My Public Display of Dieting – Week 32

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 30 pounds!

Laughing and pointing emoticon

Okay, so this is pretty hilarious! I’ve been procrastinating putting this post up because I was so irritated that I’d gained a pound. But I don’t know what number I was comparing it against because I weigh 168 as of yesterday (the first day this week I could weigh myself) and that is down 30 pounds from Day 1.

WOOHOOO!!!!! 😀

By the way, it took me five years to gain that 30 pounds, and 7 1/2 months to lose it. I think that’s pretty good. 🙂  I now weigh what used to be my normal weight for over 10 years. Yay! (And when I get to my goal 20 pounds from now, it will be just three pounds over my wedding day weight!)

I haven’t been able to do the strength training exercises the last couple weeks so I’m concerned about both not losing fat, and losing muscle. But I’m crazy busy with work, so at least I’m keeping up my running.

Did sprints and hills this morning and all I want is sleep! 🙂  My muscles hurt and I need to take much more time to stretch than I have been. I’ve been doing “superman” core exercises along with seven other abdominal exercises and, boy, do they make my lower back tight! I could barely bend at the waist this morning. But…I guess at least it reminds me I need to stretch more…?

Okay, deep breath, here we go, hopefully another pound gone by next week!!

Chubby Girls Run – Against the Sun

I’m hearing that Bob Seger song “Against the Wind” in my head as I type. I would’ve enjoyed some wind, even a breeze, but on Friday, it was definitely a matter of running against the sun.

I’ve told you that I usually set my alarm for 4:30 or 5:00am on running days so I can complete my miles before the sun heats up the day. But Thursday night was the big Perseid meteor shower, and John and I were sitting outside watching until midnight. (Some amazing displays!)

So the earliest I could pull myself out of bed was about 7. Add together the facts that I was super tired to begin with, a hotter weather system had moved in, and I was supposed to run an extra mile – Friday was a rough run!

I’d go into all the details about how I think I sweated more than the water I drank, my stomach started growling halfway through, there was no shade on half of the new route I’d taken nor were there sidewalks on part of it…but those are all the reasons why the run was difficult.

If I keep focusing on all the things that are hard about running, I won’t keep doing it, especially if the plan is to add another mile every 2-3 weeks.

So here are the good parts of my 6-miler on Friday!

  1. Even though I lay in bed thinking about not wanting to go out, posted to Facebook about not wanting to go out, and dilly-dallied even after I dressed in my running clothes – I went out and ran the 6 miles!
  2. It was super hot (for running, about 70 degrees), but I didn’t walk any more than usual. I ran the whole way. (I run in a 5/1 method – 5 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking.)
  3. I ran slower to make sure I had enough energy to make the whole trip, proof that my attitude had improved by the time my Nike’s hit the sidewalk. I was determined to just do it!
  4. I DID IT! I ran 6 miles for the first time in five or more years! In the end, this is the part that matters – I went out and did it anyway, regardless of how I felt.

SUCCESS!!

I’m a strong believer in celebrating your successes because it make the neurons in your brain make connections that say, “Oh, this is good, she wants me to do this again. Okay, let’s wire things up here to make this happen again.” Your brain is so freaking awesome – it will try to do what you tell it to do. So celebrating helps you get ready to do it again!

Which I will, tomorrow! Look out, world, I’m going to run my 6 miles faster tomorrow – because Friday proved to me that I could do it! But I’m going to do the vampire pre-dawn thing again and stay out of the sun. 😀

Book Marks: The Ivory Caribou – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

Book cover for The Ivory Caribou by Caroline McCullaghThe Ivory Caribou by Caroline McCullagh

Goodreads Summary

Is it a love story? Or is it an adventure story? Or is it a commentary on the tragedy of war? It is all of these, and more.  Award Winning Author Caroline McCullagh weaves a thrilling and dynamic story around Anne O’Malley’s genealogical search for the story of her late husband’s father that takes her to the far North of Canada to find new relatives among the Inuit culture, to Europe behind the lines in World War I, and back to the small Inuit village where she finds romance. The Ivory Caribou won Best Unpublished Novel in the San Diego Book Awards.

My Thoughts

I think I say this a lot, but I really am such a blessed person!  People send books to me to read and review, some of which I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own, and they end up being wonderful!  The Ivory Caribou is one of those books.  I honestly don’t think I would have chosen to read this book on my own because it’s not the typical kind of book that I enjoy.  Most often, when I actually go to a store and pick out books for myself, I choose books that are either somewhat exciting/action packed, someone recommended them or, if they are contemporary fiction, have characters that I can relate to (around my age, similar lifestyles, things like that).  The Ivory Caribou doesn’t really fit any of those.  But, I really enjoyed it!

Anne O’Malley is an older woman, a widow, and she doesn’t have any children.  I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to get into her life.  But I was drawn right in!  Her inward struggles and loneliness reached right into my heart and there were times when, because of work and being a mom, I had to put the book down to do something and I realized that I was feeling Anne’s sadness so deep that I had to remind myself that it was just a book!

I really enjoyed all of the journal entries from her father-in-law.  Surprisingly, I have come to love historical fiction books lately and this has several touches of that element wrapped up in it.  Such an enjoyable bonus!  I also really enjoyed learning so much about the Inuit culture!  Again, something that I wouldn’t have necessarily expected to enjoy as much as I did.  There were also a few romantic situations but they weren’t “graphic” or inappropriate.  Just sweet and, well, romantic!

I definitely recommend The Ivory Caribou!  A very strong 4+ stars!  The only reason it’s not a full 5 stars is because it ended a bit abruptly.  However, I realize that it’s probably because this is book 1 of The Anne O’Malley Arctic Adventures series.  Still, I found myself wanting a bit more in this book.  Very Good though!  Read it!!!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher 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 31

Excited smile emoticonRESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 29 pounds!

After some really difficult weeks, I’ve been amazed and entirely grateful for a week that wasn’t as hard. Even on the day from hell when I came home and had a double-shot margarita with chips and cheese, I was only about 100 calories over my “allowance” – because I had an extra 600+ calories from running that morning.

Friday, I even had pizza and cheese bread for dinner (Thanks, Doug!) because I hadn’t eaten that much earlier in the day. Awesome! Seems to me that guilt-free pizza is a great way to dig in and keep working hard. Haha!

I’m more than halfway to my goal of 50 pounds in 50 weeks, and so close to being on target. I still can hardly believe that it’s happening! Seems like almost every day I’m putting on clothes that are just about too big and need to be put in the giveaway bag, or clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in a few years, or I think about where I lived and what I was doing the last time I was at this weight or that weight.

And I can tell when I’m running how different it feels to run with less and less weight to move around every week. That’s pretty awesome, too.

So…here’s to another week of both of us making progress!

Chubby Girls Run – For the Joy of It

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise from the backyard July 25, 2016

I’m running with a plan mostly – to get ready to run another half marathon in January. But sometimes I’m tired and stressed about other things and a run just sounds like such a great way to get away.

Friday I felt that way. Thursday night, actually. I decided that I would get up early, but not before dawn, and I would run my full 5 miles, but not to try to gain speed. I just wanted to relax and run. To feel the breeze, to feel my muscles move, to not think about anything I’d left at my desk.

So I “slept in” until 6:30 and got on the road with a full two extra hours of sleep. I didn’t try to run fast or breathe in a certain way that would help me run faster. I just ran. (I did stay focused on my posture because it helps me not to have an aching back after.)

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

I took along two of my new friends, Mark Dawson and James Blatch of The Self Publishing Formula Podcast, because they always amuse me as they tell me about new and interesting things.

And together we ran.

When I got to my only hill in mile 2, I decided that since the sun was up and I shouldn’t have to worry about cars whizzing around the curve at the top of the hill and not seeing me, I’d run farther up the hill. (No sidewalk there.) It felt good to push myself because I wanted to and not because my running plan said to do it.

When I came to slight declines in the sidewalk, I ran faster to take advantage of the downward slope just because running faster feels so good.

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

And when I got to the end of my 5 miles, feeling so much better than earlier in the week, what a surprise to see I’d shaved a full minute off my time! Wow.

Times like those I see so many parallels between writing and running. Friday I was reminded that doing something for joy, even if it’s also part of a bigger plan (run a race, earn a living), those are the moments to shoot for. Those are the moments we need to nurture and look for ways to make happen more often.

Because doing something that God has gifted you with, doing it with passion and joy, that’s its own form of worship and gratitude. 🙂

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 30

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 28 pounds!

Kitty July 2016 - a little thinner

I can see the difference in how I look!

Can you believe it’s about 60% of the way through 2016?! Today marks the 60% mark of my journey to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks – and it’s still shocking to me that I’m pretty close to on target! 🙂

In addition to counting calories, I’ve been exercising regularly – running, circuit training, and abdominal exercises to increase my core strength. The hardest part is not eating more after exercising when I’m hungry. But the more protein I consume, the easier it is to stick to my current limit of 1510 calories per day, even after the exercise.

I say “current” because it used to be more when I was heavier. It was easier to lose weight when I was heavier. I could make some mistakes and still lose when I was heavier. That is changing now. And I see better why I didn’t lose weight when I tried a few years ago when I was at my now current weight. I really didn’t understand how few calories I could consume and still make progress.

The most shocking thing that occurred this week was trying on clothes that haven’t fit in two or more years – and finding many of them loose! And for the first time in two years, I put clothes in the giveaway pile because I didn’t like them, not because they didn’t fit. I had far too many clothes I didn’t like that I wore because they were the only items that fit.

I think it’s the clothes thing that is giving me the most willpower to keep going! 😀

One more day, and one more day, and one more…

Chubby Girls Run – Like a Vampire

running vampireI can’t help it – every dark 5am that I find myself outside and running around the neighborhood, every time I look at my watch to see how long until sunrise, wondering if I will finish before the sun peeks above the hills, all I can do is giggle and think I’m like a running vampire.

This last week, I added a mile so I really had to make sure I didn’t sleep too late. On Wednesday, I decided to go at an easy jog since adding a mile to my four-mile training meant adding 25%! Eek! (All the training advice I’ve read says not to add more than 10% per week.)

Surprisingly, my lungs never felt the extra mile and, in fact, the slower pace had me breathing easier the entire way. My legs, on the other hand, felt much worse – and not just for the last mile, the whole time. John mentioned to me before that jogging too slow makes his legs hurt worse than at a faster pace. This was the first time I experienced that.

And so on Friday I decided to try to run at my normal pace (currently about 13 minutes per mile) for the five miles. I figured it would be difficult, and it was a beautiful, quiet (dark!) morning, so I didn’t turn my music on. From the first step, I focused on posture and breathing.

I read an article in Runner’s World magazine recently about breathing every five steps – inhale for two steps, exhales for three steps. This helps you to never be hitting one side of your body harder than the other, the author says. Because I was so fully focused on my breathing and trying to keep at my regular pace, I actually ran a bit faster! (I think this was partially since I didn’t have music on, which usually has four beats, not five. It was difficult to breathe every five steps with music before. I’ll let you know if that changes with practice.)

Pre-sunrise MenifeeI was tired when I was done, but I felt really good about my accomplishment. And I even finished my run just before the sun hit my eyes. (I took this picture after running up an incline at my downhill pace. Awesome!)

Now the next thing I have to do is interval running – sprints and hills. Ack! I really don’t want to! It sounds so hard! So I’m going to do it tomorrow. I am. Because it’s going to help me get stronger and run faster.

And in the end, that’s what I want.

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 29

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 27 pounds!

Kitty lost 26 poundsI’m not sure if it was really a full pound, but it looked pretty close on the scale. And I can’t feel too bad about it if it was only a half pound or so, because it was only a few days ago that I weighed myself for the last entry.

Either way, I’m making progress! I’m 2 pounds behind, but I’m doing it! (I had to share the cool graphic that popped up on the My Fitness Pal app a couple days ago when I finally dropped off that plateau.)

If you read my post from yesterday, I’m back to exercising fairly regularly now that I’m home again. Whew! It’s crazy hot – about 68-72 degrees (20-22 C) at 4:30 in the morning when I have been going out. I have to get back before the sun rises or I’m just too hot and exhausted to keep going.

I have noticed one major problem – I’ve gone back to emotional eating again. 🙁 This is very sad. It’s because my life has gotten overwhelming again, and sometimes I just want some chocolate or cheesy bread or a margarita to make myself feel better. I’m trying to chew some gum, or even some celery, or brush my teeth when I want to eat…but I haven’t yet.

Praying to notice that I’m about to emotionally overeat before I do it. At least I’ve finally realized what the problem really is. Maybe now I can start catching up on those other two pounds. We’ll see! 😀

Chubby Girls Run – And Do Circuit Training

So after a week away from home – with only one run, but on the flattest land I’ve ever run on – I’m finally getting back into my exercise routine. I’d decided to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and do circuit training for 20-30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was also looking to get a little yoga stretching in to stay limber. (So far, I’ve done very little yoga over the last seven months, but I’m trying to make time for it.)

Full moon while running in darkI like running outside (I’m not a fan of treadmills) but I hate being hot. Yeah, I know, I live in Southern California, no way to get around summer heat. So I’ve been setting my alarm to get it done at the coolest part of the day. It’s crazy hot – about 68-72 degrees (20-22 C) at 4:30 in the morning! Whew! I have to get back before the sun rises or I’m just too hot and exhausted to keep going. A couple days ago, I took this picture about 4:50am of the full moon – my only light while trying not to trip over the cracks in the sidewalk. 😉 Gorgeous. Don’t get that on a treadmill.

And because it’s been so hot outside, it’s also hot inside. So I don’t want to do my circuit training either. It was easy for a few days to say i was too busy to do it, but Saturday I saw Doug exercising on his indoor bike and I thought – just do it, Kitty! I am not running very fast and I want to, but I won’t get any faster if I don’t get stronger.

Kitty tired after circuit trainingSo I hurried and put on my exercise clothes before I could think about it. The air conditioning keeps it at 76 (24 C) inside, which is very pleasant if you’re sitting still at your computer or watching TV, but it’s still hot when you’re exercising hard! I thought I was about to pass out once during my workout yesterday, but…then I decided that it was a great opportunity for a ridiculous funny photo. 😉  I was breathing like a freight train and tried to smile like it was fun.

Hope it made you laugh!

Keep going! Don’t quit! 😀

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 28

RESULTS: Lost 3 pounds for a total loss of 26 pounds!

YESFinally!!! 😀  Hahaha!!

Man, I was beginning to wonder when I would ever lose another pound. Since I was away all last week at the Romance Writers of America National Conference, I had no idea how much I weighed, whether I was doing a good or poor job at managing my calorie intake, or anything else. What a relief to finally drop off this plateau!

I’m still two pounds behind my goal, but at least I’m now past the halfway mark! Only 24 pounds to go in the next 22 weeks!

I don’t have anything particularly helpful to share this week except this – don’t give up, and don’t stop trying!!

I didn’t exercise as much as I wanted to at the conference, but I was able to get in a spectacular run on the first morning. (Running along the edge of the San Diego harbor was one of the nicest runs ever!) And I went to my first Zoomba class on the second day of the conference. I really wanted to go to the yoga-pilates class on the third morning (most writers have more than one thing they do well, and there was a fitness instructor and a chiropractor who gave classes for us sedentary writers), but I was so exhausted by then I couldn’t get out of bed early enough. 🙂

I spent a good part of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week apartment-hunting, so no exercise those days – up before dawn. Finally, yesterday I did my 4-mile run again. A whole week without exercise made it tough, but I pushed myself and did it only 2 seconds slower than last week. Yay!

So that’s all I’ve got for you – don’t give up, keep going, hit the restart button again as soon as you can, and once again – don’t give up! 😀