Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back on the Horse

Last week was rough.  There's no other word to describe it.  It was the last week of the busy season at my work, and I was pretty stressed about getting all my work done on time.  For some people, eating healthy is painless and easy.  But for me, it requires planning and effort.  My hope is that someday I will be one of those people that is able to eat healthy effortlessly.

The last day I ate healthy was the day of my last post.  I continued keeping track of my calories for a couple of days, but I quit in the middle of the week because my eating habits were so far off.  I was basically eating whatever I could get a hold of.  One day at work I literally sat at my desk at 8:30 in the  morning and didn't leave until 5:30 to go home.  I didn't take a lunch break, and I didn't move at all except for a bathroom break.  When I got home I was ravenous!  The other days last week I ate whatever I could find at work, which is never a healthy option.

The good news is that I can always get back on the horse.  Nothing is irreversible, tomorrow is another day.

Today I am grateful for the Olympics.  They are so much fun, and I am so grateful that this time around I don't have a job that conflicts with me watching them.

Monday, July 23, 2012


To give myself some accountability I'm going to be recording what I eat each day and how I have exercised each day.  Disclaimer: I might be too lazy to actually do it on some days, but I'll try.

Skipped breakfast as I was running late - I know this is unhealthy and I'm working on not doing this anymore.

Handful of sugar snap peas - 15 calories
Turkey, cheese, and honey mustard wrap on a wheat tortilla - 395 calories
44 oz diet dr pepper (oops!  first one in over a week though!) - 60 calories (for the vanilla shot)

Afternoon Snack:
Baby carrots - 70 calories
Jonagold apple - 72 calories
Cinnamon Almonds - 150 calories

Tuna melt - 340 calories

EAS Myoplex Lite Cookies & Cream Protein Shake - 170 calories

I drank 78 oz of water today - I need to drink more.  Total calories consumed today was 1272.

I also ran 4.5 miles, which burned 613 calories.  The stats are coming from

Today I'm thankful for office pranks.  They make a slow day much funner.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Halloween Goals

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, especially the last few years since I have transformed my body.  I love to get all decked out for holidays.  I'm struggling with what I want to be this year.  I've come up with two ideas, and both of them will require a LOT of work.  I seem to have a pattern when it comes to my costumes - strong women: Miss Peacock, Audrey Hepburn, last year I had two costumes - The Bride from the movie Kill Bill and Jessica Rabbit (beautiful, passionate, and glamorous, and she deeply loves her husband Roger).  Well this year is no different.

Black Widow?

Or Catwoman??

What are my arguments for each?  Well, several months ago I read an article when trying to determine what a realistic goal for my weight should be and strategies to get there.  I got it from pinterest if I remember correctly.  It's right here.  This article talks about the three different body types - ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs.  I determined by following the measurements indicated in the article that I am somewhere between a mesomorph and an endomorph, but leaning towards the endomorph end.  What this means is that I struggle controlling my body fat percentage and have a hard time losing weight.  But no one tells me what I can or can't do!  I'll never let genetics or a silly body type stop me from reaching my goal.  Especially since the article also mentioned famous people from each body type.  Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson are famous and beautiful examples of people with the endomorphic body type.  Scarlett Johansson looks amazing!  If me and her have the same disadvantage, then I can look amazing too!  A few weeks after I read this article I saw The Avengers in theater and decided I wanted to be Black Widow for Halloween.

However, I just saw Dark Knight Rises this weekend.  I don't remember the last movie I saw that I loved that much.  It totally struck all my heart chords.  I loved Batman Begins, and I've seen that movie about a hundred times, so it was the perfect ending to the trilogy.  It would be great to feel a part of the movie that brought me so much joy.  Plus I've always thought it would be fun to be a cat for Halloween, but you can't  be a fat cat, you gotta be a sexy cat.  I've never had the body for it.  But with either of these costume ideas, I've got a lot of work ahead of me because I am nowhere near to looking like either of them.

So I've got 9 weeks until Halloween, I'm pretty motivated.  I'm gonna see how close I can get my body to looking like these strong women above.

How will I do this?  I will continue to run 3-4 times a week, but I will add weight training to my repertoire along with the amazing butt workout I told you guys about.  Exercise isn't everything, eating is important too! I have recently changed my lunch and drinking patterns.  I stopped drinking my beloved diet dr. pepper for the most part, I don't remember the last time I had any.  I've been bringing lunches from home to work.  I've been making sandwich wraps out of wheat tortillas with turkey, cheese, lettuce, and mustard.  I also bring grapes, carrots or broccoli, snap peas, and almonds.  I have felt full and satisfied, and I am confident that I can continue this pattern.  I may switch out the wraps for something else, and I'm working on figuring out a healthier breakfast.  So if I don't look like Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway in 9 weeks, I will at least be closer to my goal and much healthier.

Please send me your opinion on which super hero you think I should be!

Today I'm thankful for Christopher Nolan.  Maybe that's silly, but man, he knows how to make a movie.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to Have a GREAT Butt

I decided around the same time I started running a lot that I want to have a great butt.  What are the characteristics of a great butt?  It was never something I had really thought about before.  Apparently to have a great butt, you've gotta actually have one to begin with, it's just got to be firm and lifted.  So there can be girls out there who are teeny tiny and have basically no butt, but apparently that's not a good thing.  But it can't be too big either.  I learned about the Pencil Test.  If you have a great butt, you should be able to stick a pencil in the crease between your butt and your thighs and have the pencil drop.  When your butt is firm and lifted, there won't be enough fat to support a pencil.  That's my goal!

So when trying to figure out the most efficient way to get a great butt, I found out about a procedure called a Brazilian Butt Lift.  Apparently these Brazilian women have great butts!  So much so that people are paying thousands of dollars to have surgical procedures to look like them!  This plastic surgery procedure involves the removal of fat from other areas of your body and transferring it to your buttocks, OR inserting silicone implants.  The result is youthful, prominent, perky buttocks, and of course, no CELLULITE!!

Well, I wanted these results without surgery.  I don't have money for that, plus it just seems ridiculous and shallow.  I am willing to work for my body.  So I found out about a workout video that is designed to naturally give you a Brazilian Butt Lift without the surgery!  It specifically targets all the areas of the butt that the surgery takes care of.  It's a Brazilian guy teaching, and there are about six videos.  Some of them teach you to shake your booty like a Brazilian, and some of them are hard core butt workouts.  It targets areas that I didn't know existed.  I have never felt pain in my tushy quite like this.  These videos are actually really fun to do, and they make me feel like a sexy Brazilian (despite what I probably actually look like) and after learning these moves, I do not wonder why the Brazilians seem to be known for their great butts!  It's a killer workout!

I was at a party last weekend, and I mentioned to my friend that I felt like my butt was too big, but that I was working on it.  Apparently a guy that was there overheard, and he felt it necessary to come and tell me that he thought I had a great butt, and it looked especially great in the dress I was wearing.  I was quite shocked to hear this and expressed my disbelief.  He winked and told me to remember that he was the guy and to trust him on that one.  I guess the dress I was wearing did show off my curves pretty well.

So apparently something I am doing is working in regards to my goal of having a great butt, whether it is all the running or these workout videos, although I am nowhere near where I want to be.  I want to share this video with all my girlfriends!  In fact, I'm going to start doing a Brazilian Butt Lift night once a week at my house.  Any girl who wants to come is invited!

Today I'm thankful for the same thing I'm always thankful for.  My amazing friends.  :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Ran a 10K Today

A few months ago my sister-in-law asked me to run a 10K with her during the week that her and my brother would be visiting us here in Utah.  I was definitely not interested.  I had actually just barely joined the gym when she asked me to do it with her and was already running occasionally, but running a 10K seemed like a luminous task that I did not want to do.  She sent me training schedules and talked me into it, and then I ended up getting pretty excited about it.  I've been training ever since, and now I can honestly say that I love running.

So today was the day!  Because of holidays and vacations and family being in town, I hadn't gone running for two weeks before today, so I was kind of nervous.  Plus the farthest distance I've ever run was 4.5 miles.  But they say you aren't supposed the run the full distance when preparing for a race, so I was okay with that.

I ended up getting there right on time, but I still had to register, so I started about 3-5 minutes after everyone else.  Oops!  The last race I did was a 5K back in June, and it was organized very poorly.  It was a total joke.  We started late, it was a confusing course, there was no one there to direct the runners what direction to go...  I guess I assumed that this race would be similar.  But I didn't really care, because I was competing against myself, not anyone else.  Plus they gave us a chip that we tied to our shoelaces, so in a week or so I can check Striders website to see my official time.

So how did I do?!?  Well I have a pretty slow pace compared to most runners.  Partly because I have short legs causing a short stride and partly because I don't want to exert myself so much that I won't be able to finish.  So when I examine how a run goes, I think about how even my pace was, if I progressed from my last run, if I was able to control my breathing; not just how fast I finished the course.  It's all a mind game.  My mind tells me I should stop, but then I realize I'm breathing fine and my body feels fine.  That's when I feel like I could go forever.

It was when I was about halfway through that I felt like I could probably finish the entire course without stopping to slow down and walk.  I was doing great!  I felt like a goddess!  Then when I was a bit past mile 4, I hit a wall of exhaustion.  I went as far as I could feeling exhausted, but I finally slowed down to a fast walk.  This happens occasionally when I go running at night, but I never stopped at my last race (a 5K) so I felt like a bit of a failure.  I ran/walked for the next mile or so.  I think that listening to your body is smart if your goal is to finish, I felt a bit light-headed.  I'm glad I did.

At about mile 5 I ran into the half-marathoners.  There were three races going on at the same time.  The 5K and 10K started at the same time, and the Half Marathon started 45 minutes before.  Seeing their energy and pace made me feel guilty and re-energized me a bit.  By the way, having a good running soundtrack is key!  Some songs just really pump you up more than others.  Seeing the half-marathoners could easily have discouraged me since they are so much more advanced than I am.  But it made me want to be like them.  Plus at the time I was listening to Eminem's song "Lose Yourself."  The following lyrics really inspired me at the time, especially as my left knee started giving out:

Success is my only mother-effing option, failure's not!
Feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got!

Music has a way of inspiring me like nothing else can.  Even from artists like Eminem that don't usually bring inspiration to most people.  I wanted to feel success, especially after feeling failure.

When the course for the 10K and the Half Marathon split paths, I found myself in a group of runners for the 10K.  That's when I found out that I may be more competitive than I realized.  One or two runners would take the lead for a bit, and then someone else would run ahead.  It was kind of funny.  Then we hit the hill.  All the runners slowed down at the hill.  Well, I kind of consider hills my specialty.  I will NEVER let a hill beat me.  When I see a hill, I say to myself "I'm gonna conquer you!"  So at the hill, I charged ahead.  At the top of the hill we see the sign pointing us in the direction of our end point, which was downhill.  There was no way they were getting ahead of me at this point.  I just let gravity take me.

My mom wasn't prepared for me because I told her it would probably take me an hour and a half.  So there are no pics of me actually running, but here I am at the finish line!

This is the hardest thing I have ever physically done, and I am incredibly sore now.  I'm really glad I decided to do it, and I can't wait to do more!  I'll post the official results as soon as I get them!!

Today I'm thankful for everyone in my life who has been so supportive of me in my goals.  I hope that I have been just as supportive to them as they have been to me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Swimsuit Season??

So my family tries to go to Bear Lake each summer for a few days to stay in a cabin and rent a boat and some seadoos, and it is always really fun.  However, one of my brothers moved to Texas a couple of years ago to go to law school so it has been hard for my whole family to get together.  This year my brother came to town for a week to visit, and instead of going to Bear Lake we decided to rent some seadoos at Pineview Reservoir, which is much closer.

Well my sister-in-law is a notorious photo taker, and she is relentless.  She takes hundreds of photos, and I usually get pretty grumpy about it, but now that she has a baby, her little girl is the object of most of her photos, so it's not as bad.

The fatty usually doesn't want their photo taken, especially in a swimming suit.  Even with the progress I have already made, I still think of myself as a fatty.  In fact, I usually think of myself as this girl here:

So today when my sister-in-law was wearing a very similar swimming suit as the one I was wearing and wanted to take a picture of us being twinners, I didn't want to.  She assured me that we would airbrush the picture to oblivion, and we'd both look great!  

This is the last picture that was taken of me in a swimming suit.  This was our Bear Lake trip in August 2010, and as you can see, I did not want my photo taken.

On the left is a different sister-in-law than the one that takes photos, and on the right I am trying to hide my obese body.  It was shortly after this picture was taken that I started taking dieting seriously.

This is the picture that was taken today.  I'm on the left, and my sister-in-law is on the right.

First of all, look how much happier I am!!  I forget how far I've come until I see pictures.  I should look at pictures more often, not only to remind myself that I've done a good job, but also to motivate myself to keep going.

I'm happy to see the difference in my legs.  In the first picture, they are just shapeless masses of fat, whereas in the second picture, you can see some definition from all the running I've been doing.  You can also see the areas that need improvement.  My quads can use some major work.  My arms look much better in this photo than in the first, but I happen to know from my rock climbing trip last weekend that my arms are weak and could use a lot of work.

I've done well, but I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

Today I'm thankful for the awesome day I had today at Pineview.  It was great to have my brother home.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

50 Miles to a Massage

I decided a little while ago that I wanted to start nurturing myself.  This is not something that I am naturally accustomed to doing.  I love to nurture others and make people feel good about themselves, but this is not something I generally do for myself.  In order to maintain a life of balance, I decided that this is something I need to start doing.  But how?  And why?

The only way I have ever "rewarded" myself in the past is with food.  I don't crave food the same way I used to, so this reward wouldn't be as gratifying as something else.  Plus I didn't want to make food a priority in my life again.  Nurturing myself is a foreign concept, and I couldn't think of a single way to do it.  I sought advice from a friend who told me I should treat myself to a massage once in a while.  What a fantastic idea!  Especially since one of my best friends is an amazingly talented massage therapist!

Now I am open to the idea of nurturing myself, but not for nothing.  I have to work for it.  I decided I'd get a massage after running 50 miles.  I've been keeping track of every mile I have run, and I told my friend of my plans, and she was excited to work on me once I hit my 50th mile.  Once I run another 50 miles, I'll get another massage.

So my friend Nanna, the massage therapist, has worked at a few different spas.  Most of her experience is working in sports therapy.  So athletes would come in and she would work out their sore spots from their work outs or injuries.  So she worked on my whole body and made sure to concentrate especially on my "running" muscles.  It was amazing to me how many places on the body are effected by running.  She would work a spot on my back and I'd tell her that what she was doing was painful, and she would say that it was because it was a "running muscle."  The most painful spot she worked on was my butt!  The very top, the gluteus medius I believe it was.  She said I had been working it pretty hard just from running!  I was very surprised, and also very pleased to find out that my efforts are going somewhere.

The best part of the massage was that I asked her how my muscles felt.  I wanted a professional opinion.  Just how hard have I been working?  I know I've been working hard, but I guess I wanted validation.  She said I was really tight (which is why she was working on me, to loosen me up) and that I wasn't super athletic or anything, but that I was on the verge of "becoming ripped."  AAAAHHHHHH!!!  I was elated to hear this!!!  It's just too bad that muscles are underneath layers of fat.  Then she gave me tips on what to do based on what kind of look I want my body to have.

If I want to become slender, then I should just keep running. 

If I want to become slender and also have a more toned, defined look, then I need to add more weight training to my routine.  Small weights and high number of reps.

If I want the body builder look, then I would do more intensive weight training and less cardio.

I definitely want a toned, slender look.  I already do a bit of weight training, but I need to concentrate on it a bit more it sounds like.  I do a variety of things, but running has been my biggest priority since it has always been my biggest challenge.  I never would have dreamed that I could have made it to the point I'm at today.  In my next post I'll talk about the amazing butt workout that I do.

From the advice that Nanna gave me, I'm taking it that I'm kind of sitting on a fence right now.  I've worked really hard to get to this fence.  Just beyond the fence is being "ripped."  If I stop working, I'll slowly go back to what I was before.  If I keep going and do the right type of workouts, I'll get closer and closer to having the body I want.

Nanna made sure to prove her power of me by putting pressure on different points around my body that she knew would be painful.  Other than that, it was very relaxing and I slept great that night.  I can't wait to run another 50 miles.

Today I'm thankful for all the wonderful people in my life.  I just had a birthday, and so many people remembered me and made me feel so special.  :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Silly Yet SUPER Dramatic Milestone

I mentioned in my last post that I would be talking about the biggest milestone I have faced in my journey to becoming more toned and looking good under my clothes.  A better way of putting it I guess is that I'd like to have a bikini body.  I've never had one before, and I'd like to order one now pretty please.

So I mentioned I've been exercising pretty hard core (well, pretty hard core for me) since about March.  I am definitely seeing some changes.  For example, I FEEL healthier.  I can run longer and faster before getting tired.  I see some definite changes to my leg, thigh, and butt muscles.  People have told me that I look healthier.  My mom told me that I look prettier.  One person I know tells me that I "radiate beauty," which is just the absolute greatest thing that anyone could ever say to me.  I don't know if I am giving off a healthier look or what.  I'm not sure, but I like it.

HOWEVER.  These people don't see what I see.  There is a terrible demon that everyone knows about, I'm pretty sure everyone has it at some point in their life, and it is pretty hard to get rid of.  I am talking about "fatty deposits causing a dimpled or uneven appearance, as around the thighs or buttocks."  Yes.  I am talking about CELLULITE. 
I have been working my butt off since March, and while I have seen results, I have seen NO reduction in cellulite!  So I decided to research this to see what to do.  It turns out the three ways to say goodbye to cellulite are 1. Get enough rest 2. Exercise 3. Stay hydrated.   Well I get enough rest and I get plenty of exercise.  But my main source of hydration is diet dr. pepper.  With continued research, I found out that diet sodas, especially caffeinated diet sodas, decrease your chance of being able to get rid of cellulite!  It does NOT cause cellulite.  But it can make cellulite more noticeable.  Hence my issue.

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love diet dr. pepper.  I drink 528 oz or more of it per week (88 oz per working day, and 88 oz per weekend).  It's an addiction, and it calls to me.  No one has ever been able to give me a single reason to stop drinking it that I have cared about.  Until now.  I REALLY don't want cellulite.

When I found out, I almost started crying.  I went through the seven stages of grief, and I committed to stop drinking my diet dr. pepper.  This was last weekend.  My first day off diet soda was last Friday.  I have never been so thirsty in my entire life.  I drank almost 100 oz of water.  I also had a ginormous headache.  I ended up caving and got 32 oz.  Monday I had 130 oz of water!  I have never drunk that much water in my life!  I didn't have any diet dr. pepper again until Tuesday.  I was just having a really busy and kind of a rough day, and diet dr. pepper just makes everything more pleasant.  Normally when I go without my beverage for too long, that first sip is magical.  It runs through my whole body and my face lights up; it's like a drug!  My first time drinking it in four days was quite a different experience.  It wasn't magical.  It was just like any other drink.  I catalogued that in my brain for the next time I wanted some.

So today I had a splitting headache.  I've been having a lot of headaches since my departure from my dear friend.  Today's was really bad.  I decided to get another 32 oz.  It was, again, not the magical experience that I am used to.  The headache eased up a bit, but I didn't even finish my drink.  I am in complete and utter shock that in four days I have lost my dependence for my beverage!  It still tastes good, I still feel like I should get it, but it no longer calls to me, and it isn't magical anymore.  What an astonishing four days!

One of the hardest things about giving up my drink is that I love going to Maverick.  I truly love the gas station attendants that help me every day.  It is almost heart breaking to not have a reason to go see them every day!  I was trying to think of something I could go get every day instead of diet dr. pepper, but gas stations aren't a great place for someone trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially on a limited budget.

So far this week I have had 64 oz of diet dr. pepper where I normally would have had at least 308 oz by now.  I may have "caved in" on two days, but I am okay with slowing weaning myself off as long as the end result is the same - losing the caffeine addiction and having a great butt.  Even when I have kicked the habit, I won't say no to an occasional beverage, as long as they are few and far between.  We can't deny our pleasures, otherwise there is no balance in life. 

Giving up my beverage has been the hardest thing I've ever done, and these headaches are killer.  But I've been working so hard and I don't want anything to stand in my way.  In my next post I'll tell you about the my first massage experience to reward myself for running 50 miles.

Today I'm grateful for my friend Nanna.  She was with me on my first day without diet dr. pepper.  Whenever she was talking to me, I couldn't pay attention, because all I could think about was how much I wanted some diet dr. pepper!  But she got me through it!  She is also a massage therapist and is AMAZING at her job.  She gave me some great insights that I'll tell you about in my next post.

Please send me your struggles and how you've gotten through them!

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Look Good Under Your Clothes *Blush!*

I know it has been a VERY LONG time since I have written.  A lot has happened since my last post.  I got a new job where I was a contingent employee for a large investment firm working for a girl who was on maternity leave.  I worked in Foreign Exchange for seven months, and it was the best experience I've ever had in my entire life!  Then they had to end my contract when the girl I was working for came back from maternity leave and it was really sad.  I had to look for a new job and I was unemployed for five months.  It sucked and I was super bored during that time, but I would still never trade that experience for anything.

Unfortunately, a life without order (no job, no structure, basically being a bum) is not good for someone like me who struggles to stay healthy.  I got complacent.  I ended up gaining ten pounds in that time.  Ten pounds isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but ten pounds this year turns into five pounds next year, and one day I would have gained the whole 60+ pounds back.  I did NOT want that.

My dedicated readers (if I have any left) will know I've already struggled to lose 60 pounds.  I've played this game.  I know what it takes.  I've been there, done that.  I've gotten to a point where I have felt like I can look good.  However, I can look good in my clothes.  This isn't good enough for me anymore.  I'm BETTER than that.  I want to look good UNDER my clothes.  Someday, if a boy ever decides to get anywhere near me, I'm gonna want to look good for him!  This means I can't just lose weight by eating less like I did last time.  I have to exercise and get toned.  I'll need some muscle.

This last March, about two months before I started working again, I recognized this issue and got into a health kick.  I've had health kicks before, where I try to eat healthy and go running a lot for about three weeks, and then I lose my steam and go back to my complacent ways.  This is the longest I have ever lasted on one of my "health kicks."  I'm planning to make it last and turn it into a way of life.  I joined a gym in March.  This forced me to get out of the house while still looking for work.  Running is tough.  Once your leg muscles are up to the challenge, they are good to go and it seems as though they can go forever.  The real problem is breathing!  It took me a very long time to learn to breathe and run.  One day it just clicked and now it is just a mind game.  My mind thinks I want to stop to walk and I have to remind myself that my legs are fine, and I'm breathing okay.  I can go as far as I want.

Then I got into the spirit of running.  I signed up for races.  I'm not a competitive person, so I'm not worried about winning or being fast, I just needed something to train for to keep me motivated.  I did a 5K on June 2nd and accomplished my goal of getting through the whole race without stopping to walk and doing it in under 45 minutes (I did it in 42).  On July 14th I am doing a 10K, and I am super excited for it!  I keep track of every mile I run, and to reward myself I am treating myself to a full body massage for every 50 miles I run.  I started keeping track in the middle of May, and I get my first massage this Tuesday.

Running makes me feel so great, and I have loved it.  I love going at night under the stars and feeling the cool air on my face.  I love running fast down hills.  I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after each long run.  My goals have changed.  I want exercise to be a way of life, and I want to keep training for competitions.  Next summer I'd like to do a triathlon and I've added biking and swimming to my exercise routine.  I also do weight training and a butt exercise video I'll talk about at some point.

In my next blogpost I will talk about the biggest milestone I have come across in my journey to becoming more toned and healthy looking.

Today I am grateful for good running shoes and my patellar straps.

Please send me your thoughts, suggestions, and questions!