Thankful Thursday

I don’t usually have topical posts, but I’m feeling pretty thankful today so I thought I’d chime in.

  • For starters, I’m quite thankful for my job. I work as a Youth Employment Specialist which basically means I put teenagers on jobs through federally funded grants, and help them find their own jobs. I love what I do… when I have something to do. Its very rewarding and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. 
  • I’m also very grateful for my mother. She’s awesome. We’re going to Hawaii in three months and I am so excited I might pee myself before we leave.
  • Doctors. Yesterday my bff’s 3 year-old son had a lump removed from his chest and biopsied. It was a outpatient procedure, but they just don’t know whats going on. I am very glad the doctors got all of whatever the hell was in there.
  • Alaska’s 24 hour sun. Okay, so its more like 19 hours where I live, but trust me, 19 is plenty. It makes sleeping a joke during the summer, but you’re so hopped up on vitamin D that you just don’t care!
  • Payday! Within the next week or so, I’ll be buying my madre’s flight to here in September, and then all the major purchases (that I’m responsible for) will have been taken care of!

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How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.

TGIF

lI am super excited that it is Friday, and I have a three day weekend. While I don’t have much in the way of plans, what I DO have is a new attempt to get back on track. Solstice is a pretty big deal up in Alaska, as some parts of it actually have a full 24 hours of daylight, so I’m hoping to enjoy some of those festivities tomorrow. I think Anchorage pans out at about 20 hours of light or so, but it never actually gets “dark” those other four hours. More of a twilight blue sky. It has definitely made sleeping the last couple of weeks nearly impossible. Sunday I’m hoping to talk one of my friends with a car in to going to the Whittier Tunnel for the March of Dimes walk. The March of Dimes is having a Fun Walk through the tunnel, and with Whittier being on the other side, I just have to go. Its beautiful there.

Next week I’m going to start it off by renewing my early gym experiences and challenging myself to go even earlier than I used to so I can spend more time there. Hopefully I’ll also be able to convince my supervisor that I need to change my Monday schedule to come in later so I can go to the gym in the morning. What I’ve learned about myself these last two weeks is: If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, its not going to happen. In that, I am a product of my Mother.

I have less than 90 days before I go to Hawaii. A lot can happen in three months, and I intend to make the most of it.
My goals for the next three months:

  • Be more proactive at tracking my food, and trying to stay within a calorie budget being accountable about it.
  • Work myself up to two-a-days because I really want to be the kind of person who does two-a-days.
  • FINISH C25k training, and rock it!
  • Remain uninjured
  • Stop eating out, thus saving ALL of my money since that’s ALL I spend my money on these days.
  • Feel Awesome.

Roommate Drama Averted- And Other Things

A little update on the roommate drama: Saruman has since spoken to the landlord, and has calmed down about the whole situation. Saruman just needs to not ever get anxious about anything ever again, and we’ll be fine, methinks. (Like that’ll happen!)

source

Yesterday I resumed my regularly scheduled gym workout, and redid w3d3 of c25k. I feel very confident that I am ready to move up to week four, which involves running for 5 minutes and walking for half the time. The only thing I’m really worried about is how high my heart rate creeps up, because I just don’t know whats considered normal. I mean, they have those little guides for you on the sides of the machine, but… cookie cutter numbers can’t always be one size fits all, right? Or maybe they can. Anyway, I think today after work I’m going to just go ahead and buy a heart monitor.

 I can feel myself getting scared. Hawaii is sneaking up quicker and quicker each day. I don’t feel anywhere near ready as of today to complete a half marathon. I guess I just feel like I should be further along than I am at this point. Perhaps even though I am very much enjoying the process, and this journey that I’m on, I see little changes everyday, I am still really caught up in the “finale”, aka Hawaii. I’m afraid September is going to arrive and I’m still going to be where I’m at today; kind of able to jog, but only on a treadmill underneath a fan, for 5 minutes at a time. I also think part of it is I’m not really “tracking” my food intake right now, and when that happens it feels like cheating which brings on malaise which turns into anxiety about totally controllable things, such as how much and how well I exercise and whether I’ll be ready or not.

And since this post is kind of all over the place cause I’m ADD like that, I would like to share this post by Monika Runs: 26 Reasons I love Marathons. I have not run or walked a marathon yet, but have participated in several 5k’s recently and I have to say all of these things hold true for me. I stumbled upon her blog looking for the tripping hazard picture. I think I am going to read a little more thoroughly now.

Weekend and April Round Up

This has been a very crazy weekend, international news wise. It started with Prince William and Catherine Middletons Royal Wedding, and ended with Osama bin Laden’s death. I stayed up until 5amon friday (having to go to work at 8:30am) to watch the new couple have their first “official” kiss as husband and wife. The Duchess of Cambridge (as she is now known) looked positively glowing, and just as a princess should. I thought her dress was very simple, but stunning, and her sister was just down right hot. The Duke of Cambridge (as Prince William is now known) totally rocked the military uniform. Formal military uniforms are always hot, and Prince Harry was looking pretty sexy too.

I first heard about the bin Laden thing on twitter. One of my cousins retweeted something about a mission accomplished sign being brought out again, and my brow furrowed. “What the heck is happening, world?” I asked myself. I found out quickly enough, and may I say, I am so glad that Obama was the one to give the speech that bin Laden had been killed. I feel like it somehow validates his presidency a little bit further. It also clarifies why he laid to rest the birth certificate issue, which was dumb and a waste of time. I hope those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks and other attacks brought on by Al-Qaeda will find a bit more peace. Surely this will only make for some more unrest, but for now, we can breathe a sigh of ease.

On to less depressing topics, shall we?

Taken yesterday during my walk

This April, I accomplished quite a bit.

  • I finally started to focus on my breathing, which has helped tremendously in continuing the c25k training. I’m on week 4 so far. I can’t wait to continue it tomorrow!
  • I redecorated my blog, made it a little easier to look at, and designed a new header. Also, declared my official exit from the 300’s and entry back into the 290’s. Quite proud indeed!
  • And I completed my second and third walks of the season, a happy 4 mile MS Walk, and this past weekend’s Heart Run.

Things that have happened but didn’t make it to my blog, I registered for 3 more races!

I’m really excited about all these races, but the Portland Rock and Roll Half has got to be the one I’m most excited for.  Just a couple of weeks ago my mom and I were talking about how the only thing our family does during get-togethers is sit around, eat and gossip. And while its fun to catch up on things, it is also not encouraging of healthy behaviors and lifestyles, especially since we all seem to be on a kick start of them recently.

After talking with my absolutely beautiful, wonderful, and most favoritest cousin, Mama T, she decided we would run a half marathon together, and she chose the one in Portland since that is where we grew up. In the week or so since that decision, two of her friends, and several of our other cousins have signed up to run with us. All of a sudden we are having a family reunion based around a half marathon, a first and most epic event in our family history. I am super excited to see her again, and the rest of my family and to sit around, gossip, eat, and run.

I better be able to walk 13.1 miles…

…Because come Sept. 18th, I will be in Maui, walking a half marathon. I am really doing this. Its bought and paid for, so I’d better go! I’m super excited. The whole thing just kind of fell into place. And now, I just need to get in shape.

Me and my mom, taken oct. 2010

My mom and I are flying out on the 14th, we’ll be staying for an entire week and she will be walking a 5k. Currently my mom is suffering from really bad arthiris in her knees, mostly due to being overweight. I hope this turns into an opportunity to rediscover her awesomeness.

The most amazing part of this trip is, I had originally planned to do something similar over my birthday this year. However, when I saw that this marathon would be happening in September, I knew it was fate. You see, it is happening a year from the day my aunt died. My mom was very very close to her, as was I, and I know it’ll be a great way to let go, honor her and move forward.

When Change Rains, it Pours

On Wednesday last week, I tweeted about not having any real defined goals. So, over this weekend, I decided to define them. But first, a weekend recap.

Friday I was supposed to go to a concert a local bar, but I just felt horrible all day, so I stayed home and tried to get some rest. Saturday, my friend who recently came home from Afghanistan via the Army came into town and I took her to see Avenue Q. Avenue Q, for those who don’t know, is a wonderfully subversive musical with Jim Henson like puppets, and Gary Coleman as played by a woman. It is fantastic. I was really happy to be able to take her to something that was so hilariously upbeat considering some of the subjects they hit upon. And I worried that being in the middle of the row, and having a full audience might cause her some panic but she handled the whole thing pretty well.

Afterward, we went to Spenard Roadhouse for dinner, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Its very eclectic, casual, and trendy. Family oriented, but serves all your favorite alcoholic drinks. I don’t eat out often, but when I do, I try to come here. I love it. For dinner I had a veggie sandwich (apparently I am not a fan of fontina cheese- who knew) and split pea and ham soup (cause I’m a flexitarian now and I can eat meat when I eat out). Oh yes, and an order of super tots, which are possibly deadly. Tater tots topped with chives, green onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream.  We talked about all sorts of things, caught up on everything she’d missed while she was gone. She told me she started running while overseas, and I mentioned to her my goal of running a 5k by the end of the summer. She’s being stationed in Hawaii, and so, plans started forming in my head.

Because we had gone to the early show, when dinner was over, it was still kinda early, so we headed off to the movies and watched No Strings Attached. Did I love it? Of course I did. I love Natalie Portman and most romantic comedies. My friend dropped me off afterwards, and I comptemplated cleaning my kitchen. I think I watched How I Met Your Mother and went to bed instead.

It was a great day, but I couldn’t help but notice how much of the day I spent sitting. I didn’t particularly want to sit, but I couldn’t think of anything that sounded remotely fun that didn’t involves lots of sitting.

Sunday was my day of rest. Of course by day of rest, I mean it was my day of cleaning and school work, and watching Sarah Marshall twice- once with commentary and once without. For brunch I had easy mac and a fiber plus bar. I wanted to cook something, but my kitchen is half destroyed right now cause I can’t seem to wash all my dishes in one go, so I ordered an extra large pizza instead. Why? I don’t know. It seemed easier, I guess. I ordered a garlic veggie supreme and mozzarella sticks. (THIS IS HOW PEOPLE STAY FAT, JSYK). I ate half of it before forcing myself to go to bed.

The good news though. After my conversation with my friend, I started looking at races happening in Hawaii around my birthday. The closest one I could find is the Maui Marathon on Sept. 18th this year. I am going. My mother is going. My friend is going. Its going to be great.

Now, if you are actually viewing my blog, you might notice a new widget on the right side of the screen. Its to raise money for the Warmth Walk sponsored by United Way Anchorage on Feburary 19th. I will be walking. Its only a mile, and should go pretty quickly, but I thought it would be a nice way to get excited for Break Up (known in other parts of the country as “Spring”) and the Summer to come! So if anyone would like to donate some dollars, your help is much appreciated.

So to recap. Short term and long term goals have been defined:

Short term: Walk for Warmth; getting as physically ready for c25k as possible
Medium term: Womens Walk for Cure (or some such thing in May); start/complete c25k; other races as applicable
Long term: Flying my mother and myself to Maui for the 41st Maui Marathon in Sept (I’m going to walk/run the 1/2).; maintaining flexitarianism, make healthy food choices; see consistent weight loss.

This is going to be a great summer.

Redefining a Goal

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to do the Couch 2 5k program. It started out easy, and after Monday, when I repeated Week 2 Day 3 for a third time, I realized that trying to jog 3.1 miles in 4 more weeks was going to be suicide. I’m just not there yet. And I’m okay with that. The reason I jumped for something that might be unattainable is because I was looking for something challenging that I knew I could do. At some point, yes, I will be able to run 3.1 miles. Now that I know I can move my body, and enjoy its bulbous swaying, I know I can look forward to this. In the future.

Instead, what I will be doing is walking a half marathon. 13 miles in six or less hours. Right now, I know I can walk about 5 miles before I feel like falling over dead. I am very confident in myself to achieve this new goal in the 4 weeks allotted to me.

Originally, I had decided that as a gift to myself for completing the 5k, I would buy a new phone. Now that my goal has changed, (and all of my plans have changed) I decided that I will purchase a gym membership upon my completion of walking the half marathon. I figure, if I can dedicate myself to a half marathon, then I can dedicate myself to a gym. Come September, its going to start getting cold, and dark, and I’ll be in school and working 12 hours a day. If I don’t have a place outside of my house to decompress, I’m not sure I’ll make it through another winter.

Something I’ve learned about myself: I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Everyday I finished a C25k segment, I wanted to cheer. Hell, I did cheer. I didn’t think I’d get through it, but I did. But I know now that my progress with the program is going to slow dramatically until I get some of this fat off, and take the pressure off my knees.

Half Marathon August 15th. Anyone want to join me in preparing for this monstrous event? Its gonna be fun!