Monday, March 31, 2014

Back Into a Routine

 I had started writing a post earlier today and I had to stop and walk away from the computer! I was driving myself crazy, typing myself in circle…and I will explain why in just a minute. However, first things first, I am home and attempting to settle back into a routine. The saddest thing about vacations is they end and you have to get back to “real life”!! So I got home, unpacked, cleaned, exercised, and even managed to put a smile on my face at work!! ;) Not hard to do seeing as how I love my job, but it still meant my vacation was over!

So why did I type myself in circles? (Not to be confused with talking in circles) well I shall begin to share. I find it extremely motivating having a goal to work towards (e.g. my half marathon relay). I found a workout plan and stuck to it…that was great. So now I’m here with a 5K May 4th my dirty dash in August and I find myself under impressed with my upcoming runs and myself. I somehow want more for me. I want to push myself (safely). (I’m getting a little of track here, but stick with me) Since I got back home I’ve been trying to decide how I’m going to continue working out and what training plan I should follow or if I should just “wing” it. Etc. etc. etc. I really want to follow a plan because it takes the guessing game out of it and I just do what it says…simple! (okay now we’re back on track)

As you all know it is my goal to run a half marathon by the end of the year. I thought that November/December would be pushing it because I just didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could condition myself well enough to get to that point by the end of the year. Now I know that I can run at least half the distance so I want to keep up my training. I had lunch with my dad today and he mentioned that I should look at the Duke City Marathon (they have a half marathon) and see about signing up for that. Of course in my head I immediately think, “October? That’s crazy! There’s no way I can be ready that soon. There’s no way what so ever I could run that far in October!”

So I was prepared to write a blog post about how even though I would like to run the half marathon in October I didn’t think I would have enough time to train! Plus, I have a training plan that will take 28 weeks and there is no way that would be enough time. As I was writing my blog I was doing the math so that I could make sure I was writing correctly and not just being a baby making excuses as to why I couldn’t sign up for the half marathon…well lo and behold if I start this week it is exactly 28 weeks from now until October 19 when the 31st Annual Duke City Marathon will be hosted! So that’s convenient but I still wasn’t convinced…well that was until I saw a little something on the registration website! Now you may wonder what the proverbial icing on the cake was to make me push myself to hit this goal…I will tell you…when I went online and saw that it said, “FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER…The Duke City marathon will award half marathon finisher’s medals!” I was sold! :D I would like to say the fact that a medal has no true significance when it comes to finishing 13.1 miles, but I would be lying! I think I like the medals because it’s actual proof that I did it!! So yes, I have 28 weeks to prepare myself (mind, body, spirit) for my first half marathon. I officially signed up this afternoon and could not be more excited!

You heard it first here. I haven’t told anyone that I’ve signed up for this race. So you all get to find out here!!! I will be running the Duke City Half Marathon October 19, 2014!! Who wants to do it with me *cough Erika cough Drew cough David cough Elise cough anyone else* hehehe…Yes, I’m subtle aren’t I?! As an added bonus if any family/friends were to come out to run the international balloon fiesta is the week before…I’m not saying, I’m just saying!


I have to change my mindset and stop saying, “I hope” or “I’m trying” and start saying, “I will” and “I am”!! It may be a slight wording change, but it means all the difference to me! The training plan I will be following is through the same website I used to train for my relay. If you’re interested in looking at the plan here’s the link  CLICK ME!!!. Yes, this is a 14-week plan but I’m going to repeat each week in order to stretch it out for me. If I need I will add in walking intervals but I will be running that half marathon even if I have to slow down to a 15 minute/mile pace….but I will be running doggonit! I’m relieved to have a plan in place…now my job is to simply execute accordingly!

Today meant a 3 mile run! I got home at 9:09 pm tonight, rushed inside, changed my clothes and was in the gym by 9:20…I had 40 minutes before they locked up the gym so I got to it. Of course my mind sets in right away trying to tell me I couldn’t run the three miles…so my legs talked right back and said, “watch me!” I set my treadmill to 4.6 (easier pace) and ran my 3 miles without stopping! Running is such a mental game, I’m slowly learning to play along, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun/interesting/difficult 28 weeks…and lucky for you…you get to read all about it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh In

What a fun past few days it has been. I can hardly believe it will be time for me to go home tomorrow...but this has been a great trip to Dallas! So as usual I did my weigh in and the scale stared me in the face and said 256.6! So I gained 1.8 pounds this week. I don't really feel good or bad about this weight gain...I know that I put in all the hard work (David didn't let me slack off) and I counted the calories for every item placed inside my mouth! So I'm not sure what or where I went wrong, but I'm not going to dwell on the gain...I accept it and now I'm moving on! Because I gained a lot more than 1.8 pounds while I have been out here. I gained the courage to push farther than I've ever pushed before, I gained the strength to fight (no really I did some boxing with my brother) even when I was exhausted, I gained the determination to keep up my lifestyle changes even when it was difficult to squeeze it into my schedule, and on this journey I've gained the wisdom and knowledge to know that when something gets me down I sure as heck am not going to stay down...I'm getting back up and fighting back harder than the time before!

With all that said...I will share a little of what I have done the past few days since the big run! Monday was a nice and relaxing day...for exercise I bought a boxing glove set (you know the kind where one person is the target and the other person punches to their hearts content) David has some P90X videos and one of the videos has a lot of boxing moves so I followed along and he was my target...that was fun! Then later that afternoon we went to the lake here and had some turkey burgers, corn on the cob, grilled mushrooms and bell pepper!! As an added bonus we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset...while David grilled Elise and I went on a little stroll and chatted to our hearts content...

Elise and me

Beautiful sunset over the lake!
Yesterday was awesome...since it was my "last chance workout" ;) David and I decided we would see how close to death I could get...okay not really...but I did 50 minutes on the elliptical with my heart rate between 65-75% of my max HR and then after that we went for a hike...David had initially planned on us only doing a couple miles...but it was such a beautiful day that we ended up hiking 5 miles!!! It was so pretty and peaceful...and a definite booty buster! I definitely need to start doing more hiking, it's an amazing workout, beautiful scenery, peaceful, smells good (even when you work up a sweat and may release a bit of a stench), and is just all around good for you! 

Enjoying the little pond on our hike!

Dave snapped a pic while I was stretching it out!
Before I go I will share a few pictures that David took when we were at the Arboretum and the Zoo...enjoy!

Some gorillas fighting

The ranunculus that David took a picture of!!
Momma and baby getting fed!

My favorite statue in the women's garden at the arboretum

Me and David!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rock 'N Roll Half-Marathon Relay Race Details Inside:

Oh my goodness!!! I am so proud of myself...I hardly have the words to say how proud I am! This was such a wonderful run! So I will give you a run down of how my morning and race went! 

I woke up at approximately 0500 (no I did not hit the impressive feat for me)! I had set everything out for me last night so all I had to do was wake up, dress myself, feed myself and go! 

Everything set out and ready to go!
So I got ready, ate a Chobani yogurt and a couple slices of an apple and a bit of water! Afterwards I went to the bathroom and we were all ready to go a little before later than we wanted but that is why we scheduled it the way we had to give us a time limit with extra time built in for any unforeseen delays!

Dressed and ready to go
Traffic was great on our way so we got parked (we parked at the fair grounds where the finish line would be) and then got shuttled over to the starting line! We were there by about 0700!! One hour before beginning! So we all took the opportunity to pee and then found shelter by some large was cold and windy so that made just standing around very uncomfortable. So we just chilled out for a while and then about thirty minutes before start we started to stretch and warm up!

Starting to feel the excitement of what is about to happen

David and Elise (they told me they were sick of taking pictures with me and needed pictures of JUST the two of them...RUDE!...JK)
After we warmed up we decided to take one more pee break (aka last minute nerve drizzle) and then it was to corral #3! I think once we got into the corral is when I started to get nervous. I was nervous that I was going to be too slow and that I would get in the way and I said to David, "all these runners look so good!" *in a nervous voice* to which he replied pointing at me, "yes, ALL runners!!!!" So that helped calm me down! And then before we knew was time to get started!! Before we got going we snapped one more "before" picture of all three of us...After the picture David and I took off our sweaters and handed them to Elise and got ready to roll (we were more than ready to run because it was very cold and windy)

As we were getting going David told me that he was getting teary-eyed for me!! :D I had to hold it together so I could start out strong and not become breathless right away! David ran about the first 1/4 mile with me and then he was on his way to rock his run! So with him gone it was a little intimidating initially but I just kept running. I felt a little better about half a mile in when I already saw someone walking and as I passed her I said, "good job." 

A mile in I was surprised when I looked at my watch and it was just past an 11 minute mile! Much faster than my goal pace. My goal starting out was to stay at about 13:20 and to finished in 1:30-1:40! I hadn't stopped running yet and kept up about a 11:45 pace for my next two miles. I made it through my 5K in 37:13...I had planned on walking once I hit my 5K but then there was a middle-aged gentleman (I told him he was doing great but didn't say much else because I didn't want him to feel like he had to talk to me) that was huffing and puffing and then came running alongside me and somehow I just didn't want to stop...I said to myself, "Just make it to mile 4!" Once I passed mile 4 there was another water station and I decided to walk through the station but that didn't even last a minute and I was running again! I just wanted to make it to mile 5 at that point. I was feeling pretty good and my breathing was under control...and before I knew it I was at mile 5! I decided at that point I had run all that way there was no way I wasn't going to run the rest of the way!! The only times I walked from there on out was at the water stations! I made it to my 10K in 1:18:50...shortly after hitting the 10K there was a bout of individuals that came alongside me and gave me some encouraging words! One was a younger guy that said, "you're doing great"...then another gentleman came along side me and said, "keep it up 'hon" and shortly after that a lady came and patted me on the shoulder and said, "way to go girl!' After each of these individuals said something to me I got choked up and shed a few tears, but I couldn't let it get to me too much because when I started to cry I couldn't I enjoyed it but then kept going! Those all happened in the matter of a 10 - minute span I would guess! A little after mile 7 a woman with a prosthesis on her left leg passed me and I got so emotional and yelled out, "you go girl!" nothing like that to make you keep pressing on! As I turned the corner past mile 7 I saw where the transition area was for me and Elise to trade-off! I pushed it and tried desperately hard not to cry so I could keep breathing...

So the transition area is where it gets crazy. They're supposed to call out your team race number and your team name so that your teammate can come up and start running. I got to the end and Elise was nowhere to be seen, they were giving me my award and telling me to keep walking so I did...but I hadn't seen Elise! I was very confused because I thought I would have at least seen her before she took off...I thought it would be weird for her to have gone without me seeing her but I didn't see her anywhere else after I walked around for a bit. So I decided I would send her a text just in case that said, "I didn't see you at the transition area, but good luck girl!" I am so glad I sent that text because all the sudden I saw her pop up and book it to the transition area! They would repeat team names if the partner wasn't in the area but they never recalled our team name...Elise felt awful but I honestly think they missed announcing us because I never heard our team called either! So there was a good 10 minutes that we "lost" because of the lack of communication on their part! So we hugged, I took her bag and she went to the transition area and had to explain what happened so she could book it! 

After my run my hips definitely ached, but my knees felt was just a stiff feeling in my hips and groin. So I stretched for a little bit...and of course I had to take a picture..priorities...

Super excited about running 7.1 miles!!!
My watch said 1:31:26 so I was really happy with that, and my phone said my average pace was 12:20!!! Totally rocked my 13:20 goal pace! While Elise was running her half I had to make it to the DART (Dallas transportation bus) so I started walking to the nearest station where I had to take the train to one station and then get off and get on another connecting train to make it back to the fairgrounds where the finishing line was! 

Shortly after I finished I got a text from David saying he had finished his half-marathon!!! WOOOT!!! He rocked his time and finished in 1:52:27!!! I am so proud of him! He did amazing! By the time I got to the fairgrounds I had a feeling Elise would be finishing at any minute, so I found an awesome spot and camped out and waited for her to finish! I was so lucky I got a place where I was able to see her and she was able to see me...but I wasn't able to get my phone out fast enough to snap a picture of her...she just zoomed past me!! She finished her 6 miles in 62 minutes!! David was able to stay in the secure area and wait for her to they met up at the finish line! 

So we made the most and took advantage of the free giveaways they had...we were given 11 (or 12? I can't remember) Jimmy John's sandwiches, gatorade, powerade protein bars, water, we got a free beer at the end, some chocolate milk, and chia pods! Of course we had to take one more victory picture together...

So happy to be done...trying to keep warm!
It was freezing (really it was like 50 degrees) was overcast and windy and hard to keep warm! So after we took advantage of all the free items we could find we had to trek back to the car! With all the walking around we had to do I walk 2.3 miles...almost 10 miles for the day! 

The race was great, my half I had the incline so there were some difficult hills but I just kept running. I didn't want to stop! It seems I have been holding out on myself for quite some time. I had trained to run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minutes the entire distance! I was even more excited when I came home and looked up my official race time and saw I did the 7.1 miles in 1:28:30!! I beat my goal window!! :D Our official finish time is 2:40:58..but that is not accurate because of the time that passed while our team name hadn't been called so Elise didn't know to come to the transition area...So she ran in 62 minutes so our race time was more like 2:30!! I am super proud of Elise..that is the longest distance she has run without David by her side...and she has a tendency to get overzealous and pushing her pace too early in her she did awesome keeping her pace under control and pushing it for the last 1/4 mile!!! Both David and Elise really pushed in in the end! I am so proud of them. 

It was a blast doing this..but it was even better it doing it with David and Elise!! I can't wait for my next run! 

Oh, one last picture...I had to capture all of the free loot we got...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's Almost Here!!!

And the countdown begins...I will be getting up at 0500 to leave by 0530 and hopefully get to the startling at about 0700 (crazy Dallas traffic) and then the race begins at 0800! Relay runners are able to start in any corral they want so I am going to start with David in corral 3!! So the runners I will be starting with will be passing me right away, but it will be worth it to start with David! 

Yesterday we had a blast at the Expo. We hit up all the free samples we could find. Elise was better than David and I were at finding the free minute she disappeared and then showed back up with an entire box (not just one sample size...but like 4) of an allergy lozenge. Then another time she disappeared and came back with an ENTIRE BOTTLE of lotion! It was very impressive! We also had fun taking our picture in front of the B_G sign at the entrance to the expo...

This is just a picture of all the goodies I made out with...I realize now I should've captured all of Elise's items because it is way more impressive than my stash!! ;)

Pure awesomeness!!!
Today was a blast. We went to the huge Farmer's Market they have here and it totally blew my mind! I'm a huge fan of farmer's markets and this one exceeded my expectations!

This is just one vendor's stand!!
After the Farmer's Market we ate lunch at Fadi's, which is a Mediterranean restaurant with some delicious hummus, pitas, and roasted cauliflower!! From there we drove the course for tomorrow. It was nice to be able to see where we would be going, what to expect etc. It's going to be a beautiful course! I'm beyond excited! It blows my mind how far we will be running as we drove the course!! 

Once we finished the course we had a few last minute essentials we had to get at the sporting good store..there I was curious if I would fit into a woman's XL. Let me preface this by saying I have always had to shop in either the plus-size section or look at shirts in the men's/unisex area where the shirts were bigger. I can't even remember the last time I fit into a woman's "regular" size shirt. Even for this run I chose the Men's XL because I didn't want to not be able to fit into the woman's XL...and I'm happy I did that because Brooks tends to run a little smaller anyways. Anyways, I wanted to see how far I was from fitting into a woman's size shirt...and was surprise when I looked in the mirror and saw this..

Woman's Under Armour Semi-Fitted size: XL
It fit! My mind was blown! I tried some Nike XL shorts..and I still have a ways to go before fitting into those...I still have some thunder thighs ;) but I don't even care!

For dinner tonight it was a little more extra carbs with lots of veggies!!! :D Yummy! I'm more so nervous about what I will eat for breakfast in the morning because I still haven't really found something to eat to keep my stomach happy before my runs. I think I'm going to copy David and have a Chobani Greek Yogurt! But here's a picture of our delicious homemade dinner...

Alright...I will stop making you jealous with all the deliciousness! 

It is time for my bed. I feel pretty good about the race tomorrow. I don't particularly have any jitters right now, but if you ask me how I'm feeling in the morning it may be a different story. I know that I can go the distance...I've done the training necessary...and even in a worst case scenario the course is open long enough for someone to be able to walk it at just over an 18 minute pace!!! :D So that is very reassuring. So I have everything set out for the morning so all I have to do is wake up, eat, get dressed, and go! I've been hydrating all day today so hopefully I won't have any issues as far as that is concerned! 

David shared a little snippet from a commentary area in his Bible that says, "about the time we are ready to give up, Jesus comes alongside and whispers, 'Don't quit, keep going, keep your eyes on Me,' as He provides His gentle touch of grace, joy, and love at just the right moment (see Hebrews 12:1-3)." Very encouraging! So with that said...goodnight!

Friday, March 21, 2014

I have arrived...

I have made it safely to Dallas and enjoyed a full day yesterday! In the morning David asked if I wanted to workout now or later...I told him I could do either but that I preferred now (that way the workout is done and not hanging over your head throughout the day) and then he asked me how long I would want to workout. I told him, "like 90 minutes!" To which he raised his eyebrow at me and then said, "okay!" So we hit up his gym...I did an easy(er) 3 miles in forty minutes and then we hit the weights (my favorite thing to do with David...shhhh...don't let him know I enjoy the torture he puts me through)! Our focus was biceps and then abs at the end! I was ready to punch (with my blood pumped biceps) after the disgusting crunches he made me do...but I withheld knowing Elise would be home later and I didn't want to traumatize her on my first day in Dallas! ;)

Pumping Iron!

After our workout we consumed lunch and decided to hit up the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden! It was B-E-A-UTIFUL! The tulips are in bloom so they were the main event...and I was super excited that they had ranunculus too...and those are only my favorite flowers right now!! :D 

The awesome peacock at the Arboretum!
Some beautiful tulips!!
I thought this would be the perfect place to take a picture (behind a field of tulips)...when I later looked at it I realized we were standing behind the statue of two people about to do the Nasty!! Ooops!!
We had to retake our picture front of plants...not in front of a statue doing the unmentionable ;)
Okay one more picture to share...

David being a good brother...taking pictures of the ranunculus in the middle of the rocks...I may be able to acquire some of the pictures he took at a later time!!
After the Arboretum we came home and made dinner while Elise was busting a run out!! She ran a 5K in less than 30 minutes!!! WOOT! Making me a little jealous, but more than that, extremely proud!!! One thing running has taught me is that you cannot compare yourself to other runners...running is running regardless of how fast or slow it may be...and I need to be proud of each mile I run! After dinner we got to chat it up and then just chill...and around 9:30pm I totally fell asleep on the floor while watching TV with David and Elise. I can no longer make fun of their 10pm bedtime (truth is I'm just jealous that they consistently get 8 hours of sleep each offs)! 

This morning was great...hit the gym up again...did a little spinning and then we lifted weights again focusing on triceps...I told David I take back hating him I hated him more! We may have pushed each other farther than we though we could go! Let me just say this...I could barely shampoo my hair my arms were so sore..and we told Elise she wouldn't be getting any hugs today...just chest bumps! ;) So we're off to the zoo and then we get to go the the Rock 'N Roll Expo to pick up our packets (and hopefully some free samples of goodies)!! That's all I have for now! :D

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Look out Dallas...

Well as it would be I'm back to weighing in on Wednesdays now! That's only because I worked Monday evening and stayed late Tuesday morning to orient with the charge nurse and so I knew my weigh-in wouldn't be very accurate. So this morning the scale said: 254.8!!!! Down 4.2 pounds this week! I'm honestly shocked to have another four pound week because while I still made time for my workouts they weren't nearly as intense as my last couple weeks. Plus whenever I work really close work schedules everything feels like utter chaos; so I'm very proud of myself for keeping it together and having a good weigh-in! It was my goal to get to 250 for Dallas, but I am very happy with the number on the scale...and I hope to get home at or below 250! I'm really excited for 250 because I decided when I began this journey that a reward for myself as a way of keeping me going would be to purchase a Garmin GPS watch! I have diligently been setting aside money for the big purchase and am more than ready and excited to hit my goal. The reason it's a reward is because technically I don't need it. I have my phone where I use my cardio-trainer app which calculates my average pace throughout my workout, my calories expended, and I use a separate heart rate monitor to keep an eye on my HR (if I had a bluetooth HR I could hook that up with the cardio-trainer app too to get more accurate count on the calories I burned)! But having everything in one watch would be amazing!

Alright, so I have to share a funny story! I've never really thought of myself as a klutz but the more I am on my feet the more I realize I am less than graceful! At work I was walking back to the unit after going to get a sandwich for dinner and literally out of nowhere (nothing in my way, nothing that could've possibly tripped me or made me stumble)...I nearly face plant in the adult intensive care unit! I let out a shriek...throw my arms out, over and then above my head (faithful never to let go of my sandwich), and I hear my colleagues behind me letting out an, "oh shit" legs wanting to give out underneath me yet I was much too proud to lose all control...I am grateful to say I didn't go all the way down!!! You know, all I can do is laugh at how funny it must be to the individuals witnessing my tumbles (or in the case a near  biff)!! You'd think running would make me a little better on my feet...that has not been the case. However, I have certainly given people a funny story to tell and quite the image to recall whenever they are in need of a good laugh! 

So I am beyond excited for Dallas. I love races: the excitement, the adrenaline that you feel not only pulsing through your own blood but somehow smell it in those standing around you (or that could just be body odor...hmmm), the cheering, all of it is such an amazing experience! I can't wait for this run! It's going to be great! I sent this picture of me to my brother and sister-in-law this morning in pure joy for this trip:

Yes, mornings look great on me!!
So my challenge for the week? Eat with moderation in mind! I'm not going to limit myself to what I can and cannot eat...this is a lifestyle not a "diet" (Yuck...hate that word)! I can eat whatever I want...I just can't eat as much of whatever I want...and if I do I sure as heck better be ready to run more than a half marathon relay!! Hehe! Oh! Before I run oft I had several people ask me what cookie butter is!!! Well you may be sorry you asked because the deliciousness of it is simply mouth watering...I will write the description that is given on the jar, "a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits...spread on pancakes or waffles, peanut butter and cookie butter sandwiches, serve on ice cream, dip pretzels or celery, what don't you do with something this delicious?" I took a picture of my breakfast this morning (two poached eggs and an apple cut in half, one half with a TBSP almond butter in it and the other half with a TBSP of the cocoa/cookie butter swirl). I love cookie butter on apples and bananas...It has become my way of getting something sweet to satisfy my sweet tooth without whipping out a tub of ice cream. 

Left apple has almond butter, right apple has the cocoa/cookie butter spread...and two poached eggs with staple breakfast!!!
So that's all for now...I will try to keep you all updated on my Dallas trip...there will be lots of pictures to come!! But for now I must run, go make some New Mexican purchases (e.g. green chile, golden pride tortillas, tamales etc) for my dear siblings (aren't I such a sweet sister?!) and then I must finish packing and then I'm gonna "R-U-N-N-O-F-T"

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Is that me?!

It has been so busy I'm just trying to keep up and stay on top of everything that needs to get done before I head to Dallas! I can't believe it's almost time for me to go! I can't wait to see David and Elise and to run our half-marathon relay!! I was thinking of making team shirts for me and Elise but I'm not exactly sure what I would do...all I've come up with is a slogan for our team name, "Rapid Thigh Movement!" What is that slogan, you may ask? Well, I'm glad you asked...that would be, "Feel The Burn!" Hahaha I love it so much. Now for those of you who may be fortunate enough to have never experienced the pain of chafing let me tell you, count your blessings! There's something about the burn of chafed thighs that make you feel like you won't be able to walk straight for the rest of your life!!! Elise is creative and so it may be a project for us when I get there! (Not there yet and I'm already bossing them around...what are sisters for?!)

So at work this morning (technically yesterday morning now) I was super excited because there's a picture of me in a scrub top from around October and I am stunned by the difference I can now see. I wore that exact same scrub top this week and took a picture just so I could stare at the improvement that I could clearly see...

 This is one of the last times that I wore this scrub top because it was so tight on me...I just felt like a sausage being squeezed in the casing around it. This top was just trying to hold everything in place with every fiber and inch being pulled at the seams. I'm glad I have these pictures to look at because it is clear proof that my body is changing. This will be hard for some to understand and will sound silly to others but I'm going to share anyways. I still look in the mirror and see the 320 pound me. EVEN though I know that's not the case. When I look I still see the fat in my arms, in my stomach, and in my thighs. I cringe still because even though I know the weight is coming off I feel like I just stay the same. However, one difference that I see now when I look in the mirror and when I see these pictures is the smile on my face. In the older picture of me I see a girl who is suffocating. She's hiding behind a certificate, trying to put on a brave face and hide the pain inside. I see a girl who is afraid to share her hurt, her emotions, and her fears. I look at that picture and I feel myself holding my breath because that is how it feels to be obese...breathless. You're so entrapped in a body that you know isn't reflective of the person you are on the inside, but yet, you can't escape. 

But then I look at the pictures on the right...and I see a woman who is joyful, determined, unabashed, and set free. I see a woman who is fighting to live and to share that light and passion with the ones that surround her. I see a woman that has lost 60 pounds but gained so much more along the way...freedom, fight, determination, confidence...the list goes on and on. 

So while I still look in the mirror and feel like I'm seeing the 320 pound version of me I know that on the inside I am changing (even if I don't think that I can see it on the outside). That is why I'm so glad I have pictures to reflect and look back on and say to my brain, "YOU LIAR...I am not the same person I was in October!" This is something I have a feeling that I will struggle with for the rest of my life...but that's okay...because it's worth it!

Okay so enough of this serious talk! I'm super excited and wanted to share that today I ran two miles for the first time without stopping!!! WOOT!!! I ran it in 24 minutes! I set out on a 5 mile run today not planning to attempt running 2 miles straight, but when I started out I felt good and when I came to the point where I was supposed to walk I just wanted to keep going, I said, "no pressure, just go 'till you need to walk" (it also helped that Pandora was on a roll with their choice in music this go-round). I felt awesome after my run...and got soaked in sweat and rain along the way but it was so worth it...I sent this picture to Erika, David, and Elise telling them I felt complete euphoria after my run!

I don't know why but this always seems like the most appropriate pose!!

One more story...After my run I checked my mail and was surprised to see a box...I hadn't ordered anything that I could recall. So I opened the box and laughed so hard when I saw three containers of cookie butter! 2 months ago I remember ordering these because they were $3/3..but then they got back-ordered because they weren't in stock. Well I had completely forgot about it until I opened them up and beheld the tantalizing deliciousness before me! not try these at home...may lead to addiction!
So I may end up taking them with me to Dallas, and spreading the love with them!! Hehehe!!! I just thought how ironic it was that these showed up shortly after I murdered my last jar of cookie butter...I will say though it was not the brand pictured above that I destroyed. It was another brand that I continued to eat even though it was not nearly as satisfying and/or delicious as the above brand and I, therefore, no longer wished to waste calories on something that wasn't even as delicious as the above cookie butter!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New News!!!

It amazes me how much can change in a week! A week ago is when I last wrote a post....I didn't realize it had been that long, but I suppose time flies when you're conquering the world! So I now have a few major things to catch you all up on! 

I suppose I will begin with my weigh-in from yesterday! I was hoping to pull *maybe* 2 pounds...much to my surprise I pulled another 4 pounds...putting me at 259!!!! I felt no sorrow as I said sayonara to the 260's! I won't lie though when I say that I had to step on the scale...pick the scale up and move it around multiple times (just to make sure it wasn't an accidental reading)...finally, after I had received the same reading repeatedly I decided to quit trying to make the scale go up! This puts me at a total weight loss of 60 pounds! 

I'm working really close work schedules these next couple weeks because I will be leaving soon for Dallas and so this is where it really gets hard to get out of bed and make the most of each workout! However, each day I am determined never to give up and to always keep moving forward. I think I am really surprised by that number (259) because last week there was a day at work where a lovely patient brought chocolates as an appreciation gift to their nurses (we love it when our patients do that...hehe) but the downside is that without thinking I ate about 6 squares....and then I looked at the calories....yeah in about 1 minutes I consumed nearly 500 calories!!! I was so angry at myself, especially because I hadn't worked out that day. After I beat myself up for eating before thinking I decided, "well that really sucks...I'm going to be over my calories today!" I was over my calories, it happened, but it didn't ruin my week. (I'm slowly learning) 

Okay on to the next big news...I haven't really mentioned this a lot (just a little in my last post) but I recently completed four different interviews for the day charge nurse position on my unit. I received the news that I got the position!! :D It still blows my mind that I got this position...but I know it shouldn't because it was all clearly orchestrated by the hand of God! It is my constant prayer the God would lead me and guide me to wherever he may see fit for me and where I may best serve Him and be a light to the individuals I work with and the patients I care for. At the beginning of one of my shifts a nurse I worked with said I should consider applying for the charge position. I hadn't even considered applying for this position at that I told her I would think about it. Then that morning not one, not two, but three different people told me they thought I should apply for the position! After four people told me they thought I would be great for the job I decided to go for it...placing it all in God's hands! Four interviews later, a little crying (and slight attitude) over trying to find a blouse (that fit) for my interview, some fears and anxiety I got the news that I got the position!  If you would've told me when I graduated in August 2012 that I would be a charge nurse today I probably would've...(and in this order)...laughed, stare at you awkwardly, tell you, "don't lie" (yes, that's the New Mexican in me), go home and cry while eating a bowl of ice cream and consuming a large bag of peanut M&M's while watching extreme makeover weight loss edition! Hehehe...and I don't believe that would be an exaggeration! 

I am really excited to be able to work days and be on a normal eating/sleeping schedule! I think that exercising will always be difficult on the days that I work...but I will let you know how that goes. I didn't think that I would be starting until about mid-May, but I just got put on the schedule for mid-April! One month! 

Another big an exciting news is that we found out at work that through our insurance we are provided free gym memberships to Defined Fitness (and other gyms). This is really exciting because they have an indoor swimming pool, fitness classes, spin classes (can't wait to try one), and a crapload of lifting equipment!! Yes, I'm one happy girl right now! Such a blessing. Work is looking for fitness ambassadors and I would love to do it but I've got a ton on my plate already...maybe next year when I'm done with school and a little more comfortable in my new position!

Okay, enough of all this exciting news sharing...I'm going to bed...So I will leave you with this!!!

Girls...and Guys!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

So much to say!

What a day! I'm always so relieved on days when I'm able to get what I like to call, "a crap-load" of homework done! For those of you who may not know what a crap-load is...well allow me to define it as an overly excessive amount of _________ *you fill in the blank*! (urban dictionary helped me define that actually) 

In the middle of my school work I got a call from my mom...haha I answered and she said, "it's okay you don't have to come pick me up!" (those are always great first words to hear from my mother) She had gone on a walk and she had only planned on going a couple miles but managed to make it much farther than she had thought she would go (on the lovely bike path that goes from her house all the way up to Tramway)! She needed help trying to get her 'cardio trainer' app that I had installed on her phone to work so that she could calculate how many miles she logged! Unfortunately she wasn't able to get it to work, but because I used to scale that trail I know she was just short of 4 miles!!! After she got home she called me and told me I was never going to believe what happened on her way back! Humoring her I told her to tell me...she RAN!!! :D Mom ran the length of one trail (probably about 0.1-0.2 miles...I can't remember right now how far it is) and then she ran about half of another trail (again probably about 0.1-0.2 miles)!! She said she didn't know what overcame her but she had the urge to run..and so she did!!!

I can't tell you how exciting that is to hear. I truly believe we're all created or meant to run. That doesn't mean we are all meant to run at 7mph but there's something very freeing about letting go of all your doubts, worries, fears, and the "I cant's" and just allowing your body to run. It doesn't matter if you can only make it 5 ran! Way to go mom! 

After completing homework I tried to come up with an excuse to not go workout, grumbled, and after I was done throwing my fit I laced up my shoes and hit the gym. I couldn't let my mom show me up now could I? 5.2 miles was on the books today so I got to it. This run was very difficult for me. I just never really got in a groove, the music Pandora played for me was awful, I eventually ripped the headphones out of my ears (you know it's bad when I would rather listen to my feet pounding the belt than listening to some jams to get me going!!). When I hit 5.2 miles I thought, "well I'm almost to 6 why not!" And I ended up going 6.1 miles in 80 minutes. To keep myself motivated and the run interesting I did quite a few intervals where I run for one minute at either 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, or 7.0. So my overall time does not reflect the internal struggle I was facing. However, when I got home my body had a temper tantrum to throw of it's own. I guess that's what I get for making it do what it wasn't feeling like doing. I started to get pale (super unusual for my normal beet-red-post-workout-face), super nauseated, and light headed...I tried to eat a clementine hoping it would help me feel better, but couldn't even get half down before feeling like I was gonna blow! So I literally laid on my kitchen floor with a blanket wrapped around me and fell asleep for about an hour!

When I woke up I was still too nauseated to be able to eat anything so I sat on my couch and caught up on some social media, pinterest, and a TV know...all the important things! ;) Finally I was able to eat something! I think the cause of my nausea and light-headedness was lack of electrolytes/fluid replacement. I seriously drenched my shirt in sweat (if I wasn't so sick I would've taken a picture). I normally sweat a lot, but this was very I'm willing to bet that was the cause of my turmoil! Regardless of it all I did it and I survived!

Okay, so I have a couple more things I want to share that have been on my mind...and I work the next three nights so I don't know when I will be able to write again so this post will give you something to ponder until I get a chance to write again!! 

So I've actually had several friends this past week asking me what they should do to get on the weight loss band wagon...something I haven't shared before is what I did before I really started to lose weight. So I will share now! :D I went to google and looked up "calorie maintenance calculator" so that I could see about how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis to stay at the weight I was at! At my heaviest I was consuming about 3,000 calories a day! In November when I really decided to make a change I was consuming about 2,700 calories daily! So that meant even if I cut my calories to 1,800-2,000 calories I would be losing weight each week (without exercise)! I truly think this is one of the most eye opening things I could've done to really understand where I was at. I took a look at where I was at. How can you make a change when you don't even know where you're starting?! So I would highly encourage those of you who are thinking of trying to lose weight to go to handy dandy GOOGLE and find a website that will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you're consuming each day to stay at the weight you're at!

Okay last topic I promise!! So a few weeks ago I talked about really loving yourself in the here and now regardless of what the scale says, regardless or what others tell you, and despite the fact that some people throw their trash out the window at you! Yesterday I experienced an overwhelming amount of joy and an exceeding amount of love for myself! You know we're not perfect and life (and satan) really have a way of trying to point out our flaws and how short we fall to societies idea of what beauty is. I'm so glad I don't look to society to define me and what I should be to be considered beautiful. Each day I am learning new ways to love myself and appreciate what my body is able to do. You see your body is your best friend, not your enemy. I wish I could help everyone see the beauty that is within them and that wants to be let out and it wants to shine and scream at the world, "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY...I AM BEAUTIFUL!" I say this not just for women but for men as well. We all feel the pressure that society places on us for what is considered beautiful...I'm so thankful that God does not agree with society and what they say defines or makes us beautiful! I love that He sees our beauty even when we don't! 1 Peter 3:4 says, "You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God" So different from our beauty being defined by a certain weight, the clothes we wear, the car we drive, and the way our skin glistens in the sun light!!

So here is the picture of me sitting in silence, loving myself, and overwhelmed with the joy and peace that only comes from Jesus Christ who has shown me the beauty within me!

So stop wasting yourself here and now...because we are all beautiful, strong, and    courageous and worth being loved!