Monday, May 30, 2011

Where's my Castle?

In the true fashion of the long weekend I have waited until after 8pm on Monday to blog my weekly weigh in.

Maybe because I wish it was the weigh in that wasn't. But even in the bad weeks I made a pact to myself to stay honest. And honest it is:

Weight loss this week: Nada
Weight gained this week: + 2 lbs
Total to lose til 100 lbs goal: 15 lbs

This long holiday weekend turned out to be a long weekend of too many bites and too many drinks. I pretty much gave up on this week on Thursday night - girls nite - at Gray's Tied House. 2 glasses of wine and 3 beers later I realized I had pretty much just drank myself into at least 500 calories.

But it was so fun.....

Other random thoughts on this Memorial Day.

I have been seriously grumpy this week. I am excited about seeing my husband embracing some goals related to his fitness, but I am struggling with losing some identity that I have found here - here in this goal oriented place - now that it is the two of us and not one. Is that strange? I mean, I want to share this journey with him. But I had created my own way, my own habits. And I had worked those changes into our life as it was with him and girls eating their way. Now all things are changing and we are trying to find a way to satisfy all our new needs. Shaking up the routine has put me on edge this week. I haven't had my normal reserve of patience and it has showed.

The flip side of the shake up is that I am pretty much working out twice a day now. I am doing P90 with Erik in the evenings and still doing my own thing in the morning. I am changing it up with running, swimming, yoga, bike, etc. If I switch up the routines my body has to keep changing, right?

What else is going on? My two little baby girls are becoming proper little girls. It happened in front of our eyes this evening when X - while watching Cinderella asked me:

"Mom, where's my castle?"

----- Hmmm. Good question. Some day Mommy will tell her that she lived in a Castle once upon a time. But not today.

"Where are my gloves?"--- upon admiring Cinderella's post-Fairy-God Mother-ensam...

Me: Handing her dirty socks off the floor which she promptly put on her hands.

Next up. Cinderella and the prince, dancing. X stands. Looks expectantly.

Uh Oh.

"We need a Prince pronto!!!!"

Enter. Daddy. And there was waltzing. I wish I had the video.

And then there is Miss P. Gosh, she is just an adorable mix of cuddles and stubborn right now. She makes these little knowing faces --- knowing about how cute and sly she can be. Tonight she threw a total fit about my requiring her to say "please" for her cookie. It was a 10 minute stand off. Finally, a little "puhwez" snuck out of her lips and the cookie halted its transport from the table to to the kitchen. She's got her mind made up. But wow, that smile. She could melt glaciers.

We are all tuckered out from a long weekend of eating, playing and running in the sprinkler. Now Mommy is looking around the basement wondering - where's my Castle?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Holding my Spot

Everyone seems to have adjusted to my new life, except... well...

The Cats.

(Ps. Let us just not even discuss the hideous ugliness of this couch. I was about to throw it out and got pregnant. This couch, when preggo, was the only place I could sit, put my legs up and not have back pain. So, the couch stayed... and the rest, as they say, is history.)

The cats are holding my spot. On the couch.

They are willing me to resume my pre-weight loss evening routine of slumping emphatically in front of the TV and getting in a good 3 hours of kitty cuddles.

I won't do it! I won't do it. You devious felines. You tempt me so.

Erik & I are going P90 together every evening now. I am still working out in the morning as well. Double duty. If this doesn't firm up this flab and convince my cats that I am not returning to the couch, I don't know what will.

The cats are proof that old habits die hard.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Mind Boggles

What a week! I'm tired just thinking about it. And sore. Did I mention sore? SORE!

I ran. Monday. Wednesday. Friday. 3.7 miles each time I was out. 5K? Oh yeah baby.

I swam. Actually dragged my butt down to the pool, pushed all this non-chlorine damaged hair into a swim cap, and streamlined myself into some laps.

I danced. I am still trying to do the Wii Golds Gym Dance Workout periodically so not to lose the muscles that I've used with it.

I even worked out with Erik. Looks like hubby is jumping on the bandwagon. He wants to do more strength building which of course, isn't something that I have naturally gravitated towards. (Us gals love our cardio!) So, now I've signed this weary saggy body up for some Tony Horton pain. 90 days start today and end, coincidentally at the end of August, very close to the one year anniversary of my start of this journey and my desired goal date for 100 lbs lost.

Changing it up is good! I think I am going to have to keep challenging different muscles with different activities in order not to fall into a comfort zone. I've still got so much toning to do. Granted I am fitting into sizes I can't ever remember wearing (Sz. 12 pants!!! OMG! and just LARGE tops. LARGE. Not EXTRA LARGE, XXL or the 3X I was wearing at the beginning of all this....)

It is just so crazy. My Mom says she isn't seeing the same person. Part of me always saw this person, so its hard to believe there has been as much change as there has been.

For example, some staggering statistics:
I've lost 32% of my body weight in the last 9 months.
I've lost an average of 9 lbs per month.
I've dropped 5 shirt sizes (3X to L)
I've dropped 5 pants sizes (24 to 12)
I've dropped an entire shoe size (9.5 to 8.5)

The mind boggles. Sort of like my oldest child in this picture. HUH?

And this week's weigh in:

Weight loss this week: 2.5 lbs
Total loss to date: 87.5 lbs
Weight til 100 lbs goal: 12.5 lbs

It is so close I can practically SMELL it. One foot in front of the other. I've got THIS!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speed.... oh.

I've done a lot of things in the past year that I never thought I could. The one thing that I felt deep down in my bones that I COULD do was perhaps the thing that I fear the most.

I got back in the pool.

Ok, not that big of a deal really. But, this is coming from a girl who practically breathed in chlorine as a child. I spend most of my youth (age 6+) on swim team. First with the Indiana PA YMCA, and then later with USAA Swimming (Wycoff anyone?), and later on the Varsity SBS team (grades 7-12). The last time I was doing laps was at Benenden when they realized that since I could do flip turns I might be an asset to the school at a meet. I swam one 50 yd freestyle in England and I can't remember doing laps since.

The thing about swimming is: It is just you and your thoughts. There is no one else but you. There isn't even an IPOD to distract you. Its the bubbles, the breathing, the resistance and boy, is it mental.

This morning I shed the 25 years than separated me from my prior self: (See Exhibit A & B below) and met my former self again. It felt really good and I can say with a fair degree of certainty that my cardio fitness level is better than it has been in about 20 years. I pushed myself. I was working hard. I am going to be like jelly now for about a day, and I am going to do it again. Gosh, if I can run 3.7 miles (did it twice this week!), I can swim. I could always swim. At my most basic, I am at home in the water.

Hello youth. It is nice to see you again. Speedo, cap and goggles and Mara.

Ps. That's me in lane 5 talking up the higher seeds in lanes 4 & 3. See my game was always to psyche them out with my pre-race banter. This tactic continues to serve me well. Thus the blog...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Beeping Mara

Well Folkals, as you can all see I am running a bit late this morning... cause well, I was out running. I wanted to accomplish SOMETHING this week, and since the scales are doing their usual - not budging - after last week's drop in weight, I was resigned to finding success in other arenas.


This glorious morning. Can you say 60 degrees and sunny? I strapped on all my gadgets ($15 Suunto HRM from Craigslist? Check! Ipod Nano? Check! Nike running visor? Check! Running shoes? Check! Well hydrated? Check!) and headed out the door. I didn't have any particular route in mind for 1 specific reason. I was trying out my new shoes.

A note on shoes. Did you know that when you lose 85lbs you can drop an ENTIRE shoe size? Woah.. that's crazy! I didn't realize it until I got home last night and really looked at these Asics I bought last summer, but they are a sz. 9 1/2. Brent, the nice guy over at Berkeley Running Company, sized me up for some stability shoes yesterday in sz 8 1/2. Go figure!

So, I ran up the road, and around my usual 2 miles loop, and then headed out down East Pass, down Maple Grove, back up around Cross Country, and low and behold... I ran 3.7 miles!! OMG. I can't believe it. I was still hurting a little bit, but nothing like I had been in those mongo huge Asics that I had been wearing. HRM was on the whole time, and embrassingly beeping at me the whole 40 mins. I hit my max heart rate 2 mins up the road and didn't realize I had the alarm setting on. So I beeped the whole way.

HA! There goes Mara beeping along down the road. I knew I was going to have some sort of technical malfunction with all this gadgetry I've got going on now. Ah, well. It could have been a lot worse!

The HRM tells me I bured 387 calories. Sure felt like a lot more than that!!

Ok, so that's cool. I am super duper happy with that run and now back to the weight loss:

Weight loss this week: NONE.
Total loss to date: 85 lbs and holding steady
Weight till next goal: 15 to go baby!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


There have been a couple of hefty topics floating around in this generally vacant brain of mine for the past couple of days.

The first has to do with definitions. In the sense of - How do you define yourself?

No simple topic. As I was mulling over ideas of defines it occurred to me how many of us define ourselves by what passes our lips.

What we eat. What we eat too much.

or even, what we drink. What we drink too much.

Am I what I eat? Is the old Mara defined by what what I ate? Is the new Mara defined by what I don't eat?

I've come to the conclusion that no, I am (essentially) the same person. I am a more energetic and connected person now. I am not different, just MORE me, if that makes sense.

I was making myself numb with food which would give me an instant sense of contentment but ironically would ultimately make me feel less me, less happy, less content. Now I eat to give myself fuel so that I can continue to be happy, and I feel more content, not less.

So, if I won't let what I eat define me, what does? Without falling into the trap of defining myself by my roles (wife, mother, lover), I would say at my most essential self I am:

1. Seeking to fulfill the potential that God has given me;
2. Wide eyed at the glory of creation;
3. Happy with the blessings that I have been given;
4. Hoping to love more completely (myself and others) every day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just 'Cause

Finally. That is all I have to say. I have been bumping around this weight for several weeks now, but keep popping up a couple of pounds on my Monday weigh in. Darn weekends!!

Anyhow, happy to report:

Weight loss this week: 4 lbs
Total loss to date: 85 lbs
Weight to lose til next (and final, I think) goal: 15 lbs

I have slowed down my running this week as I realized I was pushing myself too hard too fast. After my run on Friday my body was just YELLING at me. In addition to my hip hurting, my calves burned right down into my achilles heel and it scared me. So, I took a couple of days off this week, did at least one cardio boxing workout, and rode my bike twice as well.

Even in my youth and fittest time of my life, I was never a high impact person. I was a swimmer and a long distance one at that. My body never liked being slammed into the the pavement. And it certainly doesn't seem to like the pavement any more today. But I will keep on keepin on.

A note on the picture. As my toddler would say: "Why Cause?" I respond: "Just Cause."

Off to my run. Just Cause.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Never Say Never

Just taking a lunch break to jot down my thoughts. It is a gorgeous day out and I just want to go out there and run to the park and lay in the sun. Alas, I am working and in my basement, but you know, a girl can dream...

My body is changing. I can feel it gearing up for the next drop in the scales. The running has really changed up how my body is responding. No longer just excercising I would actually call this "training", in the proper athletic sense of the word. I am pushing myself and I am not entirely sure where the motivation is coming from. I've graduated from just thinking about running, to running in PUBLIK, to considering (nutzo!) signing up for a 5K. Who knew 5K was only 3.1 miles?! For some reason, I thought it was a lot longer than that. Considering I am running 2.5 miles with relative (HA!) ease, I think a 5K isn't unimaginable. I never thought. I never knew. I never... well, hmmm. All this just makes you wonder what could be if I hadn't said never.

So onto my favorite topic. SHOPPING! My fabulous best friend gifted me a Banana Republic credit, God bless her. I can't wait to take that little bit of plastic out on Friday and see what sizes this crazy body fits into these days. Just randomly a couple of weeks ago I tried on my mother's (too big for her) size 12 jeans. Would you believe I got them on?! My SZ 14 are large now, I can pull my jeans on and off without undoing the buttons (that's HOT).

I've donated all my plus size clothes except 1 pair of pants that I intend to do a classic pic with in August when I achieve my goal. Watch this space.

The official measurements since Mid-January (approximately 40lbs ago)

Waist: - 5 inches
Hips: - 6 inches
Chest: - 7 inches
Thigh: - 1 inches (this has fluctuated as I've lost fat and gained muscle)
Calf: + 1 inch (muscle gain)
Bicep: Zilch (also fluctuated w/ fat loss and muscle gain)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Playing Nurse

There are a couple of reasons why the numbers are what they are. I am confident that I will see the trend reverse course here in the short term, but today, it is what it is. Eh Voila!

Weight loss this week: + 2 lbs
Total loss to date: 81 lbs
Weight til next goal: 19 lbs

I ran every other day this week. On Friday I ran 2.7 miles in 29 minutes. That is a great accomplishment for me. I am inspired by a number of my friends that completed 5Ks and other races this past weekend. I can only hope that I can attain the fitness to complete that type of race!

No time to lament the scales now. I am off to outpatient surgery for my youngest who is getting tubes in her ears this morning. Prayers for Dr. Isenburg and his team to take care of my Miss P.