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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That day I became became my own hero

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I did some things in the last 30 days that really amazed me.

  1. I took over the primary spot of managing at work, although temporary, I never excepted to be in this position. I have learned more about myself in a few shorts weeks than I thought possible. University was right, I am capable of so much more than I believed. It is a wonderful feeling to have the complete faith of those around you. I never had that in a work situation before. I like it.
  2. I fitness level is at a level that I didn’t believe to be possible and STILL carry around this kind of weight. I didn’t really train for the Calgary Half Marathon. The Trusty Steed tried to talk me out of running the half. saying I need to be careful, I might injure myself, I really need to evaluate the effects of recovery….blah, blah, blah….We have had this conversation before. I now just ignore him and do what I believe I am capable of. It’s not like I had never done a half marathon before. It wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew how far it was, I respected the distance AND I know about the best ways to reach optimum recovery for me. I ran it, and I never felt better during a half marathon. Never – EVER. I recovered right away and went to work the next day and stood on my feet ALL DAMN DAY. You know something? I have the medal to show for my accomplishment. I feel more proud of this medal than any other I have earned.
  3. I have always been afraid a body modification. The thing about weight loss that no one talks about is the extra skin that doesn’t spring back into place. I have people tell me that they had no trouble. Well, I am will to bet they didn’t 100lbs+. If their skin bounced back, I am super excited for them! Way to go! It is AWESOME that you loo and feel great! That didn’t happen for me. I am at the point of no longer seeing my progress. The more weight I loose, the same way I look. It is kind of discouraging. I talked to my Nurse at Weight Wise and she suggested Skin Removal. It isn’t for the feint of heart. I talked to my Doc and he referred me a Plastic Surgeon who specializes in procedures BECAUSE of weight loss. He won’t even talk to you if you are a yoyo dieter or a fad dieter or haven’t kept the weight off for years. I qualified. I had round one of 3 treatments. Let me tell you, after going through the first phase, I CANNOT WAIT for the second phase!!!

There you have it, 3 things that I did that amazed me. Each one will get their own special entry here on The Edmonton Tourist and here on Me and Mo. Stay tuned because we both know how I like to share crappy stuff that happens to me and then I turn it into lemonade – or Dole Whips because Dole Whips are better than Lemonade.

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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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Why Would I Stop Running?

1476023_668049609912757_266164373_nI had a conversation the other day with a person who tries to be kind but after decades of being mean and nasty, words still come out wrong. She had called me to see how I was doing, we speak to each other and ‘catch up’ about once a year….and only if she calls.

She had asked me about my progress on my running and my weight loss because apparently it is how you look that defines you. I had NO IDEA  ← insert a heavy sarcastic tone here. I always thought it was the things you do and they way you treat people that define you.

At any rate, I told her about my weight loss  – it has tapered off but that happens. It leaves in waves and the tapers off. The suggestion was to drink shakes or smoothies to boost something or rather so it will kickstart me again… Um – get ready for more sarcasm – I had no idea she was a nutritionist too!! I ignored her helpful suggestion and told her my Doctor, my dietitian and I had a plan and its working great. (apparently if it was working great I would be thin by now) I also told her of my running life – its hard right now because of the new snow and the windchill makes it disgustingly hard to want to go outside – but I do it.

Then she asked me what will happen to me when I stop running altogether? It would be a shame to get massively fat again. WTF? Why do I have to stop running?

Apparently, it isn’t as awesome as cycling and I should switch now before its too late.

Really? Too late for what? Armageddon? The Zombie Apocalypse? I am pretty sure I don’t have to quit if I don’t want to. In fact, my Doc and I were just talking about up coming races and how I preregister to keep motivated because I always need to know what is coming up next so I don’t fall into the Marathon Blues ever again.

The Marathon Blues is a phenomena where you train super hard for an event and then once it is done, you have nothing to look forward to or train for and life feels like it is missing something. I told my Doc I have 4 half marathons for 2014. That will keep me going in spite of the snow.

I am currently waiting for the sun to come up because I don’t feel like running with my headlamp today. And I am hoping the wind will slow down when the sun is up…at the very least it will look warmer than dark and foreboding out.

As far as I can tell, there is no real good reason why I have to quit running or why I would ever stop. When that day comes, I will deal with it then. Meanwhile, being 46 I have a good 20+ running years ahead of me if I continue to play it smart. Between me, my Coach and my Doc – we have it covered… Thanks.

Now please excuse me, I have a 5k in shin deep fluffy snow to run.

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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.

Withdrawals are brutal

The moment I plan to get back on track and use the food diary to record my food intake, guess what happens? The site is DOWN for maintenance. Seriously?

I could take this as a sign to skip it, but…

I won’t. I will wait it out.

Meanwhile, I will plan a yummy organic sandwich for lunch, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, havarti, sunflower sprouts, salt and pepper on whole grain bread with a BC peach on the side.

I have been struggling with food lately because I need to remove the sugar ONCE AGAIN from my diet. I splurged on cake over the wedding weeks and over indulged in wine. The withdrawal I experience from sugar overload is nasty. So why do I keep doing this to myself? Perhaps it is because I refuse to be on a diet and wish to not complicate my life during big events. That is not to say that I pigged out – because I did not. I maintained my weight graciously, I just chose food that has an addictive quality for me.

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I think I have the emotional eating under control. I was faced with some unsettling news yesterday and handled it beautifully. That is a win for me. I need to celebrate that success! But how? Hmmm

I will go to my favourite 10k spot today and run with my new Ryders. I lost my old ones about a month ago and mom gave me money for my birthday to buy new ones. Oakleys would be a waste of money because I lose stuff ALL THE TIME. So Ryders are a great quality compromise. AND I look fabulous in them. AND it’s sunny out.
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There you have it, I have become that girl who rewards herself with a long run.

Whodathunk?

Happy Running!

Fierce Friday: Half Marathon Spotlight with Tiffany Vanderzyde

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I met Tiffany while I was sitting at a large empty table at the Police Half Marathon in the spring. It was a weird day for me. I had just finished course marshalling and came in to warm up. I was frozen, so I was sitting drinking coffee and waiting for my ride. A couple of people had recognized me from my Edmonton Tourist blog, particularly the one about Fat Girls running, and had approached me. One gal asked for my autograph. A very surreal moment in the life of a blogger.  Once they left, Tiffany and her coach came and sat with me. They too were volunteers.

Tiffany recognized me from the blog and we began to talk about what else? RUNNING! She was in training for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon with Team in Training. I had a ton of questions for her because I am thinking about joining Team in Training so I can run either The Women’s Nike Half Marathon or the New York City Marathon. I am still seeing how training goes and will make up my mind in the new year. Meanwhile, Tiffany and I have struck up a friendship of sorts in the twittersphere and facebook.

There is something about Edmonton Runners that I have a real soft spot for. They aren’t my teammates, so it is different. It is more like a sibling connection – the common community of yeg runners. After hearing Tiffany’s story and seeing the deja vu like similarities to our lives, I asked her if she would let me interview her for Fierce Friday. AND she said yes! Thanks Tiffany!
ME: What inspired you to start running?

TV: My friend had approached me about this program and I knew I needed to change as I wasn’t feeling very good physically and mentally. Also 2 weeks prior a girl and I knew had passed from a rare form of cancer and I knew this was something I had to do.

 ME: Aside from the physical aspect, how has it changed you?

TV: It has leaked into every aspect of my life. I have way more energy for my kids and daily house stuff to even just my mental state I am way more positive than I used to be.  I used to joke saying running was my anti-depressant. Keeps my head clear.

 ME: Tell me about your involvement with Team in Training.

TV: TNT changed my life, when I first signed up I was raising money for a cause that was close to my heart and was just hoping that I would be able to make it through training. As training started I had no idea the impact it would have on me down the road.

MEInspire me to join TNT and convince me through your experience that it is a great idea.

TV: Raising money for a  great cause (my momstown teammates and I raised 33,000 dollars something we  are very proud of), tons of support, there is no way I would be able to continue without my awesome coaches and teammates. Meeting the honored heroes and hearing their stories of survival through the toughest times of their lives and the stories of the people who did not make it had a huge impact on me.

 ME: Was Vancouver Half Marathon  your first run or did you participate in smaller events first then decide to go big?

TV:BMO was my first race. Some called me crazy as I started with no experience and extremely overweight. There was a lot of people who thought  for sure I would never be able to do this and that I should have started off with  something smaller…. But as that just wasn’t me 🙂 it was go big or go home.

 ME: What was the toughest obstacle to overcome with training?

TV: Honestly, just being able to run… as I mentioned earlier I had no experience and was massively out of shape. My first training session ended up with me in tears in front of people I didn’t even know and only being able to run for 30 seconds. But I went back to my next training session and kept going back….. Then we started hill training and at the point that’s when it got real for me 🙂 I was actually doing this!

 ME:How much is mental toughness a factor in your success?

TV:Mental toughness is something I still struggle with, and I know the more I exercise it, it will get better. Doing the half really showed me what I was made of but there was a lot of ups and downs and still are. But I fight through and have an amazing support system.

 ME: Give me a rundown of your race, elaborate now that you have put some distance behind you.

TV: Well the night before was a gong show, I was so nervous and I broke down crying at the mention of the sweeper. That is the one thing I was not mentally prepared for. I also broached the starting line with an injury ( I had severe Plantar fasciitis in my right foot and had been seeing a PT 3 days a week 3 weeks leading up to the race) Being at the starting line was torture 🙂 I just wanted it to start,  waiting was so hard. My stomach was doing flips and I wanted to vomit. The race was brutal it was so hot that day and we had trained all winter I was not used to running over 14 C.  I found a girl who was my pace and we ran most of the race together which was a huge help when we hit our walls we talked it through together. My coach Julia met up with me at about Km 16 and finished the race with me. It was about that point where I really felt like giving up, my foot hurt something fierce but I kept going. My coach listening to me as I talked my way through it and yes there was lots of tears. At one point a race marshal came up to us in a SUV and I thought… this was it I am getting kicked off the course  but he just stopped to tell us that they were merging the half course with the full course and that there was still a few halfs behind me. I have never been so happy in my life and kept going. My pace at this point was slower than a snail but I just kept going I had to finish this. My coach kept along with me encouraging me and I was great full to have her by my side. We started to get near the finish line and I can hear all the people and I got a second wave The last 2km felt like 10km but I was I about to hit the finish line the people on the side lines kept shouting out things like “you got this” and you’re doing an awesome job which felt pretty awesome as well. I saw some of my teammates waiting for me and I sprinted over the finish line and threw my crying self into their arms. I got my medal and got my after picture taken. It was NOTHING like I have ever felt before. I can’t even describe the emotions I felt (I compare it to having a baby haha).  I walked around for a few minutes to catch my bearings and found my husband who also was bawling and told me how proud he was of me. I then got to take a picture with john Stanton which was super exciting. So I couldn’t believe I did it. I was very disappointed with my time 4 hours 19 minutes but whatever I freaking did it!!!

 ME: What do you wish you had done differently?

TV: I wish I wouldn’t have stressed so much and been so nervous, nerves really got the best of me.

ME: What kind of support do you have or is it lacking and it is something you need to overcome?

TV:I feel like I am super blessed that way. I have a huge support network I have some amazing people in my life between friends and family that are with me every step of the way. And all though crappy things happen such as people yelling things at me out the window as I run etc. I can drown that all out with the people who lift me up.

ME: Any new fitness goals or races coming up?

TV:  It’s funny  actually I have 2 more half’s planned this year (Edmonton half and Vegas rock n roll) and a bunch of fun races and I am actually doing another training program with TNT as well called Moms in training ( 7 week program for a 10k that’s in September), but after  reading my breakdown of the race I’m sure people would wonder why I would do it again 🙂 I know it will get a little easier each time and I really want to keep pushing till one day my half time is under 3 hours. I will do it. Someday.  As for fitness goals I have lost 50 pounds so far and I would like to lose another 50. I also want to do the Try a tri next year so we will see how that goes 🙂

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Tiffany and the Hubs!

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Crossing the finish line is ALWAYS the best feeling ever!

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Tiffany hanging with John Stanton after she crossed the finish line.

Now you all understand why I think Tiffany is FIERCE! See you at the Edmonton Half Marathon Tiffany and feel free to latch onto me for support to finish if you need it, but I have a feeling, this next race will feel easy for you because you are more than ready!

Happy Running!