Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe it...

One year ago I was 300 pounds. I spent last Thanksgiving in Florida after having spent a week in Dallas/San Antonio cheering David on as he crushed (the ridiculously hot/humid) San Antonio Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon. I had lost (and gained) the same 20 pounds over and over going back and forth between 300 and 320 pounds. People always ask me what snapped...or what my catalyst was that caused me to finally decide to lose the weight. I wish I had an extravagant "ahhh ha" moment that I could share with y'all...but the truth is it gradually came on. What I do know, however, is that my trip to Texas/Florida was the turning point for me. I had just watched David run the Half Marathon and was so full of pride, excitement, joy, and jealousy (if I'm being honest). I wanted to know what it felt like to complete something that challenged your body..I wanted to feel pride in myself for accomplishing something few attempt.

Me (300 lbs), David, and Elise after Dave finished his San Antonio Half Marathon!
Then when I went to Florida on Thanksgiving day me, Erika, Drew, my darling nephews, David, and Elise all went on our own Turkey Trot run...I couldn't run then entire way...really I had to walk more than I could run...but my sisters were by my side encouraging me and lifting me up (even though I was so embarrassed that I could hardly run for more than a couple minutes at a time without having to stop and catch my breath). I saw the changes that running had made in my sister, Erika's life...both physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually...and I wanted that for me too. 

I recall a conversation I had with my sister one evening while I was in Florida. She was sitting and I was laying on the couch with my head in her lap and I told her how I just wished I could lose the weight for good...that I was tired of struggling and I wanted to make a change...and not just say it...but really do it. I, of course, started crying. She just held me and told me, "you can, and when you're ready you will!" and she then prayed with me and held me. 

Erika, Elise, and Me (296.7 pounds)

Erika, Me, and David 11/30/13

Then on the drive with David and Elise back to Dallas I opened up to David about my weight and my struggle with my weight. I actually told him how much I weighed! I had weighed myself in Florida and was excited because I was below 300 and at 296.7 pounds! David asked me if I had looked at how many calories I would have to consume on a daily basis to maintain the current weight I was at...which I had..and guess what? I was consuming at least 3,000 calories, daily to maintain the 300 pounds that I was at! We just talked about the mathematical part of weight loss....he said even if I decreased my calorie intake and didn't exercise I could start losing weight.

I had these conversations with my siblings...but I wasn't sure if I believed in myself...but something had changed. I didn't necessarily have to believe in myself...I just had to count my calories and move more. So. I got home from my Thanksgiving vacation and decided that I was going to give it a try...and I started to see the scale decrease. Then I started to do Zumba and then I started to walk...and then I started to run (very very slowly)..and then I walked some more because I was embarrassed of myself when I ran...and then I decided I didn't care what others thought so I ran anyways...and changes started to happen. 

I've said this before and I will say it again..motivation will last only for a fleeting moment. If you're looking for motivation you can find it anywhere and everywhere...but it doesn't last. What does last, however, is determination. You have to decide if you're worth making the changes. You have to decide if this is something that you can live with for the rest of your life...this is not a temporary change, this is not a quick fix...this is a life long deal! I have not made changes to my diet, to my lifestyle etc that I am not okay with living with for the rest of my life. Your friends and family can want you to lose weight...David and Erika wanted me to be successful...they knew I could be successful...but they couldn't do it for me. They could motivate me and encourage me...but they couldn't make my mind up for me to go out and run. They couldn't force me to eat less calories...they couldn't force me to put down the spoon when I was binging on ice cream. I had to decide it all for myself...and that's the biggest challenge when it comes to weight loss. Every day is a struggle. Every day I have to consciously decide to make wise decisions...and when I don't make wise decisions...when I binge or slack off...I have to decide to get back on track.

It's not easy..but what I can say is that thankful doesn't even begin to describe the way it feels when you succeed. I'm beyond thankful for Erika and David for believing in me. I'm thankful for my parents and siblings that have encouraged me, motivated me, and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I'm thankful for the love my friends and family showed me when I didn't love myself. I'm thankful for the hands that have held my hand when I've felt afraid, alone, and frightened. I'm thankful for the tissues that have been handed to me to dry my tears. I'm thankful for the relationship with food I have, it's complicated...but we're working things out! :D I'm so thankful for running and what it has taught me about life. Running has taught me that I'm stronger than I think, that even when I feel like I can't go any farther..I can push and go farther than I could've imagined. Running has taught me that if you're feeling breathless it's probably because you're not breathing...breathe! 

So if you're feeling like you don't think you can tackle whatever you may be struggling with...well I can tell you until I'm blue in the face that you can...and you will...but not until you're ready. Not until you've decided that you are going to...not until you're determined to see it through to the end. So with that being said I'll share some awesome pictures of me and my sisters from this mornings Turkey Trot! It was the perfect morning for a 5k and I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else! The tutus were a hit...we were complimented on them frequently! I'm so proud of Olivia and Amanda for how far they've come. It was also fun today to have my step-sister, Larissa join us on our run today! My dad and his wife also completed the 5k!! It was a wonderful morning! So ready or come the pictures:

Pre-Race: Olivia, Amanda, Me

Less than 0.2 miles left!! Me, Amanda, Larissa, and Olivia

Larissa, Olivia, Amanda, Me!!! <3

Me and my dad...proud of him!

Dad, Laura, Larissa, Me, Amanda, Olivia

Larissa, Me, Amanda, and Olivia!! Good time girls...good time!
Hiney picture!! Hahaha

Sassy Sisters! <3

You know you wanna run with us!

Amanda and the AWESOME Brooks bag of goodies she won!

We may have had a little fun taking pictures this morning!

Selfie time...

Results of the selfie!!

Awesome Amanda

Outstanding Olivia!

Magnificent Maggie 
Marvelous Momma!
Okay I'll stop there with the pictures...not that I don't have more to share...but I know there's only so much that others desire to see! :) I hope you all had a great day with loved ones...I hope you enjoyed the food...enjoyed the company...and enjoyed this post! Happy Thanksgiving! 

*and don't forget how much can change in a year when you put you set your mind to tackle a're stronger than you feel...and you are worth the fight*

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weigh-In....before the holidays begin!

So this past week clearly helped in this weeks weight loss. Today I weighed in at 201.6 so that puts me down 4.8 pounds this week. Yay for getting closer and closer to the 100's! I really want to try to get to or below 200 this next pressure Thursday right?! If anything it motivates me to stay on track. 

I was reminding my lovely sisters that each of us is in charge and solely responsible for what we put in our mouths. I know in the past I have shoveled food into my mouth, even though I'm beyond full, just because I feel like I have to. STOP! Just because it's set before you and on the table does not mean that you need to eat it! They're called leftovers for a reason! They're not going anywhere! Eat what you need..and then put down the fork and be satisfied with what you've consumed and stop eating to the point of physical anguish. Now I know this is all so much easier said than done. I still have binges where I eat myself into a state of physical pain and then regret it so I eat some more...but there are ways to try and avoid this from happening. What do I attempt to do? Drink lots of water! Eat slowly...and really try to taste the food you're eating. I know I'm guilty regularly of eating something and not even knowing how it tasted. Get a small plate and portion out small servings. Go for a walk (drag the family along with you...goodness knows we all need it may stave off the awkward conversation you don't want to have with your family as to why you're still single..hehehe too much awesomeness to handle...just saying). 

If you want to eat like a piggy (like I frequently do)...just remember how long you'll have to run to burn all those calories!! According to this article the average American consumes 3,000-4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day! That is literally 3 days worth of calories for me...side note: I'm currently intaking about 1,500 calories/day!  If I haven't opened your eyes enough yet then this article here says, "According to the Mayo Clinic, a person weighing 160 pounds, jogging at about 5 miles per hour, will burn 606 calories per hour. To zero out your 4,000 calorie meal, you're going to have to jog for six hours and 36 minutes. That translates to 33 miles of jogging. So, you're going to run a marathon, and then keep going for another few miles like it's no big deal."'s your body and the truth is I can tell you all of that and you're going to do what you want to do...regardless of what I have to say! :D So I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving with their loved ones and hope it is a joyous time of fellowship with one another.

In other quick UTI is quickly getting better and aside from allergies I'm feeling much better. That means I GOT TO RUN TODAY! Yeah baby! I don't know if I'm the only runner that does this but all last week all that I could think of was how much conditioning I was losing not being out and exercising. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to even make it a mile without walking...ha! (Side note: I'm glad I took the time off and totally recommend allowing your body to heal and taking it easy while you're sick...that means you'll get better faster and be able to start working out sooner) Thankfully that was not the case whatsoever and my body clearly remembered what to do. *much to my relief and shock* I got out and ran 4.14 miles in 48:36:8 which was an 11:45 pace! I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a run like was freezing cold (okay technically it wasn't was 45 degrees)...I hardly sweat...and I enjoyed every minute of it! 

Prior to can see the excitement!

Post-Run...yeah for cold weather = no sweat!
I'm really excited for the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning with my sisters! Today I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased 40 yards of tule to make tutus for me and my sisters to wear!! OH YEAH!!! I'm a little (EXTREMELY) excited. So I will leave you all with may visualize me in a tutu...hahaha...and I will write again soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Squeeze a little tighter!

I know it has been a couple weeks since I last updated y' my sincerest apologies. This last week as been a series of unfortunate events and I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from around the corner and say, "You've been punk'd!" That has not happened, however, and I know that sometimes we just have to work with what we're given. With that being said I'll give you my last two weeks weigh-ins. 11/10/2014 I weighed in at 209.6 so I had lost 4 pounds that week (thankfully) and then this past monday 11/17/2014 I weighed in at 206.4 so that put me down another 3.2 pounds. It has been a good couple I can't complain about that. 

*warning graphic story to ensue...please do not read if you become faint at the talk of farting, stooling, diarrhea, or any other bodily function topics that may not have been mentioned*

Monday I attempted going for a run and a mile into my run I went to let out what I thought was some innocent "runners gas" and totally sharted in my pants! :( The utter surprise that must've been on my face as I freeze in my steps waiting for me to wake up from this abhorrent nightmare...alas I do not wake up and am now keenly aware of the warmth in my pants. I had to turn around and strategically place each foot as I walk with the utmost care to insure I don't have a brown trail start running down my leg. Now let me say first, I'm so thankful that for whatever reason I decided to wear underwear on this run (my running pants have underwear liners in them so underwear is extra baggage normally). Secondly I'm thankful I was wearing tights and not loose fitting clothes (this of course helped keep things mostly in one place). Third, I'm ever grateful for the fact that I was wearing black and not any other color that may have shown that I had just crapped my pants! I can only imagine what I looked like walking slowly yet frantically home! Oh my..yes...well little did I know I had a bug brewing in my system.

Tuesday and Wednesday I had to call out to work since I was on the toilet with diarrhea and even ended up throwing up a couple was a near death experience...but I survived to tell of my sharting horror! ;) On top of all of that I also have a lovely urinary tract infection that I'm trying to rid myself of! So with all of that said I haven't been on a run at all for almost a week and it has been killing me..I also haven't been that hungry...and Wednesday morning I weighed myself just to see how much weight I had lost after that horrid diarrhea and I was down to 200.4! :D Hey this would all be worth it if it got me below 200...NOT! Definitely the WORST way to EVER lose weight. So with that being said I'm not sure what my weigh in on Monday will reveal but I'm not likely to trust it! :) Although I'm much more hydrated now (trying to drink lots and lots of water...and disgusting cranberry juice...oh the empty calories) I still don't know how accurate my weigh-in will be...but we shall see and carry-on as always!

All that I care is that I'm well enough to run the Turkey Trot 5k this Thursday...I can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone? I'm trying to convince my sister to dress up with me for the run! I found this adorable pin on pinterest and found this cute costume idea...I, of course, want to be the turkey:

photo credit: picture taken from pinterest...I don't know these people or own this photo..but I love their costumes!! 
Whatever we decide a picture will be sure to be snapped and shared on this blog! Prayers for healing are appreciated and hopefully I'll be back out on the trail once my body can tolerate it...which I hope is soon because I'm going through withdrawal. I'm jealous because my sisters keep sending me pictures of them on their runs this week and all that I want is to be out there running with them! Olivia and Amanda, I'm so proud of you two for making a commitment to yourselves and keeping your word. It's not easy and it doesn't happen over night and you're the only person who can get out there and do it...but let me tell you...boy is it worth it! I love hearing your stories of improvement and the progress you're both making. I love our runs together and hope to be hitting the pavement with y'all again soon!! Here are a couple pictures before I go:

Olivia, Adrian, Me, Ezra, and Amanda after a 4 mile run
Amanda halfway through her run

Olivia getting her run on *IN THE SNOW*!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

TTFN...Ta Ta For Now

Well the last of my Half Marathon party has left. Erika and my two youngest nephews took off in their van today for their drive back to Florida. I'm so thankful for everyone that took the time and put in the effort to make it out to Albuquerque for the Half Marathon! I hate the silence that now lingers in the air that was filled with laughter, tears, jokes, and noise mere hours ago...alas there is no hiding from it...only facing the reality and moving forward. The truth is I need to get back to a routine. I definitely let things slide the last few weeks and instead of being closer to "one-derland", Monday's weigh-in had me at 213.6! Yikes! So with that being said as sad as I am to see everyone leave it's now time for me to get back on track and buckle down for this next phase of my training.

While everyone was out here I allowed myself the pleasure of indulging in snacks and larger meals than I had been and honestly I don't like the way it has made me feel. I haven't really counted my calories for the last few weeks and my weight gain is evidence of that. A part of me feels guilty but then another part of me is thankful because its a good reminder of how fast we can go backwards and how it makes you feel when your caloric intake is more than you need...For me personally when I eat more than is necessary I feel: bloated, guilty, sluggish, and just all around "blah"! So with that having been said time to crack the whip and get back on track and pull out the myfitnesspal app and get back on target. 

I'm trying to decide what I want to do as far as training for this next half marathon. I really liked the training plan David and I came up with with the help from I felt so prepared and ready for the Duke I'm thinking I will continue with that training plan for the Dallas Half Marathon. Oh, I must correct myself from my last post. For whatever reason I keep saying the Dallas Half is in May...but it is in March! My bad! I'd like to say I won't make that mistake again...but truth is I probably will. I'm extremely excited to say that my sisters Olivia and Amanda are wanting to join in on the running fun and are on board to run the Half in Dallas with Me, David, and Erika! I need to have someone run the relay with Elise (we did the relay together last year and had a blast)!! I'm so proud and excited to see Olivia and Amanda start running! 

Olivia with less than a mile left on her 9 mile run!!!

She was amazing!!

Amanda crushing her run!!

Look at the smile on her face!!

I love watching people find the motivation and determination to start taking care of their bodies. No, it is not an easy journey. If it was we'd all be doing it! As Chris Powell says to his clients, "Ordinary people don't do this...EXTRAORDINARY people do!!" And how true that is!! Yes, some days really suck. Yes, sometimes you hurt really bad. Yes, some days you really screw up. But: Yes, it's worth the pain! Yes, each day is a new day to start fresh! Yes, eventually the pain subsides! Yes, Eventually you get better! Yes, the results are worth it...but more than that, Yes, YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! So keep it up Olivia and Amanda...and to all my friends that have written me or talked in person with me about their weight loss are extraordinary! You are worth this battle! You're worth fighting for! You're worth getting fit for! 

Alright, before this gets too long I'm just going to share one last bit. I did several hikes with Erika while she was out here and realized how much I not only love hiking but how much I love trail running! I'm thinking on some of my runs I may incorporate trail runs into my training! It has truly been a blast and such a gorgeous distraction from what can sometimes become mundane scenery when you're running the same path every single day! So, it looks like I'm going to need to invest in some trail running shoes!!! YAY!! Here are some pictures from our different hikes...we went to Sandia Peak, Atalaya Mountain (in Santa Fe), and Tent Rocks...and yes I wore the same orange top for all three hikes!!! ;) 

Sandia Mountain:

Atalaya Mountain:

Tent Rocks:

So that's the latest and greatest! Hoping to report good news on my Monday weigh-in! So I will say to you what I had to say this morning to my sister: TTFN...Ta ta for now!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Afterglow: Duke City Half Marathon Report

I've been relishing in the afterglow of completing my first half marathon! It was truly the greatest experience! My training was just what I needed, friends and family surrounded me, and the weather couldn't have been better. I've been savoring the sweet taste of pride and success upon keeping this commitment to myself...and honestly I haven't wanted to write about it because that somehow makes it seem like it's over...even though we both know that's far from the truth! So, then, where do I begin?! Well I'll pick up from where I left off in my last post...I was in Dallas!!

Erika, Drew and the kiddos showed up Tuesday evening in Dallas Giving us a little time to explore the area before driving back to ABQ. So here's a quick look at what we did:

Got up at 0545 to go for a 4-mile run

Checked out the amazing Dallas Arboretum!

So many pumpkins!! <3

Played with the nephews!

Kicked some booty in the gym with Erika!
And all too fast it was time to head home..but that only meant we were getting closer to race day and the entire family being in town!! I'm so glad I was able to make a trip back to Dallas. Last November is when this weight loss journey really took launch and Erika and David have played such a huge part in encouraging, inspiring, and motivating me!

So in the blink of an eye the entire family had made their way into town...Erika, Drew, and kids from Florida, David & Elise from Texas, and John & Lauren from Illinois! When we're all together we look a little something like this:

Olivia, Erika, Lauren, Adrian, John, David, Elise and me!

Ander, Erika, Abbie, Andrik, Sam and me

Family Selfie!

Me, David, Mom, Abbie, Amanda, Ben, Elise, John, Lauren, Ezra, Laura, Dad, Olivia, Andrik, Sam, Adrian, Drew, Erika, and Ander! Yes, that's everyone!
 It was truly wonderful having everyone together again! Even if it was for a fleeting moment I will cherish it forever. Before we knew it, it was Saturday evening and time to get ready for the run in the morning...this, of course, involved going through all the loot we acquired at the Expo! I got 2 free t-shirts (in addition to my race shirt) at this expo so that was really cool!! Here's a picture of all the goodies I collected:

Saturday evening we headed off to bed and Sunday morning came before I knew what hit me!
This was me before 1/2 marathon relay in Dallas at 259 lbs


210 pounds and about to run the entire 13.1!

In the Car waiting in traffic

Ben and Amanda waiting in traffic too!!

We had planned on getting to the race by 0600 but because of a late leave and traffic we ended up getting there with just enough time to pee, wave hello to everyone, and jump into the run (literally)! I was a little stressed out, if I'm being honest because I didn't want to be late but looking back it worked out for the better because I never really had time to be nervous about the run...we just took off!

Just getting started!!!

I didn't take that many pictures in the morning, before, or during the run...but thankfully David and Erika made up for my slacking! The first four miles flew by and I felt really good...I had my first energy gel Gu (espresso love because David said it was amazing...and it was) at mile 4. I wore my hydration belt (water bottle holder) because I didn't know how many hydration stations they would have...I'm really glad that I did! 

Almost to the halfway point...notice the photo-bomber behind Erika!!

Before I knew it we were at the turn around point! My dear friend Krystal and her momma were at the halfway point holding up signs for me which was amazing and super encouraging to see them! At mile 8 I had another Gu (jet blackberry..delicious) and started to feel a little sore in my right knee but other than that I felt good. Miles 7-10 seemed to take a little longer, even though we maintained a pretty consistent pace the entire way through!

At one point I had to looking over my shoulder (being sure not to spit on someone like I had accidentally done before in Dallas) I made sure the coast was clear. There was no one directly behind me so I went ahead and spat...well shortly after that this guy passes and says, "Thanks a lot!" I know that I did not shower him with my saliva...but he seemed to think I was spitting at him or being intentionally rude even though I truly wasn't! So be forewarned...if you ever run with me...I spit!

2.1 miles left!

Anyways, before I knew it we were at miles 10, 11, 12, and 13!! At about mile 11 a woman came from behind us and said, "I'm joining your group" we then informed her she was welcome and had made a wise decision...Erika then told her that we were celebrating my weight loss...I told her how much I have lost and she was super excited. So we all chatted together for a while. She told us how she had walked with a man for a bit who had hurt his knee or ankle and so she stayed with him until he was able to continue on by himself. That was really cool to hear! Don't you just love how loving (null the rude man who passed me ;] ) other runners are?! That's one of the many reasons I love running! I learned her name is Kathryn! She ran with us until about mile 12 and then she fell behind a bit. There was never a doubt in my mind that I'd be able to complete the run..but something happened at my 12. I realized that I was doing this: I made a promise to myself and I kept it. No one else went out and did the training for me. No one else ran when I didn't feel like going. No one else forced me to run when I'd rather sleep after getting off work...I promised myself I would do this..and I did.

1 mile left

About 0.5 miles left!!

 I was able to hold my emotions together until about 0.3 miles were left and you started hearing the cheering. I was starting to run faster and all my emotions were catching up with me! As we rounded the corner where the finish line was in site dad was there waiting to run the last bit with us (and that's a man who doesn't like to run)!! 

Dad, Me, random man in green, David, Abbie, Billy (thanks Erika for the awesome picture)!!

It was all I could do to draw in each breath as I started to cry with an overwhelming since of pride, joy, and excitement...and then it got worse when I saw my entire family (WITH AMAZING SIGNS)...all lined up cheering for me and my siblings!! 

I had no idea they had made signs!!

Touched my heart to read their inspirational thoughts!!! :D

Now if that's not love I don't know what is!! <3

It is a moment I don't think I will ever forget! I finished the whole 13.1 miles in 2:36:09 an 11:55 pace!! :D I am super happy with that finish time! My goal was to finish in under three hours and ultimately by I beat both of those goals!!


Billy, Abbie, Me, Drew, Erika, and David!!

 After we finished my calves were really tight so I just tried to stretch them out and rub it was only painful for about 10 minutes then they eased up. Maybe 15 minutes after finished Kathryn, the lady we had ran with had finished and she came up to me and said, "Thanks for sharing your story, you really touched me! I'm so proud of you" and she started to cry! It was so sweet to hear that from someone I didn't even know. You never know where you're going to make an impact!

Dad, Ben, and Amanda all completed the Duke City 10K!!! I am super proud of them for getting out there and completing their 10K even though they didn't get to train like they would've hoped to. The fact that they kept their commitment and did it makes me super proud and excited for them! 

Everyone except Sam and Ander!
So now you've heard it! First half marathon done...a million more ahead of me! Next one on the calendar is the Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon in Dallas in May 2015!! It sounds like more of my siblings may want to join in on this run we may have another family extravaganza on our hands in the near future. A year ago if you would've told me that I'd run a half marathon I probably would've laughed in your I see I'm capable of so much! I love it...and I don't want to stop!! So if you're sitting there reading this thinking you don't have it within you to complete promises you've made to yourself I'm here to call it...BS!!

"You're braver than you believe
and stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think!"
- Christopher Robin

Alright I'm almost done...I just wanted to share a couple more pictures...Saturday evening I had said to my siblings, "dang it I didn't get stuff to make posters!" and that was pretty much it...apparently what I didn't know is that I had been secretly totting around my own posters in my car and they had made them right under my nose without me noticing!! Thanks Elise (and Elise's coworkers who helped make amazing signs) and David (and Ben and Amanda for letting David and Elise use your printer) for putting together some amazing signs for me! You guys are awesome!!

If you're from NM you'll appreciate the poster on the right!!

This poster is extra special because David and I learned how to twerk like this ice cream cone that is featured in Katy Perry's music video, "This is how we do!"

Katy Perry Music Video ft twerking ice cream cone

Alright, that's all I've got for now! Will write soon about the fun I've had hiking with my sisters! :D