My Summer Adventure

Last week I announced over at the Edmonton Tourist that I am running the Race to Kinvara. You can read about it here.

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It has given me the proper motivation to get my body moving more aggressively than I was before. I just haven’t felt all that keen on running even though I have the Dumbo Double Dare scheduled for September in Disneyland. I just don’t get all that exceeded about Disney Races. For someone who loves Disney and running as much as I do, you’d think it would be a match made in heaven.

Its not.

I get excited about going, I get excited about see my pals, I get excited about the expo. But the race? Meh.

I don’t run fast enough to make it fun. I think that is the large part of it. I don’t have time to stop and meet characters or goof around with pals. I need to go and I cannot slowdown or I get swept.

And I do not need a lecture on increasing my pace. I have knocked 2 minutes per kilometre off since I began running… so just keep those comments to yourself thanks. I am doing the best I can.

Races that are much more forgiving, let me enjoy them for what they are. My favourite race is the Calgary Marathon Weekend. LOVE the atmosphere, the crowd support, the entertainment on the course and you know what? The course itself is pretty. I love the Bow river, I love seeing the Rockies in the distance and I love that it is mostly flat. Not Disney flat. That is FLAT, but Calgary is Prairie/Foothills flat. The perfect flat because running downhill is awesome fun for me.

I know, I know…You can walk a disney race and still finish. Well, maybe YOU can, but not everyone can. I have had 2 sucktastic Disney experiences in a row. I am determined to make my next experience a better one. I loved my first race – the Minnie 10km.

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Crossing the finish line and having Rudy Novotny say hey to me was awesome. This next race has my mental game shaken. Friends have already asked if I am running with them…HELL NO. Go have fun. Enjoy your race. I have to work my ass off to finish and I’d rather do it my own way. Stay focused. Stay Happy and STAY ALONE.

We talked about this before. To me there is nothing I love more than running alone, by myself as in SOLO. It is awesome to hang out before and after with friends but during…get lost. My pal said to me the other day, you don’t know if you like running with people because you have never done it.

Not true.

I have and do run with people for Run Club. I ran today with these awesome people!

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It’s sometimes my job to be a pace leader for the Learn to Run Group. I like it because I set the rules and I think because I am the leader its just different. I like it better when I set the pace and then need to slow down for others. I do not like having to make people slow down for me. I just don’t. I don’t want to talk when I run. I will listen, but don’t expect an answer. A) I am deaf in my left ear and can’t hear you. B) I daydream when I run so talking makes me have to pay attention. BOOOOO that just makes running hard.

When I daydream – or get in the zone – I am aware of cars and the vibration on my wrist for intervals. Thats it. I think about  all kinds of things that I don’t want to share because its about Me sorting out MY thoughts. I love being alone with my thoughts. I don’t get to do that very often. So when I get to…wow…pure bliss.

Anyways…. Ireland.

I have felt then need to up my game because I am on a TEAM. I don’t want to let my team down. Sure it isn’t supposed to be serious. Sure its supposed to be for fun. I still feel the need to be the best I can be. That means I need to run hills, practice pacing, try out clothing and get a feel for what will work.

The best part about the Race to Kinvara is….I get to run alone without my team.

It is a relay. Everyone will be on the bus when I run. I will have been left in the dust by the other teams, so that means I will have the road to Kinvara to myself. I am pretty sure I will weep with joy. Me and my shoes running along the road alone. Honestly? Nothing sounds like a better vacation than that. Apparently I will have a Porter who will drive a scooter to keep an eye on me, hand me water when I need it and basically take care of my needs. Thats as close to being a process as I will ever be and that really appeals to me.

I will do my leg of the run and someone will feel the need to make up for my slow time. Do I care? I did a week ago. I don’t now. This is going to be MY Irish experience. How they choose to experience theirs is up to them.

I did add an element to my training that I had not done before.

I have started wearing my HRM on my training runs. I want to make sure I am running at my best. This is what I learned: I go too fast on my LSD days, but I run within my target for maximum on speed work days. So when I tell someone I am trying my best…I really am.

I have also added my footpod. It gives me my cadence (steps per minute) I am not sure what to do with that information yet. I will keep collecting it and I hope to see it increase by the end of summer.

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I have also started back with My Fitness Pal because I am worried I will gain back what I have lost. I am NEVER GOING DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN! My jeans are a touch too tight…so its time to become aware again. So far? I have noticed that I was doing okay! I just indulged into many libatious moments over my vacation. But, I always said that I am not on a diet, I am changing my life, but with that, I need to live. Drinks with  friends is part of that. However, now that training has begun in earnest for my Summer Adventure, the beverages need to stop too – the occasional cool one at a BBQ will be fine because I will adjust my intake to accommodate.

So thats it in a nut shell! Aside from my awesome runner’s tan… I am just the same.

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#WhyIRun

I was challenged this morning by my coach Brian

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at Running Down a Dream23 to post a video about #whyIRun.

That was easy.

I run for all sorts of reasons, but I started because someone told me I couldn’t. Nothing gets my dander up more than being told I am not capable.  I narrow my eyes, focus on the goal and say in the dreaded whisper I give my staff “Watch me”.

I also run because I believe in being kind. You may be asking yourself, “What has that got to do with running?” I figure, if I have to work anyways…work to make a difference.

If I am going to run, I might as well raise money for a great cause. Check!

My cause is simple. I run to support children and their families who cannot help themselves and are in need of support. That is also a big reason why I am proud to say I help start a charitable foundation from the ground up. We are still little but I have a vision and just like the reason why I run, don’t tell me I can’t do it. I will drag you, Mount Robson and part the Red Sea to make it happen. People who are nay sayers have tunnel vision, are somehow misguided as to my reason for the charity and think I am in competition. Let’s get one thing straight right now. Any charity that helps children and their families who cannot help themselves is not in competition with me, they are in PARTNERSHIP with me. It will take a boatload of kindness to change the world. If we all work together we can change the world. I believe it to be true and it will happen. It just might take longer than expected.

Giving of self for others is a HUGE reason why I run…HUGE.

The other reason of course…this is a no brainer, is COOKIES

ba70b2e156ac36981dff4a301bddedbbchocolate-chip-cookiesjammie_dodgers_2655228bDamn I love cookies. They are a ritual in my #CivilizedSaturdays and are that special treat for me where they used to be my daily/hourly food of choice.

I lost 5lbs in January. Total over three years 117lbs. Think about that for a moment.

I have a lot of extra skin now. I am not ready to have it removed because it will interfere with my goals this year. Next year I will take care of the that. But I look back at photos of me, old clothes I used to wear. I got rid of everything except one pair of pants, and they kinda look like circus pants. They don’t have a fly because they didn’t put zippers in pants that big. But then someone says something to me about how heavy I am and I think…. you small minded F#$%T%#$

It sure doesn’t take long for someone to be mean.

JUST BE NICE PEOPLE! Jeeze… it isn’t hard! Okay, it takes practice to be nice, but it IS doable!!

Meanwhile….back to #WhyIRun

I am going to challenge YOU all of YOU who read this blog to do 3 things:

1. go friend me on Facebook because its fun and then I can see your video a little easier

2. Record a video and challenge 3 friends to comment on why they run. Tag me in it so I can see it.

3. Use Hashtag #WhyIRun #whyIWalk

Here is ME challenging YOU. I feel like Romper Room, I see Karen and Sharon and Tiffany and Scootadoot and Chef, I see Jenny and Ebone and Barbara and Cristina and Patty, I see Tammy and Mer and Charlotte and Kathy, well, I see all of you.

Let’s inspire the world to move more.

And I’m back…

I have a band of brothers who are insisting they run with me during the Donald Half Marathon. Joke’s on them, They will be walking fairly quickly while I sprint my heart out to keep up.

In an effort not to let them down too much, I am doing speed work during the week to get faster. I’m not all that convinced it will work. This year has been such a training clusterfuck. I had surgery and injuries and set backs. All of which have been important learning lessons.

I can get the long distance in, the speed works helps somewhat so now its time to add the other piece of the puzzle.

FOOD INTAKE.

I have been pretty good thus far. I have been careful about what I eat, drink my water and keep sweets to a minimum. I have MAINTAINED….after I gained 10lbs. First I gained 10 then I held it there.

I re-installed Myfitness Pal again today and am in the middle of syncing Mapmyrun and Garmin connect with everything.

Why?

It makes me accountable. I want to lose another 50lbs this year.  (not by 2015 – I mean November 2015). I have the tools, I have the knowledge and I have the ability. I just HAVE TO RIGHT IT DOWN!

That part is the part that I am not consistent with. I started today.

I wrote everything I ate – including the Aero Bar and the Tostito Chips. I was 175 calories OVER my daily goal of 1790. That total will apparently get me to my goal of 2lbs per week for 1 month. Then I will adjust it to 1 lbs per week. It also helps me not go bonkers over Christmas. I didn’t last year and felt awesome. I will do it again this year.

It is interesting how I feel about food journaling. A year ago I would have not wrote the food in, giving myself a clean slate for tomorrow. Yet I wrote the good parts and the bad parts in. I am trying not to think about food in terms of BAD or GOOD. But rather in terms of fuel for running. I need to make sure I have the right amount of protein grams and carbs in so I will feel fab over my long runs.

On FB I have THIS as my profile pic 1375002_10152876402766337_9194937867845132687_nOn the side of the hat it says TRAINING. I have no plans to run the Calgary Half or Full next year because I am planning on really focussing my training on the Dumbo Double Dare. That means I am running ‘just 2’ half marathons. My training pal Liz laughed and said “Just two?”

Just 2. When did I become THAT girl? That girl who can now fit into a running jacket. That girl who explains fartleks to run club members, that girl who can talk about nutrition with beginner, marathoner and ultra runners. That girl who can hear about a foot issue and talk to people about solutions and shoes. That girl who understands clothing tech.

Yet I am still that girl who is scared to run with her band of brothers because she is slow.

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And because one of them looks like this:

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That is pretty much all the motivation I need.

 

This year is a write off

2014 is all about teaching me patience.

I am not a patience girl.

I have copious amounts of patience for other people, children, jerks, co-workers, animals and telemarketers. But not for me.

Karma is teaching me all about it.

If you recall, I injured my knee during the Donald half marathon in January and was pulled from the race. That sucked.

I couldn’t train for a while. But I did end up having the best race yet of the year – Calgary Half Marathon. I felt great, I was so excited to keep training for The Moose is Loose, The Dumbo Double Dare, The Vancouver Rock n Roll half Marathon and finally, The Donald Once again.

Then I had surgery.

It was cool, all good, I looked great. I love the freedom of the upper body saggy skin gone.

I went to Hawaii to run the Coconut Chase….well… I finished-ish…

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The next week I entered the Moose is Loose with my Dad.IMG_7313

We finished!

That was just plain stupid.

My Doc told me no running for 6 weeks. I didn’t run the Moose. I walked, but apparently 21.1 km is considered OVEREXERTION.

Oh, NOW you tell me!!!

Never in my life did I feel so terrible walking. I felt dizzy, all the blood had left my head, fluid was leaking out of my nearly healed incisions and I burst 2 new holes around my surgery scars.

I lost a lot of fluid and went into shock.

I froze all afternoon.

When I went to see my Doc he wrote me a note and told me NO MoRE RACING UNTIL OCTOBER 31.

Crap.

Part of me likes having his permission to rest. I need that kind of permission or I will do too much because I don’t want to be considered a sissy. 2 days out of the hospital and the Hubs thought I should be doing more. The Doc set him straight, but it’s that feeling that I should be doing more because people expect it.

I am reading how excited people are about the Disney Dumbo Double Dare Race, My friend told me I am doing it PERIOD. Well…… no. I do not want to be in bed for the rest of my days in Disneyland because I burst a seam. I do not want to be all shocky and crabby. And I want run the Rock n Roll in October – its pretty close to the end of the month, so I won’t train. Half marathons are all mental right? Ha…

It takes all my energy to work on my feet all day. This new fangled health care system where they send you home so early is frustrating. If you are home, you are fine right? Wrong.

The up side, I put on my capris today…I need new ones. They are huge. I needed a pin to hold them up. Even without running and walking I am still progressing in the weight loss department. I don’t even feel like I am trying. It has become habit…4 years later, it SHOULD be habit right?

Its just taking soooo long…did you hear me whine and whinge there? Well I did.

Resting is hard.

Never in a million years would I ever thought I would be thinking that.

That my friend is progress.

 

No one told me THAT would happen!!

I have a secret that no one talks about.

When you lose a lot of weight, and I mean A LOT, your skin doesn’t spring back into place.

You know all those photos for people in bikinis with tight skin in their ‘after’ photos…yeah, about that…

So we all know what I have been doing since January 1, 2011. I have been living my life in a different manner. I began ‘lifestyle’ change not a diet. This is me before:

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That is over 100lbs ago – about 107.8lbs to be precise.

As I lost weight, it was like my body was melting from the top down. I still have a giant ass and legs, but the weight on top left first. Weird. I noticed things like, rings falling off, my cheeks didn’t obstruct my vision, shoes got too big and underwear would slide down my hips as I walked. I couldn’t visually see me change, except I found my collar bone.

I could sit in theatre seats, I didn’t need seat belt extensions for the airplane, my kids could walk past me in the pantry, I use to have to move out of the way so they could enter.

As the weight continued to disappear, I noticed something else. My skin stayed where it was and didn’t leave. Think about that. Lose a person the size of my 16 year old daughter and the skin doesn’t spring back. Skin is heavy.

I talked to me Nurse about this issue…was there a cream? Was there more time needed? What did I need to do?

She said something very shocking to me.

Plastic Surgery.

Whaaaaaaaaa??????

What the hell man! I do this the hard way, no surgery, no lypo, no bariatric and you expect me to cut off my skin? How is THAT even fair??

I had a preconceived notion that plastic surgery meant vanity.

It does to some people. I talked to my doctor about it. Skin removal would ease the strain on my neck and back. I would be able to move more freely. I would be able to see the change and keep moving forward because honestly, I am only half way in my weight loss goal. He talked to me about a plastics surgeon that only works with people who have lost weight and have been able to maintain the weightless for over 2 years. The candidate cannot be on a fad diet nor can they be yoyoers. They must be healthy and fit to meet these requirements.

I thought about it for a while.

This was a big change. People don’t really understand. I was at the point where I could easily give up and go back to my old ways. Removing skin was for me, a bigger change than I had anticipated. It not only meant physically changing my body, but it mentally implied that I was ready to move forward and keep going. My long term commitment was still not over. I would have a lifetime of thinking of food as a battle. I never could relax for a moment. Kind of like a person with a drug or alcohol addiction. It is always there in the background, never leaving you. Removing skin was going to be me saying to my body – I let you down, but I never will again.

I was asked to be put on the list.

2 years later, the surgeon calls me for a consult.

Took you long enough pal.

I figured a year because I needed to maintain or keep losing…I had done just that. I kept moving forward and waited a really long time for this moment.

I entered his office on clinic morning and an entourage of interns and resident docs paraded behind him. I was asked to remove my clothes and stand in front of the gang while they poked, tugged, lifted, made inappropriate comments.

First I said no – there is too many people here and this is weird. Get out. They all left but the Resident – she was lovely and had great bedside manner, a gift that will be beat out of her as her tenure for surgery continues – and my Doc. He kept saying “these are crazy nipples” I smacked his hand and said “DUDE I am standing RIGHT HERE and can hear everything you say!”

He apologized and from that moment on, we had a good relationship. He agreed to my surgery saying I was an excellent candidate and I needed to get on another wait list….WTF?

Another list?

So I called his office where is staff were lovely, kind and compassionate. I was asked to go on the cancellation list.

Then I waited.

less than one month later I get the call : So….how’s 3 days from now?

Ummmm….yes??? Maybe???

Things that crossed my mind:

  • I can’t leave work, we are short staffed
  • I can’t leave work because I took on the extra to help out my boss
  • I can’t because I am running races this summer
  • I can’t because I am scared

Then I cried.

I went into my bosses office and asked to speak privately. I have this issue with thinking in my brain before getting the entire story out so I began the conversation with, “so I guess I have to say no but…”

He panicked and said “No TO WHAT??”

I told him about the surgery.

At that point I was prepared to quit. I didn’t want to because I respect him too much and I couldn’t do that to the team, but I was willing to.

He told me to do it and not to worry about a thing. He organized everything and I left that weekend feeling relaxed and able to put work behind me.

Step one to a successful surgery : Zero Stress

Step two: be fit

Step three: eat protein

My the third day I was laying in Day Surgery at the Lois Hole Women’s Hospital starving to death. No food or water since 11:30 the night before.

I have this great ability to sleep anytime/anywhere – so I did.

Then they took me up to the operating theatre where they drew all over me in sharpie in (including a happy face for me later) obviously the doc cut along the lines.

I woke up 2 hours later and wanted to eat. They said I would be nauseous  – nope – food please.

Here is what I discovered:

  • my fitness level made my recovery fast and effortless.
  • my core strength made moving in and out of bed a breeze
  • the nurse was worried about my blood pressure and resting heart rate. Apparently it was too low for someone my size (64 people! that is awesome) I told her I just ran a half marathon, I am a runner – suck it.
  • I was also asked about diabetes – I lost 100lbs and I run – suck it
  • My blood work showed my cholesterol was normal – again runner!!! Suck it and I eat healthy.
  • Size discrimination is rampant

Here I sit, 5 days later – I nap frequently because surgery makes me sleepy and they cut off 6.8 lbs of skin people!!! Walking to the car, I noticed my neck and back felt fantastic! The weight was gone. Now if only the potholes would leave I would be a happy camper!

I am glad I did it. I look so different, feel fantastic and really need to run – but that is still 3 weeks away. I feel like I am on a really long taper.

The next phase will be the panelectomy  – the saggy skin that hangs low past my belly – I can’t WAIT for that one!

Meanwhile, I really feel like I am over the hill that was holding me back. Onwards and upwards and did you know that bras come WITHOUT industrial harnesses? AND in pretty colours?? Neither did I!

Me yesterday: My sister and I comparing chest sizes after I go from an I to a D – I still win 🙂

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Suddenly it was a lifestyle

39176_413620261539_5541464_nRemember way back when?? 2011 when I made the decision to move forward and change my lifestyle, I had hoped it would stick. It has taken me longer than I wanted but I haven’t gone back to that dark place where the weight piles on.

I am still losing weight.

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Shocking given my lack of focus, however, I have certain habits now that are healthy ones that haven changed. So that alone is what has seen me lose 7lbs in the month of January.

Cool.

Sure I went out for a lavish dinner when I was in WDW and had an appetizer, main dish, AND a dessert – along with 3/4 of a bottle of wine. My dinning partner had some of the bottle but was also indulging in other libations that were present at the start of dinner. I ate a churro, a couple of cookies and other than that, nothing outrageous. Why? I think food doesn’t hold that same appeal that it used to. I no longer think of food as a ‘treat’ or a ‘reward’. But I do enjoy it and make sure the calories are worthwhile. I am often heard asking “Is it worth the calories?” Dinner at the California Grill was a resounding YES, dinner at Captain Cooks? Not so much – so I played it safe, move vegetables less bread.

I was asked again recently how am I doing it? To be honest – I am not sure because I haven’t recorded my calories in a long while and I over indulged in sweet over Christmas and that is always hard because it is hard to ween yourself off of sweets – at least it is for me.

I do have a list of things I always do out of habit now. This makes it easier to cope. These are things my nutritionist encouraged me to do.

1. Weigh yourself once a week. Weight will fluctuate 7lbs in a week. Seems like a lot. But female cycles, water retention for too much sodium or not moving enough for a few days can really make a difference. any more than 5lbs is a warning to me to be more conscious about what I put into my mouth.

2. Keep track of your daily movement. I sucked at this until I go a Polar Loop. I lost about a dozen pedometers. The loop stays on my wrist and converts all movement to steps for me. I started out with a baseline and increase it by 10% per week.  When I was in WDW I was doing 37 thousand steps on average. That is 3x my goal. Pretty sure that is why it was okay with me eating a little more than normal – I was hungry and for good reason.

3. Eat enough protein. Protein keeps me from craving carbs. Who would rather eat a loaf of break than a steak? Well, I would, but by making sure I get enough grams of protein every day – I can reduce the carbs in my life. I no linger have them with dinner. I do at breakfast and lunch – lets face it, your body needs carbs. It is a quick energy and if you choose wisely, it will be good for you too. But protein feeds the muscles I am building and keeps me fuller…longer. The longer is good because my new job prevents me from snacking. This is good AND bad. Eating every 2 hours – smaller meals – is ideal for me. however, circumstances prevent me from achieving this. But I do get to drink more water than before. That is good.

4. Drink water. Don’t drink it all at once. spread it out during the day. Stop drinking your calories. This includes Juice, sugary drinks, frothy sweet coffees and smoothies. I admit to drinking alcohol. I enjoy wine and beer and scotch and rum, but not every day AND not binge drinking on weekends. If it doesn’t enhance my experience than I don’t drink it. So Alcohol is a rare beverage for me.

5. Eat different food every day. This shakes up your metabolism and keeps it cooking. Sure it is easy to eat cereal every day of your like. But changing it up keeps your body from becoming complacent. This is important. AND EAT more not less. Starving yourself and keeping yourself hungry puts your metabolism into survival mode. Not cool. You don’t want it saving your fat, you want it to USE your fat. Because quite frankly, you aren’t using it for anything useful anyways.

5. Don’t eat 2 hours before bed time. Breakfast is called Break-FAst meaning you fast all night and brake the fast by eating breakfast. The 2 hour window is because that is how long it takes your body to typically digest your dinner.

6. Don’t skip meals. This makes you binge eat at a later time of the day. Not helpful.

7. Are you hungry? Are you really? Do you know where you are hungry? Odd question for some. I get hungry in my mouth. This means I need oral stimulation – quiet from the peanut gallery thanks. Gum or a mint helps, so does drinking water through a straw. I don’t know why, but it does. I also get heart hungry. Anger, sadness, broken heart will have me in search of food to feel that deep chasm. I now make myself sit in my emotions and feel it. It doesn’t last long and then its over. Numbing it with food just made me this fat in the first place. Hungry in the tummy? There you go! EAT! Never feel shame about eating. Eating is good for you if you eat for hunger. It is fuel.

Remember Food is Fuel not Therapy and you will make out just fine.

Meanwhile, I hope to lose another 50lbs this year. 7 down and 43 to go. Totally doable because it is now my lifestyle.

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Body Image

Body Shapes Sketch for blogPart of the Mo Project has been about body image. Not losing weight or looking awesome – that is a massive benefit. More importantly loving how I look.

Starting out on this journey I learned pretty quickly that my emotions around body image had a lot to do with what ex-boyfriends and an ex-husband had to say about my flesh.From them,I heard comments about over weight gals sitting on airplanes and taking up more room than they paid for. I have learned about the horrors of seat extender seat belts and I have HAD a fake hug where it was actually and belly squeeze to see how much weight I was hold on to. I have heard stories about men ACTUALLY ‘losing their chubbie’ at the thought of sex with an over weight gal- sorry to be crude but CRIMENY! Why is it that some men can be just so shallow? Why is it the ones who have weight to lose themselves seem to think its okay to to discuss the flab on their gal or worse…the flab on gals who are NOT THEIR GIRL.

We all know that guy. We also know that guy learned that behavior from somewhere.

After my run on Sunday I saw my photo with the medal around my neck and I was shocked. I have not stepped on a scale in over a month, mostly out of fear that I have gained weight but also out of fear that I have not. My mom pointed out to me that my weight is coming off from head to downwards…my ass is massive and that annoys me because I run to tun my ass OFF…so far it doesn’t look like it…but after seeing my photo, I have to say it’s coming off everywhere, just slower than I had hoped.

I read Plus Model Magazine…not for the articles, for the photos and to be inspired. Curvy girls are beautiful. The secret is to wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful and makes you feel sexy. That is a common truth for everyone. If you feel it – then you are it.

I have turned a few heads this year. Something that hasn’t happened in FOR FREAKING EVER because 1) I am older 2) I stopped taking care of myself and 3) clothing was meaningless for a while.

It’s not that I am looking but it certainly feels great when a stranger checks you out! It makes you feel attractive and that is all part of the body image for self.

Hair, makeup, clothing, jewelry and shoes do not have to be expensive, but there has to be thought put into it.

I am sick of fat shaming. Walk a mile in ANYONE’S shoes before you get to do any shaming. Learn to love yourself in spite of comments from others. Eat food that makes your body feel good, when I say feel good – sugar doesn’t do it. Fresh and natural does.

And coffee… but that is just me.

So today when I got up, I did my hair, my makeup and chose my clothes carefully because who am I seeing today? No one…working at home. But it helps me feel great about how I look, which helps me be careful about what I eat.

Love yourself. Those ex’s didn’t make the cut for a reason.

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Why am I always hungry?

It’s been a while since I thought about how my nutrition is impacting my weight loss. I have been on this diet lifestyle change for about 2.5 years. With about 6 months taken off for bad behavior. I suppose that is what makes me normal. Eating off plan and indulging in yumolicious things. However, I have had an epiphany of late.

This past week, I have been hungry. The kind of hungry where if a cow would walk by me right this minute, chance of it walking away without a large bite taken out of it would be slim to none. I don’t get these hungry episodes very often, but when I do look out if you are holding a sandwich, I might take your hand off.

I haven’t done anything particularly different. I have switched up my running days. Surprising my body and metabolism into a new routine. I added cycling into the mix and although I am not going any great distances, my legs and ass hurt from the newness of this sport. (secretly I am thinking about trying this out Diva Duathlon next fall. My dream of a Tri has fallen by the wayside until I can get my dizzy under control from that schwannoma that has taken up residence in the head. The good news is on land, I am golden! In the pool – not so much. The distances for the Diva are 3 km RUN – 12 km BIKE – 2 km RUN. So doable I find it exciting! Can you picture it? Me and Danger Bike working together to conquer this course? I will ride all winter with this in mind. The running 3k – then 2k should be fine.

Getting back to the HUNGRY. This past week I have noticed I have made choices based on what will fill my tummy and provide good energy. I have turned my back on the vegetarian me for a bit and have indulged in MEAT. Shocking, no – I am not a hard and fast vegetarian, I mostly am because I don’t care for meat, the flavor, the prepping of it, the look or smell, be lately – I JUST WANT TO EAT IT!. So I do. I have learned the hard way that listening to your bodies cravings is a way to keep you healthy – not the sugar cravings…that is different. But if your body wants and apple…eat an apple. If your body wants water, DRINK WATER. Simple formula but it takes time to be able to listen to what your body wants and  needs. My focus is not skinny, a number or anything related to the diet aspect. My focus is health, and awareness. I want to be aware of my nutritional needs because that is what enables me to run farther and be active, with a side benefit of brain power. Given that I have eaten non stop for several weeks. Beef/Chicken/Fish/Beans/Legumes/Eggs and all the organic veg in my fridge, one would think I am getting bigger rather than smaller.

HA! Tricked YOU!

I put on a long sleeve shirt that I purchased when I began losing weight. It is a stretchy, comfy shirt that sat snugly on my hips – well – just at my hips. It was still quite snug last year around this time. I put it on today and it fell below my butt. I have to make sure I am wearing the right undergarments because the cleavage factor is more prominent, meaning that what use to be a modest amount of chest showing, I could easily get arrested now. I am not ready to buy new clothes. I have a limited of suitable items for business meetings and a closet full of race shirts I can wear around the house. I am going through a rapid weight-loss phase right now, when I taper off – then I will hit the stores again.

I look at myself and can’t see the difference. My family can’t either, although Chatterbox will hug measure me and is able to hug up to her elbows where before she couldn’t reach around me. That is cool.

I have changed running tech shirt sizes. I have gone from finally fitting into a 2XL to being very comfy in a L. I have stopped recording my food intake. I want to try to listen and respond better. I think I am deceiving that.

In this photo, to me I look the same. Except my shoulders and chest are much smaller. My hips are smaller too. It seems that the hips and butt will be the last place the weight leaves me. Size difference? 26 in 2011/16 in 2013. That is progress and my hair is better too. Nutrition makes a difference with all facets of the body. my nails are great, hairs is healthier and my skin is clearer. All wins in my book.

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Moral of the story? Make it a habit. Habits are hard to break.

Unzip the fat suit or shapewear?

Shapewear.

Do you know what that is? As my dad would say, “why would you want to wear something that prevents you from breathing?” Good point dad.

There is a conversation on facebook going on about Zaggora. Essentially these are compression workout wear that make you sweat excessively. Some reviews on the site are claim people are “melting”. But you aren’t a stick of butter – sure you feel like you are but … no.

3 fat chicks on a diet have a great piece on sweat and weight loss, go read it here. Basically they remind you or inform you that the reason you sweat is for our body to maintain a healthy body temperature. Sweat IS NOT your fat leaking out through your pores. If that was the case, I would have the smallest boobs on the planet and my legs would resemble chicken legs AND I would have loss my entire face. There is a pretty picture for you.

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When you sweat you are losing salts and minerals. It is the rehydration of liquid that will help you lose fat – not the sweat itself. So don’t forget to replenish what you lost! Be smart about it. Not replenishing is bad, bad, bad. On Fierce Friday, I am talking to 2 time Ironman Pattie Keller and she talks about her first race where she remember NOTHING about crossing the finish line and was hospitalized afterwards due to salt loss. Sweating is a serious deal not a quick weight loss option.

That is not to say shapewear is a bad thing.

As I lose weight and the skin is not as tight as it use to be – it takes time for everything to compress, tighten and lets face it…I brutalized my body to the point where as the fat leaves the wrinkles arrive. The skin just isn’t as elastic anymore. Shapewear firms it up! I bought pair of yoga pants at Costco – shapewear – the first time I put them on (27lbs ago)- it was a workout in itself. I was hot and sweaty just trying to fit all the bits in. I now wear them and I cannot believe how narrow my hips are! Sweet mother of chocolate!  THose puppies make me feel – dare I say it – SKINNY! Of course I am not. I am saggy, lumpy and incredibly muscular. Weird combo I know but you know what I mean if you are heading down the same path as me. It is like I am wearing a fat scuba suit. Unzip it and there is a chiseled goddess under there.

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*Disclaimer I do NOT consider that a fat suit. That is my dream body. One day……………

Collagen cream and shapewear are my friend. Spanx – I love you. Because of you I can wear a Clingy size 16 dress from Jones of New York and feel fabulous. I use to be a size 28. Sure I can wear the dress sans the spanx but I jiggle a bit too much for my liking. And not the good kind of sexy jiggle either.

However, I am proud of those jiggles. Hard work is paying off. I taste junk food to make sure it is worth the calories. Very few things are. My mom’s cake is, my cookies are, and Sabor Divino‘s La Donna is. But that is pretty much about it. The rest of the time, I am mindful about what goes into the mouth. Fresh real, non processed food and water. I eat less and move more. When I move I sweat. Sweating make me replenish. That is the secret. There is no quick fix to sustainable weight loss. Sorry, but that is the truth.

 

 

The training wheels came off and now I am ready to proceed with the rest of the journey

549273_349576008488429_102793663_nRemember way back to January 2010 when I started this Just Me and Mo Project? I was pretty worried about failing and not being able to find the MO to finish off what I started. My goal was simple. Make the outside me match the inside me. I took several steps to get there, I made small changes that became great habits and I began a fitness journey that has rocked my world and turned me into a medal whore. I am 90lbs lighter than I was that day in January.

I had been going to the Weight Wise Clinic that was created to give people the tools they need to change their lifestyle and lead a healthier life. It can be done with or without bariatric surgery. I decided not to choose surgery and continue down the path I am on. I have to say I have been successful but I also have to say it hasn’t been easy.

Today my Health Nurse Coordinator transitioned me out of the program. She said I have the tools, I am applying what I have learned and my weight keeps coming down. In fact, I am 2 dress sizes down from the last time I saw her. I am feeling empowered.

After I went to visit the Nurse, I was sent to dietary to discuss my plan.

My big question was how do I figure out when I need to drop my calorie intake and how to I proceed with maintenance?

Well obviously the maintenance will be in about 2 years time, but she won’t be in my life so I needed that formula. You know something? There IS a mathematical formula! Who knew this weight loss thing was all math?

Um… me. I knew that I need to burn more calories than I ingest. The simple formula of eat less and move more, but did you know that your body needs a basic amount just to have organ function? I bet you don’t think about that when you stand on the scale and wish you were the same size as you were in high school.

Oh come on, are you really thinking you body will let you get back to the weight when you were 17? It isn’t going to happen in a healthy manner, I can guarantee that!

Here is the formula:

10 x wt (kg) + 6.25 x Ht (cm) – 5 x Age (yrs) + 5 = BMR (male)
10 x wt (kg) + 6.25 x Ht (cm) – 5 x Age (yrs) -161 = BMR (female)

You need to use the metric system for this formula or it won’t work. The good news is metric makes math easy. So figuring that out, I need to consume 1550 calories a day to lose about 1-2lbs a week. Any more than that and I am putting myself at risk for taking off too much and putting right back on again. No thanks, 2 years of hard work and I am wanting to go back to where I was. My dietician told me not to drop below 1200 calories per day. If I always food journal then I will have a pretty good idea when I will be finished losing weight. You see, I don’t get to pick a number out of the air. I was told I have about 90 more lbs to lose. That will not put me in the 17 year old weight bracket I was in high school. In fact that will leave me about 50lbs heavier than I was back then. BUT!

But?

YES BUT! I am fitter now than I was then. I am healthier now than I was then and I can easily see myself being a size 10 or smaller when I reach that goal. That is based on my current size and height. I don’t know about you, but I am stoked about being a size 10.

We also talked about panel surgery or Panniculectomy Surgery (Abdominoplasty). There is a good chance I will be covered under Alberta Health Care for this procedure. It is the removal of my belly skin – not fat. I am getting rid of the fat but the skin is loose and droopy – how attractive… It is more common in mothers due to the pregnancy thing but I was obese and pregnant so it is higher for me. This is one of those woulda shoulda coulda moments for me. At any rate, I will lose all the weight I can and then talk to my doctor about the excess skin if necessary.

So, where does that leave me? I no longer have medical support services.

Not true, I have my amazing Doctor. If I find I need dietician support, I can access that through the Primary Health Services (free to patients in the Edmonton Area whose doctor is connected to the PCN) Which mine is and its an AMAZING service!

Meanwhile I have to stay committed to fitness. I have mapped out my fitness goals way off into the future so I am always working on something. I learned my lesson after my first half marathon and got the Marathon Blues. It was a big set back, so this time I am prepared.

It’s a big day in my Me and Mo Journey. I am now ready to remove the training wheels and head out on my own.

Yay me!