Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving & An EP Turkey Trot 5K Recap




Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. My health, the health of my loved ones, my family, great friends (both old and new), my wonderful job, our lovely home, time to myself, 50 fewer pounds... I could keep going, but I think you get my point. It had been a blessed year, and I am truly thankful!

Today I am overbooked, which is a blessing in and of itself. I will be going to two different places for Thanksgiving, so I have to pace myself with all the food! Then I am spending the night at my friend's house and we are making an early morning visit to the gym to burn some of it off.

This morning I ran my second annual EP Turkey Trot 5K race, and I had another PR. I also ran it 7 minutes and 10 seconds faster than last year, and that is something to cheer about! It was a very cold and raining morning, but we were lucky enough to have the rain hold off during the race itself, and I was not cold with all the exertion so no problem there.

I ran the race by myself last year, but this year I had two friends come and run it with me. We had dramatically different paces, so we did not truly run together, but it was nice to have friends with me!

I hope that you all have a wonderful day with your friends and family, and that you spend your weekend as you like whether that is shopping, relaxing, or visiting with family and friends.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coasting

The past couple of months have brought little on the weight loss front. Maybe 2 pounds, if that. I was really framing this the wrong way until it hit me yesterday that I have basically maintained my weight for several months, and that it is actually a great achievement.

I have spent my adult life in only one of two modes: Weight Loss Mode or Weight Gain Mode. Either I was following my plan and getting the high of losing weight and changing my body, or I was tossing everything healthy out the window and strapping on the high cal feed bag. In all honesty, there has been no middle ground.

These past few months have been a mini-cycle of gain a few and then lose a few. It seems really frustrating, but when I really think about it this is probably going to be my real life pattern once I hit my goal. Events will come along, bad days will happen, and then I will have to get a little strict with myself and get back to my happy weight place. So this has been really good practice because that is what I have been doing. I have had several big weekends or events and have even been up 5 pounds at one point, but then I went back to basics and took them off again in a healthy way.

I was hoping to be at my WW goal weight (which is about 10 pounds higher than my current personal goal weight) by the time the big 4-0 came around in December, but it is not going to happen. And I am okay with this because, honestly, I can live with being 8 pounds away from that. It is a lot closer than I would ever have believed a couple of years ago. I am not going to link that goal weight to start of 2010, either, because I expect that I will continue to be in maintain mode over the holidays. But next year is my year to meet my goals, and that is certainly something to smile about. It is now within reach!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Photo Opportunity

I don't know about you, but I have always hated the camera. I don't like to look at pictures of myself because all I see is what is wrong with me in the photo. Of course, there have been a handful of pictures that I have liked throughout the years, but not enough to make me comfortable in front of a camera.

My daughter is now 7 years old. When I look through pictures of me at that age, I see so many of me alone, my brother and me, my father and me, and even my father and brother and me. I do not see very many of my mother, either with me, with anyone else, or alone. My mother hated the camera, and refused to have her picture taken except under great duress.

There are so few pictures of my daughter and me together. She will have the same experience looking back on her life that I have looking back on mine. And frankly, that is sad. Sad enough that I scheduled a photo session for us to have our first photos taken together.

That session was scheduled for last Saturday. I spent many a night before it researching what to wear to look best in photos and how to apply makeup for photos, and I made sure that all of our clothes were ready well ahead of time. I was seriously nervous.

I asked my mother to join us for some three generation shots... and she consented. So when the big day came, I prayed for nice weather so that we could go outside and take the shots as I pictured in my mind. And we did indeed have beautiful weather! So we went outside to the forest surrounding my house, and we took about 220 pictures. The hour went by quickly, and then it was just a wait to see the proofs online which were supposed to be posted Monday or Tuesday.

As the days passed by and our photos did not find their way up to the site, I became increasingly nervous. My mind was twisting with thoughts that the pictures were terrible and the photographer needed to do extra work to make some of them look okay. Monday... Tuesday... Wednesday morning came and went, so I wrote to the photographer just to make sure that I was looking in the right place. At noon on Wednesday, they showed up for viewing. And I was more nervous than ever.

Suffice it to say that there are some beautiful shots. Of the 220 photos, I placed almost half in my Favorites link on her site. I cannot stop looking at them because I see the love between us, our smiling faces, and happiness.

I never would have done this last year. Losing the weight gave me confidence and made me open to taking these photos with my daughter and my mother. We have some photos that will only become more precious as the years pass and the events that befall us all come to pass. And I hope that this is just the start of photo sessions to come so that my daughter does not find herself upset by the fact that she has no pictures of herself as a child with her mother when she is 30 years older than she is today.

Total NSV.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Low Down On My Weigh In

Drumroll, please......

I was down 6.6 pounds at the week's WW at Work weigh in!

That's the good news. The reality of that is that I had put on several pounds these past few weeks, so I am actually down 1.4 pounds from my low weight, and the other 5.2 was "fluff removal" from bad choices in October.

Either way, I'll take it! Onward and downward on the scale I go!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a Weekend!

Chicago had a warm and sunny weekend after a summer and fall of relative cold weather. It's amazing what a couple of 70 degree days can do for the spirit!

I usually attend a 60 minute Zumba class on Saturday morning, but this Saturday I decided to skip the indoor class and take my workout outside to enjoy what may be one of the last beautiful Saturdays before winter descends upon our fair city. I strapped on my iPod, Garmin 405, and heart rate monitor and hit the sidestreets of this beautiful tree city. The songs that were popping up on shuffle seemed perfect in the filtered sunlight and breeze: Fields of Gold, Blow Away, and other less pounding music. I had no real time or agenda in mind, and decided to just slow down my pace and make it a long run.

Five miles and an hour later, I made my way back to my mom's door (I usually do my outdoor runs in her neighborhood because she will watch my daughter for me), and she was waiting outside all worried because I was gone for so long! But it was a wonderful run, and it left me itching for another one.

Saturday night I went into the city for coffee, a movie, and dinner (in that order). I am working really hard to break the self-imposed poor eating habits plateau that I have been on since Sepetember, so I was determined to choose wisely. After a beautiful evening wandering the city streets, I had a healthy and delicious meal of apple salad with celery root, pumpkin seeds, and shaved aged gouda, red squash with burrata cheese and apple balsamic, and brussel sprouts and chestnuts in a balsamic reduction. It was delicious, and I enjoyed every bite!

Sunday was another gorgeous day, and I worked hard to fit in another run. Since I had done a long one yesterday, I chose a 3 mile path that took me just over thirty minutes.

All of these things set me up for an evening of cooking and food prep for this week. I made spinach pie, which should cover me for three lunches this week, cut up cucumbers and peppers, and packed daily servings of sugar snap peas to reduce the morning rush to get food ready for work each day.

Tomorrow I have my Weight Watchers at Work meeting, and I expect a nice loss. I bet it would have been better had AF not shown up a bit early, but a loss is a loss and I want to be back on that path.

I am off to bed now so that I can get up a bit earlier than my usual 5:30 a.m. in order to get in a weight workout before heading off to work for the day. Here's to a great week!