I am participating in 90 Mile November!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6: Another day of rest

I don't have any data for today either - I ended up spending most of the day putting together lunches for the next thirty days.

I cooked a large pot of rice and a large pot of whole wheat noodles, about 20lbs of veggies and 4lbs of chicken, and a large pot of spaghetti sauce. I then put it all together in a variety of different combinations and stuck them in freezer bags in two-meal portions (to share with my mother who works in the office with me) - which helps with portion control and not buying something filled with sodium and other crap from the cafeteria. I was so sore from standing at the counter for hours chopping and stirring that I didn't get any real mileage in, and I didn't track my food because I was just sticking a little something from everything in there - but still think I stayed within my calories for today.

Tomorrow, I am back at it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5: Day of rest

Today, I decided to take a break. I had a bunch of stuff to do that mostly involved sitting in a car, driving around. I didn't track my calories either. I was doing alright until after the "movie theatre popcorn in place of super" when my body wanted supper, and my dad wanted a McDonald's drive-thru. Five chicken nuggets came to rest in my belly. No fries, though - it could have been six nuggets, a large fry and another litre of Diet Coke. I will be back at it tomorrow. We stocked up on a ton of fresh vegetables and whole grains to put together some personal sized meat/sauce/veggies type of meals to keep at work so we're not constantly going downstairs to the cafeteria to get things that aren't good for us.

I didn't have any time for a workout today, either, but I will definitely be getting in at least my 3 miles on foot, maybe some more on horseback if things work out the right way. :)

Calorie Budget: 1,938
Calories In: No idea!
Calories Burnt: None, officially.
Balance: Not sure.

14.61 miles into 90 Mile November.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4: Hungry day...

I'm feeling hungry. I don't know why but some days, I just feel like I can't be sated. Today is the first day since I started this that I went over my calories. I could have made some smarter choices and got more bang for my buck, pretty much.

I had a big morning in the gym - I "only" did three miles but they were hard come by on the treadmill and the elliptical. I also did some weight training which I haven't done in a while. I am sure I will feel this tomorrow!

I am still working on getting an accurate "first day" weight. Little late, huh? After I get that reading, I will be off the scale until December 1st!

Calorie Budget: 1,938
Calories In: 2,679
Calories Burnt: -694
Balance: -28

14.61 miles into 90 Mile November.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3: Indulging a little bit

Overall, I felt good about the day. I am getting better at controlling my snacking during the day and after supper. G did bring me the most delicious mint chocolate latte ever... and I had a mini O'Henry bar - I will be glad when these Halloween treats are gone! I decided that the mini bar was COMPLETELY NOT WORTH 120 calories. Too "expensive", as I call it. I would have been satisfied with just the latte at the end of the day.

I also have taken up eating vegetables WITHOUT putting butter on them. Brussel sprouts and carrots are actually really interesting and yummy flavours on their own without being drowned in salt, butter or cheese. It tastes different, sure, but not worse, not in the least bit! I'm feeling strong.

Calorie Budget: 1,938
Calories In: 2,126
Calories Burnt: -297
Balance: 128

11.61 miles into 90 Mile November.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2: Making Better Choices

Yesterday, I said "no" to a pumpkin cookie (I love ANY baking good with pumpkin in it!) and today, I perused a bowl of mini chocolate bars before deciding not to take any at all and eating a fat-free yogurt instead. THEN, when presented with a chocolate covered peanut butter ball, I gave it to my neighbour. I just have to do this for 28 more days!

Calorie Budget: 1,938
Calories In: 1,928
Calories Burnt: 416
Balance: 426

6.11 miles into 90 Mile November.

Hopefully tomorrow or the day after, I will have a chance to get a little more in-depth about my plan, but tonight, G came along with me for my 3.28 miles worth of walking and my pace increased and I shaved about 20 seconds off of my per-mile time, which was pretty good. My calves and my hips are pretty tight and a little sore from this (and riding my horse on Saturday which was the first occurrence of that in some time!), but I am feeling good, already feeling lighter!

I had one of my favourites tonight for supper, too - Teriyaki Experience but realized it is FULL of sodium, so... *sigh*

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day One - Getting Moving Again...

I've made a decision about November. That decision is pretty easy. Get it right. Finish the job. The last two weeks, I have been far too indulgent. I don't have a lot of time before my imposed bedtime to outline the whole plan, but I want to report on today at the very least.

Calorie Budget: 1,938
Calories In: 2,252
Calories Burnt: 375
Balance: 61

2.83 miles into 90 Mile November.

Loose thoughts:

- If you can't count it out, don't put it in your mouth.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Taking Responsibility

It's Friday, I know, I am supposed to write a favourite on my equine blog. Thing is, I have something else on my mind. It's not really horse related, but it's applicable, and it is relevant, and it belongs to both of my blogs. Maybe this tough-love entry is for my benefit more than anybody else's, but hey - maybe someone else can benefit from it, too.

My life has undergone a few drastic changes in the last couple of years - it started with my brain, that part of myself that suddenly decided to find worth and value in myself as a person - the part that realized that if I wanted something to happen, I was going to have to work toward making it happen myself. That doesn't mean that I haven't had help along the way from an excellent support structure but that does mean that I had to start the ball rolling, nobody else could do it for me. And it's a lot easier to get help to get to your final destination if you're already on the journey - don't forget that everybody else is on their own journey and had to find their motivation to get onto that journey on their own, they don't have the energy left to start you out. This falls into the category of "you can really only help those who help themselves".

This also falls into the category of "fall down seven times, get up eight." Even if you have a couple of false starts, it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. They don't write news reports and history books about people who never had the strength to start the journey in the first place. When is the last time you heard about a guy who never waged a war against inequality?

What counts is that you don't let yourself down. If you're not happy with where you are, change it. This doesn't mean that you're going to go from homeless to rockstar in one day (unless, of course, you make it on some reality talent show, of course) - and I think that is the part where many people get frustrated and give up before they even begin. They get overwhelmed by the magnitude of their dream - they neglect to work out a road map so that they can measure their progress and consider anything except the realization of the goal to be failure. Start small. Make the small changes in your life that will add up to the big ones. Set small goals that make up the large goals. Celebrate the progress. Take it one day at a time.

Sometimes the progress is going to be just getting out of bed in the morning, looking yourself in the mirror and smiling, whether you feel like it or not.

Set a big goal today. Track the progress. Tell somebody - share it - make the good things happen for yourself. You deserve it as much as anybody does - maybe more!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Something good, something bad.

Wow, what a blur October has been already! Between getting sick straight off of my run and dealing with that (and out of exercise for about a week) and then the Thanksgiving long weekend, I have hardly had a chance to breathe, but I HAVE GOOD NEWS. I decided, last week, to start tracking my calories zealously. I used to think I had a good handle on tracking calories but I had fallen out of the habit. By logging everything via my Loseit Android App, I am running into situations where I am thinking before putting something in my mouth. Am I really hungry or am I eating because this is a time of day when I normally would? Am I really hungry or am I eating because I'm bored? Am I really hungry or am I eating because this is traditionally when I put something sweet in my mouth? It has really helped me to look at the way that I see food and the way that I want food. It's a little bit of a break through.

Speaking of break throughs, I was completely inspired by Bob Harper's comments on nutrition to his team on Biggest Loser last night! While I have never hidden to eat (save one time and I was so mortified by the fact that I had done it in the first place that I don't think I ever will again!), the idea of balancing those things that you love into a healthy lifestyle is what I have been getting at for a long time. You just need to learn to measure it out, balance it in to still get the results that you want. He also expounded on the loving yourself enough to make the right choices for yourself.

But anyways! Down to the REAL GOOD STUFF:

I lost 2lbs last week. I worked out a few times. I logged my calories even more than that. I asked myself if I was really hungry when I was reaching for food. I stayed in my calorie budget well. I FINALLY MADE SOME HEADWAY. It is nice to be reminded that you CAN lose weight when you put your mind to it, especially after a long period of slow gain (I still have 13lbs to go to get back to my lowest) or no movement, I think I needed something to show me that yes, I CAN lose weight, because I might have forgotten. These 0.4lb changes are NOT what I want to see anymore.

G is still waiting for his call for the navy. I secretly think that all of the extra time is actually a blessing in disguise for him to keep working at fitness so he will be that much more prepared for basic. It will suck if they call and he only has a week to tie up loose ends and leave, but that's probably a blessing in disguise, too. Kind of like ripping a band aid off. In the meantime, his body is changing like crazy.

And on to the scary stuff. A really inspirational friend of mine who has lost 200lbs posted a link to this on her Facebook group - an article about a study of women who were willing to trade years off their life to have the perfect body. How horrifying is that?

I don't know if it speaks for the pressures of the society we live in (don't want to work for it? have been told they can't succeed?) or the mindset that we have about the "perfect body" (that it all looks like the same thing and that EVERY body should be able to look that way - newsflash - they can't!), but it's pretty scary that these people (93% of which said they had negative thoughts about their bodies in the last week) haven't been empowered enough to love themselves, make the changes, and be happy with themselves at what is "perfect" for them - not by what is seen in a magazine! Scary times, folks. Scary times.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Keep moving!

(I am crossposting a variation of this today on both of my blogs, A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse and Love it, then lose it., because I think it needs to be said on both a healthy lifestyle vein and also the horsey vein!)

I love these little tidbits that I get everyday from SparkPeople.com in my email - they are almost always applicable to the personal emotional journey that I am on in addition to my weight loss journey. This showed up in my email this morning:

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
- Chinese Proverb

I am choosing to take this one both literally and figuratively - in many respects.

On the weight loss front, I have not moved down on the scale in quite a long time - when I do see progress in a downward direction, it is very small and usually short lived, despite trying my best to keeping working out and keep eating well - sometimes, I slip up and eat something that I know full stop is bad for me, but I figure "since I'm not going down anyways, I can allow myself this." - this is a mindset that I need to get rid of completely. I used to be very good at discerning if I actually wanted to eat something that was bad for me because I wanted it or because it was convenient. 9/10 times, I could turn away from the Snickers bar or the piece of pizza because I knew the only reason I wanted it was because it was there, and so was I, and I wouldn't have that chance again later.

I know that eating right is good for me - it feels good - most of the time it tastes good - and it gives my body the correct fuel for the physical activity that I have been engaging in. I still am conscious of how to eat clean - I am going to continue to go - getting moving again. I feel like the above quote needs to go hand in hand with "fall down seven times, get up eight" - some wise words of wisdom for this whole journey.

On a personal level, sometimes the things I want in life take some time to come to fruition - ie right now, my living situation is kind of at a standstill as we wait for G to get the call for training - that can be frustrating - but every day that passes is a day closer to it - I need to remember that even if things are not going at the speed I want them to go - they are still moving, and I am the only one responsible for allowing them to stop.

I am a great one for getting some good steam going - a quick pace, and then burning out. I'm talking about various aspects of my life, really - weight loss, emotional issues, riding, career... Because going slow is scary. Being behind everyone is terrifying for me. I am used to excelling at life, being competitive and good at most things that I put my mind to.

When I graduated from high school, I decided to take a year off to work and then go back to university to complete my BSW specializing in Child Welfare. By the time I got back to university, I was already a year behind all of the friends I had graduated with - my mother graciously suggested, since I did not have enough of a student loan to both keep my apartment and pay my tuition and so would have to work through the school year, that I take part time courses. I didn't want to be any farther behind my friends, so I insisted on taking a full course load and working full time - to get to my goal faster.

The disadvantage to this is that I was so caught up in getting to my destination that I missed a lot of the journey. (For those wondering, student loan pulled all of my finding because I had worked too much and I ended up burning out and dropping out of university and haven't been back since - now I am way more than just 1 year behind my friends!)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fredericton Fall Classic - September 25, 2011 - 5k

Wow... I have so many thoughts after this event. Amazing experience...

I went on a mini road trip with my sister the day before and we didn't get home until much later than planned due to an accidental 1.5 hour detour, so I woke up feeling pretty low energy. I couldn't tell for sure if my upset stomach on the drive to the race (45 minutes) was nerves or the stomach flu that my dad was plagued with on Saturday.

I was about 30 minutes early and got things all looked after at registration, picked up my kit which included my number (which started with a 16, my favourite number, which was a lucky sign), my awesome technical race tshirt and my timing chip for my sneaker. I met up with my really cool non-biological little sister, A, who has run a few 5ks over the last couple of years and was a great source of support (and nerve calming) and, of course, I had my great sister-slash-photojournalist, Shay, with me.

I had looked over the course map but I am terrible at navigation at best, so I had no idea exactly where the path would take us, but it turned out that the majority of it was trail that I had run before with G and his brother. I was also concerned that I would get lost on the trail but was relieved to find lots of arrows taped to the trail and support staff all along the route.

So! What everyone is waiting for! Results:

For those wondering about the numbers, I will break it down for you. :)

86 - my finishing place of 90 in the 5k
1655 - my bib number
Amanda Neal - my name, obviously, haha!
F - female
Central Hainesv - hometown
NB - province
F - female again, just in case you didn't catch it the first time
13/13 - there were 13 in my age/gender division in the 5k and I was bottom of that
F2029 - my division - females aged 20-29
40:55 - my finishing time for 5k
8:11 - my pace per k

As an interesting note, my time for my first K was 7:12 - but when I rounded the corner for the third kilometre (which was also the turnaround point), I was quite sure I was going to hurl. I walked a lot of the way back for this reason, just so as not to shake things up.

But I did learn a lot and will approach my next 5K quite a bit differently, I think:

- I will only take 1 or 2 days off from running pre-race, not 3. Things just did not work out for me to run again after Wednesday night.
- I will definitely get more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep the night prior - and probably the whole week prior.
- More hydration in the days leading up to - I was dryyyyyy!
- Eat cleaner in the days prior, definitely.
- I will carry a water bottle with me on the race. I didn't bring one that was a decent size for me to carry with me (ie I had the big 1.5L one with me which I left with Shay at the finish line) because I thought it would make me obvious as a newb... a LOT of people carried water and as it turned out to be much hotter than originally forecast, I was desperately sorry that I hadn't brought one too!
- I will show up earlier than 30 minutes before my race, to soak up the atmosphere, because it was just way too cool!
- I won't drink the Gatorade - I deliberately avoided dairy products to avoid slime-mouth but then completely sabotaged that by taking the Gatorade at the drink station.
- I won't look back on the trail!

I couldn't get over the awesome atmosphere. I had a brief thought of "what if I am the fattest runner there?" (I wasn't), and "what if I finish last?" (I also didn't, really, and nobody would have known anyways since there were half-marathon and 10k runners coming in through the same finish line with everyone else!). There were so many encouraging people there! Many of the 10k runners or other 5k runners who had already made the turnaround and were passing on the way back shouted words of encouragement as they headed toward the finish line and the atmosphere when I rounded the corner and could see the finish line and hear my group of family and friends cheering for me was a little unlike anything else. I was hoping to get that "tunnel vision" moment that I had at the track last week, but I didn't get any - even so, I had a lot of personal time to reflect on myself and my attitude toward things. Aside from feeling really sick, I had a lot of internal dialogue going on, telling me to keep going, keep pushing. Overall, I loved it, and I can't wait to do it again!

And, the other thing everyone is waiting for - the pictures!

Putting my timing chip on my shoelace.

A and I posing for an obligatory "Pre" shot.

Heading out to line up for the start... I was sooo nervous!

I seem to be freakishly taller than anybody else doing this race.

A coming in for a finish! She was running with a cold, she is a beast is all I can say!

Here I come, they spotted my pink pants a mile away!

This is a picture that I zoomed in and cropped - I love the expression on my face - this was the face I got when I realized I was almost done, I had lived, and I had a group of my family and friends that I love very much waiting at the end for me!

And here I am dragging my big pink butt across the finish line.

If I had thought 60 pounds ago, or even 6 months ago that I would actually be doing this, I would have laughed my face off... but now I want to do it again, as soon as possible! Next run is November 26th... here I come!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brief Glimpses

Last night, I hit the track for my 5k run while G and his brother worked on the shuttle runs that he'll need for BMQ. I didn't feel like running - but Sunday had been my last run and I was feeling like I needed some distance before the race on the 25th. Monday, I rode my horse and was still feeling sore from that, didn't do a thing as a I decadently celebrated my 26th birthday on Tuesday and then hit the gym hard yesterday morning with many of Jillian Michael's Frontside moves for my arms and thighs. Needless to say, I was kind of sore and grumpy when I landed at the track.

The whole 'shit kicking' as they call it, that I put myself through at the track was worth a couple of minutes that I had while on about my fifth lap. It was this brilliant clarity of mind - I was just running - sure, my legs were hurting a little, and my breathing was a bit laboured, but I somehow managed to tune everything out. It was a perfect moment of focus. It lasted about 3/4 of a lap around the track and then I lost it, but it was there, and if it is any indication of "what's to come", I want it!

I have found that distraction is my biggest problem. I enjoy the challenge and comaraderie of running with somebody else but I find I get my best work done when I am only competing with myself. Otherwise, I am trying to chat, paying attention to what the other person is doing, etc. Last night, I had some distractions - there was another runner on the track with us and I met two men walking dogs that cut across it to get to their regular dog walking route - that was enough to put me off rhythm a couple of times. I just need to learn how to give myself tunnel vision a little more firm than it is now, to keep myself heading in the right direction.

Today is the first time, however, that I feel sore, and not a good sore, necessarily. I have taken some Advil - I am not usually a med popper when I am sore, I revel in abs that hurt a little when I stretch or arms that burn when I use them for normal things but this is kind of a "full of lead" type of sore. As the day has worn on, it's gotten a little better - it could be actual fatigue combined with sore muscles - and to add insult to injury, the scales at G's place this morning said I weighed 3lbs more than last week! I have been told you weigh more when you're sore because healing muscles retain water, so I guess we will see in a couple of days how that looks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Little bits of housekeeping that don't warrant a whole entry by themselves:

- On Thursday night, I completed 5.02k in training in 00:40:20 - which is really good, considering that when people ask me about the race on the 25th, I always tell them that my goal is to complete in less than an hour and to not be dead at the end. I was chatting with a friend of mine last night who is also entered in this race and it got me quite excited. Her goal to finish in is 31 minutes - I think I am doing pretty good then!

- The scale has only budged .06lbs (downward) in the last three weeks. I am okay with this. As long as it isn't going up, staying the same is okay, too because I can feel my physical body getting stronger, developing more stamina and I can feel my mental game upping the ante quite a bit, too.

- I ate way too many carbs last night, but that's okay. I started my first day using the LoseIt! app for Android and I love how easy it is, and it's right in the palm of my hand no matter where I am - I can see myself using this tool to it's full benefit.

- I started a round with the Jillian Michaels "Frontside" and "Backside" DVDs - so far I have done the Frontside once with the DVD and once at the gym (minus the cardio intervals because I did cardio prior). The soreness from all of that is almost gone.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So it's official. Entering a 5k is now no longer something that I talk about a lot but never do. The entry part, I have down pat. I'm kind of afraid. But when I get too far on the afraid-o-meter, I swing back, think about how accomplished I am going to feel when I cross that finish line and people that I care about are waiting for me and cheering me on, I feel better. It doesn't matter that I may finish the last of everyone out there. I don't care that it's a race - my placing doesn't matter to me - the fact that I complete what I set out to do matters more. I will finish what I set out to do, and that's final.

As far as weight goes... hmmm. Well, that's an interesting plight, now that you mention it. We have begun the third round of 3-month-long weight loss challenges on the forum for plus sized horseback riders that I operate -- the last two, I have either lost nothing or gained. I started this one at 264 right on the nose. I lost 0.6lbs this week (we weigh on Fridays). I know that 0.6lbs can be almost not on purpose... but I am determined to do more this week. And I am determined not just to do more for my physical health but also more for my mental health - sometimes the two overlap. I don't think I'll mind!

With that said, I am working on a couple of lists. Goal lists, if you will. Weekly fitness goals, a bucket list, and an ongoing list (ie. Read one book a month, it doesn't matter what book it is - just read one.) I will share these once I am finished up - I am actually looking forward to the process as much as anything else!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Battle Scars & Epiphanies

(As a side note, I weighed myself this morning at G's and my body seems downright ADAMANT about staying in the 262-264lb range. Despite pretty consistent exercise over the last several weeks, it is clear that I am going to have to buckle down on my eating habits quite a bit more strictly than I have been. With the addition of my new Android phone, I think this is a good opportunity for me to start toodling with some apps to review!)

Though I have put about 10km on them on my own, my new shoes (and my feet) were really not ready to amp up to 5k at a time. Or it might have been that I don't have appropriate socks for running (or maybe just pushing myself as hard as I pushed last night). Either way, at the halfway point, I was having some serious pain on the heels. By the time we made it back, I had this loveliness:

BUT I finished, and I had a brilliant epiphany during the last running stretch of the evening. The only way that I can explain it is to paraphrase my internal dialogue:

Me: "This sucks and I really want to stop."
Me: "Your breathing is in check, do you need to stop?"
Me: "No, I don't need to stop for my breathing, but I really want to stop."
Me: "Well, why would you want to stop?"
Me: "My legs hurt."
Me: "On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst pain you can ever remember and one being just a minor irritation's worth of pain, how badly to they hurt?"
Me: "2."
Me: "Then why do you want to stop? You have worked through much more pain than this. Your breathing is in check, there are only 30 seconds to this run left, and you're almost home. There is no reason to stop."

And so, well, I didn't. And once I had that little chat with myself, the rest of it felt alright, and I finished in fine form. My legs didn't fall off, and I didn't die, though I did nearly become victim of both a sprained ankle and a concussion at the same time, from falling off the sidewalk. Fortunately, even that was avoided!

So now, it's just the heels that hurt. I think my next stop today will be Running Room for a pair of real socks for running!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mind vs Body

I read somewhere, and it has stuck with me "the mind will give up long before the body does" - so it's not just a matter of training the body to do these challenging physical activities - it's training the mind. I am working on it, little by little.

I ran (and remember when I say run, it's about 50% run/jog and 50% brisk walk at this time, but steadily increasing to more run!) last night and used a visualization technique - I would picture the telephone pole that I would run to before I would take a break and then when I got there, I would go to one more telephone pole. I would think to myself "this is the absolute farthest I can run..." and then once I passed it, I would think "I'm not dead, I can go one more." - eventually, I figure I will be able to use this theory to go 2 more, and then 3 more, and eventually, I will be running the whole way to the halfway mark, and then halfway home again.

The important part for me is to focus on the mark ahead and pick closer ones and then if I want to extend further, to break it up smaller once I get to my original mark. My regular run takes me kind of into a bowl, up the other edge and back again and I do some running both down and uphill as well as on the flat. I have also been working on regulating my breathing, thinking about it and so then I don't end up as often gasping for breath. It is really beginning to become a reality for me to be able to do the 5k. I got this. :)

On the same vein as training/looking after my mind (which is the point of this whole blog) is looking after my body. I do get more achey when I do the run at my place because of the hills - and last night, I noticed some soreness in my knees immediately following running. I applied "ice" (I knew that bag of navy beans would come in handy someday - since I don't know how to cook them!) and they felt better almost immediately. Another going concern is footwear.

I am currently running in a $30 pair of Dr Scholls, which I know is not a good idea. Quite frankly, running in those, on the terrain (highly concussive - pavement!) at the size I am, I am pretty lucky not to have really hurt myself by now. Our local Source For Sports has a "Buy One Get One For a Loonie" sale on until September 18th and while I was originally thinking of seeing if someone would split with me and we could each get a pair of running shoes, right now I am thinking that I probably could use two pairs - one for the gym and one for outdoor running/walking. Once I put that kind of investment into it, I can't give up!

Another thing really fueling my desire to run is the app for MapMyRun.com -- I just got an LG Optimus One android and I got the app almost right away after seeing it on G's iPhone. Since I love to improve on my time, etc - it is perfect! I am also quite excited as I'd like to do reviews of the various apps available in the Android Market for the various calorie counting websites, etc for the blog. Love doodads!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Goals & Accomplishments

One of the things that I like the best about this whole weight loss mission is setting goals and reaching them, or making lists and ticking things off of them. I love to set a goal to do something X times per week and meeting that goal.

It is with this in mind (as well as the need for G to get in shape and my subsequent support and participation) that I have decided that I am going to run the 5K Citizens’ Run & Walk at the Fall Classic Road Race on September 25th, 5 days after I turn 26. Everybody who has found out that I have the intention to run a 5k wants to know what time I want to finish in... I keep telling them that I just want to finish! To give it some relevance, I completed 5.44k the other night with G and his brother in 1:01:10 and I did 3.43k in 0:29:38 tonight - it took me about 31 minutes to finish that on July 26th.

The best part of deciding to run this 5k is that my friend, Jill from Scuffed Boots Photography invited me to come to Moncton to run the Miss Movember 5k for Prostate Cancer on November 26th, so I will have a "starting point" with the September 5k and then be able to compare in November. These are the sorts of things that I enjoy, just like seeing how much time I am shaving off of my times for running each time I go out.

So this is what I am working for right now. G is working for Basic... I am working for these two 5k events. I think I need a new pair of sneakers...

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I inherited a deep love for horses, and horseback riding - I grew up on a farm with horses always around, and so I find that, by times, I compare most things in life to horses. For example, last night during what we've come to dub as a "run" (it's actually a walk/jog/run split - not a full run... yet!), I concluded (but I must admit I was aided in coming to this conclusion by G's brother) that G and I are like two distinctly different breeds of horse.

G is like an Arabian. They are commonly used in endurance racing - this is the breed of horse you hear about making a 30 day race across the desert. Industrious, they have the stamina to go forever. (The thought also came up that G is stubborn, like a mule - I concluded that he is, indeed, an Arabian mule.)

Myself, on the other hand, am a lot more like a quarter horse. They are named such because they are the fastest horse over a quarter of a mile. I could sprint off pretty quickly but eventually the brothers caught up and surpassed me, even if I could hold them (or at least G!) off for a period of time, he could run twice as long as I could at a steady pace.

Overall, though, it was good. It was helpful to have G's brother, who is fitter than us (but not uber-fit... yet!). I can only push G to the limits of what I can do - and he can only really push me as far as he can push himself because it's pretty useless to say "Go faster! Don't worry, I'll catch up! Save yourself-... oh wait, this isn't that kind of movie...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Without forgiveness life is governed by...an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

- Roberto Assagioli

I got this quote this morning in my inbox from SparkPeople.com, a really useful resource tool for weight loss. I thought it was interesting and timely (nothing happens for no reason in my life, I'm telling you!) considering that I spent much of the day yesterday reading through my blog on SparkPeople. There are at least three major "start overs" since 2006, where I've dropped off on my journey but come back with a renewed vigor. There is a lot of "I can't believe that I let myself down". There is a lot of really good, inspirational stuff there, too. A lot of methods that worked that I had forgotten about. Goal setting week by week has really helped, etc. The fact of the matter is that while I was reading through all of the "I've really let myself down", and "I can't believe I did this to myself... again!", and then even the more positive messages that I was writing for myself, one thought kept running through my mind... Fall down seven times, get up eight.

I think that is probably the mantra of my life, and probably what I should have named the blog. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Particularly in this venue in my life, as long as I keep trying, I get credit. And so, with that in mind, I got a 3 mile workout in last night with one of my Leslie Sansone DVDs -- I almost fell prey to many of the issues that impede my workout - sometimes there is a lot of work to do in the barn and I don't get a chance to do much to myself until quite late at night. Last night, for example, we were drenching sheep and lambs and it was about 9 when I got into the house - too dark to go for a run AND nobody had had supper yet, plus I had to do a load of laundry.

The first thing I did was get on my workout clothes. I find if I am at least in my clothes, I have less of an excuse, and I feel silly putting them on and then NOT working out. Then I put on the DVD and let it sit at the splash page so Leslie was watching me as I started the washer filling, put on supper, filled the washer with clothes - by that time, supper was mostly cooked so I could turn the stove and the Foreman grill off and let it finish itself with the residual heat while I got my workout started. Reasonable compromise, I think! And I felt pretty dang good even though I was seriously dragging at the end of it, and sweating like crazy! Funny how I look at sweat like an accomplishment now, and before, I didn't like sweating at all, and that was part of my aversion to exercise!

In other brief news, I feel like my clothes are fitting too tight lately, and my face looks like a teenage boy's. Also, G has lost something like 11lbs in the last couple of weeks so I need to seriously step up my game!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I hit the gym this morning for the first time this week. I didn't have a lot of time, so I hit cardio - I know I can do weights at home (well, I CAN do cardio, too - but weights are easier to get done at home and less time consuming than cardio), since I haven't run in two days. Usually, I get 1.5 miles on the elliptical with intervals in approximately 21 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself finishing my 1.5 miles with about a minute and a half to spare. I don't know if it is because of the running, but I like it! Since I haven't been seeing much movement on the scale, I am happy to see differences in fitness like such. Also, the cramping in my calf went away. :)

But anyways, back to the gym - I used to have a really hard time going to the gym. I have never been overly self conscious, but any person who has spent any amount of time being overweight can often tell you that you develop a complex. Oh em gee, is that person looking at me? What are they thinking? Why aren't they even sweating at all? I wish I could go as fast as they are. They are probably mentally berating me for being so fat, so slow! - and that's only what happens in the gym! It's almost as bad if you're in public eating healthy - That person is probably thinking 'Look at that fat slob - if they would have learned to eat a salad years ago, they wouldn't look like that now.' - and then if you're in public treating yourself to something that's not as good for you - I can just hear him saying now 'Come on, Tubby, shovel it in! Your fatness is your own fault.'

In reality - I don't know if that's what people think, but that's what my mind tries to tell me that they're thinking when they see me in public. In all reality, I suspect that guy at the gym is too busy watching himself lift in the mirror, that lady at Subway is too busy counting her own calories, and that teenaged boy at McDonald's is too busy texting his friends about the latest video game release to really be thinking those things... so why does my brain tell me that they are?

And the silly thing is that, as a general rule, I don't think those things about myself. I don't think things like "fat slob", or "lazy" (okay, well, I am lazy, and I've admitted it, but you know!) when I think about myself. I don't know if society has programmed me to think feel that way or if there is some intrinsic inner working of my own that has this thought process genetically hardwired into me.

What I do know is that sometimes, I feel like wearing a shirt with a picture of me before I lost the weight I have so far so that people can see how far I have come instead of how much farther I still have to go! My body is a pretty incredible machine to consider - from where it came to where it is now and where I know it can go. A friend of G's who has lost an incredible 185lbs and recently been featured on Bob Harper's Facebook page posted something to the effect of "you must push the mind to push the body". It's a learning curve, but I think by identifying it, I will eventually get there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Forming a habit, and taking responsibility for myself...

So I ran the 2.9km again tonight (in 31 minutes, shaving 4 minutes off of my time!) - this time, my buddies included my Morrie, and then also these two - Shay and her labracollie, Psyche.

I won't lie - despite the fact that there are 8 years between us, Shay is one of my best friends. I think the age difference has helped me to appreciate watching her grow up and mature and develop into a member of society that I am proud to have had a hand in raising. Anyways - she's looking to loose a few pounds that crept on during her senior activities in school this spring, and having someone at home to do this with me is very helpful.

I was a wee bit apprehensive because it was almost dark by the time I finished visiting with my friend, Tiffany, who is visiting from out of town and got on my running duds. The stretch of road that I have chosen to run on is known to have a moose or two on it and there have been bear spotted there as well. Fortunately, we only saw four ducks (which made me scream) and a beaver (which made my Shay scream) and were not run down by any angry mama mooses, which, I would say, makes this a resounding success!

I did intend to run this morning before work as I had what amounts to possibly the worst meal ever (short of eating a half-dozen KFC Double Downs) at Pizza Delight last night and felt terrible afterwards (trust me, my body is still trying to dump all that grease and fat out of my system and I still don't feel quite right!) but didn't get the chance to run because we got home from town so late that the chores needed done and I didn't have any help - and well, by the time that the chores were done, it was so late and I was so caustic that bed was the best idea.

You see, I think that half the battle with this weight loss thing is the mind game. The emotions, the negative self talk, and the internal dialogue that you carry on inside without ever exposing can be the most damaging, not just slipping up and having McDonald's for supper one night on the way home from work. Once you start down the slippery, toxic slide of negative talk, you're pretty much a goner. Trust me, I false-started many a weight loss journey prompted by the negativity and ended up in a firey blaze at the end, without having lost any weight - or if I had lost it, without being able to keep it off. Interesting, huh?

So once I start down the path of the Sneaky Hate Spiral, the best thing for me to do is sleep it out. Or ride a horse. Since it was almost 10:30 at night, the best option was to sleep it out. I set my alarm so I could get up before work at 5 and run then, but once 5 rolled around, I reset my alarm for six and got more sleep than I have gotten in quite some time. It felt good, it was what I needed. Interesting thing about sleeping is that if you do it while you're trying to lose weight, it's easier to lose the weight. There are studies to back this up, I promise, I am just too lazy to find them on the internet!

Now I am looking forward to a second night run in a row with the boy-hereafter-known-as-"G" tomorrow night - again back to a flat spot, which is good because I'm experiencing some cramping in my left calf (this was originally a pain that was a blood clot scare back in March but could currently be a healing muscle tear, but no doctor can really give me a straight answer). I am looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Twisty Turnies

That's what I call it when you set out with a plan and through a variety of incidents not completely your fault, your plan gets tossed aside but is replaced with something either equal to or better than what you originally hoped for.

Such was my day today. I had a nice lie in and the house to myself (well, and the 70lb border collie/lab cross who demanded to be the little spoon), a nice breakfast that fueled me up for what I hoped was one heck of a going over by Jillian Michaels via my Frontside and Backside videos that (surprise, surprise) have killer exercises specifically to target either your frontside or your backside. For whatever reason, while I consider myself to be reasonable adequate when it comes to technology, the television-to-dvd-player-with-satellite-and-vcr baffles me to no end. Today, of all days, I just could not get the darn contraption to play a dvd.

Second plan! My laptop has a dvd player, I would just pop it in there and set my laptop up on a stand so it was an appropriate level. This is the first time I had tried to play a dvd in my (new to me) laptop, so imagine my surprise when sounds akin to a cougar that has pulled its prey into a tree started coming from my laptop... eeeeeeeks.

Fine then! I have to go with conventional, "real life" exercise, in the fresh air. I was reluctant... It was pretty warm... I would get a sunburn... I'd get so far from home and then be too tired to come back... Flies would bite me... My iPod was dead so I had no tunes to motivate me... I couldn't run if there was a car coming by! Trust me (and ask anybody who knows me), I can be the entire royal court when it comes to making excuses. Today was no different, but grudgingly, knowing that if I didn't work out then, I wouldn't get to work out later, I tied up my shoelaces, filled my water bottle, and grabbed my trusty companion, Morrie:

The running buddy is a 5 year old Miniature Australian Shepherd - they're a herding breed, so generally known to be high energy. Though he was not originally intended for me, Morrie has been my right hand man since the day that my parents arrived home with him at 2am and dumped him on the bed where I was sleeping and he pinned me down by my hair and washed my face - the rest, they say, is history. Good ole Morrie would do anything for me and with me... except run 2.9km, apparently.

That's right, the path was a 2.9km, mostly uphill ramble. I know this picture is tiny (I took it with my not-a-smart-phone) but try to understand my vision here. I was at the end and turning around and the red dot on the horizon, that's where I had to go back to. I chose this route for a variety of reasons, even though I could have traveled a different route which would have had -slightly- flatter terrain. Most importantly - not a lot of houses to see me coming by. Secondly - not a lot of dogs that might run out of their yard and attack the fluffernutter, and thirdly - there is a stream at the 1/4 mark where I could give Morrie a proper drink and chance to cool down. It was on our way back at this stream that he started to lag behind. Just tired, and lazy - a lot like me, but he doesn't have as much weight to lose! It soon became more that I was dragging him than him keeping up.

Fortunately, I was wearing the most psychedelic outtfit possible and my sister, as she was coming home from a dog trial, saw me and drove down to say hello. Morrie begged his way into the air conditioned car and drove home with her while I jogged another telephone pole length uphill and then briskly finished off the trip back home. The last 1/4 of the trip, I kept thinking to myself "I can't wait to get home and blog about how I was able to motivate myself, for once!"

I won't lie. I'm pretty dang proud of myself for doing any amount of running without someone there to prod me along. I ended up completing 2.9km in 34 minutes. I would say that I ran or jogged approximately 1/4 of that and even did some of it uphill. I just kept thinking to myself "Don't stop." and somehow, that managed to work. Overall, I have to say... proud of myself. (The boyfriend (hereafter known as "G") also ran today - almost 5km himself - so I am pretty dang proud of him, too! Even though it did take some convincing for him to concede that my 2.9km equaled his 4.93km because mine had hills and his didn't!)

I don't want to write this entry...

... but it's pretty clear that I have to. I have been at more or less a stand still (with a 8-10lb gain) for about a year, but I haven't worried a lot about it. I have been engaging in lots of summer vacation-y type behaviour over the last few months and I got on the scale this morning to find my weight at 262.6. At my lowest, I went down to just under 250, which was a huge goal for me. I am disappointed in myself. I feel like I have made many excuses out of convenience for myself. I don't hate myself, though.

And I think that's where the whole success factor thus far has come from. I have gained 13lbs. But I have also still lost 62lbs. I have the tools to lose that 13lbs and more again, I just need to employ them. I might need a little help from my friends.

My biggest issue? Eating, clearly. I consider myself to be moderately active most of the time - I go to the gym on average twice a week and engage in chores in the barn. Sure, I work in a sedentary job, but the farm does help to offset that by times. It's the food.

For example, the other night, I was awake a little later than the rest of the family - I made the mistake of not heading upstairs to my bedroom with my laptop, but sat downstairs in front of the tv (a practice which drives my family insane because I am never fully paying attention to one or the other, particularly when we are watching a movie). Around midnight, I went into the kitchen because I wanted a lil "sumthin' sumthin'" - no big whoop, usually. I know a lot of people are strict about not eating after 8pm but I am a big fan of "if I am hungry, really, truly hungry, I feed myself. Even if it is midnight.

For a reason unbeknownst to me, there was a box of a half a dozen Tim Horton's donuts in my cupboard. This is like torturous indecency. Baked goods are my biggest downfall. Trying to be halfway decent, I cut a honey glaze in half and ate that. I then realized that what I thought were gross raisin-laden donuts (I have a completely different entry about how raisins DO NOT belong in sweet baking!) were actually Boston creams with the chocolate on top melted off due to the heat wave we've been experiencing. So I ate half of that, too. But before I FOUND any of that, I had had a dulce de leche Jell-o pudding cup (only about 60 calories, pretty decent and purchased with the intent of being something to satisfy the sweet cravings I have). So yeah, without even thinking about it, I packed away about 400 calories at midnight. NOT my intent. I fixed the donut issue by putting the remaining donuts into the fridge. Cold, hard donuts are not appealing to me and I can only hope that, by decreasing the level of appeal they have, I can decrease my chances of stuffing anymore in my mouth at all. I do much better when nobody brings this stuff home at all.

So with all of that said - the tools that I know I can employ to combat THIS issue is identifying it in the first place, then at least going to my bedroom in the evenings when I sit up toodling on the internet - as I mentioned before, I am lazy, so if I can make it more effort to get to/find the food, then it makes it easier to avoid it.

I have always said that I don't have a bad emotional relationship with food. I just have no willpower. Definitely a self improvement tactic to work on. The good news is that I have a lot of resources around me to help me become motivated and push myself - friends Erin & Carina are both on this weight loss wagon, as well as my sister, and then of course, the military recruit boyfriend (did I mention that he made kabobs for me? Delicious, wondrous kabobs! I will have to post a picture of them!). I have no reason not to succeed except myself. I can sometimes be my own worst saboteur... but I am learning, little by little, in the various parts of my life, not to allow myself to sabotage myself from happiness and the things that I want - case evidenced by the perfectly healthy, normal relationship I am carrying on with one of the nicest guys I've ever met -- I used to be a self destructive drama monger who wasn't happy unless I was experiencing some kind of torturous emotion. I have a long way to go... but I will get there. I have the tools. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Anyone who knows me "IRL" knows that my boyfriend is a recently accepted navy recruit - we're both a little out of shape (okay, for me, a LOT) and so he is trying to get ready for his departure for basic in November. Being the good, supportive girlfriend that I am (right, honey?), I agreed to go for a walk/run with him last night. I suspect that this will eventually be a full blown run to beat our time and all of that other intense stuff that runners like to do, but for the time being it was about 50/50 high speed walk with some jogging, running and a bit of sprinting.

I don't like running. I'll just come out and say it. I don't like it because I have so much extra weight hanging on that moves when I run, it's uncomfortable. Nevermind how discouraging it is to have lost 65lbs and still be so unfit and uncomfortable with all the extra weight that I'm packing. I would not run by myself. Occasionally, I will do 2/8 minute splits on the treadmill at the gym doing a leisurely jog, if there is nobody else in the women's cardio room - and by 2/8, I mean 2 minutes jogging, 8 minutes walking, ha!

It's funny then, that considering my discomfort with jogging or running, I actually enjoyed myself. I work so much better when I have a buddy - having someone there who might have the personal determination or willpower to push themselves just a LITTLE bit further than I can push myself on my own. I am a highly competitive person, so if someone is going to go a little further than me, I can likely pull out what I've got and match them, at least. This kind of motivation works well for me.

I have had to figure out, over the last few years - since I did start with the idea of losing weight way back in 2006 - what works for me. The whole basis of this blog was that negative self image and self deprecating talk didn't do anything for motivation. Competition, accolades and positive encouragement are the best for me. I like for people to commend the things that I do, to tell me they're proud, to be impressed by what I can accomplish for a gal who is still swinging around 260. I like for someone to challenge me to beat them, to push me by example, not to just tell me "go out there and do it while I sit here". Those are truly the things that push me to be my best.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rant of the Nutritional Information variety...

So... I have had this blog since May 25th... so almost 2 months, with the intent to get my weight loss journey re-amped and get moving again... and I keep telling myself "as soon as I can blog about the everyday side of things, I will be much more successful". Well, 2 months later, here I am. And the reason? Quiznos. Damn you, Quiznos!

The driving force behind this need to write? They don't have their nutritional information readily available on the web. I bet you can probably go in to a store and ask for nutritional information, and get a weird look from the girl behind the counter who smells suspiciously like patchouli (true story!), and then know what you're eating, but come on - this is 2011! Nutritional information needs to be readily available, DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE, by simply googling "Quiznos Nutritional Information". You shouldn't have to twist around, bend backwards and scan through the Google search results with your head upside down to find what you're looking for. I'm serious, I feel that this (well, not Quiznos in PARTICULAR, but fast food chains in general) is a driving factor behind obesity. We don't KNOW what we're eating. It's not EASY to find it.

Obesity aside, I am a lazy person. Even if I weighed 90lbs soaking wet, I WOULD STILL BE LAZY. Make it easy. It kind of makes me feel like a restaurant chain that DOESN'T have their information easily available online is trying to hide something. THAT bothers me. There is already so much crap in our food hidden behind the mumbo jumbo of long names that we can't pronounce and so, therefore, ignore (see above re: laziness) that to make it like a freaking hunt for water in the Sahara to find it feels an awful lot like sneaky treachery. That's all I'm saying. I WANTED to log my food on LoseIt! today, but the quarter of a BBQ chicken flatbread pizza that I ate today has screwed those numbers by a long shot.

Take a note from a good restaurant, Quiznos. If you want to be considered in my rotation of "somewhat-good-for-me-food-that-I-allow-myself-to-eat-when-I-am-not-at-home", take a page from the book of Pita Pit, where you can even add all of the toppings, etc, and then it calculates the TOTAL of your meal! Talk about easy! So now I don't have to add things in my head, the website DOES IT FOR ME. Brilliant. Pita Pit tastes better, too. So today, Quiznos, I bite my thumb at you.