Monday, August 29, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

The Monday After. I think I am having weigh in withdrawl. Ok, not private weigh in withdrawl cause Lord knows I am still getting on the scale --- but that public, Hi-Blog-World, this is what I did this week weigh in.

I'll get over it. Promise.

This past week was glorious. I was semi-good on the diet until about Wednesday and then full vacation mode kicked in. I tried to run on vacation but wow, there were hills every direction from our vacation condo which really depressed me and convinced me that vacation isn't for running.

Not that I sat around. I went zip lining for the first time ever! We did a night time zip, so, we didn't even get on the lines until 9:45pm. I was flinging my new body into the dark unknown. I wouldn't say that zip lining was a great HUGE deal. I was nervous and I was a bit freaked out by the height, but more than anything I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

So I did. As a side note: Last year I was unable to do the zip lining, even if I wanted, cause I weighed more than the limit.

We went swimming, and water sliding, and chased our toddlers thru the pool day after day. Erik & I took Xanthe horse back riding. A love of my youth.

I want to ride more. I haven't determined if that means dressage lessons, or western pleasure, or what. But I want to do it.

There is so much I want to do. Right now I can't seem to narrow it down. So, I am sort of just letting all the possibilities wash over me and some day soon I will prioritize them.

But the number one goal: Maintain. I can't celebrate my goal forever. I've gotten back to reality upon my return from vacation. I ran 6 miles over the weekend, and Erik started P90X this morning. I'm hoping Tony Horton can keep me on the straight and narrow. I've tenatively set a goal to lose another 15 lbs off the last goal but as for now, I haven't given myself a time limit to do it. I just want to keep steady, slow, and watch the results happen. The tortoise wins the race.

"O, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do, not knowing what they do!" A wee bit of Shakespeare for the day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wis Dells 2011

The Girlies enjoying the water slides on vacation at Wilderness on The Lake! This was Day 1, but Day 5 they were pros! : )

Sunday, August 21, 2011

100 Pounds Lost

This is the blog post that I've been longing to write for a year now. The big YAY ME blog post where I joyously declare:

I've LOST 100 lbs!!!! I DID IT!

There is a little story that goes behind this momentous weigh in. I really (really really) wanted to hit the 100 lbs mark before we leave for vacation. We leave tomorrow. So this morning I said a little prayer, dragged my sorry tired butt out of bed, and after a few first morning rituals, climbed on the scale.


Oh, HELL NO. (I've never actually said the number, but 175 was the goal).

Ok, now what? One pound? How can I get this pound off? I strip down to my birthday suit and tenatively step back on the scale.


I DID IT. I DID IT. Doing a little Dora The Explorer dance. Wait. I need proof.

Grab Erik's camera, step back on the scale.


UGH. QUICK! Put camera down!!!!

Step back on scale.

174.5 lbs

Grab camera, CLICK! Saved for posterity as proof. A rush of emotion, a little bit of - OMG - I never actually thought - I can't believe it is true - who the heck am I? - moment.

Then upstairs to see my girlies and say good morning. Despite all the change I am so thankful that there are some things that stay the same.

Photo shoot and celebration to come. I am just soaking in this day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

1 Scale Down. 1 to Go!

A pre-vacation gift from my Wii. I haven't been on the Wii for 90 days. As some of you guys recall, I started my exercise on the Wii Fit Plus and then did the Gold Gym Dance Workout. Today I climbed on the Wii Fit balance board to check my weight. I knew this would be a nice diversion since the Wii always registered my weight a couple of pounds lower than my regular bathroom scale.

And low and behold...

101 LBS LOST!!!

Now, if I wanted I suppose I could claim victory. But I want to see this number on the bathroom scale as well, so I am just going to keep chugging along. But it certainly is a nice little number this morning. It is awesome to see all the hard work pay off!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cinnamon Bread SBS Style

Cinnamon Bread
1/4 cup dry milk
3 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. shortening
1 cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
(for quick bread add 1 more pkg. yeast)
3 cups flour
Additional 3 cups flour (approx)
1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Put together yeast, a small amount of water and sugar. Let proof for about 5 mins. Mix together dry milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Add three cups flour, yeast mixture and water. Add additional flour -- a small amount at a time until mixture takes a ball shape. Put into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape about 1 1/2 inch thick. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll jelly-roll fashion and pinch the ends and the seams. Put into a pan and let rise again. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 mins. (Note: this bread is baked through when you knock the bread and it sounds hollow.)

Honey Pecan Chicken SBS Style

Due to Facebook demand, sharing some old SBS recipes:

Honey Pecan Fried Chicken
2 frying chickens, each about 3 lbs, cleaned and cut into serving pieces.
4 cups buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tst. pepper
Sufficient oil for deep frying

Place Chicken pieces in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Let chick soak at least one hour, refrigerated. When ready to cook, drain chicken for a few moments, then coat thoroughly with flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken in hot oil until crisp golden brown and cooked through.

Honey Pecan Sauce
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bring ingredient to a gentle boil. Arrange hot chicken on serving dishes and drizzle with honey pecan sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.

Courtesy Dorothy @ SBS (reprinted from SBS Apron)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crouching Hidden Fat

I was just putzing thru Picasa tonight and came across these nearly identical pictures that were taken of me crouching down at the reflection pool at Olbrich Gardens. The first picture, with Xanthe, was in the fall of 2009 a couple of months after Porter was born. Kyle & Lori were both visiting. My weight at the time, still nursing and post baby, was probably somewhere in the 270s.

The second picture, with Porter, was taken this June by Erik. We took the girls over to Olbrich to run thru the Gardens. I was kneeling down trying to keep Xanthe (cropped out of the photo) from getting her whole body wet in the reflection pool. Weight at this time was around 190's.


What a difference some time and hard work can make.
Posted by Picasa

The Stats

No fancy stuff. No accolades. No excuses. Just a plain old weigh in:

Weight loss this week: 1.5 lbs
Total loss to date: 96.5 lbs
Weight to lose til goal: 3.5lbs

Running stats from the week:
Count: 4 Runs
Distance: 14.93 mi
Time: 02:37:08 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 806 ft
Avg Speed: 5.7 mph
Avg HR: 152 bpm
Calories: 1,909 C

I'm making a major push this week to see that GOAL #### on the scale. But whether I make it this week, this month (as per plan) or even next month, I will see that number and make my goal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mara circa 1995

This week is a study in contrasts. I was so good Monday thru Thursday. I was eating well, working out twice a day and was seeing the scale drop. It felt good and as you can tell from my previous post, I was feeling victorious.

Whoops. Don't celebrate so soon! A couple of carb heavy meals, an extra cookie and I've bounced back too easily.

Weight loss this week: None, nada, zilch, nil.
Weight loss to date: 95 lbs
Weight til next goal: 5 lbs

My body likes this weight. I've pretty much shed the fat that exists everywhere except my belly. Granted, the belly is shrinking, but it is stubborn! This is the fat that I first put on. The fat that has been with me the longest.

1994 with Linda in Austria

1996 Jeans-in-Motion w/ Felix

It is the most "attached" and it is certainly the most reluctant to go. I am committed to seeing you go belly-fat, so you should just accept your fate. Whether it happens this month, or the next, the time will come and you will relinquish your hold on my core muscles. I promise I will conquer you.

I'm skinnier now than I was when I graduated high school. I've got to channel my inner teenager and call on some youthful energy to rid this belly from my body!

My little toe is a blister and my Achilles tendons are aching. I am going to need to find something to do so I don't run myself into the ground.

My running stats this week:
Distance: 22.29 mi
Time: 04:31:36 h:m:s
Calories: 2,896 C

Perhaps I should go back to the basics and hula it off?

Mara at Emerald Isle 1984

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Light at the End

"...I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."

Well folks, I am coming to the light at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel and there are all sorts of thoughts swirling around my head this week....


What to wear for my AFTER pictures

Whether to keep my size 14 clothes

If Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 in shocking PURPLE was the right choice

How I can kick it up, another notch

How to celebrate a 3 digit weight loss

and most importantly - what the heck do I do next?

Now, this is all premature of course, cause I haven't actually REACHED my goal as of yet. But I am going to just take it as a given that it will happen.

Whose coming to Madison to party like its 2011?!

How would you celebrate the end of a year-long life-changing journey?

And then, there is a sadness, of waking up the next morning and knowing that I will battle these demons the rest of my life. It is easier now that I know I can beat them. Easier but not easy.

I am still pondering my next step. I've got some time to figure it out. I suspect it won't be quite as significant as my last goal but perhaps a lot more meaningful.

I want to say also that blogging this year has been tremendous for me. It has brought me back in touch with old friends that I may not have otherwise reconnected with. It has brought me perspective on my impact to my family and my community. It has centered my ego so that I realize that there is so much that goes on that has nothing to do with me. I can only control a small fraction of the forces that will determine my destiny. At least now, I've got control of one of them.

I've made new friends. Friends that have encouraged me even if only thru a thumbs up or a comment about reading my blog. I'm not good at making new friends so I really value this development the most.

And mostly, I just want to say Thank You for sticking with me. I've been a broken record on here and I am frankly astounded by how many of you kept with me week after week.

Until Monday,

Ps. 3 lbs to GO!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Yes folks, you can use your broiler to make Smores:

Before Sugar:

After Sugar:

95 Down - 5 to Go!!! Go! Go!

Please forgive me while I toot my own horn. I am going to get a bit 'pep talky' today. I need to do a sort of accounting to remind myself where I've been and where I want to be. You see, it is August 1st (which makes me want to scream, btw...) and I've got a month left before my arbitrary deadline to lose 100 lbs. Only a month left to lose what is going to be the hardest 5 lbs to lose. I am going to do my darndest, but you know, (putting on my Stuart Smalley voice), I've already won (and gosh darn it, people like me.) Winning! I'm winning, you see, and here's why:

I've lost 95 lbs.
I have lost an average of 7.9 lbs per month
I've lost a total of 30 inches
I've got a 34 inch waist for the first time in my adult life
I've lost a total of 34.5% of my body weight.
I've lost 6 pants sizes (26 to 12, is that 6 or 12 pants sizes? Who the heck knows..)
I've lost 5 shirt sizes (3X to L)

I've had a physical. My blood pressure, my cholesterol, my blood tests, everything is normal.

And the small victories:

I am not afraid.
I am engaged in my life.
I feel like I can control my own reality.
Lesson learned: if you don't like, change it.
I want to do things instead of sitting on the couch.
I feel alive (the synapses are firing, be afraid!)
Oh, and I can wear a killer pair of heels and even walk (before you add alcohol) in them! Have I mentioned I am pretty proud of my legs right now?

Some mantras that I am hoping will get me thru the remainder of my journey:

I want to be long and lean and lose all this stuff in between.

One foot in front of the other.

I got this.

Weight loss this week: 1.5 lbs
Weight loss to date: 95 lbs
Weight till goal: 5 lbs

Running Stats this week:

Distance: 18.00 mi
Time: 04:33:13 h:m:s
Avg HR: 132 bpm
Calories: 2,533 C