Chubby Girls Run – Uphill Both Ways

My hill overlooking a valley in Escondido

My hill overlooking a valley in Escondido

So I told you I just moved and that I now live on a hill. That’ll be great for training runs, increasing muscle in my legs and all. And I think I figured out some streets to run on for longer flat stretches. I’ll be trying some out tomorrow.

Escondido is an older town, so lots of streets don’t have sidewalks in the neighborhoods, and many have older asphalt pathways that look like I’ll have to be careful not to trip on the uneven surfaces. I’ll have to balance wanting something solid under my feet but having to breathe more car exhaust on busier streets with wanting a quieter neighborhood but needing to be careful not to trip or run into a bad area of town…especially since I don’t know which parts are the bad parts.

But I did finally get a run in last Thursday, two weeks from my last run where I used to live. Wow, talk about good hill training! I started with one block of flat, then one block uphill (it felt like 45 degrees up!), then one block downhill, then a four-block stretch with a more sloping hill down, then two blocks more sloping up, then one block flat, then another upright hill, straight down that hill, and then repeat the whole thing. It’s 1.5 miles to make that lap around the “block” that I live on. No streets go through. So I ran it twice for 3 miles.

I have to say, all things considered, I was pretty happy with my results, just under 40 minutes doing the 5/1 run/walk that I always do. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to seeing more of my new town by running through it. 🙂 And I’m really looking forward to getting back in shape!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 36

RESULTS: Unknown – probably gained a couple pounds

OuchJust when I think life may stop throwing punches, I get a roundhouse kick in the gut. And what happens? After too many hits, I begin to revert to my former stress-eating behaviors. 🙁

I’ve done a ton of overeating this past week. Additionally, I can’t find my bathroom scale in all the boxes I’ve unpacked. I still have about three-quarters of the boxes left to unpack, so I’m sure I’ll find it at some point. But I have no idea how much I weigh.

Which may be just as well. Until I find the scale, I can regroup and refocus on eating less and eating healthier. I absolutely hate that I’m getting so behind in my work, especially in the classes I’m teaching, but all of this physical labor in unpacking and setting up our apartment is at least helping me burn a few more calories.

We went to a wedding Sunday, so I’d decided on Friday I would hit the Restart button today, Monday. It was another tough day, and I ate a lot of things I shouldn’t have. So imagine my surprise when I found that I’d only gone 50 calories over my limit! It actually encouraged me to work hard again tomorrow. Thank you, God. I needed some encouragement.

I’ve been having a lot of how am I going to get through this? days. I’ve overeaten, and I’ve eaten sweets and chips and stuff I shouldn’t while I’m trying to lose weight. But at least I haven’t given up. I’m behind. I may not reach my 50-pound weight loss goal in 50 weeks, but I’m going to keep going and keep trying.

If you’re struggling, hit the Restart button with me. We can keep going, one tiny step at a time, together.

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 35

RESULTS: Lost 0 pounds for a total loss of 31 pounds

Bathroom scaleWhen I weighed myself this weekend, I hadn’t lost any weight, but I hadn’t gained any weight – which, under the circumstances, I considered a win.

It’s been a stressful few weeks. We just moved about 40 miles closer to John’s work, among many other stressful things. There is a lot of extra exercise involved in moving, sure, but also a lot more junk food and stress eating. (Delicious yummy junk food like pizza and chips and dip and soda!)

I’m still unpacking, and I haven’t found my scale yet. But when I do, I’m not sure how to compare it to the last 35 weeks since it’s not only a different scale, but it’s digital instead of analog/mechanical. Plus, I had a really, really bad day yesterday and ate three-quarters of a bag of kettle potato chips in a sitting. Yikes.

All that to say…I’m a month behind my goal of a pound a week for 50 weeks, I’m dealing with some really tough stressors in really defeating ways, I haven’t run in a week…but I’m still going, still working it, still getting rid of clothes that are too big. 🙂

So…that’s all I’ve got…just putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. If you’re doing the same, hang in there! Somehow, we’ll make it through this tough period together.

Chubby Girls Run – In New Towns

Map My Run banner logoSo today, instead of running, I’m moving. I guess that means I’m running around, doing a lot of stairs (we’re moving to a third floor apartment), but no real running for a couple days till I unpack enough to be able to eat, shower, and dress in comfort.  😉

First thing I’ll have to do is find a couple new routes on MapMyRun. Second thing I’ll have to do is brace myself – because I now live on a hill! My once a week “hills and sprints” training is going to become “hills every run” training.

That means I’ll really have to start focusing on strength training. It also means that when I run the Carlsbad Half Marathon in 19 weeks, I’m going to be even faster because it’s a flat course! Woohoo!!!


My Public Display of Dieting – Week 34

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 31 pounds!

31 pounds lostAfter an awful lot of stress eating and lack of exercise this week, I didn’t think I’d done enough to keep my calorie count low enough to lose any weight. So imagine my surprise when I got on the scale and I was down a pound!


MyFitnessPal rewarded me with this lovely little celebratory badge. It makes me feel like I can keep on going.

Of course, you win some, you lose some. Or, in this case, you lose some, you lose some. Now that I’ve lost yet another pound on my 50-pound journey, MyFitnessPal took away another 40 calories from my daily intake. What are they thinking?? How am I supposed to stress eat with fewer calories??

I was a little worried that I’m losing muscle instead of fat since my exercise has decreased lately. But two days ago, I pulled a pair of shorts down over my hips to my ankles – while they were still zipped and buttoned! I guess that’s another pair for the donation bag. 🙂

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 33

RESULTS: Lost 0 pounds for a total loss of 30 pounds

I don’t know what it was this past weekend, but I really fell off the wagon! Friday night I was so tired, by the time I sat down in front of the TV about seven o’clock, I just wanted to munch on something. I ate half a dozen celery sticks, but covered in cream cheese. Then I went and microwaved one of those mini bags of kettle corn popcorn. I knew my desire for food was all in my head (tired and stressed) when none of that took the edge off. But at least I stopped eating.

My full plate at a potluckSaturday I was supposed to get up and go for a run before my RWA meeting in San Diego, but I was exhausted and decided to sleep instead. Without the run, I’d really have to be careful with the calorie count because our meeting was a potluck! Well, I looked over everything before I took a plate (that helps me choose beforehand, which helps me not to overeat so much), but I still ended up with a full days’ worth of calories in that one meal! (That is a homemade bratwurst there! And boy, do I wish I knew where those taquitos came from!)

The amazingly delicious food on this plate is about 700-800 calories – and worth every bite! Then I ate several fabulous desserts and two cups of yummy pomegranate juice. My daily calorie limit to lose one pound a week is currently 1510. (It keeps dropping as I lose weight, darn it.) The calories I ate just at the potluck were over 1600!

And THEN John came home and I made the most delicious guacamole, and John made his trademark fabulous margaritas, and…well, suffice it to say that Saturday’s total calories should’ve lasted me two days. Then Sunday I was just, like, screw it, I’m going to finish enjoying the weekend and start again on Monday.

On the one hand, I feel bad that I overdid it so badly. On the other hand, Saturday and Sunday’s food was absolutely delicious! John made a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner Sunday with mushrooms, bacon, avocado, and tomato. The sandwich alone was nearly 800 calories! LOL! But it was amazing! (He grilled one side of the bread in the bacon grease – oh my gosh!)

One of my friends called it a spontaneous diet vacation – LOL!!!! I love it! So that was my weekend. Monday, I went out and ran, and I ate “normally” and on track. So the fact that I got on the scale this morning and weighed the same as last week, well, I’m just grateful! (Especially since, technically, I’m three pounds behind my goal.)

Anyway, new day, new choices. We can only keep moving one step at a time, right? But at least we’re moving. 🙂

Chubby Girls Run – By the Light of the Full Moon

Full moon at start of run

So bright at 5:15 that I didn’t need streetlights

Last Thursday, there was a huge full moon out when I left the house. My phone’s camera doesn’t take good nighttime photos, but it was still fun to take a couple pictures at the beginning and end of the run.

Even though I had to temporarily stop doing my circuit training on non-run days, I was absolutely exhausted last week. I ended up only running two days instead of three. Darn. Well, I run like crap when I’m exhausted, so hopefully I’ll start running better now that I’ve gotten some sleep.  🙂

The other major, stupid thing I did last Monday as I was doing the “Total Abs” workout that John told me about was to push myself too hard, especially on the “supermen” exercise. I really did in my lower back. I haven’t been able to lean over and touch my toes without hanging onto something and grimacing. I’ve been stretching every which way trying to get those muscles to relax, and John massaged them last night, so I’m feeling a little better every day. But wow, what a dumb thing to do! I know better, but now I’ll really remember not to overdo it again! (I did not do that exercise today!)

Full moon after run at 6am

Still big and bright at 6am when I finished

Otherwise, things are going well. I feel really good at 6 miles, but without the circuit training the last few weeks, I can tell the difference. I’m not going to gain any speed until I build my strength. So I’ll try to get more of that into my schedule. (I’m so busy with work! That’s why I took it out.) I’ll wait to add an extra mile until I’m doing better with 6 miles. I don’t want to hurt myself, and that is so easy to do when you’re running.

Most days I head out (in the dark!) and think to myself, let’s go enjoy this run. The mindset helps a lot, and I do enjoy myself – which gets me out again the next time. Also, my Facebook friends have been awesome about encouraging me whether I’m doing great or falling down a bit (like with my diet this weekend). I also thank God for endorphins, without which I don’t know if I could keep adding more miles! LOL!

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.


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.