My new goal

So last summer, I ran my first 5K. It was awesome. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I ran it with my husband and son. We did okay, but I could have done a lot better.

Well, today, my husband and I signed up for the Fargo 5K. It is in May and I am pumped for it. I want to trim at least three minutes off my time from my first one. We’ll see what happens.

I decided to set a new goal of doing at least three 5K runs next year. I think I have my husband talked into doing them all with me. I can’t wait. I know I am doing the Fargo one in May and then I have one in Alexandria in September. I am thinking I need to do one in June or maybe August. July might be too hot. If anyone knows of any that are close to the Alexandria area in June or August, please let me know. Send me an e-mail at celbeam@gmail.com.

Thanks and happy running!

What’s my secret?

As I reflect over the past year – I started my healthy living/lifestyle journey on November 19, 2008 – there are a couple of questions that stick in my mind that I am asked quite frequently, "So, what’s your secret?" and "What kind of diet are you on?" and "How did you do it?"

First off, I don’t have any secrets. As most of you who read this blog know, I am a tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal. I figured that if I am going to do this and if I am going to be successful, why not share it with the world. Why not talk about the struggles, the successes, the binges, the fears, the good and bad foods I eat, the issues that many, many women deal with on a regular basis? Heck, I am even share my weight on here, which is such a taboo for most women. When I started this journey, I weighed in at 190.2 pounds. Yesterday at my Weight Watchers meeting, I weighed in at 149.6 – a total weight loss of 40.6 pounds. I’m just a little proud of that. Really, truly, I am.

Second of all, and this is a biggie, I AM NOT ON A DIET. There is a no starting and stopping time frame. I simply am learning to eat regular foods. I am simply not on a diet of any kind. Period. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I don’t take any magic pills that are supposed to help control my appetite. I don’t buy prepackaged meals from some company. I don’t drink any shakes or what have you, in any type of containers – cans or bottles or cups. I eat real food. Real meals. I don’t eat special soups or salads designated to make me lose weight. I don’t follow a program of eating only this or that. I eat what I want. I am not restricted to no, low or high carbs or protein. Simply, I choose the foods I want to eat and in addition, I choose the amount or portion of the food I want to eat. Yes, most often, I choose healthier foods, but it is my choice. Yes, I am accountable for what I eat. Yes, I track everything I put in my mouth. Yes, I often weigh and measure out my foods. But the point is, it’s real food. It’s real life.

Thirdly and finally, how did I do it? Well, I will tell you in four simple words – determination, willpower, discipline and support. That is what it takes – plain and simple. There is no magic in any of this. It isn’t always easy. If fact, sometimes, it is down right hard and painful. But I like it. No, I am actually loving it.

When someone embarks on this journey, she or he has to have the willpower it takes to sometimes turn down a large piece of cake and only have a bite or half a piece of whatever it is they want so badly. You have to have the determination or drive it takes to make changes – lifestyle changes, food changes, permanent changes – not month-long or several weeks-long changes, LIFE-LONG changes (along with this you need the willingness to make changes). You have to have the discipline it takes to keep going and not give up because it is sometimes just too darn hard. And of course, you need the support. I am truly blessed to have support from my husband and my son and for the most part, everyone else around me. But there are also a few who like to sabotage me! But that’s life and you have to learn to deal with it.

For me, I was tired of being chubby. I was tired of not liking what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was tired of being tired. I was tired of not having any self esteem or self confidence. I was tired of looking at pictures and of seeing the person who was staring back at me. I didn’t like her. This time, I was more determined than ever to lose weight and to keep it off and to learn how to maintain it in a real world where there is ice cream and chips and restaurants and holidays and parties and girls night outs and wine and family gatherings and so much more.

As for willpower, I have it. Most of the time. I will admit, and as you have seen written here, I don’t have it all the time. But I sure the heck have more than I ever have in my life. If I fall off my healthy lifestyle horse, I jump right back on and pick up where I left off. I haven’t given up. I won’t give up. I am disciplined most of the time and I was willing to make the changes needed to live a healthier lifestyle.

I am thankful for the past year and I am thankful for the support from my family and friends. I am thankful for this blog and I am thankful for my readers. I am thankful that I am no longer on blood pressure pills and am I thankful that I have finally incorporated exercise into my healthy living lifestyle. I am thankful for Cold Stone Creamery and the fact that it is an hour away from me. I am thankful for the friends I have met at my Weight Watchers meetings. I am thankful for green beans and carrots and sweet potatoes and yogurt and chocolate and brown rice and fat-free feta cheese and all types of olives and pears and apples and blackberries and pasta and so much more. I am thankful for smaller clothes. And I am thankful for smaller portions of pork, chicken, steak and even turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don’t gobble, gobble, gobble or you might just wobble, wobble, wobble.

Satisfying an unknown craving

Today was one of those days where no matter what I ate, I couldn’t satisfy my hunger. 

Immediately when I woke up, which was 5 a.m., I was hungry. I ate my usual breakfast (Yoplait light thick and creamy vanilla yogurt, Fiber One cereal and Vitalicious chocolate mint muffin top), got ready and was at work by 6:15 a.m. By about 8 a.m., I felt like I was starving. My stomach was actually rumbling. Unfortunately, I had a small tub of caramel corn at my desk – my order from a local Boy Scout.

I opened the container and ate about a fourth of it. Still hungry. I decided maybe I was thirsty. I drank a large cup of tea. Didn’t help. Still felt the need to eat.

By about 9:30 a.m., I decided to have the apple that was in my purse. Something nutritious and typically filling. It tasted great, but by 10 a.m., I felt like I was starving again. I drank another large cup of tea. Didn’t help again. Also in my purse was a WW lemon cake. I decided to eat that, too, thinking maybe I needed something sweet. It didn’t help. Still felt the need to eat. I chewed on a piece of gum and that didn’t even help, which it typically does.

I ate some more of the caramel corn. That didn’t help. I drank a large glass of water. That didn’t do anything either. By this time, I was starting to feel a little irritated.

By 11:30 a.m., I decided to take my lunch break…a half hour earlier than normal. At home, I had a little over a cup of cooked pasta – it was three ounces uncooked (Fiber Gourmet, found online at www.fibergourmet.com), with a small can of tomato sauce flavored with garlic, basil and oregano. I mixed in one wedge of the Laughing Cow light cream cheese – regular flavor and one tablespoon of reduced fat parmesan cheese. I also mixed in about two cups of chopped, cooked broccoli. And gosh, it was so good. Great actually. For dessert, I had a WW giant fudge bar.

By the way, these are the best darn chocolate ice cream bars I have ever had. Creamy, chocolatey goodness. Best part, they are only one WW point. Awesome.

By the time I got back to work, yep, you guessed it, I felt hungry…again. Now, feeling a little more perturbed, I ate some more of the caramel corn. I knew it wasn’t going to fill the craving I had, but I figured I may as well polish it off since there wasn’t much left anyway. At least it was really tasty. Not healthy, mind you, but tasty with a capital T.

By 4 p.m., I seriously felt famished. I was also really agitated at this point. No matter what I ate – healthy or not – I couldn’t get full. I couldn’t satisfy whatever it was I was craving.

I left work and went home, where I ate one serving of reduced fat Triscuits (seven crackers) and about an ounce of cheddar cheese. Still didn’t help. Still feeling hungry. Still feeling torqued. As I write this, supper is on the grill (chicken breasts) and in the oven (sweet potatoes). I sure hope when I am done eating, I am finally satisfied.

If not, after supper, I am hitting the treadmill. Maybe I can run off my hunger instead. 

My 5:30 a.m. workout…alone

The alarm went off at 5 a.m. this morning, which really isn’t that bad. It goes off that early several times a week. But this time it was going off so I could do my workout.

I had originally planned on meeting Kristy, my student trainer, at 5:30 p.m. today, but then remembered I was going to the Twin Cities tonight. Because my schedule was kind of hectic today, I also realized that the only way I would get in a workout was to do it early this morning. I didn’t expect Kristy to meet me that early. My plan was to get up at 5 a.m., have my breakfast and just take time to wake up and then exercise at 5:30 a.m. I got up just fine…didn’t even hit the snooze button once. Like I said, 5 a.m. isn’t that early to me. I made my breakfast – yogurt, cereal, muffin top – and then meandered into the computer room (like I do every morning!). Watching the clock, I started telling myself that I had to get ready, 5:30 was approaching quickly and I was gonna do this – by myself. No trainer. Nobody. All me. No coach. Alone.

I knew I could do it, but there was just something keeping my tush sitting on that dang computer chair. I know that if I made plans to meet Kristy, I would have been off that chair in no time at all. Or, if I would have been meeting anyone else, I would have never given it a second thought and I would never, ever consider canceling or being late. Never. So what makes it so different doing it myself? What is it about working out alone? Why did it take me an extra 15 minutes to get started? Why couldn’t I just move my lazy bones down the stairs and do it….when I was suppose to. Not five, 10 or 15 minutes late, but at the time I had planned?

Well, I did eventually get my tush down the stairs to do my workout. But at 5:45 a.m. Not 5:30 a.m. like I planned. This meant that the rest of morning would have to be rushed because I had a meeting to get to at 8 a.m. But, I did everything in my program that Kristy had e-mailed me the night before. It went well. Really, it did. I may not have done everything completely correct, like the medicine ball chop and lifts. I actually looked them up online before trying to do them. Not sure why really, I did know what I was doing. But I didn’t have my motivator there telling me what to do next. She wasn’t there standing by my side. She’s kind of like my security blanket, you know? My trainer, my Kristy, wasn’t there telling me to breath or that I was doing a good job. It’s nice to have her there and I wish she could be at all my workouts. I truly do.

But as I continued through my workout, I kept repeating the words that Kristy wrote in her e-mail to me yesterday, "I believe in you." I don’t know if she realizes the impact those four little words had on me, but they did. They got me through my workout and motivated me to do the best I could…even though I was by myself.

I made it through my entire workout, all one hour and 15 minutes of it and best of all, I made it to my 8 a.m. meeting right on time!

Food does not equal happiness

So far today, I have eaten three pieces of angel food cake, two or maybe three pieces of lemon cake with delicious from-the-can white frosting, God knows how many overly salty, but oh-so-good ripple chips, a large – okay, huge – dollop of chip dip, a couple of sloppy Joes or barbecues (whatever you want to call them), a piece of to-die-for garlic toast, a bowl of ice cream, two pieces of pizza, a bag of popcorn and my typical, everyday breakfast of yogurt, Fiber One cereal and Vitalicious vitatop muffin.

I didn’t eat all of that at one time. Thank goodness.

I had every intention of having a good food day. It started out great, but still feeling extremely sad over the loss of my mother-in-law, Lynn, I quickly spiraled downhill and couldn’t control my eating. It was nuts. Stupid, really. But at first, it felt great. At first, it almost seemed to help fill the hole I have inside me. At first, it all tasted great. At first, I didn’t care.

Now, it sucks. I regret it. I do care, but it’s too late. Now, I actually feel worse.

I am glad today is almost done. That means tomorrow is a new day and I can start all over again. I actually can’t wait for 7 a.m. – I am meeting with my trainer. Thank God. I need a good – no, wait – a GREAT workout. 

By the way, I didn’t even take the time to figure out my Weight Watchers points for today. I couldn’t. I know it would have been too depressing. I know I screwed up and that’s all that matters. I know I won’t do it again…