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Mamavation Monday: Move It & Lose It

Watch Lives ChangeOkay, I’m an idiot and thought the Move It & Lose It challenge started THIS week… but it turns out it started last week…  So I don’t even know if it counts that I’m doing a post for it now.  I’ll try anyway though, and hope for the best.

Here’s my weigh in for this week:

Feet on scale - 187.2

Feet on scale - 187.2

Current weight: 187.2
Previous weight:  190.6
Starting weight: 225
Week change: -3.4
Total change: -37.8

So yeah… I’m THRILLED!  After last Saturday’s crazy bingefest, I worked really hard all week to eat well and move more, and it clearly paid off!  I’m feeling really good about it.

Here are my measurements:

Left arm: 13.5in
Right arm: 13.5in
Chest: 39.5in
Bellybutton: 38in
Hip: 44in
Left thigh: 24.5in
Right thigh: 24.5in

I never took my measurements in January when I started this whole health journey, so the earliest comparison I have is to measurements I took in March.  Since mid-March, I’ve lost 3.5 inches in my chest, 3.5 inches from my waist, and 3.25 inches from my hips.  That feels pretty awesome.

And… my pics:

187-front 187-side 187-back————————-

More from me:

Hike – my weekend recap

Tiny House – How small is too small?  How big is too big?

Top Five Books About Wine



Another magic pill

magic pill


According to an article from Yahoo! news today, there is a new diet pill being tested.

According to the results from a relatively small test group (around 3,000 people) the pill helped almost 50% of the study participants to lose five percent of their body weight in a year.  Only 20% of the placebo participants also lost weight.  Because a mich lower than normal percentage of people stayed active in the study, it’s being assumed that side effects are of little concern.

During a second phase of testing, placebo takers continued on while the pill group was split into those continuing the pill and those switched to a placebo.  Patients and doctors were not told who was who.  The study touts the success of the drug by pointing out that 68% of the patients who kept taking the drug were successful in keeping off the lost weight.  They gloss over the fact that 50% of those who were switched to the placebo pill still managed to maintain their weight loss.

So what does this say to me?  People just need a little push, a jumpstart, a helping hand.  They need something that makes them feel like it’s not all up to them in the beginning…. and then once they see results, a fair number of them will be able to keep it up without the initial help.

Does that mean I think the pill is a good idea?  No.  I do think there are people out there who are so dangerously overweight that even more risky measures *might* (with the aid and support of doctors and nutritionists) be better for them than staying where they are… but I can’t help thinking there is a lot of worth in doing things the “hard” way.

By getting up every morning and making the decision to eat right and move more, even when you’re so heavy that taking a short walk gets you out of breath… even when the results are painfully slow and gradual… you are changing not just your body, but your mind and spirit too.  By continuing to push through every day, despite the struggle and the delay and the emotional issues you might be carrying, you’re strengthening yourself inside and out.  And for me, when I finally get to the end of this weight loss journey and step onto the path of “healthy and staying that way,” I am going to look back with immense pride knowing that I did this on my own.  I did it even though it took forever.  I did it even when I felt like I couldn’t.

So if you’re out there and you’re feeling desperate, you’ve tried everything and nothing works, you just don’t know what else to do because you hate your own body, and you’re thinking of taking a diet pill?  If you read that Yahoo article happily?  Please don’t.  Just go for a walk.  Get up every day and make the best choice you can.  Get up and remind yourself how very much you are worth the work, the effort, and finally the beautiful result that is your own improved health.

(In unrelated news, I won a giveaway on Peanut Butter Fingers!  –I love her blog!– and now I’m looking forward to some Snikiddy fries!  I don’t know what kind they’re sending, but I really am hoping for the ketchup and the buffalo!)


More from me:

Dum Dum – kitchen knives are dangerous…

Recipe: apple fried chicken


What if we ballet workout on Dec 5?

NYC Ballet Workout

The New York City Ballet Workout Vol 1 & 2 - click the image to buy (and I get a few pennies)

I did this workout for the first time on Monday.  I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the type of workout it would be.

It’s set up in 17 short sections, starting with a warmup and moving through stretches into dynamic strength training moves.  It doesn’t require any equipment (unless you want a mat for floor work) but it does require a little bit of floor space and a decent amount of concentration.  You also need a reasonable familiarity with ballet, since the DVD moves pretty quickly from one movement to the next with the assumption that you are comfortable with the positions and terms.  There is a voiceover (which you can choose not to hear) that includes directions, but those directions don’t necessarily include every required move, and often come a little late.  If you’ve never done ballet, you’ll find it challenging and maybe even frustrating.  For me, it’s been a few years since my last ballet class, but I was comfortable enough with the moves to keep up for the most part.  I can say with certainty that after two or three more sessions with the DVD I will be doing the moves without issue, and maybe without the voiceover.

The workout is relaxing and calm, which is a nice change.  It’s also sort of sneaky.  When I finished, I was sweaty but not near death… so I wondered how hard I’d really worked.  The next morning, I could definitely feel it in my core, so I know that I got some strength training in.  I also liked the option to do the workout with a classical accompaniment or with contemporary  music (I chose classical), but I will say that the video is 90 minutes long (including a short intro by Sarah Jessica Parker?) so you’ve really got to be able to devote some time to it.

All in all, I think it’s a great workout for someone with a dance background and a moderate fitness level.  I will definitely be doing it on a regular basis.


What if?It’s Wednesday, which means another What If post… and since my writing progress has hit a bit of a standstill (I’m still shopping my work everywhere I can) I want to talk about something else that’s a big What If for me…

The Mizboorun December 5 Challenge!Mizfit & Bookieboo have come together to run a half marathon in Vegas on December 5th.  They’re encouraging everyone to make this a goal day, to make this the deadline to achieve a goal of your own, no matter what it is.  I really wanted to be a part of this challenge, so let me give you a little glimpse inside my head as I tried to decide what my Dec 5 goal would be…

– I should reach my goal weight

– But what if I can’t?  That’s two pounds a week and lately I’ve only been losing one.

– But isn’t that the point, to push myself?

– But is focusing on weight the wrong way to go?  Should I be aiming for something “healthy” instead of something associated with a number?

– Am I just saying that because I’m scared I can’t do it?

– Well, what if I can’t do it?  Numbers are hard to control.  If I set a number goal, am I just setting myself up for failure?

And on, and on… until I nearly drove myself insane.  So I let it go, and for a while I thought about just letting this challenge go unnoticed.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like this was a good opportunity for me to push myself to greater heights.  I still can’t get past the vicious circle in my head when I think about weight goals, so instead here are my goals for December 5.

  1. Complete Couch to 5K on or before Sunday, December 5
  2. Walk/run/crawl/jog/roll 13.1 miles (a half marathon) during the weekend of December 4-5

And just in case I’ve fooled you, I’ll admit that I am also hoping secretly to make my weight goal by then as well…


More from me:

Orthodox imagery: an entry into the Grantourismo July blog contest talking about my love for Greek religious art

Red wine and your health



polar bear hangoverI totally have a food hangover today.  I’m drinking my coffee, fighting off my normal morning snifflies, and hoping that my daughter sleeps a little later today so I have a few minutes to blog before she’s ready to go.  So the food hangover?  Might have been… becauseIateacheeseburgerandfriesfordinner.

See, if I say it all fast like that, maybe you’ll find it too hard to read and skip it, right?  Maybe I won’t have to admit to eating a cheeseburger, french fries, a lemonade, and a large cookie?

I have to say I am PAYING for it now.  I slept poorly, my stomach is achy, and I feel totally worn out.  Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson and next time I want beef, I’ll make my own burgers and skip the stale fries.  And then, as I sat in bed with my husband bemoaning my stupid choices and making him promise to remind me of this the next time, I heard myself telling him I’m only 5 pounds away from my halfway point.

WHAT?  I’m only five measly pounds away from my next mini goal?  Five tiny pounds away from my halfway point?  Oh that’s it people.

GAME ON.  It’s only Tuesday, so the week is not yet lost.  My new plan is to cut back the calories, amp up the workouts, and get as many of those five pounds off as possible.  I’ll be trying to eat a lot more fruits and veggies, a lot less sweet stuff.  I’ll be trying out new cardio workouts since soaring temperatures in our neck of the woods are going to mean missing our morning walks for the next two or three days.

Ideally, I’d like to see that five pounds gone this week… but I haven’t seen a big loss like that since I first started losing in January.  So instead I’m shooting for two weeks and hoping for the best!  Send me good thoughts, tips, cheers… and I’ll update you after my Saturday weigh-in.


More from me:

And the award goes to…: a letter to my 14 month old daughter

Twilight & domestic violence: is the series ruining our kids?


Weight Loss & Vegetables

1. I really don’t think I was ready to workout again yesterday, although I’m still glad I did.  After I finished the Shred, I had to lay on the floor for half an hour so that I didn’t throw up, and I felt pretty rotten for another half hour or so after that.  I did finish the night feeling fine, so I guess it’s not such a bad thing that I ended up working out.

2. Eating Journey is hosting a FANTASTIC giveaway.  Check out her blog to enter… all it requires is a comment from you to enter to win some fantastic HAPPY stuff!

airplane drawingsource

3. We booked a flight to go and see my parents in Florida in September.  It probably wasn’t the best financial decision, but it’s going to do wonders for our stress levels.  We’ll just have to be extra careful, and hopefully I can also find some extra freelance work to make up the cost of the flights.  We did get a good deal at least.  My new goal is to lose as much weight as possible before we go down in September.  We leave thirteen weeks from Saturday, so I’m only aiming to lose twelve pounds by then.  That makes my goal less than one pound per week, so hopefully that leaves me room for bad weeks, sick weeks, etc.  In the past I’ve really messed myself up by setting goals too high and setting myself up to fail.  This way, I’m pretty likely to reach my goal, and if I lose more… than awesome!  I’m sticking with the 30 Day Slimdown and trying to dial down the eating a little bit… I’ve been a little lax in the eating, and I’d really like to get things back under control.  I’m trying to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables to help fill me up for less calories.  For instance, I’ll be having a bunch of watermelon for breakfast.  It’s a great way to fill up for no calories.  So I’m looking for your suggestions for cheap, easy meals that are super low calorie.  I’ll also be stocking up on some easy things like Progresso Santa Fe soup (one of the only ones I like the taste of) just so that I have quick, easy lunches ready.  Every time we go to the store (about once a week) I stock up on veggies too, and twice lately I’ve had nothing but roasted veggies for dinner.

4. We have a serious Farmer’s Market issue around here.  We live in a relatively open area… sort of suburban, but with a lot of open land that until not so long ago was all farmland.  When we moved here I was excited because I was sure I’d have a million awesome farmstands and farmers markets to discover.  Unfortunately, we’ve gone to three farmers markets nearby that were all a let down!  One only had three vendors and super high prices, one turned out to be missing entirely when we showed up at the day/time listed by the county (and we’ve had no luck finding out if it’s ended or just moved), and the most recent and most convenient had two vendors and almost no fresh produce.  It’s irritating, and it means buying produce shipped from all over the world instead of the cheaper, better tasting options from local places.  If we have time this weekend, we might try checking out a local farm in the hopes of finding some better choices.  I am now totally jealous of my friends who live in the city.  How does it make sense that my city friends have the best farmers markets when the cities have the least land to dedicate to farming?

5. Couch to 5K is still on hold right now.  Between a ton of extra hours at work for the husband and the heavy summer weather (although yesterday was really nice) I am just not finding ways to make it work.  I feel sort of bad and pretty embarrassed about it, since I made such a huge deal out of getting it done.  I really would still like to run, and I know I can do it, but I just don’t think now is the right time… so I’m just hoping that all of the strength training I’ve added to my workout will help me when it comes time to add running back into my workout routine.  And keep an eye out for a cheap treadmill for me, okay?  That would solve everything!


More from me:

Raising a churchless child

Natural wines

My house owns me… — the perils/joys of home ownership


Buying a Smaller Size

I learned two extremely important lessons today.

#1 – Never, EVER eat fast food before a run.  It will make you feel heavy, slow, sick, and miserable.  You will regret every bite, every heavy, useless calorie.  You will berate your poor, innocent husband for “letting” you eat the food in the first place, and you’ll be pissed that you made such a stupid choice.  Learn from my mistakes.

#2 – When you’ve lost almost thirty pounds and you go to buy new workout capris… TRY THEM ON.  Don’t be like me…  “I don’t need to try them on.  I’m an extra large.  I know I am.”  Yeah… the you get the pants home, put them on for their first workout, and spend the entire run/walk tugging your pants back up and pulling the drawstring ever tighter.  Don’t assume that just because pants are “fitted” they’re going to be too small for you.  TRY THEM ON.

Please, learn from my mistakes.

C25K Week 4: New Shoes?

I managed to get through another day of C25K week 4, and it was actually easier than the first day.  So yeah, it does get better.  I will definitely be repeating this week though.  The second five minute run pushes me to my absolute limit and I don’t think I could finish a longer run at this point.

Unlike Monday’s run, I actually felt pretty great when I finished this one.  The husband and baby were able to come out with me, which helps a lot in terms of motivation, and I like the time with them.  It was funny though, because at one point I got heckled by a couple of guys drinking beers on their porch.  Apparently they though it was pretty ridiculous (hard to say how serious they were) because my husband was pushing the stroller instead of me.  So only women can push strollers, I guess?  When I yelled out that I was DYING (just finished the first five minute run) they just kept up with the heckling.  I was tempted to challenge them to get out there and run too, but was afraid they’d turn out to be oddly healthy and totally show me up…. so I just kept moving and put them out of my head.  By the time the next run came around, I’d already forgotten them.

Last night was a great time to run thanks to some cool breezes and a little less humidity.  I’m usually the first to complain about unseasonal weather, and it is tough to know how to dress when the weather is super hot one week and pretty chilly the next, but when it comes to running, I am LOVING the cooler weather.  The breezes and the lower temperatures make it a lot easier to run without feeling so heavy and disgusting like I do on hot and humid days.  I also drink less water, which helps me not to feel nauseous.  Sometimes the feeling of the water sloshing around when I run really does make me feel like I’m going to be sick.  Yesterday I also discovered that the smell of food cooking (since we run in the evening’s we’re hitting a lot of dinner times) makes me totally want to barf when I’m full on running and really pushing myself.

It’s interesting, because I’m getting some really good times (for me.)  This week I’ve been averaging 32 minutes for the 2.25 miles, putting me at about a 14:00 mile.  For me, as a beginner, this sounds SUPER fast and I’m really pleased with it.  I’m hoping it’s a pace I can hold on to and bring to my first official race. I’d love to be able to say I finished with a 14:00 mile time.

So now I’m looking for some advice from other runners.  How often do you buy running shoes?  The ones I have now are older shoes, but I never really used them before this whole C25K adventure… so they’ve only been getting regular use (maybe 6 miles a week) since March.  When will I need new shoes?  How will I even know that I need them?  I have intentions of buying new shoes for myself when I finish running my first 5K, but now I’m wondering if I should get them before that so that I will have new shoes for the race.  And don’t worry, I know better than to run in totally new shoes.  I promise to break them in first.

I’m starting to think of bigger and bigger running goals, which surprises me since when I started this whole thing I was really just thinking of it as a better weight loss tool and not a goal for its own sake.  But now I am thinking about the Disney Princess Half Marathon, or the new Wine & Dine Half.  I wonder if I’d be ready to do one of those next year…  I think it would be amazing to compete in a Disney race, plus it has the added benefit of being close to my family.  I am actually thinking about waiting to do one of those races for a few years, until my daughter is old enough to enjoy Disney and we can turn it into a family vacation.  What about you?  What are some of your favorite events to walk/run/bike/watch?  What  makes a good race?  What makes a bad one?