Monday, November 08, 2010

100 miles Catch me if You Can!!!

And just around the corner are the holidays aka "endless treats" aka "food comas" aka "laziness" so I know I'm not the only one wanting to combat holiday gain.
So here's a challenge. 100 miles! Catch me if you can!

The person who runs or walks the most miles (over 25 miles) between now and Dec. 15th wins a FREE gourmet dinner made by moi! And a healthy gourmet dinner. If anyone can run at least half the miles at 50 then winner gets a meal or a $25. If no one does anything I just run, eat my meal and keep my gift card. LOL

I know this sounds absolutely cheesy but I always feel like I'm running or working out by myself!! Trying to switch things up here and I need to get some of my recent weight gain off!

So consider me the closet thing to Oprah and you win a free home made dinner! I'm sure no one else is offering you a FREE MEAL for exercise!

Alright who is in?!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Running into Walls

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure." ~ Colin Powell

So it's been a while since I've blogged and I'm trying to figure out the key to success in losing weight or rather key to not fail by gaining weight. One in the same? I was beyond frustrated after training for my first half marathon and not losing significant weight. I felt as thought I should have lost about 25lbs. I lost maybe 10. After 5 months of an average of 3 hour workout days I caught a burn out. Big time! I was working out the equivalent of a part time job. I thought I could be my own little big loser and just workout all day long and lose the rest of my weight and become 10 lbs away from unlocking my weight watchers lock.

And no I proved myself wrong. While I drastically improved my running and built up stamina I still resembled the same chubby image I've been staring at since the 90's. I should be proud since I couldn't even run a mile in the physical test in high school. I guess I'm still proud and no one can take that away from me. But I don't look like runner. Over the summer I said something that I would have ran the rest of the way but it's too hot and some guy said he didn't think couldn't run around the block and laughed. Really I ran about 400 miles in 6 months but I couldn't run around the block? I guess it shouldn't matter what others say but I felt as thought I still look like failure. And then there's my friends who lose 10lbs and barely try. Seriously?! Was I born cursed?

I started my weight loss journey five years ago and while I have not gained it all back, I have gained back around 20lbs. Which has been my highest weight gain. Usually I gain and lose about the same 10-15lbs every year and torture myself with gym addictions, dieting and utilizing my weight watchers key learnings. I dread going home because I'm always sized up like either a prized beauty queen or fat kid who failed at fat camp. This past 6 months I started traveling and just didn't have the time to invest or energy in my usual 2 hour gym workouts. And trust me anyone would get tired eating salads everyday or sometimes salads were not an option. I still ran and hit up a few hotel gyms but not my usual routine. After my first 6months of the year with my biggest loser challenge and half marathon training failed my expectations I have seriously lost motivation and determination. I mean would you want a part time job working out and not getting paid? Like seriously what the hell do I have to do to get to a healthy average weight where I don't look chunky?!

I vowed to never be a pound over 200lbs ever again or have to buy another size up wardrobe and I'm still committed. Don't get me wrong I limit my fast food and I love eating healthy. Not all fat people eat junk. We cook healthy and work out. Just ask any friend I cook for. I crave veggies and I hate greasy oil foods with the exception of McDonald's french fries which I blame on childhood addiction. Once ingested at an early age it's a lifelong addiction....ok kidding lol. Sweets are my weakness and a struggle!

I don't know why my weight plagues my sanity and the key to my happiness? I know I shouldn't let it but I still feel like that chubby girl in high school not sure how to run a mile and fearing a grade of failure. Will I ever make the grade and be happy with it?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Trail of Tears & Victory

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
John Bingham

It's been a long run and climb to the finish line. I don't know at what point in my life I conceived the idea that I, not-the-athlete-but-the-very-big-boned-thick-girl, could ever run a half marathon. For most of my life running a mile in gym class was considered pure punishment and I never ran it. I started running in college, lost some weight and was side swiped by a car on my neighborhood run. I stopped running and let my accident be my excuse to not work out or run for a while. Of course I also gave myself a pass for life's buffet of food and alcohol. Finally, a few years after college I decided I need to upgrade from a couch potato to an active gym user. And we know what happened at this point...simple math...too much food + too little exercise = FAT.

I'd watch runners in pure envy and curiosity. Their stride seemed as if they were running with the wind - almost pure effortless. I would try every now and then and couldn't understand why I wasn't running with the wind. I wanted to run with the wind and look light as a feather. My curiosity peaked and I would read up on how to run and try to jog on the treadmill. I always felt like an instant failure and everyone was watching me. Embarrassed I wouldn't feel comfortable attempting running until I was at a lower weight. Not to mention one day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the treadmill and it looked like my boobs were separate from my body...gravity was NOT in my favor. I was always in pain and knew I need to lose weight in order to run like a runner.

I had the bright idea back in 2003 I could run a 5k. I enlisted my friend Anita to run with me in December at the gym. At this point my stamina increased and I would jog a few minutes and then walk so somehow I thought I could just go and do it. Needless to say my plight ended in pain and sheer embarrassment. I barely finished after a hour and half of heavy breathing, leg & stomach cramps and dizziness. I was devastated. I told myself I'd never be an accomplished runner. I might be able one day be able to go and jog here and there but never would call myself a runner.

It wasn't until almost 70 pounds lost that I was able to start a decent regiment. I was no longer a couch potato but a gym rat. It all started with my first pair of Brooks four years ago and 7 pairs or so later I'm about to jump into a new pair. The last few years I finally started running miles all the way through but I would go through a love and hate relationship with running. Usually the hate stages would outlast the love stages and by the time I start running again I would have do a bit of retraining.

I'm not going to bore anyone with the details of training for races. I never really had a plan or training guide to follow. I would just try to run. I'd run outside and see if I could run 30 minutes or so. I'd test myself on the treadmill. I just wanted to run 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, etc. I found myself in a zone and it was definitely an escape. Finally, a FREE escape. Sometimes I was running because I felt I had to, sometimes I was running away from my problems, sometimes to get in a better mood and sometimes because my body said so.

I finally decided after much encouragement over the past year from my instructor at Lifetime Kate, avid marathoner, that I should run the Half Marathon in Columbus. There's a four letter word that is quite disabling and destructive: FEAR. I decided last year that 2010 I was going to run the Columbus Half Marathon in May and that's that. I didn't run 2009 half marathon because of fear & fat. Maybe I was ready and maybe I would have had to walk but who knows because I talked myself out of it.

New Years, of course, brings new resolutions and I started off with some new pounds gained and felt determined to try to loose as much as possible. I up'ed my workouts at the gym, sometimes to 3-4 hours a day. The gym became my second home and I made myself comfortable. Armed with a running book and newly gifted Brooks from my aunt I put my body and mind to the test. I ran and ran and ran and ran at the gym. Set goals and found myself accomplishing them. From 20 miles a week to 30 to oh crap I wanna see what 50 feels like! It felt good. Running was my therapy. Running was my time where I could shut the world out. No one could stop me or tell me I'm running too fast or too slow or criticize my stride. No one could even tell me I needed to stop. I always liked exploring trails so it's adventure to find them and run them.

I prepared for my test run and set out to run 11 miles straight about 2 weeks before the half marathon. It was one of the best runs in my life. I got to about mile 5.5 and the trail stopped and I just didn't know what to do. Sounds kinda stupid right? Hello? Turn around and keep running but I wanted to keep running straight ahead. Confused, I thought I had more to go but it was the end and all I could was turn around. I started thinking about how there's so much in life I don't have and haven't succeeded. Rejection and rejection and more rejection has created so much inner frustration and I just don't know what to do with it. I must have cried for about a mile. I felt like I could just release and leave some of it behind. My friend Nellie in advance agreed to help me finish out the last 3 miles so I met up with her and it was nice to have someone help me finish.

After self reassurance from my test run I decided I could run the half and I registered. That's it and there is no turning back. The night before I laid out everything like a kid before the first day of school and nervous like one, too. It didn't occur to me the magnitude of this life test until I was lined up at the start and it felt like the air had been sucked out off standing next to 8,000 people. I was uncomfortable and starting to freak out. I didn't have anyone to run with, no one to cheer me on and all of a sudden I just felt alone and scared. I didn't know what to do? Part of me wanted to kick my own ass for getting myself into this and I didn't know how to get out? Could I just leave? What to do? ARRRRGHHHH

What did I do? Well, out of thousands I recognized one person. I turned to my left and there was my pilates instructor Julie at the gym and instantly I felt reassured and calm! Next thing I knew I was running. I had my rhythm of my stride, my breaths were all in sync and I was running my first half marathon and then it started to rain. People I didn't know were cheering everyone on in the rain. There were DJ's set up with music. Volunteers were graciously handing out water. The scenery was soothing and the rain was cleansing. Then my back started hurting at mile two and I told myself absolutely not we can't do this because I got a long haul and I'm going to need you to get it together. Yes, I was a bit upset at myself for not loosing the extra weight I needed to but told my body please I need you now and will reward you later!

I ran to Ani, Dave, Sarah, U2, John Legend, Amy Whinehouse, Pitbull, Lil Wayne but it was mile 10 I needed help from my soul sisters Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Aretha & Mary. I was my own coach and thought of all the times I couldn't run a mile. I knew if Oprah could do this and full marathon there is no reason why I cannot either. Money, status, job title, race do not matter on the trail to victory. I don't need to prove anything to anyone but myself.

"There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open." - Nike

At mile 11 it started to pour and I watched people being carried out. Static echoed in my headphones from the rain and I said nooo I need Mary and "No more Drama" right about now please and it played on. Mile 12 I turned to Eminem. The path narrowed and I picked up my pace. I was in the home stretch. I was confident passing the the 2:30 pacer. One of the few songs to take me to the next level on my runs, stairmaster, bike, whatever has always been "Lose yourself" and I knew one day it would be my victory song. My palms were sweaty, my knees weak but I ran. Feet fail me not 'cause maybe the only opportunity that I got and I'm seizing it. There's no looking back. I realized all this was all mine. I was running to the finish but it was only the beginning. No one could stop me. This is my success and no one could take it away.

2 hours and 25 minutes later I ran my first half marathon and went back and cheered others on. I finally tasted success.

"I have met my hero, and he is me." - George Sheehan

p.s. I just wanted to tell myself that I love you and I'm soo proud of you. Keep it up. There's something called a full marathon. Think about it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fears & Frustration

So it's been a while. I thought I'd be blogging all the time but I've been holding back and over thinking how to write the best blogs for the fear of imperfection and what others think but there's a saying that goes, “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.” The best way to get it out I've learned in writing class a long time ago is to just let the pen hit the paper or rather go hard on the keys.

So hold back no fears and there's plenty of tears so let is go and let it flow.

I've recovered from march madness of misery, pain, disappointment, resentment, hate...the stinging feeling of shock wears thin. But thank god for those who offered a silver lining in my dark cloud. I'm not sure what to call it all right now because I don't want to look back too much. Maybe, at a later time I'll revisit. I'm trying to look forward and stay focused but I keep tripping over fear. I'm confused what the hell I'm am meant to do with my life. I crave simplicity and stability, yet it seems the trend of 32 years is quite the opposite. Never has my life been simple or stable. I should be used to it.

I'm in this moment of unclarity I have no clue what is to happen next. I jump through clouds of illusions and bliss only to land back on rocky ground ill prepared and scared. My army test is Wednesday. I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing. Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm insane...I don't know. I just don't know. I'm more worried the scale says 162lbs and why am I here? All my insecurities and frustrations weigh heavier than 162lbs and I'm just...well I'm just pissed. How fuckin' hard do I have to work to get healthy? How many calories do I have to burn? How many miles do I have to run? How many more calories do I have to watch? Fuck. I'm exhausted. I'm angry. At myself and well I guess as stupid as it sounds...Fat.

Scratching my head...I'm starting to believe some are just born lucky and I missed out in that lottery. Sigh, I now see why Judy Garland popped pills knowing there might not be some place over the rainbow. Maybe I fear Hope or maybe I fear ME?

I'm in the state of procrastination because of fear. I sit here in fear of visiting a relative in a coma state because I remember the fear of death watching my aunt Niecy die as a child and never did I want to experience it again. I hate fear but know I have to put on armor of strength. I should be leaping through my life at this point. I watch in envy how others get married, have children, land great jobs, travel, do great shit and I'm still trying to find my own. I should be traveling the world and just being totally awesome but I'm stuck somewhere in the valley of fear and frustration.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Woods Therapy: Detox 101

(continued from Art of Relaxation: Retreating) 12/17/09

I woke up refreshed and eager to continue my mission of relaxation. However, I knew I needed to think some things through and start to clear my head. I started the day with a quick mile run, soaked in the hot tub for a few minutes, made coffee, showered, listened to my ipod, cleaned up, packed up my belongings and left the cute cabin.

The sun was shining and it was a bit chilly but did not deter my mission at all. I drove away heading to towards the metro park. I made the mistake of attempting at phone service and saw a few messages and voicemails come through but was unable to effective communicate. Oh well, I would have to return calls when my retreat was complete.

I started to enter the park and decided I would drive until I find a parking lot that had a few good trails.