Friday, April 30, 2010

WW Weigh-in

So, last night was a pleasant surprise. After Zumba, Meg and I went to WW as usual and check out my weekly results!

Weekly weigh-in: 166.8
Loss: -1.4
Total loss: 26.8
Emotion: Surprised!

I'll go ahead and thank the 7 mile run for this, I think. That and the fact that I wore jeans instead of my usual underarmour from Zumba to the meeting last week. Regardless, I'm REALLY excited. Any progress I make past -25 pounds is new for me, since I'd hit -25 once before but then gained a few back after. Then again, since I lost that book, I don't have that -25 documented anywhere as it appears to be missing on my online Weight Tracker graph:

I don't usually spend a ton of time looking at this graph, but it is comforting to see that even if there are some ups and downs and even if my weight loss isn't happening all at once (which would be less healthy too), my total weight is still trending down. On some levels, I'm actually really pleased that it's coming off so slowly. I read somewhere that the longer you keep it off, the less likely you are to gain it all back and also, the fact that I'm slowing doing it has allowed my lifestyle and habits to change gradually.

That was actually the theme of last night's WW meeting and I thought it was really pertinent to me right now, and in some ways, related to that article on happiness/weight loss. I remember it being difficult to count, learn points values, and modify my eating/exercise habits at the beginning of my journey last year. Now, all of those things have become habits and I largely enjoy most of them (counting can be tedious). I've become a MUCH better cook and much more confident in my own abilities (namely running/other physical activities). I think this is probably the first year that I'm genuinely looking forward to hiking and spending time outside doing physical activities. While weight loss is really great, I think it's mostly this altered outlook on food and activity that has made me the happiest I've been in awhile. I mean, when you complete a good run or appreciate a good meal, how can you not feel good?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Second Garmin Run--with better charts!

So, after figuring out how to update my Garmin software--I have the heart rate charts I wanted. Yay! Last night's run was really successful. I mistakenly wore my new shoes though, and then went ahead and pushed myself for my longest run yet. Jon was trying to run a half last night (even though he's running one Saturday), so I had plenty of time. I ended up with a 7 mile run--a new PR. As you can see in the map, I think I did a pretty good tour of town.

Here's the breakdown of my heartrate--Apparently, I'm steadily maintaining my heartrate around 170, but according to this article on Heart Rate Monitor training, that's acceptable for my age, though if I use their calculator, it breaks up the zones differently so that 170 is actually in Zone 3. Hmmm... You'll see that I stopped twice at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through for water, so that accounts for the dip in heartrate. Also, if you look at the 6.5-7.0 mark in distance, my heartrate shows that I kept stopping. I swear, that short interval was the hardest part of the entire workout.

Finally, here are the splits from my workout. Really all that is important here is that I ran Laps 2 & 3. Lap 5 exists because I thought briefly that I was going to power through and run some more, but that was not going to happen.

All in all, I'm really pleased with this run since it's the longest I've gone so far. Also, in order to help keep up my energy, I ran with a pack of Jelly Belly's SportBeans that I got from Jesse (my marathoner friend) that really seemed to help. She advised me to eat one per mile to keep my energy up, and I think it really did make a difference. I'd definitely recommend them for any distances longer than 5-ish miles. Jon and I'll definitely be ordering ourselves a case to use for our half marathon training that we're about to start. More on that later though. Anyways, off to Zumba then my weekly WW weigh-in. I just weighed myself at 168.5 on the gym scale with my sneakers on, so we'll see what happens. I'm just hoping to not gain enough to push myself back into the 170's. Ick.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Must-read Weight Loss Article

So, I'm waiting for Jon to come pick me up for our run and in checking out the blog Certifiably Fit, I saw her post about this article on MSNBC.

I just wanted to pass it along since I think it talks about a really interesting aspect of weight loss.

Although I think the article has a lot of really valid points, I must say that as a person who was uncomfortable with my appearance for as long as I can remember, losing the weight I have lost has made me a happier person. Though it hasn't solved all of my problems, I do credit the extra confidence boost created by feeling good in my own skin to my success with C25K (old me would have talked myself out of my ability to do it as a "fat girl") and to meeting Jon (old me would have never started up a conversation with a random group of guys at a bar).

Actually, just found something not about the article that really articulates my feelings about weight loss in general:
I’m not sure. All I know is I’m a much happier person now then I was then. Does it have to with my weight and size, sure, but it’s goes much deeper then that. Ten years ago I was unconscious, eating my way through life. Food was a source of happiness, it was an event, it was a therapy. Now I’m much more aware of what I want and how to get it. I now find pleasure in things besides food. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cookie now and then (or three :~) and boy I couldn’t live without pizza but now I look to activity, relationships, and experiences to fill my life, not food.
(From Roni's Weigh)
Like Erica mentioned in her blog, I agree that it would be really interesting to see the same study done with a group of people who lost weight without surgery. I know for me losing weight has completely changed my life, but that wasn't because of the number of pounds, but more due to the positive changes I've made in my own lifestyle.

Anyway, I'd be really interested to know what you all think about it--What are your own opinions of the article? Do you think there is a definite link between weight loss and happiness?

*Borrowed from

Okay, off for my run! I think I should have the problem with my Garmin and its mapping solved (Thanks, Dave!) so I hope to have better info up later for this run. :)

Inaugural Run with my new Best Friend

Yes, my Garmin Forerunner 305 has finally arrived in the mail. It was a surprise actually, since Amazon/USPS's tracking didn't seem to work and it never told me where is was arriving with each "arrival scan." That said, I was pleasantly surprised to find its large Amazon box by my bedroom door last night when I got home from class. Apparently, it arrived in Athens. Woo!

After the mandatory charge and program installation, I took it out for its first run. I'm still working on how to get all the maps/charts I want (Dave's being a HUGE help!), but here's the best I've got so far to give you an idea. :)
Here's a map of our first meandering jog around campus. Jon and I actually ran into (not literally) my friend Emily while we were jogging on campus. Somehow, seeing people you know while you're running somehow makes me feel like more of a legitimate runner. "See?! When I told you I run, I wasn't making it up!" Don't know how that works, but it was fun. Also, I feel like we look like a super fit couple as we trek around town together in our running gear. If me from a year ago could see me from now, I don't think old me would believe it.

Here's my heart rate/speed breakdown. I'm not sure what a good heart rate is yet, but for a majority of my run I seemed to be in the 170s.

Laps 1 and 3 are my warm-up and cool-down runs, so I ended up running for a total of 4.7 miles in 52 minutes. Not too shabby. I'm also really pleased with my average jogging pace of 11:06. If I can eventually get that closer to 10, I think Jon and I'll be able to run together a lot more frequently (as opposed to running simultaneously and passing each other).

Once I figure out how to work all the charts and things, I'm planning on doing the overnight heart rate test (Jon wants to try it too), so that'll be interesting. I'm so excited about this little guy, the freedom to leave the bikepath and track (even more) accurate distances is so energizing. Yay road running.

On another note, I'm feeling much better than I was the other day. Not only has running helped since it's hard to not feel awesome after a 4.7 mile run, but there's something to be said for open communication and having an amazing support system of people. And now, back to thesis writing!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Yesterday, I did not run. In fact, I didn't run the day before that either.


I could give you a whole host of reasons why: upset, bad weather, other things to do. Mostly just upset and didn't feel like making it worse by running in the rain.

What did I do instead?

Ate. Instead of pounding out my upset on the pavement, I instead tried to feed it with delicious salmon and red wine.

Did this help?

Not particularly. In fact, gaining weight this week and possibly breaking out on my face due to too much food will make me feel even worse. The big negative -30 on my WW counter that I won't be able to correct this week just glares at me in the face. And my problem remains unsolved and the solution seems illusive and possibly depressing. All overeating did was allow me to momentarily wallow in my comfort foods without really dealing with what was wrong.

Will I run today?

You betcha.

I'm also going to look into more constructive ways to solve my problems. Ways that aren't going to show up on my hips.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gridiron Gallop 5k!

First 5K = SUCCESS!

After a night of not careful preparation (too much food and beer), Jon and I woke up early(ish) yesterday to go run our first 5k together. Thankfully, it didn't rain during the race like we'd feared, so that's a perk. It was just overcast with a slight drizzle at points. We were running a bit late, but since I'd pre-registered, it didn't take too long to get our numbers on and get situated at the 50 yard line in Peden Stadium for the start of the race:

See? All ready for the start!

Quick photo of me in my official 5k runner get-up. This bib is now on my frige.

At 10am, they started the race and off we went. Here's the path we followed:

We run around here (especially the return part on the bike path) all the time, so it was interesting to see how it went. I was REALLY proud of myself. I'm used to running between 12-13 minute miles (occasionally 11) but, according to my un-official iPod measurements my mile breakdown was really surprising. I had been aiming to complete the 5k in under 36:00, so I'm really pumped. My ipod told me that I ran the 5k in 32:45, so these are probably slightly off since my official 5k time was 31:14!!! but here are my mile break downs:

Mile 1: 10:34
Mile 2: 10:58
Mile 3: 10:41

I'm especially pleased with this breakdown since it shows that I was able to maintain a steady pace the whole time on my own. I didn't walk at all and I actually ended up passing some people who started out too fast and ended up walking. This mile pace also tells me that I can definitely push myself harder in training and hit an 11-minute mile regular pace.

Jon was there to cheer me on at the finish line (he finished in 25:28, I'm so proud!) and we went on together to get our tee-shirts and goodie bags. Here's a quick shot we got someone to take of us while waiting in line:

Look at us, all nice and sweaty. :)

This is the snack we got in the recovery tent:

Then, THIS is what we found buried in just MY goodie bag:


I wanted to throw it all out, but Jon's going to pawn it off on people at work. It really is a testament to how much my/our eating habits have changed that when I saw all that food, it disgusted me and I DEFINITELY had no desire to eat it. More oranges and bananas, please!

Anyways, the run was a success. Then, to keep with the running theme of the day, Jon and I drove up to Cbus to get the packets for the half/5k next week. We also used the race discount and picked up 2 free tech tank tops and new running shoes (photos later). I also went and got a second set of running clothes. Exactly the same as what I have, but the top this time is yellow. Woo! I think I earned it. As far as my garmin... still no updates on USPS tracking. I'm getting impatient! Well, that's all for now! C25K = SUCCESS!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

WW Weigh-in and Wii Fit Fun

So, yesterday was weigh-in day. They also had a brunch (i.e. donut, nutella, pie smorgasbord) at work. Also, zumba was canceled. I was nervous, even though my scale had hit as low as 163 in the past week. Thankfully, my stats were as follows:

Weekly weigh-in: 168.2
Loss: -1.0
Total loss: -25.4
Emotion: Satisfied

A pound down. I'm okay with that, though to be honest, I was really hoping for a bit more than that. Then again, I was zumba-less, wearing jeans, and had had a piece of coffee cake earlier in the day. All-in-all, I'm pleased. Minus anything is definitely better than a gain. I really just want to keep it up--I'm feeling pretty good about myself as I look in the mirror and such, so that's what counts.

Instead of Zumba yesterday, we hung out at Meg's apartment before biking (instead of driving) to our WW meeting. Her roommate has the Wii Fit board thing so I got to play around on it a bit. Verdict: WANT. Sadly, on Amazon the Fit collection + the Wii itself would total $355. Verdict: Since I'm poor, this will not be happening anywhere in the foreseeable future. I'll just have to buy a yoga/pilates DVD instead.

Oh well, it was fun to play with. Though, it was kind of disheartening to watch the BMI lever go up. According to Wii, I'm borderline between Obese and Overweight. I know I have a ways to go, but I wear a size 12 and kind of find my almost-obese status hard to believe. Oh well, I apparently have decent balance, which brought my Wii age to 21 (my real age). Whew. I did some yoga, which was interesting. I've never done yoga before, although I'm an avid Pilates do-er. What I really liked about the Wii was its balance checker; it really helps show you if you're doing the position correctly. Here's a photo from the Wii website of the "Tree" (aka one of the positions I tried). It actually felt really good, even though I looked NOTHING like this happy, white-clad, person.
Anyways, I'm hoping to go for a light run tonight--I didn't eat very well last night (Hello, Margaritas with Salt!!) and we have our 5k tomorrow morning. says it's supposed to rain, but I'm hoping that that doesn't start until after 9:15am tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Now that C25K is over, I guess I need to find a new way to judge levels... Perhaps my goal for Level 10 will be getting below 160. I was 165 this morning when I weighed myself, so this seems to be a reasonable goal. I would LOVE to be in the 150s by graduation... and finally get to wear my "30 pounds" earrings that have been thumb-tacked on my bulletin board for months now.

In other news, I got an email from Amazon that says that my Garmin has finally shipped, even if the estimated date of arrival isn't until the 28th. Boo. I really can't wait to try it out. Hopefully, with its help I can get a steady pace established and then start pushing towards a steady 11-minute mile. I ran with Jonboy for a bit last night and for the first 16 minutes we did a 10:40 mile pace and I felt like I was pushing pretty hard. Hopefully that can change.

Speaking of which, last night's run: not stellar. Ended up jogging for a total of 55 minutes + whatever I walked, and at no point did I seem to hit my stride. Oh well, we all have our bad days. I'm taking tonight off (Zumba is cancelled... we'll see how *that* reflects tonight's weigh-in), but then Jon and I are running in a 5k here on campus Saturday morning before next week's "real" 5k (i.e. the 5k I used C25K to train for) in Columbus. Saturday's event was a last minute decision. Since we already run around here all the time, why not do a 5k to support cystic fibrosis? Plus, it'll give me a good idea of where I am for this last week before the Columbus run next week.

Anyways, I'm outta here--I have a huge French test and then weigh in tonight... I'm pretty optimistic about both, we'll see how it goes! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

W9D3--Successful Completion of C25K!

I suppose that I probably completed C25K a week or two ago since my runs have surpassed the 30 minute C25K training time, but with counting, this does make yesterday's run my last "official" C25K one. Thankfully, it was a great run. Jon has been in Alabama for the weekend (he's still not back) and I woke up Saturday early (without an alarm), saw the beautiful sunshine, and knew I had to go for a run. It was kind of amusing, because shortly after this decision, Jonboy called from 'Bama and said he was on his way to get a powerbar and go for a run as well. I guess it's a little taste for how we'll train together once I go to France.

Anyways, this was what I saw when I checked our local weather:
It was a little chilly, so I got to break out the new North Face long-sleeved running shirt I'd bought on super sale at a trunk show a few weeks ago.

The run started out as usual. I don't usually run in the mornings, but I might have to start. There was no one out on the bike path and I could really appreciate how pretty it was just being out alone on the path. As this was my last official C25K run, I also got to reflect a bit on how far I've come since I started this. At the beginning, I was skeptical of my own abilities and a 5k seemed daunting. I remember reading an article about quitting the program and how essential weeks 5 and 6 were, so I committed to completing them, even though the mere thought of having to run 20-25 minutes was really daunting. BUT, I survived. I can't believe that as I get ready for these two weeks before the originally planned 5k, I'm thinking of running one this week for fun and trying to find a 10k to train for next.

I still haven't seen any significant weight loss since starting C25K, but that's okay. I know I've slimmed down and that the weight is beginning to come down. Furthermore, I just feel good. That's the best part. When I put on my new running gear, I'm really proud and I feel like I actually look and *feel* like a runner/jogger. After 9 weeks, I've proven that I can do this and I'll stick with it and that's the most important.

That said, yesterday after my run (15 minutes walking + a 60-minute jog), I got on Amazon and ordered myself the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch with heartrate monitor. It's an investment, but I've proven to myself that it's worth it. Be on the lookout for more detailed blog updates from then on (I can't wait till it gets here!). I'm also going to get myself a few more running tanktops and leggings (probably 1 each) so I don't have to keep washing this one set. Check out this running wardrobe building. Woo.

Anyways, today's a rest day. I've cleaned the house and I'm hoping to start studying for my May 5th GRE test (Ahh!). Tomorrow starts W10? I'm not sure what to make of it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

WW Weigh-in

Yesterday was Thursday, and you know what happens on Thursdays... Zumba date and Weekly WW Weigh-in with Megan. Today's stats:

Weekly weigh-in: 169.2
Loss: +.6
Total loss: 24.4
Emotion: Content, Sleepy

After the cook out this weekend and some very sparse tracking, I was pleased today with my .6 gain. I mean, that could honestly even be water or whatnot. Honestly, I'm just happy to have stayed in the 160's, even if it's .8 away from 170. So far, this is the longest I've been in the 160's and I really hope to stay here/continue on down this time. In fact, when I weighed in this morning, I was back down to 168.6 like last week.

I think I've just been having problems splurging with weekends and then trying to make up for them during the week. If you think about it, the weekend Friday-Sunday is around a third of the week, so it makes sense that I would have problems losing if I'm not staying as on plan on weekends. This weekend should be okay. I've got my roommate Lisa's wedding shower tomorrow and then my friend Sarah is coming into town to hang out while Jonboy is down in Alabama. I just need to plan ahead and make sure I hit the road for some running over the weekend as well. Tonight, I'm going to relax and go to the gym to cross train/lift and then hopefully I can get in a good run tomorrow before the shower.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm really satisfied with my run today. Not only did I run for what to me seemed like forever (even if we only did 5 miles @ a 12-minute pace), but it was the first time I successfully ran with a partner as well as the first time I ran without music. Jon and I usually walk together at the beginning, but if we try to run together, it's obvious that I'm pushing myself to keep up with him and, even then, I'm slowing him down. Today, instead, I met my friends Jesse and Meghann at the rec center for a late morning run before my tutorial. Jesse and I ran and Meghann hung around on her rollerblades.

Initially, I was kind of (read: pretty) apprehensive about running with Jesse. Although she's one of my best friends and has always encouraged me to start running with her, I was still nervous, even after reminding her repeatedly of my slow pace (sidenote: Jesse is currently training for her 3rd marathon). All of these fears were unfounded, as we had a great run and if I was slowing her down, she never let it show. I'll take back my "only 5 miles" comment here and mention how happy I am that I finished them since at the end it was getting a bit rough. Regardless, it was really enjoyable since we were able to chat (hello, healthier heart that allows me to talk and run simultaneously for the most part) and catch up after her Study Abroad in Mexico last quarter.

Finally, this run with Jesse solidified my decision to buy a Garmin Forerunner. She has the 205 and it was SO nice to be able to run where ever we wanted and to not have to worry about remembering roads or whatnot in order to try and map it out online later. Furthermore, looking at the pace thing let me know that I was slowing down and helped me to try and push through.

Today's lesson:

It's worth it.

Cooking for the Week AND W9D1

So, last night I didn't run as planned since Jon had to work late (we carpool) and my shoes were at home. This normally wouldn't be a problem if we could run together(ish), but since he's started PT with Chris, Chris has put him on a 3-mile limit, which would be fine if he weren't awesome and capable of running 9-minute miles. In short, I don't like running in the dark at night.

Insteaaaad, we stayed in a cooked up enough food for the week. On the menu: Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Turkey Kielbasa and Cabbage, Impromptu Potato Salad, and roasted veggies. Oh, and some random dill-seasoned red potatoes that we roasted to snack on during this endeavor.

The Curried Butternut Squash Soup is one of my personal favorites and at 2 points per cup, it's almost unbeatable. Here's the scoop, like with most of my recipes, the veggie measurements are approximate... (Also, I have a photo of the mixture before it's blended. Since we didn't eat it that night, I don't have any of it being served as a purée.

5 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 medium onion, cubed (size isn't a big deal here since the whole mixture gets blended later)
2-3 chopped stalks of celery
5 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tbsp curry powder
5 cups water + 5 bouillon cubes (or 5 cups broth)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, Garlic Salt, & Pepper to taste
*My recipe made around 10 cups of soup

Using your soup pot, first, you sauté the onions and garlic in the oil. Once they're ready, add the celery and the curry seasoning. After a minute or two, once the curry smell is really beginning to come out, start adding the water/bouillon cubes or broth as well as the raw squash. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then let it simmer for 25 minutes (or until the squash is tender). Then, little by little, purée the mixture in a blender. Serve with a dollop of Greek Yogurt (or sour cream).

Turkey Kielbasa and Cabbage, serves 4

1 turkey kielbasa (or regular kielbasa if you aren't as stringent about fat content) cut into circles, then halved
1/2 head of lettuce, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 carrots, cut the same as the kielbasa (I forgot these in this rendition and it was still good, but they add a bit of sweetness to the recipe)
2 tbsp olive oil
A dash of red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a big pan, sauté the onions, oil, and garlic. If you're going to add carrots that have to cook, add them towards the beginning. Once that's ready (and the carrots are getting soft), add the meat to heat up and cabbage to cook down. Add your salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste. Once the cabbage is cooked down, it's ready to serve. (4 points/serving too!)

We heated them both up for dinner tonight and they were really good. It's so nice to be able to come home after work/a run/both and not have to worry about making something healthy for dinner.

Speaking of which, tonight's run was decent. I waited until Jon got off work and we both changed and headed over to the bike path. After our joint warm-up walk, he sprinted (I exaggerate a little, but if you're me, a 9-minuter is sprinting) off and I kept my steady 11-minute mile pace. I kept waiting for my usual "stride" to set in after 10 minutes, but as of late it hasn't happened. Thus, the run ended up being an internal struggle the whole way. I made it for the whole 40 minutes, which included a measured 3 mile portion that I was able to complete in roughly 33 minutes. I'm glad because that means I'm right on track for my 36 minute 5k goal on May 1st. I hadn't run since last Wednesday (oops... has it really been that long?) and it felt good to get back into it after a lapse in exercise.

I'm seriously considering getting one of the Garmin GPS watches as a "You've completed C25K present to myself" (i.e. allowing myself to spend my birthday money instead of keeping it for groceries and other miscellaneous and frivolous expenses). It's be really nice to know my exact pace as it's happening and to be able to measure exactly how far I've gone. The only bummer is that someone told me that the fun online mapping and whatnot features aren't mac compatible and that's all I own. I guess I'll have to do some research.

Anyways, I'll add photos tomorrow of the food and such. It's bedtime for bonzo. Night!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Starting the Spring with a bang!

This weekend was jam-packed with non-running, largely non-WW friendly events.

1. I presented at my first professional conference with what I feel was much success. Benefit of specializing in French: all receptions include my favorite (again, largely non-WW friendly) things: wine, cheese, and bread. Mmm. There will be much running today, tomorrow, and Wednesday before our Thursday weigh-in.

2. We went to our first Spring barbecue! Our friends Liz and Bill (and their roommate Greg) just rented a new house further out in the country and they had everyone over for a fabulous barbecue. Everything individually was really healthy, but strung together it all left Jon and I in a food coma. Here's my contribution: Pico de Gallo. It was a huge hit! No leftovers! I love Spring and Summer time cooking because everything is so fresh and light. Liz made an amazing vegan Strawberry cake and I'll post her recipe when I get it--it was so rich and strawberry-tastic. Love it!

Recipe for my Pico de Gallo:
-5 medium sized tomatoes (seeds removed and diced)
-1 medium white onion (diced)
-1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed and diced)
-1 avocado (diced)
-2 tbsp lime juice
-Cilantro (diced, enough to taste)
-Salt (to taste)

To make, just mix everything in a bowl and serve with chips--it was super easy and very light. I can't wait to make it again once tomato season really starts!

Here's a quick shot of all our contributions together... Well, without cake or burgers and dogs. Yum!

3. Last big weekend event: Jon took me shooting for the first time. :) I'd never been and we've been meaning to go out in the backyard (that's at least several acres, it's safe, promise!) and shoot, but we've never done it. Well, last night we did. I'll be honest, I was a bit nervous at first, but, after that initial shot, it was a lot of fun. We didn't have any milk jugs or cartons to shoot at, so last night was really just to get a feel for the recoil and everything. I'm really looking forward to our next endeavor. And, let's be honest, it's hard not to look like a badass when you're firing a gun:

Alrighty, well off to class! More on tonight's anticipated run later :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

WW Weigh-in

So, I didn't touch anyone and went ahead to weigh-in to get the anticipated "bad" news and to start this week on a fresh, good note. Much to my surprise, these were the results I was presented with from the usually cold, hard, silver monster (aka the scale):

Weekly weigh-in: 168.6
Loss: -2.6
Total loss: 25 even!
Emotion: Elated, grateful

This is even more impressive if you think that 8 hours after the Waffle House experience, I weighed in at 173 even on Saturday morning (which is a total change of -4.8 if we go by that and not last Thursday like I did above.

I was blown away, and really, really excited. This is the first time I've been under 170 since December and hopefully this time it can stay. I didn't exaggerate when I talked about how much I binge ate last week, but apparently my hard core stick-to-the-plan-ness since Monday and my extra workouts paid off.

Since I'm in goal-limbo (I've already reached my 5%, then 10% goals and I'm too far from final goal), I've decided to start over with the 5 and 10% ones, treating last week as my "start weight" for what I'm going to think of as Round II of sticktoitiveness. That said, my new 5% goal is 162 and my 10% goal is 154. I can do this. It's Springtime and gorgeous and I'm in a good place. Let the "games" begin!

On a side note, my cousin Michel sent me this link as a consideration. It seems like a REALLY lofty goal, but we'll see. Ideally, I'd love to find a race somewhere in Europe to train for or, even better, that Jon and I could both train for. It could be a fun vacation?

Oh, and to accompany this post and the kick off of Round II, this was the first image that came up when I typed "kick butt" in Google. I feel it's very appropriate:

Crazy Eye

Woke up this morning with an eye that wouldn't open (well, without a warm washcloth) and ended up skipping my 2h of work and having Jon take me to the doctor instead. Diagnosis: the crazy eye (usually known as pink eye). Obviously, I don't really look like Mad-Eye Moody, but I thought it was an appropriate comparison.

One TINY $35 bottle of eye drops and a few emails later, I'm home "sick" and working on tomorrow's conference presentation in Columbus. Seriously though, $35 for a measly bottle of this stuff? I used to buy 5 cent candy drops bigger than this! Well, at least it seems to be working and I'm infinitely less grumpy, even if the crazy eye meant that I had to cancel lunch plans at my most favorite restaurant ever. Also, no group Zumba class either. Sad.

That said, I'm tempted to just put on an eye patch and go to WW and weigh in anyways tonight. After such a horrible eating week, I really just need to put it behind me with a definite number. Thoughts?

W8D3, Good News and a Complaint

Well, I'm going to start with my complaint. ALL day long, my right eye has been itching and generally driving me insane like there was something in it. If it were more bloodshot, I'd be convinced that I had pink eye, but since it's not and I've been sneezing all the time (yay Spring!), I'm just trying to get on with it. But, it's really annoying and kind of painful. Ulgh. If this persists, I'll be going to buy non-contact eye drops. This is doubly annoying since it means I have to wear my glasses and thus have no prescription sun glasses to run in.

Okay, aside from that, the run tonight wasn't stellar. Not only did I sweat up a storm and feel like I was plodding along for the entire 35 minutes, but on the walk back home, we almost got run over by some guy. To make it even more fun, when Jonboy blew up at him, the guy actually stopped and turned around. There were words. Random driver actually yelled at us for walking on the side of the road. I stayed uninvolved (I'd be useless in a fight). Now we're home (and random run off the road guy is long gone) and Jon has called the cops who will be arriving shortly to take a statement. Fun!

Sadly, my 35 minute run did not merit all this drama. Jon's been reduced to a 2 mile max while he's seeing Chris (this PT gets a lot of work from us, apparently) and I felt icky from my eye and a general sense of malaise. Instead to keeping up for a longer run, I threw in the towel at 35 minutes and walked home.

Now to end on a good note: I found out yesterday that I've been accepted as a French Teaching Assistant next year to go and teach English in the Aix-Marseille academy (i.e. school district), pictured at the bottom of this post. Here's to spending 7-9 months in the south of France! That'll make for an interesting running blog--plenty of beautiful places to run there! Sadly, boyfriend won't be coming with me, which will be hard, BUT he will come over for a visit/fab vacation while I'm over there. I'm so relieved to finally know I've at least been accepted, since it was already my Plan B (and I don't have a Plan C). Now I just have to wait to find out more specifics (schools, what age I'll be teaching, etc). I know I'm in that district, but as you can see, it's pretty big so I could be anywhere. I do have family down in the Bouches-du-Rhône area, but it's not for certain I'll be near them. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Green Monster: Recipe II

This morning's Green Monster creation was another success, even if it's coloring did make it look much more awkward in comparison to last week's darker green (due to blueberries) version. Today's included the following:

-1 1/2c strawberries
-1 banana (frozen)
-1 kiwi (peeled)
-3c baby spinach
-1c unsweetened almond milk
-1 tbsp WW pomegranate smoothie mix

Note: If you're going to freeze the banana... Take the peel off first. This should have been obvious to me, but alas, I instead had to run hot water over it for a bit in order to get the peel thawed enough to remove. Fun!

Anyways, I really do love this smoothie. We've gotten it so that this recipe makes enough for Jon and I to each have a glass (though I could have drunk it all myself easily... yum!) Also, it's nice because if I pair it with an English muffin and peanut butter, I'm full until lunch without needing a 10am snack. Speaking of which, I weighed in at home this morning at 169lbs. I could be a fluke day, but I REALLY want to get and STAY under 170 this quarter. I've been hovering around the 171-173 region for months... irritating.

Oh, and while I'm uploading photos, here's one from last night, Fiona decided that Jon (who was doing taxes) would be an ideal perch for her cat-self. Aren't they adorable? It's been years since I've lived with pets at home during the school year (hard to keep a dog in a dorm) and it's true that they really do help keep your stress a bit down. I mean, who can say no to a quick doggie cuddle? It also probably helps that living with them also means I get to live with my super supportive and adorable boyfriend who helps keep me on track as well. I'm a pretty lucky girl.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Coming down off my euphoric feelings regarding yesterday's epic W8D1 run, tonight's run was a let down. My knees didn't feel that great from the very beginning, and my usual first ten minutes of struggle lasted the entire 35 minutes I kept plodding along. Instead of that effortless feeling of being able to keep jogging forever, today I wanted to finish with every step I took. Furthermore, I left the house too late and ended up trekking back home in the dark. Not a stellar run, but, as always, I'm glad I did it.

The other upside of this run is that, after adding the appropriate activity points, this is what the top of my points tracker looks like: I know it's only in the "orange" so to speak by .5 points, but it is much more comforting than that angry red from before. Also, I still have Tuesday and Wednesday to keep it going before my next weigh-in.

In other news, tomorrow morning I'm experimenting with a new Green Monster. This time, I'm going to try it with strawberries and kiwi instead of blueberries! Hopefully, this is equally if not more yummy. Stay tuned!


Well, I didn't get out and run early in the morning like I'd wanted to, but instead I made sure to run before Jon and I got in the car to come back to Cincy. I knew that if I waited to run until we got back to Athens that I wouldn't run at all. So, I left a napping Jon post-Easter dinner and went for my 30-minute jog.

I love jogging in Anderson in the spring. It's a suburb of Cincinnati and everything in green and alive and you can see families out and about enjoying the pretty weather. As always, the first 10 minutes of the jog were really rough. I was afraid that the whole jog was going to be like that after my half-week of terrible eating. Thankfully, the icky feeling passed and I settled into a rhythm. I don't have a heart rate monitor (I really want to get the Garmin 305, I think), but I felt like my breathing was more even and less ragged than at the beginning.

For the first half of my run, I ran from my mom's house to the local park down the street, and from there I veered off the path and jogged over to the middle school track, the site of my only organized track experience. I remember "running" track there in the 8th grade and being so proud the day I ran a whole mile without stopping. Look at me now. I did 2 miles on the track and thought about how I'm in better shape (and am almost smaller) than I was in middle school. Amazing.

After hitting the 30 minute mark, I kept pushing myself another 5 minutes. I'd hit my stride and it didn't seem too difficult to keep pushing on and I ended up eeking out a 60-minute non-stop run. It felt amazing. I can't believe I've gotten to a point where I actually can say that.

Anyways, I managed to get my big, angry red number down to -5.5, so hopefully I'll run again tonight (the weather here is GORGEOUS) and get it down some more. I've already written off this week as a no-loss week, but I'll be happy if I maintain after all this food shenanigans. Lesson to self: Waffle House + Beer + Big Family Holiday = bad idea.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Low Point.

Well, low point for the week. Haven't jogged since Wednesday (Zumba-ed Thursday and walked for 2.7 miles today, but still) and I'm feeling really gross. To top it off, I went dramatically over points Friday and today (thanks to over-large (but delicious) beers at the concert I went to Friday and a subsequent tipsy trip to Waffle House. That in addition to this weekend's Easter celebrations = disaster. For the first time, this is what appears in the top of my WW online points tracker:

In the 9 months I've been doing WW, I've always wondered what it would look like, but I've never seen my points flash negative in the red like that... To be fair, that means I am actually tracking all my overages this time vs. the other times where the red would have occurred, but I gave up or was too ashamed to fess up to myself and track them. Still, I'm pretty bummed and feeling pretty gross. I had a supplemental weigh-in since I'm back in Cincy and wanted to go the meeting with my mom and 8 hours after the Waffle-extravaganza, I was up 2 pounds from Thursday. Ick. Oh, and just so you know, that bit there that says that I ate 37.5 points today? Yeah, I'm supposed to eat 24.

Also, no more new Weekly Points allowance until Thursday. I'm really going to have to hit the pavement. That said, I'm going to try and get up in the morning and run for an hour (well, jog/walk) before Easter Sunday Church. I hope it happens.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Green Monster and Weekly Stats

Last night was Megan's and my first week of our new Thursday Zumba/WW plan. I splurged on lunch, semi-unknowingly, so I wasn't too optimistic for the meeting. Seriously, I had a taco salad (no cheese, no sour cream) BUT in one of those taco bowls... AFTERWARDS I tried to Google nutritional information for it and found one for TEN POINTS, 400 calories, 25g fat, 2g fiber and thought I was going to pass out... It definitely wasn't worth that to me. Rule #67203970 of WW success (in my book): Look up these things BEFORE you eat them... In my experience, if I don't, they always come to bite you in the you-know-what. Dottie's Weight Loss Zone is a great way to prep for fast food/restaurants for WW-ers and non-WWers alike. She gives point values and nutrition info for pretty much any restaurant you can think of.

That said, this weeks stats:

Weekly weigh-in: 171.2
Loss: Maintained
Total loss: 22.4
Emotion: Ambivalent, but hopeful for next week!

Next week, Meg and I both want to try and lose 1 pound each. Honestly, I'll be happy with any loss as I REALLY want to be consistently in the 160s by graduation. I've noticed a difference in my body and I can wear two pairs of jeans that were too tight to wear out at the beginning of last quarter, but I still really want to see some results on the scale.

SO, I'm experimenting with new things and new recipes. For example, this morning, Jon and I jumped on the Green Monster bandwagon and made our own versions (here's mine!):

-3c baby spinach
-3/4c blueberries
-1 medium banana
-1c almond milk
-1 tsbp WW Pomegranate/Blueberry Smoothie Mix
-I added a tbsp of honey to Jon's (yummy!)

This recipe make a full glass plus some extra and totaled 3.5 WW points or 4.5 points with the honey added. I was really surprised by how well the spinach blended in. Despite reading about how delicious they are in several different locations, I was still a bit skeptical about putting spinach in a smoothie... Now, I'm definitely a believer. I have some strawberries in our fridge that I think I'm going to use next week to make a strawberry-banana GM and see how that goes. Anyways, here's a bad cellphone photo of this morning's creation. Bonus: the GM counts as at least 3 servings of fruits and vegetables and 1 serving of dairy! This thing really packs a punch!

Also, see below for the recipe for the Turkey Meatloaf Muffins I made. Lynz, you'll have to let me know what you think of them! :)

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins!

After reading in someone's blog a few weeks ago about a portion-controlled meatloaf recipe, my interest was piqued. My mom always made the best meatloaf growing up, but I'd never attempted to make one on my own. As such, I took some aspects of her own recipe and combined it with some of my own ideas/other recipes I found and threw together this first meatloaf attempt. Thankfully, it's delicious and Jon-approved. I'm sorry the spices and such aren't exact, I just threw in spices to taste--it was kind of an experiment in meatloaf-making... Regardless, enjoy and let me know what you think!

1 diced green pepper
1c diced onion
1c diced mushrooms
1/4 ketchup (add more to taste)
ground turkey (mine was the 1.2 lbs pack from Kroger 93/7)
1/4c italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg (just crack it into the bowl)
1 tbsp minced garlic (from the jar)

Seasoning (to taste):
garlic salt
onion powder
Italian seasoning
a dash of red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, mix the all the ingredients, adding the spices to taste. If you want/don't have a non-stick pan, you can either put muffin cups in the pan or just spray the cups with olive oil. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, fill your muffin tins no more than 3/4 of the way full. Then, drizzle ketchup on top of the muffins. Bake at 375º for roughly 25-30 minutes or until the turkey begins to look brown and slightly crusty on top.

I really liked the mix of red pepper and ketchup together because the pepper gives them some kick and the ketchup sweetens them up.

My recipe made 8 muffins, but I overfilled the first 6. When filling the containers, make sure to not fill more than 3/4 of the way so that any juices don't pool on the pan and drip into the oven (messy, messy!). With 8 servings, these work out to be 3 WW points per "muffin." They aren't huge, one muffin + a nice, big salad + a glass of wine = a very satisfying and healthy dinner!

And for your viewing pleasure, before/after photos from my cell phone: