My Public Display of Dieting – Week 25

RESULTS: Lost 0 pounds for a total loss of 24 pounds

j0227558It’s the halfway point! Yay! And I’m excited that I’m pretty close to on track! But losing weight just seems harder lately, as I’ve mentioned. There are a couple things that may or may not be responsible for that.

First, I’ve wondered how long the My Fitness Pal app would continue to suggest 1670 calories as my upper limit for losing one pound per week. After all, I was heavier when I started. The lighter I get, the fewer calories I can eat, right? So I wondered if continuing with the same number would eventually get to the point where I wasn’t losing weight anymore.

Second, I’ve just started seriously working out last week. People like to say, “Muscle weighs more than fat” as a reason why you don’t lose weight when you start exercising. Maybe. I certainly do have more muscles now than I did two or three weeks ago. But the fact remains that I had 50 pounds of fat to lose and I quite possibly didn’t lose any this week.

My Fitness Pal logoRelating to both of the above, I asked my doctor if I should change the Activity Level in the app from Lightly Active to Active since I would be running three days a week and doing circuit training three days a week. She said yes, so I did. And the app said I could now eat up to 1800 calories a day! Woohoo!!

BUT…I didn’t lose any weight last week. So I changed the setting back to Lightly Active. However…since I now weigh 24 pounds less than I did when I first set the settings in January, the app said I now have to keep my daily calorie intake to under 1510 calories! What?! I expected the app to slowly decrease my allowed calories, not sharply cut me off!

<stomach grumbles> Wait, no, that wasn’t my stomach grumbling, it was my head.

So anyway, here I am, checking in, trying to give you updates that might be helpful to your weight loss journey as well.

Meanwhile, I’m off to bed. (It’s Monday night as I write this.) Gotta get up at 4:50am tomorrow to run before the sun comes up. The overnight low is 70 degrees Fahrenheit! That’s too hot for a comfortable run in the dark – waaay too uncomfortable to run when the sun is adding to the heat. But I’m going to do it! Besides, Monday I ran at a really good pace for me, especially for only the second week of training! Woohoo!! Here’s to more good days! 🙂

13 Days of Free Books

Little Miss Lovesick by Kitty BucholtzThis is the last time for a while that I will have an opportunity to give away all of my books for free on Amazon. (Insert uninteresting story about Amazon rules here…)

So starting today, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Little Miss Lovesick is free for five days as an Amazon Kindle ebook. That’s today through Saturday, July 2. Hurray!

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding book cover by Kitty BucholtzThen on Saturday, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding will become free for five days – Saturday, July 2 through Wednesday, July 6. Awesome!

Unexpected Superhero cover by Kitty BucholtzAnd then Unexpected Superhero will be free from Wednesday, July 6 through Sunday, July 10. Yay!

Of course, the short story prequel to the superhero series, “Superhero in Disguise,” is permanently free on Amazon and most other online retailers (like iBooks, Kobo, BN, etc.).

Superhero in Disguise by Kitty Bucholtz, in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke seriesI’ll send you a quick email on Saturday and next Wednesday reminding you that it’s the last day to get one book and the first day to get another.

Plus, I’ll send you one more quick email when “Welcome to Loon Lake” is published. I’ve had a couple little problems, but I expect it will still come out this week. I’m so excited!

Chubby Girls Run – A New Column to Celebrate Trying New Things

I asked and you answered – and so here is my new column (for at least the next 29 weeks)!

My runner's journal on the first dayWhy Chubby Girls Run? Well, I first started my running journey when I was 39 and chubby. 🙂 I’d been thinking that I wanted to do something a little wild and crazy before I turned 40, but I couldn’t think of something that I might actually enjoy. Then, the week before my birthday, my friend Dwight said he wanted to run a marathon once just to say he did it. That definitely sounded wild and crazy!

But when I did a little research, it seemed like most “bucket list” marathoners found the experience so brutal, most only did it once. I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt that bad! So I convinced John to do the Couch-to-5K podcast series with me and…one thing led to another. We did a 5K race in Brentwood, CA, and a 10K race in Santa Barbara, CA, and they were kind of fun! John and I both decided a half marathon would likely be a distance we could handle without too much discomfort. So all three of us signed up for the 2008 Pasadena Marathon and Half Marathon.

My runner's journal canceled Pasadena MarathonWe were all so stoked for it! The race was scheduled to be exactly eight months from the date Dwight and John and I all had lunch and decided to do this crazy thing together. John and I were so excited, we rented a motel room a couple blocks away, got special shirts with “Run for CHUM” printed on them (because we were raising money for my sister’s charity), and we both woke up before the alarm went off that morning. But when we walked out the motel room door – smoke! Oh no! A few minutes later, we were told the race was cancelled due to fire in the hills above!

My runner's journal Surf City MarathonCrap! All that training and energy for nothing. But no! We regrouped and found another race as quickly as we could. Finally, Dwight and John and I ran our first marathon and half marathon in Huntington Beach, CA, about 7 weeks before my 41st birthday! Woo-hooo!! I made my goal!

And so begins the funny part of the story. I liked it! I liked long-distance running! I never liked to run in gym class, and was relegated to the shot put and discus arena when I tried to join the track team in high school. To this day, the first mile about kills me. I’ve gotten better at slowing down in the first mile, but all I can think about is how I can’t breathe and how slow I am and why am I doing this?! Haha!

But mile #2 – every time – brings in some of that endorphin rush. I find my rhythm, feel the grace of movement, and relax into the beat of good music punctuated by my running shoes on the sidewalk. It’s basically awesome.

I kept a runner’s journal from the first day (pictures of it here) but didn’t record my weight at first. At the time I started, I was probably around 168 or so. A year later (April 2009), I recorded our weight in the journal because we both wanted to lose weight. I weighed 178 pounds (just shy of 81 kg).

Definitely chubby. 😉

Kitty crossing the finish line at one of the half marathons I ran in SydneyBut the fact is, I kept running because I liked it. I came in at the end of races – at least once I was last. In the 2010 Blackmores’ Sydney Running Festival’s Half Marathon, I limped/ran the whole 13.1 miles due to a hurt muscle a few days before. I didn’t think I’d finish, but there were two women from New Zealand there and the three of us ended up kind of running together. I came in third to last in a field of thousands of runners, but I finished! And all those people in the picture – they cheered for us! (I high-fived the other two after we crossed the finish line!)

I would guess I was about 165-168 (75-76 kg) at the time. However, you want to look at it, still chubby. 🙂

Even when life went to hell in a handbasket, I’d find myself running again. I never found a way to lose any weight and stayed in the 165-178 range from March 2008 on. After John got in a motorcycle accident in March 2014, I stopped trying to exercise and spent a lot of time stress eating. By January of this year, I was up to 198 pounds (90 kg)! I actually ran a little bit even at that weight!

I don’t know what happened – why now? – but at the beginning of January 2016, I decided to lose 50 pounds (nearly 23 kg) in 50 weeks…and it’s working! I think a big part of my success came from deciding to blog about it (see the first post here) and from posting a picture of chubby me after losing 2 pounds the first week. There was no way I was going to let that be the last picture of me! Hahaha!

Even though I plan and expect to be down to 148 (67kg) before Christmas, the fact is that I’ve always been on the chubby side. And I’ve been chubby every single day I’ve ever run.  And saying I’m a chubby slow runner always makes me laugh for some reason!

And if I can encourage you to do something a little wild and crazy that you don’t know for sure you can do – lose weight, run a race, sky dive (that one’s for you, not me!) – then I want to do that, to encourage you!

Runner Journal signup for 2017CHalfMSo for the next 29 Sundays – that’s when I run the 2017 Carlsbad Half Marathon – I’ll be writing about my running progress, what’s working and what’s not. If I can get some other chubby runners, girl runners, writer runners, or other runners to come guest blog and encourage us both, I’ll do it!

I promise to try to keep future posts shorter. But I wanted to give us both a solid foundation to build on. Now go and build something yourself! I know from experience – you can do it!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 24

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 24 pounds

Right before the start of the 2013 Carlsbad Half Marathon

Right before the start of the 2013 Carlsbad Half Marathon

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that this is working! I’m doing it! It’s week 24 and I’ve lost 24 pounds!!! If all goes well, next week I’ll be halfway to my goal!

Before the end of the summer, I’ll be at my lowest weight in two decades! Amazing!

I may have mentioned that I’ve had a goal for a couple years of being at my most healthy by the time I’m 50. I want to be at a healthy weight; I want to be my strongest; I want to be able to run faster than I ever have in my life. In just under two years from now.

To that end, I’ve added circuit training to my exercise routine. In just 18 minutes a day, two days a week, I’ve already gotten in good enough shape that when I did a test run last Thursday, it went really well!

2013 - Just moments after I crossed the finish line! John is doing the Olympic bite.

2013 – Just moments after I crossed the finish line! John is doing the Olympic bite.

And now that I’ve signed up to run the 2017 Carlsbad Half Marathon in January, I’m stepping things up! My doctor put together a running and exercise schedule for me Friday, and I started it today. (I love having a doctor who’s an athlete – she’s really excited for me!)

Wow! I can’t believe how well I did on Day One!! But it’s going to be a sore and exhausting journey! Haha! 😀

So here we go! If you’ve got your own health goal, keep going! We can do this!

Book Marks: The Mine – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

The MineThe Mine by John A. Heldt

Goodreads Summary

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

My Thoughts

Oh, how I loved this book!  So good!  I have never read a ‘time travel’ book before so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I was certainly hoping that it would be a good read and it was!

Let me be totally real with you though, when I first started reading The Mine my immediate thought was that I wasn’t going to enjoy it.  The first chapter did not give me a great impression of Joel.  In fact, I did not like Joel at all.  He seemed like a total brat.  And then, when he first went back in time (I’m trying not to give spoilers, guys) it seemed like he adapted a little too easily.

Then, I started thinking about how I always say I was born in the wrong era.  I thought about how I might feel if I was able to go back in time… I think I’d do great too!  I might have a little longer adjustment time than Joel did, but that might just be a personality difference between us (you know, if he was a real person… sometimes I get wrapped up in a story and I forget it’s not real).

The ending was absolutely spectacular!  I adored it!  I was actually hoping for that kind of ending but I didn’t imagine it quite the way it happened.  I liked Mr. Heldt’s version better than the one I created in my mind 🙂

I will definitely be recommending this book!  It was extremely good and I can’t wait to read another John A. Heldt book again soon!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie Kurtz

 

Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 23

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 23 pounds

Smiley face with thumb upWoohooo!! I’m finally caught up again! I was trying not to get down about having such a hard time the last several weeks catching up on my pound-a-week weight loss goal, but somehow I did it! Woohooo!!!

It’s been amazing getting into clothes I haven’t been able to wear for two years. Plus, I even had to start a bag to go to the charity store for clothes that are too big to wear. YAY!!

Can you tell I’m super excited? Hopefully, the excitement will help me continue making great progress. And, of course, it helps that John is counting calories with the My Fitness Pal app, too. Now we’re not saying, “Oh, just this one time” every time the other one is eating something delicious. 🙂

Now the big question for the week is – should I enter the Carlsbad Half Marathon? I have to decide in the next week. I want to. I’m building muscle and losing fat, both of which will help me do a good job and enjoy the run…and the training.

But I can’t do this alone. Do I have enough encouraging friends to push me and encourage me over the next seven months? That’s the question. What do you think? 😉

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 22

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 21 pounds

May has been a pretty rough month for me regarding weight loss. Not sure why, but my old thoughts about just wanting to eat all the time seem to be more in my head than the better, more recent thoughts about doing what needs to be done to lose a pound a week. Unfortunately, I’ve only lost 2 pounds in the 4 1/2 weeks of May.

On the good side, I’m only one pound behind my goal. So that’s something to celebrate! Plus, now that I’m doing circuit training twice a week, that’s bound to help a lot. This morning, I even did a 30-minute walk in addition to the circuit training. Yay!

Celebrating any progress at all is worthwhile because it helps me keep going. So now I just have to get ahead by a pound or so, and keep on going. 🙂

If you’re working it, keep working! We can do it!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 21

RESULTS: Lost 4 pounds for a total loss of 20 pounds! I’m 40% to my goal!!

Hand weightsWhew! The three pounds I gained last week was just the normal monthly gain that comes and goes as quickly as that. And then I still lost my scheduled one pound for the week! Now I just have to work a bit harder to lose 2 more pounds next week so I can catch up to the week I’m on. My 50 pounds in 50 weeks weight loss goal is still in sight!  🙂

I’ve been super busy the last few weeks, so I haven’t exercised as much as I had been. But I also haven’t been doing as much strength training as I should at all, period. So last week, John showed me a bunch of the exercises he does at this weight-training circuit class they have at his work at lunchtime. Thursday, I finally tried it.

Holy cow. I only did one set instead of two, and I was sucking air on the floor at the end! Haha! The morning after my first try, I could barely walk down the stairs without falling. My legs and butt hurt!! Friday (second day, and in a row, too!) was somewhat better. I’m going to work up to two sets by the end of June, though. Here’s to success!

LOVE AT THE LIBRARY: Two Classes on How to Self-Publish

I’m excited to be teaching two LIVE in-person workshops this spring teaching people what they need to know about self-publishing and helping them get started. You want to come?

Love at the Library event banner

LOVE AT THE LIBRARY – Saturday, May 28, Noon – 6pm, Free
The first one is tomorrow, Saturday, May 28, 2016, at the downtown San Diego library. The San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America is presenting, Love at the Library, a day of workshops, readings, and book signings (with lots of your favorite romance authors) followed by the screening of the feature-length documentary, Love Between the Covers.

The film explores the romance novel industry, what makes it so popular, and why so many intelligent, talented women choose to write romance. It’s really interesting (I saw it at the LA Film Festival last year) and yours truly has a cameo appearance! 😀 

My workshop, The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing, will run from 1:00pm to 1:50pm. I’ll have handouts for everyone, and there will be Q&A at the end. Two other writing workshops are at 12 noon and at 2:00pm. More details, including times and location, can be found here. This event is completely FREE and runs from Noon to 6pm. Cool, right?!

THE WRITE STUFF – Saturday, June 4, 10am – Noon, $10
The second workshop is next Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Valley Center County Library not far from Escondido, California, in northern San Diego county. It’s also not far from Temecula. This one will be very cool for different reasons. 😉

First, it’s a 2-hour workshop instead of 50 minutes. And the class size is capped at 20 people, so I’ll be able to help every student more personally and in greater depth.

Second, the $10 fee per person goes directly to the library! Love that! You get to learn about self-publishing, and the library benefits. Win-win!

I’m part of “The Write Stuff” series and my workshop, Self-Publishing – A How-to Seminar, will cover many topics that are in my online course (Your How-to Guide to Self-Publishing, which will re-open this summer).

Since you need to pre-register for this event (no walk-ins except maybe on the small chance the class isn’t filled), I am attaching the registration PDF here so you can download it and mail it in ASAP. If you have any questions, or want to make sure it’s not too late to register, email me at kitty AT kittybucholtz DOT com.

I hope to see you at these events! Should be lots of fun! 😀

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 20

RESULTS: Gained 3 pounds for a total loss of 16 pounds

Chicago deep dish pizzaWell, the longer I do this, the more I learn about myself. For one thing, every four or five weeks, I gain a few pounds, partially from overeating. Then the next week I tend to lose everything I gained. That’s one good thing.

Also, when I’m someplace with some kind of amazing food I don’t get to eat very often, I’m going to eat it no matter what. And if there are leftovers, I’m going to eat those, too, because – hey, I don’t get to eat this very often. 😀

Last week, a friend of mine bought Chicago deep dish pizza and sent it home with me for John and me to finish. It was awesome. And we’ve eaten this very high calorie pizza for the last four days in a row. I also had margaritas two of those days with the pizza. I wasn’t at all surprised that I gained a couple pounds this week.

Another thing I learned is that it is really difficult for me to get enough exercise when I am away from home. Four of the last five days, I’ve been out – dentist, teaching a class, a couple meetings, and getting the car fixed. I haven’t been able to get up early enough to exercise before having to leave on these days. And that means my exercise has been cut more than 50%!

So…all those things added together mean that yes, I’ve gained a few pounds instead of losing one. But after tomorrow, I’ll be back on track…mostly. I have a lot of teaching engagements and other things in the next month. So in order to not gain weight, since I won’t be able to get as much exercise in, I’ll have to really cut back on the pizza! (Thank goodness, there’s only two pieces left. 😉 )

If you’re struggling, don’t get discouraged. Just look for specific things that aren’t going as well as they should and ask yourself how you can make them work better. You can do this – and I can, too!