Saturday, July 26, 2014

Too Long Gone.....

I know, I know.  Shame on me.  I've been away too long.  But I HAVE been going to the gym and eating healthy.... just not running really.  I hurt my foot, then had a series of bad events in the family.  I think things have finally mellowed back out. I've started running again - just last night, actually.  Thanks for being patient with me!  I think I'm back though!!  Looking forward to sharing with you guys.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors

Okay, I joke.  There are no sponsors.  Just me!  So, I've had to take a little break in running because I've hurt myself - AGAIN!  It's my heal this time... it's getting better, but I don't want to push it.  Anyway, instead of a post about running today, I decided to do a little history about me.  I know I did a quick little blurb when I started this blog, but today, we're going to dive in a little deeper.  So, if you'll follow me.....

I decided to join the Navy when I was in high school.  If you haven't ever tried to join the military, you may not know that you are tested and have to meet certain physical requirements in order to join.  That test includes a series of exercises as well as meeting height/weight standards.  Now, I'm sure there is more than one recruiter out there that has fudged the numbers just a bit to get a recruit out the door....  Well, that was me.  I was not able to finish the run, and I scraped in just under the weight limit.  So off I was to boot camp.

At boot camp, I got into better shape.  All those 8-counts and mountain climbers paid off, I suppose!  I was able to complete the fitness test required to graduate boot camp.  Granted, I didn't not do exceedingly well, but I passed, and that was good enough for me.  So, in November 2007, I graduated boot camp and headed to A-school.

At A-school, I started into a bit of depression.  I was separated from my fiance by half a country.  I was there for nearly a year and saw him for about a week total.  I ate a lot.  I went to PT, but I didn't really put effort into it like I should have.  I didn't spend extra time at the gym, like other people in my class.  I spent weekends in my room, watching movies and feeling sad.  Somehow, I was able to make it through school though, without really getting in trouble for PRT (Physical Readiness Test, which is your height/weight measure, sit-ups, push-ups, and a run, at least it was while I was in).  Then, I got stationed at ONI, and I kind of hit a downward spiral...

In the Navy, and the other branches too, I suppose, you have the PRT every six months.  So, twice a year, you have the chance to really kind of screw up your career - you are not eligible for deployments, cannot use the tuition assistance program, and in most cases, you aren't eligible for advancement.  The PRT is broken into two parts.  The weight part, and the exercise part.  If you do not meet the weight requirements, a BMI (Body Mass Index) is taken.  You can fail all or only part of the PRT.  Either way, failing is not good.  If you fail three times in two year period, you can be discharged from the military.

At ONI, I had a job packing supplied to be mailed out all over the world.  I mostly worked in a closet alone.  Which was usually good. One day, it proved to be pretty bad though.  I was cleaning out the store room, which included inventorying everything in the room, even the boxes on the top shelf that hadn't been touched in years.  So, I started up my ladder, and I felt the thing shift.  I climbed down and saw that the ladder had a bent leg.  NOT GOOD.  The long and short of what followed is that I was advised not to lean toward the bent leg.  Back to the closet I go, trying to figure out how not to lean that way.... I'm on top of the ladder, pulling a box that must have weighed 20 or 30 pounds off the top shelf when the leg buckles under and I fall.  Being a creature of instinct, I tried to catch myself on the shelves as I was falling.  Also, the box that I was pulling landed on top of me.  That began my back problems.  I have had lower back pain pretty constantly since then.  There are some days I don't notice it, or it doesn't really interfere with my plans... but there are other days I can barely make it out of bed. At the point of my fall, the not working out was catching up to me and I was gaining weight.  I did not fail a PRT at this point though, because of my back injury.  I got a chit to excuse me from this cycle of PRT.

My weight became a very touchy subject for me at this point.  I had started gaining weight, and I wasn't sure how to lose it.  I did try working out more, but it cut into my time to talk to my fiance, which I did pretty much whenever I was not at work.  Just before I had been at ONI a year, I got married and DH moved to Maryland with me.  You would think this would help my depression, but it really didn't.

My dad and me at my wedding

I was depressed about my weight, and the fact that the Navy was looking at it so constantly and critically was a very tough thing for me.  I failed my PRT, but somehow no one noticed.  I didn't have to do mandatory PT, no one said anything.  I felt like a failure though, because I knew about it.  Although I felt like crap, I wasn't ready to admit that I was having problems... I'm not sure what was holding me back.

As I said before, I don't remember the whole chain of events.  I failed another PRT and had to attend mandatory PT, which I hated.  I was getting more physically fit, but my weight was still going up.  I don't know my highest weight while I was in...  I don't think I hit 200.  At some point here I started actively trying to lose weight.  I followed Weight Watchers for a while.  I didn't actually participate in the program, but I copied a lot of my friends that were in the program, and it seemed to help.  I started losing weight, and I thought I would meet my goal.  For a woman my height, 5'4", I needed to be 156 lbs or less.  In desperation, I decided I would try using meal replacement shakes to lose more weight.  I did a really nasty detox drink for a couple days, then stared 14 days of these shakes.  They were terrible, but I was determined to lose the weight!!  I ended up gaining pretty much everything I had lost, and I was so disappointed in myself.  I was still working out every day, really trying to meet my goal.  I lost a little more weight, but not enough.  I failed another PRT.  If you're counting, that is my 3rd failed PRT.  It seemed to me that everyone in the entire command knew I failed.  I tried to keep a brave face, but I knew what was coming.  My chain of command (COC) did try to help every way they could, but the fact of it was that I was going to lose my job because I weighed too much.  I think what bothered me the most was that there was no allowance for the progress I had made.  I had lost 25 lbs, but it didn't matter.  I was still over regulation.

Once my COC submitted the formal letter that I had failed 3 PRTs and it was acknowledged by our captain, I would have 10 days before I was discharged.  This time was such a whirlwind of activity.  I had to meet with people.  I didn't know if I was supposed to continue doing my job or pack my house... I felt like everyone knew I was being kicked out.  My depression deepened...

So, I discharged, and we moved back into DH's family's house.  We went from a 3 bedroom house to A bedroom.  This didn't help me any.  I gained more weight.  I ended up about 209 lbs.  That's where I started tracking it in February 2012.  By January 2013, I was down to 200.  I decided I HAD to get out of my funk.  Feeling sorry wasn't going to help me out.  I was obviously not making any real progress.  I felt terrible about myself.  I couldn't understand what my husband was attracted to, or if he even was.  I knew that I needed to do something to make peace with how I looked and what I weighted.  I started making myself think I was beautiful and worth the effort of being healthy.  I WANTED to be the best me I could be for me, my husband, my family, and our future children. In February 2013, I changed my eating habits - started a primarily plant based diet.  I have stopped eating meat, which I was never crazy about to begin with.  I mostly have no eggs or milk... Every now and then, I decide to have cake at work, or I don't want to go to the ONE store in town that has coconut milk ice cream and get a pint of Ben and Jerry's, but that's very rare.  In June 2013, I started running.  My goal was to eventually run a 5k.  Now, June 2014, I am down to 171 lbs at my last measure.  I am still running, except not right now, of course.

My weight chart

The point of this post is two-fold.  One, I want to get the weight of my history off my chest.  I am DONE being ashamed.  Yes, I was discharged for weighing too much.  But I am so much more than that.  I am more confident now than I ever have been.  I love me.  And the second purpose is to tel everyone reading that you can over come depression.  I know it's hard to correctly convey what I was going through.  There was a lot of mental trauma.  DH and I were having some serious issues because I was pretty much just shut down.  But you CAN come through it.  Find someone you trust and TALK ABOUT IT.  I know talking doesn't fix everything, but it can help a lot.  Don't be afraid to admit you need help.

And third - I know I said two-fold, but it's really three-fold - LOVE YOURSELF!  If you hate yourself at 200 lbs, you'll still hate you at 120. You have to love you for you, no matter the package!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

C25K W7D2 - Again

Good evening dearies!  Hope you all had a great day!  Mine seemed about 50-hundred hours long.  *sigh* I hate days like that.  Anyway, on to the run.

I did not run the whole time.  I wanted to be sure I wasn't going to pass out or anything, since I had those weird feelings of dizziness on Friday.  I did run for about 6 minutes at a time then walked for roughly a minute before running again.  I did not want to take any chances.  Toward the end, my shoe came untied, and I accidentally hit the "stop" button on the treadmill instead of the "pause" button.  I still had about 4 minutes of run left, so I had to reset the whole thing.  That was a little frustrating.  But, I made it through the program unscathed.  

I do plan on running the whole thing tomorrow.  And I will take pictures again, I promise!  I've been slacking, sorry!

Hope all's well with everyone.  I'll be back on tomorrow night or Thursday night!

Completely unrelated picture of when I lived in Maryland.  Sooooo much snow!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

C25K W7D1&2

Yes, I know I'm two posts behind.  I've had a busy week.... and if you're here for the photography, you'll need to look elsewhere today.


Did this on Wednesday. This was a pretty easy run for me.  I took a small break right at the halfway mark, I think just over a minute.  Beyond that, steady run.  It was nice.  I felt amazing after.  Later that night, I went to the gym again with my husband.  I did a very light cardio...on the arch climber.  Like I said before, that is a great workout.  I was BEAT after that.  Totally spent.  I think I may have fallen to sleep on the way home from the gym!  The next day, I was still tired.  I did only have to work a half day on Thursday, so it wasn't terrible.  My sister-in-law graduated high school on Thursday.... I ate way too much junk food, so I felt terrible all day Friday. Bleh.


So, I felt icky all day.  Hubby asked that I go to the gym with him when he gets off work, so I didn't go running until midnight.  After having junk food and feeling bad all day, this was NOT the easiest run.  I think I was probably lacking on some hydration.... Meh, so I did run most of it, but I did walk probably 5 or 6 minutes of it.  I will probably re-do this run.  I'm running again on Monday, so let's all hope it goes better than Friday.

Monday, June 2, 2014

C25K W6D3

Woo hoo!! Happy Monday!  I hope you've all had an amazing day.

Before I go into the run, I'd like to say a little about my workout yesterday.  I went to the gym with Hubby yesterday afternoon.  We decided we would try a new cardio machine called the "arch climber."  It's kind of like an elliptical... But it seemed like lower impact for me.  We used the machine for 30 minutes, and that was more than enough for both of us.  We lifted weights for about 30 minutes, then went home, completely BEAT!  I can say I highly suggest the arch climber for a great cardio workout.

Now, for my run.  Today was a good day, in general.  I was in a good mood all day, and I was actually looking forward to my run this evening.  The more I work out, the more I look forward to it.  I don't think I need a hard, long workout every day, but doing SOMETHING each day makes me feel great.

I come home, feel great, and get ready to get my sweat on.  I got to the gym just in time to meet the Monday afternoon rush.  I guess lots of other people had a great Monday too!  I felt a little bad taking a treadmill for a whole 30 minutes while there were so many people there.  There was plenty of cardio machines for everyone, but most of the treadmills were full.  I only felt bad for a minute - then I ran my little heart out.

Today's run was a five minute warm-up, 22 minute run, and five minute cool-down.  I *almost* made it through the entire run.... I walked for about 50 seconds, beside that, I ran the whole thing.  I am so proud of me!  I just decided that I will NOT be repeating this run.  I don't think there's anything to be gained.  I haven't looked at W7D1, but I'm confident that I will get through it.

Unrelated to running, I got a bike this weekend!!  I plan on riding for 30 minutes (or more, depending on how I'm feeling), on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Also unrelated, I made AMAZING bean and (vegan) cheese quesadillas for dinner!  I made the cheese this weekend - I'm not really a fan of any of the vegan cheeses on the market.  I also made my own corn tortillas.  I put a little crushed red pepper and granulated garlic in the dough.  They were AMAZING!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

C25K W6D2 and The New Gym Finally Opened!

Firstly, I apologize for the lack of pictures today.  I suppose I could add a picture of my yummy dinner.... hmmmm....

So, our new gym opened today, and I am BEYOND excited.  Biggest thing I'm excited about at this point?  Their treadmills have the interval function where you set a walk speed and a run speed, then just hit the button to change it.  Very excited about that.

My run today was great!! I had planned to run yesterday, but this damn rain!!!  The rain is another reason I'm glad the gym opened.  The first 10 minute run was not easy, exactly, but was definitely not difficult.  Then the walk part was easy, of course.  The second 10 minute run was more challenging.  I did end up slowing my running speed at the end from 5.5 to 5.1.  Doesn't seem like a huge difference, but I thought I could feel a difference, and that's all that really matters.  I was dripping sweat by the end of it - and even soaked my shirt.  I have been really hot today, and I'm not sure why....

Now, for my yummy dinner.  Behold:

I made a simple curry with coconut milk, mushrooms, carrots, jackfruit, and green onions.  I used curry powder, garlic, ginger, cinnamon (very little), cardamom, and a little cayenne for flavor.  I served it over bean stings.  I LOVE these noodles - you just soak them in hot water for 5 minutes then DONE!!  I love easy!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

C25K W6D1 - Running in a New Location

Hope you all had an AMAZING weekend.  Mine was great for the simple reason I wasn't working.  On the down side, I was in the car for 8 hours on the way to Oklahoma.  With my back issues (that I don't think I've addressed here.... future post, I suppose), being in the car more than about 20 minutes is KILLER.

Without any more delay, the details of my run....

So, I am visiting family in Small Town, Oklahoma.  It was a pretty exciting run, actually.  New town, almost getting lost, chasing off a barking dog....

I ran around the town for about half of the time, then I decided, after being chased by - and consequently chasing off - a barking pit bull, it may be safer to run around the tennis court at the elementary school.  I finished up my run there and then walked back home.  Thankfully, the dog didn't reappear.

The run was pretty easy, except me being all tense about the random stray dogs.  I ended up not really listening to my music on this run, since I really needed to pay attention to what was going on.  After running W5D3 twice, this run was cake.  The long run was only 8 minutes, which seems like almost nothing compared to the the 20 minute run last week.

I had planned on running on Monday, but I got home late and my back hurt.... so no run Monday.  Then, I planned on running today, but since my trip wasn't exactly planned - I found out I was leaving about 4:30, I got off work at 5:00, I left at 5:30 - I wasn't able to do any of my end of the week chores (shopping and such).  I complete all of that today, so no run today. Unless something really unfortunate happens tomorrow, like rain or something, I WILL be running tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

C25K W5D3 (Again)

Since my last run was so terribad, I decided to do it again.  I don't know what made the difference - maybe I was more motivated, maybe my Frogg Togg towel is a miracle worker, maybe I was better hydrated - but this run was GREAT!  

I looked so fabulous at work today
  I did a little bit of stretching before I headed out.  I mean, less than 5 minutes.  I don't think it played a part in me running better.... but it could have.  Who knows.  I always MEAN to stretch, but I get so excited to be outside, I just lace up my shoes and head out the door.  I really need to make a point to stop and stretch a bit before I go.  I think in the long run (ha, see what I did there?) it will be beneficial.  

First things first - I had to get my hair out of the way.  I normally do a basic pony tail, but today, I was feeling beautiful and adventurous, so I did something different.  Behold:

Never mind my matches... 
I did kind of a three-tier pony tight to my head.  I really liked this because my hair wasn't swinging around and feeling heavy.  I am pretty sure this will be my go-to workout style.

I was going to go run at the school track near me, but when I drove by after work they were doing something out on the field.... and I hate for a bunch of people to watch me run.  What the heck am I going to do at my next race?? Same thing as last time - find at least one person I want to make sure I finish in front of, and just focus on him/her.  

Off I went, on my usual path in the neighborhood behind my apartments.  It's so pretty out there.  Lots of nice houses, a few ponds, lots of birds... I really enjoy it out there.  The only down side is that there are a lot of cars driving, and they mostly go over the speed limit.  I have to make sure I'm paying attention to everything out there, not just pushing through the run.  But sometimes, you really need to just focus on the run, right??

I walked just a bit, maybe a minute, just after the halfway mark.  Then, right at the end, I walked for 21 seconds before the "one minute left" mark.  I know it was only 21 seconds, because I peeked at my ipod because I had to change the music - nothing will ruin your run like a bad song - and the timer was at 1:21, so I walked until the on minute mark.  I walked a bit in the cooldown, then made up the running time I missed.  I was still plenty far from home to get the full cooldown time in, so I wasn't worried about it.  

So, I made it home, and started in on this post.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Resting with the puppy

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

C25K W5D3

Geez oh man!! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you guys.  I had planned to run on Saturday, but time with my husband is a little more important than a run.  So, I went on Monday...

 If you've never done the C25K program, W5D3 is your first long run with no breaks.  20 minutes of running.  The first time I did this program, I got stuck big-time on W5D3.  I repeated it about 5 times before I decided to move on to W6.  And even then, I didn't actually finish it.  

Fast forward to yesterday (sounds a bit oxymoronic, doesn't it?).  I started out and pretty immediately felt bad about the run.  I was determined to stick through it though.  I am pretty sure I didn't even run half of it.  It was SO hot.  I was miserable!  I got home and was exhausted.  

Tired after a hard run
As I was trying to catch my breath, I remembered that my sister-in-law had gotten me a gift at Christmas, just for this reason.  Enter, Frogg Toggs cooling towel.  

I plan on putting this thing to use on my next run.  Hopefully, this little baby will make the heat more bearable.  I'll be letting you all know how it holds up!

Unrelated to the run, check out what I made for dinner tonight - BBQ jackfruit riceballs!

Friday, May 16, 2014

C25K W5D2

Hey guys!  I had planned on posting yesterday, since I did run, but I got caught up in some family time and didn't make it to my computer before now.  Hope no one was waiting on pins and needles for me.....

So, the run.  I was actually mentally prepared to not be able to complete it.  I REALLY have to stop doing that.  Thinking you can make it is half the fight.  Even though I had prepared to not finish the run, I DID make it.  I ran the whole run part.  I am VERY proud of me.  One thing I think was holding me back is my music.  I had to re-sync my ipod to a new computer.  If you don't have an ipod, when you do that, it totally wipes your ipod.  No more music.  I had already downloaded all my purchased music, but most of my stuff I've added from CDs. Unfortunately, I don't have all those CDs anymore. So, I'm sure I'm missing some good stuff.... I need to look into getting ALL my music transferred.

I plan on doing W5D3 tomorrow morning.  I really hope it goes as well it did yesterday.

Sorry no pictures this time, but I was busy with my family, didn't have time to take pictures.  Tomorrow, I promise another rosy-cheeked post-run picture for you guys.