Thursday, July 30, 2009

Climbing a mountian

The summer between my junior year and senior year I was forced to climb a mountain and I was not happy about it. It wasn't a 14ner (over 1,400 feet in elevation) but still I still wanted to die. It didn't help that I had started to gain weight that summer and I had absolutely no energy.
I was in the back of a HUGE group of 300 hikers and by they time I got to the rest area the group would start to move again.
I did the exact same hike two summers ago when I was at my absolute heaviest. I was at the front of the huge group this time and that made it a lot easier.
Lately I have had a lot of friends put up pictures on facebook of them hiking 14ners and I have decided that I am going to do one. This Saturday I am going to try my first one ever with another girlfriend!! I will make sure to take some pictures to show you.
14ner this Saturday and my first race next Saturday!
Also I know I sad that I wasn't going to weigh myself before the race but I hopped on the scale last night really quick. I could tell that I had lost about a pound even with my extra weight since it was the end of the day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tomorrow's highs

The high for tomorrow is 71!!
This means that I don't have to wake up super early to get in my miles before it gets too hot to run. I love summer but this excites me for fall.
I have had a rough week with my running so I have taken it super easy to hopefully recover. Remember not every workout will be amazing, some may be downright terrible. Today I was so tired I had to walk. This was the first time since the 4th of July I have walked rather than ran when I was working out.
Today's weather was pretty much the same, super rainey. I loved pulling out the jeans today and most of all how loose they were just a few hours into wearing them. It makes it all worth it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I made the grand mistake of eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut this morning.
I figured that it may have been two or three points max but I wasn't prepared for it to be 5 points. Eating an item before I knew the calories was a huge mistake. It took me half an hour on the treadmill this morning to burn it off.
I planned on getting in a run this morning but I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to actually get there after taking three days off. I drove all the way there and seriously contemplated turning around and driving home.
I had to take a few days off from running because my hips have been bugging me. I did my five minute warm up and then stretched my hips before I started running. I made it also 2 miles before my hips really started to hurt me, I stopped because I didn't want to do more damage. They have been so bad lately that anytime I get up to walk I feel like a 90 year old woman my first few steps. Everything I have read says that I am not stretching the muscle enough so I have really been working on. I figured out a stretch that feels amazing so hopefully it will help. When I just got up I could already tell it is making a difference.
Back to why I actually got out of the car this morning...
I have a race in less than two weeks! Signing up for and looking forward to this race has been a huge motivator for me. For around $30 once a month I love this extra motivation!! I am so excited to be able to say I ran a race!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Would you?

I made sure that I hurried home today to watch Kristie Alley talk about gaining back the weight on Oprah. She keeps talking about how she is researching her own weight loss program.
The big question is would you try her weight loss program?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

artificial sweeteners

I received an e-mail last week from one of my readers about artificial sweeteners. I have had such mixed feelings about these that I figured I would share it with you so that you could do your own research and adjust for what is correct for your own life.
I began trying to lose weight at the age of 15. This is when I first lost 70 pounds and kept it off for years. At age 22, fresh out of college, I started my first professional sit down job as an accountant at a CPA firm. This is when my weight began to climb. 2 additional sit down accountant positions since, and I had gained back all 70, plus some. Now, don't get me wrong, all those years, I had tried numerous "fad" diets. All with some loss, but never anything substantial. Then I found Weight Watchers, which I believe to be the healthiest plan out there. I found great success with WW, but for some reason, COULD NOT REACH LIFETIME GOAL. I got within 6 pounds, and then, backslid. I have now rejoined WW 5 additional times, and always have some success, but struggle and never reach goal.
So, what is the point I am trying to make? Well, a few months ago, I was at a family function, and my future sister-in-law, who is in her Junior year of college to become a registered dietitian, and I were talking. I mentioned that I had been swelling so badly lately in my fingers that I was unable to wear my engagement ring. She made a comment to me that would change my life dramatically. She said to me,"Pam, how many diet cokes do you drink a day? I noticed you drink a lot of them. Artificial sweeteners are VERY bad for you. We have studied them and I have done a lot of personal research, too. I gave up all artificial sweeteners, and I have gone from a size 10 to 4 in the past year." Immediately, I was interested. So, I went home and began my own research. I am just going to tell you that I was in complete shock over what I read. I was confused, didn't know whether to really believe what I was reading or not. So, I spent many hours on the computer researching and reading. Then I became furious. Furious at the government and all the companies that have preyed on the most weak consumers at the expense of their health, just to make a dollar.

See, what I did was start by googling "artificial sweetener side effects." After reading all the info, I realized that maybe, just maybe, I was suffering from aspartame poisoning. So, I set out to eliminate it from my diet. My first thought was eliminate diet coke. Seemed simple, until I realized that over half of the foods in my house are "lite" and they also contained sucralose (splenda) or aspartame. Before I got rid of everything, I decided to give it a few days to see if I noticed the difference. So, I started drinking just water and avoiding any foods containing artificial sweeteners. The first day wasn't too bad, although, I must admit, I really, REALLY wanted a diet coke! But I was so proud of myself for not having one and drinking all the water I had consumed that day. In the middle of the night of day 1, I woke up to a horrible, pounding headache. I took some headache medicine, but it didn't help. After a very miserable, sleepless night, I got ready for work, contemplating calling in sick, but I rarely miss work, so I tried to go on. I went to work, and the headache got worse and worse until I had to go home to bed and take migraine medicine. I knew it was probably aspartame withdrawal after what I had read, but I never expected it to be this bad. I mean, who would think you could be physically dependent on nutrasweet? CRAZY! I even drank coffee earlier, just to make sure it wasn't caffeine withdrawal, and I am not a fan of coffee. So, I can say, day 3 was when it started getting better. I still had a headache, but nothing like the monster headache that had incapacitated me the second day. The dull headache remained for days, but each day felt a little better.

As the consecutive days unfolded, every day I saw the scale drop. Yes, even after substituting real sugar sweetened tea with meals halfway through the first week, I was dropping weight. I lost 2.5 pounds the first day, 3 the next, and it just kept coming off. After a month, I had lost 27 pounds. All, while drinking sugar sweetened tea in moderation, and not really counting points, just trying to continue eating healthy. I had read that aspartame makes you actually crave sugar and people who use large amounts of aspartame had actually gained weight compared to a study group that were allowed to eat and drink sugar sweetened foods and drinks. So, my sugar and carbohydrate cravings were gone, and naturally, I just began losing weight without trying. Now, I will say that had I substituted real coke for diet, all that sugar would have kept me from losing, but I was using sugar in moderation, something I hadn't done in 15 years while struggling with my weight, and I was losing weight.

The weight loss was great, but the improvement in my health and the way I felt was even more dramatic. I had become a 30 year old with aches and pains of a 70 year old. Seriously, I had arthritic pain in my knees, hands, and feet. I had muscle spasms, and weak muscles at times. I had acne type problems show up in my mid-20's, after not having acne as a teen. I began having trouble sleeping. I also began having headaches and vertigo. After seeing the ENT and having an MRI, nothing was found to cause the vertigo. I was put on migraine medicine, but it didn't work. I had a constant sore throat and had been told it was acid reflux. The medicine seemed to help some, but not totally. I had been diagnosed with severe dry eyes and had to start wearing special contacts, although this condition isn't common in women so young. I knew my weight caused many of these problems, but I never seemed to be able to lose weight in my adult life, so I didn't know what to do.

After discontinuing ALL artificial sweeteners, I am inching closer and closer to my goal weight. My arthritic aches and joint pains are gone...completely. No more muscle spasms, no more migraines, no more vertigo, no more sore throat. My skin is as clear as a bell, haven't had those nasty cysts in months! I now sleep continuously through the night and wake up feeling refreshed. I have more energy than I have had since I was a teenager. I am convinced that had I not found this out, I would have continued to have problems that would affect my health and my quantity and quality of life. I never thought I was depressed before, but I now feel so good and have such excitement for life, I must have had some mild depression before. I read that some people actually have aspartame poisoning so bad the toxicity presents itself in symptoms where they are diagnosed with MS, Parkinson's, and many other serious illnesses. It doesn't cause these diseases, it just manifests with similar symptoms. When people actually have aspartame toxicity,if they discontinue use, they will usually get better, if not completely well, whereas, if they really had these diseases, they would never be rid of it.

So, all I am asking is that you look into this stuff and if it hits you in the gut the way it did me, maybe you could try to get more people to look into it through your blog. I am very passionate about this because I feel the dangerous side effects have just been covered up in an attempt to make money. My mother was also a user of Spleda ( I won't go into it in detail, but this one makes me even madder, because they advertise it as if it is all natural...made from sugar, but it actually not natural at all, and is poisonous in its very content) and was suffering severe swelling...we thought she was going into congestive heart failure. After 3 days on not ingesting Splenda (her drug of ignorance!), her swelling was completely gone, as well as a mystery rash, and 10 pounds! Just look all artificial sweeteners up. They say saccharin is actually the safest of the 3!!!! I would have never thought that!

Monday, July 20, 2009

4 @ 4

We spent all weekend at the Mile High Music Festival so I had a weekend off from counting points! I realized the second day that besides drinks I had only shared a few things with my husband. I would normally eat almost everything I could because I wasn't counting points, not smart. I have gotten much better lately at listening to my body and eating because I am hungry.
Back to working out an counting points today!
I took the kids that I use to nanny for to school this morning so I was up much earlier than normal. I went straight to the gym as soon as I dropped them off at school. Last time I planned on stopping home first and then going to the gym. I made it home but never to they gym, lesson learned.
The plan for today's run was to work on speed. On speed days I normally run at 4 miles per hour till I need a break and I slow my run down to 3.5 miles even 3.2 at times if that is too fast. Today I ran 4 miles straight at 4 miles per hour the entire time. Just two weeks ago when I started running rather than running and walking that would have killed me. I just can't believe how far and how fast I have already come. I absolutely love it as well!
When I finished up my run I did some assisted pull up and dips. They were much harder today than when I did them with my husband last week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today I realized what a difference my running was making.
July 3rd or so I tried on a skirt and tank top but decided it was too snug to wear. I felt uncomfortable and it looked tight on my thighs. Just two days later I started running 3.1 miles 4 -5 times a week. Today just two weeks later I tried on the exact same outfit and felt comfortable enough to wear it to coffee with a friend. The skirt was no long uncomfortably tight and the shirt felt much better as well. I am not saying it was already falling off but it was so nice to be able to wear a five year old skirt (purchased in the first few months of dating my husband). I even was complimented by a few people today, one woman said she liked my skirt and my husband said I looked really good!
For quite a while now I have kept track of my measurements and the one that never seems to really budge is my upper leg circumference. I am so happy that something I am starting to love is making this big of a difference in my body. I haven't weighted myself or measured myself yet but I can already tell things are changing. Three weeks till my first race! After that I will measure and weigh myself and hopefully sign up for another.
If you aren't a runner don't feel bad, get out there and walk. I never thought I could run any distance and now I can run 60 straight minutes (very slowly). Start slow and find something you love about working out. That is the only thing that will keep you coming back.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sore morning

Yesterday morning I had planned on waking up early to get in my trail run. I woke up so sore though from lifting with my husband the day before that I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. When I woke up I went to the gym since it was too hot to run outside. I had a hard start but I found my grove. I was once told by a fellow runner that if you can make it past 20 minutes you are in the clear for your run, the hardest is before that though. I felt so good that I added an extra .4 miles to my normal 5K since today was my long run day. I still can't believe that I can run an entire hour without stopping! Later that evening my husband and I also went for a 2.8 mile intensely hilly hike. I was super sore when I started but I was happy that we did the loop. We have also been going swimming at least once a day lately. I don't count this when I add up how many calories I have burned that week (my goal is 3,500 or 1 calories worth) but I love getting in the extra activity.
I also want to talk about lifting with my husband. Even though I am still super sore I love it. It meant that I had really made as big of difference in my body! I have been doing circuits for a while now and I wasn't really seeing or feeling too much from doing them. By switching to two upper body activities that use all of my muscles at once and one lower body that does the same I will hopefully see bigger gains than when I worked each muscle separately. When you do this you use almost every muscle to stabilize yourself, especially when squatting. I can't wait to have Kelly Ripa arms!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's official!

I have had my first 5K picked out for about a week now but tonight I made the jump and officially registered for and paid for the Iron Girl 5K. There are quite a few races they put on across the country so click on the link if you are looking for a great race. One thing I didn't realize is that when you register for a 5K run/walk you sign up for the run or the walk. I always assumed you just registered for the race. Is it silly that I am excited to get the tee shirt from the race? All of my old ones are super worn out and I need some new ones.
Yesterday I missed my run but I made it back today. Life isn't perfect and you can't always fit in your work out, life goes on. After I ran I needed to lift my entire body since I missed lifting upper body yesterday. My husband was with me and taught me a few full body workouts that worked every muscle rather than working them one at a time. He tells me that I will benefit more from doing this, especially in my core! The first was pull ups, I am not strong enough yet to do them unassisted so I use the machine that is weighted so that you don't need to pull up your entire body weight. I am hoping to be able do it unassisted soon though. Next on the same machine I did dips with assistance. For lower body my husband helped me learn how to properly squat. I left the gym with already sore muscles, When I was doing circuits I wasn't getting worked like this especially in this fast of a workout. Hopefully I will be able to move tomorrow morning since I have my 6 miler before it gets hot.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have stuck to not weighing myself until after my first race but that doesn't mean that I haven't noticed the changes running and lifting has already made to my body after one short week. My husband was the first one to really point it out to me and for that I am so grateful. I had noticed that my arms were looking skinnier and more toned! He pointed out that I am getting ab definition that is starting to run down my entire abs and not just at the bottom. I really haven't been great about my points this week and I am still seeing results. I don't think that I have lost weight yet, I may have even gained weight since muscle weights more than fat. The upside is that muscle looks so much better than fat!
Yesterday there was a woman at the pool who looked great (she was in her upper 50's). My friend complimented her and she told us that she had recently lost 25 lbs. I of course had to ask how she had done it and she said all she did was cut out alcohol. I was shocked and thought about the 4 points I like to use almost every evening on wine. Combine that with not feeling too great this morning and I have decided to use those two points for something that will benefit my body not just taste good. I may still have a glass or two a week just not two a night anymore.
I also borrowed this from a friend who loved it...
I can't wait to read it and combine it with weight watchers!
I will of course let you know if I read anything I think all of you would love.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Deals! Deals! Deals!

Today was my rest day. I did manage to find a little motivation at Dick's Sporting Goods today!
I couldn't get pictures of the colors I purchased but you get the idea.
The left one is an extra support one. I had wanted one but the price tag was holding me back, I couldn't justify almost $40 for one. I picked up two today though for half price, one pink one black. I also got two of the middle one in the pink and a pretty periwinkle. You can't see it but the back is really cool. I also love that they are somewhat fitted without showing every little imperfection, they are also super long!
I also picked up two of the right bra. I have had one for almost five years now and it still looks brand new. If you don't have a Dick's locally there are pretty comparable deals on the under armour website and at sport's authority.
I use to love the Target C9 line but all of my sport bra have streched out and don't do their job anymore. I also haven't been able to find any shirts I liked in a long time. I still love my capris from there though and their running socks (if they are actually in stock).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My first 5k trail run

Today was my first 5k trail run as you may have guessed from my title.
Let me start out by saying running 3 miles on a treadmill is nowhere near the same as running it on a trail, even a flat dirt trail.
I woke up about 2 hours earlier than I normally did to beat the afternoon heat. There have been many times that I planned on waking up earlier to get my workout in before it gets really hot but I never seem to make it out of bed. Just getting out of bed early was quite the accomplishment! Before I run I like to have a cup of coffee and an english muffin with cream cheese. I have found this to be the best fuel for my runs. I try to leave an hour to eat and then digest the food before I leave for my runs. Today was no different.
I was a little worried about my dog this morning. I knew she would love the run but she has been acting a little funny the past few days, all she wants to do is sleep in her crate. She got out of bed with me though and was quite curious what I was doing up so early. I told her that if she would eat some of her food I would take her for a run and it actually worked!!
The trail I run is marked every half a mile and today I wondered if I could make it to the next marker at everyone I encountered. I made sure that I ran super slow and I tried to keep my heart rate in the same place that it is when I am on the treadmill. I had always thought of my trail as flat until today. I could feel the unevenness in my steps as my body stabilized it's self. I started today not really knowing how far I would run. I knew I wanted to run 3 miles and walk some when I was done running. When I got close to the two mile marker I was pretty sure I would turn around, run one more mile and walk one, decent but really my worst case scenario. I got to the marker and I just kept pushing on. This happened at every single half mile but still I kept on going. As I came up still running on the three mile marker I knew that I had hit my goal and was ready to turn around and walk the three miles back! My walk back was slower than normal but great. I even ran a little bit of it.
My dog did great all 6 miles. She really loves being out there and I can't tell you the looks we get since she is so small.
This was taken on our way to the trail one day. She how excited she is?
I have made the decision to not weigh myself until I have finished my first race. I have learned to love running and for me I don't run to lose weight. I hopefully will lose some as a nice bonus but it isn't what keeps me going. I will still be counting points but my mindset has shifted to fueling my body so that I can run.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Today's run was a little tougher but I was able to run the entire time. I ran as much as possible .5 mph faster than my normal, once again I was the longest one on the treadmill! I also lifted lower body after. I am hoping it won't affect my trail run tomorrow too much. I plan on keeping an open mind tomorrow and maybe running two miles in before I turn around and run one more mile before walking the last mile. If I feel good I may run 3 out and walk the 3 back. I will let you know what happens. I am nervous for this run though since I will need to really focus on my speed and keeping it low so I don't burn out. I will also have to wake up 2 hours earlier than normal to hopefully beat the heat. The upside though is that I will be able to bring my dog who enjoys and misses the trail.
I picked up 5 more books on tape today from the library!! I walk around and pick up anything that looks remotely interesting since they are all free. They are seriously so great and keep me from ever getting bored. If I had to listen to the same music for an hour and a half 5 days a week I would go crazy. There is only so much music out there to work out to. If you haven't tried it yet get yourself to your local library and try just one! I have had so many people tell me how much they love them now!

the 10 point ingredient

Tonight we meet friends for burritos at a great place called Costa Vida. They have amazing huge smothered burritos. Normally I would just count tonight as my cheat meal but since two days earlier I already had my weekly cheat meal I didn't want to have another one this week. Luckily I was able to find the calorie content online before we left. I was shocked to find that I had enough points left to enjoy a burrito if I left out one major ingredient...
The 10 point tortilla
I still enjoyed a great meal and was able to eat out with friends.
I also didn't feel bad about my meal or undo today's run!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I had another great day of running today at they gym, I was able to run another 5K! I am not concerned about how fast I run just the fact that I can make it without walking. I glance every once and a while at the treadmills around me to see what speed they run at, most of them are considerably faster than I am but they always start walking before I am anywhere near done. It is a good feeling to be finishing up and have outlasted multiple waves of people on the treadmills next to me.
I have figured out a workout schedule that will hopefully work for me. Every day I am going in with a different plan so that I can improve. All the running materials I have read say to train for length, speed and endurance all on separate days.
Day 1: Easy 5K at 3.5 mph then lift one heavy upper body circuit
Day 2: 5K at 4 mph as much as possible to improve speed then lift one heavy lower body on circuit machines
Day 3: Trail run, I haven't done it yet but I plan on running a 5k then then turning around and walking or running as much more as I can. This will be my long day (6 miles total) and most likely my hardest. It is a lot easier to run on a treadmill that forces you to run at a set pace than to run a trail all by yourself. I wouldn't probably add this except I am signing up for a race that is in a few weeks and I really need to work on this. I think signing up for and paying for a race will be my strongest temporary motivation yet.
Day 4: Rest day (maybe pool!)
Then I am going to start all over again. I have already filled this out on a calender on my fridge and put the schedule into my phone to remind me to keep on track.
Best part?
I burned just shy of 800 calories today!

Activity Points All Day

Yesterday I burned 525 calories during my run. My goal though is to burn 700 calories 5 days a week so that I burn the equivalent of one pound a week from working out. I suggested to my husband that we go and throw around the lacrosse ball for a little bit to burn some more calories. We hadn't been out since a ball went astray and gave me a black eye.
We played for about 20 minutes and then decided to go play at the playground.
I have no idea how I was able to do all the things I use to do when I was little. We have all obviously lost tons of muscle mass since our playground days. The monkey bars killed my hands and I was only strong enough to make it across one or two bars at a time. Hopefully soon I will be able to do them.
We had tons of fun though and burned extra calories. We made it an obstacle course and had a blast. Remember that you don't have to be running or at the gym to get in some activity points. We also went swimming 2 different times today. Every little thing adds up.
Best of all I find that I am so much less hungry on days when I get activity in. I am not sure if it is because I am busier or exactly why but its a nice feeling to have multiple points left at the end of the day. (Don't do this everyday though it may result in your body storing fat because it thinks you are being starved.)
Do you do any out of the box things to burn extra calories?

Good Job

I am watching The View this morning and they just said that losing weight is so hard that even when they pay people to do it they can't. Don't use this as an excuse but as a pat on the back if you have been able to lose weight!
Also don't forget that I am answering any questions you may have for me, personal or Weight Watchers related. Just leave a comment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fitness Points all Day

Yesterday I burned 525 calories during my run. My goal though is to burn 700 calories 5 days a week so that I burn the equivalent of one pound a week from working out. I suggested to my husband that we go and throw around the lacrosse ball for a little bit to burn some more calories.  We hadn't been out since a ball went astray and gave me a black eye. 
We played for about 20 minutes and then decided to go play at the playground.
I have no idea how I was able to do all the things I use to do when I was little.  We have all obviously lost tons of muscle mass since our playground days.  The monkey bars killed my hands and I was only strong enough to make it across one or two bars at a time.  Hopefully soon I will be able to do them.
We had tons of fun though and burned extra calories.  We made it an obstacle course and had a blast.  Remember that you don't have to be running or at the gym to get in some activity points.  We also went swimming 2 different times today.  Every little thing adds up.  
Best of all I find that I am so much less hungry on days when I get activity in.  I am not sure if it is because I am busier or exactly why but its a nice feeling to have multiple points left at the end of the day.  (Don't do this everyday though it may result in your body storing fat because it thinks you are being starved.)
Do you do any out of the box things to burn extra calories?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Personal Record

Two days in a row I have hit huge PRs (personal records).  
Yesterday I wanted to get in a workout to firm my muscles before putting on a swim suit. First, I hit the treadmill for a run. I did a 5 minute walking warmed up for 5 minutes and then started to run.   I was feeling pretty good so I pushed myself to keep going further than normal,  I was trying to take deep breaths but it seemed like I couldn't get them to go into my lungs.  I would take a deep breath and hold it and breath out two breaths and it seemed to help (the two breaths helps prevent or get rid  of cramps).  I ran for 1.5 miles total a new personal best!
Today I wanted to run and see how far I could go.  I started with my 5 minute walking warm up again and started to run.  I ran an entire 5K today (3.2 miles)! For some this may not seem like a lot but after being excited after going half that distance yesterday and having this as my goal it was a pretty exciting day.  My husband was so sweet, we came together and after he was done lifting he jumped on the treadmill next to me and told me to go as long as I could go.  He ended up walking 1.5 miles before I was done.  
As soon as I got home I started looking for 5k races to sign up for in our area.  I think I am going to sign up for about one a month to keep  me motivated to run and keep my miles up.
If you are just starting out or want the increase your mileage I would encourage you to slow down your pace. It took me an hour to do 3.5 miles (including my warm up) but I was able to run the entire time.  If I would have run faster there is no way I would have been able to run for so long.  I also really like running on a treadmill when starting out so that you can keep a constant pace.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have been terrible about updating this blog lately and I apologize for that.  I have a big event coming up in two weeks though and I want to be the best shape I can for it so I will hopefully have some great advice/stories coming up!
I also wanted to let you know on my other blog I am letting my readers ask me anything about me they want to know.  If you have a question that is WW or weight related let me know here or ones about me you can ask me at