Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Breathing is Fundamental {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 214
Weekly Change: none
Overall Change: -5 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 209
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 1 :-(
Total Running Time: About 30 min.
Total Running Distance: 2.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 30 min./2.5 miles (no walking!)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I am have stalled in week 3 of this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 50 push ups and 100 crunches (halfway to my goal!!)
Highest Daily Step Count: unknown
Injury Report: This week it's an illness report. My cough kept getting worse and worse, causing me to miss two days of work and stop exercising entirely. There was one day where I didn't even log 1000 steps on my pedometer because I barely moved from the couch all day!! I'm back at work now but still coughing and still pretty miserable. I hope to feel better soon but I can't even guess when that will be. :-(
Last Week's Goal(s): Hmm. Well, I stuck to one piece of cake per day, so I guess I did accomplish one goal.
Next Event Goal: As soon as I register for the first 5K I've chosen, I'll list it here, but for now my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run at least once. (2) Register for my next 5K. (3) GET BETTER.

Analysis: It has been a real bummer to be sick for the past week. I had some good momentum going with my running, and I'm worried it will be difficult to resume whenever I am well enough to try. And I hate not being able to take advantage of all the inspiration the Olympics provided me. I hope I can keep those memories fresh in my mind so they can still motivate me later! It seems like things were really moving along great, and then suddenly everything has been flipped upside down. My bike was stolen, so it may be quite a while before I ride again. And my pool is about to shut down for three weeks for its annual cleaning and maintenance. Given how crappy I still feel, I'm not sure I'll get one last swim in before that happens. UGH. I'm not happy about how things are going at the moment, but I am confident that this is only temporary. I set my goals small for this week so as not to discourage myself any further. Hopefully next week I'll be feeling 100% better and at least can get back to attacking my runs!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First Five Gone {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 214
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -5 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 209
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 6 (3 run, 2 swim, 1 bike)
Total Running Time: About 1 hour and 15 min.
Total Running Distance: about 6 miles.
Longest Single Run: 25 min./2.0 miles (no walking!)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I am starting week 3 of this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 49 push ups and 98 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 14,766 steps
Injury Report: Still doing the ice & ibuprofen after running, and it's still working. Pain is minimal, though it does randomly appear from time to time. I've also had a little pain return to the old busted toe. I'm still waiting for that toenail to come completely off eventually...
Last Week's Goal(s): I think I can say that I accomplished all of my goals last week! I definitely completed #1 and #2. I am fairly certain I've completed #3 as well, but I haven't taken the next step of actually registering for the races I've chosen, so I don't know if it counts.
Next Event Goal: As soon as I register for the first 5K I've chosen, I'll list it here, but for now my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run at least twice, and swim and bike once each. (2) Register for my next 5K. (3) Don't eat more than one piece of cake per day.

Analysis: You may have noticed that I achieved my first mini-weight-loss goal, which was the highlight of my week! It has taken me SO LONG to finally get those first five pounds off, and it's particularly gratifying to accomplish it after making a determined effort to start focusing on my weight. I set a new mini goal -- another five pounds -- and I still have my sights set on the goal for my photo challenge. For this week, though, I didn't include losing another pound as one of my top three goals. I'm fighting a cough, which might interfere with my workouts, and there is a ton of birthday cake in my house (CAKE!!!!!), so I have a feeling this might be an off week. There's no sense in setting myself up for failure, so I'll just try to maintain my weight for now and aim for another loss next week!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Not Winning But Taking Part" {Inspiration of the Week}

If you know me at all, you should not be surprised that I'm posting about the Olympics again. Just count yourself lucky that this is only the second Olympic post so far, after nearly a week of competition!

The Olympic Games provide me with an endless source of inspiration, but today I'd like to focus on the people we don't see too much on NBC's main coverage. I'm talking about the athletes who are both not American and not very good. Well, I should clarify: I mean "not very good" by Olympic standards. I'm certain the slowest swimmer, runner, and cyclist could all lap me on my best day! But within the realm of athletes actually competing in these Games, there can be a pretty wide discrepancy of talent between the best and the ones who are lucky just to be there.

I love these little-known, little-seen athletes. They compete only in the earliest rounds of competition and rarely make it anywhere near a medal stand. They probably know from the start that they don't have much chance of winning, and yet they train as best they can and show up at the Olympics ready to give it their all while representing their countries. We tend to be myopic and focus only on the competitors from the powerhouse countries who send tons of elite athletes to these Games, but what we may not realize is that about half of the more than 200 participating countries send fewer than 10 athletes each. Some of these small teams happen to be among the top in the world at their sports, but many more have won their greatest contest just in earning a spot in the Games. To me, each one of these athletes is as much an Olympian as any gold medalist -- even Michael Phelps himself.

With a little over a week left in these Olympics, I challenge you to catch some of these athletes in action -- the ones who do it for the love of sport and not for the glory that comes with winning medals. You'll probably have to watch some live coverage online or on your smartphone in order to find them, because they're unlikely to make the mainstream coverage unless they unexpectedly emerge as stars for some reason. Watch them put forth their best effort, appreciate their commitment, and resolve to put that same degree of effort into the things you do -- the things that won't bring you glory but will change your life for the better if you take them on like an Olympian.

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, best expressed what I'm trying to say here: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

Fight well, my friend. Fight well every day, and you will be the champion of your own life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Steady Progress {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 215
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214 (Even though I have a new "big" weight goal I'm working toward, I will still have mini-goals along the way!)
BMI: 31.3(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 5 (3 run, 2 swim)
Total Running Time: About 1 hour and 13 min.
Total Running Distance: about 6 miles.
Longest Single Run: 27 min./2.25 (no walking!)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I am starting week 2 of this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 46 push ups and 92 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 17,138 steps
Injury Report: The ice and ibuprofen seem to be helping with my leg pain. It hasn't been as bad this week, even with a full running schedule. I will keep up the same routine and see how it goes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Ack, I came so close to completing all three goals this week! I did run and swim at least twice each, but I didn't find time to get on the bike this weekend. I did lose another pound, and I did take my "before" pictures and blog about my photo challenge. I'd call that a pretty successful week!
Next Event Goal: I need to make a decision on at least one 5K tomorrow, so I might have something to add here next week, but for now my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run and swim at least twice each, and bike once. (2) Lose at least one more pound, which would mean hitting my first mini weight loss goal. (3) Make a decision about some fall 5K's.

Analysis: I don't have a whole lot to say about this past week -- it was a good one! My three runs were increasingly long and strong. My swims were still awkward, but it will take a while to get back into my groove in the water. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't ride my bike, but it couldn't be helped -- I was too busy watching lots of other people ride THEIR bikes...through the streets around London, to be precise. Once the Olympics are over, I'll have a little more free time for my own athletic endeavors. It felt good to lose another pound, but I don't think I will feel confident about it until I lose another one or two and start seeing the numbers consistently go down. I'm excited to keep working at it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watch This!! {Five on Friday}

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I'm a huge Olympics junkie. Ever since the summer of 1984, the Olympics have been very special to me!

Tonight the Games of the XXX Olympiad get underway in London, and here are five events I can't wait to watch!

1. Equestrian, especially the show jumping. I was horse crazy as a kid and never fully outgrew it.

2. Swimming. Phelps. Lochte. Speedos. I'm in.

3. Gymnastics. The first Olympic sport I remember watching...sweet nostalgia!

4. Soccer. Go USA women's team!!

5. Marathon. I like the other running events too, but there is just something special about an Olympic marathon.

Which sports are you excited to watch?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Extreme Motivation {Inspiration of the Week}

Have you seen Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? If not, you should check it out. In each episode, trainer Chris Powell takes one morbidly obese person and works with him or her for an entire year to lose weight and make huge lifestyle changes.

I love this show because it's truly about these people's journeys to better health, and Chris works hard to help them succeed. There is none of the game-playing, manipulating, backstabbing drama that you find on other reality shows, so this became a great replacement for me after I quit watching The Biggest Loser.

The stories are incredibly inspirational...when I watch other people overcome the obstacles in their lives, I can't help but feel empowered to overcome my own! In one episode this season, there was a man who broke up with his fiance, was homeless, and suffered the death of his son, all within the year when he was supposed to be losing weight and getting healthy. I would not have blamed him one little bit for giving up, even for a little while, but he never did. He understood that his health was too important to let life get in the way, and he stayed the course. How can I complain about all the silly things I use as excuses to skip workouts or eat junk?

I've been watching this season all this week, and it's really helping me get in the right frame of mind for this stage of my journey. I'm making more of an effort to lose weight, and I'm running through some pain, and I've just added biking...I need to keep this momentum going! Thinking of the courage and tenacity of the people Chris has helped transform is driving me to keep up my hard work.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Chris Powell is pretty cute. :) So, you know, if that's the sort of thing that inspires you, that's another reason to check out this show. It airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on ABC and the next new episode is August 4th.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worth a Thousand Words {Wordy Wednesday}

After I decided to increase my focus on weight loss, I started comtemplating ways to motivate myself. Shame seemed like a decent option.

I thought of how humbling it must be for obese participants on shows like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition to get on the scale wearing very little clothing, revealing not only an embarrassingly high weight, but also a gruesome visual image of how that number translates into physical appearance. I admire their courage for putting themselves out there, and wondered if I should do the same. Maybe forcing myself to face my reality and show it to others would be just the kick in the pants I need to really get serious here.

Or maybe not.

I've been pretty open and honest about even the most unpleasant parts of my journey here, but actually showing everyone how gross my body looks might be a step too far out of my comfort zone. While I was weighing (pun intended! ha! I love puns.) my options, a friend gave me a suggestion that I've decided to use.

I'm calling this my Photo Challenge, and this is how it works:

*My husband took some icky "before" shots of me this week, complete with ginormous belly hanging out in all its (grotesque) glory.

*Those pictures are being kept private for the time being, and will remain so, provided that I meet a weight loss goal I am setting for myself.

*My first major weight loss goal is 9 pounds in 12 weeks. I chose 207 as my first goal weight because it was the lowest post-baby weight I achieved last summer before I started gaining again in the fall. I'm counting the 12 weeks from last Friday, so I need to be at or below 207 pounds by October 12th.

*If I meet my goal, I can choose to either destroy the "before" photos, or post them alongside a much more appealling "after" photo.

*If I do NOT meet my goal, I will post the photos as is, and suffer the embarrassment of not doing what needed to be done.

If this challenge works well as a motivator, I might continue to use these scary photos as incentive to set and meet new weight loss goals. I'm generally not big on being this specific about losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date, but the lack of specificity has not been working for me this time around. If I had been losing weight steadily (even if it were slowly), I wouldn't need to do this. But I simply haven't been getting the job done, so I have to try as many new approaches as it takes to succeed. I made this first goal VERY attainable -- less than a pound per week! There is really no viable excuse for me not to be able to do this. Game on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour de Ouch {Tuesday Tips}

Sunday marked a huge milestone for me -- I finally rode a bike again for the first time in many many years! And since being able to ride a bike is sort of a prerequisite for participating in a triathlon, this was a necessary step on my overall journey here.

Practicing on the sidewalk until I got less wobbly:

Posing with a smile. Glad I took this pic before my workout, because by the end I was not so smiley...

Steady enough to venture into the street!

So how did it go? Well, in a nutshell, it hurt! I can definitely see why triathletes have such amazing physiques -- each event works a completely different set of muscles! I already knew this was true of running and swimming, but I was surprised to discover aches in all kinds of brand-new places as I rode along on my bike. And then there is also the seat...is there any piece of athletic equipment LESS comfortable than a bicycle seat? Yikes!!

Here is where I need some tips: How can I make biking hurt less??? I am limited by a few significant factors:
1. Biking is my lowest priority for right now, behind running and swimming, so I'm not going to be investing much money or time into it just yet.
2. My bike is a random mountain bike that the previous owners of my house left behind when they moved. It's not ideal for my fitness goals, but it's just going to have to do for now, so any issues that could be solved by getting a better bike will have to be solved in other ways.

I'm interested in any sorts of stretches, yoga poses, or simple strength-training exercises that I could do throughout the week to better prepare my muscles for my weekend rides. I'm also REALLY interested in any suggestions for making the seat less painful. It hurt to sit upright all day yesterday, and I'm still a little sore today. And I only rode three miles my first time out. Someone suggested padded shorts...do they work? Are they the only solution? HELP!!!!!

I'll close with a pic of my almost-seven-year-old son totally showing me up on his bike. He learned to ride without training wheels this summer, and Sunday was the first day he attempted it on the concrete. He's a cautious kid and had only been riding in our yard thus far, so this was a big step for him. We shared our important milestones together, and it was fun! Also, he was WAY less wobbly than I was. :)



Monday, July 23, 2012

Cautiously Pessimistic {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 216
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: forgot to measure, probably still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3 (1 run, 1 swim, 1 bike)
Total Running Time: 21 min.
Total Running Distance: 1.75 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75 (with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm switching from my Couch to 5K plan to this 10K training plan
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 43 push ups and 86 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 14,414 steps
Injury Report: Last week I had some mild calf pain that seemed too inconsequential to even mention here. Then I ran again, and it got worse. I decided to rest a few days to nip the problem in the bud, but the pain hasn't gone away entirely. I am concerned. There is pain in both legs, in slightly different yet similar places. It hurts when I walk, and sometimes even when I'm sitting still. Now that I've officially registered for an October 10K, I'm afraid to rest too much when I should be training, but I'm also afraid of ending up with a real injury that keeps me from the race completely. I guess my plan at the moment is to try running this week, and use ice and ibuprofen to cope with any pain that appears post-workout. If it keeps getting worse throughout the week, I'll go back to resting next week. Hoping and praying for the best possible outcome!
Last Week's Goal(s): I rode my bike!!! I really did!!! And now I need to ask for advice, so I'll write all about that tomorrow in Tuesday Tips. Meanwhile, I also lost a pound, so that's another goal accomplished. It may have just been a pound of retained water, but I'll take any loss I can get at this point. I guess I went 2 for 3, because I didn't manage to take a "before" photo and post about my photo plan. Keep an eye out for that this coming week!
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's (on the verge of registering for a couple but afraid to commit the money while I'm having leg pain!), so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Run and swim at least twice each, and bike once. (2) Lose at least one more pound. (3) Take a "before" picture and write a post about the photo plan.

Analysis: I'm back to struggling with mornings again, and having leg pain and the pool closed for four days for a swim meet didn't help any. It would have been nice to complete more than three workouts, but at least my work walking challenge keeps me somewhat active on the days when I don't get in any sustained exercise. Right now the biggest thing going on is my paranoia over my leg pain. I'm so afraid of injuring myself that it's all I can think about at the moment!! I should be rejoicing in taking a big step along this journey by getting on the bike yesterday, and I should also be working harder at weight loss, but mostly I'm just worrying. I really hope I can have a good run with minimal pain tomorrow morning to restore my confidence and allow me to refocus my mental energy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An App for This and That {Tuesday Tips}

My dinosaur days are behind me -- I finally got a smartphone! Naturally, I'm exploring the wild and wonderful world of apps.

Already I've started using MapMyFitness, which I can use to log walks, runs, bike rides, swims, and even my push ups and crunches. I can use the GPS to track me outside, or just enter the info from a treadmill run after the fact. I know there are many other features of the program too, but I haven't had a chance to explore them all yet.

I like the app so far, and I think it will suit my needs. However, I'm still curious about what other health & fitness-related apps are out there. What do you use? What do you like about it, and what do you dislike? Does it make it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals? Do you tend to post workout info from your phone to websites like Facebook?

If you also use MapMyFitness, do you have any tips for me? Are there any features I should try out, or any I should avoid?

Thanks for sharing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

One Foot in Front of the Other... {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217
Weekly Change: +1 (but I'm pretty sure it's just bloat)
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.6(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: forgot to measure, probably still 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 4 (3 runs, 1 walk)
Total Running Time: 72 min.
Total Running Distance: 6 miles
Longest Single Run: 24 min./2m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 12 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 42 push ups and 84 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 15, 215 steps
Injury Report: No injuries of note at the moment, but a mild stomach bug is making life difficult.
Last Week's Goal(s): Okay, technically my husband accomplished my first goal for me, getting my bike functional. However, I decided to run instead of ride on Saturday, and then spent Sunday rather ill, so I still haven't actually ridden the bike. One step at a time... As for goal number 2, I'm not sure if I've come up with much of a strategy other than just to start paying attention to what I eat again, and make better choices most of the time. It's mostly about changing my mentality. If that counts as a strategy, then I accomplished that as well. And I also wrote three blog posts, so overall the week was a success!
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's (though I currently have at least 2 in mind), so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Actually ride the bike at least once. (2) Lose at least one pound. (3) Take a "before" picture and write a post about the photo plan.

Analysis: I wish I had a good excuse for not swimming last week, but I don't. I just couldn't drag my lazy butt out of bed those mornings. I think I made up for it with my runs, though! Not only did I manage to get up early to run during the week, but I also toughed out a miserable afternoon run on Saturday! And in doing so, I reminded myself why I only run outside at the crack of dawn in the summer. I am NOT a good hot weather runner. It took a lot of walking to get me through my whole workout, but I never gave up! I'm also proud of managing to run the whole 24 min./2 miles once this week without walking. That was Thursday's run, and it felt fantastic! Even though I verbally committed to a new focus on weight loss, I didn't really put that new focus into practice too much, but I'm working on that hardcore this week, so hopefully I'll have something to report in my next update!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Do I Need More Stuff? {Saturday Shopper}

If all goes well (and the weather improves), today I will go for my first bike ride in a long, long time. FINALLY.

I think I have everything I need for this first ride. I have a bike, which thanks to my awesome husband is now in working order. I have a helmet -- the first bike helmet of my life. That will be a strange adjustment for someone who grew up in the era before helmets became commonplace. At least I will be setting a good safety example for my kids, who occasionally like to sneak onto their bikes or scooters without their helmets when we're not looking!

Okay, so -- bike? Check. Helmet? Check. One functional pair of legs? Check. That ought to get me started. But what about going forward? Will I need any other gear for regular cycling?

Until I begin triathlon training (which I'm thinking will happen sometime in the spring of 2013), I most likely will be riding my bike once or twice a week on the weekends, either at local parks or just around the neighborhood. I probably won't be going very fast, and I have no idea how long these rides will last. For just that amount of biking, do I need any other supplies, like a water bottle that attaches to the bike, or anything like that?

I'm also toying with the idea of starting to bike to the pool in the mornings, for the extra exercise and to save a little gas. I'm unsure about it though, because it will take me down a very busy road on which people frequently drive way too fast. If I should decide to attempt that trip, will I need any extra gear? It may be a little dark in the mornings when the days get shorter, so will I need reflective clothing or accessories? And what would be the best way to carry my pool gear with me -- in a backpack, or in some sort of bag that attaches to the bike somehow?

You can probably tell that I know pretty much nothing about biking. I don't expect to get too into cycling as a sport -- I more or less just want to ride for some extra exercise and so I eventually can achieve my goal of completing a triathlon. So I'm not looking to spend a lot of money or buy things I don't particularly need. If you have any tips on items I really should buy, please share! Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Actually, Size DOES Matter {Wordy Wednesday}

What is the simplest secret to losing weight? "Eat less; move more."

I've got the "move more" part pretty well under control at this point. I'm exercising regularly and making solid progress with my running. I can feel myself growing stronger and more fit.

When it comes to "eat less," however, there is no control whatsoever, and this is why I'm not losing weight.

Please don't mistake this for a whiny pity party. I'm not crying "WHY am I not losing weight??" I know exactly why I'm not losing, and the truth is I haven't actually been trying to lose. My focus has been on getting back into running (and swimming, and eventually biking) because I enjoy those activities and because fitness is about more than just weight loss to me.

What I was hoping was that as I started moving more and more, the extra calories I was burning would result in a very tiny but progressive amount of weight loss. As my weight has stalled at 216 lbs. despite my longer and more frequent runs, I'm realizing that my eating habits are simply too bad to be overcome by this modest amount of exercise.

For a long time, the lack of weight loss didn't bother me much. Like I said, my focus was elsewhere. The past month has brought about a change of attitude though, due to two main factors:

1. My baby turned one. When you celebrate your baby's first birthday, you have to face the fact that you can no longer call any lingering extra weight "baby fat." At that point, it's nothing more than "bad habit fat." There's a common saying about baby weight: "Nine months up, nine months down." In other words, you gain the weight gradually, so you can't expect to lose it instantly as soon as your baby is born. I get that, and have never expected to return to pre-pregnancy weight right away. Once you hit 12 months, though, and you weigh more than you did a couple of weeks after delivery, there is something else going on.

2. The weather got hot. When the weather got hot, I pulled out all the summer clothes I could find and discovered that almost everything was too small. I have a very limited summer wardrobe that fits me at this size, aside from maternity clothes. Having to wear maternity clothes when I'm not pregnant has been pretty damaging to my psyche in recent years, and I just couldn't bring myself to go down that road again. I tried to make do with the few items of clothing I had that fit, but it got too difficult and I had to pull out a few maternity shirts and shorts. How depressing. Shorts with a giant stretchy panel for a belly that shouldn't be this big without a baby in it were the straw that broke the camel's back.

It is time.

Please don't bombard me with your very best diet and nutrition tips. I may ask for recipes or other ideas at a later time, but I don't need that right now. I know how to eat better. I know what I need to do. For me, it's a matter of making the conscious choice to start making conscious choices. Make sense? I just have to get my head in the game and do what I know needs to be done. So I'm shifting the exercise side into auto-pilot for a bit (I'm in a good routine now, so I should be able to keep chugging along with little mental effort required.), allowing me to focus on nutrition and moderation and mostly good choices.

I am making a big dramatic announcement about this because I need to commit in some official way. The thing is, I hate to do this. I don't want to become completely obsessed with losing weight, because life is just too short to let a scale determine your daily mood. At the same time, I don't want to wear maternity clothes anymore. I don't even want to wear my "fat" clothes anymore. I have boxes full of perfectly decent clothes just a couple sizes smaller than I am now, and I want to wear them!! There is only one way to make that happen, and it's to work on BOTH parts of "Eat less; move more." I'm ready to do that now....even if it means eating a teensy bit less cake.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oh? Was it Hot Outside? {Weekly Summary}

Weight: STILL 216
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 5 (2 runs, 3 swims)
Total Running Time: 42 min.
Total Running Distance: 3.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 11 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 40 push ups and 80 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 16,568 (swimming counts as steps too but I'm only going to count non-swim days in this stat)
Injury Report: Toe hasn't bothered me as much. Leg and ankle seem to be doing better.
Last Week's Goal(s): Hmm I guess I accomplished my first goal, even though I also chose to sleep in. My pool was open on July 4th so I went for a swim around lunchtime. It was nice to both sleep in AND complete a workout! That was my second swim of the week, too, so with that I accomplished another of my weekly goals. The only one left undone was the bike thing. Again.
Next Event Goal: Still haven't chosen any 5K's, so my next event remains the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October.
This Week's Goals: (1) Get a bike working. Seriously. (2) Come up with a weight loss strategy. (3) Write at least three blog posts.

Analysis: It was a hot week, but that didn't stop me from completing five workouts! One of them was a brutal treadmill run that involved LOTS of walking, but I toughed it out just like the last time I struggled on the treadmill. Right now I'm in a good place, psychologically, where rough workouts don't get me down and instead I feel stronger for doing the best I can and not giving up. I'm feeling so good about my slow but steady progress that I'm daring to dream of possibilities for the future again. At the moment, I think a triathlon probably isn't going to happen until next summer, but I have a really cool one in mind that should be worth the wait. Between now and then, if all goes well with the 10K in October, I may focus on running for a while and set some new race goals. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm enjoying running enough now that I feel more confident about what I can achieve in the future!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

But there IS an "I" in "Inspire" {Inspiration of the Week}

"What's gonna work? TEAMwork! What's gonna work? TEAMwork!"

My apologies if you are also the parent of young children and now have Wonderpets music stuck in your head. I just couldn't write about what it means to me to be part of a team without hearing that enthusiastic song myself.

This post is actually a little late in coming. I'm at a different stage in my progress now, where exercise is fun and I don't need much more than the sheer joy of it to motivate me to get out there! A month ago or so, it was a different story entirely...

As I struggled to make myself run more than once or twice per week, and do any exercise at all other than running, one of the only things that helped me start succeeding was the walking challenge I started doing through my work. I'm on a team with six of my colleagues, and with our combined steps, we are competing against teams from all over our firm! I personally recruited one member of the team who wasn't particularly interested in participating, and another member of the team has been struggling to contribute while recovering from knee surgery, so I've had a lot of incentive really to do my fair share of the work. There have been many days where I was busy and tired and just didn't feel like finding a way to get extra steps in, but I dragged myself down to the treadmill or danced around my living room while watching TV because I couldn't bear the thought of letting down my teammates.

When someone else is counting on me, I am much more likely to come through than when the only person depending on the outcome is myself. This has been true in many aspects of my life. Since I don't play team sports and generally prefer to exercise alone, it's not often that I can use that sense of duty to further my fitness goals. This challenge has given me an opportunity to do just that!

The contest is long, and wearing the pedometer got old about a day after it started, but I'm proud of how hard our team is working! To my teammates Tyler, Meg, Liz, Sue, Gina, and Brina, thanks for inspiring me to get moving every single day! I don't know if I'd be as active as I am now if it weren't for you. Let's keep kicking butt and try to finish in the top 5! I believe in us!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like Riding a Bike

The BAD news: I have been neglecting this blog for several weeks. I'm sure you've all been dying to know what's going on with me, right? Heh.

The GOOD news: I have NOT been neglecting my body during this time. I've kept up with running and walking and push ups and crunches and even resumed swimming (more on that later)!! I've just been too busy/lazy/distracted to write about any of it.

The AWESOME news: I'm BACK, with a detailed update and a promise not to abandon you again...well, at least until I get busy/lazy/distracted again!

Let's look at the stats and see where things stand:
Weight: Been holding strong at 216 for a few weeks now
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.4(obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3+ every week!
Total Running Time: Last week, a total of 57 minutes!
Total Running Distance: 4.75 miles
Longest Single Run: 21 min./1.75m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm finishing up Week 10 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 40 push ups and 80 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 17,666
Injury Report: Busted toe still hurts on and off. Leg pain comes and goes, but lately there has been more pain in the ankle than further up. I've been icing the ankle after every run and it seems to help.
Last Week's Goal(s): Of the last three goals I set, I accomplished two in that week: I got up at 5:30 to run, and I set a new PR for steps walked in one day. Since then, I have gotten better at getting up at or close to 5:30 nearly every day, and I set an even higher new personal best step count. I still have not gotten a bicycle working yet though.
Next Event Goal: Though I'm still not ready for a 5K, today I registered for a 10K: this October I will once again be running the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. I should have plenty of time to prepare if I keep up with my current training plan for a couple more weeks and then switch to a 10K training plan at the end of the month. I'm on the lookout now for a 5K or two to squeeze in along with my 10K training.
This Week's Goals: (1) Exercise on July 4th even though it's a holiday and I'll really want to sleep in! (2) Get my bike into functional shape; and (3) Renew pool pass and swim more than once (I would have left it at "once," but since I already did that this morning, it seems a little like cheating!)

Analysis: I'm really pleased with my recent progress. Running has gotten SO much easier, which is making it more enjoyable too! I think being outside has made a difference -- I am so happy to be getting up and running outside in the mornings now! I'd been procrastinating a bit on getting back in the pool, probably because I was a little apprehensive about it. I just didn't know what to expect -- would it be as difficult as it was the very first time I tried to swim laps? Would I have to overcome my fears and struggle to put my face in the water all over again? I'm thrilled to say the answer to both of those is NO!! Once I slipped into the water this morning, it all came back to me, and I was able to swim without struggle or fear. Of course, it was incredibly exhausting and I had to spend more time on my kickboard than on my own, but I know I'll build my stamina back up before too long. It was a really great feeling getting into the pool again, and I can't wait to go back!! Overall, I have lots of positive energy and feelings about how things are going, except when it comes to my weight. I'm thinking of devoting a whole post to that soon, so for now I'll just say that I don't think I'm content to let my weight be a secondary concern anymore and it might have to become as much of a priority as my other fitness goals.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time to Wake Up! {Weekly Summary}

Weight: I actually forgot to weigh myself. Oops?
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: As of last week, -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: As of last week, 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: As of last week, 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 12 min.
Total Running Distance: 1 mile
Longest Single Run: 12 min./1m (NO walking!!))
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm still in Week 8 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 33 push ups and 66 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 10,659
Injury Report: Lots of busted toe pain. I wasn't planning to rest the sore leg, but since I haven't managed to run in nearly a week, that has happened anyway, and I've noticed much less pain. We'll see what happens when I resume running though!
Last Week's Goal(s): After another week of failing at all my goals, I've decided I am indeed trying to do too much. Though I want to keep working on all these different facets of fitness, I need to focus on just a few specific goals at a time, so when I get busy or overwhelmed, I'll know how to prioritize the different activities.
Next Event Goal: The Semper Fi 5K is less than three weeks away and I've yet to make a decision on whether I should attempt it. It certainly seems to be looking less and less likely...
Next Week's Goals: My new approach to goals will be to select only three per week. This week they are (1) Wake up at 5:30am to run at least once; (2) Get my bike into functional shape; and (3) Set a new PR for number of steps walked in one day.

Analysis: Last week was crazy busy for my family -- we had social events, sports events, school events, church events -- and then after all that, we also adopted two brand new kittens! On Wednesday night, I experienced a huge breakthrough with my running, when I finally ran a whole mile without walking! But then I didn't get any "real" exercise the rest of the week. I did still manage to get my 10,000 steps in each day, but I'm not sure if my pacing, marching in place, and dancing around the living room counts as a real workout. I'm torn on that idea, actually. When I do it all at once and not in short spurts, I do get my heartrate up and keep it that way for a while. And I can definitely feel the burn in my muscles afterwards as well. In fact, sometimes those living room workouts might be more intense than some of my treadmill walks! I guess going forward, if I do an improvised living room workout at a sustained intensity for at least 30 minutes, I'll count it as a "real" workout. Anyway, I'm not going to beat myself up over only running once last week. Instead I'm looking forward to the weeks to come, because an important change is happening. Now that I'm done nursing my baby (almost toddler! aack!) in the mornings, I'm going to start getting up earlier and doing the bulk of my exercise in the morning. This will allow me to run outside on nice days, and get back in the pool, and hopefully maintain a much more consistent workout schedule. First though, I have to tackle my natural inclination to be a night owl. I know that I can train my body to wake up and be active earlier (though I'll still be grumpy until I have my first cup of coffee), but it's going to take some time. This morning was my first attempt, and I went back to sleep for another hour. Tomorrow I will try again, and maybe only fall back asleep for another HALF hour. By Thursday, I should be able to drag myself out of bed at 5:30...but will I actually be able to run? We shall see.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tale of Two Runs {Wordy Wednesday}

Note: This is about my Sunday evening run. I meant to post about it on Monday, but it has just been a crazy busy week!

It was the best of runs; it was the worst of runs. Well, it started off the worst and didn't achieve "best" status until the end, but it's crazy how the same experience can feel like both opposite extremes!

I was in a terrible mood at the start. The run was already two days late (Friday night I was distracted by severe storms and my 4 year old interfered with my attempt at a nice outdoor run on Saturday), and came at the end of an exhausting weekend. I was feeling frustrated about pretty much everything in my life. You know me -- I can be a little melodramatic at times. ;-)

Anyway, I didn't even want to run. I was tired and feeling, well, whatever the opposite of "empowered" is. There just wasn't any fight in me at all. I've been at this long enough to know running has a strong mental component to it, and if your head's not in the game, chances are you're going to fade when your body tires. So I knew the run wasn't going to go well, and I was in no mood to fight my way through it.

But I tried anyway. I figured I'd just quit when I got tired.

I thought about quitting a lot, actually. During my walking warm-up, I thought "Maybe I'll just walk to get all my steps in, and not run at all."

And then I ran anyway. I figured I'd walk as soon as I got tired, and then maybe not run anymore.

Got tired, walked, ran again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It took me about 45 minutes to run 15, and towards the end I was only running one minute at a time. The important thing is that I was still running. Not only did I finish my 15 minutes, but I ran the last two together in an effort to "finish strong." By then, the fight was back in me, and not just the fight but also the WIN.

Basically, it felt like I ran my first 5K all over again, only this time I did what I wish I'd done in that race: every single time I walked, I caught my breath, and I ran again. It was a painful, exhausting, miserable run, but because I kept at it, and never completely gave up, it ended up being one of my favorite runs ever!!!

I'd been feeling discouraged lately because my fitness progress has been coming along so slowly. My confidence was wavering. After Sunday's run, I felt strong and capable again for the first time in a while. And thanks to Sunday's run, tonight I was able to run a whole mile without walking, FINALLY, for the first time in over a year!!

I guess Sunday was just the best worst run ever.

On a (Slightly Painful) Roll {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 215 lbs.
Weekly Change: -3
Overall Change: -4 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator) (and just realized I've been using it incorrectly...I didn't realize you could enter fractions of inches in height, so I rounded my height up. heehee oops)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 6!!! (but only 2 were runs)
Total Running Time: 30 min.
Total Running Distance: 2.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 15 min./1.25m (broken up with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 8 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 32 push ups and 64 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 11,309
Injury Report: No real change with the busted toe, but I'm sad to report that now I'm experiencing leg pain in the same area where I had my stress fracture two years ago. That portion of my left leg has been more prone to pain than other places since then; I'm not sure if that's normal. This pain is worrying me because it feels very similar to the stress fracture, though not as severe. I'm going to start icing the spot after runs and after walking workouts as well, and I'll keep monitoring the pain. If it continues or worsens, I will have to take a break from running and see if it goes away. I really really really hope it doesn't come to that. :-(
Last Week's Goal(s): Man, I am NOT good at achieving my goals! Maybe there is something wrong with the goals I'm choosing? Maybe I'm trying to do too many things at once? I actually thought I had a pretty decent week, but I fell just short of most of my goals. I was short one run, short one day of 10,000 steps, and accidentally went four days without push ups or crunches. I did blog more, but not as much as I'd wanted. Biking didn't happen; eating only improved marginally, and I did not make a race decision.
Next Event Goal: (Still need to follow through on this decision!!) With less than a month left before the Semper Fi Fund 5K, I have an important decision to make. I know I will not be ready to run the whole thing in that time. I feel confident that I'll be able to run more than half of it by then, but I don't think I can hope for much better than that. So I need to decide if it's worthwhile to enter a race knowing that I won't be able to run the whole thing, or whether I'd prefer to save my money and wait until I actually can run 3.1 miles.
Next Week's Goals: I'm going to stick with the same goals this week, and if I fall short on most of them again, I will rethink them all next week! Three runs; hit 10,000 steps every day; only one day off from crunches/push ups at a time; start biking; blog more; eat better (vague, I know); make a decision about the Semper Fi 5K.

Analysis: So far, the walking challenge is still living up to my expectations! I have dragged myself down to the treadmill for a brisk walk many evenings when what I really wanted to so was sit on the couch and eat snacks. Not wanting to let my team down is much greater motivation for me than anything internal these days!! I don't know if it was the extra walking or the slight nutrition improvements, but my weight finally broke through the 216-pound threshhold! Now I'm just one pound away from my first mini-goal weight! I don't expect to reach that this week (for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this is a very cakey week in my world, and I am powerless to resist cake. Mmmmmm CAKE.), but maybe next week I'll be able to lose one more??? I think my reward for finally getting to 214 will be to download some new music. I never did go buy "Stronger" like I said I was going to...that might be a good reward!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Life Would Suck Without Kelly {Inspiration of the Week}

I can't relate to people who don't run with music. I respect their focus and discipline, but I cannot fathom how they push themselves to keep going when they feel like giving up -- sometimes music is the only thing that helps me hang on!

My ipod holds a vast array of songs I love to run to, but tonight's shout-out goes to one of my favorites artists, Ms. Kelly Clarkson.

First I must confess that I did NOT watch the first season of American Idol, and I had serious doubts that the show could produce a legitimately talented star. And then I heard her on the radio for the first time, and I was blown away. I've been a fan ever since.

She has a lot of upbeat songs that sound great LOUD and thus make great background noise for running, such as "Since U Been Gone" or "I Do Not Hook Up." Last night, the end of a tough run was saved for me by the infectious "My Life Would Suck Without You." The lyrics have nothing to do with running at all, but the song is just so fun, with a pumped up beat that leaves me with no choice but to keep moving my feet! I am certain I would have had to walk at least three minutes sooner than I did last night if it weren't for that song. :)

Next on my agenda is to download her recent single, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," which I expect to have a similar affect on my feet. It may be about a bad break-up, but a lot of the lines can be interpreted metaphorically. And the basic message is pretty obvious -- what doesn't kill you does make you stronger, and that includes a tough workout!

I think I'll keep taking my good buddy Kelly running with me. I'm going to buy "Stronger" right now!



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Walk for Your Life!! {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 218 lbs.
Weekly Change: +2
Overall Change: -1 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3 (but only 2 were runs)
Total Running Time: 27 min.
Total Running Distance: 2.25 miles
Longest Single Run: 15 min./1.25m (broken up with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm in Week 7 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 29 push ups and 58 crunches
Highest Daily Step Count: 10,553
Injury Report: No increase in busted toe pain, and it's still not directly connected to running.
Last Week's Goal(s): The only goal I successfully completed was getting started in the walking challenge at work. Once again I had a week where I started out strong but it all fell apart over the weekend. Even the jogging stroller couldn't help me this time -- I just didn't make exercise a high enough priority.
Next Event Goal: With only a month left before the Semper Fi Fund 5K, I have an important decision to make. I know I will not be ready to run the whole thing in that time. I feel confident that I'll be able to run more than half of it by then, but I don't think I can hope for much better than that. So I need to decide if it's worthwhile to enter a race knowing that I won't be able to run the whole thing, or whether I'd prefer to save my money and wait until I actually can run 3.1 miles.
Next Week's Goals: Three runs; hit 10,000 steps every day; only one day off from crunches/push ups at a time; start biking; blog more; eat better (vague, I know); make a decision about the Semper Fi 5K.

Analysis: I'm mad at myself for failing to complete a third run, but I'm trying to focus on the positive rather than the negative, so instead I will discuss the walking challenge! So far it is doing exactly what I need it to -- it's getting me up and moving on the days when I don't run. Twice already I have hit 10,000 steps in a day, and I've logged some good walking time on the treadmill. I'm also just moving around more throughout the day in order to get as many steps in as possible so I don't have to spend quite as much time on the treadmill later. The key to my success is the structure of the challenge, because I'm part of a seven-person team. Even when I want to be lazy and I'm willing to fail myself, I'm going to push through those urges because I don't want to let the rest of my team down! This is just the motivation I need to get my butt in gear right now!!! And I really believe that once I'm getting SOME sort of exercise every day, the rest of it will all start to fall into place (the "rest of it" being the biking and swimming and weight loss, for starters). I guess we'll see in a week if I'm right and changes have begun to happen!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Gift that Keeps on Giving {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 216 lbs.
Weekly Change: -2
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.0 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure but probably still 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3!!!
Total Running Time: 33 min.
Total Running Distance: 2.75 miles
Longest Single Run: 12 min./1.0m (broken up with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm finishing Week 6 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 26 push ups and 52 crunches
Injury Report: Increased pain in the busted toe; sometimes it throbs and other times there are these little prickly pains under the nail. The pain does not seem to correspond directly to running, so I'll continue to ignore it unless it gets worse.
Last Week's Goal(s): Half and half!! I FINALLY MANAGED TO RUN THREE TIMES IN ONE WEEK!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited at this accomplishment? :) And as predicted, it was the jogging stroller that helped make the third run possible: I took the baby with me to a nearby park while the rest of my guys were occupied at a t-ball game on Saturday. Seriously, the stroller was the best Mother's Day Gift ever!! My other success last week was not missing two consecutive days of my push ups and crunches. I'm finding it a lot easier not to do it EVERY day because the muscles get sore, but I'd at least like to do it every other day, and I'm finally settling into a routine like that. Not much progress to speak of with blogging or biking...better luck next week?
Next Event Goal: My perspective on this has changed a little for the moment. Instead of being excited about future races, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of even attempting a race. Running is such a struggle right now and it feels like it is going to take forever to get into decent shape. I know I'll get there eventually; it's just that it feels so far off in the distance that it's not worth even thinking about races and such right now.
Next Week's Goals: Even though I accomplished the 3 runs and the consistent crunches & push ups, I want to repeat those goals this week. I'm also striving, again, for more blog posts, and sincerely hope to get working on the whole biking thing this weekend. There's one newbie to the goal list this week! I'm participating in yet another challenge (this is starting to become an addiction!). It's called the Global Corporate Challenge, and I'm on a team with six of my coworkers, trying to log the most steps every day for 16 weeks. This Thursday, I will strap on my super-stylish (and not at all annoying -- ha!) pedometer, and get moving! Hopefully this challenge will motivate me to add more exercise, even if it's just walking, on the days when I don't run. Until I get myself on the bike or back into the pool, I'm really not working out enough to lose weight or get fit as fast as I'd like, so anything that encourages cross-training is GOOD! Plus there are prizes, and my team is totally gonna win. :) For this week, my only GCC goals are to get ready (figure out how to operate the pedometer and navigate the website) and get started. Next week I'll have a better idea of some specific goals I'll want to set.

Analysis: Let's see, I can't remember if I mentioned that I FINALLY RAN THREE TIMES IN ONE WEEK!!! Oh, I did? My bad. Well, at least now you won't forget. I really wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to this point, but I can't dwell on that frustration anymore. Now it's time to focus on making three runs the default for every week unless I have a REALLY good reason to skip one. And I really need to branch out and add other exercise on my non-run days. I'm getting sick of losing and gaining the same two pounds over and over again. At first I wasn't really concerned with my weight because I wanted to focus on running and I knew the weight would eventually start to come off. Well, since I've been progressing so slowly with the exercise, nothing has really gotten going with the weight loss, and it's time to start worrying. I'm sick of still having to wear my "fat" clothes, and I'm sick of feeling flabby and huge and unattractive. It's time to start paying much more attention to the fuel I'm putting in my body, making healthier choices much more often than I have been. I think I've mentioned before that I don't "diet" -- the psychology of it just doesn't appeal to me or work for me. Instead I try to make good food choices *most* of the time, limit emotional eating to when I need it the most, and keep a general sense of moderation and balance in my diet. This approach requires constant self-control, a virtue that has been in short supply with me lately. I'm realizing I need to start working on that now if I ever want to start seeing results. I'm just not exercising enough to justify eating the way I do. Maybe I will add an item to the weekly update to address my eating progress. I'll think about that throughout the week and make a decision for the next summary.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Wheels! {Weekly Summary}

Once again, I'm a couple of days late with this update...

Weight: 218 lbs.
Weekly Change: +2
Overall Change: -1 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure but probably still 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 3!!!
Total Running Time: 18 min.
Total Running Distance: 1.5 miles
Longest Single Run: 9 min./.75m (broken up with walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm finishing Week 5 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 22 push ups and 44 crunches
Injury Report: No real change in the busted toe; still sore sometimes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Semi-succeeded at one of my goals -- I finally managed to exercise three times in one week!! Unfortunately, the 3rd workout ended up being a walk instead of a run, but it was a long one, up and down hills, pushing a stroller, so it was good exercise even if it didn't move me forward in my training program.
Next Event Goal: I'm starting to have some doubts about being ready for a 5K by the end of June, but I haven't entirely given up hope yet. Meanwhile, I've been looking at other events throughout the summer. I'm really looking forward to registering for my next race!
Next Week's Goals: All repeats: 3 runs, keeping up with my SU/PU challenge, more blog posts, and get bike working.

Analysis: Well I might not have succeeded at all of my stated goals, but I did do the general thing I wanted to this week, which was get back to normal after the craziness of my work deadline the week before. I'm thrilled finally to have accomplished the elusive third workout, and especially happy to have done it outdoors on the weekend. That feat was made possible by my awesome Mother's Day gift from the world's best husband -- my new jogging stroller was exactly what I wanted and needed to help me kick things up a notch! It's hard to get anything done around the house with four small children underfoot, so many tasks are reserved for the weekends when we are both around. If I slip away for a run when the kids are running amok, our plans for the day are likely to derail. Now with my new stroller, I can toss one of the younger two kids in, and maybe drag one or both of the older ones along on a scooter or bike, leaving less mayhem behind for my husband to deal with while he tries to be productive at home! So that's one less excuse that will be keeping me from exercise on the weekends. I hope to build on my excitement and really make some progress this week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something Beautiful {Inspiration of the Week}

I just stumbled across this quote I first found many months ago. I loved it so much that I emailed it to myself, and I referred back to the email almost daily when I was feeling frustrated or discouraged. Enjoy!


"Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost."

— Helen Keller

Monday, May 7, 2012

Deadlines are Bad for Waistlines {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 216 lbs.
Weekly Change: -2
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.0 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure but probably still 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18
Total Workouts: 0
Total Running Time: N/A
Total Running Distance: N/A
Longest Single Run: N/A
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm starting Week 5 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: No new progress.
Injury Report: No real change in the busted toe; still sore sometimes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Failed on all my goals.
Next Event Goal: I'm not officially saying I'm definitely aiming for this race, but my friend Jack and I are discussing maybe reprising the fun the we had in the inaugural Semper Fi 5K. This year's event is June 30th. I'd love to be able to complete a 5K by then, but I'll probably wait another month before determining whether this is a realistic goal. Update: I REALLY need to get my butt in gear if this is going to be possible!!
Next Week's Goals: All repeats: 3 runs, keeping up with my SU/PU challenge, more blog posts, and get bike working.

Analysis: Work completely took over my life last week. Other than spending time with my family, all I really had time to do was work, eat, and occasionally sleep a little. (Okay, there was also some extra eating, junk food to be precise, in the wee hours of the morning to help me stay awake. It couldn't be helped!!) This week I'm planning to get my life back to normal and just pick up where I left off with everything, including exercise. I'm really motivated to get healthy right now. I'm sure I'll post more on this topic at some point, but this past week I was reminded how precious good health is. I can't control everything that happens to my body, but I'd like to make the most of what I can control to improve my odds of living a long, active life! Take care of yourself -- you're the only YOU you've got!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Still Not Quite Getting It Done {Weekly Summary}

I'm two days late with the weekly update. Oops.

Weight: 218 lbs.
Weekly Change: +1
Overall Change: -1 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure but probably still 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18 (20 is officially too big! not really losing weight, but somehow getting smaller...)
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 12 minutes
Total Running Distance: 1 mile
Longest Single Run: 6 min/.5 mile (no walking!)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I finished Week 4 of this Couch to 5K program .
Progress in Sit Up/Push Up Challenge: Up to 40 crunches and 20 push ups, but they're still "girl push ups"
Injury Report: No real change in the busted toe; still sore sometimes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Failed on all my goals but one (I did manage to blog more than once!).
Next Event Goal: I'm not officially saying I'm definitely aiming for this race, but my friend Jack and I are discussing maybe reprising the fun the we had in the inaugural Semper Fi 5K. This year's event is June 30th. I'd love to be able to complete a 5K by then, but I'll probably wait another month before determining whether this is a realistic goal. Update: I REALLY need to get my butt in gear if this is going to be possible!!
Next Week's Goals: Once again repeating the goal of 3 workouts (all runs, hopefully), and the goal of keeping up with my SU/PU challenge. My blog goal is to work on some of the posts I've had in mind for a while. And I'm going to try again to get my bike operational so I can start riding!

Analysis: The week started out great but it all came undone over the weekend. Sick kids, sick husband, work deadline -- life just got in the way, as it is wont to do. I'm sure there are people who can balance all these things better than I can, but I have yet to find the secret. This week has started off the same as the last ended, but I hope I'll be able to turn it around.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Act of Defiance {Inspiration of the Week}

Confession: I have never seen Wicked. I desperately want to, but just haven't had the chance. I've heard some of the music, and somehow I know I will love the show whenever I finally see it!

Luckily, I don't have to wait until then to be inspired. Thanks to Glee, I've become familiar with "Defying Gravity," an incredibly uplifting song (oh yeah...pun totally intended!).

The lyrics can be applied to many different sorts of "leaps" you may take in your life, but tonight they proved especially motivational when I was on the treadmill. Right now, while I still weigh so much, it often feels like gravity is purposely working against me. Lifting my feet off the ground takes so much effort...sometimes I feel like I'd have just as much success trying to fly. Tonight this song helped me through my run and even helped me push myself to add an extra minute. As far as I'm concerned, I defied gravity!

Here is just a small sample of the awesome lyrics:

"I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so.
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know"


You can buy the Glee version of the song here, or the Wicked version here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Motivation Continues to Build {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217 lbs.
Weekly Change: N/A
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure but probably still 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 3 minutes
Total Running Distance: .25 mile
Longest Single Run: 3 min/.25 mile
Progress on Training Plan(s): I am in Week 4 of this Couch to 5K program .
Status of Busted Toe: Still sore off and on. Did some research and realized it's probably going to take a really long time to heal completely. If the pain ever gets bad enough, I might consider getting it lanced to relieve the pressure. *shudder*
Last Week's Goal(s): Totally failed on all of my goals. I thought I might have a shot at getting three workouts in, but after hiking with a baby on my back on Saturday, my left ankle was really sore on Sunday and I decided to skip my run. I'm still not at the point yet where I'm tough enough to run through pain. And I'm still having lots of trouble remembering to do my crunches and push ups every day. Also you may have noticed that I've been slacking off big time on this blog.
Next Event Goal: I'm not officially saying I'm definitely aiming for this race, but my friend Jack and I are discussing maybe reprising the fun the we had in the inaugural Semper Fi 5K. This year's event is June 30th. I'd love to be able to complete a 5K by then, but I'll probably wait another month before determining whether this is a realistic goal. Update: I REALLY need to get my butt in gear if this is going to be possible!!
Next Week's Goals: Okay, THIS is the week when I will finally complete three runs! And I will remember my crunches and push ups nearly every day! And I will blog more than once!!! I probably ought to leave it at those three as-yet-unrealized goals, but there's one more thing I really want to do. We have a couple of bicycles in our shed that the previous owners of our home left behind. This week, I'd like to get one of those bikes out and do whatever needs to be done to get it functional, so I can start riding on the weekends as early as next week!

Analysis: It was a disappointing and frustrating week, but at least it further fueled my motivation. Getting so worn out from hiking reminded me of one of the big reasons I want to get fit. I love hiking, and I want our family to do active things together on the weekends. Once upon a time, I could survive an all-day hike, but now I end up exhausted and sore after about an hour. That's just not acceptable to me, not what I want for my life. Even if my progress continues to be slow, I WILL keep working toward my goals so I can have the energy and strength to enjoy an active lifestyle for many years to come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Object in Motion {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217 lbs.
Weekly Change: +1
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 38.5 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 12 minutes
Total Running Distance: 1 mile
Longest Single Run: 6 min/.5 mile (broken up with some walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I finished Week 3 of this Couch to 5K program .
Status of Busted Toe: It's been hurting kind of a lot. I'm not sure whether to be concerned. I'll do a little research on that and then possibly write a post about it later this week.
Last Week's Goal(s): For the second week in a row, I successfully completed two walk/run workouts. Yay! But I did not manage to maintain my daily crunches and push ups. It's not laziness -- I just keep forgetting. I think I need to come up with a particular time to do it or set up some sort of reminder, because I forget as often as I remember. And once again, I did not devote any time to working ahead on blog posts, other than just thinking of the topics I'd like to cover this week.
Next Event Goal: I'm not officially saying I'm definitely aiming for this race, but my friend Jack and I are discussing maybe reprising the fun the we had in the inaugural Semper Fi 5K. This year's event is June 30th. I'd love to be able to complete a 5K by then, but I'll probably wait another month before determining whether this is a realistic goal.
Next Week's Goals: I really wanted to kick it up a notch and try for 3 runs this week, but looking ahead at our family's schedule, I don't know if that will be possible unless I run on consecutive days (which I generally try not to do). I haven't decided what to do about that yet. At the very least, I will still aim for 3 workouts, but one of them might be yoga or a fitness DVD or something instead of a run. I'm also going to take another stab at the goal of not missing more than one day in a row of my crunches and push ups (and part of that goal will be coming up with a strategy for not forgetting!!). My blog goal will be to post at least 3 new entries, including this one.

Analysis: As predicted, my weight went up this week, but only by one pound! I'm pretty pleased with that. The next step is making sure that extra pound disappears again quickly. I'm enjoying my runs, but getting frustrated at how difficult it is just to complete such a short time/distance. I miss being able to run 2 or more miles no problem. I know I'll get back there, and running will start to feel easier at some point, but I also know I need to be running 3 days a week to really build up my fitness and stop struggling. One positive note: the stair climbing challenge at work ended, but I think it served its purpose in my life. I'm definitely up and moving more both at work and at home, and being more active in small ways is making me want to be more active in bigger ways too! I think I'm starting to turn inertia in my favor!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Little Behind {Weekly Summary}

This is for last week, April 2-8. I was out of town through Tuesday night and I'm still playing catch up and trying to get back to normal!

Weight: 216 lbs.*
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -3 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.0 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure, but probably still 39 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 2
Total Running Time: 9 minutes
Total Running Distance: 3/4 mile
Longest Single Run: 6 min/.5 mile (broken up with some walking)
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm in Week 3 of this Couch to 5K program .
Total Flights of Stairs: 60
Status of Busted Toe: Not much change from last week. Still healing slowly. Feels sore sometimes.
Last Week's Goal(s): Success!! Since I managed to get in a workout while I was on vacation, I completed 2 workouts last week! Yay!! However, I did not do any push ups or crunches once I was on vacation, so my goal success rate for the week was 50%.
Next Event Goal: Starting to get anxious to choose an event, so I REALLY need to get my butt in gear!!
Next Week's Goals: Okay the week is already half over, so I'm not going to get too ambitious. I want to repeat two workouts, and ideally they'll both be runs so I can complete week 3 of my training program. Today is the last day of the stair climbing challenge, so I won't be setting any goals with that other than just generally to continue taking the stairs more often than I did before the challenge started. I'd like to resume my push ups and crunches and not miss any more days this week. And I'd like to work ahead on some blog posts for next week.

Analysis: First of all, I have to confess that I weighed myself a day earlier than usual, before I left for my trip. After vacationing down South and celebrating a holiday, I fully expect the scale to show a much larger number tomorrow. I'm not worried about it, as long as the number goes back down next week. As for exercise, I'm proud of myself for going for a run on vacation. I wish I'd done it twice, but once is better than not at all! I discovered that running on country roads is a little scarier than suburban sidewalks, but the clean air was so refreshing to breathe! Man, I've missed running outside. I hope I get more chances to do that soon! I guess I don't have much else to say by way of analysis. Like I said, I'm still trying to get caught up on regular life. My next weekly summary will probably not have much to analyze either, though I'll at least do some more planning and goal-setting then. For now I'm just going to focus on getting my butt back on the treadmill tonight!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Still Here {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217 lbs.
Weekly Change: None
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure, but probably still 39 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 1
Total Running Time: 3 minutes
Total Running Distance: 1/4 mile
Longest Single Run: 3 min/.25 mile
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm still in Week 2 of this Couch to 5K program .
Total Flights of Stairs: 76
Status of Busted Toe: Not much change from last week. Still healing slowly.
Last Week's Goal(s): Failure all around. One workout. Only 2 more flights of stairs than last week. Missed two days of crunches and push ups right at the beginning of the week. I didn't even work on the blog like I'd hoped to do.
Next Event Goal: Starting to get anxious to choose an event, so I REALLY need to get my butt in gear!!
Next Week's Goals: It's hard to set goals for this week because I'll be going on a trip. I feel like I have to keep shooting for two workouts until I actually achieve that, so I guess that again will be my goal. I have no idea how many stairs I'll be climbing so I'm not setting a goal for that. I'll repeat my goal of not skipping more than one day at a time of crunches and pushups. I'm not setting a blog goal because I have no idea how much time I'll be spending on or near my computer.

Analysis: I'm getting increasingly frustrated with myself, but still I refuse to give up. I mean, what else can I do? I'm not going to throw in the towel and just embrace being obese and out of shape. That's not the life that I want. I want my active life back, no matter how difficult it is to change all my bad habits (again). I'm not going to spend a bunch of negative energy beating myself up. I'm just going to keep.on.trying. Every day. Every week. As long as it takes.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Jackpot!! {Five Things Friday}

You don't care what I'd do with $640 million if I won it. I'm going to tell you anyway.

5 Healthy Things I'd Do With My Lottery Winnings:

1. Quit my job, so I'd have lots more time for exercise and active pursuits. (And also because DUH, I'm pretty sure in Lottery 101 they teach you that the first thing you're supposed to do after you've verified that you have in fact won is Quit.Your.Job.)

2. Hire a triathlon coach. I'm pretty sure I could make a lot more progress toward my goals if I had somoeone bossing me around 24/7 like it's their job. Because, well, it would be their job.

3. Hire a personal chef to prepare super healthy foods for my family. I love my husband's cooking, but I don't think he'd mind giving up that responsibility to someone else.

4. Buy a bike. I'm probably going to want to do this at some point even if I don't win the lottery, because I imagine it's difficult to complete the cycling portion of a triathlon without one.

5. Buy a new house with its own swimming pool large enough for lap swimming. That way I can't use inconvenient "hours of operation" as an excuse not to go to the pool, and I don't have to be self-conscious about better swimmers watching me flail around like a whale in shallow water!!

5 UNhealthy Things I'd Do With My Lottery Winnings:

1. Celebrate with copious amounts of cake.

2. Celebrate with copious amounts of alcohol.

3. Go on vacation, where I will celebrate with even more food and booze.

4. Hire someone to watch my kids during the day so the hubs and I can catch up on all the sleep we've lost since becoming parents 6.5 years ago. (Sleep is actually healthy...but I'd be happy to get TOO MUCH of it for a little while!!!)

5. Buy a bakery, so I can continue to celebrate with cake for many years to come.

Hmmm....it's possible that it would be healthier for me not to win....but I'm buying a few tickets anyway!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Not My Best Work {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217 lbs.
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -2 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.1 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: Forgot to measure, but probably still 39 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 1
Total Running Time: 3 minutes
Total Running Distance: 1/4 mile
Longest Single Run: 3 min/.25 mile
Progress on Training Plan(s): I'm currently in Week 2 of this Couch to 5K program .
Total Flights of Stairs: 74
Status of Busted Toe: The broken part continues to grow out, slowly but surely, and the discolored area continues to spread. I really hope that part IS going to heal eventually!!
Last Week's Goal(s): Fell short on both of my exercise goals. I only had one workout (but it was great!), and I only climbed 74 flights of stairs. I did reach my blog goal though, when I posted a photo of the gimpy toe on Wordless Wednesday.
Next Event Goal: Still not ready to choose a specific event, so sticking with the vague goal to be in 5K shape by this summer. I'm starting to look into some races, so I really need to get my butt in gear so I can set some attainable goals!
Next Week's Goals: Okay, AGAIN I am aiming for just TWO workouts. I think I'm going to punish myself somehow if I can't manage this. And since I failed to reach 100 flights of stairs, I'll repeat that as my weekly goal as well. This week I'll set a third exercise goal, to keep up with my crunches and push ups. I started that little challenge last week, did three days, then missed two days, then got back into it yesterday. My goal for this week is to miss no more than one day in a row (if I have to miss any). My blog goal for this week is to start working ahead on some posts for future weeks, so that I'm not always trying to get a whole post written from start to finish every day.

Analysis: Eh, it was an off week. I'll spare you the litany of excuses, but basically there were a bunch of small obstacles that individually were not too terrible, but when piled on top of each other really slowed me down. Assuming I don't catch my son's stomach virus, I'm optimistic that this will be a much better week! Oh, and on the bright side, my one workout included a short run, and it felt great! I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gone Running, Back Later {Inspiration of the Week}

"You either ran today, or you didn't."

That's the tagline of one of my favorite Facebook pages. I love it because the message is so simple and true, and there is no judgement in it. You are free to feel however you want about whichever option is your reality on any given day.

Some days the line induces guilt, as I realize my excuses are lame and don't really matter. Other days I am confident that my reasons for not running are legitimate, but then I'm reminded that the end result is still the same: a day that I didn't run is a day that I didn't run, regardless of the reason. And of course there are days when I DID run, and when I see that quote I feel proud of myself! Still other days, the line is a reminder that the day is not yet over, and I still must choose what kind of day it's going to be. There's a lot of possible meaning in that short little sentence!

The Facebook page is called "I *heart* to run," and I think I found it via a friend who is also a runner. Everyday it posts inspirational quotes and pictures, and nearly all of them resonate with me to some degree. I'm tempted to post their quotes all over the walls of my basement where my treadmill is, to help me keep going when I struggle.

There is more to the page than inspirational quotes, too! Each day they give away a "Gone Running" sign, and they also have a link to their website that is an online fundraising platform. See their "About" section for more info.

If you're a runner and you're not already a fan of "I *heart* to run", I suggest you become one ASAP!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with "I *heart* to run" in any way. I'm simply one of many FB fans who appreciate the ways the page speaks to us, and I want to share that inspiration with any of my friends who haven't been exposed to it yet!

NOTE: The name of the page actually uses a "less than" symbol and a 3 to make the heart, but when I type that here, it gets all screwed up due to html. I am not savvy enough to know how to work around that problem, so I'm just replacing it with *heart*. If you click the link to the FB page, you will see the title correctly written. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feeling Crunchy {Tuesday Tips}

Since my running is getting off to a very slow start, and I'm not yet ready to get back in the pool, I'm looking for other ways to get myself moving and getting fit. The stair climbing challenge is helping me battle my laziness and is giving my legs a great workout! Now I need something to help with my upper body and my core.

I've seen some mentions on message boards about various sit up and push up challenges, and decided to give those a shot. I'm going to start out with just one of each, and add one more each day until I build up to a specific number. I think the goals will be 200 sit ups and 100 push ups daily, because a lot of challenges have those numbers as their goals. Actually, I might increase my sit ups by 2 each day, so I can arrive at both goals at the same time. I hope that won't be too difficult to keep track of -- I'll have to write it on a calendar or something.

The reason I'm posting this in "Tuesday Tips" is that I'm curious how people do sit ups these days. As I recall, over the years, various "experts" have taught different ways to do them, because some ways are not as good for your back or your neck, and some are more effective than others, etc. And for a while there, wasn't everyone calling them crunches instead of sit ups? Or are those two distinct moves? The last time I was doing crunches regularly, I was doing them on an exercise ball, which was challenging but not painful. I liked that method and will probably try that again, unless I learn a good reason to do something different.

How do you do sit ups or crunches, and why? Is there a "right" way to do them, or is it a matter of preference? Thanks for your insight!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mediocrity at its Best {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 218 lbs.
Weekly Change: -3
Overall Change: -1 from "starting weight" of 219
Next goal weight: 214
BMI: 31.3 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 39 inches
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: 18/20 (depends on the day)
Total Workouts: 1
Total Running Time: N/A
Total Running Distance: N/A
Longest Single Run: N/A
Progress on Training Plan(s): I've completed Week 1 of this Couch to 5K program .
Total Flights of Stairs: 90
Status of Busted Toe: Made some visible progress! The detached portion moved far enough that I could safely clip it off without leaving too much tender flesh exposed. Meanwhile, the discolored area under the nail is getting larger. I have no idea if that is a bad sign or a normal part of the healing process. It hurts when I'm on my feet too much, but it's starting to look a lot better. I'm thinking of posting a pic this week.
Last Week's Goal(s): Half and half: I only worked out once, but I increased my number of flights of stairs from 72 to 90 (the goal was just 80). I don't mind batting .500 when my one hit is a solid one like that. :) Oh, and I did achieve my one non-exercise goal as well, which was to keep up my frequent blogging. I even came up with a structure to help me write more often. Yay!
Next Event Goal: Still not ready to choose a specific event, so sticking with the vague goal to be in 5K shape by this summer.
Next Week's Goals: Looks like once again I need to aim for two workouts. As usual, I'm having trouble finding the time to walk/run, so I need to start incorporating some of my fitness DVD's so I can be doing some kind of exercise when when I can't walk/run. I'm going to up the ante in my stair climbing challenge as well, and aim for 10 more flights for a total of 100! I might as well choose another blog goal too: this week, I'd like to publish at least one post that includes pictures.

Analysis: As expected, the 2 lbs I gained last week turned out to be temporary bloat, and I was happy to see it disappear. I hope the additional pound lost was for real though...only time will tell. I'm a little frustrated with myself for only doing one workout, especially when Saturday was such a gorgeous day! I did manage to get out and play with my kids and enjoy the sunshine, but I really should have made the time for a walk/run as well. I climbed a whole lotta stairs, and I'm pretty pleased about that. Oh, and I did something else good for my health too, when I went to the dentist. Overall, it was a decent week, but it still leaves plenty of room for improvement!