The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Monday, December 30, 2013

3 months now...

3 months ago today I had Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

In that 3 months, I have lost 47 pounds, and quite a few inches.  I've gone from a size 22 to almost a 16 (my 18's are getting too big, but I'm not all that comfortable trying them on just yet).  I can cross my legs for the first time in years.  I've lost at least a cup size in my bra, and 4 inches in my band size.

I need to do my measurements in the AM, but in the meantime, here are my pictures the morning of surgery, and this evening.  Same outfit.  A lot of times I can't see the difference, these pictures make it pretty evident.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I'm now nearly 3 months out from weight loss surgery (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) and have started to catch myself falling back into old patterns.  I'm driving through for coffee (a waste of money because I have yet to drink an entire coffee that I bought), eating fast food type lunches, etc.  Now that my body will allow me to eat that shit, I'm starting to do it again.  BAD IDEA!!

I am still losing weight, and this morning weighed in at 223.8 (a loss of exactly 45 pounds from when I started the process to have surgery), which is nothing to shake a stick at in 3 months.  The problem is, my average weight loss is down to under 2 pounds a week.

I have noticed that I don't feel quite as good, don't have as much energy, or want to do as much and I'm certain this is a direct result of not tracking my protein and water intake. So---it's time to regain my focus, and work on tracking these things, getting them in, and making excellent food choices, rather than some of the crappy ones I have made lately.

I still have some difficulty eating some of the foods that are the best way to get my protein in in a day, like eggs, chicken and fish.  Because I am struggling with this, I have decided that I will be drinking a protein shake for breakfast each morning (it's better for me than coffee), and eat a protein bar for an afternoon snack.  those 2 choices alone will get me 60 oz of protein each day, or more depending on what I add to my protein shake.

I'm also going to be doing some experimenting with things to eat for lunch while I'm off work the next 10 days or so.  I'm going to see if I can handle egg salad (a pre-surgery favorite of mine) and tuna salad (plain tuna is way too dry and doesn't sit well).  Both of these will increase my daily protein intake as well.  I've also read about folks doing "turkey wraps" with a piece of green leaf lettuce, a slice of turkey, and a slice of cheese, also lots of protein.  These next 10 days are going to be all about experimenting with foods I love to see if I can handle them, and preparation to return to work.

I got enough protein shakes and protein bars for 36 days which will take me to Sunday, January 26, 2014.  If all goes as planned, I'm hoping that by that time, I will be down to 200 pounds.  Barney and I are going to start training for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon which is being held on Saturday, February 15, and we are running it together.  It'll be his first 1/2 marathon, my 3rd attempt and first finish.  I am so glad that I will have my love by my side as I do this.  He has been such a huge help for me in this journey to a healthier me, and it is only fitting that we do this together, I guess.

I'm still going to check in on December 30 with my 3 month weigh in and pictures.  And fully intend to keep everyone posted along the way.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Official Tri times...

I just got the email with the official times from the triathlon this weekend.  Better than I thought.

200 meter swim time: 12:33
15k (9 mile) bike time: 39:20
2 mile run time: 35:58

A couple of things I noticed
1--I was the slowest person of the day by over 15 minutes....guess how much I care...not a bit!!
2--I went into this expecting it to take me 2 hours, and my total time was 1:27:20
3--If I plan to work toward a half iron distance triathlon in my 40th year, I have a LOT of work to do

Other things that I believe are note-worthy, you may or may not agree....
I am considering going back to school, though I'm not sure for what/when

I have found a new peace internally that makes me comfortable in my skin for the first time ever.  not sure why, or what happened, but I'm really rather enjoying it.

I spend a lot of time helping, encouraging and "being there" for friends of mine, and find it interesting who responds when I need similar help, and who doesn't

My new-found peace has me wondering about going back to school to be a school counselor, to help kids who need a little additional help and encouragement.  I'm wondering if I could be a school counselor or not....hmmmmmm

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I am a triathlete!!

About a month ago I found out that the gym I am a member of was going to be doing an indoor triathlon.  I wanted to do it, and thought that just maybe I would sign up, but I wasn't sure....Then I found out that every dime raised went to local families who needed financial assistance at Christmas...Now I knew I would do it.  Why not challenge myself and do something I've wanted to for a while, and have the funds go to a needy family?

So I was a little freaked out about what I would wear and how that would go...I was VERY anxious as I filled out the registration form.  I have also been very sick this week, with sinus infection that worked its way into bronchitis, as is normal for me and my asthmatic lungs.  I was afraid I might have to walk the swim part in the pool....but I figured it was for a good cause, so who really cared.

So I got up this morning and got a quick shower, gathered up everything I needed (or so I thought) and headed out.  Barney called me as I backed out of the driveway to see if I needed my goggles, which I did, so I came back to get them...headed back out again.  I got to the gym, and set up my stuff in "transition"...though I was clueless...which became more and more apparent as time progressed.

One last trip to the bathroom and I got myself a nasty little surprise.  Now--I know one of the reasons I chose to have weight loss surgery was to take my life and health back.  Apparently, that health included my re-productive health, because well, let's just say that mother nature stopped by for a visit without warning, This typically doesn't happen without medication for me, so I was completely unprepared....took care of that, and we were lining up for the swim start.

There was 1 guy behind me in heat 1, who I assured I would be slow and he would have to pass me.  He did, in the first 25 meters.  I figured out very quickly that when you don't practice something, you lose your ability.  I used to be a pretty decent swimmer, but I think I drank half the lane on my first 50 meters, so I switched from the freestyle to the breast stroke.  Now that I was breast stroking (obviously incorrectly) and didn't need my goggles, I threw those on the pool deck at 100 meters.  At about 125 meters, I switched over to the backstroke and used that for the last 75 meters.  Out of the pool and into transition.  I was a bit light-headed and dizzy getting out of the pool and was a bit scared I would pass out.

Now, transition is apparently a game of chess against ones self.  I now know why folks wear a tri suit, and change NO clothes in the process.  I got to transition, dried myself off a bit, threw on my socks and tied my shoes.  I had put my shirt on my bike, and swam with my tankini top and sports bra.  In transition I took of the tankini top with the plan of putting my tank top on while I rode, the part I hadn't considered, was my sports bra and body being wet, and the difficulty putting on an exercise tank top with a built-in sports bra.  I spent the majority of the bike leg in bike shorts and a sports bra.  (I would like to apologize to anyone who had to witness that little debacle.  I don't like myself in that state of undress standing up straight and sucking in my gut, lord knows it wasn't pretty on a bike!!)  I realized about half way through the bike leg that I was on pace for a 44 minute bike ride to complete 15k.  I had done the 15k in a spin class in 38 minutes, and was REALLY hoping to be close to that time today, even though the first time I did it, I hadn't swam beforehand.  I saw person after person leaving the bikes and after a while, I was the only one left, my brain started the same old tricks on me trying to tell me I should give up, I was embarrassing myself, I should quit and sneak out the back door.  Thankfully no one was around to her me say, out loud, to myself, "Shut the FUCK up!"  So, somewhere during the bike, I got my buddy Michelle to come over and help me pull my shirt on so I wasn't riding w/o a shirt anymore.  She did, thankfully.  Finally finished my bike leg, and had to go across the gym floor and up the stairs to the treadmill.

When I got off the bike, I couldn't feel my feet or my legs.  I could see myself moving across the floor, but couldn't feel anything.  I was so out of sorts, I decided I would just put the treadmill on speed 3.0 and walk my 2 miles.  I'm guessing  I must have looked pretty rough, because one of the volunteers came to ask me if I was ok.  I told her I was light headed so she brought me a cup of OJ and a banana.  a few sips of OJ (I was wearing more than I swallowed), and 1 bite of banana and I thought I was going to have a puking episode.  I left both alone for the remainder of the run, and just drank my water.  Pretty soon I settled into a rhythm, got into a "zone" and decided to do some intervals.  from then on, my pace on the treadmill varied between 3.5 and 4.5 mph.  I was pushing myself pretty hard, but I fully intended to kick it up even a bit more at the end.  I got a side stitch on my right, then on my left.  I kept going.  People were coming by and talking to me, offering help, and encouragement.  I feel badly now that I didn't respond with much more than a nod or a thumbs up.  I couldn't talk.  I jogged a bit here and there, and at 1.93 miles, I pushed the treadmill up to 5.3mph and I ran.  I didn't job, I ran.  my big tail wanted to be done, and that was what it was going to take.  I finished my 2.0, hopped off the treadmill and ran to the finish line.  I walked a few laps on the indoor track to get my head back, and keep from passing out.

When I came across the finish line, she said something like "1:32:05".  I won't have my official time until tomorrow, but honestly that just doesn't really matter to me.  I finished a sprint triathlon.  I LOVED it!  I need to work on my swimming, overall cardio, and get my boo-tay used to the saddle if I'm going to do many more of these, which I think I just might.  It was a lot of fun, and more of an overall workout than my running attempts have been.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to be running and training.  I have a goal that I set last summer, that I would do the Raleigh Half IronMan sometime.  Well, I think that the year I turn 40 would be a stellar time to make that pipe dream a reality.  I have a long way and a lot of training to do in the next year to make that possible.  1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run.  I will get there...I will work for it.

Thanks to Beverly Moore, Dene Alameida, Summer Collins, Fonshee Ames and Michelle Hodge for convincing me to try this, and that I could do it.  It was fun.  When's the next one?!?!

Monday, December 2, 2013

2 months out of surgery

I was 2 months out of my surgery on Saturday, and I am seeing a bigger difference in me now versus September.  I haven't taken pictures in the same outfit as pre-surgery, I'll have to do that tomorrow maybe after I get home from work.

This month, I lost a mere 7.3 pounds, and 5 inches this month, and I have to admit that this is for 2 reasons; I didn't keep track of my protein and water intake like I should, I didn't exercise but once or twice, and I tried a few things that weren't on the prescribed good eating list, so I did it to myself.

On the eating front, I have eaten 70 grams of protein today (supposed to be 60-80)
I have had 30 of my 64 oz of water today
I went out and ran/walked a mile tonight (lasted about 17 minutes, need to aim for 30-45 for tomorrow night) and averaged 15:59 min/mile pace
Going to Boot Camp in the AM

Who needs New Year's Resolutions?  I'm starting now.  My goal is to lose 15 pounds this month, which will put me at 217.2, anything over that is "icing on the cake".

Time to kick things up a notch.

Here are a couple of pictures taken Saturday and tonight, so you can see that there are changes happening still.



Monday, November 18, 2013

7 weeks post op

and I have lost 35.0 pounds exactly sine starting the pre-op diet.  I have 88.8 more to go to my goal of 145.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Post-op changes are HARD!!!

I am going to be 7 weeks out from surgery tomorrow, and it is really time to step up the working out and better eating to be able to see the results that I intended when I underwent this surgery.

I have gotten a bit of a bump in my weight loss this week thanks to a stomach bug that Ella decided to share with me.  So, it was just last Tuesday that I finally broke the weight loss stall and said good-bye to the 240's, and I am already down to 235.0 pounds.  In the last week, I've lost 7.2 pounds, which I know isn't normal, and I figure once I get re-hydrated, my weight will bump back up a bit.

One of the things that is really hard for me, is saying good-bye to things I love.  I am loyal, at times to a fault.  The thing is, my schedule and the CrossFit schedule at the box I attend, and 3 kids, 2 of which who have homework nightly, and having a full time job, it just doesn't work.  I don't even want to type this, but it is looking like I am going to have to say good-bye to CrossFit due to the schedule.

So it is looking like I am going to have to say good-bye to CrossFit, at least for a little while, and work out at the gym close to home.  I will be doing most of my workouts in the mornings, boot-camp, cycling, swimming, and I will do my runs to train for the half marathons I am registered for in the evenings, after the kids are in bed, or early mornings on the weekends.

So, These are the races currently on my 2014 race calendar:

February--Myrtle Beach Half Marathon Valentine's Day Weekend with Barney, then the Glass Slipper Challenge the following Weekend at Walt Disney World.

March--I MAY try to do the Tobacco Trail Half Marathon on March 16

April--13th is Rock and Roll Half in Raleigh, possibly the Nike Women's Half in Washington DC

July--20, Rock and Roll Half in Chicago (Running Mom's Meet-up)

October--26, Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach, VA

November--9, Outer Banks Half Marathon

I've lost 33.8 pounds to date, and have between 90 and 100 more pounds that I would like to lose.  That isn't going to happen unless I really start working out hard and doing what I need to do.  The other thing is, with 3 kids, it is incredibly difficult to find time to work out in the evenings, so my workouts will have to happen in the mornings, while the kids are still sleeping.

I am meeting with a trainer at the gym, that teaches the boot camp on Tuesday afternoon, to do an assessment and orientation.  It's going to be different, not lifting heavy weights, and I'll definitely miss my CrossFit APX family, but I have to get my workouts in when and where I can.  Here's to the new me....and the fun, pain and changes that I'm certain are inevitable.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6 weeks post surgery

I am 6 weeks out from Vertical Sleeve surgery, and my weight loss stall is finally at an end.

Today, when I got on the scale, I weighed 238.6, a weight loss of 30.2 pounds since I started my pre-op diet on September 16th, 8 weeks ago.  I am starting to notice differences, and it feels REALLY good.

I'm out of the 240's for good, and I for damn sure won't miss them!

I have a few goals on the horizon, and I can't wait.

I'm going to be doing some half marathons again in 2014, and I'll be doing a sprint tri-athlon in October of next year in Chapel Hill.

I've also made some pretty big strides lately.  This weekend, we went to Jockey's Ridge State Park at the Outer Banks.  The kids asked me to climb Jockey's Ridge, and the "Sand Mountains" with them.  It was tough, but I was able to do it.  I did have to sit down after the first, VERY STEEP "mountain" to catch my breath, but it was awesome to be up there with the kids.

The girls and I were doing cartwheels together for the first time ever.  I was trying to tell the girls how to fix their cartwheels, but was afraid of doing them with them.  They talked me into it this weekend, and I was able to do cartwheels with them in front of the Currituck Lighthouse and on the top of Jockey's Ridge.

I met a friend who was running the Outer Banks Half Marathon.  I was waiting for her at mile 11, and helped encourage her to the end.  Kate is quite a bit taller than me, so I had to take a couple steps to her one to keep up with her long stride.  We did job/trot a couple of times, which felt pretty good.  It was the first time I had attempted to run since my surgery.

Barney and I will be going to the gym tonight to start training for our half marathon.  He forgets I think that we are registered for a half marathon in Myrtle Beach in February.  It is the week before the Princess Half Marathon, but has like a 6 hour time limit, so I don't have to push too hard...we need to get our butts moving if we want to finish and be successful!!

I am so excited for the reality that is ahead of me!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The pictures--updated

Facing forward, September 30 and today, November 5


 And finally--Side views

Look how much looser the pants are, and thus, how much longer.  Look at the difference in my belly!!!  I don't see it on a daily basis, but can't deny the difference in looking at the pictures.  Same pose now, and I'm wearing a bra in the second photos now...but the angle isn't exactly the same...still, a HUGE difference.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

1 month out

Yesterday I was one month out from having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.  I went for my follow-up with my surgeon and he was very impressed with my progress.  According to his scale, I weighed 239.5, having started at 268.8 before I started the pre-op diet on September 16, meaning I have lost 29.3 pounds in 6 weeks. 

My clothes have started to fit far differently.  The pants that I was in denial of having been too small now aren't.  I no longer come home with that red irritated band around my mid-section because my pants are too small and don't fit right.  I don't have a single set of pants left in my wardrobe that fit me like that.  In fact, today, I put on a pair of leggings that I bought when I was pregnant with Justin.  I have had these pants for 10 years, and for the first time ever, they are baggy, in the booty and in the legs.  this has never happened to me! 

I also found out from the doctor yesterday that I have been cleared to work out as strenuously as I choose.  I'm allowed to go back to CrossFit APX, I'm allowed to lift, run, swim, do whatever I feel comfortable with.  I am so excited that I can get back to being active again. 

I'll be alternating swimming and running in the morning, and CrossFitting 2-3 days a week.  If there is anything I have figured out through personal experience and talking to other people who have had the same surgery I did, it is that without diligent compliance and working out, I will be left with a great deal of excess skin hanging down that can only be taken care of surgically.  I knew that eventually I would have to have some plastic surgery after all is said and done, but I really don't want to sign on to a tummy tuck, thigh lift, breast lift and reduction, arm skin removal/reconstruction.  I'd like to keep the necessary surgeries to an absolute minimum---so to make that happen, I have to focus on some seriously amazing workouts and following the diet plan provided by my doctor. 

I didn't take measurements before I started this process, but I did the other night, and unfortunately, left them written down at home.  I will update tonight and add my measurements, as well as a side-by-side picture of myself in the same outfit I wore to the hospital for surgery.  I'm certain there will be a drastic difference in my appearance, because I FEEL very different, and everyone tells me I look a lot smaller, and my clothes fit very differently than they used to. 

My completely unrealistic goal is to be under 200 pounds by 1/1/14.  I seriously doubt I will lose 39.5 pounds in the next 2 months...but we'll see how it goes.  I'd love to start 2014 in Onderland!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The dreaded 3rd week....

Last Friday, I went to the doctor for my 2 week check-up and was please to hear that according to their scales, I have lost 23 pounds.  I was also ecstatic to learn I could start eating "mushy foods".  I never thought I would be so happy to hear the words "mushy foods"

This week I have been allowed to add things like refried beans, yogurt, cottage cheese, and pureed foods to my diet.  It has been so nice to eat something that wasn't sweet.  Now I will say, I have NEVER been a fan of any beans other than green beans, with a specific hatred of refried beans....not so much now.  In fact, here in about 30 minutes, I'm going to be making some Huevos Rancheros for lunch.  Not only is the protein what I need more of in my diet, but having a bit of cheese, and beans, things that aren't sweet, just makes me HAPPY.

Starting this coming Monday I will be allowed to start adding some moist flaky fish, tuna, (chicken is the last thing to get re-added), I'm allowed cream of wheat, oatmeal, etc.  I will continue the "fork tender" or "soft foods" diet for the next 4 weeks.  I will be allowed "regular food" beginning on November 18.  At this point, I will be eating approximately 1/4 of food at a time.  The first 1/4 cup I eat will be my protein for each meal, and then if I am still hungry/want more after that is down, I'm allowed to add things like cooked vegetables.

That part of the 3rd week that is dreaded though is the inevitable stall in weight loss.  I have been in a few weight loss groups on f\Facebook for a while, and it never fails that a couple of times each week, someone would come into one of those groups and ask if it was normal to not lose any weight, and state that they were only 3 weeks out of surgery, and how could that be possible with as little as they were eating.  I knew it was coming, though I would be lying if I said I didn't hope that I would be the exception to this rather obnoxious rule of weight loss surgery.  But alas, I was not the exception, and have been sitting at 245 pounds for a week now.  I know I am losing inches, because my clothes are fitting VERY differently, and let's be honest, I can't remember the last time I lost 23 pounds in 1 month.  I'm so ready for the scale to start moving down again....but until then, I'll stay on track and keep doing what I'm doing.  If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that cheating, or going off the program prescribed by my doctor isn't going to do anything but jeopardize my health and long-term success.

I'm so excited to head back to CrossFit this week, and I just can't wait.  I'm not allowed to lift more than 15-20 pounds for a couple more weeks, but I can do body-weight exercises, and still engage the muscles I haven't been using here for a while.  I'm going to start with 2 days a week and build up to 3 days a week.  This week also starts the training for the Princess Half Marathon weekend Glass Slipper Challenge, so I will be walking/running 3 days a week.

I am so excited about what the future holds for me, and what it is going to look like.  I can't wait to realize the life I've always wanted.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Weight I Didn't Expect to Lose

So I had a moment today where I asked myself, "Why do you feel so good all of a sudden?"

I have felt amazing since the surgery on Monday.  I have some itchy incisions, and would almost chew off my own arm to be able to eat something salty/crispy.

But I can feel that there is something VERY different about myself.  My perspective, my outlook, my mental place.

It seems ridiculous, being only 7 days out f surgery, but the fact is, I feel this good because I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders.

I mean, let's be honest.  When you are 5'2, 21 years old and step on the doctor's scale and see a number that starts with "2", no one needs to tell you that you are obese.  17 years later, no one needs to tell me that I am STILL obese.  I know it every time I try to sit comfortably in an airplane seat, and try to discreetly ask the flight attendant for a seatbelt extender.  I know it every time I have to be concerned about whether the table in a restaurant is anchored in position, or if I can push it further away to have room to fit.  I know I'm obese every time I take the elevator up 1 floor to prevent the embarrassment of having to stop at the top to catch my breath.  I know that I'm obese every time someone looks at me, completely confused and says, 'YOU?  Do CrossFit?'  I know that I'm obese when my 9yo son asks me at the beginning of a 5k we are running together, if he has to wait for me, or and go ahead and run his own pace.

I'm so aware of my obesity, that every new thing that comes along to "help" me, I have tried, for the most part.  I've tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, Medically supervised diet, purchased "the P.I.N.K method, Insanity, choked down beets.  Every meal I order in a restaurant, I would wait for the waiter to respond with some cute little quip about, "Are you sure you really need to eat that?"  I see how fast food workers when I pick up dinner for my entire family and they assume all of that food is for me.  I am keenly aware every single day of how I look, and every single day, until last Monday, my mind has been pre-occupied with, "What am I going to try next?"

Well, Last Monday, I answered that question permanently.  I chose to have a surgical procedure to help me reach my goals.  Since my surgery, I have yet to ask myself during a weight loss commercial, "Hey, I wonder how much that costs and whether or not it will work for me?"  I don't feel the need to get online and google the latest fad diet like "Sensa".  I am following the instructions of my surgeon to a "T" and doing what I am supposed to do to allow this tool to work.  Starting tomorrow, I start walking and getting in some more intentional exercise.  I feel good enough to do it, and it will only continue to help me go down this path.

The weight I never expected to lose, was the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I'm no longer an easy target for the next "get thin quick" fad diet, because I know what I'm doing, and I have taken a HUGE step to help me going forward.  I feel lighter emotionally.  I feel happier.  I in no way believe that this would be the answer for everyone, but it is absolutely what has happened to me.  The rest of this journey is going to be filled with difficult decisions and ups and downs, but I know, without hesitation, that I have made the right decision for ME!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

post-surgery update

Good morning!

I had my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on Monday, and am home now and recovering.  The day of the surgery, as soon as I woke up, I couldn't stop crying.  I was in a lot of pain, and thought I was going to throw up, which I understand is completely normal.  They gave me pain medicine, and anti-nausea medicine, and I haven't really needed that since.  I had a pain button to push if I needed it, and only pushed it maybe 5x in the hours I was at the hospital, and 2 of those were Monday night to help me sleep.  I still have some discomfort when I sip too much too fast, but I'm getting better at knowing what the limitations are.

I got home from the hospital on Tuesday, about 8:00 pm.  I tried sleeping in my bed, but honestly, I was too uncomfortable laying flat, so about 3:30 am yesterday I came downstairs and got comfortable in the recliner.  I've only taken 1 dose of pain medicine since getting home, and haven't needed any of the anti-nausea medicine.

Yesterday, my friend Faith came over and spent some time with me.  I wasn't sure how I would do home alone for the day because I was still pretty woozy late Tuesday. I was feeling ok yesterday, but it was incredibly nice to have someone to talk to.  We also went for a walk in the neighborhood.  walking is the key to getting the gas they used to pump up my stomach for the surgery to be absorbed into my body, and taken care of.

My goal for the first week home is to be sure I get in all the proper fluids and nutrition.  I am supposed to get in 60-80 grams of protein each day, and 64 oz of water.  Yesterday I got in a little over 50 grams of protein, and all of my fluids.  I'm trying a different approach today to be sure I can get it all in.

I got on the scale, reluctantly, because with all the fluids and gas pumped into me at the hospital, I expected it to be more than the morning I had the surgery.  I started my pre-op diet at 265.8, I went into surgery at 255.3, and today, I'm at 253.8, so I have lost exactly 12 pounds since I started the pre-op diet.

Today, I feel incredibly good.  I haven't needed pain medication in 36 hours, so I'm going to drive today, to work, to turn in my September time sheet, and some files that I didn't get to work on.  This will be my first time driving since the surgery.  Don't want to over-do it though.

I'll keep posted on how things are going.  I go back to the doctor next Friday, October 11 for my 2 week follow up.  between now and then, I'm going to try to avoid the scale, and just listen to my body.

Until next time!


Sunday, September 29, 2013


This time in 12 hours, I'll be getting out of the shower to leave the house around 6:00 am for my 8:40 am surgery time.  I have to check into the hospital at 6:40.

I have lost 10 pounds on the pre-op diet, and am trying to get every single ounce of water down that I can handle to make it easier for them to find my veins for an IV in the morning.

I have made home made, fat free chicken broth for the first few days home, and have 3 different flavors of jello setting in the fridge.

Only thing left for me to do is pack my bag, make sure I have everything I need, and get some sleep tonight.

I would appreciate any and all thoughts, prayers, good vibes, whatever it is that you do.

I'll post more once I get home from the hospital sometime on Tuesday.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Surgery Update

Well, I have done everything necessary, and I now have a surgery date.  I will be having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery on Monday, September 30.  I have a 3 hour appointment with my doctor on Wednesday to go over blood work, upper GI results, pre-op instructions, and everything I need to know.  On September 25, I have my pre-anesthesia testing at the hospital.  I will be starting my pre-op liver shrinking diet on September 16.

I appreciate the support I have received both publicly and privately through text messages and comments here on my blog.  This decision is not one that I came to quickly, or easily.  I had started the wheels in motion for this surgery 2-1/2 years ago, but chickened out and didn't do it.  I'm glad I didn't do it then, but I'm so ready to do it now.  I have chosen a fa less invasive procedure than I would have had 2-1/2 years ago.  I believe that all things happen for a reason, and I feel like the delay was a good idea.  The fact is, all of my failed attempts to lose this excess weight have been unsuccessful.  I very clearly remember the day I got on the scale and it said "200".  I cried, I was devastated, and I swore I was going to lose the weight and NEVER gain another pound.  I didn't have the strength, the knowledge or the ability to make that a reality.

Now that I have the knowledge and ability I have so many years under my belt as an obese woman, my body really just doesn't know how to lose weight without some serious help.  YOu name it, I've tried it.  As the nutritionist said, the surgery will give me the ability to do what I need to do and hold me to it.

I totally understand that there are going to be some serious adjustments to my diet that are required to be able to be successful.  I am also keenly aware that failure to comply with the diet and restrictions necessary will mean eventual failure and regain of the weight I lose initially.  I don't view this decision as a "simple fix" or an "easy way out" of obesity at all, but instead, as a tool to help me reach my health and fitness goals.  A way to meet the goals I set all those years ago.  A step forward into the life I always wanted to live with my kids, and the example of healthy living and physical activity that I wanted to share with them.

My son has developed a love of running, and is asking about running a half marathon.  He is 9.  His first question was, "When I run my first half marathon, will I have to wait for you, or can I run ahead."  He asks this because this summer, we ran the same 5k.  He finished in 30:27, I finished in about 56 minutes.  I want him to maintain this love of physical activity, but I want us to do it together.

I have a 7 year old who is built just like me.  She already weighs in at 80 pounds, and is having to wear sports bras because she is getting a woman's body.  I'm no fool, and I'm aware, also through research, that her early development can likely be attributed to the crap that we have allowed her to eat in the fist 7 years of her life.  I have 11 years to teach her how to eat healthy and be active.  If I do my job NOW, she will never have to feel the embarrassment, frustration and anger that I have dealt with as it pertains to her body.  This is a very fine line, as a mother, because I don't want her to feel singled out by me, or by anyone for her weight.

Ella is my peanut.  She is 4 years and 3 months old and still has yet to reach the 40 pound mark.  She needs 5t's for her height, but if it was just an issue of something going around her, would likely still be able to wear some 2t stuff.  She is TINY.

The fact is, I have 3 children with 3 very different body types.  I have to teach them ALL how to live a healthy lifestyle, and the answer to that is simple.  They need to eat a whole foods, clean diet.  No preservatives, and no crap.  I don't expect them to not ever eat candy, etc; but it needs to be the exception, not the norm.  As a result, everyone in the Blackburn household will be finding a whole lot less crap in the refrigerator and the pantry.  If I teach them these things now, it will be their norm as time progresses.  It will be the food they crave, and the food they enjoy.  It will be what their pallet has been trained to expect and to enjoy.

I have had a few people tell me that I'm being the opposite of a good example for my kids.  When I talked to them about it (me having surgery) in very general terms the first thing they did was start listing off the things they wanted to do with me.  They want me to hike, ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, go swimming and other things.  I want for us to have a lifestyle where my kids look forward to our weekends in the woods in a tent, or going to run 5k's together, or going hiking, and white water rafting together.  I want to be a mom that my kids can be proud of, not one they are ashamed of.  I want to live the life that I always envisioned for myself, not the one I resigned myself to because I got the short end of the genetics stick.

I gave up on myself years ago....this is me fighting back.  This is me taking back my life.  I regret allowing my life to get to the point where I felt like this was the most logical option for me to regain control of my life, but I am viewing September 30th as a re-birth day.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Oh, how I have missed exercise!!

I had to stop working out due to issues with my foot, but it's past time for me to re-acquaint myself with some sweat and hard work.  I also have been told to keep up/start my workout routine before my weight loss surgery, so that I can begin the lifestyle changes that I will need to have success after the surgery.

So, all of that being said, I am going to start CrossFitting again this week, and walking/running on my CrossFit off days.  I'm trying to make as many of the post-surgery changes I can prior to actually undergoing the surgery.  These are all things that will determine my success, and compliance is key.

I can't wait to head to CrossFit on Wednesday!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Next step in the process...

This morning I went to the hospital for my swallow study/upper GI.  Fortunately there was on endocsopy so my nerves about gagging/throwing up on the radiologist were completely unnecessary.

First he gave me what looked like a shot glass of "crystals" to form gas bubbles in my esophagus and stomach.  I was supposed to try NOT to burp.  These little crystal things were like POP Rocks candy on steroids.  It is completely impossible to not burp.  Then he gave me some barium to drink which did help keep the air bubbles down, but was the consistency of liquid chalk.  Then I had to lay down in various different positions to have my esophagus and stomach x-rayed.  Then I got to drink some MORE but slightly less thick barium so they could watch the barium go down.

The radiologist said that everything looked good.


Thursday, August 29, 2013


Since my previous post was met with a great deal of upset and comments on FB that seem cryptic in nature, I figure I may as well go ahead and answer the question that people are probably scratching their heads about.

I have made a decision to pursue weight loss surgery.  This has not been an easy decision, or one that I have reached without a great deal of prayer, discussion with my husband, research soul-searching.  I know that there are inherent risks to this surgery, and I know that there are complications that I need to be prepared to face in case I end up having to face those complications.

I used to think that surgery was the "easy way out" but the reality is, there is NO easy way out.  My other long-held opinion about weight loss surgery appears to be a valid one.  I didn't get fat overnight, and I won't get skinny over night either.  This is not a magic fix, or anything of the sort.  Weight Loss surgery is a tool to help myself, and other morbidly obese people reach their health and weight loss goals.

To be fair, there has been no shortage of diets, weight loss plans, or supplements that I have availed myself of, and for the most-part, I have had little to no success.  The most I have ever lost on any one program was Weight Watchers, 12 years or so ago, when I lost a total of 24 pounds.  Immediately after ceasing paying for and attending WW meetings, I immediately started gaining weight back.  I have been told that I'm just too lazy to continue to work for it, and various other things about this surgery.

While I totally understand and respect my family's concern for my safety I have to do what I feel is best for me.  I know that weight loss surgery can be a very polarizing issue, I only ask that any comments about my decision be respectful.


I just DON'T get it!

You know, I am at time left confused and wondering how things have come to be the way they are in this big wide world. and the reality it there is no good answer.  I hear judgment all the time, be it about someone being fat, skinny, gay, Christian or Muslim, Republican or Democrat, choose the topic, and there is inevitable judgment from the people who don't fit the particular label or stereo type addressed.  I am not immune from this judgment, and have participated in a great deal of it myself, which I am ashamed to admit, but refuse to lie about it.

What I keep coming back to is that regardless of the circumstance, judgment hurts someone.  We have all made decisions on a daily basis, and all of us have loved ones that make decisions that we may or may not agree with.  I have friends and family that don't subscribe to my political beliefs, my religious beliefs, and how I parent.  Guess what, that is their right.

We don't all have to agree, but what I do believe is that with varying opinions, if you want for someone to respect your beliefs and opinions you need to be willing to respect their beliefs and opinions.  Re-read that last statement, I didn't say Like, or accept, I said "respect".  There is a HUGE difference.  I don't necessarily like the parenting decisions all of my friends make, but I respect the fact that they are parents and are doing what they feel and believe is right for their family.  Respect goes a long way with family members, friends, and acquaintances, and lack of respect is just hurtful.

Each person needs to live their lives and do the things that are best for them, and what they believe to be right.  It is NOT a personal affront to you just because your opinion may oppose mine.  I don't understand this theory that a differing opinion entitles someone to state that opinion as loudly, and as as often as they choose until the person with the differing opinion comes around to your way of thinking and now shares your perspective.

Respect goes a LONG way folks, and remember, if you want to get it, you typically have to give it.  Respect is a 2-way street.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Stepping Back

Sometimes in life, it's time to step back, and re-examine what you have on your agenda. 

I registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge in June, before I knew the extent to which my foot was messed up and how long I would be wearing a ridiculous boot.  The fact is, it is August again, and I still weigh 265 pounds.  While I would dearly love to complete the Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge, and do so in grand style, my current health, weight and physical ability begs the question, "Is that even realistic?"  I always try to be a realist, not a pessimist or an optimist, but a realist. 

The realist in me says, "Come on, Krista.  It ain't gonna happen."  While I would like to argue with that inner voice, I think it's right.  I mean, really.  I have 3 kids, I'm coaching 2 softball teams this fall, and I work full time.  The next time I toe the line at Walt Disney World for a race I want to know in the deepest part of my heart that I am prepared, and ready to finish that race in under 3 hours.  I had said when I quit at mile 10 this year that I wouldn't return to Disney for 2 years, when I was at a healthier weight, and totally trained and prepared for the race. 

I got caught up in the magic that is Disney and I registered, and I shouldn't have.

So now I need to figure out what to do with my race entry. 

Sometimes being a realist sucks, but I'll thank myself for it when I finish the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2015, and get my pink coast-to-coast medal, all on the weekend right around my 40th birthday. 

now, it's time to kick the healthy lifestyle and training into gear to start training now for what I want to do in about 18 months! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Reality

As a woman who has suffered with Clinical depression for years, and never been all that willing to accept it, sometimes life kicks me in the ass, and situations make me stand up and acknowledge the reality of who I am.  I am in that place right now.

Some of you may remember that this past January, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  He is only 64 years old, but there is some conjecture that his Alzheimer's is progressing at an increased rate due to his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and whatever cause "Gulf War Syndrome" as he suffered from that as well.  My father has always been one of the lights of my life, and my hero.  He has always been a positive force in my life and one that can make all of us laugh when we have needed it the most.  Needless to say, the idea of losing that connection and personality is terrifying to me. 

Most of you also know that my mother was diagnosed 10 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis.  This was an equally devastating diagnosis because of all of the unknowns.  I had never known anyone that I could think of (other than Montel Williams) that had been diagnosed with MS.  As it turns out, my mother has "Relapsing Remitting" one of the more slowly progressing forms of this terrible disease, and as a result, a weekly shot and a few times in the last 10 years she's had a few days of IV steroids, but really, not much worse off, especially now that she knows what causes her symptoms to flare up and is very vocal about it when those things start to happen.

All-in-all, my sister and I have decided that we're pretty screwed in the brain department, but there's not much that we can do about that.  The thing is though, that the gravity of a father with Alzheimer's and a mother with MS just really hit me in the head this morning, and with the clinical depression I've struggled with for years, I feel like I have taken a huge hit.  My mom can't devote her time 100% to taking care of daddy, because she has to take care of herself or risk ending up in a full-blown MS exacerbation.  Daddy can't take care of mom like he has the last 10 years, because quite frankly, while he's still in pretty good shape mentally, he is struggling to some extent with remembering the little things that he did yesterday, so if he promised mom he would do something, it may or may not happen.  As their daughter I feel like I need to step up in some meaningful way to help my parents navigate this mine-field of aging with neurological disorders, but I feel wholly under-equipped for the job.  I work full time, I have 3 kids, and a husband, and a house and a life of my own.  This isn't to say that I don't owe to my parents to help out, I absolutely do, but how?  when?  Thus the feeling that I have fallen down a hole.  My brain is overwhelmed with what my reality is at the moment, and I just really don't even know what to do about it at this point.  

Yes, I know the simple and obvious answers, make sure I'm taking my medicine and maybe talk to a counselor, but that won't change my reality and the fact that I have two parents with major neurological disorders for which there is no cure.  I also need to get back to exercising, because I could really use some of those endorphins.  Sometimes being an adult just sucks.  I've always said there wasn't enough money in the world to make me wish I was young again, but at the moment, teenage ignorance of what was to happen 20 years later (now) sounds pretty damn good to me....

Thursday, August 15, 2013


The blasted boot is OFF!!!  I've spent my fair share of time in braces and boots, but 7 weeks in that thing, in the middle of a North Carolina summer was NO FUN!!!  At this point we are planning on no surgery, physical therapy for the next 4-6 weeks, twice per week, to work on flexibility, ankle strength and getting my foot back in "exercise" shape. 

In the meantime, it's a matter of swimming and walking/running in the pool to keep the stress off the ankle.  We'll see what the physical therapist has to say.  I'm so ready to get moving again.  I wanted desperately to swim or SOMETHING while I was in the boot, but he told me absolutely NOT!  He wanted me on complete rest, if I wasn't walking to the bathroom, or to the office, I was not to be on the foot. 

So I'm in the process of scheduling a PT appointment at the location that just happens to be in my gym.  I want them to help me come up with exercises that will help to build cardio while the foot continues to heal.  I desperately want to go back to CrossFit, but with the crazy work hours that the beginning of the school year bring, I just don't see how that will be possible for at least the next month or so. 

Back on the road, and headed toward a Princess Half Marathon that I entirely plan to OWN this year!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Husband Rocks!!!

So.....sometimes the things that annoy me, I have found, can shine a light in places that I never knew were eating away at me.  

Barney has adopted a new habit, when we travel or spend extended periods of time alone, in a car, or something, that he asks me what can only be described as probing questions to learn more about me and my past.  The reality is, we have been together for 11 year, so one would think that there was NOTHING that we didn't know about each other that was relevant, but the reality is, these questions have made me examine things in a different way.  I know that he asks these questions to enlighten himself, but this last weekend, I have awakened to a new reality for myself.  

I have always had a very negative image of myself, both physically and emotionally.  I never knew WHY I felt these negative things, but they just seemed to be my truth.  I was fat, I was ugly, and I was unworthy.  I was unworthy of love, positive attention, positive feedback, and anything positive in general.  

So in all of these questions, Barney basically called BS on me the other day for my negative feelings about myself.  He pointed out that in High School, there was no shortage of boys that were interested in being my boyfriend.  In college, I had a few boyfriends.  I've been married before, and dated a guy between my ex-husband and Barney for about 6 months.  Clearly, there was something about me that had attracted quite a few gentlemen over the years.  So it made me wonder, was he right?  Has everything I've ever believed about myself been totally off base?  Have a been wrong about who and what I was in the eyes of others for 30+ years?  More importantly, how does one discern this about themselves?  If I think I have figured this out, how do I test my hypothesis?  Well, the answer is, you ask questions.  

So, last night, when I signed into Facebook, I saw that a friend of mine from high school, who at one point had expressed a possible interest in me, was signed in.  because this brief interest was something we had discussed completely for informational purposes in the past, I didn't feel like it would be out of line to ask him about it.  So I first explained that I had no expectations, that I didn't want anything sugar-coated, and asked some of the questions that I was curious to know the answers to.  

Without going into details, we will just say that my hypothesis was proven to an extent.  So, here's the reality of what I have put together that has helped me to put the puzzle pieces together.  So here goes my understanding.....

My parents did so many things over the years, and during my childhood, to encourage me, and teach me, and show their love for me.  So, the idea that my negative feelings would be attributed to my parents hurts me.  The reality is, some of the things that they did with the best of intentions caused negative outcomes that they never intended.  I love them dearly, and they are amazing parents, but some things just affected me in a way that was never the way they intended.  Let me also say, that I don't "blame" them for ANYTHING, because blame implies intent, which they never had.

My mom was never, and still isn't an overly confident woman.  She has always questioned her validity, and been disappointed in her appearance.  She has struggled with her weight my entire life, and as a result, has had very low self-esteem and self-worth.  These were all of her own insecurities and struggles, but as a child, I heard, and continue to hear, how I am just like my mother.  But if she doesn't think SHE'S worth anything, and I'm just like her, how could I be worth anything?  

As I got older, in an effort for my parents not to be REALLY young grandparents, my dad spent a lot of time explaining the male psyche and the motivations of a teenage boy, which as most of us adults know, revolve primarily around their groin.  

Add together the idea that I'm not worthy, I'm fat and I'm ugly to the idea that boys are interested in one thing, and you are left with a young woman who thinks that the only reason any man would express an interest in her is for their own physical needs, because clearly, why else would they be interested in me?  It didn't make sense.  

Suffice it to say, thanks to the probing questions of my amazing and loving husband, his willingness to call BS on my negative self-image, and the willingness of an old friend to answer questions that may have been a bit of a blind-side with some self-serving questions when I'm certain that he has bigger fish to fry.  

So--I have to say that I feel like I am starting to see myself in a whole new way.  I am starting to accept the things that others have said about me over the years.  I'm going to start to accept the positive things that I hear and believe my husband from now on when he calls me on my BS.  I have the best, most understanding husband EVER!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Something very weird just happened

Something very weird just happened, and I know what I THINK it means, but I won't know for sure until tomorrow.

So, I had an MRI done on my right foot/ankle on June 14, before leaving to go to my professional conference in Alabama.  At the time, the radiology place gave me a CD of the images and said they would forward a report to the doctor's office, which they did.  I went back to see him on June 24, he put me in a boot, and I went back again on July 15, he gave me a cortisone shot and told me to come back in 3 weeks, but he'll be out of town, so it ended up being 4 weeks, August 12.

So, at my appointment on June 24, the doctor told me he wasn't really very happy with the MRI report he was forwarded and asked me to bring him the CD so he could look at the images himself.  He had told me at one point that if surgery was required, he would be referring me to his partner as he does feet, and the partner does ankles.  He would feel better if the partner did the surgery on my foot.  I took the CD of MRI images into my appointment with me this past Monday, July 15 and Dr. Hauser said he would review the images.

So, tonight, I'm on my way home from work, and my phone rings with a local number.  I wasn't sure who it was, but I answered it, and to my surprise, it was a reminder that I have an appointment with the ankle specialist on Wednesday morning at 8:00.  Now, as far as I know/knew, my next appointment was to be on August 12, with Dr. Hauser, but this appointment is on Wednesday morning with Dr. Nolan.

Hmmmmm, I could be wrong, but we were trying non-surgical interventions with a referral to the ankle specialist for surgery only, or that was my impression.  I'm calling first thing tomorrow morning to see what this is all about, but here is my hypothesis.  I'm guessing that after reviewing the images from my MRI, the foot guy decided that the damage was worse than described in the MRI report, and asked the ankle specialist to take a look.  I think the ankle specialist took a look and between them they decided that surgery was the best/only option, and scheduled an appointment for me, but I'm not sure.....

We'll see what happens, I'll update after my apparent appointment on Wednesday morning. Who knows...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

frustration abounds

I had called my doctor the other day to see if I was allowed to ride a bike or swim or anything while I'm still in the boot until August 12.

He called me back this morning, and left me the message that I least wanted to hear. apparently with the location of the fracture in my foot, any kind of stress on it could cause a growing stress fracture.  I am basically allowed to do only the minimal amount of walking to get where I have to be.  If I am not walking to or from the bathroom, work, the car, bed, etc I need to be sitting and putting my foot up.  I can't swim, bike, walk for exercise, elliptical, NOTHING.  I am SO frustrated.

So, I'm going to spend the next 4 weeks following directions and doing NOTHING that I don't have to and staying of my feet.  I am praying that doing so will mean a full recovery and I can start running and swimming then to get into running/walking shape and finish my 10k in October in under 1:30. I then have a Half marathon on December 29, February 24 and April 13.  These races I am already registered and paid for, and I won't be adding anything else to this list.  My goal is to get in the best shape of my adult life and do the best that my body will allow.

I have a few immediate goals:

1--follow doctor's orders
2--clean up my diet
3--train smart for the races already on my calendar
4--finish!  Do my training and finish the races I start.

I have failed so many times and I am SICK of it.  I want the life I have always wanted, and this is nothing more than yet another set-back.  I'll get through this, and get trained. I will run across that finish line at Princess Half Marathon with a great deal of pride and self-satisfaction.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's been a while

So I went out and did the Quay 5k.  I felt GREAT!!  I mean GREAT, till the next morning when I couldn't walk.  I will say though, that my prediction of time on Saturday morning of 55 minutes was dead on.  I actually finished in 55:40, still under an hour, but definitely needs to improve!  My son though, and his little speedy legs, finished in 31:27.  He did an AWESOME job and I couldn't be more proud of him!  Yet again, after a very short, mere 3.1 mile run/walk, my ankle was swollen to the size of a small cantaloupe, with no flexion AT ALL, and it was really painful.  I decided enough was a enough and it was time to seek out a foot/ankle specialist because obviously the reason that the original orthopedist gave me that my ankle pain was nothing more than the fact that I was fat, was accurate.  Besides, if my weight was the only reason my ankle was painful and swelling, wouldn't that effect both ankles?  I mean, really?!?!

So I called and made an appointment with a foot/ankle specialist, and my appointment was on June 10.  He recommended an MRI, which I had on June 14, got the results on June 24.  I have a small fracture in the talis bone of my foot, it is old, but healing, but running isn't helping, so no weight bearing exercises allowed AT ALL!  I had told him I was doing CrossFit, so he even went so far as to say no squats, lunges, jumping, walking excessively or running. 

I followed the directions given, even wore the doggoned boot down to the beach when hubbs and I wanted a romantic walk on the beach.

Followed up with the doctor yesterday.  Still experiencing a lot of pain and swelling, more pain in the boot than when I wasn't wearing one, but maybe that's a good sign?  At any rate, he explained in detail what the surgery would be like to repair my ankle, which included taking cartilage from my knee to put in the ankle to help the cartilage re-grow, or some other inorganic substance that imitates cartilage, or maybe even from a cadaver.  At any rate, in the interim, he felt like 4 additional weeks in the boot and a cortisone shot might remove the necessity of surgery, so that's what we are doing now.  I won't even begin to try to describe the pain of a needle going all the way through your ankle joint, I'll leave it to your imagination, but we'll just say, the doctor figured out quickly that I could indeed curse like a sailor.

So, next follow-up appointment is August 12, at which point I'm praying for an eviction notice from the boot.  I'm also still waiting to hear back from the doctor about whether or not I can swim between now and then, or if it is too much stress on the joint.  He did tell me I couldn't even run or walk extensively in the pool, so I'm betting swimming is out too. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Quay 5k

Tomorrow morning, I will be heading out for the 5K in my town.  I have run this race before, and it is a bit hilly, but also a really neat race.  It is very well staffed, lots of volunteers, no question on when/where to turn, well marked course, and awesome spectators.  I do believe it is patently unfair for the spectators to sit on their front porches eating pancakes and bacon at about the 2.5 mile mark (I swear that is exactly what happened 2 years ago), I'll enjoy it.

I have run 2 5ks in the past, my first was in 50:49, the second took 52:15.  I haven't really gotten to train like I should have, and while the reasons are valid, I won't use them as excuses.  I have the simple goal of going out and enjoying the run/walk.  The last two years since I ran my first 5k I've allowed the desire of being a "Good enough" runner to make me hyper focus on all kinds of things like pace, training plans, bucket list races, gps watches, name it.  While all of these have a place and a time that the discussion of them is necessary, now is neither.  The reality is, when I finished my first 5k, I was so proud I cried, since then, I've been striving for a goal which is neither necessary nor valid.  What does it matter if I can run a 5k in 30 minutes?  While I would love to, would it make me a better person?  Nope, sure wouldn't, it'd just make me a faster runner.

I came to the realization tonight while talking to my son who is also running the race and telling him to run his best race and enjoy it, I should be aiming for the same things.  Why am I worried about pace or timing?  Why not just go out, run the best race I can run tomorrow morning and go from there.

In light of that, and thanks in part to the awesome support of the Running Moms Mafia I am proud to be a member of, I'm going to go run/walk/crawl my race.  I'm going to try to have fun.  I'm going to put on my iPod, my headphones, and just GO!  None of this other crap matters, because truth is, I'm still lapping everyone on the couch.  I'm lapping every other girl my size who wants to try, but talks herself out of it due to fear.  I'm going to go have a good time, in my little town, with 500+ other runners.  I have but 2 goals:
1--No blue light escort to the finish line
2--Have a good time
The rest will take care of itself.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Um...hello.....I'm BACK!!!!

Hard for me to believe that it has been about 6 weeks since I last posted a blog, but it has been a CRAZY month-and-a-half!  Justin has been playing on 2 teams, Ada has been playing on 2 teams, we've been having dance recitals, crazy game schedules, work schedules off the charts, and I haven't been in the box but twice since the Princess Half Marathon on February 24. 

In addition to working out, the other thing I haven't been doing is sitting on my ass without trying to at least gain some knowledge about what my next step should be.  I have read about half of one book on nutrition, and I have 3 more that I want to read.  I went to see Jillian Michaels, and it was the first time in my life that someone explained nutrition in a way that I actually "got it" and it made sense to me.  It seems stupid to say that I'm just starting to get it at the age of 38, but it's true.  Let me see if I can put what I've learned into words so that it makes sense for any of my readers that have struggled on this part as well. 

First thing I learned was that if I'm going to get this weight off, nutrition is the key.   To be more specific 70% of the results I will see (and thus haven't seen to date) are based on nutrition. 

Clean eating is becoming more and more important to me, the more I hear/read.  When Jillian explained how hormones, antibiotics, and corn fed cattle affected not just the meat supply, but also dairy, It finally made sense.  Not only did she tell us, she showed us pictures of what the cattle, and their cuts of beef looked like side-by-side.  There is no way to deny the differences, and if the cattle and their cuts of meat look that much different, there is no doubt your body must process and handle the food differently.  And if that same cow is being milked for your cheese, milk and other dairy products, it stands to reason that your getting the bad meat, milk, cheese, and your body is struggling to digest that crap.

Eating totally organic can be very pricey, so as Jillian mentioned, $20 extra for organic meat and dairy is where you should spend it.  Organic produce is great if you can afford it, but since you should be washing all of these things before you eat them anyway, doing so should mitigate anything they have on the exterior. 

I have also figured out that the sheer volume of differing information about eating plans/lifestyles is absolutely overwhelming.  I'm sure that different people see successes with different plans, for different reasons.  The fact is, eating is not a one size fits all venture.  What works for 1 person may not be do-able for someone else for various reasons.  The fact remains, you have to find what works for YOU and do it.  I'm still not 100% sure what is going to work best for me, but I'm not ever going to give up reading and trying to figure out what is best for MY body and MY lifestyle. 

I have figured out that 2 things are going to be absolutely vital to my success; support and preparation.  I'm a very social person, and I have to have people to talk to as I make these connections and find what works best for me.  I have a good friend that I met through an asshole that we both used to train with at the gym.  She and I are very similar in our struggles, and personalities, and we have WAY too much fun together.  She and I will be shopping together and spending time together preparing meals for our families that are healthy.  My kids are in for a RUDE awakening.  There won't be anymore 2 meals cooked/night and their processed chicken nuggets, sugary cereals and other crap are about to disappear. 

Tomorrow morning I'm going to be taking some "before" pictures, and posting them here, as well as measurements and weight.  I will not be weighing myself regularly, in fact, I think I'm going to do my best to only weigh myself once a month.  I tend to get very caught up in the numbers, and can get very easily discouraged when I think the # on the scale doesn't reflect the work I am doing.  I'm going to use my measurements, weight, how my clothes fit, and overall fitness levels and how I feel working out, to guide how I feel about my journey. 

Here's to continuing this journey, with a new perspective on food/nutrition.  I'm interested to see how I feel.  I'm going grocery shopping on Sunday, June 2, so I won't weigh myself until I get back from Vacation on July 6th.  I might have to ask hubby to hide the scale from me to make this happen, but I'm going to do my best.  Stay tuned for my "before" pictures tomorrow...


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Maximizing MY Life

Wow--I'm not quite sure how so much time has passed with me not getting in my workouts, or blogging, but that trend has GOT to stop.  I feel so disconnected from my CrossFit APX family, my body feels like I haven't worked out a day in my life, and I feel like a fat, lazy slob.  The last 5 or 6 weeks have been riddled with stomach viruses that our family has passed around repeatedly, and quite frankly, with 2 kids playing on 4 different ball teams, and all of the practices and games, I feel like I'm nothing more than a chauffer at this point.  I'm glad, because I know that my kids are involved in healthy activities, etc....but it puts a massive dent in the workout schedule. 

Also, at work, we have signed up for a health and fitness challenge.  The goal is to be more active and eat better.  There are 3 different challenges you can compete in, and they include the # of steps per day, the # of minutes worked out, and the % of weight lost. Looking at my pedometer each day has been absolutely eye-opening.  I now KNOW why I haven't been losing much weight at all.  Yes, I do CrossFit 3 times a week when I'm going regularly, but since I have a desk job, I'm struggling to meet 5,000 steps a day, and the goal is 10-12k steps/day.  At 5,000 steps, I am still in the sedentary range.  So, I'm working out, but I'm clearly not moving enough to off-set my caloric intake. 

I have also still been making some bad food choices, and need to get then under control.  I feel like I am starting to figure everything out, and how it all works together to help me lose weight, or to counter-act my weight loss efforts.  It's still really hard because of having 3 kids who want to eat the kinds of foods that kids like to eat, and a husband who can eat anything he wants and not gain an ounce.  I look at a piece of cake and gain 3 pounds, all in my hips and thighs. 

I have taken a few steps that I'm hoping will help to motivate me going forward and maintain my motivation going forward to FINALLY see the changes in my life that I want and need.  I have some pretty large goals and training plans going forward. 

Training Plans: 
Run/walk in the AM at 5:15 to be home before Barney leaves for work
I will CrossFit in the afternoon from 5:30-6:30

Swim in the AM
Yoga in the evening  I'm pretty sure I still have my yoga DVD I bought when pregnant (It may still be in the cellophane wrap even).

Saturdays are filled with baseball and softball games, but it isn't going to hurt me to walk laps around the field in between games. 
Sunday- Church, baseball games and family time

I also bought myself a ticket to go to the Jillian Michaels "Maximize your Life" tour.  I cannot wait to see her from the 3rd row, and hoping to be a part of the interactive portion of the tour.  She has said she will be pulling audience members up on stage and you could apply to be one of those folks.  I have done-so and am hoping that I will be one of the lucky ones on April 25. 

It's time to get serious, dedicated, and work my ass off to start seeing my dreams come to fruition.  It is time to make my dreams a reality. 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Cash Out!

Oh, for the love of all things, holy, tonight was TOUGH!!

Tonight's WOD was a tough one, but if felt so good to be back at the box.  Good to see Andrea back at the box, and got to WOD with some of my favorite CrossFit Friends, Jeff and Karen!  Good to see some of my friends and cheer them on as they finished up the 5:30 class.

So, after our warm-up, we had to work on getting our 1 time max box jump height.  I have been doing the 12" box with a 10# plate on top of it, about 13" for my regular box jumps.  I attempted 19", but couldn't quite get my head right mentally, and never pulled it off, but I did pull off 17".

10 Kettle Bell Swings (I used 26#)
run 200 meters
15 KB swings
run 200 meters
20 KB swings
Run 200 meters
25 KB swings
Run 200 meters
25 KB swings
Run 100 meters
20 KB swings
Run 100 meters
15 KB swings
Run 100 meters
10 KB swings
Run 100 meters

I finished in 22:33  For the record, the first 200 meters I ran all of, which was a first for me.  Yes, I can do 10 miles of a half marathon, and have even done 12.5 miles, but that is when I'm doing nothing but running/walking.  Start throwing in weights and resistance training intermittently, and i get gassed even faster. I still did all of the running distance that was rx, didn't scale anything except the weight of the KB.  We were supposed to use 35#, but I'm just not quite there yet.  I am VERY proud that I was able to do all of the running without scaling it back.

100 sit-ups

My combined time for the WOD and Cash Out was 30:50.  I was really hoping to finish in under 30 minutes, but all things considered, I'm pretty proud of how it went.

The good news is, since the kiddos are going to be out of town this week, I am going to see if I can't make it to the box every night but Friday (Justin has a game on Friday).  I am also thinking I might do swimming/running in the morning, WODs in the evening this week...maybe give my exercise/weight loss a swift kick in the ass.

Till next time!


It's Time

Well, I have known for a while that it was time to make some changes to my eating habits, but a total overhaul of the kitchen, menu and eating habits of a family of 5 are no small task.  It takes some time to clean out the pantry, the refrigerator, re-stock both with healthy options, and plan/work on a menu.  Well, as luck would have it, my mom has decided to take the kidlets to the beach for the week starting tomorrow, and coming home on Friday.  So, it's time.  Tomorrow after work, I will be cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry, I have some serious shopping and planning to do after that, and I'm fairly certain that my hubby isn't going to be all that happy with me once I complete this little task. 

My husband is one of those amazing people who can eat anything he wants and never gain an ounce.  I have talked about having weight loss surgery a few times over the years, and he has said that he doesn't see the need for something that drastic.  The fact is, I eat less than he does, but if I look at fast food or dessert, I gain a couple of pounds.  It's like Ali Vincent said in her presentation at the Princess Half Marathon, I didn't gain my weight all at 1 time because of 1 tragic event.  I have gained 5 pounds here, 3 pounds there.  At the time, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but eventually, 3 pounds turns into 10, and 10 turns into 50, and the next thing you know, you are 100 pounds overweight and wondering what the hell happened. 

In line with this, I have set a few goals for myself for the month of April.  My goal is to be active at least 30-60 minutes every day.  I'm going to be drinking water only for the month of April, and I will absolutely be minimizing the amount of  processed food for the month of April.  I weighed myself this morning for a challenge we are doing at work, and I was at 251.4.  My goal for the month of April (When I weigh myself on 4/30/13) is to be 243 or less.  That is a 2 pound per week weightloss for the month of April.  I'd desperately love to be under 240 by our anniversary trip, but that is only 4 weeks and 2 days away, maybe the eating cleaner, healthier food can make that possible?!?!?

Friday, March 22, 2013

UGH! Birthday WODs SUCK!!

So, I don't know if every CrossFit Box does this, but at CrossFit APX, when it is your birthday, you apparently get to write the WOD (I didn't get to because I was out for a month around my birthday, so I'm not exactly sure of the process).  At any rate, Today was John's birthday, and he was turning 49, which is reason for a WOD from Hell!!! 

First, we took 10 minutes to find our 1 rep max push press, one of my favorite lifts.  Tonight we didn't have to clean the bar to get it into position, we racked it, which meant I was able to do a lot more weight than normal.  I ended up maxing out at 135#.  I attempted 140# and got it over my head, but not locked out, so it doesn't count. 

Now for the WOD....ugh!!

49 ab-mat sit-ups
49 walking lunges
49 jumping pull-ups
49 kettle bell swings
49 knees to elbows
49 burpees

***Once we got done with the burpees, we were to go back up the ladder, so 49 Knees to elbows, 49 kettle bell swings, 49 jumping pull-ups, 49 walking lunges, 49 ab mat sit-ups.

I made it to the end of the burpees, and sat down on the box I was using to put my hands on.  There was a 30 minute limit to the WOD, and after finishing the burpees, I was already at 27:30.  Let's be honest, there was no way in hell I was going to get through the rest of the WOD and I was hot, tired, and worn out.  Juice, our new coach said, "Get up, there's nothing happening down there."  I shook my head, told him no and said, "I'm done."  He said, "OK, I guess you're the one that needs to look at yourself in the mirror when you get home."  It was like he had come over and kicked the box I was sitting on.  By the time this happened we were at 29 minutes, so I hopped up, and ended up busting out 25 of the knees to elbows. 

Why do I keep quitting on myself?  Why to I think that is the best I deserve?  I don't know, but I think it's about damn time to find out.  The very best part of this workout was looking to my side and seeing my husband.  It took me 9 months to convince him to try out CrossFit, and he says after last night, it will likely be another 9 months before he goes back.  He can't bend over, his hamstrings and quads are really screaming at him.  I love having my baby with me and by my side supporting me.  He truly does give me strength to push myself further knowing he is there.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quit Planning....Start Doing.....

Last night was my 2nd workout back since the Half Marathon, and it felt really, really good!  I worked out last Monday, and while I was sore for 3 full days and couldn't walk normally, I was glad to be back, but then my children were kind enough to share the tummy bug everyone has been having, and I spent Wednesday afternoon through Saturday in 1 of 2 places, bed or the bathroom.  It was NOT FUN, and it also meant MORE missed WODS which makes me nutty.  Monday morning I packed my clothes to go to the box after work, and sure enough, the chest pain I had started having on Sunday night was still happening, with increasing intensity frequency.  Having 2 friends who have had heart attacks at my age or younger, I decided it would be best to get things checked out.  My initial EKG at the doctors office came back "abnormal" but she felt like it was fine, sent me for a chest x-ray (to check my lungs, and for an enlarged heart) and did blood work.  After leaving the doctor's office, the intensity and frequency continued to increase, so for my own peace of mind, I took myself to the ER to get checked out.  After 8 hours, another EKG, 6 needle sticks, 2 sets of heart enzymes, a blood clotting test and an MRI, I was given a clean bill of health, and told that it was probably stress, anxiety, indigestion, or pulled muscles. 

Now, if you have ever needed motivation to get your ass in the gym for a workout, picture yourself in an ER, 38 years old, with an 8, 6 and 3 year old, and wondering if you are having a heart attack and might die.  I still have to follow-up with the cardiologist this Friday and will be having a stress echocardiogram as well.  The only result that I have gotten back so far that wasn't "good" was my cholesterol.  My total Cholesterol is a bit elevated, as well as my LDL.  The message the nurse left with these, "You definitely need to get the diet and exercise because that is what it takes to take care of this.  Laura wants to see you back 3 months."  Knowing that my heart is currently OK, I took myself back to the box yesterday.  It's time to get really serious about my health and fitness goals.  I have about 120 pounds left to lose, and it's time to take some serious steps. A lot of research has been done over the last few days, and now, it's time to quit planning and start doing!!!

Here's the thing about our new coach, Juice!  As one of the slowest folks in the box, I find that when it is time to warm up and we get told the warm-up and "go" I don't usually make it through the entire warm up.  His way of doing things, and telling us what to do means I don't get left in the dust and I get the entire warm up in.  That is nice!

So yesterday for warm-up, 2 rounds of 20 pass-throughs (move your hands closer every 5), row 200 meters, 10 push-ups and 5 squat jumps.

The rowers are new since my last visit to the box, and while I hate them, I can see that they will help me reach my cardio goals, so I will be using them REGULARLY!!!

500 meter row for time.  This HURT!!!  I started out too fast, and by the time I got to about 225 meters, I was already burn out. I went from an estimated time of 1:40 when I started to just over 3 minutes.  Juice came by and said he wanted me to aim to keep the estimated finish time under 2:25.  I wasn't successful in making that happen, but I did actually finish in 2:14:44, which for my first time, wasn't all that bad. 

Kettlebell Snatches.  UGH!  I've seen these done and they have always scared me.  Never tried one.  Juice told us to use a lighter KB than we usually do to make sure we could do it with good form, and since I was terrified, I dropped all the way down to the 8# orange rubber covered one.  Am I a wuss, in a word, YES!  I was terrified I would drop the thing on my head.  The WOD was 4 KB Snatches (2 with each hand) every 30 seconds for 5 minutes.  So, once I got the hang of it, I bounced back up to my normal 25# KB at right around 1:30. 

3 stations, for me the order was Bench Press (65# for women), broad Jump, Slam Balls (15# for women)  another new piece of equipment since my last trip to the box.  We would do AMRAP of each movement for 1 minute, then have 30 seconds to rotate, keep track of our reps, total them up at the end.  I don't remember what my score for each round was, but I do know that my total number of reps for all 3 rounds was 117.  not amazing, but not bad either. 

I'm pretty sore today, but sore in a good way.  I know I did what I had to to make some changes to my body.  I'm going to be doing a lot more training and cross-training.  I have a few little dreams up my sleeve and will be sharing those as time progresses.  For now, my goal is to get to the box 3x/week, and get to the gym 4-5 times a week to swim, bike or run. 

I weighed myself Tuesday morning as well.  Tuesday mornings will be my weight check-in day going forward, and I will be updating that information over on the Weight check-in page.  I haven't been weighing myself on a regular basis, just trying to make better decisions as time goes on, and eat better food.  As of Tuesday morning, I have lost 20 pounds since January 1st.  That's not quite 2 pounds a week, a very healthy and appropriate amount of weight loss that should be maintainable for a long time.  This is not a sprint, but a marathon, maybe even an ultra for me, but I will get there, and I will maintain it. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Race Reflections

I have had this post floating around in my head for a few days.

I was looking through a container of crayons, pencils and various coloring implements the other day and came across my Princess medal from 2012.  I haven't really displayed it, because I felt like I hadn't earned it, and was quite frankly ashamed that I even had it in my possession.  Then the other day at work I saw my Diva 5k medal hung proudly in my cubicle.  I got in the car and came across my Battleship Half Marathon medal in the car.  I have a lot of friends that have personalized medal hangars, and special places to display their race medals.  It occurred to me that I have been showing absolutely no pride in my accomplishments, because yet again, I felt what I accomplished wasn't worthy of showing off.  But why???

The fact is, most people at my size, BMI, and fitness level have given up on themselves.  Not only have I not given up on myself, I'm continuing to push myself to accomplish things that people half my size and in far better shape are afraid of attempting.  Was I trained appropriately for my Princess Half Marathon last year (2012), no, but I still showed up, pushed myself, and with Plantar Fasciatis (or however in the world you spell that), IT band issues and a massive ankle spur, made it 2 miles.  I went out and I tried.

I did the Diva 5k in May of last year in 52:15, a little over 17 minutes/mile, which if I had continued training, would have been more than capable of getting my pace to under the 16 minute mile required by Run Disney.

I started doing CrossFit in July, to also make myself stronger.  It has absolutely worked.  I've gone from lifting only a 35# bar, to being able to backsquat 125#.  I can deadlift 225#.  I can lift a lot of weight now, I have been complimented on my form repeatedly.

I intended to train and be ready for this year's Princess, and do a half marathon here locally to get a good finishing time, but yet again, I sabotaged myself, and didn't train.  I went 12-1/2 miles in about 4 hours, and again, while I didn't finish, I am incredibly proud of my accomplishment.

In January I registered for and competed in my first ever CrossFit competition.  My goals going in were to not embarrass the box owner, not finish dead last, and not embarrass myself.  I found myself getting compliments from competitors on both days, spectators came up and told me how impressed they were with my drive and refusal to quit.  I found myself on the "Women of CrossFit = Strong" facebook page, submitted by a friend, and my picture and store were all over facebook for a few days.  It was touching, and inspiring and impressive.  I never saw myself as an inspiration, but I keep getting told that I am one.

Then it was time for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon.  I was starting in Corral D.  I should have had a sizable lead on the balloon ladies/pacers, and I did.  I had about a 25-30 minute lead on them which with my slow pace was only about a mile and a quarter.  I figured I'd have to be moving it, because I would likely see the balloon ladies at mile 6 or 7, but I didn't see them until mile 8-1/2 or 9.  I wish I had had the foresight to turn around and see how many people were behind me.  I understand there were around 1,000 or so people behind me still at that point, but just seeing the balloon ladies put me off my game, and I just gave up on myself.  I let the normal aches and pains that someone should feel at that point get to me, and I sat down on the guard rail at mile 10 and waited for the bus.  I should have kept pushing, but I didn't have the mental strength to do so.

I should be incredibly proud of what I am doing.  A lot of women my size have given up on themselves.  They have quit trying to do anything to change it.  We see them every season on The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and similar shows.  I was in that place 2 years ago.  I honestly believed the only way I could possibly lose this weight and regain my life was to go on BL, so I even drove to Orlando to wait in line to get 20 minutes with a casting director hoping I would find myself on The Biggest Loser, season 12.  I am NOT giving up on myself, I continue to sign up for races, I continue to go to CrossFit.  I will continue to push my body to its limits unless and until I get myself to a healthy weight.  I will continue to do whatever it takes to regain my life and the body I used to hate because I didn't understand it.  I didn't understand that my body wasn't mad to be "skinny", but instead, to be rounded, and voluptuous and beautiful.  Now I get it, so I just have to keep pushing myself to find the body that is underneath this layer of fat.  I will find it, however long it takes, and when I do, I will continue to push my body to its limits.  There is a lot of life left in this body, but I won't get a chance to enjoy it if I don't keep pushing to find what it is I can do.  I look forward to being able to run a half marathon and not have to answer the question from my children of, "Do you think you'll finish this time, Mommy?"  or "Mommy, Why didn't you finish?  When will you be able to finish?"  I want to inspire my children, to show them that you NEVER give up, and that we can all do whatever we put our minds to!

Till next time....


Monday, March 11, 2013

And, I'm back

Tonight was my first night back to CrossFit in over a month.  The last CrossFit workout I did was in San Diego, 1 month ago today.  I have missed my workouts, my CrossFit friends and my support system.  Coming back today was bitter sweet.  We have a new coach, Juice, and are losing a coach, Tyler.  Tyler has been there since I started pretty much, so it is going to be weird to NOT see him there every time I go to the Box. 

Tonight was the first time I have worked out with Juice, and we did a really structured warm-up, which was really nice.  For me, being the slow person, a structured workout we all do together is nice, because even though I'm the slowest, I didn't get left in the dust.  When it was time to start our strength wod, I was a little behind the 8-ball.  A few weeks ago, everyone did CrossFit Total to find their maxes on some standard lifts.  I wasn't there, so I don't know what my 1-rep max back squat is and tonight's squats were to be based on a percentage of that maximum.  I started with doing 65# low-bar back squats, and they felt a bit too easy, so I bumped up to 85#, 8 reps, then went to 95#, 8 reps, 115#, 8 reps and maxed out at 125#, 8 reps. 

Our first WOD was to drop back down to our 55% weight, mine that I started with was 85#, and do a 2 minute AMRAP of back squats.  We were asked to try to not re-rack the weight if at all possible.  I didn't re-rack the weight, but I did drop it off my back once.  My goal was to get to 25 reps, and when I reached that, I was aiming for 30 reps.  I ended up at 28 reps in 2 minutes.  Not too bad for my first night back.

The second WOD was 8 minutes, EMOM (Every minute on the minute) 100 meter sprint followed by either 5 dips or 5 push-ups.  I'm not able to do dips with my current weight, and about 10 steps into my first sprint I felt my foot pop!  It hurt, really bad, after that my sprints became hobbling run/walks of 50 meters, instead of 100 meters.  The fact is, though, while I hobbled and it hurt, I never quit.  I never gave up.  I won't again allow myself to give up on a challenge, regardless of pain.  regardless of permission from a coach or a friend.  Regardless of what my brain says.  I will NEVER AGAIN give up.  I've done it way too much in the last 38 years, and it is neither becoming, nor productive, so it won't be happening anymore. 

Tomorrow morning, 6:00AM, it'll be back to the box, and then an evening run once the kids are in bed.  I've got lots of training to do.  I've got a LONG way to go, because I WILL complete 13.1 in 2013. 

Till next time!