Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week 1 of C25K

So lastnight I stopped at Target to pick up a watch to wear while I am working out. So far, my idea of learning how to run is to push myself as far as I think I can go and then walk for a while, then push myself again. I have looked at the Couch to 5k program a couple of times and didn't think that I was fit enough to even handle the first week. I decided lastnight to just pick up a watch and just start doing the plan. I have noticed a little bit of improvement over the last months but not as quickly as I would have hoped. Now as my first 5k approaches in a little over two weeks, I am not ready to run the whole distance.

The first week of C25K is 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. Well, I did it backwards. I did 90 seconds of jogging and 60 seconds of walking.  I think this worked well for me so I think I will keep it going the backwards way for the next two work outs this week. Week two is 90 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes of walking. Maybe I will do week one for two weeks. Hmm...what to do, what to do?

Thank you to my cousin Lynn, who will be doing the Iron Girl Duathlon with me in September, for suggesting that I do a formal training plan. I was against it at first but I think it might actually work out for me. If you are interested in the training schedule for the C25K, check out the Coolrunning website. There are many other C25K plans but I think this one works for me.

By the way, I did the same 2.15 mi loop tonight that I did on Monday. On Monday, I finished it in 29 minutes. Tonight, using the interval training, I did the same distance in 27 minutes! Go me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

Yes I stole this from Elle over at PriorFatGirl. Go over there for the recipe.

I changed it up a little bit by using homemade spaghetti sauce. I fry up some onions in a tiny bit of olive oil. I use a can of Hunt's tomato sauce and a can of Hunt's tomato paste. I add some garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and just a pinch of sugar. With the 93% lean ground beef, the sauce alone carries only 210 calories. When the slaw is added, the recipe is 260 calories.

I was surprised by how full this actually made me. I was unable to help myself to a second serving like I usually would had i had pasta instead of the slaw. I wish I would have taken a picture. Give it a try.

Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

Monday, April 25, 2011

Know Your Inside Numbers

Often times in this journey of weight loss and getting healthy the focus is so much on the numbers on the scale or the inches around various body parts. I sure think about those outside numbers. But I also think about my inside numbers almost constantly.

My inside numbers are my cholesterol numbers and my blood pressure. There are other inside numbers. There's blood sugar levels, hormone levels, thyroid levels, etc. There is a reason I watch after my blood pressure and more importantly my cholesterol numbers. I have Familial Hypercholesterolemia. OK! I know that is a big word to digest. It pretty much means that I have high cholesterol that isn't completely influenced by what foods I eat and how much exercise I get. I inherited how my body responds to cholesterol. (There is a much more detailed explanation on Wikipedia; see link)

So like most of us that watch what the scales say and what the measuring tape tells us, I fast for twelve hours, get up early in the morning to get a few vials of blood drawn from my arm. And then I wait. I wait for the doctors office to post my numbers online for my viewing only.

I have been on cholesterol lowering medication for almost ten years. Ten years ago when I was first put on the medication, my total cholesterol (the only number I always remember) was somewhere around 375mg/dL! According to the American Heart Association, total cholesterol should be under 200mg/dL.
The thing about being on the medication is that I was so young...I am still very much younger than they typical average age of people on the same type of medication. When I would show up for my appointments with my cardiologist, I was almost always the youngest one in the waiting room by probably 40 years.

I've seen three separate cardiologists in the past ten years because I've moved.  I was prescribed one of those cholesterol medications that advertise themselves to greying retired men in their 60s. I had to stop taking that due to an insurance change. The two meds I am on right now have lowered my cholesterol to its lowest levels ever. My total cholesterol was last recorded a year ago at 164mg/dL. I was finally referred by my cardiologist to not see her anymore! I go in for this year's blood test sometime this week before next week's appointment with my new primary.

Even though my total cholesterol is at a good number now, I will likely have to stay on medication for the rest of my life. Sure I can get my numbers down by losing weight but they will never be as low as they are right now without the meds.  I will have to go off the meds when my hubby and I want to start having children. The medications have been known to cause birth defects because the fetus does not receive enough cholesterol to develop correctly. Losing weight will help me manage my cholesterol with less medication. I am hoping I make that goal somewhat soon.

So, do you know your numbers? Has your cholesterol been tested in the past ten years? Most of my aquaintences do not know their numbers and the ones that do usually found out because they asked their doctors to take the tests, they had to take the tests for life insurance, or they found out during a random office health check up. Did you know Heart Disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women? Heart Disease kills more people each year than all the cancer deaths combined and in most cases, we have control over it. So please, check out the American Heart Association's website and please get to know your numbers. Your heart will thank you for it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

American Brain Tumor Association Info

I am reposting my post from February 28th for those who would like more information about the 5k I am doing on May 14th. Please read to the end for more information on donating to my run!

I told everyone about two weeks ago that I had something that I wanted to do on May 14th but I had to talk to a friend about it first. Well the mentioned friend has been talked to and has agreed to join me in this endeavor.

My best friend's mom passed away on December 9th 2008 from a brain tumor. I remember the day Christina called me to tell me her mom was sick. Four hours away, I cried with her. In my mind, there was no way this woman I knew for her love of her children and husband could be sick. She was just like my own mom and I knew her relationship with her daughter was irreplaceable. I almost walked back into work that day and told them I was taking the rest of the day off. Instead, I drove up on Saturday afternoon to give my support. I had to be there.

Lyndee lived a loving life through the 20 months following her diagnosis.  Her passionate work as an artist can still be found gracing the walls of her family's homes. It makes me smile to remember her great sense of decorating.

On May 14th, I will be running the American Brain Tumor Association 5k Run/Walk/Strut in Chicago in memory of Lyndee. I heard about this event last year from Donna while I was scanning through her blog.  I knew that I had just missed the event! But I would be trying to make it to this year's event.

This 5k is primarily in memorial to Lyndee but is also my first 5k I hope to run. Now that the weather is warming, I can get my butt out the door and get moving after work. I am looking forward to some running and maybe shopping in Chicago.

I have yet to officially register. Eek! The value of the research to find cures for these cancers is priceless. If I could raise thousands of dollars, I sure would try. My goal is $500 for this event. I will have a fund raising page up and running in the next few days. If you would like to donate, please let me know.  Thank you in advance!

Well I am now officially registered and already have already raised $360 towards my $500 goal. So if you want to donate your change jar, please click the link for my personal fundraising page on ABTA. 
I have been training for this run and I am not so sure I will be running the whole 3.1 miles but am hoping to run most of it. I wanted to thank everyone who has already donated for their generous donations! It is greatly appreciated.

I will keep you updated on my progress with the training over the next 26 days!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lessons My Teachers Taught Me

We had gorgeous weather here today in southern Wisconsin. It’s really hard to believe
that it is supposed to rain here over the next three days. I am hopeful that Sunday will be
nice weather.

I was told by my mom yesterday that my first grade teacher passed away a few days ago
from cancer. I am unaware of what kind of cancer she has been struggling with over the
last 8 years but it saddens me to hear about the passing of a great teacher. I was blessed
with great teachers over my tenure in elementary school. I’m sure it weighed a little bit
that my mom was a strong parent volunteer and later a substitute teacher and teacher in
the same district. I know not everyone had the great teacher experience I had but where
would we be today without those teachers, good and bad?

I wrote a letter to go along with the sympathy card I am sending to her family. It included
a note about my memories of my first day in her classroom and how she pushed me
outside of my comfy limits and my mom’s too. Although my mom wanted to pick me up
from school that first day, this teacher insisted that I be taken home on the bus and that
she could meet me at the bus stop that afternoon. I must have survived the experience
since I am still here today to talk about it.

I was going to talk about our great teachers, and I may still do that but this little memory
made me think of something else. This one teacher had high expectations of her first
grade students. She even had expectations for me on my very first day. She didn’t know
me or my mom at all, but was still willing to push me outside of my limits. This makes
me think about pushing myself past my personal limits on a daily basis. THAT is really
what the goal of this blog is/was, “Destroying Dead Ends”.

On my way to destroying dead ends in my life, I have come to realize a few things, one
sticking out to me the most. When I approach something that I may be successful with, I
tend to back away from the success. Maybe it is because I am afraid of what I am going
to find on the other side of that hill or limit. While talking to my husband last night
about my struggles with running, I recalled last fall when I ran ½ mile on the treadmill in
November without stopping. I was shocked I was able to accomplish that. After that day,
I didn’t lace on my running shoes for over two months. I was always pulling excuses that
it was too cold or too snowy or just too dark. But when I look back on it, the problem was
subconscious. I didn’t want to go any further than where I was. Maybe it was because I
didn’t believe that I could actually do it.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. It happened in high school when I was able to
run the furthest at the end of the semester. The semester ended and I stopped exercising
to the same extent I was during the school year. It happened a couple of years ago, same
situation…same giving up in the end. It is not going to happen this time.

It is not going to happen this time! My hubby suggested that I find someone to help push
me over that hump, over that wall. In reality, I am the only one that can push myself over
the wall. I don’t really even know if it is a wall in the first place. I picture it as more of
a step, a little me on a big step, on a level field until I have to climb up the next wall.

I believe keeping myself signed up for races, runs, and rides will keep me accountable for
my success. The events are as follows (so far):

ABTA 5k, Chicago : May 14th, 38 days
Healthy Minds 5k, St. Paul: May 30th, 47 days
Iron Girl Duathlon, Bloomington: September 24th, 145 days

*I am thinking I would like to get an organized ride in there somewhere. I may be
looking into the MS 150 Wisconsin in the middle of August.

So keeping myself committed to event such as the ones above will keep me training past the point of thinking I have done enough.

To Miss Bazany, thank you for pushing me past my limits on that first day of first grade at Greenwood!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Failure and Success!

I'm not sure what I'm about to say is me admitting to failure or not.

I gave up being a vegetarian about 3 1/2 weeks into the adventure. I was finding that my legs were cramping up far too much during my jogging and thought that maybe it was due to my giving up meat. I'm still not very sure if this is really the real reason for the leg cramping. The real problem is probably that I actually find that I am gaining weight instead of losing it. I think I replaced a lot of the lack of meat with carbs, carbs, and more carbs. The carbs just wore me down. I found as I slowly worked some protein back into my diet in the form of meat, I felt like I had more energy.

This vegetarian thing has really opened my tastebuds to try new things. I learned that I love marinated onions and peppers. I learned that I really like to try new things and that vegetarian items are worth the try and really do taste good! I think I will be trying to incorporate vegetarian meals into my daily menu. My hubby is still doing the vegetarian diet and even opted for a vegetarian meal at Taco Bell today, which he actually liked!

When I got home today from work I was in a bad mood and on the fence about working out. I didn't really want to get out and run, even though the weather was perfect for it. I really just wanted to sit on the couch. I knew my bike was still set up in the basement and that my bike shorts were up on the bedroom floor. But I really just wanted to sit on the couch and watch the news.  But then I thought to myself that I could watch the news while I rode the bike. So that's what I did. I marched up the stairs to pull on the wonderful black spandex padded shorts, my sports bra and a tee shirt. I threw my hair up into a ponytail and slipped on my bike gloves. I turned on the tv and got moving. I pedaled so hard at one point that I broke off the plastic part that holds my foot in place. I suppose it is time to get my bike affixed with those nifty shoe cleats. I wanted to stop so many times but I just kept going. I did 40 minutes...and felt AMAZING when I was done.

Dinner was ready for me after I was done on the bike. It was so yummy and all I could talk about was how glad I was that I got off my ass to work out. I really want this to become a habit and I think I am slowly getting there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good Choices

First off, I know you all are going to laugh at me but I have a record 10 followers! LOL. Thanks Sarah for following my blog!

Anyway, I am really proud of myself for what decisions I made today. I stayed out of the snack box at work! I was given the opportunity to make a healthier choice for lunch.

I didn't get the opportunity to work out yesterday because I was just too busy with other things. (I went to see Legally Blonde on stage with a friend). Then I didnt sleep too well lastnight so the only thing I wanted to do after work was sit on my bum and watch tv. Maybe I thought about going outside and work on the yard a bit. I then realized that I am getting together with some girlfriends this weekend and there will probably be no plans for working out on Friday or Saturday. So I pulled on my work out pants and strapped on the iPod and headed out the door. I thought today would be the day would be the day that I would be able to run a quarter mile without stopping. But no, I only got .18 miles without stopping and it was downhill. Ah well!

When I got back home, I made sure I did some really extensive stretching with the hope that I wouldn't have painful legs tomorrow. I have yet to see if that pays off.  Tomorrow night will probably be a bike night. I need to get my bike butt back. I had 5 mini marshmallows to satisfy a sweet tooth after dinner and then a small apple. Yumm.

Now I know this post isn't too exciting but I should be off to bed. Maybe I will come up with something better to write tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Before Pictures.

So I notice that a lot of blogs similar to mine include before and after pictures. I notice I tend to keep myself out of pictures recently.

 This is me at my heaviest at my wedding September 2008, 230lbs

 May 2010, 215lbs, Spanx and all. (My mom says I look like a turtle when I don't stand up straight)

 July 2010, 225lbs, I was daring to wear a white tank top...alone

Christmas 2010, 220lbs, I'm about the same right now.


As I get on my bike that is set up in my basement, I leave you with my motivation for the day.