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Total blog views from yesterday: 12,942!!! And I’ve already had close to 4,000 visitors today. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you come back often to see what’s up on The Jen West Quest. 2011 is going to be a great year, and I hope to share it with all of you!
Yesterday was a complete blur. It started at 5:30 a.m. for a 60 minute run with my friends Vero & Brandi, then it ended about 12 a.m. last night when I got home from the fabulous Girl Talk concert. I am just sooooo happy that I’m off of work today (good planning on my part) so I can absorb everything that happened yesterday and respond back to everyone who wrote me on Facebook, Twitter, and this blog!
I got asked some pretty funny, yet relevant, questions after the show aired. Here are a few of the best:
Were you making pasta soup? Why were you pouring milk into a bowl of noodles? Yuck!
I was not making pasta soup, though it did look like that on TV! I do like to add 1% milk to my whole grain pasta along with light butter, garlic powder, parmesan, salt and pepper. It makes a nice light flavorful sauce that I really enjoy. I guess somewhere in the editing the rest of that got lost… and they held the shot of me pouring the milk a little to long.
I thought you lost 47 pounds, but on the show they said you lost 40?
At that moment in time (the show was shot in October), my goal weight was 150 and I was 152. After reaching 150, I decided to go for 145 because I still had the extra pounds to lose. I also think my body has changed a great deal since then because of exercise and strength training!
Did you have to get a spray tan?
Ohhhhhhh yes indeed. Click here to read more about that experience!
That cheeseburger you ate looked really gross. Was it good? Why did they make you eat it?
The cheeseburger was in fact very disgusting since it had been sitting out for about a good 2-3 hours before they had the chance to film me eating it. The carrot cake, however, was pretty delicious! Eating those types of foods represented my bad eating habits from the past.
Was Rachael Ray nice?
For the 3 or 4 minutes I actually got to be around her, yes, she was extremely nice & personable. She even stopped to talk to me for a second or two after we filmed the bikini clip and told me that she loved reading my blog & liked my new haircut!
Was it cold in your bathing suit? Did it feel awkward to be standing there with practically no clothes on?
Yes, and YES. I had a major dilemma with what to do with my arms and hands. Since I had no pockets or a place to rest them, I had to really plan out what how I was going to stand there. Isn’t that a strange thing to worry about??? And it was super cold, it literally had to be in the 60′s in the studio itself.
What do you think will happen next?
I don’t know the answer to this question. It was amazing to have such a huge opportunity, and you always hope it will lead to more doors being opened. Or at least I do! At this point, I expect the unexpected. I would have never anticipated Rachael Ray calling me up, but she did! I am just going to keep my 2011 goals the same – to finish my book, complete my first Ironman, play around with Ghost Ghirls, blog every day… and just be myself!
(Please excuse the poor sound quality in the video below… it was just too much fun not to share!)
For those of you visiting my blog for this first time, please read about my full Rachael Ray experience by clicking here! Below is my post from this morning before the show aired. So glad you came to visit my blog and I hope you visit often!
Oh. Geez. I. Am. So. Nervous. And. Excited. That. I. Might. Die… Seriously. Die. Or, implode.
Last night I was so amped up on adrenaline that I couldn’t sit still! At this very moment, it’s T-minus 2 hours until my TV will be turned on to the Rachael Ray Show, where I will watch myself prance around in a bikini in front of the whole entire freakin’ world. Pale as the winter snow. Knee caps bobbing up and down from excitement (God I hope they didn’t get that on camera…). I was the happiest girl in the world that day!!! And despite my nerves, I am equally as happy TODAY.
After RR, I am doing the FOX 6 midday show for those of you in the Birmingham area that can watch. If you aren’t local, then I will post the midday clip as well as the Rachael Ray segment on my blog tomorrow for everyone to see. In the meantime, you can learn more about my experience in New York by reading this story on Magic City Post.
Before I go… I want to say thank you to my running partners Vero & Brandi for taking on an extra challenging run this morning with me. It helped me blow off some serious steam! I love my girls.
Today’s blog post is sponsored by the Naked Art Gallery since David & Vero were kind enough to find me a celebratory Girl Talk ticket for tonight’s sold out concert! LYMI
Weigh-In Wednesday #40 – 145.2
FUN STATS: This is my 294th blog post, on my 280th day since starting The Jen West Quest! How’s that for some numbers? While looking through my stats this morning, I also discovered that I had a total of 76,217 blog views in 2010. My busiest day so far was December 1st with 3,102 views. Thank you so much for being interested in my life!!
One race at a time. One month at a time. One week at a time. One day at a time. One workout out at a time. As I was trying to motivate myself through my bike workout last night, it occurred to me that all I have is this moment. This one chance to get closer to my goals. It’s just a small step among many that leads to something much bigger than myself. There is no time to put anything off, all we have right now.
I had a huge non-scale victory last night – I did 30 strong push-ups! Back when I started this blog I couldn’t do 2. My upper body is finally responding to the strength sessions that I’ve been doing for the past few months. I can’t wait to have strong & defined shoulders just like a real swimmer! I’m becoming an athlete right before my very eyes. When I reach my new goal weight of 140, I am going to post an updated bikini photo so you can see the difference.
As promised, below is my 2011 timeline chart. I will edit & add to it as the year progresses. It’s just nice to have a solid starting point!
(Click chart to enlarge.)
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!!!
Yesterday I asked for feedback on my blog from a few honest friends. It was pretty unanimous – I am writing too much about health & fitness, and not enough about me. I would have to agree with them… the only problem is that I am living and breathing it 24/7! It is hard not to think about anything else sometimes. On any given normal day, I have 4 important things to accomplish: write in my blog, eat well, get my exercise in and do my job. There isn’t much time for anything else. Then they asked me a question that I’ve been getting a lot lately – why am I blogging everyday? Because I want to. Blogging everyday makes me happy, and I don’t want to stop! But I don’t want to be boring… that’s the last thing I want to happen.
I think my blog will go through phases of peaks & valleys, just like life. After all I am writing Every. Single. Freakin’. Day. When I was blogging about weight-loss, that appealed to a lot of people because it was inspiring. It was something tangible that happened before our eyes. It’s hard to beat a good before & after photo! Now that my goals have shifted to maintenance and sports, it might be a little harder for every person to relate to.
I asked for some ideas from the friends who gave me the feedback to see what they’d like to read more about. They said that they find themselves interested in a lot of the people I hang around with, and they miss reading about the “Jen West” philosophy on life. I’m going to think on those suggestions and see what sort of creative ideas I can come up with! If you have any thoughts, please feel free to leave them as a comment or message me privately on Facebook. Honestly… it could be as easy as answering a silly question each day or doing a video on a specific topic, just something to get me out of my blog box!! Seriously – I am taking requests so put it OUT THERE and I might just do it. But just FYI – I will always blog about exercise b/c it is such an important part of my life. Especially since I want to finish my first full Ironman in 2011!
GOOD NEWS – I found out my Rachael Ray segment is going to air on January 20th!!! AAwewEWOwewooo!!! <— (That was excitement.) It airs on FOX 6 at 10 a.m. for those of you here in Birmingham. Annnnnnd, since the newest Health magazine issue is out, it’s finally OK to post my full “I Did It” article! (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday over lunch I went and took some photos for the new Carb Lovers book along with a few other ladies who experienced significant weight loss. It was a lot of fun!! I really need to get some sort of help when it comes to posing, I found myself standing there several times without anything new to offer. Does anyone know if Jay Manuel from America’s Next Top Model is available? Just kidding. I actually saw a lot of the photos and they turned out really great. I did some in an “everyday” type of outfit, then I did the rest in my bikini. Ha!!! There’s nothing on me that a little bronzer can’t fix!
It could just be my imagination, but I am beginning to notice little indentations on my stomach that might be caused by something called… muscle. YES!!!! Seriously, if I start having definition there I might just die from excitement. I never thought my body was capable, but it indeed is. Self high-five!
My split long run went really good yesterday even though it was a difficult challenge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, running on a treadmill is nothing short of mind-numbing. I can’t wait to do my next one outside this weekend… looks like the weather is going to be a bit warmer. Woohoo!
Since I have been working out significantly harder these days, I’ve started to increase my daily caloric intake gradually. For the past month or two after reaching my target weight, it’s been a big experiment to try to maintain while doing more exercise. I’ve seen the scale go up a few pounds, as well as go down a few pounds. I’m no expert, but it seems like it’s the body’s natural rhythm to do just that. My ultimate goal is to still be 142, and I still think that will happen very soon… but it’s not my main focus. It’s amazing to say, but I’m extremely happy just the way I am right now.
Mike’s Lounge Guys show last night in Montgomery didn’t disappoint! I had such a good time hanging out with Mike’s parents along with a glass of red wine in my hand. Lots of laughs! I am posting a fun video clip below so you can get an idea of what it was like.
It was supposed to be sunny today, instead it looks pretty cold & murky. I am going for a 6 mile run outside at some point this morning and tomorrow I will be going for a 15-16 mile run on my own. Eeeegads! I guess it’s important to mention at this point that I’m feeling much better… otherwise I’d be laid up in bed this weekend. I actually didn’t lose any training days this week due to my annoying cold, which I am so grateful for. After tomorrow’s run I will have logged 36 miles this week! Isn’t that crazy??? My body is doing really great with it too. I haven’t had any injuries (knock on wood) or soreness to deal with. It’s pretty amazing what you can train to do when you do it gradually.
A really fun video was posted of me on the CarbLovers website yesterday. There are two versions – a short one that pops up on the right side of the page when you first pull it up and a longer version to the left that you can click on to view. Click here to watch!
I got some exciting news a few days ago – B-Metro Magazine (a local publication) asked me to be in their monthly B Yourself column for January! They are going to show one of my Birmingham Bombshell photographs with the measuring tape and I’ve already submitted the Q&A for the article. I can’t wait to see it!!! So much FUN.
I guess it’s time for me to drag my butt on this run so I can go about my other plans for the day. Happy Saturday!
I am in shock… yesterday I had close to 3,000 visits to my blog for my Birmingham Bombshell post! As the day went on the numbers just kept going up & up. It was a bigger day than when I announced that I would be on the Rachael Ray Show in January (date still TBD)! It’s all because of CarbLovers (a diet by the editors of Health Magazine), and I am so grateful.
My marathon training has been going well this week despite feeling under the weather because of a stubborn cold. Tonight I have a 40-45 minute speed interval workout planned, then tomorrow is an off day. Even though speed intervals are harder than a regular run, they go by faster b/c you break down the time into specific segments. Vero and I have been doing a lot of short interval work lately (bursts of sprinting at about 90%), but I am going to make the swap over to longer intervals since I am training for a marathon. So basically I will break up the 40 minute workout to include running 1/2 miles at about 80% with a 1/4 mile recovery in between. This will help me to become a faster runner, and I will continue doing this workout once a week until the race.
Today is Thursday, so time for Mike to make his appearance! He is working really hard this week to practice for some big shows he is in this weekend (Montgomery) and next (Birmingham) called A Very Lounge Christmas. These are some of my favorite shows that he does all year! With that being said, he told me to tell you guys that he hasn’t made much progress on the rest of his end-of-year goals... but not to fear, he has a plan! By this time next week, I feel pretty confident that he will get to add another piece of clothing.
Just for the fun of it, I am posting two more photos from my Birmingham Bombshells shoot. They are below Mike’s weekly bikini picture! (He is such a good sport, I drug him out of bed this morning to take his photos.) It’s all in the name of accountability! Right?
Today I am Thankful for:
1. My new pair of running shoes!!!
2. Having the will & motivation to run a 10k before all of our Thanksgiving festivities (see photos below!).
3. …and for BEATING my last 10k time by 30 seconds!!! (52:30)
4. The best Belgian running partner a girl could ask for… Vero!
5. Mikalicious! (Aka Mike, my husband.)
6. The BEST FAMILY EVER.
7. My new 7 day old niece Lily.
8. My 10 month old niece Anna Marie who is thisclose to walking and taking over the world.
9. My new body, which is almost 50 pounds lighter than it was 7 months ago.
10. I AM THANKFUL FOR BEING IN HEALTH MAGAZINE THIS MONTH!!!!
11. I am thankful that because of my weight-loss success on The CarbLovers Diet, I got to meet Rachael Ray & be on her talk show. (Will air in January, exact date TBD.)
12. For my book that I am writing, even though it is damn hard to do.
13. For 2011, and every year after that I get to be here on this earth.
14. Amazing friends, new & old.
15. Pecan pie.
16. For Mike getting to put his clothes back on as he reaches all of his goals! Speaking of which… he gets to put on 1 sock for getting halfway through his short film script this week (Goal #2). Go Mike!!!
Weigh-In Wednesday #34: 144.8
I’ve been so lucky in life to have some of the best friends. One of those, Lee Ann, no longer lives nearby but she’s always in my mind & heart. Earlier this year in March, her 59-year-old mother suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. When her mom was our age, she was an amazing runner clocking in at less than 40 minutes for 5 mile runs. Yesterday, she learned to jog again. What an amazing thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Lee Ann used to always say “Keep going!” when the going got tough, or when you were working really hard to attain a goal. She said it in a way that would make you laugh and made it impossible to forget. Last night Lee Ann told me that she learned that phrase from her mom. So no matter how hard things might be, no matter how close or far you are from where you want to be… Keep going! Words to live by every day no matter the circumstance.
Tomorrow morning Vero and I will be running in a 10k to celebrate the life of another inspiring person – Sam Lapidus, a 14-year-old boy who died from Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of cancer that attacks your bones. Sam was a lover of fitness, so every year his family holds this run on Thanksgiving day in memory of him. Click here to learn more about the race.
I needed a little dose of perspective after being stuck in my own head for the past few days. I am so fortunate to have a body that is healthy and does what I ask of it. Tomorrow, instead of obsessing over how many calories are in this or that, I am going to embrace the day and celebrate everything life has to offer. This doesn’t mean overeating – instead, I will enjoy in moderation. Balance. (Maybe I should get that tattooed on my body somewhere…)