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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰ Β 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! πŸ˜€

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 28

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

YESFinally!!! πŸ˜€ Β 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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 27

RESULTS: Lost 0Β pounds for a total loss of 23 pounds

Lightbulb idea gifSure I’m a little bummed that I haven’t lost any weight in a month. But I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be getting stronger every week! And if you read yesterday’s blog post from my new “Chubby Girls Run” column, you know I ran 12 miles last week! That’s awesome!!

Also, a reader friend last week left a comment with a link to this article on what is going on in your body when you are trying to get in shape via exercise and eating better, and why you may not lose weight in the beginning of a new exercise plan. (Thanks, Linda!) It’s really interesting and helps you not to give up.

A lot of my issue is also just being super busy and tired of eating a little when I want to eat more. Some days, a lot more. I’ve got a lot of stressful things ramping up and that has always made me want to have some chocolate or a glass of wine or a handful of cheese crisp crackers…or all three.

I’ve got to keep exercising because it’s good for me, and work on changing my mind, changing my attitude about the whole thing. My attitude will help me be willing to eat fewer calories every day for the rest of the year to reach my goal. If I keep working on my mind, as well as my body, things will change. πŸ™‚

Chubby Girls Run – More Than I Have Since 2013

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I've ever done!

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I’ve ever done! Sign up now for September!

I just finished my third full week of training for my upcoming half marathon in January. I was a little nervous to move from 3 miles per day (for the first two weeks) to 4 miles per day. But when I saw my stats in Map My Run after my workout, I was tickled pink! I ran at a good pace for me!

Even better – and more surprising – when I wrote in my running journal about my 4 miles, I paged back to find the last time I ran that much. I knew it’d been a while, but what a shock to see the last time was in September 2013! The day I ran my last half marathon, the Run for CHUM charity run for my sister’s therapeutic riding facility in Michigan.


Strangely, I was nervous again on Wednesday. What if I was tired now and much slower? I was so nervous that I’d suck, I skipped my circuit training on Tuesday to regain my strength. But Wednesday was great, too! I decided to do my circuit training on Thursday because I must get stronger in order to run faster, but I knew I might be slower Friday just from being tired.

I did great Friday, too! (And so I made up my missed circuit training session on Saturday. πŸ˜‰ )

My body is really beginning to show me that it’s happy to be getting stronger, even though sometimes it’s not fun to try to do exercises I can’t do for the 40 seconds per circuit round. Forty seconds, guys. Sheesh. But…every week I’m a tiny bit better. I can see small changes when I look in the mirror.

And once I started envisioning myself running faster while trying to do a 60-second plank, I was able to stay up and straight for the whole 60 seconds! The more I envision myself getting stronger, the stronger I get. It’s so cool! (For more information on cool things your brain can do, read You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Awesome book!)

If you’re working on improving your health, exercising more, training for a run, or anything that requires a lot of effort for small changes, keep going! Don’t give up! Together, we can achieve our goals. Β πŸ™‚

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 26

illustration of 4th of July Background with American flagRESULTS: Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 23 pounds

Okay, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve lost 23 pounds and I refuse to give up on my goal of losing 50 before the end of the year. πŸ™‚ Β More good news is that I am exercising more than I have in years – maybe ever! No matter how much I weigh, you can’t beat the health benefits of exercise. πŸ™‚

That being said, my desire for yummy food has been stronger than my desire to lose weight…apparently. Since losing over 20 pounds, the My Fitness Pal app has decreased the number of calories I’m allowed in order to continue losing 1 pound a week. But…I haven’t been able to stick to it. πŸ™

And now it’s the holiday weekend with yummy food everywhere!

So…I’m going to keep running, keep doing the circuit training, enjoy the holiday food, and change two things. One, I’m going to change what’s in my mind – I’m going to remind myself that the food will be just as yummy next year, a few bites will taste just as good as a plateful, and the end result will be more worthwhile than a dozen or a hundred delicious moments. This worked in January, but eventually it started to fade. I need to fan those flames again.

And two, I’m going to take a short period – a week or two should do it – and focus on a low-calorie, high energy diet. If – or really when – I do that, I should be caught up by the end of the month. (I say the end of the month because I forgot that I’ll be at a conference eating conference food later this month, so I’ll have to take that into account.)

If you’re trying to lose weight, too, I hope this is giving you some ideas on what you can do to keep going. So very much of what we accomplish and fail at in life is in our heads. The wacky part is that we sometimes feel we can’t control ourselves, and we sometimes know that our attitude made all the difference. Weird how our minds can convince us of both!

I believe I can change. I believe I can look at the bigger picture and make short-term changes for long-term good. We both can. We just need to keep going, find new ways to move ahead, and we need to be determined to not give up.

Happy Independence Day to you, my friend! Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives!

Chubby Girls Run – Even on the 4th of July

Kitty smiling after a run

After a run – notice my awesome new shirt!

If you’re going to sign up to run a race, you’re going to force yourself to practice for two reasons. One, you don’t want to be embarrassed or hurt yourself on the day of the race. Two, you don’t want to waste your money. Race entry fees can be very expensive.

So I’ve been getting up at 4:50am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so I can get out there and be done running by the time the sun comes up. (It’s as much as 70 degrees in the dark some mornings.) Thank goodness, there is a big hill to the east that shields me from the sun for a few extra minutes. Those are a few extra minutes of sleep for me!

Now, I’m not fast, but I will tell you one secret I’ve found that works for me. Before I go out, even before I go to bed the night before, I think about how great running is, how great the wind feels in my face, what a sense of accomplishment I feel when I run a little faster.

Kitty exhausted after a run

How I feel on the inside!

The reason I keep going with this awful circuit training (it’s awful because I’m not strong yet and I’m just terrible at all these exercises) is that I know I’m going to run faster if I keep it up. Already, I can tell the difference – I’m regularly running at my past fully-trained speed, the speed I run during a race, and I’m only two weeks in! I may not enjoy feeling like a weakling as I work my way up to a strong body, but I already know it’s going to be worth it!

One of the things that I forgot I need to plan for is that I need more sleep with all the extra exercise. I think it was after my second run that I lay down after lunch for a few minutes and slept for two hours! It’s much harder for me to get enough sleep in the summer due to the early sunrise, so I have a dark T-shirt under my pillow that I pull out around 5am and put over my eyes – on days I don’t have to get up early. Hey, whatever works, right? πŸ™‚

Silly Kitty after her run

Even exhausted, I’m happy I went running!

Another thing that’s slightly irritating, but necessary, is that you need to train consistently. Tomorrow is the 4th of July – a holiday and, for many people, a day to sleep in. But me? It’s Monday, a training day, so my alarm is set for 4:50am.

Plus, I’ve got a big conference in ten days with events from 8am into the evening. It’s an exhausting (but fun!) four days on its own. But guess what I’m going to have to do? Yup, get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and run four miles around San Diego on Wednesday and Friday, and then go to a full day of workshops.



And yet, I’m looking forward to a morning run in a new place. Silly Kitty, I know. But…I guess I’ve not only caught the running bug…I think it’s permanent. πŸ˜€

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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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 IΒ 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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!Β 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. Β 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! πŸ˜€

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