What a Difference a Year Makes

Wow. To say “blink and you’ll miss it” is an understatement.

It’s been a bit over a year, and to say my life has changed would be an understatement – and all for the better! My last year in bullets:

  • My divorce was finally finalized after nearly 2 years of back and forth with the X
  • Got down to my lowest weight ever…within 1 pound of having 100 pounds lost!
  • Met an amazing man, fell in love, got engaged…I’m getting married this month!
  • Put on about 20 pounds of “happy weight”…which I’m finally starting to see come back down
  • Changed my daughter’s day care, went through lots of up and downs with her (more on that later)
  • X got married to the chick he left me for. Which is fine, we are at a good place now and strive to put our daughter first
  • After our wedding (and honeymoon vacation – squee!!) we’ll start saving to buy a house together next year.

I mean, wow. This blog was created to be a daily log for me…of course I think the pressure of having a daily log just turned me off. Well, that plus like a month after I started it, my now ex-husband kinda walked out on me and my kid…and so any time I came back, for a long time after that, it was kind of painful. This blog has seen tiny snippets of pain, hope, more pain…long silences…and now, infinite joy! I really do want to work on filling in those gaps.

And the #1 reason it was created, of course, was to record the success of my losing weight! Somehow through this crazy storm, I DID manage to do that. And I want to keep it going…

Do I really think I have the time/dedication/passion to start this blog back up again? I don’t know. My next post might be another year from now…but let’s see what happens. 🙂

Today, life is good.

Advertisements

Meal Planning

Well it’s been less than a month since my last post, so that’s an improvement, right? 😉

I was reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers earlier last week, and it gave me the meal planning bug. A little back story is that the previous week I saw an all-time low on the scale, then decided to go in to an insane eating fit over that weekend. Nothing stress-triggered, just hanging out with friends and going out to eat, etc.

Needless to say the scale sucker-punched me as a result. I know better than to do such silly things, but right now my battle is extremely mental and food related. I don’t seem to have issues with working – sometimes twice a day.

I mean, who WOULDN'T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

I mean, who WOULDN’T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

 

But I guess my brain right now is going “hey, I’ve lost 80 pounds! I should be able to eat more now!”

No Brain…not yet!

So when I read Katie’s post the other day (if you have never read Katie’s blog, you NEED to. She is a constant source of inspiration, and is MUCH better at posting than me, lol!), it really gave me that push I needed to start concentrating on food. I had a bunch of fruit and vegetables at the house that really needed to be cooked up, so I found some good recipes and went on a bit of a cooking spree. I was concentrating on meals that I could save and take to work for breakfast and lunch as well.

On Tuesday night, I made these two recipes:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These are “Renee’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bars” and I totally just copied Katie’s idea on that one. The other was a repeat of a recipe I had made the previous weekend:

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

This is a Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and it is SO good! It has about a cup of greek yogurt in there as a binder, and I’m guessing that’s what burned on the sides of the dish. I was lazy and just mixed my recipe in the casserole dish, rather than in a mixing bowl and transferring. Looks like I’ll definitely be paying for that when it comes time to wash dishes…

Both of these have been great so far, I’ve just cut them up and have been taking portions for breakfast and lunch.

I also made of of my favorite dishes last Wednesday:

Love these, an entire meal in it's own little container. :)

Love these, an entire meal in it’s own little container. 🙂

These are supposed to be Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, but not having any quinoa on hand, I opted for couscous. I hope that with any of these recipes you’ll head over to the actual posts they come from…please don’t let my horrible food photo taking abilities deter you. There is a reason I’m not a food blog! Cooking all these meals while chasing a 2 year old leads to lots of short cuts and sloppy looking food…but I promise it tastes wonderful! 🙂

Smoothie's were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

Smoothie’s were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

So, meal planning? Yeah, it definitely paid off. Despite the fact that I got sick last Friday (yay for things my daughter brings home from day care…), and not being able to work out for the last 4 days, I saw an all-time low on the scale this morning. I am SO PUMPED!

So yeah, I’d say that this week is off to an awesome start!

How about you? What’s been your key to getting yourself back on track?

Keeping it Real, Yo

I keep fancying myself a blogger. I have so many things that I do, so many great new experiences along this weight loss journey that I want to feel that bloggy connection with my fellow loser-bloggers. But it seems that when someone works, is a single parent, and spends 95% of the non-working, non-parenting time working out…where is this time to blog? Seriously!

Life is going on – my battle with the scale is still tangible and daily. I have had two injuries now, one on my right Achilles tendon during a race, and just this week, I injured my left calf while doing jumping jacks with a Jillian Michaels DVD. So, I’ve been trying to just focus on upper body. People keep saying I LOOK like I’ve lost weight, so I can only hope that I’m toning and gaining muscle…but not seeing the numbers change is driving me slightly mad.

The Big D (and I don’t mean Dallas) process is moving forward, though slower than I prefer. Mr. X doesn’t seem to understand why I don’t want the town bicycle that he left me and my daughter for around the kiddo. So he has now gotten a lawyer…yay! I am so ready for this chapter of my life to be over so I can just move on and focus on what is important.

What suddenly prompted me to turn on the blog-machine and post today in the first place? That would be this article from Runner’s World by Lauren Fleshmen, a post about Keeping it Real when it comes to our bodies. Not only does it talk about unrealistic expectations placed on women by television and magazine editing techniques, but it speaks about self-acceptance, and realistic notions of what our bodies are and have the potential to be.

This hits home for me in two ways. First, one of the reasons I started working on losing weight in the first place was that I was never in any photos. I was so petrified of seeing myself on camera that I always was the one holding the camera. I can probably count on two hands the number of photos I have of myself from my 20’s. In 2011, my nephew passed away from cancer. He was married in to the family, so I only knew him for about 3 years, but he was only 5 when he passed. At that time I started gathering photos so that I could create a video for the family. Since his family was large (since he married in to our family, he had his father’s side on top of everyone on our side), I wanted to make sure and include a photo of him with every member of the family. It wasn’t until I started this search that I realized that there was not ONE photo of me and him. Not one. I had actually had a family photo shoot in my backyard with him a year or so before his diagnosis, and had beautiful photos of him, his parents, grandparents, Mr X…but not me.

It was then that I realized that I had let my own self-perception of how awful I look actually become a reality. My body was a wreck, I didn’t WANT to see it photographed, but I also didn’t want to live my life behind a camera and missing out on life. I lost 60 pounds that year, got preggo, gained 60 pounds, and now have lost a total of 80. Suffice it to say, my body has been through the ringer. And that’s how the article today hit home in a second way. I’ve lost 80 pounds, I’m in the best shape of my life, but there is definitely a trail of disaster left behind in the wake of losing so much after decades of being obese. I don’t need to spell it out, I’m sure, but things are definitely not looking so hot when the clothes come off, lol! I’ve already been researching lower body lifts, lift options for the girls (das boobs), and trying to hang that goal out as a carrot to keep myself moving with forward momentum. Will I ever be able to go through with it? Will I be able to afford it? I don’t know…but it is no lie or secret that losing the weight is only the very first step with these types of journeys…there’s a whole lot of layers of mental and flappy-skin baggage that has to be sorted, folded, and put away as well.

So yeah, there you go. I had intended this post to just be a simple photo-update of what all has happened in the last month, but it kind of morphed in to a heavier topic. But one that is usually glossed over I think while the weight loss is happening. Anyone who has had to deal with self-esteem and body issues for years and years and years needs to be prepared to address not only the physical, but mental reason as to what got us all here in the first place. I named my blog Running aWeigh because it was meant to address all of the physical AND mental weight that was weighing me down. Ironically my husband left me a few days later…sometimes we find we were being held back in the places we thought were the safest. I hated every minute of last summer (save a few where my daughter reminded me what I was going on for), but I would not change it. I am so much better…lighter…for it.

Ok, enough with the heavy, let’s end on at least one of my intended photos to lighten the mood!

Life is beautiful!

Life is beautiful!

Kitty Kitty

A few days ago, we added a new member to the household. I finally have a man of the house!

Hello ladies...

Hello ladies…

After wanting a cat for over a year, I finally gave in after finding this photo on the website of the local Humane Society. Those eyes!

So yeah, I got him. He’s adorable and very loving and very social…and puts up with being chased by my toddler. Poor kitty. He spent the first couple of days behind the washer and dryer, with Reagan standing in front of them screaming like a kitty-banshee. I felt like maybe I had made a bit of a mistake, that maybe I should have waited another year before bringing an animal in to the house. But, when she was in bed, or tethered in her high chair, he’d venture out, rubbing on my legs like mad and playing like a little kitten (he’s 6 months). He never has hissed or growled or bared a claw.

Now he’s venturing out a bit more…and the chasing behind the washer/dryer has become a game of peekaboo between the two of them. She LOVES it…probably more than he does, but it’s a step in the right direction!

I had several people express surprise over getting a black cat. Well, maybe not surprise, but a lot of “I guess you’re not superstitious then?” comments. It turns out that apparently it’s harder for shelters to find homes for black cats, just because people are silly and superstitious. To be honest I never really thought of it, he was just so pretty – and he was a little older, but not old enough to be set in his ways. I love tiny little kittens, but I figured that not only would that be more dangerous (for the kitten) around Reagan, but that I’d like to give someone who might be coming out of the adorable kitten stage a good home.

Last night after I put the cat-chaser to bed, I did an hour of Zumba. It was hard to stay motivated to do it all the way until 9pm, but I got it done. I think the cat thought I was insane, because he was running from one end of the room to the other while I flailed around like the whitest white girl in the world.

Seriously, it’s kinda sad to watch me try and gyrate my hips like these scantily clad Latinos with impossible 6-packs. Those can’t be real…just like gyrating hips while concentrating on footwork and not having a confused furrowed brow is impossible.

Oh, the cat’s name is Sherlock by the way. It has nothing to do with my current weird crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. Honest…

My favorite high-functioning sociopath…

 

Day 2 without coffee (what was I thinking!?)

So over the weekend I did a little overindulging (not too bad on quantity, but there was the splitting of an entire batch of guacamole and some chocolate pie with my mom happening…)

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

It wasn’t TOO bad, but it was enough to make me want to try and work harder on reigning in the beast that has become my lack of willpower lately.

Because chocolate comas can't happen every day...

Because chocolate comas can’t happen every day…

I’m still maintaining a great loss, but I am ready to kick it in to gear when it comes to losing these last pesky 30 pounds. So, I did what any reasonable person would do – I decided to cut out coffee and wine.

Wait, what!? Why did I do this!?

It's this...it's evil!!!

It’s this…it’s evil!!!

Yes…it’s not the coffee that I’m after, but the evil (wonderful), horrible (yummy), sugary creamer. I’m very much a “little creamer with my coffee” type of person. So, every morning when I have my two giant cups of coffee, the last forth of the mug is usually filled with this stuff. It is wonderful and sugary and awesome…but also probably adds 300+ of useless calories a day (because then there’s afternoon coffee…). The wine I’m cutting out just because I don’t want to overdo that right now either. So, I’m allowing myself coffee and wine of the weekends. Otherwise, it’s water. And tea…I’m getting a good amount of tea suggestions from friends and co-workers.

The first day was fine – but today, on day two, I think I’ve probably fallen asleep with my eyes open a couple of times. ><

I signed up for another race that takes place this Saturday. This one is a 5k, and takes place at the same location as the 10k I did a couple of weeks ago. I am really excited, because (I’m a dork) they give out finisher’s medals! I am sure that a “real” hardcore runner would be insulted…because it’s almost that “everyone gets a ribbon” mentality, so “there are no winners” but I honestly just want to try and find races with medals so that I can use that as motivation to keep signing up. My goal right now is to sign up for a race each month when I’m paid, so that I can keep using that as a motivating force to keep moving.

So yeah, no coffee, day #2…pray for me. 😛

Joe’s Run 10k Race Report (My First 10k)

First off, let me re-state as I have in earlier posts that I am not a good runner. Well, I’m not a fast runner. So the title of “Race Report” on this post may be a bit misleading. But, I thought it sounded just a tiny bit better than “Super Slow Old Lady Shuffle Wannabe Runner Report.” 😉

So yeah. Since I’ve been such a horrible blogger and so behind, this post may end up meandering and going all over the place, but hopefully we can all end up at the…end. Wow, it’s way too early, and I haven’t had nearly enough coffee to form complete thoughts yet it seems.

Ok, second cup of coffee is here, so that’s much better. So, back in February or March, when I knew that I was going to be having all this work stress and moving was on the horizon, I signed up for my first 10k. I figured signing up for a run would help give me a goal to work toward, keep me focused on weight loss and exercise once I got settled in.

Yeah, that didn’t work. Between getting a new job, living with my mom again (let’s just say we butted heads a bit), finding day care for Rea, finding a house, etc etc etc….I was happy to just be maintaining my weight by watching food, and working out, much less following a training plan, definitely took a backseat.

So the race approached, and suddenly I had to make a decision. I thought briefly about cancelling and just not going…I had tried to drum up interest in friends and family, but there were no takers…so not only would I need to do a distance I had never done before, and one that I didn’t train properly for, but I’d have to do it alone. Oh, and did I mention that this was also happening on the same day that I was going to be moving Reagan’s furniture in to the new house? That Saturday night was to be our first sleeping at the new house. So I had plenty of good excuses on NOT doing the run. But I finally said to myself no…I had already committed, already paid, and the very worst that could happen would be that I would just have a really long walk.

That Friday (which I had already taken off of work to work on unpacking) I went and grabbed my race bib and such. This race – called Joe’s Run for anyone who is interested – is kinda small and more for fun than anything, so there wasn’t a lot of swag, but the tank shirt is really cute! I am not at a point yet where I feel like I can wear sleeveless shirts in public (I hate my upper arms of course), but I planned to where it that next day under my t-shirt for the run. I may have mentioned it before…but having a large chest + a baby + 75 pounds of weight loss leads to a lot of….bouncing. So I usually have to where a tight sports bra as well as a tighter shirt under my t-shirt to run comfortably.

Anyway, I digress…

Race bib, shirt and shoes

Race bib, shirt and shoes

Saturday morning I woke up, put on the clothes I laid out the night before, set my mom up with the baby monitor since Rea wasn’t yet awake, grabbed a couple of bananas and headed out. The race was only about 6 miles or so from my mom’s, and I found it pretty easily with the GPS. There were a lot more people out there than I expected, actually. I didn’t have to pee, so I skipped the bathroom line, and I hung out near the start. It was a little awkward for me, since I didn’t know anyone…I’m kind of a shy extrovert, so even though I wanted to be talking to people, I didn’t have the guts to just walk up and start a conversation with anyone!

So I did what any self-respecting newbie would do - took a selfie!

So I did what any self-respecting newbie would do – took a selfie!

They were playing music at the start, and the energy was good. I was still crazy nervous about attempting the 10k, but I had no illusions or goals for a time I wanted to come in at…just to finish, even if I had to walk. I made my way toward the back of the pack, and we started promptly at 8am.

Making my way to the starting corral

Making my way to the starting corral

The very first thing I learned from the 10k was that I need to buy a hat, or a sweatband, or something! I had put on sunscreen that morning, and it was already in the 80’s when we started. Since I’m mostly a treadmill runner, I don’t have much experience with running outside (I mean, it’s Texas, why would I WANT to run outside?). The sweat was already pouring 5 minutes in, causing the sunscreen to drip right in to my eyes and BURN! I looked like an idiot I’m sure running while trying to wipe my face on my sleeve. Luckily after about 5 minutes or so of THAT annoyance, the sunscreen above my eyes must have mostly sweated away, because it became a bit more tolerable. (UPDATE: I’ve talked to some runners since, and purchased a 2XU visor. I haven’t been able to run in it yet, but I mowed the yard and it and it was awesome at keeping the sweat out of my eyes!) That was my only real bad experience!

I am sure I started out way too fast, but I quickly tried to pace myself. Within about a half mile or so all the fast people had found their areas up ahead, and I was with a little group. There was this guy…a very stocky guy with huge calfs (I just started calling him Huge-Calf Man), and he and I were playing leap frog forever. I’d pass him, and then a few minutes later he’d pass me…and then start walking. So I’d pass him again at my little slow jog, and then he’d start running again and pass me…and start walking. I thought it was very odd, but it gave me something to focus on besides “holy crap it’s really hot out here!” Finally at about the halfway point, I had to walk for a bit and was fussing with my headphones, and he went on ahead of me.

That was the second thing I learned – figure out music ahead of time! I put on my headphones and such right before the race, and just started the last Pandora station I had been listening to, which I thought was based on Pink…so should have been some good, upbeat, angry white girl music. But it turned in to love songs. And of course with all the issues with with X, love songs were NOT welcome. So finally around the halfway point I decided to change it…well I was in a hurry of course because I wanted to start running again, but then my debit card fell out of my running belt when I took my phone out, so it was just really annoying. I finally got it figured out and put on some more upbeat music, which definitely helped on the last half.

After the turn around and the walk break, it was definitely a lot harder to run…and again, my “run” is an old lady shuffle. I was much more tired, and my left ankle was aching a bit. The interesting thing I found though was that it hurt MORE to walk than to just keep shuffling. On the first half I only took one walk break through a water station, but I was taking a few more walk breaks on the second half. Not too bad, I would guesstimate that I only walked about .5 miles of the whole 10k.

Despite that, it seems like the second half went by faster than the first. I think it’s because the music was better! 😛

Once the end was near, I tried to pick up the pace…and though I don’t think anything picked up, I felt like I was a runner and ran through the finish line! The after party was a lot of fun, they had a Jimmy Buffet band, and some really great booths. I grabbed some bananas, and a Gatorade, and just stood around trying to ignore my screaming legs for a few minutes. I went through and looked at the booths, and bought another tank top (they had extras from last year).

My post-race selfie. What did I just do!?

My post-race selfie. What did I just do!? And I already want to do it again next year!

Once I started to feel human again and realized that I am awesome and just did a 10k, I went and got the really awesome after-race swag – free beer and a burger! I ate about half of the burger, and enjoyed the beer, even though it was a bit darker than I care for.

This made it totally worth it! ;)

This made it totally worth it! 😉

I hung around to cheer for the racers who won trophies, and then headed home.

 

Fun times at the after party. It wasn't crazy-stupid loud and crowded, which was nice for me!

Fun times at the after party. It wasn’t crazy-stupid loud and crowded, which was nice for me!

 

My little one enjoyed some of my post-race swag. 😉

I'm a princess!

I’m a princess!

The last thing I learned from my first 10k. I look like a complete goober. Seriously, my race outfit is terrible! After looking at these photos, I vowed to dress better for the next race. I am still dressing like I weigh 262 pounds…and the result is a scary looking man, not a 75 pounds gone woman! Ugh…seriously!

"She Looka Like a Man!!!"

“She Looka Like a Man!!!”

And can you say, needs new headphones!? I had left my good running headphones in my gym bag at work, so all I had were these...circa 1995.

And can you say, needs new headphones!? I had left my good running headphones in my gym bag at work, so all I had were these…circa 1995.

Slightly looking like a member of the female sex here.

Slightly looking like a member of the female sex here.

As superficial as it sounds – does anyone have any advice on how to dress after a good amount of weight loss that is both comfortable for running, but also makes you looks halfway decent??

Oh, yeah, and here are my…ahem…sad stats:

Like a turtle, slow, but steady

Like a turtle, slow, but steady

So yeah…that’s it, my rambling race report on my first 10k. I loved it, and I loved the challenge of the distance! I am already looking at doing another one. Hopefully I can actually train for it. The bar has been set (thankfully, very low, haha!).

I’m still here, my dear

Wow. Six months. I’m a horrid blogger! I can at least say that I’ve had good excuses! In six month’s, I’ve

  • Told my old job to bite me when they tried to force me in to Sales… No offense to anyone who works in sales, lets just say I have good reasons for my biases.
  • Moved back “home” to the DFW Metroplex. I grabbed my 2 year old and we moved in with my mom while I tried to figure out what to do. I had already started applying for jobs back last December, as I could sense that my old job and I were heading in two different directions
  • Found a job! Yay! One month to the day of my last day at old job, I started a new job. I’ve been here for nearly 2 months, and so far it’s been amazing. I feel challenged, rewarded, and I’m learning so much.
  • I found a place to rent, and got the girl in to a new day care. I’m feeling slightly stressed as I’ve got a whole new set of bills, but so far I’m cautiously optimistic, and the house and landlord are both amazing.
  • I put things in motion with filing. Yep, the Big D is in my future. The X and I continue to oscillate between being nice and evil toward each other. I hope we can find a happy medium for Rea’s sake.
  • I haven’t gained weight!! This is huge. I haven’t lost, unfortunately, but the fact that I haven’t gained anything is a wonderful victory, considering the amount of stress I’ve been under.

Right now there’s both cupcakes and a tres leche cake in the breakroom…and I haven’t had any of either. It’s a daily battle right now, as my eating habits have definitely slacked.

But I’m still here, my dear. I aim to become a blogging fool by the end of the year.

And I’m such a poet. 😉