The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good-bye 2014...what's Next 2015?

As I sit here waiting to say goodbye to 2014, I have been rather reflective on what has happened in the last year.

This time last year, I was only 3 months out of the life-changing decision to have weight loss surgery.  This time last year I had lost 47 pounds, today I have lost about 95.

In this last year, I have re-discovered the woman I always wanted to be.  I realize now that I had totally lost the woman I always intended to be.  I had given up on myself.  I had allowed my depression over my weight, and the number on the scale to rule my life.  I had quit doing my hair, wearing make-up, or even being me.  This year, I have remembered who I am, and who I always intended to be.  I am again wearing make-up, doing my hair, and trying to be the most beautiful woman, and person I can be, both for myself, and for my husband.

I have started to be far more comfortable in allowing myself to be the woman that God intended me to be.  I am comfortable in my skin, and when I look in the mirror.

I started this journey 15 months ago, at 270 pounds, and a shell of the woman I was meant to be.  I have spent the last 12 months settling back into "normal" life, and finding the person I was meant to be.  I fully intend to spend the next 12 months being the best wife, mother, teacher and woman I can possibly be.  That means that I will spend 2015 chasing the dreams I had given up on many years ago, when I gave up on myself.  I have some pretty big dreams, that I have always called "pipe dreams" They were pipe dreams because I have never thought they were actually possible...that I could actually complete them.  I won't complete all of them this year, but I will be well on my way to completing them.

I'm going to finish a half marathon (actually 3, Princess, Tobacco Road, and RNR Chicago)
I'm going to get my booty back in the gym and get these last 10-25 pounds off (I don't want to set a specific number, but want to remain comfortable with myself)
I'm going to complete another Sprint Triathlon (or maybe 2)

I'm going to start training so in 2016 I can complete a marathon, and a half ironman

Here's to the new me in 2015.

Till next year...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

One week ago tonight, I toed the line at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World.

The weather forecast was a bit sketchy.  I was wearing One of my sparkle skirts, and the long-sleeved race tech shirt.  I know it's a no-no to wear your race shirt the day of the race, but I didn't take anything else remotely water proof or long-sleeved, and it was going to be cold and wet, so I wore it.  I also had on my Dollar Tree poncho we picked up on the way to the race.

We had some fun on the bus:

Me, My sister, Barney and my sister's friend May

Barney and I on the Bus

As we sat in the Corrals waiting to start a slow drizzle started, then picked up to a full on rain, and by the time we started, it was a full-on downpour.  Barney hadn't really trained for a half marathon, but was doing it just to stay with me and be there for me.  He is and always has been far more "in shape" than I am.  We were planning on doing 30 second run and 45 second walk intervals.  We stuck to those intervals through the first 6 miles of the race.  

I did do something new this race than I have ever done, which is I wore a hydration vest rather than depending on race water stops.  I put Nuun in my hydration vest, and I felt fully prepared for the race. It was a bit of foreboding we found out later when the guy in the Corral told us that if we went straight through the first intersection, the race would be about 6 miles shorter.  It turns out that some folks decided that the rain was too much, and cut across the course before the 5k timing mat, so they skipped the 5k and 10k splits and all of the Animal Kingdom.

We passed the 5k mark, and started to head into the Animal Kingdom Park.  On the way in, we saw Rafiki camped out under one of the stations where they check your bags on the way in.  He was standing there to stay dry, and there was no line.  I have NEVER taken character photos at a race, but I love Rafiki and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

When we got into the Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life was all lit up.  It was breath-taking and beautiful.  The Animal Kingdom, while beautiful has some REALLY uneven places and it's pretty dark, but still fun.  At this point, the rain had gotten laughable.  I was dodging puddles, and people.  My Garmin would buzz, I'd tap Barney on the arm, and we'd run.  It would buzz again, and we'd stop.  We were in a groove.  I felt pretty dang good.  While exiting Animal Kingdom, there was a guy with a bell he was ringing.  He was touting the customer service at Disney, and the fact that they were trying to save us runners time by offering us the opportunity to shower WHILE we ran.  I asked him to pass the shampoo.  Not long after that, while rounding a corner, my heel got stepped on and I ran right out of my shoe.  It took a few steps to get stopped, and my right sock was now water-logged.  I was very certain at that point that any Body Glide I had left was gone and I was doomed to get HUGE blisters.  Still feeling good, so I didn't care.  I hobbled to the fence to hold onto something, and put my shoe back on.  Shoe back on, I headed for mile 6, and the 10k point.

Barney and I both had to stop at the potty break between mile 6 and the 10k point.  We slipped and slid through the mud to the potties.  We crossed the 10k point and I saw where a bunch of people could have crossed the course and cut it short.  I high-fived the Lion King Cast in the Animal Kingdom Parking Booths and kept on moving.  Not long after the 10k point, my stomack started cramping, and I felt incredibly pukey.  I was so miserable that I was leaned over the guard rail.  Waiting for the inevitable.  A very sweet woman in a red poncho offered me some water to drink and encouraged me to keep going.  I told her I was afraid to be sick having not vomitted since my weight loss surgery last year and I was scared.  She told me she had had Gastric Bypass surgery, and lost 165 pounds.  She encouraged me to keep going....which I did.

I got to the Mile 7 medical tent and asked for some tylenol for my sore foot.  The guy gave it to me and when I looked down to open the packaging I lost my balance and almost fell.  The old Krista, the one with NO faith in herself decided at that very moment to rear her ugly head and start telling me how I couldn't do this, and I just needed to quit.  I started to listen to that fat old bitchy voice in my head for a few minutes, and actually went to the medical tent to wait for the bus.  By the time I got there, the tent was so full of other folks ready to quit, I couldn't even fit inside, so the lady offered me a seat on a cooler outside the tent.  Not even thinking, I sat down, and the cooler had water standing on the top.  Now, if one is trying to avoid chafing, especially in the hiney and girly bits, wet is not a good thing.  The only good thing about sitting on that cooler is that the cold water snapped me back to reality.  I had been in the process of telling Barney to go on and finish without me.  He refused to leave me.  I hopped up off the cooler, looked at him and said, "I've given up on myself TOO MANY TIMES! I'm not doing that anymore.  Let's go!"  He asked if I was sure, and I said yes.  I was sure I wanted to go, but wasn't sure that I could manage a trot or run at all at that point.  Barney said that was fine, we could go, but should walk for a while.

We continued on around, and we held hands.  At that point, I was leaning on him to continue.  His support was absolutely required for me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  As we were headed to mile 8, up a hill/entrance ramp, I could hear the "Army Guy" from Toy Story.  I was hoping for a picture with him, but he was literally running up and down the side of the road high-fiving and harassing runners.  Not long after that, I looked back over to the last overpass we had crossed, not quite a mile behind us, and I could see the dreaded balloon ladies.  I didn't want to see them AT ALL, but I knew once I started walking, I probably would.  I knew we would enter Hollywood Studios around mile 9, and we had to be getting close.

As I turned the corner to go into the back lot of Hollywood Studios, the balloon ladies and a pack of people terrified of being passed by them, barreled past Barney and I.  I said a few not so ladylike words and loudly exclaimed that I didn't want to see them that night.  One of the ladies yelled back that she didn't want to see me either.  I didn't think that was mean (I've heard a lot of complaints about the balloon ladies being mean, but they weren't, they were just trying to encourage folks).  Barney had to make a bathroom stop again just inside the studios.  I waited for him, not so patiently, as it had become very evident that we were one of the last people on the course.  Not long after that I saw the first bike medic guy, and he was encouraging me to keep going.

We continued to hold hands and make our way through Hollywood Studios.  I had to keep pushing because I wanted to see the Osborne Christmas Lights!  We rounded a corner at one point, and I could see Buzz and Woody standing there.  Woody was standing in the road waving at me, and I said, "I'm stopping for a picture!"  I asked if it was too late for a picture, and the photographer said, "absolutely not!  It's never too late".  After taking the picture the Disney Cast Member told us if we wanted to finish, we needed to catch the balloon ladies, and they were 5 minutes ahead of us.  I tried doing a few running intervals again, but my body wouldn't let me.  Rounded another corner and we could see a HUGE group of runners at the end of the race.  Barney asked me if I wanted to joint them.  Ethically, I knew I couldn't do that, and I wouldn't want to finish my first half by cheating, but I was so tired, and cold, and wet, that I would probably have considered it had there not been a course monitor standing there.  Instead, we turned where we were supposed to and kept on keeping on.  We went through the disco tunnel with windows into the costuming area...

As I approached mile 10, I saw a fan sitting there, running, with the lights and windshield wipers on.  I commented to the bike medic that I was sure they were going to make me get on that van.  he said, "I don't see a cop in the road.  Keep walking and ignore that van!"  I did.  Barney and I just kept plugging along.  The next thing I knew, I turned a corner and we were in the middle of the Osborne lights.  I almost cried.  There was a group of cheerleaders there taking a picture in the middle of the road.  They cleared the road for us, then cheered us on.  I was very aware of all of the volunteers, and had been thanking them since early on in the race, but when you are the very last, the slowest person out there, and they are still cheering you on and keeping water stops open for you, and cheering as if you are first, it means SOOOO much.  I kept thanking them, but no word in the English Language is appropriately weighed to thank those volunteers for what they did for me and my spirits.  They were AMAZING.  I was putting my water cups in trash bags, rather than throwing them down.  I needed to be respectful of them and their time.  They were just as cold and wet as I was, if not more, because I had been running/walking and sweating for hours, they were standing still and getting rained on.

I was dreading every mile marker at this point because I knew I was behind.  While I had never hoped to be the last finisher for a Disney Race, getting a private confetti party, I would prefer that to the bus ride to the finish line.  I had told Barney about the finish line for the last finisher, and we were plodding along.  At one point we passed a girl who couldn't even stand up straight and walk.  She was leaned over to the side.  Barney looked at me and said, "We're cheering her on to the finish, right?"  I said, "Yep".  She assured us she couldn't make it, and told the bike medic she was done.  She couldn't finish.  Barney and I kept going.  We past the Incredibles.  I was terrified of mile 11, and the next possibility of being swept.  We didn't get there.  The fact was, on the walkway to the parking lot outside of Hollywood Studios, one of the medics stopped and said, "I'm sorry, we're falling too far behind, I need you to get on the golf cart."

I sat down on that cart and cried.  I was absolutely so sad and horrified.  I couldn't believe that yet again I wasn't going to finish.  I felt a little better when I looked up the numbers for the race.  Before starting, the announcer had said that there were over 14,300 people registered for the race.  I'm certain a fair number didn't start due to either the rain, or injuries or whatever.  As of the last time I had checked, there was a total of 11,941 finishers.

5k in 47:27, average pace of 15:27, projected finish time of 3:20:12 if I had maintained that pace

10k in 1:43:14, average pace of 16:37, projected finish time of 3:37:47 if I had maintained that pace

15k in 2:52:12, average pace of 18:29, projected finish time of 4:02:11 if I had maintained that pace

Definitely not breaking any land-speed records, but Barney and I were 2 of the last 3 people swept from the course at mile 11.  Almost 2400 people didn't finish for one reason or another, and we were 2 of the last 3 pulled.  It sucked being pulled, but I am proud of what we accomplished.  We made it 11 miles in some of the most horrendous conditions possible.

The good news is, even with running out of my shoe, being drenched with rain, sitting in water at mile 7, I didn't have any chafing or blisters at all.  I was sore for a day or 2, but not horribly so.

I went to the doctor this week about my Morton's Neuroma in my left foot.  He gave me a cortisone shot to help the inflammation in the nerve and to hopefully keep the foot from going numb on future runs.  He also said that he was incredibly surprised that with a previously broken navicular bone, that my doctor who treated that didn't immediately recommend custom orthotics for my shoes.  Apparently, the Navicular bone is the attachment point for a tendon, and every step tugs on that bone.  The bone needs a great deal of support to not be as painful.  He said that I will likely have discomfort in that area of my foot forever, when I run/exercise, but the orthotics should minimize that pain and make it far more bearable.  So, I was cast for orthotics and they should be in within the next 3-4 weeks.  Training is continuing.

I am starting a new job on Monday, and will be staying after school on Tuesdays to run sprints and do speedwork.  I'm dedicating Tuesdays to Speedwork, Thursdays I'll run 45 minutes to an hour.  Saturdays will be long runs.  First one is tonight, 3 miles as training for Glass Slipper Challenge.  Having more definitive answers for what is causing my pain makes me feel so much better.

Till next time....


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Self Reflection

You know, I think some things in our lives almost demand that we take a look at our lives, our surroundings, our situations, and evaluate where we are.  I've been doing this a lot over the last year or so, and this morning I had a HUGE revelation, one that I have needed for a VERY long time....but I'll get back to that in a just a bit.

One of the things I have come to realize over time, is that the only thing I can control is myself, my reactions to situations, and my behaviors.  There is no amount of wishing and wanting things to be different that will make it happen.  I can't change how people treat me, no matter how badly I may want to.  I know that there are some people in my life that are toxic, at best.  our personalities don't click, we have different perspectives, etc.  While I know this about these people, I don't need to be aggressive or abusive with these people, I simply need to give them their space, and refuse to invest my emotions in their actions or responses to situations.

So, my huge revelation....

I have long said that I have low self-esteem, and the reality is, I do, especially when it comes to my physical appearance, however, I don't lack confidence in who I am as a person, or my intellectual abilities.  I have no question about my integrity as a person, or my professionalism.  I have figured out that there are some people that are very intimidated by my quiet confidence.  I don't go around bragging about my abilities at all, but I also won't allow someone to disrespect or bully me at any time.  This has been a concern in my current job, and one of the things that led me to resign.  There is a woman in my office that is a horrible bully, and she has been given permission to behave this way by the lack of response by the management when she does it.  I am by no means the first or only person to face her wrath, but I think I may well be the only person to "dismiss" her and walk away and refuse to engage her further.

What I find  the most interesting about the behavior of people like this is that it is very similar to the "big talkers" we all knew in high school.  You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that we all knew the more they talked about their sexual escapades, the more made-up they were. This lady reminds me of those people.  She feels the need to tell everyone how passionate, intelligent and confident she is, but her behavior seems to display the polar opposite.  Her behavior seems to indicate that she is horribly insecure, and feels the need to bully, verbally abuse and scream at people because she is afraid that they may be right about something, or may offer a point of view that she disagrees with.  In order to avoid the possibility of having to admit a flaw in her thinking, she just continues to scream and yell at people until they shut-up and go away.

So going forward, I will just be embracing the philosophy of "not my circus, not my monkeys" as it pertains to other people and their drama.  I can only control myself and my own reactions to situations, and that is all I will spend my energy concerning myself with.  The reality is, the majority of the people that fall into the "toxic" category I'm speaking of, don't give 2 craps about my opinion, how they make me feel, or any other thing, so why should I waste my energy on them?

Until next time....


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

I'm taking some time today, out of my normal topics to post something that is VERY important to me, and many others who I call my nearest friends. 

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, and if you know me, you know that in 2007, at just 18 weeks pregnant, I went through the most horrific experience of my life. I was in labor for 24 hours to deliver my precious Henry James who I knew was gone.  There are no words that can accurately describe the pain and devastation of such a life-changing event. 

I wrote about that experience here.  I found many things that offered Solace and comfort in the coming days, including this poem:

Since heaven has become your home
I sometimes feel that I'm alone;
And though we now are far apart
You hold a big piece of my heart
I never knew how much I'd grieve
When it was time for you to leave
Or just how much my heart would ache
From that one fragment you would take
God let this tiny hole remain,
Reminding me we'd meet again
And one day all the pain will cease
When He restores this missing piece
For Jesus heals each tiny part
That holds your memory in my heart

Which inspired my tattoo in Henry's memory.

I found out in the aftermath of our loss that there were numerous women in my life that had experienced a similar loss, and it was so sad to me that so many women are dealing with or have dealt with this, and we just never talk about it.  If you know someone who has dealt with the loss of a child, at any stage of pregnancy, or after birth, please lift them up today and their child.

We are forced, as mothers of angel babies to move on through life, almost as if our child never existed because it makes people uncomfortable for us to talk about them.  Our babies are just as real as the ones you hug on their way off to school in the morning, they just didn't get to stay on this Earth as long as other babies.

I was blessed enough to find a group of women, all of whom had also been due for May, 2008 babies, and lost them at varying times in their pregnancies.  These women are now a group of women that I talk to about parenting issues.  We have been "together" as a support group for each other for the last 7 years, and I love each of them dearly.  These women helped me through the most difficult time in my life.

I will be lifting in prayer every family I know, and those that I don't, that have faced this horrible loss. I never forget about my Henry James, I just remember him quietly to myself.  We do celebrate his birthday every year, at the same time we celebrate my husband's (he was delivered on Barney's Birthday).   Tonight, I will light a candle in remembrance of our son, and all the others who left this Earth far too soon! 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

One Year a few weeks

A little over a year ago (August, 2013) I made the decision to pursue weight loss surgery.  I originally began the process looking into lap band because it was reversible and the least invasive.  I knew all along that I actually qualified for Gastric Bypass, and that most doctors would recommend that procedure due to how overweight I was.  Then, in my research between scheduling the appointment and actually going, I found that there were a LOT of complications with the Lap Band.  The stomach swelling closed, slipping, causing issues where they end up having to be removed, or revised to the Gastric Sleeve or Bypass.

By the time I got to my initial consultation, I had decided that Lap Band was NOT a good option for me, but I was terrified of the Bypass.  I went in and talked to my surgeon, Dr. Jon Michael Bruce, and we came to the agreement that Gastric Sleeve would be as effective, though a bit slower, in helping me get to my goal weight and see the changes I wanted to see in my health.

I then found out that my insurance company was going to be changing the pre-authorization requirements effective September 1, 2013, and an additional 6 months would be required, so we decided to see if everything could be done and submitted for approval by August 30, under the current requirements.  We completed everything in time, got it submitted, and on September 2nd (I think) I got the call that my surgery had been approved by the insurance company.

I have to say that while I knew this was the best option for me, I didn't have overwhelming support from everyone in my life.  My husband was nervous, and my kids were super excited about all the things I would be able to do with them once I lost the weight and got healthy.  My Nana cried and said that while she was scared, she wanted me to be healthy, and if I really felt like this was my best option, she would support me in whatever decision I made.  Some of my friends and family members were not nearly as supportive and enthusiastic.  I have had my fair share of people tell me that I cheated, that I took the easy way out, etc.  All those things considered, I chose to move forward and take control of my life and my future.

On September 16, I started a pre-op diet at 265.8 (my highest weight I ever saw on a scale was 270).  After 2 weeks on the pre-op liver-shrinking diet, I was wheeled into the OR weighing 255.8.  last Friday at my 1 year post-op visit, I weighed 171.  I am VERY close to losing 100#.

I have a few things coming up that I need to get ready for, and some serious goals for physical endurance coming up.

First thing is the Wine and Dine half marathon at Walt Disney World on November 8th, 2014.  Then, I start working out and training.  My long-term goal is to finish the Raleigh Half Ironman, 2016.  That means I have to start training now for the 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.  I've reached out to a swim coach at my gym, and will be working with her to get better hopefully.  I also have a new road bike, which is awesomely amazing and fun to ride.  I have a lot of work to do with cardio endurance, and physical endurance to build toward this goal.

In the meantime, 2015 will be my year of redemption.  I am hoping to complete the 4 races that I have DNF'd in the past.  That means that I will be doing:

Princess Weekend, Glass Slipper Challenge on February 21-22, 2015
Diva Half Marathon North Myrtle Beach, April 12, 2015
Rock 'N Roll Chicago Half Marathon, July 19, 2015
Battleship Half Marathon, November (1st or 8th) 2015

In January of 2016, I'll be completing the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge (half marathon on Saturday, Full marathon on Sunday).

In June of 2016 I will be doing the Raleigh Half Ironman

The training for all of this is starting now.  I still have an additional 20-36 pounds to lose.  I want to end up anywhere between 135 and 150.

I've shifted my goals now to being related to my physical fitness and not a number on the scale.  If I never lose another pound, but I am able to build my endurance and fitness to be a marathon runner, a triathlete, and do whatever my kids want me to do with them, I will consider myself a huge success.

I want to thank everyone who has checked on me, supported me, sent me loving messages, cheered me on, etc.  You are all such amazing people, and I couldn't do this without you.   I know that some of you will be there to cheer me on at races, or virtually, and that all means the world to me.  Thank you for your continued support...I'll post again once I finish the Wine and Dine Half Marathon next month!!!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

I am a Triathlete!

Wow, what an AMAZING year it has been!

On September 30, 2013 I underwent Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  I did so without the full support of my family, because they were very concerned about the long-term impact of the surgery, and obviously, afraid of possible complications.  

Just over a year out, I no longer recognize myself physically, OR mentally!  I love my new body, I am super proud of how I have handled the judgement and disapproval that I get every now and then.  I am proud of where I am physically.  

My sister has been doing triathlons for some time now and has tried for quite a while to get me to throw my hat in the Triathlon ring.  I have absolutely refused before this year.  I volunteered at the Ramblin' Rose Triathlon in Raleigh, and I saw what a supportive environment it was, and I saw every body type imaginable out there.  I then knew, that it would genuinely be OK if I did the Ramblin' Rose.  It is an all women Triathlon, so that made it a bit more comfortable too.  

Now, to put this all in a bit more perspective, I did an indoor triathlon last December at my gym.  It was brutal for me.  It was a last minute decision and I had told the organizer that I was only 3 months out of weight loss surgery, I was still VERY obese, and hadn't trained, so I knew it would be tough.  The resulting times are below

200 meter swim time: 12:33
15k (9 mile) bike time: 39:20
2 mile run time: 35:58
I want to think my total time, including transitions was like 1:27 something.  

So today, I showed up in Chapel Hill around 6:15 to get my transition area ready and be prepared to do my first official USAT triathlon.  I knew this would likely be a lot harder than my indoor triathlon for a few reasons:
1--The swim was 50 meters longer than the indoor swim (and I SUCKED at the swim)
2--I rode a spin bike at what was "easy" tension for me
3--I was on a treadmill
4--indoors means no wind, no hills, no cold temps
5--I really haven't trained since doing the one in December

So, I got my transition area set up, and went to get marked.  Now, I expected to be embarrassed for any number of reasons, including the fact that I was swimming in bike shorts and a sports bra, what I didn't expect was that when I went to get my body marked, my loose skin would create such a big problem.  You see, when your skin is loose, and someone tries to use a marker to write on you, the skin goes WITH the marker....yeah, humiliation with the fact that I had to hold my skin taut to be able be marked was a bit much to realize.  

Anyway, I had on my shorts and sports bra, and my dad's Carolina Hurricanes fleece and my crocheted hat to keep me as warm as possible.  All that considered, by the time race time actually got there, my toes were complete numb due to the cold.  At Ramblin' Rose they ask you to rate your swim ability, and I put myself at a 2 (1's are the weakest swimmers).  My goal was NOT to slow down everyone behind me and cause a bottleneck in the pool.  This had happened earlier with a swimmer who identified herself as a 5, but clearly wasn't, and had the lanes so backed up that there were women walking and talking in the pool.  Sadly, everyone cheered when this woman got out of the pool, and I DID NOT want to be that girl.  I wasn't certain I would be able to freestyle, because I didn't want to swallow half the pool again like I did last December.  I did freestyle for the first 125 meters, then switched to a a plan of breast stroke for 25, back stroke for 25.  

My swim time was 9:33

A full 3 minutes better than the 200 meters in December.  This means that I shaved off 3 minutes, AND, the swim was 50 meters longer, so the difference would have been MUCH bigger at just 200 meters.  

Now, all that warming up I did waiting to get into the pool with and in the nice warm water, so my feet thawed out, yeah, that didn't last long.  I got out of the pool, walked about 15 feet and headed back outside, into the 50-55 degree weather, soaking wet, dripping and barefoot running across the parking lot.  I did get to see my husband on the way into transition and he high-fived me so I got into transition and had to get ready for the bike ride.  Let's just say that Transition is almost disorienting.  I couldn't decide what to do first, so I just decided to sit down, dry my feet, put on my socks and shoes, then dry off what I could, put on my tank top, my Nathan Hydration Vest, my bike helmet, and hit the road.  I had brought a jacket to wear over everything, but am so very glad I didn't put it on.  

Transition Time: 3:54

Hit the bike, and was immediately in the wrong gear.  Very first hill and I had to get off the bike and finish walking it up the hill.  There was a short downhill, too short to get my gears sorted out, and so I had to use the curb to get up the next very small hill.  I did see a girl down after my 2nd turn, I don't know if she wrecked or what, but the ambulance got there right after I went by, and there were already multiple participants and volunteers with her.  I kept cruising along and doing my best.  At one point on the ride I heard an old riding buddy, Tomas, telling me to get into a comfortable cadence and to use the gear to make it possible to maintain that cadence.  I finally got it all figured out and started to do it right around mile 6.  the last mile and a half or so was a long slow grade, and I got about 2/3 of the way up, and had to dismount and walk it the rest of the way up.  My legs were like Jello, but I made it.  Got to the top of the hill, got back on the bike, and decided I WOULD not dismount again until I had to at the end of the bike ride.  I had are really tough hill right before dismount, but it was short, and there were 2 volunteers at the top of the hill SCREAMING at/for me, so I couldn't let myself get off the bike.  I made it and it was gravy from there.  I got to the transition, dismounted, and got into the transition area.  

Bike Time: 54:55 
Yes, that is 15:30 slower than I did on the spin bike in December, but those hills were pretty brutal.  

Back into Transition, Hung my bike up, took off my helmet, grabbed my visor and headed out again, Transition time 1:30

This was the only part that annoyed me a bit.  Yes, I know I'm slower than crap and a back-of-the-packer, but it would seem that the other athletes, even those already finished would have enough respect to stay out of the way of the folks still on the course.  Unfortunately, that's just not the case.  There were a couple of small groups of women just sauntering through the transition area, with their bikes, having already finished, and I had to weave between them to get out of transition.  I know that for the early finishers, they just want to go get warm, but even us slow folks want to have uninterrupted access to the course.  We pay the same registration fee, and we would LOVE the same respect that you got.....

Ok, so enough of that...out of transition and onto the run.  There was a little path that cut through from the parking lot to the running path, which going from sunny, to shady, and immediately out of transition with jelly legs, meant that I almost bit the dust and fell into the bushes, rather ungracefully.  Thankfully, I pulled it together and got out onto the running path.  I really couldn't run a lot, because my feet didn't like to pick up and put down like they should, and a few times, I caught my toe and almost went down.  I resigned myself to walking the majority of the 2 miles, and did a few intervals here and there.  There was a bit of an uphill right before the turn to the finish line, so I walked it up that hill with the plan of finishing strong, and jogging across the line.  

My plan worked, and I jogged across the finish line pretty strong.  Total time was 1:43:22.  I added about 15-20 minutes, depending on the actual time including transitions, but the hills made that necessary.  I really enjoyed the race, and I WILL do it again...probably sooner rather than later.  Can't wait for the next one.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We meet again....

Well, Hello, CrossFit, we met again....

So I have been missing the physical strain, accomplishment, and quite frankly, the ass-kicking that I get from CrossFit workouts.  I miss the sense of accomplishment when I get something new done, or I out-perform my last attempt at a workout or specific skill.  I haven't regularly attended CrossFit workouts since February 2013.  That, my friends is 18 months outside of the box. 

In that 18 months, I have changed....A LOT!  I have lost 90 pounds.  I have regained mobility to an extent I didn't realize, but I have also lost a lot of strength I had when I was consistently CrossFitting 3x/week. 

I have come a long way in the last 12 months (my 1 year surgery-anniversary for Weight Loss Surgery is September 30), but I still have a LONG way to go.  I have quite a lot of skin that I need to take care of and see if I can't get it to tighten up through more conservative means, like working out, eating right, exercising consistency, etc. 

So, a few weeks ago, I saw an ad for a local CrossFit Box that I have heard amazing things about doing free "CrossFit Lite" classes.  Primarily body-weight types of exercises, things to get you moving, but not scare the ever-living shit out of newbies like CrossFit has a tendency to I thought, "hmmm, haven't done CrossFit in 18 months, I've lost a lot of skills, but gained a lot of mobility, and it's free....why not check it out?"  And I did...and immediately, the CrossFit Fire or "kool-aid" was right back to where I was 18 months ago.  Feeling my body move through full ranges of motion, feeling sore the next day, knowing I had pushed my body beyond a limit previously felt good....REALLY GOOD!!!

So after a few CrossFit Lite Classes, and realizing that I still want to lift, and lift heavy.  I want to push myself.  I want to be strong.  I want to have some muscles, and maybe a bit of definition to show what my body can do, I signed up to re-do foundations.  It's been since the Summer of 2012 that I started Cross Fit the first time, and I only did 1 night of Foundations, and learned everything else on the fly. 

I've learned a lot more about the mechanics of everything, and know that my body still has a long way to go in the way of flexibility and full range of motion.  Being morbidly obese for nearly 20 years takes a toll on your joints, and your body in general, but I'm getting there. 

Tonight we went over Snatches and Cleans.  I the past, with Cleans, I didn't have the ability to get my elbows far enough forward to "rack" the bar on my shoulders, instead it tended to rest either on my boobs, or my throat.  I didn't have the wrist flexibility to do it right, so even 1 clean would lead to wrist pain for me. 

Tonight, I just used the 33# bar to do cleans, but I finally got the physiology of the movement, and how to throw my elbows forward to get under the bar.  It felt awesome the first time I felt the bar hit my shoulders.  (I liked it so much, that I'm fairly certain I'm going to have bruises on my shoulders tomorrow.) 

Then it was time for the brief WOD at the end of class.  Now, for a girl who started out lifting 15# for dead lifts, and having to put her hands on a weight bench and walking her feet out and back in for burpees, I'm fairly sure most people would quickly relate to my disdain for said exercise.  Tonight's WOD didn't sound all that bad initially....4 rounds for time, 10 sit-ups, 10 burpees and 20 lunges (10 each leg) with a 12 minute cap. 

I have always been able to bust out sit-ups, no problem.  I have actually joked for a couple of years that I suspected I may have a 6-pack underneath all the fat on my tummy.  But then it was time for burpees. I can throw myself on the ground no problem---its the getting up that is neither fun, nor comfortable, nor graceful.  but I can do it, real burpees, save for the jumping my feet back in.  Then lunges.  This is where the lack of strength and flexibility in my legs becomes and issue, because I truly can't lunge to full-depth yet and touch my knee to the floor.  It feels like I'm centimeters away from doing so, but it's probably more like a foot or so.  I don't know, but I'm doing it, that's all that matters, right?? 

I have a long way to go still.  I still need to lose another 40-45 pounds, I still need to re-build my strength.  I still need to lose this extra skin, I still need to re-gain some flexibility in my hips and knees.  This battle isn't over, and in all honesty, it probably never will be.  Once I reach my goals, if I don't keep working hard, I'll never maintain what I've worked so hard to earn.  I am not fighting this battle to turn around and watch it all slip away as the number on the scale creeps back up and I continue to lose my flexibility again.  I have a life I want to live, and it includes being fit, healthy, and calling myself a CrossFit athlete. 


Monday, August 25, 2014


So I ha started a free introduction to "CrossFit Lite" 2 weeks ago, then missed last week due to being under the weather, so I headed back tonight.  The purpose of CrossFit Lite is to do the "functional movement" stuff, without the heavy lifting, so most everything is body-weight exercises, or things with dumbells or kettlebells.  It's definitely a good way to get back into CrossFit after an 18 month absence, and re-learning the proper movements, full range of motion, etc.

I went in tonight, and we started with a "nice little 200 meter run".  Now, when I originally started CrossFit over 2 years ago, I couldn't run 50 yards without having to stop and suck wind for a few seconds.  I ran the entire 200 tonight without stopping.

Then we stretched a bit, and finally did a tabata training with air, my quads were BURNING!!

Then we worked on two skills:
1.  goblet squats w/a kettle bell or dumbell, 3 sets of 15, full depth
2.  lunge rows?  I think they called them.  Lunch, and use a dumbell to row, 3 sets of 15 with each arm.

So now, we've done a very short run, tabata air squats, and 45 goblet squats, with lunges for good measure.

Now, time for our workout....yeah, you read that right...all of the above was the warm-up....

The WOD?

1 minute of Wall Balls (full depth squats again)
30 second rest
1 minute parrolette hop overs (I did 1 leg at a time)
30 second rest
1 minute of sit-ups

3 rounds....

yeah, my knee has been hollaring at me all the way home, and every now and again, my quads just start shaking.

My knee has officially been iced, I've eaten dinner (can't eat before a workout, or i'll vomit), and now, I'm headed up for some Deep Blue on the knee, and some time to recover..I'm thinking that walking this week might be entertaining for those who have to see me do it!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

10 months and light years from where I started

It's been a couple of months since I posted a blog, primarily because I don't spend 90% of my day focused on the rules and food that I had to do the first few months.  In the beginning I had to be hyper focused on every single detail, or else I would freak out.  I've kind of fallen back into a comfort level but with my new eating habits.

Unfortunately, I haven't found a new comfortable and consistent workout schedule.  The fact is, now that I have quit super focus on every little thing, I have reached a the dreaded weight loss plateau.  I have been staying right between 182 & 185 pounds.

While I was really hoping to be at my goal of 145-150 pounds by the end of my first year, I think the stall has helped my brain to catch up with my body.  It's been a solid month or so since I said "hi" to my reflection because I didn't even recognize myself.  I have come to the realization that even if I never lost another pound, I wouldn't be heart broken.  I want to lose some more because I'm still considered "obese" a title I'd definitely like to kick to the curb for the rest of my life....but, I don't want to focus on something as insignificant as the number on a scale, which reflects little more than the amount of space I occupy and the amount of material that is required to cover my body appropriately.

I am far healthier than I have been in my entire adult life.  I am able to keep up with my kids, and we are going to start working out as a family at the local park.  I don't take the elevator anymore at work, because I can now walk up the stairs without getting all out of breath and huffing and puffing.  I walked all over Chicago a few weeks ago with no issues, no pain in my joints, no huffing and puffing.

I ran a 5k in Chicago in in 44:38, an average pace of 14:21.  That is the fastest 5k I have ever run, the first time sub 50 minutes, and an improvement over last June's 5k of 55:40 with an average pace of 17:57.  I could almost have run a whole extra mile in the same amount of time.

Am I where I want to be physically?  not quite yet.  I have some more work to do on strength training.  I have more work to do on flexibility and core strength.  I have more work to do on cardio endurance.  Is it possible I will end up having to have some plastic surgery along the way, yes.

I've seen a quote to the effect of "A journey of a million miles starts with just one step."  Well, last August I took the first step.  I began the process of having weight loss surgery, and I've never regretted that decision even for 1 day.  I have found the woman I always wanted to be.

I have also found the confidence to step out and start my own business.  I am super excited that I have started selling Rodan + Fields skin care.  They are the founders of Proactiv and have expanded their product line to include a regimen specifically for sun damage, one for the signs of aging, one for sensitive skin and one for adult acne.  If you are in need of new skin care, or have any concerns, feel free to send me a message.  I'd love to help you!!
Michelle, Jennifer and I before the Half Marathon Started

Michelle, Jennifer and I after the 5K, getting misted by the fountains in Grant Park

Jenna, Jennifer, Michelle and I at Gino's East

The 5k Finish!  I've never been so proud of myself.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

7 months post WLS, 8 weeks post knee surgery, and my first WOD.....

Hard to believe it has been 7 months ago that I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  My life has changed so drastically that I don't even recognize myself, or my life anymore.

First, for the weight loss details.

I have lost enough weight that I don't even recognize my own reflection these days. I'll walk past a window somewhere and do a double-take so I can make sure I'm not being rude and ignoring someone, and then realize the person I see there in the window or mirror is actually me.

I am down to 189.2 pounds, a total loss of almost exactly 81 pounds from my heaviest weight of 270 pounds.  I have gone from wearing a size 22 to wearing a size 14 and my bra size has gone from a 44DD to a 38DDD.

I have finished up my post surgery PT, and feel pretty good.  I did 7 miles as part of a half marathon on Sunday, and I felt pretty amazing.  The fact is, my pace is way better than it was a year ago at the Princess.  My average pace for my 10k time at the PHM 2013 was 19:23, and this past Sunday, my pace for the first 6 miles was an average of 17:34.  That's an improvement of nearly 2 minutes/mile, with no training, just a weight loss of 61 pounds and sheer determination.

I missed my 3 mile run last night, so I'm going to do it tonight, once the kids are off to mom's house for bed.

Now, I went back to my second WOD since surgery.  I had done 1 WOD back in November or December, but it was strictly a lifting WOD, so it wasn't terribly intense.  Tonight, not so much!!

After our warm-up, we had a 3 part WOD:

A--3 minute max effort Double-unders.  I haven't been able to do a double-under since the elementary school playground, when I had no idea that it was supposed to be terribly difficult.  In those 3 minutes I got my 1st-6th double-unders.  I couldn't string 2 together, each one was individual.  I need to get me a jump rope to practice these on my own time.  I still couldn't be prouder.

B--Deadlifts, 3-3-3-3 starting at 83% of your 1 rep max, and ending up at 90% of your 1rep max.  My 1 rep max prior to my 14 month or so hiatus had been about 205, but I have clearly lost a LOT of my strength.  I started and ended at 135 pounds for all 12 of my dead lifts.  I tried to do 145, but couldn't even get it off the floor.  I have lost a lot, but I'll get it back eventually.

C--2 minutes on, 1 minute off
15 box jumps, then max effort Kettle Bell Swings
I used the 12" box to step up and down (still afraid to jump with the knee)
I used the 15# Kettle Bell.
We only counted our Kettle Bell Swings
I got a total of 146 to see about my 3 miles I missed out on last night.  My fastest 5k time ever was 50:49.  My first mile on Sunday was 15:25, because I was running intervals, but I screwed up starting my Garmin so the intervals weren't working.  I realize now what I should have done, so I'm going to run for 1 minute, walk for a minute and see how it goes.  3.1 miles, here I come.....I'll post once done.

So--I kicked ass!!!  I ran from light post to light post for 3.1 miles, for a total time of 50:23 and an average pace of 16:14.  super stoked, and VERY proud!!  I'm only 14 seconds over the average pace requirement, so I have 8-1/2 months to build up to maintaining this pace for 26.2 miles the day after I maintain it for 13.1 miles....yeah, I can get there, for SURE!!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

6 months Post-Op

Just over 6 months ago I went under the knife to FINALLY take the most drastic step I knew of to finally beIat my obesity, once and for all.

First let me say that there have been a few people in the last 6 months who have questioned my decision.  But 6 months ago I decided....

I decided I was tired of being tired
I decided I was tired of hearing "you don't LOOK like you weigh 270#"
I decided I was tired of telling my kids I couldn't play with them
I decided I was tired of being afraid of being seen with my husband in public for fear of the people who would wonder what he was doing married to a cow when he was so cute
I decided I was tired of waking up in pain EVERY SINGLE MORNING
I decided I was tired of my knees and ankles swelling every time I walked more than 100 yards
I decided I was tired of looking in the mirror and hating myself
I decided I was tired of being ashamed
I decided that it was time for me to take my life back.  To do what I needed to do to be the wife and mother I had always dreamed of being, to hell with the judgment of others.

These 6 months have not only changed me physically they have changed me mentally, and in ways I never would have thought possible.

This weekend on the heels of my 6 months Surgiversary, my husband and I took the kids to a hotel at the beach with an indoor water park.  They were shocked that I bought a bathing suit. They were more shocked when I put it on, and couldn't contain their excitement when I told them that Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY be going down the water slides with them.  I am 74 pounds smaller now than when I began this journey, and hands down, I can honestly say that given the opportunity, the only thing I would change is how long it took me to take this step to reclaim my life.  I just looked back too, and I've lost a total of 20.25 inches since October 29.

Today I wore a dress that I have owned for 3 years but never been able to wear because it was too tight, and very unflattering.  Yesterday, I wore an outfit that I had had for at least 11 years, and had never felt comfortable wearing it in public because of how it hung on me.

Sitting by the pool, in the jacuzzi I wasn't the least bit concerned about anyone looking at me, or why the might be looking at me.  Some of my insecurities have vacated my brain almost completely, but some still screech at me so loudly I can barely hear myself think.

I started this journey knowing that my highest weight ever was 270 pounds....and today, I weighed 194.  Yesterday when I went to see my doctor for my 6 month check up, he hugged me, told me I was doing awesome and to keep up the good work.  He asked if he could take a picture with me and post it to the practice's face book page.  Who am I?  Who is this woman that isn't afraid to look in the mirror anymore?  Who is this woman that isn't afraid to put on a bathing suit in front of strangers?  Who is this woman that no longer walks around staring at the ground for fear of seeing judgment in the faces of the people who pass by?

The fact is, I really don't know who I am anymore.  I mean, I'm the same person really, but I don't recognize myself, physically or mentally right now.  I so confused when I put on a size 14 dress, or shorts that look FAR too tiny to fit on me, and they are actually a bit too big.  I've donated so many bags of clothes it frightens me, and I still have more to go through.  I can't wear some of my favorite clothes, and the clothes I now fit in just look entirely too small on the hangar.

I still have another 50-60 pounds that I'd like to lose, and I figure it'll take me another 6-12 months for that to happen.

I'm still in physical therapy for my knee.  The downside to this awesome surgery, is that I cannot take any anti-inflammatory medications.  That makes the recovery from knee surgery that builds internal swelling a bit troublesome.  I go to PT 2x/week, and then I can barely walk for 2-3 days.  Anyone else would take an Aleve, feel better the same day and keep on truckin'....I can't do that.  I just have to let my body deal with the swelling in its own time, so most of the time right now, I feel like there is a balloon blown up inside my knee, and it isn't all that comfortable to walk.

I really need to get started walking/running so that I can get trained for the RNR half in Chicago on July 20.  I'm already registered, and my goal is a 3 hour half....but if I can't start moving and building up some mileage and endurance, that is NEVER going to happen.

Well, it's time to sign off for now, Here's to hoping that by this time next month, I'm in the 180's, back to running/walking and working out, all pain free on the knee.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

...the first step

They, whoever they are always say admitting there is a problem, is the first step to solving it.

Well, I have a problem, and it isn't a new one, it's just showing itself in a new way. 

I had noticed over the last few weeks that I am rarely hungry, and because I am rarely hungry, my mind wants me to believe that that means I shouldn't eat.  Now, in most situations that would be a good philosophy, but when you have had a weight loss surgery that removes a portion of your stomach, specifically the portion that creates hunger hormones, this isn't exactly the best route to take.  Over the last few weeks I have fallen into a habit of maybe drinking a cup of coffee in the morning or maybe drinking a protein shake (max of about 140 calories, but usually less).  By the time lunch rolls around, I'm usually still drinking my protein shake or coffee, so eating just isn't that important, especially because I'm not hungry.  So then dinner rolls around, and I'm still not very hungry, so I eat a little bit, just so that I can say that I did, and call it a night.  This pattern is remarkably similar to my middle school years when I got down to a size 0 and was anorexic.

So last night I was laying in bed after a discussion on one of my weight loss surgery support groups where it was pointed out that I may not be eating enough, thus putting my body into starvation mode, thus making my weight loss progress slower.  I was laying in bed considering this discussion, KNOWING full well that I haven't been eating enough food lately to keep a bird alive (as my Nana Judd would say), and rationalizing with myself that this was a good thing.  Really?!?!  My explanation to myself about this being a good thing went something like this...

So...I may be in starvation mode, thus losing weight slower.  This is a bad thing....right???
but wait, Some of my friends and family members didn't support me having the surgery, and they have told me I'm doing awesome.  If I eat more, thus lose more weight, and lose it faster, they will THINK I'm anorexic.  I don't want them to THINK I'm anorexic when I'm,  maybe it's better I stay in starvation mode and actually BE teetering on the edge of anorexia, than actually eat RIGHT, and lose more weight thus leading people to believe that I AM anorexic.......

Anyone else see the massive flaw in this logic?  At that moment I knew I needed to call someone, like TODAY!  So I did.  I called and talked to the nutritionist in my bariatric surgeon's office first, who is incredibly helpful, wonderful and understanding.  We talked through some things and he pointed out something that I found incredibly interesting.  Here I am thinking I'm a "slow loser" and that if I was eating better, I'd be losing faster.  He said that at 12-18 months out from surgery, with the Sleeve Gastrectomy, they expect you to have lost about 50% of your excess weight.  I'm not even 6 months out of surgery yet, and I've already lost an astounding 46% of my excess weight.  (for the record, I disagree with their calculations that I should weigh 120 pounds...If I get to 135 I'll be shocked and expect my body to stop more around 150-160 range).  He also recommended I get back in touch with my psychologist who I had been working with to see why I was sabotaging myself.

Now, really?  me?  Sabotage myself?  NEVER!!!!  Ha, yeah right, I would have a Ph. D. in self-sabotage by now if one was offered.  He also said that the fears and anxieties that I am dealing with right now are normal, I'm 6 months out from surgery, and trying to figure out this new lifestyle, new body, new diet, etc, and may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much everything has changed in the last 6 months, which may be totally true.  I tend to think that it is far more related to my issues with self-worth, not feeling like I DESERVE to succeed, and questioning whether people in my life will still love and accept me as I continue to lose and find the new me. 

I have always said this was a journey, but I don't think I realized just how much of an emotional journey, and journey of self-discovery it would be.  So please, be patient with me as I tackle this new life, because I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I still don't see much difference when I look in the mirror, but the number in the back of my pants is definitely far smaller.  I even looked online today at bathing suits <gasp> bikinis even.  I know what size I should/would order, but I don't know if I will have the courage to do so, even if it is beautiful, and I have worked to hard to earn it.  It's going to be a long struggle to continue working on me.


Friday, March 7, 2014

5 months post-op?

Has it really been 5 months already since my surgery?

I find it all hard to believe honestly.

I have been able to begin buying clothes in "regular" stores as opposed to going to Plus Sized shops, which makes me incredibly happy.  I'm down now to 202 pounds, just barely outside of "one-derland".

I'm down from wearing size 22 in plus sizes, to comfortably wearing a size 16 in most clothes.  (Lucky Brand Jeans are a definite no-go still).

I have also gone from a 44dd, to a 38ddd in the bra department.

I went shopping and I officially have about 5 or 6 "work" outfits to wear now, as well as a couple of pairs of jeans.  I'm about half way to where I want to be in 5 months, which is good, especially considering I plan to reach my goal weight in about 1 year.  At this rate, I'll be there in 10 months.

10 months is a GREAT timeframe, considering my next half marathon is on July 20th, just 10 days shy of my 10 month surgiversary.

Also, I had my knee surgery today.  It is already feeling a bit better than it has since I injured it, but good gravy, enough is enough.  I'm still pretty groggy, but can't sleep.  I don't have any pictures this month, and haven't done measurements either.  I'll have to do those in the coming weeks....

Monday, February 3, 2014


So, for every person there is something that they fear.  There are the obvious, like Snakes (for me), and thunder storms, and spiders.

Well, I had a very eye-opening discussion tonight with my coach for the New Year, New You transformation challenge.  I am so very torn right now about what to do for exercise, etc.  Here I am with a torn meniscus trying to figure out whether to stay in the challenge, or drop out.  What can I really do?

So, my coach just called me out, and honestly, I know I needed it.  But here is the realization I am coming to.  I'm not sure whether I am more scared of failing, or succeeding.  I don't know if I am afraid of hurting myself worse, or just not being able to do what I should.

I know that I get embarrassed about going to the gym still.  Even though I'm down nearly 60 pounds, walking into the gym with all the other fit folks in the gym is still VERY hard.  I still see myself as "the fat girl" and fear being made fun of, which I know intellectually is ridiculous, but it still is a bit frightening.

Why am I so scared?  What am I so scared of?  Is this even remotely normal?  Any of my other WLS friends have this, or is this just me and my insecurities?

I know that I'm not going to quit on the challenge.  I know that I need to get over these fears, but how?  Any of my friends have any suggestions?



The news just keeps getting worse.

I went back to the ortho guy this morning, and he suggested surgery.  Here's the kicker though.  I have a clotting disorder, AND, I have a plane ticket to Nashville on February 25 with my awesome Husband for his 2nd consecutive presentation at an international conference, and we are staying at the Opryland Hotel.  So, clotting disorder + surgery = no flying, for at least 6 weeks...

This means that my surgery cannot be scheduled until March 6th (he always does surgeries on Thursday).  That means that I get to be in pain for a whole nother month, no running, high impact anything, and no training.....

That ALSO means, no RNR Raleigh Half marathon for least that I can figure.  I think I'm going to try walking/running laps in the pool, and swimming, to keep from jarring the knee, to help build endurance and cardio conditioning in the mean time, and hope that AFTER the surgery, I can get in about 4 good weeks of running/walking, and still make a go of the race.  See, they have a "No refunds, No deferrals, No Transfers, No exceptions" rule for Rock 'n Roll half and full marathons, so if I can't figure out a way to get through the training and build my endurance without messing up my knee even worse, then I'm not only not able to race, I'm also out the $$, which just SUCKS!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

4 months Post-Op--a day early

So I am a day before my 4 month surgiversary, but I figure I'll make the most of my snow day and down time.

First, I had two pretty huge achievements today, so I immediately thought I needed to post an update.

The first big huge victory for today, is that I got on the scale and I am officially smaller than my husband has ever seen me.  The smallest I have been since we were married was 211 pounds, 6 months after our 2nd child was born, and while i was breast feeding.  As soon as I stopped nursing, I literally gained 30# in 30 days, right back up to 241 pounds, and never below that again since.  Today, I weighed in at 210.6 pounds.  I have hoped since I had this surgery that I would be below 200# for my 39th birthday, which means 11 pounds in the next 4 weeks, which I really believe is totally doable.

After getting weighed, I went looking for comfy and warm PJ's to put on for the snow day.  I was out, so I decided to see what happened if I pulled some of Barney's PJ pants out.  I still outweigh him by about 45 pounds, but believe it or not, his NC State PJ pants and t-shirt fit perfectly.  This is a huge deal for me.

So weighing in at 210.6 pounds, means that I have lost 58.2 pounds since beginning this process.  I am averaging 2.56 pound per week lost, and haven't really been working out enough. According to the weight loss app I am using, I'm 43.5% of the way to my goal in 24.61% of the time I have given myself to complete it.  My BMI has gone from 49.2 to 38.5.

Finally, I nearly got caught up in the excitement that is Run Disney.  Yesterday, some of my groups I am in on Facebook started posting about Waivers and Bib Numbers for the Glass Slipper Challenge being available.  Out of curiosity, I went to look, and even though I have cancelled my registration, and received a refund, there was a waiver and a bib # for me.  I got caught up in the excitement and for a few minutes seriously considered showing up and trying to pick up my bib.  The reality is, though, that since I have gotten a refund, that would be stealing, and it would be wrong to do so.  So, today, I called Run Disney to let them know that it was out there, so that they could pull the bib, and it felt really good to be honest about it.  The girl indicated to me that she had gotten a pretty detailed explanation of what had happened from her supervisor, but that they appreciated my honesty, and would take care of the problem.

So, To revisit my 2013 racing goals, I am looking at 3, maybe 4 races this year.  I will be doing Rock 'n Roll Raleigh on April 13 (my goal is to average a 14 minute mile for the duration of the race).  I will be doing the Rock 'N Roll Chicago on July 20th (my goal is to be at my goal weight, and average 12 minute miles throughout).

There is a small possibility that our family vacation will be at Walt Disney World in November, over Veteran's Day weekend, that being the case, if I end up registering, I will have a goal of completing that race with an average of a 10 minute mile.

There is also our local race the first weekend of June, the 10th year of the race, and they are adding a 10k for the race, in addition to the 5k.  Also, In a small town near here, there is an Esprit de She 10k race on June 26 which I may run.

I feel like most everything is falling into place now.  I feel like I am finally starting to see the results that I had hoped for.  My life is on track, and I am getting where I want to be.


Friday, January 24, 2014

No Rest for the Weary.....(or was it Wicked)?

So, my goals for 2014 were blown out of the water today...

After all the stress of having to have our puppy put to sleep, and daddy being in the hospital for the last week, when he got home on Wednesday night, and the kids were spending some quality time with their Popi, I ran to the gym for a quick theory?  Hey---maybe some endorphins from a workout will help this stress level of about 20 I've been rockin' these last few days. I went.  I missed the first 10 minutes of the first class I planned to attend (Body Pump), so I hopped on the treadmill for a couple of miles, and then headed to Zumba. I know, I know, it's cheesy when you love CrossFit as much as I do, but I also LOVE to dance.  I was feeling pretty awesome, and then about 15 minutes into the class, picked my left foot up off the floor, and both heard and felt a loud POP!  Eh, nothing horrible, I could still bear weight....finished the class and headed home.

Yesterday I was home with my 7 year old who has Strep Throat, and decided to ice my knee a bit since it was still pretty tender.  This morning, no improvement, so I decided since I needed to go get MY throat checked now since I feel like I took up sword swallowing in my sleep, I'd call the orthopedist and get in to see him too.  The last thing I wanted or expected to hear was, "You tore your meniscus.  We have to get an MRI to verify that for you insurance, but you'll need knee arthroscopy.".  Dude....are you serious??  Let me translate...."your insurance company is going to require you to pay over $500 for a test you don't need because I already know the results.....Then surgery, which you will also have to pay quite a bit for.  Yeah.  Thanks!!

So--there will be NO half marathon in February or March.  I will do a half in April, July and possibly November.  I MAY still go for the WDW marathon, but I'm not sure, it'll depend on healing, training and how this knee feels...I may have to push it back to 2016

UGH---I hate injuries.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Decluttering and my Goals for 2014

Here lately I have found myself to be very overwhelmed, almost constantly.  The reality is, this is a self-imposed anxiety created by my enjoyment of all things electronic, social media and reality TV.  I have a lot of goals to accomplish this year, and the reality is, sitting on my ass chatting on Facebook, catching up with old friends, and watching my favorite TV shows isn't going to help me accomplish ANY of them.

I posted not too long ago on Facebook that I didn't have resolutions this year, for the first time that I can remember, but instead, was going to make goals.

Weight Goal:
Lose the remaining 80# I want to lose, preferably by 6/1/14

Exercise Goals:
Complete all 12 weeks of the New Year, New You Weight Loss Challenge at Clubworx
    (begins 1/20/14)
Begin TRX Bootcamp as of 3/1/14 and go 2x/week the remainder of the year

Running Goals:
finish 4 half marathons, each one in progressively less time
      MB Half Marathon--goal 3:45 (February 15)
      Tobacco Trail Half--goal 3:40 (March 16)
      Rock N Roll Raleigh--goal 3:30 (April 13)
      Rock N Roll Chicago--goal 2:59:59 or less (July 20)

Complete the OBX marathon, Veteran's Day Weekend, (7 hour time limit, I'd like to be under 6)
Train for the WDW Goofy race weekend (Half on Saturday, Full on Sunday) I have no time goal, finishing is my goal


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Random thought-provoking question

So I am in a number of groups on Facebook that are Weight Loss Surgery support groups.  This last week someone who has not yet had surgery posted a question that has been stuck in my mind and been making me think for days now.  Now that I have made a decision about my position on this question, I thought I would share my perspective.

The Question:  Do you enjoy food more or less since surgery?

My answer:  Neither.  The reality is, before I had weight loss surgery, I would be completely preoccupied with food.  After breakfast I would message my husband and asked what he wanted for dinner.  I would get excited about eating out.  If someone mentioned Olive Garden I would start drooling over the breadsticks dipped in Alfredo sauce and Fetuccini Alfredo for dinner.  If someone mentioned Buffalo wings, I could feel my heart rate speed up with pure excitement of shoving the food in my mouth.  Now that I have had weight loss surgery, food is neither exciting, nor upsetting, it is something that I require to get through the day, but there is no longer an emotion attached to it.  Before my surgery, food was my best friend, the thing I went to when I was happy, or sad.  the thing I pursued when I needed moral support for some reason.  I no longer have this connection with food, at all.  I now view food as a necessity and the rules of weight loss surgery, which can be overwhelming, are very strict and failure to follow them could cause major problems and complications.  I have NO desire to jeopardize my health or my success for a piece of sugar-laden cake.  This is not to say that I have followed every rule perfectly since my surgery, but if there is cake, 1 bite is sufficient.  If there are french fries in the house, 5 or 6 fries is enough to curb the craving.

Some other interesting changes that have happened since my surgery:

I have noticed that I no longer have dark circles under my eyes, which in the past I was told were related to a food allergy.

even while sitting down, my tummy doesn't stick out quite as far as the girls

When I bought my car, my hips would get sore because they were wider than the seat, and the sides of the seat where they come up, put pressure on my substantial hips---not anymore

I used to hit my stomach while turning the steering wheel because my belly stuck out so far, now I have a good 6-8 inches between my tummy and the steering wheel

I can now sit "Indian style" or "cris-cross applesauce" for the first time in years

I can cross my legs

I can wear heals without my feet swelling and hurting horribly within minutes

My BMI is now below 40 for the first time in YEARS

I'm a mere 6 pounds away from being smaller than Barney has ever seen me

I started this process in an uncomfortably tight size 22, I am now wearing size 18's and they are not tight or uncomfortable.  I'm likely about 5-10 pounds away from size 16's.

Next goals to reach:

I am a mere 15 pounds from "one-derland"!!!

I am starting the "New Year, New You Weight Loss Challenge" at my gym on the 20th, I NEED this to get myself on track and stay there

I have 3 races coming up, 1 each in February, March and April--my goal is to improve my time at each one, and finish all 3 in under 3:30

I am going to stick to my training plan!

I am going to start tracking my food intake, protein and water in My Fitness Pal on a daily basis