Monday, March 26, 2018

I Am a 5k Runner! A week of firsts.

I did it! I ran it! I have worked hard over the last year to be able to run a whole 5k without stopping. You all may or may not remember that I had a specific 5k I wanted to run without stopping. My tiny tot has Down syndrome and our wonderful support group puts on a 5k to raise funds for all of the wonderful things they do for us. This group sponsors families to go to the National Congress, National Buddy Walk, seminars, and they hold parent education sessions, maintain a lending library, among other things. We do everything we can to help raise money.

Last year when I started running, I did so with the intention of being able to run this race nonstop. I began by using the C25K app by Zen Labs! When I started the app, I couldn't even complete Day 1. I needed a Bed to Couch app, or something hahaha. Eventually I could run 8x 1 minute. Then I could run 1.5 minutes, and 5 minutes, and so forth. I repeated weeks. I stopped and started over. I went back a week or two after not running for a week or so. I battled injuries. I just kept trying.

I learned a good pair of running shoes is cheaper than physical therapy. I learned that fit is more important than thin. Full disclosure, I weigh more than I did three months ago, but my size is the same. Muscle weighs more than fat inch for inch.

Saturday was the 3.21 Dash for Down Syndrome.  I had never run 3.1 miles non stop. I am not sure that I had done 2 full miles, as I run REALLY slowly. #teamturtle is real! I started running and did not stop. I ran until I crossed the first finish line. After the traditional 3.1 miles, there was an extra .11 mile run for that little something extra that our friends with Down syndrome have. 3 copies of the 21st chromosome 3.21. I ran to the second finish line. I am pretty sure I was dying by the time I finished, but I did it. I felt like I was dying at least. I really wasn't. I was cold, and proud.  I ran in the coldest run of my life. It wasn't the fastest, but I don't care. The week before, I did a faster 5k, but I walked a little. I purposely slowed my pace this week. I wanted to finish without walking. I did. I cannot be prouder.

I have to say that I am also proud of my son. He ran the same race and came in second in his age group! He rocked it for his sister!

I did another thing this week. I got my first tattoo. It is also to honor my sassy pants. It is called the lucky few tattoo. The tattoo consists of 3 arrows, my middle arrow is blue and yellow for Down syndrome. I am lucky that sassy pants calls me mom! Or my my mamamama as it may be. My husband also got the same tattoo. We love our girl!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thank You to My Motivators

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine. She too has been on a journey to get healthier. She told me that she was super proud of me, but what she didn't know, at that time, that she was my inspiration.

Sometimes we watch others and we want to do well, too. We don't always tell those people that they were an influence. It's not easy to express gratitude. I am eternally grateful to the three influences who have inspired me to be a better me.

First, I want to thank my mom! If you know me personally, and have known me since elementary/ middle school, you know my mom used to be significantly overweight. Now, I was a kid, so I don't know what her weight was or what her "obesity" category was, but I know she was heavy. When I was in the 7th grade, my mom was a "resolutioner" and succeeded. She started to lose weight in January of my 7th grade year. By September, she had met her goal weight. I was 12 in January of 1991. I will be 40 this March. My mom is still at an optimal weight. As  a matter of fact, at a recent doctor's visit she was told her BMI was perfect. Now, don't put too much stock in BMI, but it is fairly accurate for her. She is average height and medium build. The chart was designed for people of her height and frame. Twenty-eight years, y'all! She is an inspiration. She is my mom; she taught me about life; if she can, I can.

Second, there is my sister. Lots of family influence here. Last year she completed my goal 5K. She didn't run it. She walked and ran some. She did fantastic! She completed a 5K with little to no training. She did it for my tiny one. I can't remember if I have mentioned it before but the littlest one has Down syndrome. She is amazing in and of herself, but that's for another post. The 5K that my sister completed raises funds for Little Got to Eat's Down syndrome group locally. She did it without fanfare and just because it benefits Little. When she told me, after she finished, that she did it, I was amaze, proud, and inspired. I knew that I had to do it for Little too. I knew that if she could, I could. I didn't think this because I am better than her, but because we were both out of shape, and she was no more of an athlete than I was. Surely if she could put her fears and insecurities aside for my daughter, I could too. I had, though, begun a journey of weight loss at this point and was feeling great. I had more energy and was looking for a way to exercise. I was trying to find something that I would enjoy and not give up. I decided I would run the entire 5K. For Little. Next year (oh my! it is next year). I actually enjoy running. I never would've tried it if Sister Got to Eat had not stepped outside her comfort zone first.

Last, but certainly not least, is the friend I was telling you about in the beginning of this post! Friend Got to Eat was eating a low carb diet last year and doing great. My dad had a recent high A1C and I was scared I was next. She was eating great and working out. I saw her and her progress and wanted in on the action! Without her inspiration, I would still be fat and sassy. Now, I am just sassy. Hahaha. She is an amazing mom to two beautiful girls, and she is a great friend. She is always there with an encouraging word, and she is my friend. I am very lucky. She would post recipes, gym tips, and general low carb information. I knew that if she could do it, I could too. Again, I don't think I am better, but we have similar home situations. Both of us have a small child and a school age one, recent marriages (I have been married 4 years now, but that's no time at all), and have busy schedules. If she could find a way, then, yes, I could too. I watched her in awe for a little bit, and then I jumped on in. A year later and I am almost at goal weight. This has been my goal weight for almost 20 years. Thank you dear friend. You may have saved my life. Without you, I wouldn't have lost the weight, felt good enough to run, or had the confidence to try any of it. You are amazing my dear friend.

I want to thank these three ladies. I have had other influences and supporters, and will blog about them soon, but today is a special thank you to my friends and family to whom I owe the most gratitude. I love you all.

***I didn't use anyone's real name because I didn't tell them I was writing it. I may tag them when I link it to Facebook, but if you know me personally, you already know who they are.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Goals and dreams

I mentioned the other day that I don't want to set resolutions, since I seem to drop them all. I don't hate resolutioners, nor do I resent them. I just feel like we should make life changes as necessary. Don't get me wrong, I understand why people create resolutions. A new year signifies a new beginning. Starting fresh. Starting over. Lord Jesus, I have started over 1,235,939 times. I just don't see to have that "resolution function" turned on in my brain. I cannot view it as a New Year's Resolution. I think part of it, for me, at least, is that I see each new year as a new beginning again. A 2018 resolution to do something is just for that year. I want to make permanent changes. I want to set goals, not chase dreams.

A goal is something that is attainable and may have smaller goals to reach before ultimately reaching the end goal. Take my weight loss adventure, for instance. I ultimately had the goal to lose 77.5 pounds. I knew that I did not gain that 77.5 overnight. I knew that it would take time to reach that goal. My first goal was to try to maintain my new way of eating for a month. Simple recipes only. My next goal was to incorporate more foods. Then, I wanted to begin exercising. I didn't know what or how, but I knew I had more energy and needed to work it out somehow. Notice, none of these goals had hard and fast timelines other than maintaining my new habit for a month. Why a month? Years ago I read something that said if you could do something for 3 weeks (21 days exactly) you could do it basically forever. A month would provide that 21 days and then some. I didn't start out with a goal to run a marathon. That would be stupid. I can't even run a mile yet. Well, I can, I think, but not when the goal of exercising started. Then I found couch 2 5k. There are a million C25K apps out there so, I picked the one I liked the functionality of. The basic premise of C25k is the same everywhere, so the timing doesn't matter. Sometimes, I fail at a goal. What I realize, now, is that I set a goal too soon or too high. Mostly too soon. I say too soon, because I would like to completely run a 5k already. I have had roadblocks to stop my progress, and I didn't consider the consequences when setting my goal. This semester is going to be particularly hard, but I am determined to make it. My husband is taking 20 credit hours and working, and I work,  chauffeur children, and do the mommy thing. Don't get me wrong. Mr. Got to Eat is a great dad and stepdad, but he's going to have to primarily focus on school from this coming Monday through the first week in May. Then he will graduate. That's his current life goal.

Here's the thing about goals. Each person has one or more. Each person has to find what they need to do in order to reach those goals. We are working it out so that he can reach his educational goals. We worked it out when I was working on BOTH of my masters. It's his turn. He was a great stepdad when I was busy with school things. It's my turn to repay him. Actually with my first masters, we'd just begun dating as I was in my final classes. He was super patient. He even encouraged my second masters. Set goals. Adapt them when you realize they were too lofty. Don't give up on goals because they are hard. Find what you need to do in order to achieve them. Only you can do that.

Dreams are another beast. Dreams are things that are sometimes unattainable. At almost 40, it is unreasonable for me to believe I will be an Olympic gymnast such as Mary Lou Retton or Nadia Comaneci. Yes, I could have said Simone Biles or Gabby Douglas, but they aren't my heroes. Mary Lou was the best in the history of the Olympics. I don't care what you say. Now, I could take up gymnastics and learn to flip and tumble, maybe even quite well. I am built like a gymnast. I may even do that one day, but I will never be them. First, there is only one Mary Lou. Second, I should've started about 35 years ago, and kept up with it, in order to achieve that. That doesn't mean that I am not capable of greatness. I am. I am just not capable of being an Olympic gymnast, and that's okay.

Are dreams useless? Nope. I want to be able to run a 5k. Then, maybe, a 10k. After that, maybe even a half marathon. All of that is useless, though, without goals. I first had to learn to run a minute without stopping. Then, I had to learn to run more and more. Qualifying for Boston would be a dream. It's not realistic. Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon, now that I may be able to work up to. Use your dreams to set goals. I would like to one day run a Disney half-marathon. I can't do it today, but I can start learning how today.

The best thing I can teach you is don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to make choices. I made a choice to eat cheesecake, magic cookie bars, and pie at Christmas. Did it completely derail all of my progress? Nope, I gained 2 pounds. I also ate popcorn on New Year's Eve. Gained 2 pounds then too. Popcorn kills me. The salt makes me puff up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I love it though. I make choices to eat it on occasion. I know the consequences and what I have to do to reverse them. They don't destroy my whole goal, but they do make it take longer. Adjust your goals, but not too much. If you begin a new eating plan wanting to lose 100 pounds, and a year later you have to adjust that to 120 pounds, you're doing it wrong. If your goal is to lose it in 1 year and it takes 16 months, so what? Be human. Fall down. GET BACK UP. Set goals, reset goals, adjust goals, repeat.  

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I AM A RUNNER!!! I am not a resolutioner! Happy New Year!

I feel that I should apologize. I haven't blogged in a while. I am currently feeling a bit like my words don't matter. No one is listening, so why speak? I have stumbled and recovered many times since I blogged last. I am almost at "goal" weight, but considering stopping the push for weight loss. See, I am at 142 ish pounds. I gained a few at Thanksgiving and then again at Christmas, but have lost most of them now. I ate off plan the whole weekend of Thanksgiving and for two days at Christmas. I don't feel bad about it either. I did it knowing I would gain a little.

I have lost a total of about 75 pounds. I am still running, and have even joined the gym. No, I do not want you to join me at the gym. I like the solace of working out alone. I like the time in my head to clear my head. I don't mind walking with a friend or a class exercise from time to time, as a matter of fact, it is fun, but I love the aloneness.

I feel I may be at the end of my weight loss journey as far as pounds go, because I am a size 4. I realize that I am technically heavier than my initial goal weight, but I am also smaller than I expected to be. I want to tone and tighten up. My belly is still flabby. I just don't need to be a size 2. Here's a picture:
The picture was actually taken Thanksgiving weekend.

I am happy with my size, I shouldn't worry about the scale. A month or two ago, I visited my regular doctor, who is not interested in my scale number. He told me that he would rather me be a 26-28 BMI than to be 120 pounds and unhealthy. I am currently a 26.9. The  healthiest patients he has are slightly overweight according to BMI scale, but are athletic and have great lab work. Some of his most unhealthy patients are "skinny fat" and aren't as healthy as they look.

People who are skinny fat are in a normal BMI range but have heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. It usually starts with one and gets progressively worse. People think that fat raises cholesterol, but it doesn't. It also doesn't make you fat. Carbs turn to sugar, which is in turn stored as fat. Carbs aren't a total enemy, don't get me wrong. Many carb rich foods are also nutrient rich. I am not saying never eat an orange or banana, but there are far less health issues with those who eat the right diet.

You guys know that I have been bitten by the running bug. I love it. It's very hard. Nothing worthwhile was ever easy! Earlier this year I joined a challenge called You vs the Year. It was sponsored through Under Armour's Map My Run app. I knew that I probably wouldn't make it, but it seemed like a fun thing to do, and I could see how much I had run in a year. Well, I did not complete it. I earned my first badge on August 25. I did great though! I finished the year with 82 workouts for a total of 250k. The challenge was for 1017k in 2017. Oh well. I have had 4 weeks I didn't run at all and several others when I only got out once or twice. It's okay though. I figure that is about 1/4 of what I could have done had I been more consistent and disciplined. Also, last year walks didn't count. In 2018 they will! So, 12 months vs 3 and walking counts. I GOT THIS!!!!

My title is I am a runner for a reason. I have trouble calling myself a runner. I feel like I am slow and not worthy of the title. I am learning that isn't true. YVTY (You vs the Year) has a Facebook group dedicated to the challenge. I joined the group a while back and these runners are impressive. Their times and distances are still a dream for me. They are, however, some of the greatest people I know. They encourage me and tell me that if I run, I am a runner. It doesn't matter how awkward I am or how slow. I am running. My therapist encourages me to own my accomplishments and she is impressed with my pitiful running numbers. Or she says she is. So, I am a runner. I. AM. A. RUNNER.

That brings me to the second part of my title. I am not a resolutioner. I am dreading the next few weeks at the gym. All the resolutioners will be there. You know what I mean, those who have the new year, new me attitude, and they really do mean it. I know that these resolutioners have good intentions. I have been one. You know, I had a new gym membership one year. I was going to lose weight and get fit. I went for a month or so, and then gave up. Many of these people will too. The problem is, they will take all the machines, and it will be crowded. I have already mentioned that I hate working out with people, for the most part. I will be forced to either wait on a treadmill, go to my mom's to walk, or walk next to someone else. I like walking on Mom's treadmill to some extent. It's secluded in her basement. The problem is, it gets boring. There's not much to look at. It currently faces a blank wall. I try to leave at least 2 machines between me and others at the gym. I don't want to change that. Creature of habit here.

Don't get me wrong. It's okay to be a resolutioner. I don't resent you if you are. I resent the crowds. It's not the individual. I purposely started my diet/ way of eating at the end of January last year, because I didn't want it to be another failed resolution. I wanted to succeed. I am succeeding! I am sure some of my dread of resolutioners stems from my own failed resolutions. Good luck to the resolutioners. I hope you are able to stick with it. I just wish I lived in Florida, or even New Zealand, right now. It's warmer. I could run outside. I live in the South. I love to be outdoors, but 21℉ is not conducive to running for me. I am planning to get some cold weather gear and trying it soon. I probably won't start, though, until it's at least 40℉. Yes, you can call me a wuss now!

This is my final post of the year, but hopefully I will get back to posting regularly. I hope to update tomorrow for the kick off of 2018.

I will leave you with a picture of my most recent purchase. It's kinda where I am right now!
I am not where I want to be, but it's all good! I am okay!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Crustless Pizza

One day I had a family gathering to cook for. I was new at LC and I wanted to make sure that there was something there I could eat. I made a "crustless pizza" and the Keto "Pretzel" Strawberry Salad. I just designed this recipe on the spot, but it has quickly become a favorite of my husband.

1-2 Pounds of ground beef. (I usually use 1.5)
8oz Mozzarella Cheese
1 Jar of Pizza Sauce (lowest carb and least added sugar you can find)
Pepperoni (I use Hormel)

Brown Ground Beef and drain. Put a little Cheese on the bottom of the dish you are using. I use a Pampered Chef Round Deep Dish Baker. Place Browned Ground Beef on top of Cheese layer. I usually do a light cheese layer. Add Pizza Sauce on top of beef. Spread evenly. Top with remaining Mozzarella. (I like lots of cheese). Top that with Pepperoni (as many slices as makes you happy). Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or so. Just until Cheese is melted and Pepperoni is desired doneness.

I know that there are a lot of "do what you like" kind of instructions, but this really is a do what you want kind of recipe. Add mushrooms. Ham. Veggies. For the love of Pete, not PINEAPPLE. First, it isn't low carb! Second, EWWW.

Let me know if you try it and like it.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Scheduling matters

I have been a bit quiet lately. I haven't done as well with my journey as I had hoped, and much of that was my fault. I have been quiet for the same reason that prevented me from doing well. It's not that I was embarrassed or anything of that nature. I was just lazy at doing things. I didn't have a good schedule and plan for the days; my sleep was out of whack, and I wasn't as focused as I should have been.

I learned a very valuable lesson. Scheduling matters.

Today, I do feel like Bon Jovi... Whoooaa I'm half-way there! You may remember that I started at 217.5 even before I started this blog. Today, I am 177.9. I am over half-way to my goal of 140. I have officially lost more than I have left to lose. I would say that it gets easier from here, but in some ways, it gets harder. It's summer, and I love summer fruit. I stopped doing full keto when I started exercising because of the issues I was having with extreme fatigue. I can explain more in another post. I do eat some fruit but too much will stall my weight loss. I have been enjoying very measured amounts of watermelon. I will be eating peaches, and I have had some strawberries. I just cannot eat them all on one day or in large quantities. Again, scheduling matters.

What do I mean by scheduling matters?

First, I have a beautiful 18-month-old baby girl. She is a night owl. For the last year and a half, I thought I had tried everything to make her go to sleep, to no avail. I was wrong. There was something I had not tried. I just turned off all the lights and held her. I had to rock a bit, but she went to sleep. I actually did this by accident! I was trying to get her to sleep in the bedroom one night. Mr. Got to Eat had to be at work at 5 am and since we have 3 kids and only 3 bedrooms Sassy Pants sleeps in our room (in her crib). Many nights she would wind up in our bed because I would be too tired once she got to sleep to actually get up and move her. I got up, and I took her into the living room so not to disturb him. *Note for all the people saying to themselves "It's his baby too, let him suffer." I didn't have to be up at 4 am, and he lets me sleep when I have to be up earlier than him. We are a team. It was my night to be captain. When I got to the living room I just left everything off. No lights, no television, nothing. In 10 minutes, she was asleep. The next night, I told him we should try the same thing. Again in 10 minutes she was asleep. I kept doing it earlier and earlier. It keeps working. I don't know if it will work forever, and some nights it is 30 minutes and others it's five. For now, it is our saving grace. I have also begun to get more than 6 hours of sleep in the last two weeks. Most days more than 8. Two weeks ago, I was at 4-6. The weight has started dropping more quickly.

Second, I learned that when left to my own devices without food planning, I make okay decisions, but not great ones. My weight loss slowed. It didn't stop, but it was significantly slower.

Third, I learned that I am afraid to ask for me time to go run or to work out in the house. I am the mom. I know that the dad/ stepdad lives here too, but we all know that in the grand scheme of things, it is always expected the mom be available. First, I needed to get over that, and I am trying. More importantly, though, I needed to schedule the time so that everyone would know when they needed to pitch in more.

That's where the scheduling came in. I designed a schedule that includes everything. Here's the morning portion!

I have discovered that by adding in some morning activity I get a little in, even if the day gets crazy. I also schedule time to work out in the evening to get my "real" workout done. I am getting more done, and getting the house cleaner. So, the food isn't on here. How have I helped that?

I have tried to be better about meal planning on Sunday. If you could see all of Sunday, you would even see a time scheduled for meal planning and prep. On Mondays, I plan to shop if I can't on Sunday night. I sometimes can't do the planning, in which case I have been at least planning today for tomorrow and so on. I never enter a day not knowing. Scheduling matters.

I have also lost faster this week than in the last month combined almost. I am working out regularly again and eating better foods. Scheduling matters. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ugh! Damned Doctors Were Right!!!!!!!!!!

Let me walk you through a typical scenario for fat people at a doctor's appointment:
Doc: Hello, Mrs. Got to eat! What brings you in?
Mrs. Got to eat: Well, my ______ hurts. (you can insert darn near any body part here)
Doc: Well, I notice that you weight _____ amount. Now that is obese/ morbidly obese/ very overweight. You know, if you lose weight you will feel better. Just a 10 percent reduction in body weight can be very beneficial. You will feel so much better. Add in a little exercise. It's good for those joints/ muscles/ endorphins, etc.
Mrs. Got to eat:  Okay, I mean I will try, but how do I exercise when my _____ hurts?
Doc: Start slowly. Okay! Now, let's take a listen to your heart/ lungs/ check your blood pressure.
Mrs. Got to eat: Um, okay.
Doc: Blood pressure too high, heart rate too high. Hmmm. Yeah, we really need to get some of this weight off of you.
Mrs. Got to eat: Okay. I'll try ***leaves and cries***

This scenario has been played out multiple times with many different players. We fat people know the drill. The worst was when I was having kidney area pain and the urologist wouldn't run tests; he just said I was fat, and patted my belly. OMG REALLY DUDE????

I went to another urologist, and he said You didn't come in here walking on your kidney. It doesn't hurt because you're fat." And I appreciated him!

That said, many of those doctors were at least partially right. First, not that first urologist; he was a moron. But I do feel better when I eat better and exercise more. I especially learned this with the whole exercise more scenario. See, I have been exercising 5-6 days a week for a few weeks now. I have been a bit lax this week. Is that to say I have been completely lazy? No, but I haven't done as much as I should.

I noticed something today. I am more tired, have heartburn, and feel kind of blah. I am not sick, but I have not taken the care I need to with my body. I have not treated my body like I had been a week or two ago, and my body isn't happy. When I exercise more, I want to exercise more.

I also haven't planned this week's foods as well, so I have not done as well there either. There is a difference. I feel better when I move and when I eat well. Ugh! Damned doctors were right. I need to treat my body better and it will treat me better. Peace be with you.