Goals Update

Yesterday I was interviewed by a journalist who asked me about my goals. It got me thinking that I haven’t looked at my goals since I wrote them way back in 2012 so I dug out the post. You can read it here. Sorry… it was back when the blog was really notes on Facebook!

So when I first ready through the post, I actually laughed a lot. It was posted on September 2, 2012 and what a difference 9 months will make. Wow!

The post was really about me trying to think of short and long term goals for myself. I remember how hard it was back then (it wouldn’t be now). Back then I focused only on the weight loss (scale) and now I wish I focused on the non-scale victories too!

I wanted to lose 2 pounds a week for 8-10 a month. Looking back, that was an ok number and (for the most part) I was somewhere in that nature most of the time. I’m creeping up on the 70 mark so I’m doing pretty good – but I now know the scale does not define my success.

I set milestone goals for myself

  • 25 pounds – spa treatment
  • 50 pounds mini shopping spree
  • 75 pounds – enter a race
  • 100 pounds – trip to the beach with a new bathing suit!
  • Goal Weight – Disney Marathon

Now, if you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know why I’m laughing at myself! I didn’t want to wait for the milestone goals, I just did it anyways.

At 25 pounds, I skipped the spa and hired a trainer (money well spent). At 50 pounds, I didn’t have a shopping spree because I needed them every few months because I was dropping sizes like mad (seven sizes to date). I was still 300 pounds in October when I entered my race so screw waiting for 75!

Now … 100 pounds. I’m still hopeful I might get to the beach this summer but our house hunt may change that plan. We simply may not have the funds / vacation time to pull it off. I’m ok with that though because it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve something – like say a new swimsuit which I’m totally getting this year! For the first time in my life I’m very excited to go swimsuit shopping and have been looking around at the styles to see what I like!

Now the biggie! Goal weight. I don’t think I want to wait for this one either. My hope is that next year (probably around this time), I’ll be packing up my kid and husband and trekking to Disney to run a marathon. I don’t care how much I weigh, I’m going to do it anyways! Let’s just hope I can afford it – that’s the only thing that will stop me!

So back in my blog post I wrote that my game plan was to go to the gym before work (that didn’t happen – work schedule conflict). I originally planned to walk at lunch with coworkers (That didn’t happen either). I simply had too much work to do and opted to plow through a quick lunch and go to the gym after work. That part I’m pretty good with (most of the time). I’d say given my current plate of things I’ve really mastered making working out part of my life.

So as I sit and reflect on the me 9 months ago, I’m reminded of just how far I came. What a difference almost a year can make in a person and in a family. I’m so happy the journalist asked me about my goals. I might not have dug them out to continue being inspired by my own self. Who knew I was inspiring!


Soapbox: Emotional Eating

Hey, I’m digging this idea for my own little soapbox!

Anyways, let’s chat about emotional eating since it paid me a little visit. Let’s start with the back story (because there’s no emotional eating without a reason … right!)

The (very short) version of the story is my husband and I are putting in an offer on a house. Unfortunately, so are a whole bunch of other people. It’s a bidding war and it sucks. We were given a memo yesterday to put in our highest and best so for the past 24 hours my husband and I have been going in circles as to whether we should change the offer or leave it alone.

Now… onto the real reason for this post… emotional eating. To say that stress got the best of me today would be an understatement. This evening (on the brink of tears), I couldn’t take it anymore and had a decent portion of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It wasn’t a half gallon (though I have no doubt I could consume it tonight), but it was a nice bowl of ice cream.

Yes I was emotional. No it wasn’t the best thing I could grab but yes… I did feel slightly better after I had it.

Emotional eating is nothing new to anyone… we’ve all done it at some point in life. Sure those empty calories are worthless, but damn it sometimes they just make you feel better. I do believe in the 80/20 rule of life – 80% of the time I eat great …. and 20% … well yeah I want my ice cream, Oreos or chocolate cake damn it!

As several followers pointed out, there are billions of recipes online that can be easily made that were probably a much better option. However, when you’re on the brink of tears because you’re so overly stressed out… pulling out the baking pans or blender just wasn’t happening tonight.

I do NOT support emotional eating… but I also understand that ice cream (or whatever) happens. That one bowl isn’t going to ruin me forever. I’m not gaining all my weight back and I”m not reverting back to my old ways… but I do feel a little better… and it was certainly tasty ice cream.

The point is… when you make a lifestyle change, you have to understand that 100% of the time life isn’t going to be grand. You’re going to have a bowl of ice cream, gain a pound, lose nothing and be stressed. It’s all in what you do with these situations that make the difference.

Eight months ago, that half-gallon would have been toast during this situation but today it’s not. I had my fix and feel (somewhat) better, though I’m still extremely stressed over this situation. My motivation, drive and determination aren’t thwarted by this little bump in the road and more importantly – knowing how to handle this situation has made me a stronger person.

To all the people out there who struggle with emotional eating, you can get it under control with a little determination. For me, it’s finding another outlet to hopefully curb the behavior. It’s funny, as I was writing this post I received an email from Jackson checking on when we’re going to start training again.

I fully hoped to be back training with him by now. It’s been almost a month from the end of the Biggest Winner. Unfortunately, due to cost and time … it simply hasn’t happened. Though I really miss seeing him all the time, I feel confident on my own and my knowledge to get me through until we meet again.

In my recent email to him, I actually told him about how much I’ve changed through the process. Today, I use the gym to really help control my emotional eating and for the most part it really has worked! Every night I hit the gym allows me to clear my head and really focus on me for an hour. I take my frustration out on the weight machine. … I run … whatever it takes to clear my head and stop thinking of all the crap going on in my life.

I hope this post inspires at least one person to put down the carton of ice cream and do some push ups. You can beat emotional eating! If I can do it … you can do it and I’m happy to help anyone who needs help.

Shamrock Shuffle

Well the first race of the year is in the books and it was quite an experience. The Jameson’s Army Shamrock Shuffle marked the first race on a trail for me (the Tanger Outlets Breast Cancer Walk was on pavement). I knew it would be different, but I wasn’t ready for just how much.

So, let’s go back to Saturday and the promise of a 50 degree day. Yeah… not at 9 a.m. It was seriously cold this morning! Armed with two of the greatest ladies on earth – my sorta-cousin-by-marriage-amazing friend, Megan – and my sister-in-law, Sunni – we headed to the park for an eventful day!

After checking in and getting our bibs, we wandered around a bit warming up. Of course, when it’s cold there’s really no “warming” about it. At 9 a.m. we headed up to the trail at Cecil Park only to discover the majority of it was still covered in snow and ice. EEK!

So … snow and ice. I can honestly say I was not prepared to do a 5K on snow and ice. Oh well.. no backing out now!

So I started down the path. Once we got off the starting line the trail cleared up and I was hopeful (but not for long). There were small parts where I felt confident enough to job the 5K but I will say I walked the majority of it – mostly out of fear of falling on my ass!

Megan warned me the trail was going to make my feet hurt. She wasn’t joking. My feet still (on Monday night) ache from the trail, but it hasn’t stopped me!

Despite the ice, this 5K went along much better than the last one! My time was 46:47:50 (or 15:05/Mile). When I did my first race in October, my time was 53:49:60 (or 17:22/Mile). I consider that a great improvement in about six months.


Vast improvement over October

I can’t wait until my next race. I just know now that I need more time on the trails!

Believe in yourself

I’d like to tell you all a story – it started last summer. I went to Lane Bryant hunting for some new clothes. I was still in size 24/26 at this point and tipping the scale at 316 pounds. While hunting through the store, a purple and pink shirt caught my eye – two of my favorite colors. It was a loose style with an under shirt and a layer over top. I tried it on… sadly the biggest size (26) didn’t fit me. It looked horrible. I was a mess.

It wasn’t long after this day that I went to my brother in laws wedding in July and the rest of the events that transpired changed my life. Honestly, until this weekend I had completely forgotten about the shirt and how much I wished it fit. It was truly beautiful.

Fast forward to this weekend. My husband and I were shopping at Tanger Outlets when I popped into Lane Bryant. They had a great sale with an extra 70% off the lowest ticketed price on all Clearance items. Guess what was on the rack…. that same purple and pink shirt.

I stared at it for a while before pulling it down. It was the only one in the store. Alone on the top rack of a row of sweaters. I didn’t know what size it was, but I desperately wanted to try it on. I grabbed a bunch of items, shirt included and put it in the dressing room. At this point, I still haven’t even looked at the size. I didn’t want to know.

I’ve been shirking over the last few weeks down to a size 16 jeans and the smallest size they had in Lane Bryant was a 14 so odds are it was somewhere in my size range. I actually thought it was a 22 when I pulled it down.

I slipped the shirt on first. I couldn’t wait any longer and I literally cried out with glee when I looked in the mirror. Here was the shirt I wanted so desperately last summer… fitting nearly perfectly on my body. In about 5-10 more pounds, it’s going to be perfect.

After walking up and down admiring myself in the mirror, I slipped off the shirt to discover a real awakening….

IT WAS A SIZE 14!!!!!!!

Yes, 1-4. I just stared in disbelief. Could it be? I’m almost to a size 14. I called my husband to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I tried the shirt on for him and he said the same thing I did – about 5-10 more pounds and it’s going to be golden. It’s a summer shirt so I have no doubt I’ll fit great in it over the next few months. Then I showed him the tag.

Clearly this shirt must be a fluke. Maybe it’s the cut and style. I went back out to the store and found something else in a size 14. A pretty red and black dress that only had two sizes – 26 and 14. I put the dress on and jumped with joy. It was the same – It fit, it looked ok and in a few more pounds it’s going to look FAB!

If you asked me last summer when I’d ever see a size 14 and I would have told you never. Now, here I sit staring at the size with the joy that I’ll be out of it before I know it!

This is one of those moments that I’ll cherish forever – along with my beautiful purple and pink shirt. I promise to post a photo as soon as it fits perfectly which by my calculation should be late march / early april. Just in time for summer!

The Biggest Winner Day 24: The end

Well here we are – the end of the training program. I can’t believe six weeks flew by so quickly!

I can’t even begin to tell you how important these past six weeks have been for me. I have taken my weight loss to an entirely new level and it’s all thanks to six amazing people – Jackson, Tianda, Steve, Shawn, John and De2013-02-15 07.48.49bbie. You don’t know them, but you have no idea how much they inspire me.

As a grand finale of his own, Jackson had us run a 5K on the treadmill to get started. I completed mine in under 48 minutes!  A new record for me. I’m so proud of this accomplishment. When I did my first 5K it was just under 54 minutes – LOOK HOW FAR I’VE COME!

More importantly, when I did the first 5K I was useless the rest of the day with aches and pains. Today, I hopped off the treadmill and Jackson sent us to the gym to do more! MORE!!!!!!

Once we finished our run, Jackson had a circuit ready for us as his own little last chance workout before we finished the competition. Oh boy was it hard! I felt horrible but I finished and that’s what matters.  

Today’s workout included: 2013-02-15 08.07.25

  • Broad jumps full court across the gym and back.
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 squats
  • 40 Bosu stepper (that’s that half ball I never know the name of)
  • 40 high knees
  • 30 medicine ball slams
  • 30 push ups
  • 20 super mains
  • 20 single leg bridges
  • 20 burpees
  • 20 jumping lunges

…. and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh wait! Nevermind.


In case your wondering, yes I felt like death at the end. In fact, at one point I actually felt dizzy and needed to rest but I still finished.

So there you have it – six weeks of training 4 times a week for a total of 24 sessions. I’m confident that every single body part has hurt at least once or twice. I’ve been exhausted, drenched in sweat, tired, cranky and even sick – but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it!

My team means the world to me. From Shawn who always had something funny to say in his silly complaining way, to Tianda who gives me inspiration and the nickname bikini girl after her dream, to Debbie who always walked and talked with me on our off days. Each of you meant so much to me and I hope you know it (if you’re reading this). Steve and John, I’m so happy we’re Facebook friends – you guys are the best. I loved our talks and your encouragement too!

Of course, I’m not going to forget the one person that means the world to me (in my life of exercise) and that’s Jackson. I know I tell him just how happy I am to work with him, but I hope he knows just how much he’s done for me. He pushes me out of my comfort zone, he challenges me to do more and he never EVER lets me quit. I owe a lot of pounds to him. I’m so thankful to have met him and I can’t wait to see what he does with me over the next year.

While this is the end of the competition, it’s certainly not the end of my journey. The future looks bright and shining and I’m going to get there!

The Biggest Winner Day 23: Last Chance Workout

Well, the title pretty much says it all. Today was really the last chance workout and I’m still sick. UGH! At least Jackson was a little nicer to me not getting my ass about everything since I was clearly not feeling well but still trying my hardest to push through everything.

So today we concentrated on strength with cardio. We started with a short warm up on the treadmill and then headed upstairs to the track area.

First up was a circuit with kettlebells (oh how I love thee). We did a a 3x rotation of timed moves.

  • Lunge with dumbbell rows (side) and lifts (front)
  • Squat press with dumbbells
  • Double kettle bell swings
  • Double kettle bell rows
  • Squat with bicep curls
  • Double Kettlebell swings all the way to the top

We did a lap after this circuit. Next we did another circuit with three moves. First it was weighted rope jacks, then weighted rope waves and finally weighted rope slams. Next was 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of mountain climbers and 30 seconds of push ups. Finally it was 30 seconds with squat jumps, 30 seconds of ski jumps, 30 seconds of speed squats.

And just when we thought it was time to stretch, Jackson took us down to the gym for another interesting twist. We paired off and he paired me with the toughest woman on our team (I love her dearly) and together one of us did a wall sit, while the other did 10 dips off our knees and ran the length of the gym floor and back to tag us out. Repeat 3x for each person. OH MY GOD IT HURTS! I hate wall sits and this was just kicking my ass!

I made it though. I’m sick. I’m miserable and I could have said screw it this morning but I made it! I’m proud of myself. While on one hand I’m sad the end of this era is tomorrow, a new chapter begins just as quickly I don’t know what chapter that will be, but something will occur. Work is starting to get insane so I need to focus on that right now it is my job after all and without it I can’t afford my gym or my training.


In other news, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love my husband so much. He was smart enough to realize that now that I’ve changed so much … jewelry isn’t necessary and chocolate is a bad idea. Instead he just gave me money to put towards my training because he knows that’s what I truly want! YAY!

The Biggest Winner Day 21: I have a dream

Wow… 21 days and only three more workouts left. I can’t believe it’s almost over. I truly am thankful that I was able to take part in this amazing experienc.e Not only for the training, but the new friendsI’ve made along the way and the self-confidence I’ve gained from Jackson proving to me that I can truly do anything I put my mind to!

Today we started with a brisk warm-up on the arc trainer at a 25 resistance. I spent about 20 minutes (counting my pre-warm up) here.

At this point, we headed up to the track for some laps. We did a series of laps

Lap 1 – Kettle Bell speed walk (me with 15 pounds each hand)
Lap 2 – Run with a flight of stairs at the end

After about 30 minutes of fun, we headed over to the mezzanine for another kettle bell workout. This was a series of kettle bell swings, followed by a row and then push ups. All timed and all rough. We also did a series of 10 squats with a hold on the end for 10 seconds. We repeated the squats five times and the circuit with kettle bells 6.

We finished out the workout on the treadmill with a “push yourself” walk / run. Basically, seven minutes of going as hard as you can.

So you’re probably wondering about the story behind my blog post (there’s always a story). Well, near the end of the workout, one of the ladies of my group comes over and says… I had a dream about you.


Apparently, she had a dream about seeing me in Florida a few years after the program and I’m skinny as a stick wearing a thong bikini. Now, I don’t know about the thong but I’m gunning for the other two parts of this dream to be a reality.

It’s kinda funny though because if some of you remember back to my blog posts early on goals, my major goal in 2014 is to run a Disney Marathon … which is located in (naturally) Florida.

Perhaps she’s seeing my future. I really hope so because that would be awesome. If I get the body, I’ll totally rock a bikini!