Number one!

I have a confession to make…I am a magazine junkie. One in particular that I absolutely love is Consumer Reports. I know, not what you expected was it?

I have purchased many items based on how something was rated in Consumer Reports. Weird? Maybe. But I don’t care. I figure, “Why not let someone else do the research for me!”

Well, we received our February 2013 issue recently and as my husband was perusing through it, he was quick to point out an article he knew I would be interested in…VERY interested in, as a matter of fact.

It’s just another example of why I am so thrilled/excited/blessed to work for such an awesome company – Weight Watchers – the best weight loss/healthy living plan around (at least in my opinion!).

Not only are we rated the number one weight loss program by U.S. News and World Report, we also now received the highest score in the commercial weight loss plans in Consumer Reports. Yeah!

I know, I am probably not supposed to do what I am about to do, but I am super excited about the article, so I am sharing all with you! I tried highlighting some of it, but when I scanned it in, the highlighted part doesn’t really show up. If you don’t want to take the time to read the whole article, at least look at page four, where the headline reads: “Get the most out of Weight Watchers.”

It’s AWESOME information!

So, without further ado, here’s the article (all four pages of it!):

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

So, that’s it. Pretty cool, huh?

Why wait?

I over did it.

With food, not exercise. Unfortunately.

And…fortunately!

This holiday season, I kind of let myself slip a little. Okay, maybe more than a little.

But, you want to know what? I’m okay with it. And you want to know another thing? I think my husband is, too. The last few Christmas seasons, I’ve been, well, let’s just say, a little tense. Okay, maybe a little more than just a little. And truthfully, I think it had to do with food.

Both my husband and I commented this year about how much more calm I’ve been and how much less stressed I’ve been. I didn’t really think anything about it, until this morning – this really, really early morning, like 5 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep because my mind wouldn’t shut off. I came to the realization that the last couple of Christmases, I was so freaked out about gaining weight and not overeating that it kind of made me a little too tense and a little too stressed. And unfortunately, I took it out on my poor husband and my poor son. Sorry, guys!

I realized this year, that I didn’t want to be SO concerned about the food and just enjoy the holiday and you wanna know what? I am so glad I did. So what if I gained a little weight? I thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas Eve dinner. I mean, REALLY enjoyed it. But, who wouldn’t with these super delicious, super cheesy, super creamy, super awesome potatoes that my mom made – at, MY request!

Yummy goodness. (I know the picture isn’t the best and I know it doesn’t really do the potatoes any justice, but rest assured, they were THAT good!)

I also enjoyed the delicious ham, the delicious lettuce salad, the delicious strawberry tapioca pudding salad, the cookies, the caramel marshmallow treats, the chips and dip, the rice Krispie bars, the peanut brittle, the pretzel Rolo treats, the cheese and crackers, the wine and THE EVERYTHING else I am forgetting about.

But here’s the cool part. I don’t have to wait until January 1 to get back on track. I don’t have to wait until the New Year, the new day, the new whatever! I don’t have to wait for anything. I can get back on track TODAY. I get to make that decision. And that makes me happy. That makes me less stressed and able to enjoy the holiday season even more.

But now, here’s the biggest question…will I?

The results are in…

I completed my first half-marathon. I actually did it.

And here’s my medal to prove it:

My medal!

So, I suppose you’re wondering how it went. Well, let me tell you…

First of all, I finished and I am extremely proud of myself for doing so…despite what it may sound like when you read this. I am happy I did it. I don’t have any regrets. And, despite the fact that I said I was only going to do one in my life, my husband and I have already decided to do another one. We are planning on signing up for another Rock ‘n’ Roll series one, but this time, it’s going to be in San Jose, California. We are going to Napa, California next October to celebrate our 5-year anniversary and San Jose just happens to be a host city for a Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon. And, San Jose is somewhat close to Napa. Logistically, it just seemed to work out!

Anyway, back to the Las Vega Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon.

At the expo the day before the race, which is where we picked up our race packets and swag bag, we both ended up changing our estimated times, which also meant changing corrals. At this race, runners lined up in corrals according to their estimated finish time. At first, we estimated that Al would finish in two and half hours and I would finish in three hours. But, based on previous races, we decided to up our times to Al finishing in two hours and myself finishing in two and a half hours.

This meant that Al changed from corral number 24 to corral 14 and I changed from corral 36 to corral 27. There was a two-minute delay between the start of each corral, which helped immensely with not having a crowded course. This was greatly appreciated. Neither of us felt like squished sardines when we started out.

The race started at 4:30 p.m. Al crossed the starting line shortly before 5 p.m. – official time was 4:51 p.m. I crossed the starting line a little after 5 p.m. – official time was 5:16 p.m. We know our times because I was getting text message updates on Al (which I didn’t look at until after the race was done), and my son, Brandon, was getting updates on me. A couple of other people were following me also, which was really cool because I got messages from them immediately after the race was done.

Here are some messages from my son – before the race and after the race:

Text messages from my son

Loved the thumbs up from him when I finished. It made my heart melt and eyes fill with tears.

The start of the race was okay. The wind started to pick up and it almost looked as if a storm was heading our way. I checked my phone for weather details while waiting in the start line and learned that there were wind advisories – wind was blowing anywhere from 20 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 mph.

Yep. It was just a tish windy. And I think it played a factor in my running. When the wind wasn’t at my back, it was tough to push through.

I started the race out at a nice even tempo. At the advice of several friends and other runners, I took in the sites and the sounds. I knew I wasn’t going for a win, so I decided to take it easy. Too easy maybe.

I kept a pretty even pace – about an 11 minute mile – until mile seven. It’s here I hit the wall. Not sure what happened. But the wall was big and I hit it hard. For miles seven, eight, nine and 10, my pace was closer to a 12.5 minute mile. At mile 11 and 12, it was jumped to a 16 minute mile – yes, I was pretty close to walking, but yet I kept plugging along, one foot in front of another – VERY slowly. I stopped at every single water/Gatorade stop between miles 10 and the finish line. There was a GU energy stop, but I didn’t grab any. I should have.

The last mile to mile and a half, I basically walked, albeit a brisk, fast-paced walk, which seemed, at the time, way faster than my slow jog. At this point, I just wanted the race to be done. I wanted – NEEDED – to be done. I was crabby because I walked. I was crabby because my stomach was churning over and over and over and all I wanted to do was hurl. I was crabby because every ounce of my body ached. I was crabby because I was thirsty – despite all the water/Gatorade I had. I was crabby because I felt alone – yes, despite the mass amounts of runners and spectators around me. This was the first time ever I felt so alone in a race. Not sure why.

I just wanted to be done and I just wanted my husband. I wanted to curl up in his arms and have him tell me it was all going to be okay. I felt defeated. I felt disappointed. I felt…everything.

Here’s a picture that pretty much sums everything up:

Near the finish line.

Quite a contrast from a picture that was from the start of the race:

At the beginning of the race.

Well, after I crossed the finish line, which I did run across, I guess I was fairly happy because the photographer got this photo:

And I finished!

Truthfully, I don’t even remember this photo begin taken. At this point, I just wanted to find my husband and make our way back to our hotel. Well, I eventually found him, cold, shaking and also very ready to be back at our hotel. Apparently, he ended up in the medical tent with the shakes and shivers and was extremely nauseous. Eventually, he ended up throwing up. Sure wish I had.

Al ended up finishing the race in two hours and five minutes. I finished it in just under three hours – my first predicated finish time (guess I should have just kept it, huh!). My official time was two hours, 59 minutes and 56 seconds!

Despite the fact that I felt disappointed and let down, I will reiterate that I AM VERY PROUD of myself for finishing. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to run this race. And if truth be told, I am looking forward to the next one!

I’m. Not. Tracking.

I am on vacation in Las Vegas, Nevada and I am not tracking.

There, I said it.

I made a plan before I left where I gave myself a 5-pound leeway. I am okay if I end up gaining five (5) pounds. Really, truly, I am.

On Friday, which is when we left, I weighed myself at home and I was at 144.4, which was actually pretty good considering I have been maintaining at about 148. I was actually pretty happy with what the scale said. So, I decided that I was okay if….and I mean IF….I end up gaining five pounds while we are vacationing in Vegas.

And, I have absolutely no intentions of tracking. None. At all. Nada.

For those of you who are Weight Watchers members, you will know what a big deal this is. For those of you who aren’t, in WW, we track everything. And, I mean EVERYTHING. Or at least I usually track everything.

By that, I mean that everything I eat – every last morsel – gets recorded and assigned what we call a PointsPlus Value. But, while on this vacation, I have absolutely no intentions of tracking. Anything. At. All.

HOWEVER….and this is a pretty big however. I plan on keeping my portions in check. I plan to not go overboard (except for maybe a few more beverages than I usually have!). I plan on getting in lots of activity (of course, I will be wearing my ActiveLink! And I can’t wait to see what kind of activity points I will be getting!), and I plan on taking photos of everything I eat, which will help in keeping my portions and my choices in check.

I know this is not usually the ideal situation, but, when it comes to vacations, my philosophy is that I want to have fun, but at the same time, I don’t want to go overboard. I don’t want to be consumed by Weight Watchers. I want to have fun, indulge and yet, still have a plan. By setting myself up for a five-pound gain, I am not setting myself up to fail; I am setting myself up to succeed. I know I won’t actually gain those five pounds – or at least I really don’t think I will – but, by allowing myself to do will not make me feel upset or guilty or bad if I actually do.

I hope this makes sense. It makes perfect sense in my mind.

So, my dear readers, wish me luck on this vacation as I am about to embark on my biggest quest so far…running a half-marathon down Las Vegas Boulevard!

Stay tuned for an update after Sunday evening’s race!