Regaining it: Weight and My Control Over It

You know what is surprising about my life on the road in the Wienermobile? Even though it doesn’t fit through the drive-thru, Abe and I still manage to eat quite a bit of fast food!

After six months of eating out (hey – remember how I said that was one of my goals to avoid – oops) I could feel the impact. It wasn’t that my clothes fit all too differently, or that the numbers on the scale were that much higher, but I could see the direction I was headed. I started the job at my all time healthiest (ok, and skinniest) and that has slowly been slipping away.

Before Hotdoggin' started in June.

Before Hotdoggin’ started in June.

While friends and family have sworn they can’t tell a difference, I can and I think that is what matters most. I don’t feel as confident or happy with myself as I did in May.

So I decided to make a change and regain a sense of control by starting back with Weight Watchers. I could see the 10 lb gain quickly becoming more and I figured I better be proactive.

I’ve talked about the Weight Watchers program before and about what a big advocate I am for it. That’s because it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. And the best part is, if you follow the program it is guaranteed to work. With a little bit of commitment, you will see results, and that will inspire you to keep at it!

Going back to Weight Watchers was two-fold for me. First, I knew it was something I could do and be successful at. It worked once, it will work again. Second, it’s do-able on the road. You can literally eat whatever you want on Weight Watchers, and that’s what I need because frankly there is just no way to make and follow a weekly meal plan.

The Weight Watchers and Points Plus program really does give me a sense of empowerment. I’m a data junkie and appreciate the measurable tools they provide. Tracking does encourage positive food decisions and really helps you stay on track. I like knowing if I do X, Y, and Z (stay within my points, etc.) that I will see results.

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I have been to two meetings so far and am down 4 lbs and some change. My goal is to be back to my pre-Hotdoggin’ weight by our mid-year staff meeting in the middle of January. (Yes, I realize that Christmas and New Years fall between now and then, but so does a half marathon and full marathon!)

Having seen success on the program, abandoned it, gained some back, and now restarted I’ve realized that I will probably be on Weight Watchers or tracking food for the rest of my life. And you know what, I’m OK with that. I know it is a system that works for me!

Right now I’m still working on distinguishing skinny and healthy, but that’s another blog post on body image altogether! More on that to come.

Elf 4 Health: 6 Week Fitness Challenge

Thanksgiving break is over! I had an unbelievable and much needed week back home in Kansas City catching up with family and friends. (I’ll fill you in with all the details soon with a Touristy Tuesday post.) Today I head back to Albuquerque to pick up the Wienermobile and then Abe and I are on our way to California.

Starting back at work and starting a fresh week, I am setting a few new goals for myself. I’ll admit it, I pretty much took the entire month of November off of my diet. I think after running a marathon I just needed a month to decompress and mentally I wanted to take it easy. (Yes, these are all cop-out excuses, I know!) I still ran (and actually did pretty well with getting in most of my runs) but let’s just say I kept the carbo-loading going far past the marathon itself!

These next few weeks leading into the Christmas break I’m looking forward to getting back on track with eating healthy. (Not dieting necessarily, just eating clean and consciously.) Since I am a Lifetime Weight Watchers member I am going to try to get back to tracking. I have always found that tracking what I eat helps me stay cognizant of what I’m consuming and encourages me to make smarter decisions.

I also am taking on a new adventure. My friend from college, Annica, is a fitness blogger extraordinaire and recently posted about the Elf 4 Health Challenge. I just signed up! Started by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and Elle from Nutritionella, It is a six week challenge that will run from the Monday after Thanksgiving through the first week in January.

nutritionella

There are daily tasks, daily winners, prizes, weekly newsletters, and a Facebook group for support. I’m looking forward to the variety this challenge promises (from Meatless Mondays to writing a handwritten note to a friend) as well as branching out in the blogging world! There is such a wide community of health and nutrition conscious individuals out there that I am also hoping to connect with.

If you are interested, you can still sign up for sounds 2 and 3 here!

I wanted to leave you with one quote, perhaps my favorite, that I re-read whenever I know I need to let something go.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Where I Ran (and didn’t run) This Week

Well, it had to happen eventually, right? I missed my first run for this round of marathon training. Here was my mental dialogue for yesterday.

4:45 a.m. – “Let’s do it! I mapped this run out yesterday and it’s going to be a beautiful sunrise beachfront run!”

10 minutes later – “Gotta stop to get some fuel for the run. What – they don’t have my favorite power bar? How am I supposed to run under conditions like this?!”

5 minutes later, driving – “Dammit! I forgot my Garmin. Now I can’t track this run and I don’t have time to go back and get the watch! Oh sure, I’ve got a cell phone and could still time it and vaguely GPS it with Map My Run, but oh no – that’s just not good enough for me. If I don’t have Garmin data it’s like I didn’t even do it. Yep – can’t do it now, better turn back.”

5 more minutes later, driving home – “*#@^#&@!”

And just like that, even though I had compelled myself to get out of bed at 4:45 a.m. on my day off, I talked myself out of running. Do you ever do that and just instantly regret the decision?

The rest of the day we were busy and then we drove up to meet some of Abe’s friends for dinner. By the time we got back to the hotel it was already 11:00. I thought about running, but it wasn’t the best day and I really just bailed on it.

So here’s my question: You miss/skip a marathon training run. Do you just write if off your schedule? Do you do a double later on in the week? Do you skip your next rest day? How do you account for the lost miles?(It was only a 4 mile run, for context) I’m thinking of doing a day of two 4 miles – one set in the morning, one in the evening. Does that count?

That training flop aside, today I managed to get back out on the pavement. Someone I met recently on my travels introduced me to the idea of “asphalt surfing” where you’re driving and finally are able to clear your mind. For me, running is my version of asphalt surfing and is equally cathartic.

I know this is more of a running/travel blog, but I’m going to break from that for a bit to discuss something else that has been big in my life recently – weight loss maintenance. (Feel free to skip down four paragraphs until I’m back on the subject of running, but this being my blog and all I feel entitled to write about whatever I need to!)

Since losing weight, maintaining it has been a challenge. Losing is awesome – you’re constantly reaching new goals, being motivated my others, and receiving positive affirmation my friends, family, and even unknowing strangers.

Maintenance, on the other hand, is a whole different game – no encouragement (because – hello, shouldn’t you be able to handle this now?) and no reaching new goals. You no longer hear “You look so good,” and while it’s not because you DON’T look good necessarily, it’s simply not something people are going to say constantly. Regardless, you begin to doubt yourself and you’re afraid the next thing they’re going to say is, “you USED to look so good!”

For me, maintenance has been a constant stress of apprehension about what I can eat, what I can’t eat, and how to balance it all. Recently, being on the road, it’s become even more of a challenge. This is a year I want to look fabulous, but I’m in a situation with very limited control of where, what, and when I eat. Managing it all is no easy task. And even with the marathon training, I know I can’t eat an entire box of Cheerios. And yes, I actually did that yesterday – like I said, not a good day.

The next few weeks I’m really going to try to let myself live a little. Stay healthy, but not obsess. If I had just had a few slices of the (yes, I’ll say it) Little Caesar’s $5 carry out pizza I had been craving, I still would have consumed far less calories than in an entire box of Cheerios (who does that anyway?!) So that’s that. Running today really helped me to just step back and realign my thoughts again.

Has anyone else struggled from the transition of weight loss to weight maintenance? Any suggestions on dealing with it in a healthy and mindful way?

So where did I run that allowed me to clear my mind? The Monterey Peninsula coastline! You know those gorgeous scenic drives? They’re even better when you’re running them!

I found out about this specific run from the Monterey Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website. Having worked at a CVB myself, I know understand how awesome these are! The CVB had runs ranging from 3 miles – 9 miles! (Of course I went for the 9 mile one! Totally killed that last mile!)

I was in the company car and I thought I had gotten close to where the start of the run was when I saw two parking spaces available. When you’re trying to park a 27′ long hot dog, parallel parking is something you avoid at all costs! So I nabbed the spaces and hit the trail. I was definitely a little off in my estimation of where I was. First, here was the run I wanted to do and second, below, is the run I actually did.

Half of this run was supposed to be along the historic and scenic 17 mile drive from Monterey to Carmel. With my new and improved version of this route I went about 0.25 miles on 17 mile drive before hitting the halfway point and turning back. Oops!

Still, talk about gorgeous! For part of my run I was running on a sand path. Whoa – that was a challenge! I would consider that my first introduction to trail running – haha!

I finished looking absolutely glamorous. This is what a serious runner looks like.

Oh – are you wondering why I’m in running tights and a long sleeved shirt? Besides being dumb and wearing cotton (a mistake I make frequently, having not yet become a member of the Lululemon cult) the outfit was certainly called for. Monterey is FREEZING! Why didn’t anyone tell me how cold it is in this part of California?! Brr!

So that’s where I ran this week! I wanted to run across the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, but I’ll update you on that in my next Touristy Tuesday post! Farewell until then!

Bolder Boulder 10k

This weekend I participated in the largest 10k in the nation – the Bolder Boulder.

This was an especially important race for me because I was doing it with my Aunt Karla, and we were celebrating losing more than 110lbs between the two of us!

Over the last year, my aunt has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me. At 50 years old, my aunt lost 60+ lbs, completed a triathlon, and completely revamped her life. All 22 years I’ve known her, she was overweight. To see her transform herself and embrace a healthier lifestyle inspired me. If my aunt could do it at 50, certainly I could do it in my twenties!

Karla ‘before’ at my high school graduation in 2008

Karla ‘after’ – 60+lbs lost later at the Bolder Boulder 10k!

Karla also did Weight Watchers and having her to talk to about the program and the weight loss process has been invaluable. If I’m ever struggling, I can always count on her to remind me that tomorrow is a new day and to forgive myself.

So the two of us formally-fat-turned-fit ladies took to the streets of Boulder for each of our first 10ks! My friend Tarah from back at the University of Missouri (who did the Chicago Monster Dash with me) also did the race with us, but she was running it while we planned to take it easy and just walk it.

Getting to the start was a breeze. I was wondering what the logistics would be like with 50,000+ participants, but they clearly have a method to the madness. There were military-precise waves for the start, beginning at 7:00 a.m. and going ever three minutes until almost 10:00. Because of that, the crowds were nicely staggered. We took a shuttle bus into Boulder which worked great!

Tarah planned on racing it and her wave was at 7:20 a.m. That meant an early morning wake up to make the drive from Estes Park, but the sunrise coming through the canyon was gorgeous. We waited in a line for the gear check that felt like a 10k itself, and then sent Tarah on her way.

Because Karla and I planned to just walk the course, we weren’t scheduled to start until 9:20. Tarah would already be done by then! (Shout out to her for reaching her goal of sub 60:00!) Karla and I got some breakfast and then headed to the roof of a nearby parking garage to watch the action.

I’m really glad we signed up for a late heat, because the ‘run/walk’ division was filled with many more costumes and nonsensical outfits that weren’t present with the serious runners. See if you can spot all the Waldos! 

The course itself was a blast. With all the participants and entertainers it was impossible to be bored! I was a little worried because walking six miles seems like it could be a little dull, but between the Marshmallow Mile, Elvis impersonators, and the mountains there was plenty to keep you excited!

If you hadn’t noticed, Elvis race pictures are kind of my thing!

Being Boulder, there was at least one keg stand per mile. Part of me wished I wasn’t with my aunt so I could get in on the action – even though I knew she wouldn’t have cared and maybe even would have joined me! 

The race ends in the University of Colorado stadium, which was incredible to run into. I know a lot of races in college towns do this, but this was my first experience. Another reason I liked being in a later wave was that the stadium was packed when we finished, making it a fun climax to the race! 

This was my second year in a row out to Colorado for Memorial Day weekend. My Grandma’s birthday falls perfectly at this time, and I think it just might become a tradition for me to head out there. Karla and I definitely plan on doing the Bolder Boulder again and next time I think we’re going to run it! It was a great experience to share together and I am so proud of the both of us!