Category Archive : 5K

Fa La La La Let’s Not Gain Weight This Holiday Season

I’ll confess it out loud: I am the queen of holiday weight gain.

Perhaps most people start their holiday eating downfall at Thanksgiving. Mine starts much earlier: Halloween. Candy everywhere. I have zero willpower against a mini Hershey’s bar. We dumped the remains of our candy into the last few lucky trick-or-treater’s bags; however, my son still came home with a load. We kept a few “special occasion” treats and put them in a place that is significantly difficult for me to reach. Then there is work. Everyone seemed to have brought their extras in and are placed ever so strategically so I have to walk by it every time I go to the printer. Since I didn’t post any Halloween pics… this sounds like the right time to show you the awesomeness that was our costumes this year:

Zombie Plastic Surgeon 

My best friend. I gave her a special face lift. 

I’ll leave you with a cute Ninja Turtle. 

After a busy week and weekend filled with much more eating out than I care to do, I stepped on the scale this morning. Ouch. I have exceeded my weight threshold by 5 pounds (now 10 pounds over my goal) and must get back in action before the slide goes any further.

I freaking love holiday food. Cookies. Chex Mix. Candies. You name it. I love it. However: I will not let this holiday season get the best of me. I will not let this holiday season ruin my hard work.

I am so glad that I decided to use Weight Watchers as a tracking mechanism. I knew that reaching my goal weight wasn’t going to mean I could let go of the tools I used to get there. I clearly cannot be trusted to be left alone. I tracked my weekend food this morning and I was shocked at how many awful choices I made when I clearly thought I was being “good”. Frankly, I deserve to gain weight after my hideous weekend. Yikes. Tracking is SO important. No matter which tool you use whether it is Weight Watchers, SparkPeople, My Fitness Pal or just a plain old notebook just write down what you eat! Be accountable!

I also need to figure out my fitness. Yes, I’m running in a 5K fun run on Thanksgiving so I have to stay active if I want to be able to walk for the rest of the day next Thursday (okay… Thanksgiving is next Thursday? WTF time. Slow down already!). I am the CLASSIC example of the theory: Oh, I worked out so now I can eat like a pig. I must get rid of that mentality. Immediately.

My Running Buddy- At the Monster Dash

My initial reaction to my weight gain this week was wanting to run back to Medifast. That is not the answer for me. I NEED to learn how to deal with this in the real world. Don’t get me wrong, Medifast was excellent at helping me lose a mass amount of weight, but for a measly 5-10 pounds? I must be able to do this on my own eating real food.

So what’s my plan you ask?

  • TRACK TRACK TRACK. I’ve already blown through my points allowance this week, so I have to be on point every day if I don’t want to see the scale creep up anymore. If I can remain honest with tracking, I should be able to make it through the holidays relatively unscathed. 
  • WORKOUT. While I don’t have time to sit down with a trainer this week (and realistically, it probably won’t happen until the new year), I know what to do. As I discovered yesterday, running outside when it is cold as hell out is not my gig. My lungs STILL hurt today after yesterday’s 2 mile jaunt. I was actually thinking about starting the 5k-10k training program via treadmill to just SEE what I’m capable of. My friend really wants to do the Women Rock 10K next summer and I need to know what I’m able to do (19 minute mile is their minimum… I run an 11 min/mile 5K… not sure what a 10K will look like). Anyway… I digress… I plan to work out a minimum of 30 minutes every stinking day until I am under my threshold and then commit to a 5 day a week plan. Sound brutal? Well… it should be. I know better. Now I need to make up for it. More importantly, fitness needs to be a regular, routine part of my life if I hope to keep the weight off. 
  • DRINK WATER. Since starting my job downtown, I have been inundated with a Caribou or Starbucks in nearly every skyway in this city. Admittedly, my coffee/caffeine consumption has tripled. It started out with my fascination of the Northern Lite Dark Chocolate Mocha (which boasts upwards of 200 calories or something nutzo like that) to being a little smarter and just filling up my mug with dark roast (FYI, I bought a new travel mug while waiting in line… I kid you not this thing keeps my coffee smokin’ hot all day long). While I do get 60oz of water in as a daily average, I could probably be drinking much, much more and I intend to do so. 
I’m serious about training for a 10K. Don’t laugh (I’m laughing…) 🙂 Who has some training recommendations? Websites? iPhone apps? Help!

Fabulous Fit Friday: I Made A New Friend!

One of the most challenging parts of starting a new job is the loneliness. Yes, people are kind. Yes, people are friendly. But making friends at work doesn’t exactly happen overnight. As I head into my 6th month in my new world, things are finally starting to slip into place. My work is fun and challenging. I have some semblance of work/life balance shaping up. I work with people who are fun and smart.

One of the things I have had trouble with adjusting to in my new work world is my workout routine, especially now that it is dark so early in the evening, the motivation has been lagging. Thankfully, in a sidebar conversation with a colleague the other day, we decided that we need to start working out together over lunch! I have a gym membership and there is a location here in Downtown Mpls that I can visit. So what is my hold up? THERE ISN’T ONE. We decided that starting in January we will take Zumba together at least once a week as a minimum. I’m just SO excited that I found someone who appreciates fitness as much as I do! I felt like a teenager coming home from my first day of school screaming, “Mom, I made a new friend today!”

How are things going in the weight maintenance department you ask? I’m officially retired from Medifast and I am happy to say it isn’t because I was a quitter- it was because I ACTUALLY COMPLETED THE PROGRAM. Holy shit. After years of failure on making lifetime at Weight Watchers, it feels good to say that I made it. Yes, my weight has fluctuated as my body tries to figure out exactly what I’m trying to do to it. Yes, I gained a few over Halloween. I am officially tracking and maintaining via Weight Watchers Online and it has been invaluable in helping me stick with my healthy lifestyle. You know what is amazing? I am okay. I’m okay with gaining a few pounds and I’m glad for it because it means I am conscious of what is going on. I’m still surprised when people say I’m “skinny”. This week, I donated blood (and feel good about doing my part because the supply is heading to victims of Hurricane Sandy)- they had asked if I was eligible to donate platelets but besides being too short, I was also under the minimum weight requirement. I can’t say that has ever happened to me! It feels awesome that I can legitimately be done with the “weight loss” mode of my life and learn how to be this new me.

I did decide to run in one more 5K for the season: the Turkey Day 5K. I LOVE that my good friend Kathy is getting into running and that I have a buddy to do these events with! I have a feeling that she is going to start kicking my ass soon. I’m so proud of her. I’m really excited about doing this 5K though because at least I won’t feel quite as guilty about indulging on that Thanksgiving dinner. My husband and son are planning to join me that morning and I have an extra incentive to finish under 34 minutes- I want to watch my kiddo compete in the Kids K which is 1 lap around the track. He is SO excited to race like his mommy and I am so thrilled that I could even remotely be such a good fitness role model for him.

Overall, I am in a really good place. I am content with my weight. I am content with how I look. I’m content with my job. Stay tuned for a future blog post on the one thing that might be missing.

Motivation Monday: Winning The Race

I read a blog post last week that hit home with me. Especially for those of us who are in a weight loss program, our success is tied pretty heavily (no pun intended) to the scale. On Weight Watchers, you aren’t considered a Lifetime member until you make your goal weight and maintain it. On Medifast, you can’t stop eating their damn food until you make your goal weight. It makes it hard to celebrate those important NSV’s.

Her blog post was about buying the dress in the window. The dress in the window that fit. If you have every been overweight, you understand what a victory that is. It was a reminder to me of how far I’ve come and how I should be celebrating all of my NSV’s rather than dwelling on the number on the scale. I am a healthy me now and it is time to embrace it.

This past Friday, I ran in the Earth Day 5K with approximately 1,600 other runners including one of my closest friends. No, of course I didn’t win the race, but I proved to myself that hard work pays off. After months of training, my goal was initially to finish the 5K in 35 minutes. Last Friday as I started getting nervous about failing that goal, I decided that if I ran the entire race without walking, it would be a victory regardless of my finishing time.

Not only did I run the entire race from start to finish (and I swear to you my legs are still feeling the agony today), but I ran it in a time of 33:46 (chip time). Did I get emotional? Yup. I killed that race. I owned that race. It was amazing.

The final stretch
Crossing the finish line (that time is gun time… takes a couple minutes to get through the starting line)

One of the most startling things to me in my weight loss journey is not realizing how different I look now. How is it possible that I look in the mirror and still see the same 208 lb girl staring back at me??

I have changed. These pictures are proof:

The first of many before & after photos to come. The left is me at 194 lbs, the right is me at 159 lbs.

Pre-Race Festivities
Signing the Runners Wall
Post-Race Glow. We did it!

From running a great time to hanging with my good friend, the night was simply awesome.

Celebrate your victories. Even the smallest ones.

How are you going to be motivated this week?

Fabulous Fit Friday: It’s Race Day!

I am revved up and ready to go today.

It’s FINALLY here! Race day!

I know for many runners, this is just a wee little 5K. For me, it’s a big deal. Not only is running a continuous challenge for me as a whole but training for this 5K has been a key part of my weight loss over the past 4 months. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish and this race is sort of the pinnacle to my success. It is my finish line.

While I still have a remaining stubborn 9.5 lbs to lose, I will be taking a little break from running to focus on other aspects of cardio and weight training. As much as I have enjoyed the challenge of running, I am also excited to get back doing the other things I love such as Group Fitness (Step, Zumba, Kickboxing) and weight training. I have been asked a lot why I haven’t been doing those things anyway and the truth is that my cardio is somewhat limited on the Medifast diet, so my focus had to be on my running training. It’s not to say that I won’t go on a run every now and then but it is time to put that gym membership back to work.

What is my goal for the race tonight? For awhile I was very time focused- I wanted to be able to do the 5K in 35 minutes or less. At this point, I’m not going to worry about how long it will take. I want to be able to RUN the whole 3 miles with no walking. If I can do that, then I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

Off the subject of my 5K, I have a pretty big NSV: I am dropping my wedding ring off to officially be resized. Yes this is a picture of my hand with the ring on my middle finger as it is no longer safe to wear on my ring finger. I have come a loooooooooong way- about two months after giving birth to Jack, I tried to wear my ring and… it got stuck. I ended up in the ER and the ring had to be cut off. Not only was the mortifying but I had to sever my precious ring! There is a picture somewhere out there of my bloated finger that my oh so hilarious husband took… If I locate it, I will let you know (maybe).

Speaking of NSV’s: my sister-in-law said she didn’t recognize me in this picture of me with my Godson, Connor:

I look forward to posting pictures (and yes, a little before and after fun!) and results from the 5K. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking forward to your cheers (and jeers?) from Facebook and Twitter during my run!

Motivation Monday: Make It A Great Week

I know, I know… if you are in Minnesota, you looked outside the window this morning and saw fricking snowflakes. What the what? And here I am telling you to make it a great week?

That’s right! No more Debbie Downer. No more Negative Nelly. My husband teased me the other day about my negative attitude lately. I didn’t even realize how negative my thoughts and words were becoming. I’m kicking Debbie and Nelly to the curb. 

I’m going to make it a great week. 

Last night as we were watching the storms roll in and the rain pour down, my 3.5 year old was so sad. He said, “Oh man. Now I’ll never get to play outside again.” My husband told him that there might be snow on the ground when he wakes up. Jack’s eyes lit up and speaking very fast he said, “So we can go get a sled and go sledding? YAY!” Not wanting to ruin his enthusiasm, we told him if there was a lot of snow on the ground, we would go sledding. Who am I to take that twinkle out of his eye?

So yes, the weather is crap, but remember, this is Minnesota. It could be 70 degrees and sunny by the end of the week.

Look on the bright side. Make it a great week. 

I am happy to say that I lost 2 pounds this week after a lot of hard work. When you cheat as I did so gloriously on Easter Sunday, it is so hard to get back on that wagon and last week I worked hard to stay completely on plan. I am also happy to report that I finally broke the 160 pound mark (barely) at 159.5 lbs, I am just 9.5 pounds to goal. Single digits. Surreal. No lie, I never thought I would make it this close. I just didn’t think it was possible. That light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter than I ever imagined.

Last Year’s 5K- 194 lbs

It is race week for me- I am running the Earth Day 5K in St. Cloud, MN with a good friend this Friday evening. Not only am I excited to spend time with her and her family, I have been working towards this goal for a long time and am excited to see how I’ll do. I am even more excited that my husband and son will be at the finish line cheering me on (it rained last year so he had the little one in the car most of the time- I literally crossed the finish line and jumped into the car). It means everything to me to have my husband’s support- I have worked insanely hard for this and NEED him at my side. The picture here is from the 5K I ran last May. Yes, I will post new ones after Friday’s race so you’ll get a little sneak peak at some pretty crazy before and after of my Medifast body transformation. After this race, I will be taking time off from the running craze. My Medifast counselor (also a personal trainer) told me that to finish my weight loss, I am going to need to start doing some cross training as the running is burning calories, but not burning fat so we need to switch it up and “trick” my body a little bit. I am actually excited about it. As much as I have enjoyed running, especially since there is always a specific goal (i.e. run faster, build endurance), I have found myself dreading it a little bit and that is no good for me in the long term so it is most definitely time to make a change. Since I am quite close to goal, it is time to start planning for my transition and maintenance. During transition I’ll still be mostly eating Medifast but adding in things like dairy, fruits and whole grains. Maintenance is the challenge. Going back to real food I plan to track using (which also has a pretty dope iPad/iPhone app). In order to maintain, I will need to track for the rest of my life. Seriously. Sounds crazy but there is NO WAY I am going to regain the weight. Not this time.

Medifast has asked me to write a testimonial about my experience and I am THRILLED to do so. Look for my testimonial post to come in the next few weeks as I close in on my goal weight.

Another motivator (and major adrenaline rush) for me this week is that I have a job interview for a GREAT opportunity that is a perfect fit for my skills and aligns with my overall career goals. I am really fired up about it and positive that this is the one I will get. No Debbie Downer Negative Nelly self-deprecating talk here. This is mine for the taking. Send me your positive vibes so I can ROCK this interview and start a new chapter in my life. The timing is quite perfect don’t you think?

I feel motivated. Powerful. BRING IT ON!

How are you going to make it a great week?

Running My First 5K

So today was a big deal. I ran my first 5K.

I chose to do my first 5K through the WeightWatchers Walk-It Charities Challenge to support the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Here is a little snippet about the Alliance so you know what my money went towards:

Support the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Weight Watchers will donate $100,000 to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in honor of all participants in this year’s Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge. The Alliance is a non-profit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation that works to address childhood obesity and to help children make healthier lifestyle choices. 

I wanted to make this run for me and also in honor of my kiddo whom I hope I can raise to make smart and healthy choices. Raise him so that he doesn’t end up having to deal with obesity like me.

It was also the perfect choice for my first 5K as it was a “walk-it” challenge meaning that if I had to give up and walk, I would be among others who were walking. It was more of a forgiving excursion for me.

I was kind of sad to be there doing it alone. So many were there walking with family and friends. My husband and kiddo came to support me but were quickly detoured by the rain. Really rain? You couldn’t hold off for a simple half hour while I get this thing done?

But, I did it. The fact that I was running alone was actually quite perfect. Even though I have been sharing my weight loss efforts with the entire universe; overall, it has been a deeply personal journey for me. Losing weight has been hard, yes, but running? I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. I was the girl who would fake sick and make up excuses in gym class to avoid running the mile. A 5K? Am I insane? For some reason, running a 5K was a chance to prove to myself that I can work hard towards a goal and finish something that I have been fighting for. It was a chance to prove that I was going to see my weight loss journey through and make it to my goal weight.

It was raining which I was secretly happy for as it kept me cool and as soon as it stopped, the journey seemed to get harder. It was muggy and sloppy. I confess that I didn’t run the whole thing. Being down for 3 weeks with my ruptured ovary set me back in my training, so I was not physically ready or able to run it in its entirety. I ran a lot of it though and pushed my endurance to the max. I completed my 5K in 37 minutes.

The ending was anti-climactic though. I had the dreamy vision in my head that my husband and little boy would be waiting for me at the finish line to give me a hug and a huge bottle of water. Because of the rain, they had to quickly take cover as neither of them were dressed to deal with the rain. They drove the course and cheered me along the way. I’m not sure how he timed it so well, but my husband drove up not more than 10 seconds after I crossed the finish line. Even though, I didn’t have my “dream” finish, I’ll confess… it was kinda nice not to have to make the mile walk back to the car. I was hot, drenched, thirsty, tired, sore… it was pretty perfect.

I’m super proud of what I accomplished today. A lot of people have been asking me if I will do another 5K. One part of me thinks it is nuts. Truthfully? Even after all of this, I still don’t like running. Why should I continue to do it if I don’t like it? The other part of me wants to see it through: finish my Couch to 5K training and see if it actually gets easier. I guess, my answer will have to be: we’ll see. If I can make running a REAL part of my exercise/weight loss journey then perhaps I will stick with it. I’m hoping that if my darn body will just get in shape, it won’t feel like such torture to run. The fighter in me wants to prove to myself that I can do it. That I can be a runner.

Meanwhile, I need to focus my efforts on my weight loss. I’m so ready to get there.

Here are a few images to remember today’s awesome journey.

Arriving at the start.

Pre-Run Pic. Really missing my ponytail today.

Event Pic From My Husband. Packed House.