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November 29th, 2010 | Ann
Here’s a picture from the Biltmore Estate we visited while in North Carolina. I love love LOVE this place!!
Here’s a picture of me outside the Estate with the famous lion statue.
And for good measure, here’s a picture of Jay, me and puppy (okay, so he’s not REALLY a puppy anymore) – Biscuit. Love him. This was after our Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma’s. This fabulous polka dot cardigan was only $15 at Target. LOVE!!!
After we got back from North Carolina, we set up our Christmas tree. It’s a little bit like the Charlie Brown tree, maybe… but, I love it. The decorations are all silvery and sparkly. We also buy a new ornament for eachother, each year, and they have a special meaning. Some of the “presents” are gifts we already got for eachother…. New running shoes!!!
My mom also got me a special Christmas gift, and she couldn’t wait to give it to me. In fact, she gave it to me last week!! Nancy got me a FABULOUS skort from Eric’s Bike Shop in the Twin Cities. It has padded shorts, and then a skirt attached. I wore it with capris and it was SO COMFORTABLE and SO AMAZING at spinning class. “How amazing?”, you ask? Oh, about 699 calories amazing. Love it. One of the best gifts ever!!
Sorry for the picture-heavy post. I guess I just have a lot to share!!
Something really cool happened at spinning tonight. Our spinning instructor (who I lovingly call Bat-Shoot Crazy Lady), she had us out of the saddle, and increasing the load on the bike. For a few brief 30 second intervals, she said “you have the option to push hard, or you have the option to keep your pace”. Initially, I thought about keeping my pace because I was exhausted. But something inside of me – a FIRE, have you, started burning, lighting a fire under my butt (literally, it was out of the saddle), and I pushed through it. I can’t even explain the feeling that took over… but it was like, keeping my pace was NOT an option! I couldn’t NOT do it.
I don’t want to say it was an “out of body” experience or anything like that. But I definately felt the physical AND mental toughness kick in when faced with the option to back off or push forward. Some powerful force kept me going, kept me pushing. And with each 30-second interval, I didn’t grow more tired; I actually grew stronger. I can accomplish things I never thought possible. And tonight was just another example of how far I’ve come. I’d like to think that part of it was motivation from my new skort… and part if it was motivation from my own toughness and determination.
November 28th, 2010 | Ann
It’s time for a tale. A tale of a girl who had 4 Thanksgivings. Not just 4 Thanksgiving celebrations…. No, no, a girl with 4 Thanksgiving dinners. 2 were in North Carolina, and 2 were in Minnesota. 1 had confirmed calories. Are you confused yet?
The first Thanksgiving dinner was with my old (former, not old in age) co-workers at my job in North Carolina. Jay and I went back to visit, and they invited us to have a potluck lunch. We brought veggies and fruit. It was delicious, and the calories were pretty high. Although, we both skipped dessert. Win! (No picture shown.)
The second Thanksgiving dinner was with Jay’s family in North Carolina. His mom fixed a delicious dinner, including both ham and turkey, sweet potato casserole, potato salad, 2 types of veggies, deviled eggs, and a yummy cranberry jelly – with cranberries, mandarin oranges, and some jelly. I also skipped the pie. Here’s my plate –
Our third Thanksgiving dinner was at my parents’ house. My mom and sister fixed a meal with almost all Weight Watcher recipes. We had healthy stuffing (made with wheat bread and tons of seasoning), vegetable ratatouille, mashed sweet potatoes (with nothing else added), and mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. It was AWESOME to know the calories of everything we had!! My sister also made a delicious apple pie (from scratch!) and I had a small piece of that, and a small piece of pumpkin pie, too. Here’s a picture of my plate –
While in North Carolina, it was really difficult to stay on track with eating healthy and being active. I would be lying if I said I got activity while I was there. We had a plan for taking walks, running, getting day-passes at the gym, but there was always someone to see, or something to do – that prevented us from being active. Sounds like PLEs, huh? (PLE = Perfectly Legitimate Excuse. It is JUST THAT – an excuse.)
I am disappointed that we didn’t make better choices while we were out of town. Luckily, we got back on track with activity the past 2 days, and also have a solid plan for eating healthy and being active this week. There were lots of NSVs – Non-Scale Victories during this Thanksgiving dinner extravaganza. For example, I didn’t have pie after every meal. I was able to load up on the veggies and healthy foods. Turkey isn’t super high in calories. I made better choices for appetizers and snacks. I only had wine with 1 meal. I was accountable and wrote down everything I ate.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! And you know the best part? Tomorrow is a new day. A whole new opportunity to make choices that support your goals, a chance to demonstrate healthy choices, to pick foods that provide your body energy and nourishment, an opportunity to be active. Every day, you can CREATE the person you want to become! I hope you choose to have a very happy, healthy day!
November 23rd, 2010 | Ann
We used to live in North Carolina before moving to Minnesota, and it was awesome to go back and surprise my old office (hey, SHC!). They were totally shocked! We also have seem some of Jay’s family and friends. For me, the last time I saw these fabulous folks was at our wedding –
On Sunday, we visited the Biltmore House. Do you know about it? It’s a 175,000 sq. foot house built in the mountains of North Carolina in 1895. How cool, right? It’s been family-owned and operated for over 100 years. We had a blast walking around the grounds and learning about the Vanderbilt family –
Eating and having activity in North Carolina has been a huge challenge. We’ve eaten out more meals here in the past 3 days, then we have in the past 9 weeks. A lot of restaurants don’t have nutritional information available, and if we ask, they check with the chef and say “ohhh… about… XXX calories” even though it’s so far different than our own estimations. It’s difficult to be out of our controlled home environment, with healthy food readily available, and a good routine for activity.
November 19th, 2010 | Ann
Is anyone overjoyed that it’s Friday? Although this week has gone by quickly, I am SO excited to finally reached the last day of the work week!! It seems like every single day, I’ve done the exact same thing:
Now, I’m not complaining. It just makes it seem mundane and repetitive. I guess that’s my “groove”, yes? I never considered myself a “creature of habit” but it’s comforting to get into a routine and know what I’m doing next – no surprises.
Tuesday, I did cardio at the gym –
Wednesday, I did a spin class. It was with an instructor that I’ve had maybe once or twice. Now, I’ve talked about my favorite instructor “Bat-shit crazy lady”, right? She’s nuts. But I love her energy, I love her music, the class flies by, and I always burn a ton of calories. She pushes me in some crazy way that nobody else does, but her class is only on Mondays. Wednesday, the music was AWFUL techno music, including a rendition of “The Chicken Dance”. I wish I was kidding. I considered getting up and leaving halfway through class, but I stuck it out. Here I am after spinning on Wednesday –
Now, Thursday I was planning on having a “light” gym day, and had plans to do Yoga. Those plans got changed, and I had a really frustrating and stressful day at work. What did I do? Turn to the Taco Dip leftover from the pot luck.
Let me back up. Wednesday, we had a “birthday potluck” for 3 people in my department who had November birthdays. Last time, I went crazy on the food and over indulged. This time, I PLANNED, and made my food from home, ate about an hour before the pot luck, and didn’t have ANYTHING!! Everyone commended my weight-loss efforts and I was able to brag on myself (“Yeah… I’ve lost 20 pounds already!”). That said, there WAS leftover Taco Dip and it was just CALLING out to me on Thursday afternoon. And so, I had a serving of Scoops chips – those are the BEST – and some taco dip. One quick decision leads to another, leads to another. Logically, I know it was within my calorie range, but I was angry that I had an unplanned binge as a result of stress. It’s going to be a constant struggle, probably all of my life.
So, Thursday, I pushed myself for an hour on the treadmil after work –
In the end, I felt pretty good about burning off those calories, and it was a good opportunity to get myself in the better mindset. Surprisingly, I felt much more calm and relaxed after those 60 minutes. I tell ya, the power of exercise is amazing.
The highlight of my week has been dinner with my bestie, Ellen. We have known eachother for 16 years (is that right?) and been through hell and high water together. We both moved across the country (me to South Carolina, her to DC), and are reunited in Minnesota! She lives close to me, and I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful person in my life! Ellen was one of my bridesmaids in our wedding this summer, and is a constant supporter of my weight-loss journey. She rocks. Here’s a picture from last year’s birthday celebration –
This weekend is going to be another busy one. I have a bunch of errands to run after lunch. My mom is coming over later tonight, and we are going to a spinning class tomorrow morning. My mom has never been to a spin class, but she rides road bike during the summer (and is really good at it!) – I’m excited to show her one of my favorite workouts.
Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a very happy, very healthy weekend. You deserve it!!
November 16th, 2010 | Ann
Good morning, Happy Tuesday! First off – I have 42 followers! That is SO COOL!! Welcome!!
A few months ago, I contracted an eye disease – EKC – Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis. It’s basically like a bad, deep viral infection. At any rate, I had to wear glasses for MONTHS because my eyes were in such rough shape. When I would go to the gym, or run one of our 5ks, I would simply take my glasses off. It was difficult to see (duh!) but I hate working out with glasses.
Fast forward to yesterday, I had a follow-up eye appointment. The eye doctor gave me the all-clear to wear contacts 1-2x/week. I am SO EXCITED! I’ve been wearing glasses all day, every day, for 4 months. I cannot WAIT to be back in contacts, even for a few days a week. Here I am with contacts –
Yesterday, I was full of excuses. My friend Lisa had work lastnight and couldn’t make spinning. My sister is without power and came over to use our shower. The dog started gagging like he was gonna barf and I didn’t want to leave him home alone. My hips and knees are SO SORE from the 5k on Saturday. It was like, one thing after another, after another to keep me from going to the gym. But, I strapped on my shoes, and went. I didn’t want to go, and my mind was fighting and screaming with me the entire time.
I did 3.2 miles (20 minutes) on the elliptical. I thought it would be better for my sore joints. I also planned to run a mile on the treadmill. After a few minutes, I got a side ache. I slowed down and walked. My right calf was really tight. I entertained ideas of stopping because, some activity is better than NO activity, right? Then, I thought of this Biggest Loser quote –
“Stand Up and Finish What You Started”
I was gonna finish that mile. Even if I had to walk, I needed to exercise some self-discipline and persistence. I needed to prove to myself that I was strong and couldn’t just stop because I didn’t “want to” do it. I was ALREADY doing it! And the faster I went, the quicker I would finish. Not only did I run the rest of that mile (go me!), I got on the evil monster (aka the stairmaster) for a few minutes. In all, it was about 45 minutes of cardio and 555 calories burned! Here I am after the gym –
I asked Jay if that meant that going to the gym was a “habit” now, because I didn’t want to, but I still did it? I feel strong, and proud, that I pushed myself to finish – even though I didn’t want to. It motivates me to continue on this journey, even when things get tough – we need to stand up and finish what we start.
November 14th, 2010 | Ann
This was a weekend full of “win”!! Lucky for you, Twelve-In-Twelve readers, I have some awesome pictures to share.
Friday night, we hosted Jay’s birthday dinner. Now, my family is big on birthday celebrations. We love eating, drinking, and celebrating birthdays. In addition, my family is hilarious. If I was counting calories from laughing, it would have easily been -10,000 calories. Luckily, I WAS counting calories for dinner! We had salad, fruit, garlic green beans, baked chicken, and “garlic pucks” –
“Garlic Pucks” are a family original. A few weeks ago, we made Spaghetti Squash (omg, have you had it? DELICIOUS! Maybe I will have to make it again just so I can blog about it!) – anyways, we didn’t have any garlic bread. My mom found a package of frozen sandwich thins, and we defrosted them, sprayed them with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray and some garlic salt, and made home-made garlic bread. Although my family made fun of the “pucks”, they requested them for Jay’s birthday dinner. In all, dinner was about 600 calories, and it was DELICIOUS!!!
My fabulous mom (and aside from Jay, my biggest supporter) came over early and helped me prepare the food for the birthday dinner. She’s totally about this blog – hi, mom! – and she is always asking about what we’ve eaten, what we’ve done for activity, how our progress is. It’s nice to have somebody like that checking in on Jay and I. Here she is after we finished making the food –
In order to prepare for the winter weather, I dressed in layers. Here is layer 1: long-sleeved t-shirt, hoodie and running tights –
And here is layer 2: water-proof jacket, hat, gloves and pants –
It was really, really snowy at the race. But, we made it. Here we are, before the race –
I’d be lying if I said I was excited for this race. I honestly wasn’t. In fact, I was hoping they would cancel it because of the snow. But when I saw the back of the t-shirt, I knew we had to do it. It said –
Although the weather conditions for this race were much worse than last time, my stamina was better and this race FELT better. Does that make sense? After we finished, we were SO WET and SO COLD, and had to head home and get ready for the rest of the day. Jay and I were privileged enough to spend Saturday celebrating our friends Nate and Monica’s wedding. Monica even made it on the news (both local and national) because of how much snow we got in the SW suburbs and that she still had a fabulous wedding. here we are, all dressed up –
And here’s my bestie Karmen, Monica (the beautiful bride) and me at the reception –
I take my daily weights, but I usually don’t post them because it’s so meticulous. Do you want to see my exact weekly weights through this weight-loss journey? I hope you all enjoyed the snow (if you got it) and had a great weekend either way. Have a VERY happy, healthy Monday!!
November 11th, 2010 | Ann
Hi, Happy Thursday! I have a few things to talk about this morning – my progress, my upcoming races, and a big thank you.
It’s no secret that I really really REALLY wanted to be the next Future Prior Fat Girl. I have been stressed out, anxious, excited, let down – basically every emotion I could feel in the past 3 days, watching the votes roll in. I know, after I vote and spread the word about the contest, there’s nothing else I can do. It’s outside my “circle of control” (those of you Covey fans) – meaning the only thing I can actually change is my feelings about the situation, not the situation itself.
I’ve been able to hold my head high and keep moving forward. Monday night, Jay and I went to spinning (60 mins) and yoga (60 mins) – one after another! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely EXHAUSTED afterwards. We were at the gym for close to 2.5 hours, and I burned 1170 calories! Tuesday, we took our car for an oil change and skipped a workout. Wednesday (lastnight), I didn’t want to work out. I was tired, exhausted – physically and mentally, and simply didn’t want to go. Jay let me take a quick power nap, and we went to the gym. Thanks Jay, for pushing me. He knows the right way to speak to me and push me – not too far, but far enough.
We both got on the treadmil, warmed up, and then started running. And oh my gosh, I RAN 2 MILES!!! I did some cool-down and spent 45 minutes at the gym. I burned 640 calories. I’m more proud of myself for running!! I was able to close my eyes a little bit and listen to my ipod to push me through the exhaustion. I want to form that “muscle memory” – for my body to remember HOW it feels to run!! Here I am post-workout –
Then we went to the grocery store, and got a few more fruits and veggies (bananas, grapes, apples), and got to the check-out and realized Jay didn’t have his wallet! It was SO EMBARRASSING!!! We went home to get his wallet, and he went back to the store to buy the groceries; I stayed home and cooked dinner. I was accompanied by my little buddy –
I have such a goofy little dog. LOL. That’s him on his back with his arms straight in the air!
Okay, so we are at 10 out of 12 of the 5ks. Remember my original goal? To complete 12 5ks in 12 months!! The last 2 races are –
If you have been thinking about doing a (another?) race with us, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!! Jay and I LOVE having people compete in races with us, even if we just start and end at the same place! The funnest races we’ve done have been with Sarah B. and Lisa R.!!
(A BIG) Thank You
To everyone who voted for me for the next Future Prior Fat Girl – Thank you.
To everyone who reached out via facebook, with a wall post or a private message – Thank you.
To everyone who left a comment on this blog, or on the Prior Fat Girl blog – Thank you.
To everyone who has offered quiet well-wishes or prayers or me and my success – Thank you.
On tough days, when I don’t feel like going to the gym, and I want to eat everything in sight, I honestly go read your comments. I read your support, I read your words of encouragement, and it helps me remember to stay on track. Your support and love mean so much more to me, more than you will ever know!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! I can’t say it enough. You guys rock. And if there’s any way I can “pay it forward” (ala BL10) – to help support YOU, please let me know!! This is all part of my bigger goal to support eachother, create a “community” of healthy, happy living, to share in our struggles, motivations, and successes together. So thank you!!
Happy Veterans Day, and thank you to all our fabulous men and women who serve this country! Have a happy, healthy Thursday.
November 9th, 2010 | Ann
Some of you have been tracking my journey from the very beginning….. And some of you have been tracking as of late. Maybe you are a first-time visitor to this site. Well hi, welcome. I’m Ann, and I’m on my way to losing weight and gaining my life back. So far, I’ve lost 16.6 pounds! I’ve been completing 12 5ks in 12 months, and with about 6 weeks left, I only have 2 races to complete. I’ve learned SO MUCH in the past 10 months –
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far, is how to be consistent, and how to follow my dreams. If I want to lose weight, if I want to live a healthy, happy life, then I’m the one in charge of it! I have all the power to create myself as the person I want to become!
Okay, enough rambling. What is my very, very, very important request? Well, I put in an application a few weeks ago to be a featured blogger on Prior Fat Girl. I made it through to the finals, and my post was published on her site last week (click to read it). Today, the voting opens. If you’ve read through the entries, and think I am the best candidate, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE vote for me!! (Only one vote per person. Please no spamming!)
I’ve never wanted anything as bad as I want to be featured on Prior Fat Girl. I want to continue the sense of community that I’ve found through PFG (Prior Fat Girl), and the other weight-loss bloggers. I want to publicly document my successes, my failures, my motivation, my struggles – just like I have been on this blog – but on a much bigger scope. I want to be the next Prior Fat Girl.
Thanks for reading the blog, thanks for all your support and comments. Thank you for encouraging me to go for something I really, REALLY want. And thanks for pushing me to be the best Ann I can be – hopefully the next Prior Fat Girl!
November 7th, 2010 | Ann
First off, I have 35 followers. That’s really cool!! Thanks for following me, and if you want me to follow and subscribe to your blog, leave me a note! I LURRRVE my google reader sync to my Android phone. It helps me keep up on all the wonderful success you’re having, too!
Secondly, how was your weekend? Mine was faaaaabulous. I think all weekends should be like this! Friday, Jay and I went to the gym and I ran a mile! It was a huge accomplishment, and it encouraged me to continue having a healthy and active weekend.
On Saturday, I got up and went grocery shopping at 8am. We had made a list the night before, and planned some awesome, healthy meals for the week. It was nice to come before the the “weekend grocery” crowd, too. Around noon, Jay took off on a long bike ride (22 miles! Go Jay!!) and I went to the gym. I spent about 10 minutes on the stairmaster – OH MY GOSH! I burned 120 calories in that short amount of time. The stairmaster is BRUTAL!!!
After that, I went to my first Zumba class. Have you ever heard of that? I had only seen the infomercials for Zumba videos – I didn’t realize they offered a class at my gym. Wikipedia says, “The program combines Latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun… Classes and instructional DVDs use music based on salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, samba and other international music styles and forms.”
Now, let me say – I am not a very good dancer. I can clap to the beat – and that’s about it. Our class was taught by this cute latin/spanish-looking girl who had hips that NEVER stopped moving! There were about 30 other women in the class (good thing I didn’t make Jay go!), and everyone was really having a good time. I felt like a total dancin‘ fool. It didn’t matter, though, because I burned over 700 calories!!
It felt so nice to have a healthy, active weekend. This upcoming week and weekend are really busy – we have our 11th 5k on Saturday – The Chaska Turkey Trot. We also are having a healthy birthday celebration and going to a friend’s wedding.
On a final note, I know this upcoming week will be a busy and stressful one. I want to remember my healthy eating and commitment to having an active lifestyle. This isn’t just a short-term thing; this is my life. And even though Jay and I have only been on this journey for 7 weeks, I feel GREAT! My body feels like it’s getting stronger and stronger, and I am doing things I never thought possible – like spinning class, running a mile on the treadmil, and burning 1170 calories in one day! I can tell a difference in how I look, and how I feel. I can do this – I AM doing it!!
November 5th, 2010 | Ann
I was hoping on having a nice, quiet week at work to catch up on some projects. Instead, a lot of things happened, and it ended up being one of the most stressful and crazy weeks ever. I really REALLY didn’t want to workout today. Jay didn’t either. But we went. and we kicked butt.
I got on the stairmaster, and holy cow, it was CRAZY-hard! I burned 570 calories at the gym tonight! I also did something I haven’t done in over 6 years. I got on the treadmil, and I ran a mile. Without stopping. ONE MILE. On top of last week’s success running an entire 5k, I am overwhelmed with excitement about my progress, happiness, and pride in what I’ve done.
I know this is the first of many accomplishments in my fitness goals. Before you run a 10-mile race, you need to run atleast 1 mile. Even before you run a marathon, you need to run atleast 1 mile. I am encouraged, motivated, and really REALLY proud of myself for running a mile tonight.