Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's been a while!

So I'm pretty much in maintenance.  For those not up on the post bariatric surgery vernacular that means I"m no longer trying t o lose weight, just maintain.   I've been maintaining (see what we did there) at 134-137 for over a month and find it easy and I feel great.  So no real reason to keep going lower.  Yes my original goal was 130, but I just don't see what I would gain by losing 4 more lbs.  Who cares!

As I'm no longer in the losing phase, while I'm sure I will talk about maintaining and any food slip-ups I may have, I really see this blog turning more into a chronicle  of  my new life, centering mostly around my running and horse endeavors.

The holidays are upon us and with that comes massive amounts of food.  Until yesterday I'd really had no issues not imbibing.  Unfortunately, my fiber arts group (a fancy way to say knitters and crocheters) had a little get together and with it came massive amounts of food.  I made cookies and brought a meat and cheese tray.  Someone else brought baked brie cheese.  That was my downfall.  Not quite sure how much I ate of that, but it was more than my fair share.  And since it's ooey and gooey it doesn't fill up my tiny tummy, also high in fat and therefore calories.  All in all not the best of choices.  I ate it, it was good, and then I did a kettle bell workout to work a few of the extra calories off.  Tomorrow is spin day at the gym, so I'll push a bit harder to work those calories off.

I'm still just agog at the changes in my life.  Last year to this year is such a huge difference.  I teach riding lessons now 3-4 days a week, and I took my horse, Phoenix, to her first show last weekend.  She did exactly what  I wanted, which was stayed pretty sane (had a moment or two) and we went through 6 classes, which included 2 over fences (that's where she really shined) and 1 that included a canter.

The week before the show we had a lesson with Luis Galindo of Galindo Sport Horses.  First, let me say I LOVE his teaching style and the difference in my horse from walking in the ring to leaving was huge.  She's now really starting to carry herself in some sort of frame and looks great.

What's a blog without some pictures!  The first couple pics are of Phoenix and me at our lesson a couple weeks ago and those below (where I"m dressed all fancy) are at the show last weekend.  This weekend is our lesson with Paul Turner of Parkside Show Stables and I think he'll see a huge difference.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Warrior Dash - Race Review


I ran the Warrior Dash yesterday with my friend Mary.  Now some of you may remember Mary from this post about my first 5k after my surgery.  Mary was awesome stayed with me, motivated me and kept me going when my 200+ lb body wanted to quit.  Now since that race, I've finished running one other race, lost 60 more pounds and taken up running as my full-time exercise routine.  To give you some type of comparison as to what shape I was in, in May, vs. yesterday, here are the two pre-race photos of Mary and I at both races:

Not sure I even look like the same person!  But of course Mary looks awesome in both of these pics.  

Well now that I have some photo whoring out of the way I'll tell you about the race.  See that pic of us in our fuzzy hats?  That was taken at about 2pm.  Please note that our race heat was supposed to be at 1pm and we are very clean.  That's because we didn't even get to the packet pick-up until 1:50 pm.  The traffic coming in to the venue was horrendous.  We hit it about 5 miles from the venue at around 11:45 am.  At 1:00 pm we were still 2 miles from the place.  At that point an enterprising small business was allowing us to park on their grounds for $5 and we walked, passing by many, many cars.  I guess we wouldn't have arrived until after 3 pm if we'd stayed in the car.  And if we had we would have been met my flooded fields that our van NEVER would have made it in to or out of.  All in all I'm very happy we decided to pay the $5 and walk in.

For those of you who know me personally this will not come as a surprise, I HATE to be late.  It makes me nervous and my heart races and all around I become a very unhappy person.  I was worried that since we didn't make our wave time they would be jerks.  They weren't.  They happily let us jump in the next heat at 2:30.  

A note on accommodations. While there were a lot of porta-potties there weren't enough and by the time we were there, 90% were sans toilet paper.  Now come on people, you know how many people are showing up, 50 toilets = not enough!  

Ok what you really wanted to hear about is the race and all the cool obstacles, so here you go:

The 2:30 heat took off at 2:30, that was nice!  These cool flame thrower things shoot into the air and produce a large quantity of heat above your head.  A neat beginning.  Now is probably the time to note that while I've continued my running since the first race with Mary, she has not.  I realized I was not nearly as good of a running partner as her as I continually ran ahead and then realized I was running with someone and had to turn around.  I suck!

About .5 mile in we ran into our first obstacle.  It was barbed wire with mud underneath.  The line wasn't long, you really didn't have to low crawl through and I came out the other side relatively clean.

Now the real obstacle for me, probably wasn't meant to be an obstacle at all.  The large quantity of mud in the running path.  I know, I know, it's a mud run.  But, I'm not sure that it is usually like this.  This is the kind of mud that your foot lands in and then slides right out from under you.  I think it was a combination of being a later heat in the day (therefore more feet stirring it all up) and the massive amounts of rain we'd had in the last two days (see the mud pit that was parking referenced above).  It really slowed me down and made me feel unsteady on my feet.

There was a long run between the first obstacle and the second, including a run through an open field and trails through the woods.  If we weren't in a race, it would have been beautiful to just stop and look around!

The next obstacle was an over under.  Basically you jumped over a 3' wall then under barbed wire.  I did okay on this though I knocked the hell out of a shin when I tried to get cute with the over part.  I will note that Mary tried to be really cute and jump in one fell swoop, and instead just landed on her ass!  

Back to running some more and then met by some tires to run through.  This is where my complete lack of coordination really shows!  I had to basically walk through because I was unable to accurately place my feet inside the hole of the tire.  How I can ride 1,000 lb horses but can't run through tires, I don't know!

The obstacles pick up the pace from here on out.  The first 2 mi. basically just had 2 obstacles all the rest are thrown in the last 1.5 miles so it gets real exciting now.  Stay with me!

The balance walk was next.  Basically a board you have to climb up then walk across.  I did fine with this, no issues whatsoever.  I actually remember this one being AFTER the next one but my memory is sketchy and the website says this was next so I'm going with it.  Mary and I both felt this was the easiest and sailed across.

The next was a log "roll" in waist high water.  Now these were large logs chained down in some truly yucky water.  We weren't strong enough on our own to push the log down so 4 or 5 ladies got together called out and pushed it down and rolled over together.  We did this three times, talk about a team effort!

The next thing we came to was a big sign that said non-swimmers this way.  They weren't kidding!  Unfortunately, before we got in the water, Mary saw a leach hanging off a guys ear and decided she was a non-swimmer.  I on the other hand went for it!  There were very large trees submerged and my shins paid the price but I swam out to a large pontoon and pulled myself up on it, then you dip down into the water again and can pull yourself across on a rope, to have to climb back up on the pontoon.  I was pretty damned proud of myself as upper body strength is not something I have a lot of but I guess when you lose weight it's easier to pull yourself out!

I caught up with Mary on the other side and off we went to the next obstacle.  This is an obstacle I dreaded. It was a GIANT "A" frame with a rope to pull yourself up.  I will tell you now that I do not do heights.  Not at all.  I was able to climb up to the top but couldn't figure out how to transfer over the top, I sorta panicked and my heart started racing so back down the "A" frame I went and I walked around.  I think if I'd had someone who could talk me through how to get over the top I would have been okay, but I didn't and therefore quit.

The giant wall was next.  Again I had no problem getting up, my arms are much stronger than I imagined, but I could NOT make my legs move to get myself over the top.  I actually froze unable to go up or down but finally managed to get myself down while Mary walked me through it.  So, if you're keeping track that's 2 obstacles I didn't finish!

Now the next thing is that last obstacle before the big finish.  On the website it shows someone running through a river ankle high.  That is SO not what we had.  The river James was to my chest and wading was the fastest speed you were going.  

You come out of the river and can see the finish and all it's glory.  Rather than use words I'll show you!

Mary and I are in the pink and gray next to each other on the right.
True Warriors

Looks like a blast right?!  So much fun, I had mud in my teeth but very happy.  What was my time you ask? I have no freaking clue.  Didn't even go to the results tent.  It was over an hour I know that but really I don't care.  I had so much fun.  Would I do it again?  Yes, but I would try to find one that had a better parking situation.  And next time I'd like to run it with hubby.  He did a great job being the photographer but next time I'd like him on the trail next to me.  

So, if you get a chance I say do one.  Was it perfectly run?  Nope, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yep I suck

Jeez I guess it's been a while since I wrote.  Sorry about that!  A LOT has happened since I last graced you with my presence.

1)  I hit a "normal" weight.  Yep that's right I now have a normal BMI.  Here's a pic of what I look like:

I would still like to lose 10-20 lbs, and I REALLY need a tummy tuck, but all in all I'm pretty happy.

2) I've moved.  One of the reasons I've been absent has been the lack of internet.  Anyway I've moved to a nicer military base and I love my house:

3) On a sad note, I had to put my dog down at 15.5 yrs old.  I really miss him and dealing with the loss without food has definitely been a challenge.  I'll write more about that later.

4)  I've now run a solid 8 miles at a 11:30 pace.  So I'm 30 sec a min under where I wanted to be for the Army 10 miler.  That makes me SUPER happy.  

5) I'm running the Warrior Dash on Sep. 29th.  My favorite charity, St. Jude is working with them to raise money.  Please visit my web page and make a donation to this great cause.  Anything is acceptable.  I already donate monthly to St. Jude and I'd love to give a bigger contribution.  Plus you'll get to see pics of me all muddy.  Who doesn't want that?

So much more but can't even think on it right now.  Like I now wear JUNIORS size clothing.  Just craziness.  Anyway stay tuned I won't be such a stranger.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Last Couple of Weeks

Sorry I've been absent.  As you know two weeks ago today I had breast reduction with a lift done.  I didn't mention in my last post that I was super worried they were too small.  It was quite a shock to wake up to something so different than what you fell asleep with.

Well I worry no more!  They are FABULOUS.  I've never in my life had perky breasts as large "pendulum" breasts run in my family.  I can now wear those tank tops with built in shelf bras, I tried on numerous dresses this weekend for family photos and didn't need a bra at all.  It is AMAZING.  They still look horrid naked though with the incision marks bright red but I know it will pass.  My doctor, Stephen Baker, MD, did an outstanding job getting rid of my side boob as well.

Here's one of the dresses I tried on along with the new boobs!

Thanks to my son for taking the pic.  I hate having to do the mirror thing.

Here's a pic from a couple of weeks ago to remind you how large my breasts were before the surgery (and show off my sexy husband).

Really there's two things I'd like to still fix with plastic surgery; 1) get the extra skin around my mid section removed.  I know many people go with a lower body lift but I don't really think I need it, my butt and thighs have held up remarkably well so a tummy tuck may be all I need 2) Brachioplasty, the removal of the excess skin on my arms.  Now that one is still up in the air.  I HATE my upper arms, always have, even when I was fit my upper arms were flabbier than they should have been, but the scars with this surgery tend to be much more noticeable than other surgeries so you really have to weigh the pros and cons.  I will definitely get a Tummy Tuck, the arms, we'll just have to see.

I didn't weigh in last week, so I'll get everyone up to speed.  When I went in for surgery I was at 170.8, by Thursday I was back up to 178 from fluid retention.  Trust me there's no way I could eat enough calories to gain that much in 4 days, plus I had zero appetite after surgery.  I weighed in last Monday at 167.4.  That's pretty good considering all the fluids they pump into you and the fact that my breasts were still quite swollen in areas.  Today I weighed in at 161.4!!  Now I do realize at some point I'm getting a 2lb boost from the tissue he took away but still that is pretty awesome a 6lb week this far out.  It also means I've lost over 100lbs since I began my surgery journey last September.

So all in all a great week.  I get to start back up with the exercise this week and boy did I miss it.  I won't be running yet, but I plan on the elliptical and bike for the next 2 weeks than a transition back into running.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breast Reduction/Lift

Well I had a breast reduction and lift done yesterday.  I'm home now though in a fair bit of pain.  I was told to expect it would be worse than the VSG, and that's sort of true.  It's much easier to get around and I have more range of motion than I was expecting but just sitting here and doing nothing the pain is more than I would like.  My left breast especially is super owie.  I'm taking my Vicodin like clockwork which keeps me pretty well out of it.  I hope by tomorrow when I'll be left with the kids I won't have to take as many or so often.

On the plus side I weighed in yesterday morning at 170.8, which is a 5lb loss for the week!  I'm worried about my lack of exercise for 2 weeks but I know as long as I keep eating like I'm supposed to it will all work out.

I hope to have pics of my new perkier girls in a couple of weeks.  I'm looking for the perfect dress to showcase them.

This is short because I'm on a lot of pain killers and I know I'll just ramble on and on.  So see ya later this week or next week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

And so it Begins

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Obesity Help saying "When Will it End?"  Meaning the fast weight loss.  Up until 3 weeks ago I've lost 3-4lbs every week. At my now lower weight I knew I couldn't keep it up forever.  Well, it's happened.  Week before last I lost .4 lbs, then last week 4 (yeah!), then this week 1.2.  It's hard to see.  I work out SO MUCH and I'm good about my eating, though I know I could do better on my water intake, I just want to keep seeing those big numbers.

Next week I'm having breast reduction surgery.  While waiting until I reach goal would be ideal, my surgeon and I discussed it and he doesn't think there will be enough tissue left for my insurance to pay for it.  Insurance doesn't care if your boobs hang to your knees if they are deflated, it only counts if there is fat inside them.  So I decided to opt for smaller deflated boobs rather than bigger deflated boobs.  I'm quite excited about the end result but terrified of the 4-6 weeks of no exercise.  Not only is an exercise plan integral to my weight loss but it's also very important to my sane mind!  I no longer have a doughnut when I'm bored, I hop on the elliptical, I don't scarf down a package of Oreos (happy birthday btw) I go and run 5 miles.  And I now spend more time reading about proper weight training, and triathlon strategies than how to cook the perfect cupcake.  I like to exercise and I really don't like the thought of life without it.  I'm actually a little bit terrified of what's going to happen.  Maybe that's a good thing, and will help ensure that I stay on the straight and narrow with my eating.

It's been unbelievably hot here and the humidity has been out of this world.  Running, though my favorite past time, is not doing me well so I've changed it up a little.  I've added a lot more weight training this week (could conceivably have slowed down weight loss too) with both kettlebells and traditional weights.  Can I say that Bob Harper has a KILLER kettlebell workout that left me hobbling for 2 days.  I used to do it a lot before surgery but because running has sort of taken up my work out routine it's been gathering dust.  I brought it out Wed. upped my weight (10lbs) and WOW, was I in pain (a good pain mind you).  I also did one of his older Cario routines called Ultimate Cardio Body.  It uses weights and plyo.  While not up to a P90X level it is still a good heart pumping time and my arms and hamstrings were singing during the workout.

I'm sort of in this weird place right now, and rambling I know,  I feel like I should have lost more weight, that I should be closer to goal already, but I'm also very happy with where I am in the physical standpoint.  I can outrun people much more fit looking than I am.  Not sure quite how to end this as I feel sort of unsettled.  I know in the end something will happen and it will all work but right now, sitting in the middle, I feel almost like I'm failing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reston, VA Firecracker 5k

First, let me start with what I woke up to this morning:

What this means at my 5'5" frame is I am now no longer obese but "just" overweight.  This is a LONG time coming and I'm so happy.  In 9.2 lbs I'll be at 100 lbs lost since September 2011.

I want to start by apologizing for the crappy pictures.  Since my husband was running this race we had no photographer so everything is done with my crappy phone!

Ok back to the race.  This morning my husband and I (with our daughter in the jogging stroller) drove to Reston, VA for the Firecracker 5k.  I ran my first 5k at 8 weeks post-op.  If you need a refresher on how that went you can find it here. I was still well over 200 lbs and just barely broke the 15 min/mile mark which was my goal.  Fast forward to today.  I had two goals this time; 1) run the entire thing, and 2) do it in under a 12 min/mile pace.  I've been running an entire 5k regularly for a fair few weeks now so  I knew that number one was a given but up until today I haven't run faster than a 12:15 practice and that was on a treadmill where controlling my pace was easier.

Before we get to the finish and pace I'll give you a rundown on how the race was handled.  I went and picked up our packets yesterday.  They did a cool thing, if you picked up your packet the day before you also got a pint glass with your tec shirt.  I guess it was to keep lines down on the day.  I'm always happy to have another pint glass so I made the 35 mile trip yesterday.  Potomac River Running is a great little running store and the staff was helpful.  Packet pick-up went off without a hitch.  I do wish they would have given me a pint glass for my husband as there was no way he could get there but oh well I understand why they did it that way.

We left the house at 0630 expecting an hour drive but there was no traffic so we got there just a little after 0700.  The nice thing about going the day before is I had some sort of a clue of where we were going as Reston, VA is not somewhere we've ever gone before.  For once there were plenty of port-a-potties and no lines.  They had a beautiful courtyard that looked like this:

Here's the happy family waiting to start:

What you can't tell there is my husband is sick as a dog.  Pretty sure he has walking pneumonia but no matter how much I told him he shouldn't run, he wanted to do it anyway!  He's wearing the male tec shirt and the female one was red.  Really nice quality shirts.

The race was well run.  It started at exactly 8am, which apparently took the cops on the course by surprise! Because of the stroller we started at the back but quickly made up ground.  The stroller really made maneuvering difficult and before the crowd started to separate a bit it was rough going to move past people. There were over 1,700 people in the race and honestly one lane of traffic just wasn't enough.  I'm not worried about placing or anything now but if I was that may have been frustrating.  We were solidly in a pack the entire way and it didn't look any better in front of us.

They had a photographer right before the finish and this is her shot of me.  I always think I'm looking great then I see the picture and realize I look like I might keel over at any moment.  I didn't really feel like that though!

And the finish line from the other end:

After getting the results I can see that this is a race than many "real" runners do.  The fastest time came in at 14:41!  I looked at some other race results run by this company and that is a good deal faster than any of the other overall winners.  Being a 30-34 female it's a tough group.  I ran the race in 34:44 (a 10:44 min/mile thank you very much) over 10 minutes FASTER than my last race and it still put me at the bottom of the barrel.  I was #132 out of 163 30-34 females and #709 out of 955 females.  Still at the last race I was second to last in a much smaller field so I'm happy.  I don't think I'll ever be competitive but I can compete against myself and as long as I improve I'm a happy camper!

After the race there was free water, bananas and banana muffins.  I didn't partake in anything but a half of a banana and I'd brought G2 to drink.  They had a band playing, and free massages and other cool stuff going on.  Unfortunately, my husband (who was/is very sick) was having trouble breathing so we had to get him away from people and lying down.  We did stay for the 100m dash for the kids.  It's how we bribed our daughter to actually get in the stroller for the race.  Here she is (you can see my big butt in front of her)

And here she is with her medal!

All in all PR did a great job with the race.  I would definitely do another one with them and I'm thinking of signing up for a 10k with them in Sep. just to have a little better idea of how a longer race will feel before the Army Ten Miler.  Right now after this race I really do feel like my goal of a 12 min/mile pace for the 10 miler is completely doable!