much can make you feel heavy and bloated, while not eating enough can make you feel a little cranky and irritable. There are only a few people who I know of in this world that don’t have to watch their diets at all…. and even they aren’t 100% carefree. Athletes have to eat more than the normal person to keep their weight up. Overweight folks have to eat less in order to shed the pounds. Even people who are at their desired weight have to periodically keep an eye on the scale in order for it not to move in one direction or another. Even the luckiest of us still have to deal with age at some point, which inevitably brings new body challenges. I think this is important to remember when you feel like you are alone in your weight struggles, because you certainly aren’t. We all have to find the right balance for our individual lives, and the correct perspective for our own happiness. Food is a significant part of life, we should be able to enjoy it while also keeping our bodies healthy. It is supposed to taste good and make us feel alive. As I’ve gotten older I have a greater appreciation for vegetarian and vegan cuisine, while not necessarily always eating that way. By learning how to live off of fresh ingredients from the earth you become a more creative chef overall. You can make a deliciously satisfying meal without even touching a meat product. It is a little harder for me to go without dairy, not gonna lie, but that is also possible. Food is an adventure, and our bodies are a reflection of the journey.
I found out yesterday (from the most random person) that I am in Woman’s World this month! I knew it was going to happen, but I hadn’t been keeping an eye out. I tried to find it yesterday at a handful of places with no luck…so I probably need to go to a newsstand to pick it up. After I heard that it was out, things started to click in my brain. My blog had gotten a lot of comments in the “bikini” section in past few days, so I checked my stats just to see if my traffic was any different…and it’s been 3 x’s the regular amount since Saturday or Sunday. If anyone can actually get a photo of what the article looks like and send it to me, that would be amazing! This shoot in particular was especially goofy, as they made me do a double thumbs up for a few shots… so you can imagine I’m a little scared of what the final image turned out to be.
For everyone new visiting my blog, you can read about my journey in the “Timeline” section above. I had disabled that page about a month back for no real reason, but since I have new people who would like to read about my weight-loss I turned it back on. Basically, if you go back to the very beginning of my blog (day 1) the first six months are purely about how & why I decided to lose weight. The Timeline also offers links to big milestone posts for those of you who would just like the highlights. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back often!
There are many things to be excited about these days. I feel that I am in a good place right now, with lots of opportunities on the fire. When I leave my house in the morning I find myself thinking that today is going to be a good day. Flowers are already starting to bloom outside there is a sparkle of green in the trees. Even if some of my big ideas and goals don’t come to fruition, I still feel lucky to just be me… right here, right now. I was talking to a friend yesterday who was down, and I told them the same thing I told myself a few weeks back when I felt like I was in the same boat. You just have to keep trying, keep putting yourself out there, keep moving forward, and it will get better. And, it always does. Also realizing that you already have so much puts things into perspective too. Last night while hanging out with my family eating healthy baked potatoes, I felt extremely lucky. Lucky that I actually like hanging out with my family, and lucky that I will always have a place where I am accepted. That in itself is a lot to be thankful for.
The body has such great memory. After only running a handful of times for the past month and a half, I seem to have been able to pick back up at a good solid 3 miles with no problem. I’ve gone on two runs in the past two days and it’s felt wonderful. What’s even stranger is that I’m not even sore. I was always under the impression that our bodies lost fitness relatively quick when stopping for extended periods of time, but it really isn’t that noticeable. Now, if I were to go out and try to do 6 miles I’m sure that would be a different story! However I can probably build back up to that distance within the next few weeks. I’m going to start joining Vero again for the occasional morning run in the next week or so. I’ve missed our morning conversations (even though she does most the talking). Our friendship seems to be built around exercise, which isn’t a bad thing at all!
Yesterday I battled with some unexpected body image issues. I felt less confident than I usually do, and was a little discouraged. It’s strange b/c my body weight is exactly the same and nothing significant has really happened. There is an external factor that I can possibly attribute it to, but it still threw me for a little bit of a loop. It’s these exact emotions that I have to learn how to control and see how irrational I am being with myself. It’s OK to have a weak day, as long as it doesn’t turn into a weak month or a weak year. If there is one thing I am confident about though, it’s the fact that I know this time around I will be successful. Most days aren’t hard at all. So when the more difficult ones arise, I can feel pretty confident that I will snap out of it in a reasonable amount of time. This morning I woke up feeling much, much better.
As for the rest of the day, I am meeting my friend Rebecca in just a little bit to flesh out our production plan for next Saturday. There is quite a bit of work to do, even though it’s just a one day shoot. This afternoon is the Sidewalk Film Festival volunteer party, which should be pretty fun as well!
Weigh-In Wednesday #61 – 149.0
Hello to everyone visiting from the Rachael Ray Show! It’s crazy to see the traffic spikes after the show airs. I know a lot of you were inspired by the eating plan and what it could possibly do for you. I can’t say enough about Carb Lovers, but one thing I can say is that the name doesn’t do it justice. It’s so much more than just eating healthy carbs as part of a well-balanced diet, it’s a way of life that you can follow forever.
A question that I got several times yesterday was how I incorporated exercise while losing weight. I’ve always been a pretty active person, but I actually cut back a good deal when I started this diet. I had an instinct that told me to focus on one thing at a time. About 6-8 weeks in I started adding short runs back in to my weekly program and eventually built up to where I am today. I think too much exercise can trigger your appetite and can confuse your efforts while trying to shed the pounds. But, that’s just my opinion and I’m definitely no doctor! I am proud to say that I finished my second Half Ironman this spring (even though the swim portion was canceled due to weather). Being active is my life!
It would be too hard to recap my whole weight-loss experience in this one post, but I did document every day on this blog. It’s as simple as going back to my very first post in March of 2010, and reading from there.
Today I thought I would share some of the things in life that make me happy. Here we go!
I am grateful for…
1. …A healthy body.
2. …A great job with coworkers that I can also call friends.
3. …Sunny days.
4. …A long night’s sleep.
5. …Solid friendships new & old.
6. …The ability to exercise, especially running.
7. …Secondary noise makers while living with babies.
9. …A good bowl of cereal (these days Kashi Berry Crumble with 1% milk).
10. … A good head on my shoulders (even though it’s on the large side).
11. …Dreams that I follow.
12. …Obstacles that I overcome.
14. …The space heater in my office.
15. …Good days.
16. …My kick-ass family.
17. …Sex and the City. (Sorry guys!!! This show will never, ever get old.)
18. …My blog and the people who read it!
19. …The light at the end of the tunnel.
20. …Being ME.
I have been freaking out about my weight & eating habits of late. The scale has been swinging up a little more than usual which never fails to give me a minor panic attack. Fluctuations don’t usually bother me as much, but lately I’ve been eating more sugar than usual while at work. I recognize old patterns creeping back of knowing where certain foods are and being sneaky about eating. If I want to have a chocolate, that’s OK… I don’t need to hide it under a napkin until I get back to my office and eat it faster than I can enjoy it. I told a coworker about this recent problem last night, and she is going to help talk me down when the cravings hit. I’ve got to get back into the habit of NOT relying on simple sugars to bring my mood up fast because it’s nearly impossible to maintain that high without eating more crap. You’ve got to stop the vicious cycle before it starts. This has only been happening for the past week or so, but I want to stop before it snowballs.
Something to consider – my slight weight gain could be from muscle. While I don’t usually buy-in to the idea that it’s OK to gain weight under any circumstances, I’m willing to entertain the thought just this one time. My upper body has gained tremendous strength over the past month or so, and I can see & feel muscles that have never been visible before. I also think that I’ve done a good job of maintaining my leg strength while being injured. So, yes, it could be possible that my weight would be a little higher because of new muscle development. At least I will choose to believe that to make myself feel better.
One last thing that was brought to my attention in the past 48 hours – that I may have been overtraining before I hurt my knee. I’m going to have to disagree on that one. I built up my workload gradually over a long period of time, and my workouts are always carefully planned in accordance with a race. I know a lot of people think less is more, and I also think there is something to that. However, it is all relative to what the end goal is. There are other people who train much, much more than me for the same race. My current knee injury was from a specific movement that triggered an injury from the past – a deep squat. I should have known better, but you can bet your socks that I won’t repeat that mistake twice. It’s not that squats are bad, it is just that I have to be extra careful of those kinds of movements. As far as overtraining goes, even though I feel strongly that it wasn’t a factor I will still keep that thought in the back of my mind. I guess you can never be too careful. All I know is that I get lots of sleep, eat well, and have virtually none of the other symptoms that come along with overtraining.
On another note – they tore down the scary old house across the street yesterday!! It’s always been an eyesore, but in some strange way I really liked how spooky it was. We even shot our Ghost Ghirls photos there a few weeks ago not knowing that it was doomed to be torn down. While I missed the demolition yesterday, Mike said that a huge crowd gathered to watch as it was being torn down. Bittersweet I guess.
Weigh-In Wednesday #39: 145.2 (Still have my eye on 142… maybe in the New Year!)
2011 Quest #3: I resolve to maintain my weight and physical health.
In 2011 my main priority will be to maintain my weight-loss from 2010 & to stay fit through training for various sports goals. I would like to lose just a few more pounds for a nice round 50, which will put me around 142. Even though my weight has stayed the same for the past month or two, my body keeps transforming as it becomes fitter. My stomach is finally tightening up and I am seeing some definition in my abs, legs & arms. Go me!!!! Booya!
2010 Flashback #3: Losing 47 pounds!
In 2010 I achieved a major goal – I lost 47 pounds and reached my goal weight of 145! With the help of CarbLovers and Health Magazine, I learned how to eat the foods I love in a healthy way and in moderation. I also posted a weekly photo of myself in a bikini on my blog as a form of accountability. At first it was really hard to stick with the program and overwhelming to imagine the dedication it would take to lose 47 pounds. But once I got some momentum going and had a few weeks under my belt, the weight came off like clockwork.
A reader left a comment on my blog yesterday asking how I have been maintaining my weight. She said that I used to talk a lot about being afraid of the maintenance phase, and now that I’m in it I don’t talk about it at all. I’ve reflected about that myself lately… and I think it’s because I’ve discovered what it’s like to have a healthy relationship with food, so I think about it less. Maintenance has turned out to be a lot easier than I expected, even through the holidays. While I have eaten my fair share of treats on Thanksgiving & Christmas, I still stick with my main diet principles 90% of the time. My diet is full of whole grains, fiber, vegetables, fruits, dairy & lean proteins. I eat very little meat… in fact, I probably eat meat less than twice a week if at all. I always have my Fiber One cereal with 1% milk for breakfast and stick with Amy’s whole meals when I don’t have time to make something. It’s been surprisingly simple! I stay away from anything fried and haven’t been in a fast food restaurant in ages. I also continue to log my food during the week on LiveStrong.com (MyPlate) and factor in my calories burned from exercise. That helps a great deal with knowing what my body needs to fuel itself on a daily basis.
Here’s to health & happiness for us all in 2011!!!
155.4!!! Jiggity Jig. Soooooo close!!!!
I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve got over 400 visitors to my blog every day, and it’s growing each week. It is inspiring & motivating to know that people are counting on me to reach my goals.
Speaking of “living in public”… have YOU ever thought of starting your own blog? It’s a great way to stay accountable to your dreams. You can even do it anonymously under a pseudo name if you don’t want the people in your everyday life to know about it. Something to think about.
Big challenge today: my husband is having a couple of close friends over for pizza & beer tonight for his b’day (while also singing some bad karaoke). Viva le Resistance! One day, in the very near future, I know I will be able to partake in these kinds of foods in moderation, but I still feel vulnerable at this point. So, I’m NOT going there. Instead, I will fix something yummy on my own that I feel confident in eating.
Here is a photo from the polenta, goat cheese, Bacos & blueberry breakfast that I have been eating for the past few days. SUPER good and a break from the norm.
I plan to go on a long run today & tomorrow… hopefully both 4 miles a piece. Here is a new favorite song that I have added to my running mix!
This morning I did something that I NEVER do… I got up to exercise!!! I met my friend jFo from work at 6 a.m. for a hilly 3 mile run, and we rocked it. It was so nice to be out in the morning air knowing that the weekend is only hours away. We decided to start meeting Monday, Wednesday & Fridays at 6 to do the same course for a while. We will see if I can keep it up. I do enjoy being up early, it is just the “getting up” that’s the hard part. That’s why I usually exercise in the evenings.
Since I got up so early I actually had time to cook something for breakfast (plus I was out of milk). So I decided to whip up some polenta w/ goat cheese & a sprinkle of Bacos. OhhhhEmmmmmGeeeee… FABULOUS!!! So rich, creamy & filling while only costing me about 300 calories. I sliced four pieces of organic (tube) polenta & cooked it up on a stove top for about 7 minutes with some non-fat cooking spray. The only thing I regret doing was adding salt, it really didn’t need it with the goat cheese & Bacos. Polenta is an ingredient found in several of The Carb Lovers Diet recipes, but I just haven’t gotten around to trying it out yet. If people who read my blog decide to buy the book when in comes out in August, you will wonder why I didn’t try a lot of things!! I guess I just like to stick with a few tried & true items b/c it makes my life less complicated.
Cheers to polenta!!!! A new staple in my diet.