Monday, September 27, 2010


I know I just gave a bunch of people my blog address to keep track of me in France, but I'm actually going to be taking at least a week off from blogging to deal with a bunch of stuff going on either over here at home or soon across the pond. Or both. Regardless, I promise I'll be back as soon as I can.

I weighed in today at 169.6, down an lb. from last week, so hopefully I'll keep it up while I'm gone. Feel free to email!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Belated Weigh-In Post and Book Review!

So I didn't manage to post on weigh-in day. But, it's okay. I'm feeling good.


Weekly weigh-in: 171.6
Loss: +.6
Total loss: 22
Emotion: Surprised
LBS to go to 164 mini-goal: 7.6

So, I'm not pleased. I got off the steroids, you know, what I blamed last week's gain on... and I still gained. Not a huge gain, but still. That said, I lopped another point on my DP to see if that helps. New target: 22 DP/day. So far, I'm doing decently this week.

I've pre-planned my food for the weekend to include the splurges: drinking and dancing tonight, wings and beer watching the game tomorrow, and a date-night with Jon on Sunday cooking dinner at home. With all that counted, I'm still within my points for the week! :)

How is this possible, you might ask, since I've only been able to drag myself out of bed once this week to run? Well, I made a pot of my favorite ZERO Points Vegetable Soup on Sunday and I've been eating it for at least one meal a day all week. (That's not a picture of my soup... but it looks similar). It's zero points for 1 cup and 1.5 pts for 2, and it's really filling and has allowed me to conserve most of my DPs for all the dining out I've been doing this week. Woo!

I'd post the recipe, but honestly, I just throw whatever zero-point veggies I have at the house (or frozen) in with a can of stewed tomatoes, some onion and garlic, and some broth and just wing it. I'm a big fan of throwing a bunch of red pepper flakes in as well, since I like it with some kick! :)

Other than that, I've really been trying to get my water in this week. I found an old Nalgene I got at a youth retreat back in high school and I've been carrying around everywhere all week!

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this weekend. It's my last one in the US for a while so we're really going to make the most of it. Also, Jon and I are hoping to work in an 8-mile run Sunday morning--it'll be the longest I've done in a LONG time! I'll post pictures Monday! :)

Question: Do any of you have any tried-and-true food secrets you use to help you stay on track or lose weight (like my veggie soup)? I don't know how I'd survive without it! I make a pot every time I need to get back on track!

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hocking Hills Indian Run 10k

Sorry it's taken me so long to update, things have been pretty hectic over here Chez Nicky since I'm leaving to go to France in ONE week!!! (Insert panicked scream here). I haven't even started packing and I still have so much to gather, copy, do etc that it's mind blowing. That said, this past weekend was a HUGE success.

Saturday, Jon and I did our first ever trail run race in the Hocking Hills. It was ALSO the longest race I've ever run, clocking in at 10k. I finished 197/242 with a time of 1:18:09 (12:37/mi pace) and 8/12 in my age group. Jon finished 68th overall with a time of 58:31/9:27 pace.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my results. I walked up the 3 steep, root-covered hills and enjoyed the rest of my run. I didn't feel like I was pushing TOO hard (I was afraid of pushing too hard and getting tired), so I'm pleased that I maintained my normal, slow road pace while running through the woods. My ideal goal, knowing it was in the woods was under 1:15:00 and my "acceptable" goal was under 1:30:00, so I think I did pretty well. It was MUCH faster than last week's trail run around Dow Lake—that one really had me worried. All in all, I really just wanted to enjoy running through the Hocking Hills. I've wanted to come to this park for years and have never made it, so I really enjoyed seeing how beautiful it is. Jon and I will have to come back.

Anyway here are a few photos of all of us at the race. I'm sure you can tell the difference from "Before" and "After"!

Here's also the Garmin breakdown for the run. He did pretty well considering the fact that it was a forest, but in the end he was off by .2miles!

After the race, we made our way back to Cincinnati... and my car broke down on the way home! Oh no! Thankfully, Jon was driving ahead of me, so we just had to wait for AAA to tow Nigel to the mechanic, then we were home free! Here are a few photos of my mom's Lobster Bake birthday dinner and Jon and I celebrating the Auburn "victory" over Clemson at B-Dubs!

All in all, it was a great weekend! Extra bonus: Jon and I went to the Gap outlet on Sunday to get me some new jeans for France. Not only did Jon get a whole new wardrobe (that I LOVE), but I got everything I got in a size 10! My favorite: a black Banana Republic dress that it all tailored and fits beautifully... Even better... I got it for $10! Great day for shopping!

On that note, check back later for a second post... I'm off to today's weigh in!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shred (Day 2) and Weigh-In

Hoping to run today after work, I woke up this morning at 5:30am to squeeze in the second day of this whole "shred" business. I completed it, but let's just say my quads weren't (and aren't) too happy about it.

You'd think that with all the running I've been doing, they'd be stronger, but apparently not. I actually read an article today on the importance of lifting for runners, and, after seeing the effects of Level 1 of the shred on my poor, innocent quads, I completely understand.

That said, I had every intention of hitting the treadmill tonight after work to crank out a 6-miler... That delusion actually hung on until I got home and went to lace up my shoes and tried to run a few steps... and couldn't do more than a few yards without cringing. Instead, I took my ridiculously sore quads on a walk around the neighborhood with my mom. Here's hoping they'll be ready for tomorrow AM's shred experience and then tomorrow evening's yoga/jogging date with Paige!

Finally, as expected, this week brought about a gain:

Weekly weigh-in: 171.0
Loss: +2.4
Total loss: -22.6
Emotion: Unsurprised, but still not thrilled
LBS to go to 164 mini-goal: 7.0

I actually gained back all of the weight I'd been down last week. I'm kind of bummed since 7lbs in a week and a half seems a bit much to reach my pre-France mini-goal, but how was I supposed to know that I'd be allergic to medication and require serious steroids? In any case, I'm tracking my food like mad, and, as per a friend's suggestion, I manually went down on my WW daily points in an effort to break this plateau. Hopefully those measures in addition to exercise and getting off these meds will help me to see a loss next week!

On that note, I close with a question: Have any of you done the Shred and experienced this intense quad pain? What did you do? Honestly, I can hardly move, so I'm kind of skeptical about tomorrow morning's impending performance...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

30-Day Shred (Day 1)

So, tonight was Day 1 of the 30-day Shred, as per Syl @ Live, Smile, Run's challenge, even if I'm joining late!

Here are my "before" photos, taken (begrudgingly) by my younger sister, who is currently deep into packing for tomorrow's move into her first apartment ever (she starts college at UC next week), as you can see from the packed boxes all over the photos:

I know I have a long way to go, and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes, but just let me say that I am really proud of how far I've come. I know I've been plateaued for almost a year now in my weight-loss journey, but that's not to say that this past year hasn't been full of many new, exciting things and many stresses that could have led me to regain the weight and go back on the progress I'd made. While I haven't lost a lot more weight, I did go from being a "Couch" to a 5k to a more than 5k runner (jogger), and I went from a single, college undergrad who still needed to write a thesis and get a plan to a college grad, who is preparing for exciting possibilities both this coming year in France and next year in grad school and who is in a supportive, awesome relationship with a fabulous guy. Not really at a plateau in the rest-of-life department, I don't think. That said, here's to the rest of the Shred, something I think I can keep up in France! Woo! I'll admit that Day One was harder than I'd thought, but that means I can only get better from here! Stay tuned for tomorrow's weigh-in...

Athens Weekend

So, this weekend was also fabulous, since I'm trying to schedule seeing everyone in while I'm still in the proper country/vicinity to see them.

Friday was dinner in Columbus with my two favorite law school students Emily and Jesse. :) No photos, since Jes hasn't posted them, but we had a lovely night eating Italian food, drinking white wine sangria, and catching up on each other's lives since graduation.

Saturday, I took off for Nelsonville to spend the rest of the weekend with Jon and friends. The two highlights of the day were Jay's birthday party (sorry! no photos!) and Jon's and my run around Dow Lake at my favorite Stroud's Run State Park. I left Mr. Garmin in Athens (it's going to be a long few days without him), so no map/details, but we did a 7-mile loop, pictured on the map below:

Lakeview Trail

I was really surprised by how hard the run was for me—I probably drove Jon nuts because I ran really slow and even stopped to walk for around a mile. He's a trooper. He even ran ahead (mostly bc he's faster) and thus was responsible for being the one to find out if there were any muddy spots or spider webs in our way. Here are a few cell phone photos from the run:

The trail wasn't stellar, and that night I started seeing red bumps on my legs and was convinced that I had somehow contracted poison ivy/oak/sumac from the run. But, to my surprise, it kept spreading the whole weekend all over my whole body (with Jon TOTALLY unaffected) so that Monday morning I looked like I had the plague and went to see my doctor. Nope, no poison anything, just a super allergic reaction to the antibiotics I'd been put on last week. Apparently I'm now allergic to Bactrim and other sulfa-based drugs. Now that I know this, I'm learning that it's a pretty common allergy. Now I'm on weight gain-inducing steroids and a different antibiotic.

Sunday, we met Judith, the professor from the France trip, for brunch at the local favorite Jana's—a tiny restaurant in The Plains that serves organic/sustainable/local food. I had the "veggie mash" with homefries:


Afterward, Ike came over to the house and the three of us went out to shoot at paper targets in the woods. This was my first time shooting at an actual target so I was inordinately excited that I hit the paper at all... and accidentally hit and broke the top wire line one time as well. Didn't know that could happen!

I don't really smoke pipes, but the photo does have a nice effect, does it not

See! This is one clip (9 bullets). Go me!

That night, Jon and I went on a hot date to see The Switch, which turned out to be a better version of J-Lo's The Back-Up Plan (which we hated). We even stayed around after and played some video games: air hockey, skee ball, basketball, "bowling," zombie-killing... I always enjoy when we get to do "first-date"-y type stuff since we really never did at the beginning of our relationship/getting to know each other phase since we were in separate towns.
Look! From real guns, to fake guns!

All in all, it was a perfect weekend. Got to see a lot of my friends and spend plenty of quality time with the boy. We even got to cook dinner together on Sunday before the movie. I hadn't really realized how much I'd missed doing that together! :) Finally, Monday (after the doctor's appointment), I had the chance to run a few errands in Athens and to send my transcripts to my potential grad schools. Emory's application goes live tomorrow... I can't wait! Then, I got home just in time to take my mama out for dinner for her birthday... and learn, after the fact, that there are 14.5pts (?!?!?!) in a 12oz. frozen margarita. Sad fact of the day.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Now the week feels like it's really started and I'm off to Shred tonight and potentially Zumba. I'm not too optimistic about tomorrow's weigh-in with my dip in activity this past week and the addition of the steroids, but we'll see!

Oh and in other news, I've started reading Eat, Pray, Love. I (occasionally) am one of the "must-read-book-before-movie" -type people, and in this case, I definitely am. I was really resistant to reading this book for a long time, since I'm apparently a snob and shun huge bestsellers (Remember The DaVinci Code? Never read it.) But, the movie trailer looks really good (I LOVE Julia Roberts) and I've heard that only people who've read the book like the movie... So, here I am, loving every anecdote of this book. Can't wait to get to the other countries!
It's TOTALLY different from the last book I read, The Outlander. Another really good read. One of my student's in Paris was reading a book in this series and I spotted it in Chicago while Jared and I were looking for books for our bus ride home. This one's a mix of time-travel (non-hokey) and historical romance. Almost a fantasy book, only no magic and witches and such. It's about an English woman from 1945 who goes back to Scotland in 1743. I really enjoyed it. I'm a bit behind on my 52 books/year goal, but hopefully that'll pick up once i start taking the bus everyday in France!

On that note, what are you all up to? Reading anything good? Do anything fun this weekend?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A War Eagle Weekend and a Wednesday Weigh-In

Enough W's in that title for ya? Jonboy and I spent our Labor Day down South visiting friends, working on the house, and most importantly attending the first Auburn Tiger football game of the season. This football game also happened to be my very first AU football game, so Jon was super excited. He even taught me a few cheers on our plane ride from Columbus to Atlanta. It was also my first time tailgating at a real football school. I love OU, but we aren't exactly known for our football team! Here are a few snapshots from our tailgating and football fun!

Ashley, John, and Jon hand-pattied all the burgers for our tailgate... Go big or go home. Angus. DELICIOUS.

Our lovely tailgating spot off Mag

Sitting in the Student Section before the game!

Introducing the band

FINALLY! The sun is setting!

Jon was also a big fan of my new Auburn necklace

Victory cigars for the men

My first time rolling Toomer's... I got to throw a roll... And missed. I was too far away. Next time: Get closer to the tree... Or develop better arm muscles.

Now we're back home, and today was the day to face the music and see how much I'd gained over the weekend... I didn't have time to run while we were there and, although I watched what I ate, I still had at least 3 burgers (though I did use arnold's for buns!) in 4 days and one of them was from Niffer's... Soooo, I wasn't too optimistic, BUT here are today's numbers!

Weekly weigh-in: 168.6
Loss: -2.4
Total loss: 25
Emotion: Surprised
LBS to go to 164 mini-goal: 4.6

WOO! I'm feeling really good. This is getting roughly 2 pounds from my lowest recorded weight since starting WW (166.8) and I was this exact weight back in April. I bought Jillian Michael's 30-day shred and yoga DVDs today at Target to try out, so hopefully they'll help me get past the 166.8 into NEW, uncharted territory! WOO! Happy Wednesday and War Eagle!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I'm Loving Today...

Inspired by Mama Laughlin's post from today, today's post will be based on today's loves du jour, if you will:

Thing 1: The Dress I'm Wearing

You'll notice that this is not a photo of me. Not going to lie, I'm pretty sure my hair looks more normal than that. Regardless, this dress was a fabulous Zara find in Paris and I must say, I'm feeling pretty adorable in it today with fun earrings, my jean jacket, and red flats. I can't wait to take it into fall with boots! :)

Thing 2: The Fuel Belt

Christina had one of these this morning while we were running and I have gear envy in a big way. Let's just say, I might be ordering one of these for myself in the near future.

Thing 3: Delicious Yagööt

So, Yagööt is essentially PinkBerry only Cincinnati style. I'm officially in love and have been for awhile. I mean, what's not to love about a small froyo that's only 2 POINTS that you can then have covered in fresh fruit? YUM.

Thing 4: This Morning's Run

Christina and I met up this morning and went for a really enjoyable long run (in my book)/easy run (in her training) around our neighborhood. It's been really hard being back from Paris, since my stamina was apparently really set back by all that stopping at lights and waiting business, so it was really great to get in this run, which is the longest I've had since getting back from France.

and finally...

Thing 5: Today's Weigh-In :)

After a week of tracking points, but not doing a lot of running while kind of feeding (in moderation) my sweet tooth, I'm pleased to announce that I was down to 170.8 with a 2.8lb loss! I'm feeling pretty good since that puts me almost back to a pre-Summer vacation weight. Woo! On track for the mini-goal with 7.8lbs to go!

What do you love today? :)