Month: December 2013

Day 143 – Breakthroughs

I just realized that I the title of my last blog post was Puppies, Programming, Progress, and Procrastination but I didn’t even bring up the progress part!  See what happens when you take a week long hiatus?  It’s so hard to catch up!

In the end it worked out pretty well since I’ve had even more progress since then!

So, in an effort to put my progress into a little bit better of a perspective I need to go back to the summer/fall of 2009.  Cliff and I had decided that it was time to start exercising if we were going to get serious about losing weight.  At that point Cliff had already lost ~150 pounds and I had lost ~50 (solely thanks to having my gall bladder removed a couple of years prior).  I started off light with just riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes each morning.  Things were going pretty well with that so I decided to try the elliptical.

6 minutes later I was sure that I was going to die.

It was so horrible that it took me over a year to get back on one.

Fast forward to the past few weeks:

Day 134
45 minutes/day – 5 days/week (most weeks)

I could certainly see the progress I was making (even if it seemed miniscule) but I was having the hardest time getting across that 3 mile barrier.

As you know from my epic birthday post my mother in law got me a Garmin Forerunner 110.  I decided to try it on the elliptical rather than wait until I started training for my 5K.  I had been reading about target heart rate zones for weight loss and I wanted to see if I was actually getting the work out that I thought I was.  I put the HRM on and set the timer on the watch for 40 minutes (I didn’t include my five minute cool down because I wanted to know what my average heart rate would be for the time that I was actually pushing myself).  I set my iPad in front of the screen so that I wouldn’t be tempted to look at my distance or speed and focused only on my heart rate.  For the first day I set a goal to maintain 140 bpm for the duration of my workout.  140 is ~70% of my maximum heart rate (189) which is smack dab in the middle of the recommended target heart rate zone for someone my age.  The time seemed to fly by!  The workout was over before I knew it and that’s when I saw that this had happened:


I finally broke the 3 mile barrier without even trying!

The best part was that I felt like it was the best workout I had ever had.  I felt energetic and not lethargic at all.  I could tell that I had worked my body but I wasn’t sore, I actually felt really strong – like I could go on for hours at that pace.  Now, I’m completely obsessed with my heart rate while I’m working out.  I’m already a competitive person by nature and now I’ve found a way to sort of compete with myself.  It’s a win-win!

Of course, as my general nature goes, I can’t have a fantastic day without it being followed (at some point) by a horrible day.  I felt off all day yesterday.  It was like Murphy’s Law was all around me.  It seemed like every little thing that could go wrong did go wrong.  This was even truer with my workout.

#1 – Forgot sports bra

#2 – Forgot headphones

#3 – Bought headphones at the gym – first pair didn’t work

#4 – Bought second pair of headphones and they cut out through my entire workout

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  You get the drift.

The day just got worse as the night went on and by the time I went to bed I just knew that I was going to be a complete failure.  I felt like I was a total disappointment to everyone around me.  Out of nowhere I had the overwhelming fear that I was going nowhere with my life.  I was never going to finish college, I was never going to lose the weight, and I was just going to wind up disappointing everyone I know.

Luckily, I have an amazing husband who, as always, talked me down from the crazy ledge.  He always reminds me that just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean I have a bad life.  He always manages to find a way to inspire me and drag me out of the doldrums.  I really have no idea what I would do without him.  This morning I was still having a bit of an issue with my self-image (looking in the mirror and feeling like I had gained all the weight back, looking at my face and seeing it covered in acne that isn’t actually there, the list kept going) but I was able to reign it in.  By the time we left for the work Christmas party tonight I had put on my boots and a little makeup and was feeling more like my old self.  I feel like at this point I’m back to about 90% normal.

We wound up having to skip the gym tonight because of the party and a much needed puppy bath.  I’ve already met my three day commitment, but I’m really digging how I feel when I work out at least five days a week.  My amazing Mom was able to get us a 5 day pass to the gym in Mayfield for our stay.  I’m looking forward to being able to work off all the junk I plan on eating! J

Back to it tomorrow and I’m super excited!  I would really like to hit 3.5 miles before the end of the year.  After keeping my heart rate the perfect target zone for two days in a row, I’m feeling much better about 5K training next month.  My running outfit is almost complete; the only thing that I’m missing is gloves.  It turns out that my compression UA pants that I got in Cinci do actually fit.  I guess I’m just used to feeling like “absolutely not!” whenever I put something on that’s tight.  My best find so far is a really awesome headband to cover my ears that has a hole in the back for my ponytail.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m really looking forward to running.  Watch out Dad, I’ll be running laps around you at the race! >.~

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  ~Frederick Douglass

Day 141 – Puppies, Programming, Progress, and Procrastination

This has, quite possibly, been the fastest week of my life.  This is, literally, the first time I’ve had more than half an hour to myself since last Tuesday.  I’m certainly not complaining, but it makes it very difficult to blog.  Fortunately, my complete disregard for responsibility has kicked in it has calmed down a bit for a few days and has allowed me to catch up on a few things.

First things first.

For some reason it doesn’t look like I posted my weigh in for last week, which is super weir because I was really excited that I had already dropped all the vacation weight.

My official weigh in was 274.2.  I’m only 12 pounds away from the lowest I’ve ever weighed in my adult life.  I was able to celebrate with two new pairs of “skinny” jeans from the goal closet.

Tomorrow is another weigh in, but I’m a little nervous about it.  I wasn’t able to get to the gym yesterday and my elliptical broke (again!) in mid workout tonight.  We’ll just have to see.  It’s not like my routine is going to change whether I lose or not, so I should really stop putting so much pressure on myself before a weigh in.

Enough about weigh-ins and on to the explanation for my week long hiatus!

Wednesday & Thursday:

All you need to know about these days is that I ended this horrible gut-wrenching absolutely horrifying relatively difficult semester finally.

With two A’s and a B, I might add.

Thanks to many, many, many nights of stressing out over networking homework and having panic attacks over programming I am finally finished.


photo 1


Friday was the beginning of one of the best weekends of my life.  Cliff makes a huge ordeal over my birthday every year and this year was no exception.  I had no idea what all he had planned, but I knew one thing…

We were adopting a puppy!

Her name is Remmi and she’s an Australian Shepherd (or so they say).  She has been such an amazing little addition to our family.  Lily already treats her like she’s a long lost sibling.  The level of cute in my house has officially reached maximum capacity.

When we got home with Remmi another awesome birthday gift was sitting on my couch.  My Mom and Dad had come up for the weekend!  My Mom and I rarely get to spend either or our birthdays together, but this year we’ll get to spend BOTH of them together!  My Dad was right before us on the 12th.  I’ll have to take an extended vacation one year so we can all be together.

We all spent the rest of the night completely mesmerized by the puppy before heading to bed early so we could get up early.  The next morning Cliff and I got up early and went to the gym.  We had just received a Guest Pass in the mail so my Dad joined decided to join us.  I had decided to just do an easy pace on the elliptical (it was my birthday after all!)


Cliff and I got up early and hit the gym.  Dad joined us as planned.  After the gym I came home and took my Mom to the salon.  After we finished at the salon we went over to Blue Mile so I could pick up a new sports bra.  While we were there I decided to see if they had any Brooks Adrenaline in stock.  I had been dying to try some on after all the weeks I’ve read Katie’s blog.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed.  I can certainly see how they would be good shoes for someone with a normal foot, but they didn’t work out for me.  After trying on five or six pairs of shoes, I wound up with the same brand I’ve bought the last four times I’ve purchased shoes.  Saucony.  They are sooooo comfy.  I can’t wait to start training in them.  Luckily, these were on sale and were half the price of my last pair.  The shoes feel amazing, but they don’t seem to last long.  At $160 a pop, you can see why I was trying alternatives.

I also just have to mention that the clerk at Blue Mile was nothing short of amazing.  She was not only helpful, but she was encouraging.  She made me feel like I truly belonged in the store.  Normally they take one look at me, determine that there’s no way that I exercise, and then barely give me the time of day.  Not this time.

Two sports bras, one VERY expensive pair of socks, and new running shoes later we were on our way to Ichiban for our customary lunch of sushi.  They have the best sushi in the city and we all decided that’s what we wanted for our collective birthdays. After lunch we went back to the house to just relax and play with the puppy some more.  Cliff managed to sneak these in while I was upstairs (we beat them back tot he house from the restaurant)

I've never seen so many lilies!
I’ve never seen so many lilies!

Mom and I decided to run out to pick up my meds but the pharmacy closes super early on Saturdays.  After the pharmacy we made a pathetic attempt at locating some rain boots but that didn’t pan out.  Our final stop was at Kroger where we picked up the stuff to make sandwiches for dinner.  While we were there I decided I wanted a teeny tiny birthday cake and some ice cream.

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After we had finished eating and were cutting into my cake my mother in law dropped in to give me my birthday gift.  Imagine my utter astonishment when I saw:

photo 4

I was completely blown away!  I immediately opened it and started playing with it (more on the workouts so far this week in tomorrow’s post).  My Mom and Dad got me and Amazon gift card and I decided to use it on a new headband that covers my ears and I can thread my ponytail through.  I’m also going to pick up some more workout pants and some gloves.  As soon as my shoes come in I’ll be 100% ready for training!  I’m so excited!

Sunday (I.E. Surprise Birthday Extravaganza!)

We got up early again on Sunday, but we decided against the gym because Cliff had a fun filled day planned for us.  We hung out around the house with my parents for a bit and when they left we headed out to start our journey.

Before I go on, here’s a little back story:

Cliff set the bar really, really high for my birthday in 2009 (actually it started years before that – but that’s another story for another day).  He swept me away for a weekend in Indianapolis that included dinner at a five star steakhouse and an entire day in an art museum.   On top of that, he also started three traditions that we have gone on to do every single year since:

Tradition #1 – Start the day with a badass breakfast

Tradition #2 – Pizza for lunch (has to be pizza that we’ve never had before)

Tradition #3 – Build a Bear!

This year was no exception:

"The King" at Toast on Market
“The King” at Toast on Market


Pizza at Donato's in Cinci.
Pizza at Donato’s in Cinci.


Build a Bear #5
Build a Bear #5

This year’s itinerary started with breakfast at Toast on Market.  A cool (read – hipster) new breakfast/lunch place in NuLu (which is a fancy way to say Market Street in downtown Louisville).  All of the food on the menu looked amazing and it made the decision making process nearly impossible.  I almost opted for the “Cliffie Plate” because…well, how could I not?

photo 6

However, I’ve really been trying to do better about tasting new things so I decided on the “The King.”




It was peanut butter and banana between two pieces of French toast and bananas and powdered sugar on top.  I also had a side of home hash brown casserole with it (and I’m so glad I did, because the dish was super rich).  The casserole was, quite possibly, the best one I’ve ever had.  That’s saying a lot, considering the fact that a potato is the only veggie I liked for the first 25 years of my life.  This means you could pretty much bank on the fact that I’ve had every potato dish out there.

I polished off the casserole, but I could only finish half of the French toast.  I rinsed it all down with a Cinnamon Roll Latte that was absolutely delightful.  After snapping a quick picture we were off to our next stop.


This is where things start to go wrong (not wrong as in bad, just wrong as in not as planned).  We drove out to the Summit to go to Build a Bear and saw that they didn’t open until Noon (an hour later).  At that point Cliff decided to divulge a bit of his surprise by telling me that our pizza lunch would be in Cincinnati!  Since the Summit was already ~30 miles in that direction, we decided to just to a Build a Bear there.

There are few things that I enjoy more than a road trip.  Over the summer Cliff and I went on a week long road trip down the southeast coast with my parents and it was, quite possibly, the most fun I’ve ever had.  I can’t wait to do it again!  This mini road trip couldn’t have come at a better time.  With school, work, blogging, and weight loss I felt like we never got to see each other anymore (which is absolutely ridiculous because we carpool, work together, exercise together, and pretty much spend every waking moment together , but it didn’t feel like quality time).  We spent the entire trip talking nonstop.  We didn’t even turn on music the entire ride there.  It was awesome.

The first Build a Bear was a bust because it turned out to be one of the sports team type Build a Bears in the Bengals stadium.  I didn’t mind the detour at all because I got to drive by the river front and see all of the new construction that the city has done.  It’s really looking nice down there!

The second one we tried also turned out to be a bust, but only because we don’t like dealing with giant swarms of Christmas shoppers.  The store was located in the Kenwood Mall (which I’ve always wanted to go to because it seems super swanky) and we, literally, drove around for almost half an hour looking for a parking space and finally gave up.  We decided we would just move along and hit up the Build a Bear back at home.

Unfortunately, the Christmas crowd theme continued at our next stop which was the Krohn’s Conservatory.  No parking as far as the eye could see…

In the end, we decided to just go ahead and head to the pizza place for lunch.  As we were trying to find our way out of the park we happened across a street that looked like it was going straight up.  Now, I’m a complete sucker for getting pictures of amazing views when we go on trips.  If I can find a way to get to the highest point in the city, you better believe I’m going to go take a picture.  We kept climbing and climbing and finally came to a little restaurant (and an apartment building, I think) with a parking lot that looked out over the entire city.

It was a truly amazing view.

photo 9

Cliff had the great idea of taking a video so that we could get a good picture of both of us.  He set up the camera on top of the car and then we stood in a few different places so that we could pick the best one.  The video by itself is pretty funny!  After we made sure we had an adequate amount of panoramic shots of the city, we decided to head out and find our pizza place.

Over an hour later, we discovered that the pizza place no longer existed.

Apparently they went out of business almost overnight because Cliff had read all kinds of recent reviews of how awesome they were and how many awards they had one.  They were even touted as the best pizza place in the Midwest, and then poof!  Out of business.  Cliff was bummed, but I thought it was funny.  A few years ago, something like that would have ruined my whole day.  I used to have a really hard time when a wrench got thrown into my plans, but I’ve really come a long way and now I embrace those wrenches!  Doing so has helped me have a much better time in general and has led to some wonderful memories that would have never happened if I hadn’t learned how to go with the flow.

However, Cliff wasn’t bummed for long.  Leave it to my husband to always have a backup plan!

Instead we wound up at Donato’s Pizza and it was perfect!  The small pizzas were a perfect size so that I felt full but no gluttonous.  The pizza itself was delicious!  Cliff was even able to get a pizza that is very similar to his favorite (Aureillo’s Taco Pizza that’s we’ve only been able to find in Chicago).  I have to admit that his pizza was quite a bit better than mine.  See what I get for playing it safe with meat lovers + banana peppers?

Since Donato’s was already close to the I-71/I-75 interchange we decided to just head back to Louisville and go to Build a Bear.  The drive back was the same as the drive in.  We talked and talked and didn’t turn any music on until we were about 20 minutes outside of the city.

I had originally planned to get two stuffed puppies instead of a bear (one for Remmi and one for Lily) but they didn’t have any that we liked.  I was having a really tough time deciding on what to do (I try to stay on theme which means something that happened that year or Star Wars characters – don’t ask) and then I saw it like a beacon of light…

A Yoda costume.


After Build a Bear we made a quick stop at the house to check on the dogs and let them play.  Since we had a later lunch neither of us was starving so we decided to just have a quick sandwich before heading out to my final surprise…

photo 13

The movie was awesome!  I’m a huge fan of the books and had been dying to see Catching Fire as soon as it came out, but our hectic schedule just didn’t allow it…until now!  I had been whining about it for weeks and had planned on going to see it with Ashley while we were in Indy, but then Cliff told me that he also wanted to see it.  I had no idea that he was planning on holding off on it until my birthday.  I’m so glad he did, because there were only a total of 10 people in the theatre (of course four of those people decided to sit directly behind us, but whatever).  We skipped the snacks and decided to just share an ICEE.  This was much harder than it sounds considering the fact that the movie theatre now serves Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream and Auntie Ann pretzels.  >.<

After the movie we were both completely exhausted.  We went straight home, let the dogs play for a bit, and then went to bed.  I think I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.  It was quite the eventful weekend (what an understatement!)

Every year I wonder how he’s going to top the previous birthday and he’s never let me down.  This year is especially wonderful because of Remmi.  Every time I look at her I think about how lucky I am to be married to a man like Cliff (like I needed another reason to think that).  I felt like a princess the entire weekend and I’m super bummed that it’s over.  Only 12 more months until the next birthday extravaganza!

This week has been a little less eventful so far.  The most exciting thing that’s happened so far is that our elliptical broke…again.  The other wheel finally split and came off as well, so we have to order another one.  I’m glad we went ahead and kept our gym membership.  I prefer to go to the gym anyway (just not when it’s packed full of people like it was last night, which led to me breaking the elliptical 27 minutes into my workout >.<)  So now we’re back to packing our gym bags and going straight from work.  Personally, I want to ditch the damn elliptical at this point and put a TV down there for workout videos instead.  I would really like to get to a point where I feel like doing Yoga in the mornings.  The clarity that comes with meditation sounds like something that could really help me with my anxiety levels.  Plus the flexibility will be an added bonus.  >.~

Tonight I’m having dinner with a friend of mine from Long Island, New York.  We used to work together when I worked for RxCrossRoads.  We handled the customer service, warehousing, and logistics for her company and she’s visiting the site for a few days and wanted to know if I could do dinner.  She and I and Erin (the account manager who also happens to be one of my good friends) are going to a pizza place in the Highlands called BoomBozz.  I’m glad I have time to fit in a workout before dinner; I’m going to need it!

Day 133 – Garmin Goals

I’ve decided on the gift that I’m going to get myself when I hit 262 pounds (the lowest I’ve weighed as an adult thus far).  I’ve been obsessed with starting to run after the first of the year and I would really love to have a Garmin GPS watch.   After weeks of reading reviews (some over and over) I’ve finally decided to go with the Garmin Forerunner 110 .

Day 133 - 2

It’s perfect for beginners and won’t overload me with a lot of information that I’m not going to need right away.  I just want to know how far I’ve gone, how fast I got there, and what my heart rate is.  There are far superior watches, but I just can’t constitute spending $4-500 on a GPS watch.  Maybe that can be my reward after my first half marathon.  >.~

First I have to get down to 262 pounds.  I was really hoping to hit it by the end of the year (which still isn’t out of the question, but it means I have to be super strict through Christmas) but two road trips  Thanksgiving vacation set me back and it’s starting to look like I’ll be lucky to get out of the 270’s by the New Year.  However, I really plan on pushing it for the rest of the month, so fingers crossed!

So, today I (randomly) noticed just how much I’ve grown to like pink.

Day 133

I blame Ashley.

I’m not sure when I started turning into a girly girl, but it seems to be getting worse over time.  On the way home today I looked in the mirror and it was like seeing a stranger looking back at me.  Hair fixed, skin clear, giant sunglasses on, and a pink scarf tucked into my peacoat.

It was kind of creepy, but a good kind of creepy…if that makes any sense.

Tomorrow is the first official weigh in since Thanksgiving.   We skipped last week to save ourselves from seeing the demotivating gain on the board (even though we’ve both been weighing almost every day).  There’s just something about seeing it in black and white that made it depressing so we cut ourselves some slack last week.  Hopefully, I’ll be down another pound or two in the morning.

Usually I’m jittery on the nights before I weigh in, but I bet I sleep like a baby tonight.  For some reason I decided to drink a giant glass of Diet Coke last night with dinner (we still had a leftover 2 liter from Thanksgiving) sometime around 7(ish).  Now keep in mind that I ditched soda, including diet, twenty some odd weeks ago…

Guess who didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight?

This gal!

I did not make that mistake again tonight, even though I found myself craving another glass.  Isn’t it weird just how little it takes to fall back into the same patterns that caused me all these problems in the first place?  Not that Diet Coke is the worst thing in the world for me to drink, but it would work the same way with regular Coke (or heaven forbid – SunDrop!).  Just one soda is all it seems to take and then I obsess about for days.  I haven’t had a regular soda in months and never plan on going back.   Tonight all I have to worry about is getting rid of the migraine that my programming homework gave me.

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”  ~Leonardo da Vinci