Getting a little more JOLLY, a little more GREEN, and a little less GIANT.

29 August 2011

Triumphs and Troubles

5.4 pounds lost.

48.3 pounds total since 09 May 2011.

Funny how my weight loss goals start to get back in line just when my fitness goals are driving me crazy.

It was a hard week of running last week. Every day of running was excruciating to get through. One morning as I was bustling around the house cleaning, I bent forward and felt a rip in my upper back left leg. PAIN! It was sore the rest of the day and I wanted to cry with fear and frustration that my running goals were slipping through my hands. I ran that night anyway. The pain wasn't bad by then. But half a week later I can still feel it, nagging and pecking away at my self doubt.

My Saturday run was frustrating too. Usually my Saturday runs are glorious and triumph-laden. I had planned and fully expected to run 7 miles. But I couldn't run the whole thing. I ended up walking throughout.

After a run, I always feel accomplished when I did it "clean" meaning to me that I ran the entire distance I had planned to run. No walking. No shortcuts. No excuses. So after walking through parts of a 7 mile run I couldn't help but feel I had cheated and that my 7 miles was no accomplishment.

Is there something wrong with me?
Am I a perfectionist when it comes to running?
Is there anything wrong with walking parts of a running route?
Does it still "count"?

I wonder if I need to change my expectations of myself.
Or I wonder if this is just a bad week or I'm over training or I'm injured or...or...or...

I worry that I have pushed my body to its limit and this is it for me. I hate that! I hate feeling like I can't do it. And that's exactly how I feel this week. And just when I had decided I wanted to try for a full marathon next year...(Shh! I didn't say that out loud.)

Good week for weight loss. Bad week for fitness progress. We shall see what this week brings...

22 August 2011

I may eat like a horse, but at least I can run like one too

I'm so frustrated with my weight gain this week. I'm even more disgusted with my lack of self control when it comes to food. This weight loss journey is such a...journey. Sometimes I start to feel too weary and just want to give up. I've been on weight loss journeys before and that's what I've always done when the going gets tough. I give up and I eat my way back to the weight I was before plus some. I'm simply not going to let that happen this time. I haven't come this far to give up over a few lousy weight loss weeks.

Plateaus happen. So what?!

I think one thing that's helping me be successful when I haven't been successful so many other times is that my goals include more than weight loss numbers. Yes, I want to lose weight and I want to see those numbers on the scale drop, but when the plateaus happen as they inevitably will what will keep me motivated and going?

I may not be reaching my weight loss goals right now, but I'm killing my fitness goals. I weigh 238 pounds, but I can run 6.2 miles without stopping one single time. Pardon my french and my lack of humility, but that is freaking awesome! How many 120 pound people can do that?

I'm not at a point in my weight loss where I am comfortable with how I look. I am not willing to just "be okay" with my current weight yet. I still have weight loss goals to meet and pants to buy. I'm not giving up on my healthy eating, but this is the kind of day where it's okay that I can't be perfect at losing weight, but I can be perfect at meeting a fitness goal.

For now, that is my motivation to keep trying.

Donuts and Pizza and Ice Cream! Oh My!

We have been off on a little mini vacation this last week. I figured we needed to get in one last hurrah before school started today. We took off to Hometown, Idaho and spent a few days with family and friends.

Any time I write "family and friends" here just feel free to insert "food and food".

Just bypass all the love and laughter and go straight to the food.


I feel like an alcoholic in a bar every time we get together for a reunion or a family get together. Sometimes I can hardly focus on the conversation because I can't stop thinking about the food or how to not eat all the food or what I need to do to avoid the unhealthy food or how many miles I need to run to work off the food I just ate.

It's such a mental "game" and I play it every single time we are gathered together in a familial unit.


Since my running routine has been getting longer and longer the closer I get to my 10K and half marathon races, I have justified indulging a little more often. Carb loading, right?

Wrong. My body does not work that way. As my sister so lovingly put it, "Remember that you have fat stored up as a source of running energy. You don't need the extra."

She wasn't being unkind. She was being frank. And frank is what I need. Not frank furters.

My mom has been meaning to show me how to make homemade donuts for months now. That took place this last weekend. I must have absorbed some of the grease as we were frying them up. It couldn't have been the few I ate.

The family reunion we attended had one full table of desserts. I figured the 10K run I had done that morning needed to be rewarded...with rice krispie treats and chocolate cake.

The date night Phad Thai.
The family night pizza.
The late night root beer float.
The cheesy enchiladas at the in laws.

They all came calling and I'm never one to turn someone away.

It's no surprise this morning that the scale said I had gained...Yes, you read that right...GAINED 1.2 pounds back.

Last week I lost 0 pounds. This week I gained 1.2 pounds. This is not going the way I need it to.

15 August 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I've been reading a book on how to eat when training for a marathon. And since I'm in the midst of training for a half marathon I figured I ought to experiment upon the word.

And the word is: Carb-loading.

It scares me to death. What's this you say? Carbs are actually GOOD for you? It can't be. I won't believe it. Is it possible???

Let me clarify that this book teaches that "good" carbs are good for carb loading. We're talking whole grains, cereals, carbs in fruits and veggies, pastas, potatoes, beans, etc. Those kind of carbs.

So just like a good little marathoner I carb loaded...on rice krispie treats. Sure, I had loads of energy to get through my five mile run the next morning, but I just don't understand why I didn't lose a single ounce this week...

That's right. I lost 0.0 pounds this week. I think I can understand what those contestants on The Biggest Loser feel when they see a big fat ZERO on the score board. At least it wasn't a gain. At least it wasn't a gain. At least it wasn't a gain.

There is a lesson to be learned here and I do believe it has something to do with eating two three okay! maybe four plus a few more rice krispie treats. My body was craving them! For days I denied myself and then one night I just couldn't handle it anymore.

Ugh! I've got to get my head back in the game. I don't want to see another 0.0 loss next week. I fear that healthy eating will always be a struggle. I just may never conquer it completely. But that doesn't mean I have to give up completely.

You got me this week rice krispie treats, but next week I'm coming back!

13 August 2011

5 Miles

I love Saturdays.

Saturdays are the days I get the chance to push the limits and see what I'm made of.

Joe is typically home on Saturday mornings so I walk out of the house and leave the kids, the house, the phone, the computer, the worries with him.

It's just me and the road. What can we accomplish today?

Today it was five miles. No stops. No music. No limits.

10K run? No problem. Half marathon? Pfft. I got this.

In the middle of my run, as I was running down my neighborhood street, my neighbor (who has a Ragnar bumper sticker on his car) shut down his lawn mower to yell at me.

"Hey Evelyn! How many are you doing today?"

Ahhh...I see my reputation proceeds me.

Through heavy breaths I tried to yell back, "The goal today is five miles."

"That is so AWESOME! Can I get you some water?"

I declined. Places to go, road to pound and all. But his offer was more refreshing than any glass of water.

I'm so grateful for my cheerleaders!

The neighbors who drive by and jab a power fist in the air for me.
My sister who texts me that she just finished 12 miles that morning. (She's AMAZING!)
My husband who doesn't say much about it, but still takes over the kids, house, and all with no complaints so I can go and do.
My friend Sami who reports her exercise and weight loss progress to me and asks how I'm doing too.
The overweight woman who I saw jogging this morning. She doesn't know me and I don't know her, but I see her on the same path as me and I get inspired.
All those who comment here with words of encouragement or advice or even just a "Hey! Me too!"

I realize that I'm not on my little journey alone.
I sure love my traveling companions.
Thank you to you all.

5 miles today. What does next Saturday bring?

11 August 2011

Change of Heart

I remeasured my running route tonight.

What I had thought was a 3 mile run is actually a 4 mile run!

I have been running 4 miles without stopping and I didn't even know it.

I can't tell if that makes me kind of smart or kind of dumb.

Whatever it makes me feel kind of awesome!

I can run 4 miles without stopping!

That's insane to me!

I was so down on myself because I thought I was running a 16 minute mile.

That's a terrible pace.

Now I know it's closer to a 12 minute mile which still isn't fantastic, but at least it's not 16 minutes.

Never mind on that bad day.

I'm good.

Mama Said...

Days like this...

make me...


I started to type "Days like this make me want to give up!" but I erased that because it's just not true anymore. I don't want to give up. In fact I'm terrified of giving up. I never ever ever never want to go back to who I was a few months ago and I just simple cannot let that happen.

Still, on a journey like this, you have fantastic days where you feel like a million bucks and you feel like you could be president of something if you really wanted to and then you have really rotten meager days like today.

Days where your body and your children and your life are joining forces to make running feel pointless and impossible and stupid.

The baby is screaming.
The three year old is crying.
The older two are bickering.
The sun is too hot.
The running clothes are chafing.
The car needs $700 in repairs.
The house is a mess.
The work is piling up.
The everything and anything are all wrong.

And where you could run for an hour only a day before, all the sudden you can't make it for 20 minutes. There's no way you're going to be prepared for  half marathon, much less a 10K. What were you thinking to make these kinds of goals?! And forget about what a crummy runner you are. How about what a negligent mom you are too? And let's not forget how shoddy your housekeeping skills are. And what about the kind of friend you are anymore. Pathetic. And this...And that... And...blahblahblah.

I suppose these bad days help us to appreciate those great days. At least that's what I keep telling myself in hopes I'll believe it.

08 August 2011

The Moment

Last week I found myself running on a mountain road before the sun had risen.

It was a moment.

One I thought would never be my moment.

I thought running was for skinny people, ambitious people, young people, rich people, different people, crazy people. Not ME people.

But here I was...


and enjoying it no less!

The air was laced with the scent of pine trees.
There were birds singing cheery early morning tunes.
The rest of the campground was silent with sleeping campers.
The sky was just beginning to brighten with the first rays of the sun.

It was a moment to be savored.

It was a moment I realized something startling.

It was not very long ago that I was pushing, struggling, gasping to run to the end of my neighborhood block.

And now I'm jogging UP a mountain?! and feeling alive and ambitious and amazing and able while doing it.

Who is this new Evelyn? This girl is so different from the girl I was a few months ago. If someone had told me how quickly this physical and mental transformation could happen I would have scoffed at them.

No way.

No way can I be happy.
No way can I run.
No way can I run a mile or two or more.
No way can I lose this weight that keeps me prisoner physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, romantically.
No way.


No, life isn't perfect peaches, roses and rainbows now that I can run more than 3 miles at a time or because I have lost 40 pounds. Every day is a struggle in one way or another.

But, yes, I can do so much more than I knew I could. I CAN lose 60 more pounds. I CAN truly enjoy running and exercise. I CAN run a 10K. I CAN complete a half marathon. I CAN be more than I have resigned myself to be. I CAN pick up my kids without hurting. I CAN wear clothes that fit. I CAN be with people without wishing the earth would swallow me whole.

And I realized all of this in the matter of one moment.

It was a beautiful moment.

Have you had your moment yet?

Maybe Being Sick Isn't Such a Bad Thing Afterall...

We went camping last week which was so much fun. I hardly wanted to come back. Coming back meant having to face the real world again: bosses, work schedules, school prep, house work, even Facebook and blogging.

Oh and let's not forget...the scale.

Lest you thought that once a girl loses almost 40 pounds she has conquered her twisted love affair with sugar let me testify this is not so.

I caved and I caved BAD.

I tried to be good all week. I ate my veggies. I even brought along cans of V8 to chug when no veggies were available. I didn't have seconds at any of the delicious dutch oven meals. I even tried to steer clear of the community goodie box. But by Friday I had completely given up on healthy eating.

I crammed Milky Way Midnights like a woman obsessed. I had seconds on dutch oven pizza (How is it that everything is so much more delicious in the mountains?). I indulged in carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

Ohhh...I am so ashamed. The entire time I felt like everyone in camp was watching me, scrutinizing me, judging me for every little thing I ate. Now that doesn't sound psycho, does it?

When we got home on Saturday I just knew I had gained 5 pounds. Sure I had gone running twice and hiking once, but there was no way I could come away from all those calories unscathed.

Go figure. The scale was kind.

My stomach was kinder. It got sick. In fact, it got so sick that I had to literally RUN to the bathroom in the middle of the Primary Sharing Time I was teaching on Sunday (humiliating!). I think all that sugar finally caught up with me. I spent the rest of Sunday nursing a Gatorade and laying in bed.

My unintentional *ahem* "cleanse" eradicated my weak week. This week's weight loss: 5.3 pounds lost!

I did it! I lost 40 pounds (Actually 44.1 pounds total!) and broke away from the 240s!!

Can we go camping again?! I do believe my weight loss regimen requires it.

01 August 2011

Running in the Rain

Just as I began my morning run at the local high school track it started to rain.

What's a little rain? I kept jogging.

Then it started pouring down rain.

I kept jogging.

It was early. Most of the other runners had left either because of the rain (wimps!) or because they were done with their workouts (more likely than the former).

It was just me and the track and the rain. The rain was warm and harmless. Before long I was soaked. But I felt so alive!

This was a girlhood fantasy dream come true. (I would say fantasy but then I would have to admit that it was probably more hormonally charged than I am willing to confess to. At least directly.)

I wish I had done this ages ago. I discovered that nothing makes you feel more alive than running in a summer rain.

Aaaaaand then nothing makes you feel more like the old fat person you are than running in the rain with high school football practice starting on your left side and cheer leading practice on your right side.

This was a girlhood nightmare.

It was something straight out of my past or one of those gawky teen flicks.

I was never a cheerleader (or a football player). I was the chubby awkward girl who got good grades.

Now I'm the chubbier awkward lady who has four babies, bills, and other worries besides not being asked to the school dance, studying for finals, and remembering my locker combination.

Still I couldn't help feeling like I was right back there. Back in that painful pubescent period.
The football players stood on the track joking around and wasting time before their practice began on the field inside the track lanes. They didn't move out of my way as I jogged in my lane. I had to run around them. Just as I had had to in high school.

The cheerleaders all wore teeny tiny shorts and perky up dos that obviously had more intention than just keeping their hair out of their face. After all, football practice was going on only a mere few yards away. They mostly ignored me. I was insignificant. Just as I had been in high school.

Just a fat, huffy puffy, old mom.
Before they all showed up I had been soaring with the exhilaration of jogging through an early morning summer rain fall. Now I felt keenly aware of every roll of fat, every heavy footfall, every gasp for air.

Then the thought came to me...

Where are you all going to be in 10 years?

I slapped on my mental blinders, continued my run, and almost giggled out loud as I imagined the balding and bellies, the minivans and mortgages in their futures.

This wasn't about them. This wasn't about high school. This wasn't even about me 10 years ago.

This was about me. Now. In the present. And the me I am trying to create for the future.

This is a personal journey. And so far my journey is going marvelously. A few cocky football players and snobby cheerleaders do nothing to change how far I've come and how far I can go.

So, I kept running through the rain. And there may or may not have been football and cheer leading practice going on all around me. Who knows. Who cares.

I am the heroine in my own movie. And we all know what happens at the end of those teen flicks anyway, right?


One measly little pound lost this week.

1.0 to be exact.

That's the lowest weight loss week I've had yet. I suppose it might have something to do with the two small-ish helpings of birthday cake and ice cream this weekend. Just maybe might possibly...

But one pound...
That was frustrating to see especially after running the farthest run I've done so far in this particular weight loss journey.

Maybe this means I'll have a killer week next week where I bust out of the 240s and mark off another goal: Lose 40 pounds.
We're going camping this week which ought to be great for weight loss. Hiking, trail running, swimming, roughing it.

We're going camping this week which could be possibly disastrous for my weight loss. My uncle who will be at the camp out was a professional dutch oven caterer. Need I say more?

Yes, I need. There's also a community treat bin that will be calling me out all week. I must resist. I must resist. I...must...resist...

I can do it! I've come this far. There's no turning back now.

I'm getting kind of excited to do some running in the mountains. A different physical challenge. New scenery. The refreshing smell of the pine trees and streams. I love camping!

Plus, I'm hoping to snatch a few minutes to read the two half marathon training books I bought on last week. (Thanks Laura for the tip!)

*Beginner's Half-Marathon Trainer: The 14-Week Program to Completing a Half-Marathon in Your Best Time by Jon Ackland

*Food Guide for Marathoners by Nancy Clark, Jeff Galloway

If nothing else at least I will have exercised my mind.

But I have a feeling I'll be doing more. My whole mentality has changed these days. I WANT to run. I WANT to be healthy. I WANT to succeed.

Plus my sister (aka my half marathon buddy) is going to be there. And she's hard core. I can't let my little sis show me up.

At least not a lot.