Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Beginnings

**Warning: Long post, go potty and grab snacks**

Last Christmas, my focus was on weight loss and running. I wanted to run my first 5k, had signed up, then couldn't due to injury. I just never quite got back to running again as injury after injury plagued my running career. However, I did make some progress on the weight loss front. :-)

Last year, Santa brought me 2 new pairs of running shoes, an ipod shuffle and workout clothes. Santa was very, very good to me. Well, and my birthday was in there too.

Santa was very good to me again this year. Once again, Santa's focus was on health. I won't list all that he brought me, but I do want to talk about one particular thing I received.

Probably the most useful and amazing gift I receieved this whole holiday/birthday is a book called Reversing Fibromyalgia: The Whole-Health Approach to Overcoming Fibromyalgia Through Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, and Other Lifestyle Factors by Dr. Joe M. Elrod. A mouthful of a title for a book that is only a mere 286 pages long. But those 286 pages have held the most hope I've had since being diagnosed in 2003 (click here for a bad description and discussion of treatments that really don't work for any Fibro person). In short, the beliefs behind what causes it tend to be injury, extended illness, and long periods of extreme stress. Some theories claim multiple, microscopic muscle tears, others claim a mycoplasmal bacteria (hum... I did have mycoplasmal pneumonia a few years ago), others suspect greater sensitivity to environmental toxins, the body not processing Substance P correctly and not getting to the 4th stage of sleep, where humans manufacture Growth Hormone, which is needed for cell replacement and regeneration. The theories are really complex and I'd be happy to explain them if you'd like.

When I was first diagnosed, there wasn't much information. To be honest, there's still not a lot of information or hope in the medical world today. Like migraines, they simply don't know what actually causes Fibromyalgia. We don't know what causes it, how to treat it, or how to prove it exists- just like migraines. Many doctors still believe that it doesn't exist, telling patients it's "all in their head".

Initially, I didn't accept these answers. I didn't accept that there wasn't a way to make my life better. I tried the drugs that were prescribed, usually with uncommon, debilitating side effects. During this time, allergies I've never had before have cropped up, I've gained weight (about 80 lbs), been lethargic, so foggy I can't string together a sentence, much less a thought, been unable to stand the taste of proteins or slept an inordinate length of time daily. In addition, my inflammation markers are sky-high without an explanation, which, isn't helpful in the slightest.

Because of these effects, I chose to quit pursuing prescription medication of any sort. I've dealt with my pain by taking it easy when necessary and powering through the rest of the time. In short, I've come close to running myself in the ground and have endured prolonged bouts of laziness out of necessity. In the last 2 years, I've mostly found my new homeostasis point. I do ok. But, just "ok" isn't good enough. I shouldn't be settling. And...

Our beloved Stephanie from Being Stephanie reminded me of that when she started her own journey to better health this fall.

This book, Reversing Fibromyalgia, is the first I've ever really experienced a doctor who "gets it". That alone is exciting to me. Finally! Someone who truly understands!

Obviously the title says it all. According to this book, the answer to my problems lie within the realms of sleep, nutrition and exercise. It's all natural, no drugs and completely sensible approach appeals to me.

Some of the things I'll be doing different are:

Gentler forms of exercise- walking, yoga, martial arts and pilates. I'm giving up Zumba and running for a while. Besides, they seem to be injury laden for me right now. (And no, that's not how I ended up with a hole in my elbow. It was aliens, I tell ya! Aliens!)

Regular exercise- I endeavor to work out 6 days a week, for as many minutes as I can handle, potentially 2-3 times a day if I can't do very many minutes at once. And daily stretching! And light strength training. Stretching is key though. I'll have to do it daily.

High potency liquid vitamins- the theory here is that Fibro sufferers have lower stores of important vitamins due to stress and stresses upon the body. So, if I'm chronically low on say, my B-vitamins, I'll have less energy and not utilize iron correctly, leaving me anemic (which I have been for years). Of course, the B-vitamins are just one example.

Continue my quest for less processed food- the theory here is that chemicals and preservatives are causing more stress on my body and that Fibro might be partially caused by years of a eating crappy and not nutritiously.

(Are you seeing a theme here? Less stress on the body!)

Better sleep- meaning a higher quality sleep where I twitch and thrash (and clock my husband) less, achieving a deeper state of REM than I do now. We'll discuss this more in depth later on.

Change my carb to protein ratio again- I'll be aiming for a 70/20/10 ratio, as in 70% high quality carbs, 20% fat and 10-15% protein, with a reduction in red meat consumption. This is different from how I eat now and will be difficult. For the last 5 years, I've been eating more like 50/20/30, of carbs, fats and proteins.

Juicing- I'm going to give it a try. I've read that we absorb vitamins best in food form, or as long as our bodies think it's food. Supposedly we don't absorb much from pills because our bodies don't see it as natural food stuffs. (Wish it didn't recognize chocolate as food stuffs!) I'm prepared to drink a few ounces of gross, disgusting healthful cocktails if it helps me feel better. Wish me luck!

Lose weight- but this is the last of my priorities right now. Hopefully, the changes I'm making will facilitate this.

According to Dr. Elrod, you should only make one change a week, maximum. Otherwise, human beings aren't likely to stick with a change. One change a week is reasonable! I can handle that!

What I need from you, dear friends, is to hold me accountable. I need someone to remind me to make one change a week and stick with it. I also need someone to help me track how I'm doing. So, please feel free to nag at me. (Be warned though, nagging makes me cranky). Sometimes it's easy for me to lose sight of how far I've come or accurately judge whether or not something seems to be working for me, because I'm with me day in and day out. Having someone ask helps me monitor myself and the changes I'll be making.

So, this next week, the first change I'll be making is with vitamins. I'll be ordering them tomorrow and starting them as soon as they arrive, on Monday or Tuesday. Also, while not intended as a second change, Dude, Bad Pants and I will be starting Kendo classes once a week on Monday nights. Yes, we will be beating each other with bamboo sticks, wearing bamboo armor. (It's a martial art and on the approved exercise list for starting out on this new path).

Now, the length of time is supposed to take up to a year for a real, more permanent change and return to health to happen.

2011 is the year I'm going to take back my life!

Any questions?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Keeping active in the winter

pics in this post were found with Google images
Now that we have our little home in the country with the ponies right in the backyard I won't have to spend most of my "free" time in the winter driving back and forth from the boarding barn to take extra care of Cessa. 
Don't get me wrong, it does still take a lot of time to take care of her.  Its worth it though :)
Add to that the loads of outdoor space (not quite 80 acres) I am hoping to find something 'outdoorsy' that I can do this winter, at least when its not too darn cold! 
Two things came immediately to mind, well three but snowmobiling isn't exactly 'exercise' lol.
1: cross country skiing

 2: snowshoeing
Here's the thing though, I don't really know much about either of them.  I guess I could do some research (hello Google! lol) and ask at the shops for things such as fitting of equipment. 
But what I'm more concerned with is can I do it?  For example:  Will either of these hurt my bum knee?  Or aggravate my bad back/hips/shoulder?
While neither of them are as expensive as riding the equipment isn't exactly cheap enough to toss in the storage shed if it doesn't work out...
So, does anyone out there have any input?

PS- does anyone else have this weird little square "photo video deleted" box showing up on this blog?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Put Down the Pumpkin Bread, and Back Away SLOWLY!

Or maybe I should say, "Run Bullseye, run like the wind! Get the Hell away from that stuff!!"

I've turned into Betty Freaking Crocker lately. Baking, cooking, puttering... a real Suzie D@mn Homemaker. Oh, Cub, Jo and I are still walking. (Not the Wrecking Crew. He says his legs are too tired. But yet he is out on the jumpoline, jumping for all he is worth...... am I a bad Mom for leaving him behind to avoid listening to him whine and complain the whole 40 minutes we are out there?)

Anyways- back on track with pumpkin bread. Lawsy me. I believe it is a borderline addiction about now. Bucket of coffee in the morning, slab of pumpkin bread for breakfast, vitamins, and I'm good to go. The siren song of the bread does not quiet itself at all though. Oh no. I battle it through the entirety of the day. In the kitchen, which is right next to my computer, it sings to me... calling my name.... "Ohhhh Mrrrssss MoooommmmmmmM!!!!!!!! Here I aaaaammmmm!!! EEEEAAAATTTTT MMMMEEEEEEEEEE..." Noisy bugger.

I know I know... simplest answer? Just don't MAKE any more of it. But how can I NOT? Short of having Dear Husband tie my hands down, or do all the grocery shopping, never letting me set foot in a store that sells the ingredients ever again, (and none of THOSE are likely to happen,) I'm stuck in a rut. A rut filled with nutty, raisiny goodness.

Enough about my food woes though.

We have been walking. Even though Jo the Wonder Nanny Dog strongly expresses her opinions/ disfavor of the idea, we HAVE been walking. Roughly 40 minutes (~ 2 miles-ish), three to six days a week, Cub, Jo and I are out there pounding the pavement. Jo did better today. We only had to call her one time to keep up.

I gotta tell you guys this:

Yesterday afternoon, I sat on the couch to pull on my sneakers. Jo of course, hopped right up there with me, and threw her big bucket head in my lap, turning her impressive belly skyward. Of course, I gave in and was rubbing her belly, telling her what a good girl she was, how cute she was, and whatever else kind of drivel that happened to come to mind.... She had a HUGE smile on her face, her tail was going about 900 mph... until I said, "Hey Jo! Lets go for a WALK!"

The tail stopped in mid wag. The smile vanished in less than a heartbeat, and she rolled an eye up to look at me. The message was clear- My Dog. My DOG. Told Me. To Foxtrot OFF.

She did. My Dog cussed me out and told me in NO uncertain terms to Foxtrot THAT, she was staying on the COUCH.


She walked anyways, under protest.

How are you guys holding up out there? Ready for Christmas and New Years? (I am NOT. Hard to get Christmas-y when it is 60* out ya know?)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just Beat

Today, I spent 4 hours cleaning the run-in and pasture, rolling a round out to the run-in (50 yrds) and helping my husband put up hot wire so Ms. Thing (aka Molly) would not be pushing on my fence any more.

Do you know how many calories 4 hours of farm chores burns? 2123 calories. 2123! And that's doing everything on foot and by hand. I.Am.Beat.

After accomplishing all this, I started thinking a fun Biggest Loser challenge might be having the contestants roll 500# rounds around on a farm. Or on sand, if they need more of a challenge. I dealt with a patch of sucking mud higher than my ankles. Yuck!

And how about they spend a day doing chores we do every day. Like clean stalls. Hey! Let's see a contestant clean 30 stalls in 2 hours like I used to have to! That would be awesome!

Or, why not have them put up miles of fencing? Why not have them do something useful, that teaches them a skill and maybe gives them new appreciation for farmers and ranchers? I think that would be cool! What do you think?

Friday, December 3, 2010 hi...! *waves*

Well, I thought I'd better post something here. I'm basically back at zero (or maybe -5 or something!) with my healthy living challenges.


I was smokin' along January - April, May wasn't bad... But June? June is where it all went to hell. In a handbasket.

I've been dealing with some problems with my legs over the past year or so - I'm sure I've mentioned it in the past. I didn't feel too bad last winter, but by June of last year, that changed. When the flare-up hit me in June, I got really tired and my legs hurt like the devil. Honestly, it was all I could do to get to work and get home again. Once at home I would rest for a couple of hours and then a couple of times/week, I would haul my sorry ass out to the barn to try and ride. In August, I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and I started some medication to help it.

Anyway, that is over now and I have been feeling more like my old self since about October. I've kept meaning to start back into my exercise routine, but it just hasn't happened yet. Don't know why. I'm also not going to beat myself up about - I just need to get back on the "horse", so to speak and start over.

It's going to hurt and I'm not going to like it, but that is what I have to do.

So, hope to be posting more here over the next few weeks! Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yes! We Have MOTION!

I am thoroughly pleased to say, that Friday and Saturday, close to three miles of ground were covered. Yeah man we're back WALKING again.

Gotta tell a bit of a story about my youngest, known lovingly as Wrecking Crew. Friday the boys were my motivation to walk. Cub was insistent we get the job done, and told me in no uncertain terms to Cowgirl UP.

Wrecking Crew however....

As we were gearing up in our socks and sneakers, my sweet little Wrecker sat on the couch next to me and sighed heavily. He said, "Mom, I don't want to walk. My legs get tired." I told him we would only go a little ways, and that it would really help me out if he came with us. "OK Mom. I'll go for a little bit."

Well out we go. And I watched my sweet Wrecking Crew. That child.... that child probably RAN four miles to my walking one and a half. Up, down, back and forth, over and over again... the child never stopped.

If we could bottle that energy...!!

Taking Sundays off from walking. Monday we pick back up with getting slowly back to the pathetic shuffle jog routine too. We'll keep you posted on how things go!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do We See A Chance of WALKING?

Maybe.. just maybe...

I feel like I am tempting Fate once again by daring to hope that I can start walking again. It's been so long that we'll be starting over from scratch, but at least we will be STARTING. That's something, right?

Of course, with hunting season in full swing now, we dare not go on our trail through the woods. And since there are brandy new NO TRESPASSING signs plastered all up and down the entrance and exit to the trail, and all along the roadway, I'm assuming that we don't need to be on the trail anyways.

Back to walking the road. Which frankly is boring as all get out.

I'm hoping I can maybe catch the person who owns the land the trail is on, and ask permission (sweetly) if we can maybe continue walking on it. We'll see....

Cross your fingers though. Getting back to walking this week would be Freaking Lovely.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Did You Hear the SCRREEEEEEEEECH-ing to a Halt?

Well, things did just that around these parts. Again.


Well, I could make all kinds of excuses I'm sure, but the main one is... illness.

We were doing great before the trip to CO. Even with a diagnosis of walking pneumonia, the kids, Jo and I were still out there churning out the miles. Only I walked instead of doing the pathetic jog/ shuffle. We were doing GREAT.

The first few days back from CO, I had to re-adjust to the altitude here at sea- level. (I never would have thought it would be THAT much of an adjustment. Trust me- going from OPEN sinuses to packed ones once again sucked MOOSE knuckle.)

We managed two mornings of walking- about a mile each morning. We just were having a bad time getting back into the swing of things.

Then it happened. The kids got what we call Creeping Crud (aka: SickernHell). Sleep went out the window, housework came to a halt, everything stopped as tending two coughing, hacking, feverish, crabby, crying, demanding children took over. I managed to get two nights of OK sleep only to wake up yesterday with the Creeping Crud myself.

Know what y'all? I'm real damn tired of being sick and tired.

FORTUNATELY, I don't appear to have the Creeping Crud as bad as the children did, so I'm hoping in the next couple of days to get back to walking. And even doing some more of that pathetic shuffle/ jog thing too.

That's it from this corner of the world as far as fitness goes. I have not lost any pounds (I don't think anyways- still don't own a scale, and currently I live in sweat pants,) and I still have a teeny tiny bit of sanity left. It's all good, right?

Now, if you'll excuse me, the apple crisp in the oven is getting ready to ding....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day Three Update

I don't know who is complaining louder right now about the "new exercise routine"-- my poor old aching body or Jo the Wonder Nanny Dog.

See, where ever I go, Jo goes. For the first fifteen minutes of each trip, Jo is happy, bounding along, smile firmly on her sweet face, tail going the whole time as she paces along beside me and Wrecking Crew (because the Cub is usually WAY out in front. He runs ahead, and runs back to check on me. Then he runs out, and runs back. Lather, rinse, repeat. For the entire 30 to 40 minutes we are out there.)

Back to Jo.

By about the twenty minute mark, I have to nudge her with my knee now and again to keep her moving.

At the last lap, she is pooped. Today, we added in a little extra distance walking from the end of the trail to the gate at the end of our road. (1/5th mile there and back to the house.) Jo quit by the drive way and looked at me. I swear she was saying, "Really Mom? Are you out of your MIND?" We hit the house and she dives into the water bucket and passes out on the floor for at least an hour.

Poor old Jo.
I know how she feels. Except I don't dare collapse on the floor for an hour- I'd never get UP again. And there is no telling what the Locust Brothers would do to me while I was down either.

Overall though, I'm pleased. Tired, a bit sore, determined more than ever, wondering at what is left of my sanity, but pleased fits the bill.

Day One was documented on here- roughly a mile with some attempt at a slow jog/ shuffle interspersed with walking.

Day Two- yesterday- was walking only, and I added in an extra set of walking the trail out and back again. Cub ran it. Just about the entire time. Again. (Oh to have that child's energy.)

Day Three- today- was good. We walked to warm up, and I jog/ shuffled a good bit. In fact, I jogged/ shuffled about five times the distance of day one. Now lest that sound overly "impressive", the jog/ shuffle added up to about 1/2 the distance of the trail. (Maybe 1/4 mile-ish.)

Tomorrow I'm planning a walk day. We'll see though, how I feel in the morning how long and the speed.

Oh my Kingdom for a horse about now.... this making my own wind through my hair? SUCKS. But as long as it gets me where I'd like to be, I'll Cowgirl Up and get it done.

Now I had BETTER not be the only one out here suffering! Spill it y'all- what have you been doing?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm still here!!

Things have been a bit crazy but should *knock on wood* settle down. Which is good because I still have to unpack and organize my house AND the barn. Seriously, only what really needed unpacked in both is what's unpacked.
But there are things in my favour for getting both done. First of all our house in the city sold (it was a bit late getting on the market). Most of the outside stuff at our new home in the country is done - other than the chores which always need done... but I'm not complaining! :)

My plan for now is to finish settling in and try to ride as much as I can while the weather is nice. Also to do yoga at the local bar when I can.
Yes you read that right. That's how "small town" our town is. There is yoga in the basement of the bar Monday and Wednesday nights. I work Wednesday but Monday I usually have off. However it is Pie's only day off too so we'll see how that works out.

This winter I'm thinking of either trying my hand at cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Goodness knows I have room to try either. Have any of you guys done either one? Any tips or advice?

And once things are unpacked and sorted enough I hope to have my treadmill unburied and get back to using it on a regular basis.

OH! And right next door is a small indoor arena so hopefully this winter I'll get in some decent riding!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Plan

Dear Horse Peeps,

So, in my comment to Mrs. Mom, I did say I'd post about my riding plan here.

I have rode exactly 3 times in the last 3 years, after an 11 year hiatus. During those 11 years, I have sustained more than a couple head injuries. One left me with about 3 years of vertigo and a fear of heights since then. The vertigo is gone. I now fear not having control and falling.

Additonally, as some of you know, I've had Casey now for 2 years. During this time, he's been gaining weight and rehabbed and retrained. Then, he came home to the mud, muck and slippery slope of the farm. Then we moved here and he, being black, melted in the heat of Georgia.

It has cooled off. I have debated turning the heat on these last 3 mornings.

It is time to ride.

I know what I need to get back on the horse. Really, as someone who taught her friends to ride in high school and eldest daughter in the last couple years, I KNOW what is needed. DOING it has been more of an obstacle.

I NEED someone I trust to be holding the lunge line with Casey. I NEED that safety net to feel safe enough to mount my ginormous horse. Ok, at 16hh and 1300#, he feels ginormous. To me.

So far, here in Georgia, the only person I know who knows squat about horses and is close is my husband, Bad Pants. (Mrs. Mom is about 5 hours away, so that doesn't work). Unfortunately, Bad Pants is up to his proverbial eyeballs in work, often not escaping his home office until 8-9 pm on average. So, that will not work.

I no longer have a truck since the tow bar failed before leaving town on our move here. No truck means no trailer. Buying a new truck is in the future, but not quite today.

So... (dramatic pause)

I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a trainer to come to me. They are, after all, elusive creatures here in Georgia, preferring that everyone come to them. Fortunately, I found someone! So, I will be paying more to have someone come to me, to work with me with MY horse. Of course, this plan also includes a few lessons at their place on their lesson horse. With luck, I will have my first confidence building lesson no later than October 17th!

In the mean time, I am walk/jogging (doing c25k training again) with the hopes of running my first 5k this coming spring, along with Pilates to strenthen my core for riding and upper body strength training since I'm no longer moving 7-8 three string bales of hay every 2 weeks.

This is The Plan.

Run. Ride. Pilates. Strength Train.

So, if my lard @ss can do this, and I wear a larger pants size than MM, so can you!



P.S. Did you know horseback riding burns 833 calories per hour? Amazing!

Fit At 40?

First, let's take a look at what all has gone on in The Asylum since August.

The horse left.
It got hottern hellfire in the Southland.
And I blew out my back in a BIG way.
Courtesy of my back injury, I stopped trimming most of my clients.

Which lead to.....

A really un-fit Mrs Mom.

We aren't talking "soft" here kids. We're talking, "OMG you are a COW" un-fit.

Knock on wood, my back has been OK.
The weather has cooled to wonderful temperatures, and it is not as humid.
I am slowly (painfully, because of my LACK of fitness,) attempting to trim a couple of horses here and there.
Still no horse, which was a GREAT motivator to get out and move more, clean paddock, ride- you know- all the fun horse stuff.

And today?
Today I got sick of being a Fat Cow.

Today, I grabbed the bull (no- wait-- I shook the fat rolls) by the horns and said, "DO SOMETHING!"

The kids and I jumped for ten minutes. Why stop? Well, for one, it felt like my legs were going ot fall slam off, and for two about the fifth time one of them wound up under my feet I figured it would be better to stop jumping ON them and find something else to do.

So. We pulled on our sneakers and hit the road. I was thinking we'd walk up and down the pavement as many times as I could, when Cub said, "Hey Mom! I know- let's walk on Papa's walking trail!"

Turns out it was an EXCELLENT idea. I'd guess what we covered was roughly 3/4 mile there, plus 1/4 on pavement. AND-- I walked it AND jogged some.

You know what? I have not jogged or run since I was a kid, before I discovered that A) it was a lot easier to lope a horse to where I wanted to be, and B) a flat out gallop was WAY more fun AND way faster.

No horse to gallop on. If I want to feel the wind in my hair, it is going to have to be wind I create.

There ya have it y'all. I have a shape-- and it is "round".

I have a desire- to not keel over when chasing after the kids.

Will I survive it? Only time will tell. But I am pleased at my recovery time thus far. I'm counting on my muscle memory to help get my old ass back into shape too.

Please muscles, don't have CRS now........

I want to say a heart felt thank you to a special friend- she is the biggest impulsion for me to get up and moving again, and I bet she didn't even know it. Oregon Sunshine, thank you. You've no idea what you've started- now let's keep it going together, girl!! xoxo

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My 10% Life

I really should write this elsewhere first. I'm afraid I'm going to lose it by accident. However, the words are flowing so the impulse to write outweighs the time it will take to open a new Word doc to begin.

So far on my weight loss journey, I've lost more than 10% of my total body weight. They say that losing just 10% of your body weight can have positive effects on your blood pressure. I would have no idea as I have had beautiful blood pressure my whole life, with the exception of my pregnancies (pre-eclampsia). Let's check that off anyways, shall we?

x Better Blood Pressure

Also, losing 10% of your body weight lowers your cholesterol. Another thing I've never had an issue with.

x Lower Cholesterol

Reducing your weight by 10% also reduces your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. I've always been hypoglycemic, so this has always been a bit of a worry as I aged. So, good for me for doing something!

x reduced Type 2 Diabetes risk

With the 10% loss, you gain energy. Yep! Well, my feet don't hurt all the time. I don't sleep nearly as much and I get more done in a day.

x More Energy

Losing 10% can give you self-confidence and motivation. Yes! I feel better about myself!

x Increase in Self-Confidence

Losing 10% also gives you a reality check as to what it will take to continue your weight loss and lose more weight. Why yes, yes it does! Losing 10% wasn't easy. There were a lot of aches and pains, not to mention frustration with myself that I couldn't do MORE or wimped out earlier than I thought I should. It was hard work! I'm not going to lie about it nor will I beat myself up over it. So, reality check... Check!

x Reality Check

This is where the list I found on the internet ended. However, my life's 10 percents haven't stopped there.

In the last 6 months I've changed how my family eats. We eat 90% healthy and about 10% junk now. Ok, maybe including the move and settling in, it's been more like 85/15 for the last 2 months. But we're settled now and back to our 90/10 routine.

x Healthier eating

I've also taken to making my kids try new foods. They only need to eat 3 bites of the new food, which usually turns out to be 10% of a serving. Also, I apply the same rule to healthy foods they don't like (tomatoes, brussel sprouts, etc). In the process, they have learned that they really do like some of the foods they thought were icky before. (Adults try and retry things they don't like too!) This in turn, not only begins to eliminate picky eating, but increases vitamins and mineral consumption in foods that perhaps they weren't getting enough of before.

x Increased nutrient consumption, less picky eating.

When I'm tired and running low on energy during a workout, I tell myself that I can do just one more, run one fence post farther, give just a tiny bit more. And I do. I feel good about doing it too.

x Give 110%

So, in recap, by improving my life and lifestyle by just 10%, I have better blood pressure, lowered my cholesterol, reduced my risk for type 2 diabetes, gained energy, gained confidence, eat healthier, gained more nutrients from my food, learned how to give 110% and have given myself a reality check to boot!

I'm trying to better my life by 10% at a time. How about you?

Friday, July 23, 2010


Wow! It's really, really quiet around here! What've y'all been up to since I started the moving process?

Well, obviously I moved. To Georgia, in fact. I bought a pair of shorts a few days before we moved. They fit perfectly. I wore them on the second day of our cross country trip. I wore them again about a week after we got here. The third time I wore them, they were loose. Now, they practically fall off. I can pull them off over my hips without unbuttoning them.

Then the other day, my husband commented that my rear is shrinking. My comment "Damn! I was hoping this muffin top was starting to go!" I have a FLAT rear. There really isn't much back there to hang a waistband on. So losing my rear before the muffin top is not my idea of cool. However...

This means I got new pants! I am fully one size smaller than when we left Oregon. What have I been doing different?

Well, I haven't been doing anything different except maybe not so many farm chores since we live on a teeny-tiny spread now. Wha?? How's this work??

Simple! It's quite possible that I underestimated how many calories I was burning every day with chores and not eating enough. Yep! I said NOT EATING ENOUGH. Because, if you don't eat enough calories, your body believes your in starvation mode and will start conserving calories instead of burning them.

So, why don't y'all scrutinize your calories in vs calories out and see if you need to revamp your own plan? Are you getting enough calories? Too many? Is there room for more food in your eating plan? Perhaps you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Busy busy week this past week. Lots of client horses. Hot. Humid. Swimming in the lake, loads of activity.

To end the week, on our way to our last client, I had (of course) to hit a rest stop. (Public potties normally gross me out, but my teeth were floating by this time.)

The potty (was CLEAN!) had a full length mirror on the back of the door. (Which was also CLEAN!) My first thought:
"Good grief! Who the heck wants to view themselves while perched on the loo?"

I think there was an advantage though. For the first time in a long time, I was able to get a full view- from the soles of my boots to the top of my hat.

What I saw didn't make me happy, but it did not leave me deep in the depths of despair, either.


There is more "shape"- and not just ROUND, either.
There is less of the "jiggly" stuff.
Not by a lot, but the changes were there enough for me to notice.

Huh. Whatdoyaknowboutthat?

NOW-- the REST of yas-- OS, I know you are busy moving, as is CDN. Laura, you've been busting behiney with work and moving Rusty. (YAY on the job stuff too girl!!) But we haven't heard from SquirrelGurl, Chelsi, or Regina lately. Ladies-- it isn't about who-lost-how-much--- it's way more than that. So let us know y'all are OK, OK?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You Know You've Gone Too Long When....

While watching television... a commercial comes on interrupting valuable program time to lead you down the path of temptation....

In my case, it was a SONIC commercial.

Showing deep, rich, warm, chocolate sauce slowly oozing down over ice cream.

Y'all, portions of my upper anatomy just about rubbed holes in my t-shirt.

The past three weeks have just totally SUCKED diet-wise. For real. For a wide variety of reasons, getting TO the store to replenish fresh foods has been ... well, frankly getting that done has been nigh on impossible. We've resorted to lots of pasta type meals, and bad carbs. Know what? Dear Husband (whose sugar levels are plumb perfect,) and I both feel like CRAP. Wrecking Crew is happy- that child could eat mac and cheese five times a day, eight days a week. The rest of us? Not so much.

The next chance we will have to hit the store will be sometime on Friday afternoon, on our way home from clients. (Always a fun thing to do. Go trim about ten horses and then go to WallyWorld to stock up on edibles. One of these days, I expect to see a story and pictures about us on

At any rate--- lesson learned. Do not allow excuses to throw your "good" diet to the wolves. You'll pay for it in mood, overall feeling like crap, no energy, and cravings for crunchy, crispy veggies and fruits that will wake you in the middle of the night. (OK-- so I'm hankering after a steak and taters too, but I'm ALWAYS craving that!)

Eat well everyone. I know *I'm* looking forward to it!!

Oh- side note. Our Jo the Wonder Nanny Dog is an easy keeper. She is older now, and watching her weight as well has been a priority, as she does tend to get umm.. chunky. Lately, she has gone from "chunky" to well, BLUBBERY. I was quite worried about her, until we figured out WHY she gained so much.

No, the Locust Brothers weren't feeding her THEIR food. They were just giving her about three times her NORMAL amount at each feeding. Jo being a polite pup cleaned her plate so she would not get into trouble. (That's her story, and she is sticking to it.)

Wish MY issue was as easy to resolve as Jo's!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gotta make some changes

As some of you may know I'm going to be moving. Hubby & I have found our place in the country, finally. :D
Now we're not going to be out in the middle of nowhere, after all we need to be fairly close to work... especially with our abnormal hours! But I am pretty sure that I will be quitting Curves.
I just don't think it will work trying to fit it in. After all one of the reasons that I'm grateful we're moving is that I will no longer be making that hour (round trip) drive to take care of my horses. Why replace that with the gym?
My new game plan (to start after we move and get settled in) is to focus on diet. Eat more fresh food, more home-cooked food, more healthy food. Should be easier to implement once we move. Part of the reason I eat so much "convenience food" right now is just that, convenience. After running around trying to fit in time to get to and from the horses, time to take care of/ride them, time to do errands and get back in time to get ready for work I'm stuck grabbing something fast for lunch.
So I'm planning on keeping the house stocked with healthier choices. And if I have to tie a horse up, run to the house to start lunch and then go back to untack and put away the waiting horse... well that's at least do-able! Also there aren't any fast food places to stop by and grab something quick ;)
I know that I'll be doing more riding, and more just plain old moving around, once we're at the new place. And when I work at my riding and spend time at it I tend to lose some inches.
I also plan on focusing on my treadmill again once we're moved. Also hubby has a Bowflex (an older model) and if I can just figure out how to use it, and manage to not hurt myself, I think that would be a good option to work out 3x a week. Oh, and I think I've got the perfect spot in the new house for those two machines :)
I'm kinda sad about leaving Curves. When I do manage to fit it in its a good workout. I love that I can track the changes and the camaraderie at the location I go to. I like that I feel accountable there. Hopefully even though I won't be there my friend Nic still will go. That way she can give me that 'accountability factor' even though I'll be working out at home and she'll be at the gym.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Like To Move It, Move It!! ... MOVE IT!!!!

For those of you who are parents, and have seen "Madagascar", you'll be familiar with King Jullian singing that particular ditty. Which always with out fail gets me and the Locust Brothers up and dancing around the living room, looking like we have totally lost our last marble.

But, it works. It gets us MOVING. The beat, turned up loud enough, blocks out those self-sabotaging thoughts of, "But darn, I'm TIRED"... or any other whiney pathetic excuse I might try to come up with.

It wasn't King Jullian singing this morning that got me motivated. Nope. It was Nazareth. Not a very "nice" song to many, I'll refrain from spouting off the title here. But let's just say it fit. The past two months have shown me what I had forgotten.

I had forgotten that I am indeed, very capable of DOING things. Be it trimming horses, heavy work in the yard, fixing fence, chasing the kids, jumping on the jumpoline, I. Can. Do. It.

So, with Nazareth blasting from the house in the background, Sonny Bunz got pulled from the paddock. His feet got trimmed. He was a putz, so he spent some time on the Patience Tree while I got a drink and changed clothes.

Every time those self- doubts tried to creep back up, I'd give myself a mental b*tch slap, and MOVE.

Once I changed clothes, Sonny got groomed.
Then he got ground work.
And then we rode.
And today we loped.
Up and down the yard.

My legs now feel like rubber.
My belly muscles are really reminding me they are there.

And my cheeks hurt from the big sh*t eating grin that has not left my face in umm... what four hours now? hehe

I'll allow some sitting around now, since not only is the horse cared for, the house tidied up, the children fed (again), and the dishes done (again.) And tomorrow? Well, you can bet that in the morning Sonny and I will be back out there, loping across the yard again.

I hate *HATE* exercise. So, instead of "exercise", I am using my horse to get me into shape.

Let's see how this works.....

And what are the rest of y'all up to???? Still too quiet out here!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Did It!

Hay! I did it! I can move 107 lbs. hay bales around on my own by lifting them, not rolling, flipping or sliding them! The new hay is in 107 lbs bales, the old hay was in 130 lbs bales. The last couple loads of the old hay seemed light to me. They were easier to move. But, they weren’t lighter, I’m just stronger! Yay Me! I rock!

Now, to work on this whole 5k business...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Y'all Will Be Proud Of Me

I resisted. Really, truly, honestly- resisted.

It was in the frozen foods section at the mega mart. I needed more frozen fruits for smoothies.... You know where this is going, right? Yeah. The frozen fruit is directly across from the Ice Cream.

Heavenly, chocolate filled, nutted up, smooth, silky, sweet, cold, bits of frozen Heaven. It called my name... my eyes glazed over... Wrecking Crew was with me, and his wisdom of the moment was, "Mommy! ICE CREEEAAAAAMMMMMMMMM!" (No help there huh?)

When a wee bit of drool began to seep from the corner of my mouth, I decided it was time to move on--- with a quickness!

What stopped me from indulging in my fantasy? Ok- other than the fact that I'd get locked up for stripping down nekkid and ROLLING in the ice cream right there in the store.

It was Dear Husband.

The thought of him, at home, sugar levels going insane, pain levels insane, and knowing how much he loves ice cream.

I could not- just NOT NOT NOT- bring it into the house and eat it in front of him. My husband saved me from myself, with out even being there. Lawsy I love that man.

On the up side - I did indulge in a tiny package of Peanut M&M's. It wasn't ice cream by a long shot, but... it worked. Kinda.

Another upside?
My in waist band holster (for when I wish to carry concealed,) fit into my jeans much more comfortably today. Seems going back to work under horses and making my muffin top scream is wicked good for me!

OK- the REST of you have been much tooooo quiet. What's the "skinny"? What's going on?? Fill us in!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Keepin' on keepin' on

I haven't posted an update in a while, so I thought I'd better get to it!

Things are going well here, for the most part. The last couple of months have been kinda stressful, with lots going on. I normally struggle with emotional eating (especially when faced with lots of stress) but I have been making a huge effort to really think before I eat.

I've been doing a decent job of bringing healthy meals and snacks to work, so that helps alot. I can resist the vending machine and the cafeteria, if I'm well prepared. It is little victories like this that help me along. I can feel positive momentum building, albeit slowly... :-) My biceps and quads are also starting to firm up from all of my workouts with my trainer. I just need to shed the layer of protective fat on top so I can display those muscles!

I would really like to buy a pair of beige breeches for summer riding - since the only ones I have are black! I don't want to cook while I'm out riding the trails and fields this summer. I need to get a few pounds off before I buy more breeches, but that is kind of what I am shooting for right now. I sometimes wear jeans to ride in, but I find that they bunch up and are kind of uncomfortable...

What do you guys ride in in the summer? Jeans? Breeches? Any other types of riding attire that is cool and comfortable?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not sure how it happened

I've been seriously neglecting my diet lately.
Diet as in the amount and types of foods I intake, not diet as in a particular food plan.
Anyhow, I've been eating whatever I want, whenever I want - even if it is something that I'm trying to limit. The stress of trying to get the house in order and working on the banking end of things (see here if you need to be caught up) made me totally ignore my 'healthy & mindful eating' goals.
And because I'm spending all my spare time cleaning/decluttering the house, running to appointments and the other little details that go along with trying to sell/buy property I have had VERY little pony time (which is making me cranky) and have had NO time to go to Curves (which surprisingly is also making me cranky lol) So it came as a complete and utter shock to me that I have lost 4 whole pounds!
Not sure how it happened but I'll take it! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yummy Treat

I totally forgot to fill you in on our latest "indulgence". No, it does not replace chocolate by any means, (in FACT right before I posted this, Cub shared not one, but TWO chocolate covered donuts with me... *bliss*) but this has been a great way to get some fruits into my youngest "fruit", the Wrecking Crew. Cub is no problem- he'll eat anything as long as it does not try to eat him first. Wrecker? Fagedaboutdit. Slap together one of these frozen babies though, and he sucks it down and looks for more.

Simple to make, (which is good because I have no brain power left lately to try anything complicated,) and good for us too, these smoothies rock.

All I do is a half dozen or so ice cubes, frozen sugar free fruits, a nanner, some yogurt, a splash of milk, and BAM- hit pulse and instant happy child. (Happy Mommy too for that matter.)

Anyone else have some simple summery treats to share?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guilt and Disappointment

Today, I was supposed to run 5k at the Portland Race for the Roses. I've been training for months now. And while I've had set backs of illness and injury, I was really, really, really looking forward to it!

But... I didn't get to go run today. You see, Bad Pants had a work crisis. Lots of things were going wrong. First, his office scheduled an off-site hoorah get together sort of thing for this week, starting today. (Did I mention that today is also the day Doodle flies in for her very short spring break visitation and we haven't seen her in 7 months AND his vacation got cancelled at the last minute for this?) So, because BP had to be in downtown Portland and not at the finish line with the kids, I had to scratch the race. Instead, I kept my 10 yr old nephew overnight so his mom, whom I challenged to run with me, could run since BP was supposed to have him as well while we raced.

No, instead, I stayed home. BP went and did some big presentation that his former boss (who quit suddenly last week causing chaos) was supposed to do. Instead, I decided to be a good wife and support my husband and his quest to climb up the corporate ladder. Because, you see, more money equals more stuff to do here at the farm- which means more exercise or a personal trainer and riding lessons. Or something like that.

I've been disappointed since Monday. I've not made any effort to work out since last week. More, I haven't make any effort to run since hearing that the doc didn't want my partner to run due to her newness to exercise and recently achieving control over her diabetes in the past 6 weeks. I mean, if I wasn't running, what was the purpose of training? I'd have to walk the whole blasted thing to be a good person and stay with my teammate because I challenged her. That wasn't how this was supposed to go! So, instead, I let myself go.

After the race this morning, the visiting-racing fam brought down my race packet and freebie stuff I would have gotten if I had ran today. The cute hat says "Finisher 2010". Only I'm not a finisher. I'm not even a starter. I'm disappointed that I didn't run. I'm feeling guilty that I've let everything slide since I knew I wouldn't be running. I didn't do anything to earn the shirt or the hat or heck, even the chap stick. Yet, here I am with a ton of really awesome stuff I'd be so proud to have had I actually raced, walked, skipped, stumbled, something. I didn't do it.

I don't deserve it.

This one's for you, Mrs. Mom!

To help our wonderful Mrs. Mom not feel so bad about her picture from the other day, I thought I'd post a particularly bad one of me and Rusty. I think the angle is a bit funny, but either way, it is not a flattering shot of me.
Even though I've actually lost a bit of weight recently, there is still a ways to go.

So, this afternoon will be spent looking at cookbooks and meal plans for ideas for healthy food throughout the week. Also, I will be planning out my exercise for the week. It will be written in my calendar and it will be done.

This extra weight? It's gotta go. It's been dragging me down for a while now.

Are you guys in with me?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ugh- I Saw A Picture of Me Today

And I look like a COW. (NO, it is NOT just because of the bull on the back of my shirt either.)

This time of back recuperation? Has been Very Bad.

Very Bad Indeed.

Time to get my arse back in gear, and to borrow a phrase from GunDiva-

Headed out for a ride now then. Can't loose it, if I don't MOVE it!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


What size saddle do ya'll ride in? I'm thinking of getting an all purpose saddle for Casey, but I have no idea what size I should get for myself. Also, since we're talking about sizing, how do I determine if he needs a standard or a wide tree? I realize a wider tree would probably be more comfortable for my rear as I prefer Hereford saddles to Circle Y, but I don't know a whole lot about English saddles as I've never had to buy one before. In this case, trying it on him before hand may not be an option as I may buy a saddle at a tack sale.

So, let's talk saddle sizing. What's most comfortable for you? Why?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Y'all, I will be SO glad to see the back of March it's not even funny. They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. There is no way I can possibly express how much that has applied not to the weather here-- but to emotions. March made one hell of an entrance with Dear Husband's illness, and the continuing emotional roller coaster has just wrung me out.

Our dietary changes have been good. Turns out, we were already on the right track, and doing well with our eating. A few small changes, and BAM--- we're doing darn good.


Late at night, after the kids are tucked in bed.....



Bad. Cravings.

I can hear ghosts of foods past, calling my name, beckoning me to get in the truck and go get some... and tooooo EEEAAATTTTT THEEEMMMMMM....

Thus far I have resisted the urges to indulge. By the time morning rolls around, it's all good. I no longer want the potato chips, the dip, the nukable popcorn smothered in butter... I no longer have the urge to thinly slice taters and make home made tater chips.

I know-- I know-- some indulgence is good. Honestly though, I really think it is the result of stress/ emotional overload. If indulgence is in order, it does not seem overly healthy mentally to dive in and pork out on junk food, when it is being used purely for *comfort*. If I'm going to eat some chips, I want to be able to control the setting (and feelings,) and keep it a small amount, so that there is not the OVER-indulgence G-U-I-L-T hanging over my head the next morning.

So. How do YOU deal with those nasty little cravings that pop up at truly horrible times?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Trying to find balance

Really that's what its all about right? Balance your food and exercise for health. Balance work and family for sanity. Balance balance balance.
Right now I'm feeling overwhelmed. Actually as of today I am OVERoverwhelmed.
Spring is officially here and it seems like everything that was just gradually approaching is getting in my face. There is the regular spring spruce up to be done outside. Some maintenance things for the house that was put off last fall. De-junking/decluttering the house. Still looking for that 'just right' piece of land and hopefully selling our house. Trying to find time to exercise both myself and the horses (that clinic is fast approaching!) Dealing with issues at work (we had a cook leave, probably THE hardest position to replace) trying to find time to spend with Pie and friends. Trying to groom the dogs and cats (yikes the spring shed lol).
So forgive me if I don't post a whole lot in the next little while, I am here and reading but I'm also trying to do a million and one other things too! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Good News - Bad News

First, the Good News -- I have lost 13 pounds since the end of January!! I have done it the hard way -- watching my portions, being careful about what I eat, and not snacking. I decided that enough was enough. I saw a number on the scale that scared the hell out of me. Then I realized that I was adjusting to each 5-10 pound increment...when was it going to stop? So it was time to get serious. I do not like to exercise, so I had to do it with food.
My portions for meals were cut down to the size of food about as big as my hand, or my fist (depending on what type of food it was). Also, NO SNACKING between meals (difficult, especially if you are addicted to salty, cheezy snacks that are in every vending machine). Lunch became a salad instead of a sandwich and chips. I gave up bread for the most part -- if I want something sandwich like, I put it on rice cakes (pretty tasty, actually).
Every day on my lunch break I take a 1/2 hour walk. I did this in all kinds of weather, except pouring rain. Drizzle rain was OK, as long as an umbrella could handle it. No matter how cold or snowy, I took the walk.

Now the bad news -- I have been wearing my class ring since 1973. With the weight loss, it started getting loose. On Thursday, I realized it was not on my finger. I cannot find it anyplace!! I am afraid I lost it on my lunch-time walk...I am just sick over it.

An observation -- The numbers on the scale that terrified me on the way up are now causing me joy on the way down......

I Had A Blog Post...

And then I lost it! Why is it that I always, always, always come up with the best blogs when I'm where I can't write anything down, like say, in the shower? Or jogging in the vineyard? Or when my hands are full of dirty horse? And I never remember them later!

That seems to be the story of my life. Instead of witty and fun, you get something that feels forced and dry. Or half-formed thoughts that don't get elaborated on. Or, nothing at all! Which leads to where I've been lately.

I had two great moments of inspiration in the last couple weeks. A very, very late birthday present from my husband arrived. I got a lovely Nike+ Sportband that I've been lusting after for some time. I love that I can get accurate info about my workouts because the readout on the treadmill hasn't worked since we moved here. AND, I get accurate info on my vineyard walks and runs! Plus, it allows me to be part of a larger community. (Which is great because our farm is kind of isolating here- most of my socializing is done via telephone or online).

Last Sunday, a woman walked into the last ten minutes of Mass in her running gear. I thought it odd until she turned around and I noticed she had on a shirt and her number for the St. Paddy's Day run in Portland. How awesome is that? She brought her sweaty self to Mass, something I wouldn't have dared to do. Because of that, she inspired me to "get with the program".

Back in December, I challenged a friend of mine to run a 5k with me in Portland's Race for the Roses in April. This friend was diagnosed with Diabetes in October. She also weighs about the same as I too. I thought challenging her would encourage her to work towards better health. And it has. Unfortunately, her doctor recently vetoed her running this 5k, wanting her to take it easier with her health and exercise for a while longer yet. So, since my friend is driving all the way to Portland from north of Seattle on my behalf, I will now be walking the 5k with her, not running as I originally planned. I feel obligated and disappointed, which have been un-motivating for me. However...

There will be another 5k here in town at one of the local elementary schools in May! It costs a lot, lot less to enter than most of the big races and I'll be supporting a local school! So it's not Dude's school, but that's ok. It's still 5k and for a good cause, right? Right!

Started a flat of seeds at the beginning of the month. When I took the cover off the tray to give the seedlings more room, one of the cats helped himself to all my Roma Tomato seedlings. I really wanted to cry. But, there is time to start some more. (Cat was locked in a car in 100+ degree temperatures before he was rescued and we adopted him. The rescue had to give him an ice bath and shave him down in order to save his life- hence the brain damage. We compare his wee little brain to having the consistency of homemade whipped cream- rather soft and fluffy and insubstantial. And yes, we love this cat tremendously.)

My mom came to visit earlier this week and I sent her home with 5, count 'em, 5 pounds of mohair! That was just from the two goats I've managed to shear. I still have 3 goats to go. My body, however, cringes at the thought! Ugh! I am still sore from the first two! But, it needs to be done by the end of the month. So, somebody hold me accountable, please! I've got 11 days to get these 3 finished.

Other than Dude bringing home the "Creeping Crud" again and SHARING it with me, not much else going on at the moment!

So, what's new with all of you?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Well Now...

I'm pleased to report the following:

A) Dear Husband! His sugar levels are either IN the target zone, or one to two points above it, every time he tests, for the past two days. Phew. He is feeling better, stronger, and the minor diet changes have been easy for him to stick to so far. That is a load off our shoulders for sure.


B) The Birthday Cake. It's gone. No, I did not eat all of it, but since it was for Wrecking Crew's birthday, I could not just toss it out either. I did break down and eat a tiny slice of it... and it was soooo good. I felt justified when scraping the thick, goopey, coma inducing icing off the top and sides. WHY bakeries feel the need to load on almost an inch of that nasty crap is beyond me. Now, had they carefully spread a thin layer of chocolate frosting, from say Betty Crocker, over top-- that might have been a different story. Yeah, I probably would have landed face first in that sucker, and wallowed around in it some. But.... it didn't. Amen.

My Muffin Top Hates Me.

Why? Because in the past five days, I have trimmed 10 horses, ridden a few times, walked chasing after the kids, and done heavy cleaning. My abs feel like they've had to *work*. For SHAME! However, this activity has taken a toll once again on my back. I trimmed my horse this morning, and rode him after. We were at a walk, trying to make a nice rounded left hand turn, and I felt/ heard something in my lower back on the left side go "crunch/ grind". No real PAIN per say, but not overly HAPPY either. We managed one trot side, and I had to call it quits- my left leg was calling me every name under the sun BUT a Child Of God.

That's OK though- I know what it is, how to deal with it, and fully expect to be back to work and riding again in a very short amount of time. Which is good, as there are roughly 10 horses on the book for Thursday, three for Friday, and two for Sunday.

Fun never ends around here.....

OK- The REST of y'all are TOO QUIET. What's up?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

W-I-L-L P-O-W-E-R....

I Has None.


Why? Because today is Wrecking Crew's 4th Birthday. And Granny got him a cake. (Why did she get him a cake? Because home made cakes are not "as special" as the ones from the store.)

It's a chocolate cake. Choc-o-late. Chocklitchoklitchoklitchoklit!!!!! CAKE!!!

I hear it... sitting in the kitchen.... whispering those little words..... "Eat. Me."


Oh no. We can't just get a SMALL cake for the four year old. Noooo, we have to get a big sheet cake. For a household that has just this week been thrown headfirst into Diabetes. With a Mom who needs to loose some weight. With kids who DON'T need to get hooked on junk foods.....


Top it all off with a huge scoop of stress, and my self control has gone into hiding. Oh- wait- did I say scoop? SCOOP? Yeah... let's try fricken DUMP TRUCK LOAD of stress.

And where does that leave us?

Listening to the siren song of the fricken cake, that's where.

I think I'm going to go take a cold shower now......

The colours of the rainbow and an update

I thought it was high time I posted an update here! Things are trucking along and March is just blowing by. We have had unseasonal spring like weather (which totally rocks!) and it has been motivating me to get out and get things done.

Now that I am feeling back to 100% after my stupid sinus infection, I'm back to full speed with my workouts. I see the trainer 2x a week, then work out on my own 2-3x per week. I'm really starting to feel that working out is becoming a habit and I feel bad if I don't go and do something.

I don't know if I've lost much weight yet - I'm not bothering to step on the scale. What I do know is that I have about 3 pairs of pants that I can't wear because they fall off while still zipped up. That is a good enough indicator for me. I also had to go out and buy 2 new pairs in a smaller size. I am solidly in the smaller size too, so that is a nice feeling. :-)

Food still continues to be a struggle, but the more I work out and see a bit of progress, it helps motivate me to make better choices. I found this great reference article on my hard drive last week when cleaning up some files - thought you guys would find it interesting. It's not rocket science, but a good reminder to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables...I can't find the source of this article, but I think it was from the Washington Post a couple of years ago...

Being green just doesn't cut it. Red alone isn't enough. Even purple, orange, blue and white fall short by themselves.

When it comes to choosing fruit and vegetables, the latest recommendations emphasize eating a rainbow of colors every day to get some of the more than 9,000 health-promoting plant-based substances called phytochemicals and reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. "The more colors, the better," says Lorelei DiSogra, director of the 5-A-Day for Better Health program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) clinical study by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also found that elevated blood pressure can be reduced in part by eating a diet rich in varied fruit and vegetables (as well as low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in low-fat dairy products).

For that reason, the latest suggestion for meeting The Lean Plate Club's own five-a-day goal is to seek at least five different colors daily of fruits and vegetables, including blue/purple, red, pink, orange, white and green. (For activity, keep doing 30 minutes a day of lifestyle and other exercises, and pat yourself on the back for meeting federal guidelines. See the box below for more information.)

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines advise consuming a minimum of five servings a day of fruit and vegetables -- something that just 30 percent of Americans achieve, according to a 1996 federal survey. (A serving, by the way, is one medium-sized piece of fruit; 1/2 cup raw, cooked, canned or frozen fruit or vegetables; six ounces of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice; 1/2 cup cut-up fruit; 1/2 cup cooked or canned beans or peas; one cup raw, leafy vegetables or 1/4 cup of dried fruit.)

But those five servings are just a starting point. "Women should strive to eat at least seven servings a day of fruits and vegetables," DiSogra says. "Men should strive for nine." And color matters. The NCI also advises eating at least one serving every day of a red or pink fruit or vegetable, such as tomatoes, red onions, kidney beans, red cabbage, sweet cherries, strawberries, red raspberries, red apples, watermelon or pink grapefruit.

These foods are good sources of two key substances: lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene helps cut the risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. (And the latest evidence suggests that cooking boosts lycopene levels, making tomato sauce, paste and soup excellent sources.) Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that appear to help control blood pressure and protect against diabetes-related circulatory problems, among other functions.

But those are just two reasons to go for variety. While a few of the other 9,000 phytochemicals -- lutein, for example -- are already cropping up in supplements, research shows that food is still the best source of these nutrients. In fact, studies involving phytochemical supplements have often shown them to have little benefit, as a team of scientists reported in December in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Here's the latest lowdown from the NCI on the color-coded health-promoting benefits of fruit and vegetables. (More information, including recipes, is available at

Blue/Purple. Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, purple grapes and black currants are rich sources of anthocyanins. Prunes, eggplant, raisins and plums are among the foods highest in phenolics. Both of these phytochemicals are antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, and may even help slow some of the effects of aging, according to the NCI.

Green. Spinach, broccoli, green peas, kiwi, lettuce, kale, broccoli, turnip, collard and mustard greens are among the best sources of lutein, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, watercress, arugula, turnips, cabbage, bok choy and Swiss chard are rich sources of indoles, which help reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. The NCI notes that one recent study found that men who ate vegetables rich in indoles three times or more a week had 42 percent less prostate cancer than men who ate fewer than three servings per week.

Orange. Mangoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, carrots, apricots, butternut squash and pumpkin (yes, pumpkin pie counts) are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted by the body to vitamin A and helps reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease, maintains eyesight and helps boost the immune system against infections, including colds and flu. Oranges, tangerines, peaches, pears, yellow pepper, grapefruit, clementines, nectarines, pineapple, lemons, apricots, papaya and yellow raisins are rich in bioflavonoids, which work with vitamin C to help reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen bones and teeth, heal wounds, keep skin healthy and lower the risk of heart attacks, the NCI reports.

White. Garlic, onions, leeks and chives (okay, they're a little green, too) are rich sources of allicin, which helps control blood pressure and cholesterol and seems to increase the body's ability to fight infection. (None of these, of course, are substitutes for medical care; in other words, don't think that you can just load up on leeks and control your high blood pressure.) "People don't often think that garlic or onions add to their servings of fruit and vegetables," Di Sogra says. "But every little bit adds up."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calling My Fellow Bloggers...

I need some information, education, support... all of it.

Dear Husband found out a lot--- A. L-O-T.--- of information today. His recent hospitalization left us reeling, but what happened today was a real shake up, wake up call.

He got up this morning, feeling OK aside from a headache. Started feeling.. not so good, and checked his blood sugar.

And it was 377.


Off to the Doctor he went, and we have found out that he is now diabetic.

So. Time to really get some education on diabetes, and get ourselves a whole lot healthier. Suggestions anyone, so we can avoid me having yet another mini coronary?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Confession Is Good For The Soul

That's what I hear anyways. It appears it is time to give it The Test. I have to confess, and say I am sorry, ladies.

Sounds weird, right? Why "sorry"?

Sorry because I allowed excuses to swallow up any enthusiasm, drive, and forward momentum I had. I'm sorry, because we write this blog to help keep each other motivated, to ask for help in times of trouble, and to support each other on our journey's into better health.

I didn't ask for that help, and I know I have not given any support of late either. I let the "routine"- the daily chores of cooking, dishes, laundry, paddock picking, vacuuming up copious amounts of dog hair, and more picking up and cleaning after the kids suck me into an abyss. I let the monsoon season drown out any spark that was there.

Doubt filled my brain. Was my tendency towards being a "hermit" really a good idea? But hell, GOING anywhere around here lately has ended badly. If Dear Husband is not available to do the driving and go with me, I'd just as soon stay put. So "put" we were.

Even my horse blog suffered.

I gave in and allowed the excuses to win. Me- who does NOT accept or offer excuses for bad behavior in my sons, my horses, or anything else--- I allowed the rains, the gray skies, the insanity of the children to sink in and make excuses. It was too wet. Too cold. Too muddy. Or I flat out just did not want to.

Today, it dawned on me what had happened. I owned up to it, and am ready to start over again. The sun is strong, we have things- OTHER things aside from the routine- to do. Sick or not (I am sick-- no excuse this time. My nose is the color of Rudolph's right now) we are DOING. I am RIDING, or at least getting Sonny out.

So there are two steps. Owning up to it, and getting off my fat ass to DO something about it.

Ladies, please accept my humble apologies, and know that from here on in, I'll do better by us all.

At least I didn't gain any weight back.... I lost condition, as did my horse, but condition we can get back easily. At least there is not extra weight to get rid of- again.

Right then-- rock on girls. Let's go KICK SOME ASS!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Passing Along...

The award Mrs. Mom gave me last week!

Because, well, ya'll deserve it!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

'Bout time for an update...

Not much going on around these parts...

I have been doing really well with my workouts, for the most part. I had been exercising 4x/week and really enjoying it! I was feeling stronger by the week and more and more motivated to work harder and make some real progress. My quads were firming up and I was noticing a bit of a change in my stomach area - sort of around my ribs. The scale wasn't really moving, but things were looking good.

Up until Wednesday afternoon, that is...

I felt a cold coming on, so I left work early to come home and rest. I can usually get over the worst of a chest cold in a day or two, so I was expecting to be back on track by the weekend at the latest.

No such luck, as it happens. I was hit with a really bad chest cold and now my sinuses are all messed up. I have a cough that scares small children (as evidenced last night with my nephews) and causes people in the grocery store to quickly turn their carts to avoid my germs... lol

I am still in rough shape this morning, not having slept much over the past few days. I'm taking all kinds of combos of Tylenol and various other products, hoping to alleviate some of the pain. I have a headache - literally - all of my head hurts, even my teeth from my friggin' sinuses. If there isn't any improvement by tomorrow, I will have to suck it up and go to the doctor...

I'm a bit bummed by the whole thing, since I was doing so well. That's just life for you, I guess!

Here's to a better week next week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Name Change... We're Now "The Asylum"

Anyone want to trade places for a couple days? 'Cause I really, really could use some time to nap and be quiet.

The weather has broken, at least for now, and we've been spending time outside cleaning up the winter's messes. The ground is starting to dry up some (YAY!) and I've been able to get the horse out as well now and again too.

Portion control has been easy. Which frankly is somewhat scary, since I dearly love to eat. It is getting easier to stop eating when I reach that "comfortable" level. Fruits and veggies have been high on my priority list as well.

However, SLEEP has not. It just hasn't happened. Not much of it anyways. I said to Dear Husband the other night, "The Children NEEEED to stop getting up at six in the morning." He agreed. The children apparently did too, as the next morning they were up at five.

I'm not the type of person who can function well with out decent amounts of rest. I manage to get BY, but actually be productive? Yeah- not so much. The routine work gets done, but adding in that little extra- like walks? Not happenin'. Add in that one week ago today, about three miles west of here, three illegal immigrants attacked and raped a woman, in the middle of the day, in her yard, takes some of the fun out of a nice walk with the kids. Yes, those of you who know me, know I *am* armed. But it seems like a much more intelligent choice not to tempt fate by leaving home and more defense methods. (They did catch the bastards. However, we have been warned by policemen that there is a growing population of trouble makers in that area. Which is all too close to home.)

Away from the gloom and doom, aside from the exhaustion things are going well weight wise. My Christmas Jeans still continue to loosen bit by bit, and even I can see changes in my belly. (Dear Husband has been telling me it is happening, I just have not been able to SEE it before now.)

The funny part? Any other time I have lost weight, my bra has fit better too. The boobages seem to come under greater control, and (Thankfully) shrink a bit too. This time? The only shrinking is in my DREAMS. There is weight coming off my back- my shirts all fit better. But the boobages are Out Of Control.

That brings me to wonder....

Am I actually loosing, or is the weight just.. moving? Defying gravity even?


Oh the things we ponder when we are sleep deprived!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Awfully Quiet Here!

Halloooo! (echo, echo, echo). Where is everybody? What's new in your lives? How are you doing with the whole lifestyle change and fitness routine? How did you do on Valentine's Day? What DID you do on Valentine's Day? Anybody?

Well, I have not been so good about working out. I've let my c25k training slide completely since losing the custody battle. And it sucks. And I've been beating myself up for it. I've been so hard on myself that I haven't been accepting my own excuses. "Flu? Flu-Schmoo! Ya shoulda got out there and run!"

Really, I know that running while sick isn't a good idea. In fact, working out while ill requires a self-check. Is it above the shoulders or below? If it's above, like a head cold, you're good to go. If it's below the shoulders, like a chest cold, wait until you feel better or you could set back your recovery greatly if not make the problem worse. Good, sound advice. No sense in prolonging your illness. But, I digress...

I've found that I'm not comfortable working out when Kitty is here. Do I fear her judgement? Why should I fear judgement from a snotty teenager? I dunno. But, it's something to ponder. I just don't work out when she is here. Unfortunately, she was here for a long weekend. So, I slacked.

Now that she's gone again, I'm still not running. The weather has been unseasonably warm and incredibly beautiful. Spring is here in the PNW. That means I've got a ton of stuff to do here on the farm. All that winter clean up stuff to get ready for spring. Crap! I thought I was still going to have a month or so to do all manner of stuff around here before spring. But, I was wrong.

I've been spending 4-6 hours a day doing chores outside in the sunshine. While it's great for the calorie burn, it's not getting me running for my upcoming race in April. By the time I walk home with Dude, I'm so exhausted the thought of running for 30 minutes leaves me worn out. This isn't getting me any closer to my goal of being able to run an entire 5k!

Finding balance for me is tricky. I tend to throw myself into whatever I'm doing whole-heartedly until I reach my goal. That was fine when it was pouring so hard outside you could grab a bar of soap and take a shower. But now? The farm calls to me. I've got a chance to get a garden in early. I still need to start my seeds. Honey and Beatrice are due to kid any time. The branches and trees that were knocked down during the winter storms need to be cleaned up. I've got roses to move out of a seriously overgrown flower bed so they can thrive somewhere instead of being choked out by weeds. And then, I need to re-dig that flower bed as it's been neglected for who-knows-how -ong before we moved here 6 months ago. And then there are spring bulbs to mark that will have to be dug and moved. The water trough needs scrubbing, driveway needs to be re-graveled, the mud pit needs to be seeded so I don't fall when I'm chasing escapee chickens, fencing needs to be re-done as soon as the ground dries enough to hold a post. The list just goes on and on!

So, how do you find balance?

Oh, and by the way, my Valentine's Day was great! We bought a used bowflex and joined the Y (if only I had the time and energy to use the membership now). I got my hair cut, took off about a foot of hair and easily lost a pound from that alone. We also saw "When In Rome" and so the husband and I are pondering moving to Italy and buying a villa when the kids are grown. Nice dream, huh?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eggplant Pizzas

For Laura and whomever else wants to give it a try


1 large italian eggplant, peeled
1 egg, beaten with a tbsp of water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato or pizza sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese or italian cheese blend


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Peel a large eggplant and cut into long "steaks" or "circles".

Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs making sure it is lightly covered.

Place on a non-stick cookie sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Check that the eggplants are "fork-tender", then spoon tomato sauce on them and top with the cheese. I usually leave a few without sauce.

Bake again until the cheese has melted.

These are great as a meal, or as a filling for a hero, or sliced over a salad. I especially like them without the sauce and cheese on top of a tomato bruchetta salad.


Number of Servings: 3

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user VIOLETTE1.

Number of Servings: 3

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 3
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 182.8
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 76.0 mg
Sodium: 570.7 mg
Total Carbs: 25.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
Protein: 9.1 g

Does anyone else have any eggplant recipes to share? I've got eggplant seeds that came with an order I placed. I have never eaten eggplant, so I don't know whether I should plant them or not.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I should've also mentioned

Well if you haven't read the "Scribbles" post you should head there first. I was trying to get it done before I went to work and left a few things unsaid. The comments kinda reminded me of that.

Now that your back I'll continue....

For a long time I "poo poo'd" the idea of a food journal. I really didn't see the whole point. After all I was paying attention to what I was eating. But its funny, when you start actually writing down what you eat you pay a lot more notice.
For example I had thought I was eating fairly healthy, most days. Then I noticed that I don't eat nearly enough fruit. And since journaling I have seen that I am doing better with the veggies though.
It also brought to my attention things like how often Pie and I have pizza for lunch. Or Chinese food. Seems like it was happening way more often than I liked to remember! lol

I've also used the food diary to take note of things like those killer headaches. With the food diary I was able to discover that caffeine and chocolate were not triggers. (Thank you God!)
As for the water/headache connection. Well part of the reason I started to actually choose water as a beverage was that I had read that dehydration is a big trigger for headaches. I am usually well within the recommended daily water intake and have not noticed headaches being any better/worse/frequent in relation to my water.

And one last thing. In what may be a weird way the food diary also makes me proud. Its nice to go back a few pages and have it right there in my face how often I've worked out. Or how my food choices or servings* have improved. It kinda gives me some feedback. So for now I'm going to keep doing it.

*I had mentioned that I wasn't being super strict with my food diary. No counting calories or serving sizes. What I meant from "servings" in this context is that if I have 1 slice of pizza instead of 3. Or small fries instead of large.

Friday, February 5, 2010


One weight loss tip that I come across constantly is to keep a food journal. So around about the end of December I thought "What the heck" and decided to give it a try. I grabbed a notebook and started.
I didn't go with the super detailed version where you write your portion size and calorie intake. But I do write down every single thing that goes in my mouth. Every entry starts the same, the date and next to that I write 'water'. Every glass of water I drink gets a little tick mark beside the water heading. (more on this another time but I used to drink virtually no water). And then next to the water I note any exercise I did that day.
Under the date/water/exercise heading I write down everything I eat & drink. Everything. Even something little like if I grab a couple french fries at work that goes on the list.
I was going to take a pic of a page from the notebook but then I realized 2 things...
1- you wouldn't be able to read my scribbly writing and 2- I have my own "shorthand" that makes sense to me but probably not a lot of other people! lol
So instead I flipped to a random day and 'translated' it for you. Here is an example:

Jan. 5/10 water lllll lllll T
2 eggs, 2 strips bacon, slice whole wheat toast, 2coffee/ half pear/ chicken wrap, small Greek salad/ bbq ribs, sweet potato fries, Pepsi/2 chocolates

So there is all the food I had that day, plus I noted that I drank 10 glasses of water and I worked out on the treadmill. Some days I have better food choices, some days they're better.
A few things that I find beneficial from keeping a food diary... I have noticed that the amount of caffeine (or no caffeine) does not seem to play a role in those migraines I was getting. I also know that its much easier to keep in mind when I've had my 'treat' and to keep from letting myself have too many 'treats' in a day. Its also nice to see that I'm managing to get a decent amount of water on a regular basis.
You know what else? Seeing what I've eaten and my exercise right there makes it easier to tell myself "You don't really need one more piece of chocolate!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Am Alive!

Have not exactly *felt* alive lately, but... it's better today.

The happy news:
Pulled on my Christmas Jeans (the size 16 Lee Riders), and they were looser.
Pulled on my favorite battered and beat pair of sweat pants, and they uh... well... Let's put it this way. I asked Dear Husband the other night if it was my imagination, or were my sweats riding.. higher. I'm short waisted to start with, but things were just feeling.... weird.

Know what he said?
"Yeah honey. The other day I was wondering how much longer it would be before you were able to pull those sweats up to your nose...."

So to sum it up the Good News is things are melting. Firming up, too. Phew.

Laura, you posted food. Man, I love food. Seriously.

We've been on a make it from scratch kick lately. Why not- we can't get out and DO anything in the fricken rain and standing water, so I may as well learn new things, right? I was worried. The new things I *wanted* to learn were all-- ALL -- in the kitchen.

Cube Steak with scratch gravy. Fricken. Orgasmic. No left overs, as Husband and Children POWER CHOWED through it. I ate my share too, but the BOYS loved it.
Scratch banana pancakes. No sugar added- kids loved them. I ate two- and that was enough. They were good, but.... meh... Didn't really do much for me.

The bread machine is getting a workout too- almost every day. Simple ingredients. My usual breakfast has been coffee (probably too much of that to be truthful,) slice of homemade bread, and a clementine or two.

Lunch- left over's from the night before, if there are any. If not, then I scrounge and eat more fruits, again- smaller portions.

Supper time is always interesting. Fixing supper is an adventure, as there are usually two Little Mens "helping" me. By the time I get it fixed, get the kids fed, get the horse fed, have the kids sit back down and NOT chase the cat, shoo the dog away from the kids, greet Dear Husband, I'm too tired to eat much.

Overall- the food front is going good.

Moodwise it's been hard- the constant rain, standing water, and a lack of rest for about four weeks now has worn on me big time. When the footing is safe, I ride Sonny. If Dear Husband is home to control the kids, Sonny and I will take a walk together. (Most folks walk their dog... Not me. I walk an 1100 pound, almost 16 hand horse. Never said I was "normal".)

The never ending grey, lack of sleep, and on top of it computer and phone issues that COMCAST has been working on for a solid week... got to me.

Winter doldrums?
Sick of feeling like we are simply "marking time"?

Not sure- but after a solid night's sleep last night, I woke still a bit tired, but better, and my mood feels, well, stronger.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food - The Next Frontier

I’ve been doing pretty darn good with my workouts over the past three weeks. I’ve exercised 4x/week so far. I’m actually starting to notice a bit of a difference in my strength already – I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger yet, but things are definitely going well in that regard.

The area where I could really use some work? Food. Yep, eating is still not coming along as much as I had thought.

Just to give you an idea, I’ve prepared a little scale – (kind of like the rate of perceived exertion scale for exercise people talk about) for your enjoyment…The percentage is the amount of healthy-ish food I’m eating.

10% - McDonald’s staff know me by name
20% - meh
30% - making a slight effort
40% - meh
50% - trying, but not really trying to hard
60% - getting better
70% - this isn’t so bad!
80% - bring on the fruit and veggies!
90% - superstah!

Right now, I feel like I’m bouncing around the 40-50% level. I don’t eat that much true junk food, but crackers (even “whole wheat” ones), cheese and store bought muffins aren’t exactly healthy choices either. Also, my portions are still a bit too big and my choices are lacking in fruits and vegetables most days. This is mostly due to laziness on my part. I like to cook and I like fruit and veggies. It just takes some work to wash and prepare that sort of food… Some days it is just easier to eat cheese and crackers and a muffin…

I can feel that my not-so-healthy food choices are sort of undoing the progress I may be making with my exercise. So, what to do about it???

Plan, plan, plan. That seems to be my best option. I need to write out some meal plans and log my food for a few weeks to get into the routine of eating better. I also need to incorporate more veggies in my meals. This is a bit tricky for me right now, since the easiest way to do that is to eat a salad every day. I love lettuce and spinach, but can’t eat very much due to some medication I have to take (weird, I know!). That limits me a bit, but I need to find ways to work around it.

I’ll be posting a bit about my food progress and trying to share some recipes and tips if I come across something interesting.

How about you guys? What do you eat day-to-day? Eat enough veggies? Like fruit but don’t eat enough? Spill the beans!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Running While Chunky: A Guide

The following blog is what inspired me to begin Couch to 5k training. I'm reprinting it with permission of the author. Thanks Kristina!

Running While Chunky: A Guide
by Karvy09

Yep, I'm still running, still a "fit fatty!"

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called "But I'm Too Fat to Run!" which is still getting so much great responses from Spark members. I want to thank everyone who's been inspired by my and others' attempts to begin a running program. When I wrote that blog, I was 256 pounds and still morbidly obese, running, and nervous about my first 5K in a month's time. I started running at 275 pounds and everyone from my friends to family (except for my wonderful husband, my rock) called me "crazy" for training for a 5K.

Now, I call them crazy for doubting me!

Over 100 days later, I'm now 225 pounds with two 5Ks under my belt. I'm not perfect. I had my weak moments: the days when I wanted to stop, when I thought I'd NEVER be able to hit my mileage goals outside, when my shins ached, when my ankles turned, and when I despaired that I would never run as fast or as long as the others on the track.

Running can be just as psychological as physical. There are times when I broke down in tears from unrelated frustrations or from unbridled joy. You could learn something about yourself just by pushing yourself.

Because I think there are unique concerns for those who start running while obese or overweight, I started a thread on my Couch to 5K Group forum called the "Fat Runners Club," a support group for runners who are starting at a weight that they never believed they could run at. You can join the discussion here.

So what's next? Well, consider this "But I'm Too Fat to Run!" Part Two. I wanted to share a few of the tips that I and others have learned as we started our journey as fluffier runners, a concept I'll call Running While Chunky (RWC), kind of an update to my previous blog, and perhaps, PERHAPS an outline for a longer guide I hope to write. In the future, I hope to add update blogs as well.

I'm sure many Biggest Loser fans watched the final four contestants run/walk a marathon last week. Perhaps after seeing that you felt motivated to run, but are facing the doubts that are nagging you or the skepticism of your significant other or parents or friends.

Maybe you have the flashbacks back to the gym class in elementary school like I did. The 600-meter dash. The physical fitness test. Finishing last. Or next to last, like I did, right after the girl with an injury who was required to walk the whole thing. Fun times!

But you know what? Those days are over. You may be heavier now. But you are also stronger! You have come to SparkPeople to gain control over your life, and you are ontrack to a fitter and healthier you!

I am telling you right now. You can be a runner. You can do this.

You think you're too fat to run? Don't take your own advice. Ask your doctor first. Some people will not be medically cleared to start a running program, but the great majority of people will be fine beginning a routine that eases you into running gradually in order to avoid injury.

Whoa, what? Surely you mean Chapter 17 or something. No, I mean Chapter 2! Listen, what's going to keep you motivated more than actually signing up for a race? Most road races benefit charitable causes, include slower runners and walkers, and are less competitive than you might think. So do it. If you can't run the entire race, it's OK. I wasn't ready to run the whole 3.1 miles when I signed up for my 5K. I still managed it in under 45 minutes, ahead of many other runners and walkers on the course.

Many of the runners that I know who stuck their training did it because they had a goal to be as fit as possible before their 5K. Make fitness your goal as well as a weight loss goal. Losing pounds is great, and I'm so happy with my progress thus far, but weight loss doesn't even compares to the thrill of running your first 5 minutes, half mile, one mile, or 5K. NOTHING.

SparkMember NORAB52GOOD said it best: "I realized I have to first be a slow, fat runner before I can be a fast thin runner. One follows the other." Well said. You're RWC; you're not going to run 8 mph like that fit chick on the treadmill at the gym. Not yet, anyways. If you lift your foot up before the other foot has fully struck the pavement or treadmill you are still running, even if this is only 4 mph or a 17-minute mile. One pet peeve about SparkPeople is that you have to be running 12-minute miles in order for SP to classify it as running and not walking. I don't believe this is true.

I started with Couch to 5K (C25K), but there are others out there as well. C25K starts you out jog/walking three times per week, and the first week you are running for 1 minute and recover by walking for 90 seconds in intervals. It gradually gets harder and harder each week. Technically you are supposed to finish in 9 weeks, but if you are RWC, you most likely will not. It took me twice as long to finish C25K and that's OK!

Fight the urge to run longer or faster at first. Take your time. You are building up your endurance and fitness as a new runner. You will get there, but it will take time! You don't want to injure yourself just as you are hitting your stride!

Here is a list of the Top 3 items that the RWC suggest in order to maximize your experience while running.

1. Tight biker shorts that hit above the knee or tight spandex pants
This keeps the tummy and thighs from jiggling but is long enough to prevent the chafing that can occur when your thighs rub together when running. This is like the sports version of Spanx!

2. A good sports bra
The RWC are often very well endowed! My solution was to buy a sports bra one size too small so that the girls were pushed down right to my chest. Others have used TWO sports bras for support. In any case, keeping those puppies in check is integral to your running experience.

3. Running shoes
You need good running shoes (not cross-trainers) if you get serious about running. The difference is astounding when you get fitted for a pair of shoes. After running for a few months, I finally got around to going to a specialty running store to get a gait analysis and fitting and it was amazing. The RWC tend to overpronate (strike the foot at an angle) and stability shoes will be needed to help prevent injury. An insole insert might be a good start when strapped for cash or need some additional padding.

The C25K Program has a free podcast with a guy named Robert who will tell you to stop your walking and start running over and over again. It's boring, frankly. My solution to the monotony is to create your own playlist that signals when to stop and start. In the beginning you'll know that halfway through the song it will be time to start running, and soon. you might have three Blackeyed Peas songs that serve as your 10-minute running interval.

You might run on the treadmill and see the next marathoner plugging away and get discouraged. Or you'll be on an outdoor track and people will pass you or run longer than you. And when you start, you'll most likely have shin splints or some other minor pain. Work through it. Dispel all these doubts. If you want to be a runner, you can run. It may take longer and you may have to work harder at it than your skinny friends, but it can be done.

If you like running on the treadmill as winter approaches, do that. If you love the feel of running outdoors, then go for it. People will give you great advice, and people will maybe reach their goals faster than you do, but it's important to not become jealous of others quicker progress and give up. Have fun with it! Running can be a whole lot of fun and pushing your body to see what it can do is a fun game to play with yourself.

You will get there and persevere, and maybe someday you will wear a shirt like ZIRCADIA'S at your first marathon: "Because I used to weigh almost 300 pounds" and others will be astonished and inspired by you. That is my goal, anyways.

Happy running to all!