So much to say…so little blog time.

31 03 2010

I wanted to come here today and talk about my date with Superman.

I wanted to come here today and talk about how tomorrow is going to possibly be my official graduation from c25k.

I wanted to come here today and talk about resting heart rate (mine is 60) and blood pressures (112/70). I wanted to talk about how there numbers are astounding me since I’m obese and an ex-smoker.

I wanted to talk about a lot of things today.

But something important needs to be said today and it needs to said to you.

Yes you.

If you’re reading this, then what I’m about to say includes you.

If I could magically line you up, give you a hug, look you in the eyes and give you a personal thank you, I would. I hope this post will do me justice. When I started out on the LCJ (life changing journey),  a short three months ago, it was very much a decision I made alone.

I was scared.

I was doubtful.

I didn’t trust myself.

I didn’t know where to begin.

Then this amazing thing started to happen. I started to meet other people. People from Calorieking. People who have blogs. People in real life. People who have had a significant amount of weight loss. People just starting out. People close to their goals. People so far away from their goals they feel helpless. People losing weight every week. People gaining weight. People who are frustrated. People who are getting it done. In all of you  I look  for guidance and words of encouragement and you give it freely, without hesitation. You are teaching me to pass on this information with the same care and patience.

This week, I’ve had some pretty humbling encounters with you. Maybe you left me a comment, or sent me a text. Maybe you shared something personal. Maybe you’ve lost a lot of weight and said “Keep going, you can do this”. Maybe you’ve been running for a long time and said “I remember starting my c25k and I just ran a marathon”. Maybe you said “Tara, can I walk down the stairs with you” Hell, maybe you just “liked” my facebook status.

In case you’re wondering, everything you do helps me to stay encouraged. Determined. Successful. Ever wonder if what you say or do is affecting other people?

It is.

Thank you for everything you do.

Thanks for believing in me until I could start to believe in myself.

Thanks for sharing your life  and for allowing me to share mine with you.

What a great experience this has been and is going to be!!!!!


Two 30 minute runs: A comparison.

30 03 2010

As most of you know I am finishing up my c25k program this week. I have one more session…

One more.

Then I’m on my own to figure out where I want to take this whole running thing. I’m a little nervous that once the program is over I’ll lose my drive to continue.  There are other running programs out there 5k-8k and 5k-10k that I’ll probably download to my trusty little shuffle and give it a go. With that being said I have run the 30 minute portion twice. Once outside. Once on the treadmill. Now a comparison.


There is something to be said about knowing you’re coming down the pike to a finish that makes you look forward to doing something that is physically challenging. My first attempt was last Saturday. I decided to go out by where the gym was so that I could run and then meet with Kent (The trainer) afterwards (From here on out I’m going to call Kent “Superman” cause he’s built like Clark Kent on the outside but you just know there is something spectacular inside).

This was a run that was not very well planned out. I didn’t know how far I could get in 30 minutes, if there was a round about circular path I should follow that would put me close to the starting point, or what the traffic would be like on an early Saturday morning. I just started out and hoped for the best.

I got the best I could have hoped for. Too early for traffic so no problem there. I quickly figured out the best route to take so that even if I passed my original starting point I could easily fill in the rest of the time without going to far. What I didn’t think about were the two hills that I would encounter. One in the middle of my run and one at the very end. 4 weeks ago I would have dreaded those hills. Sunday I looked forward to conquering them. Both times I told myself I didn’t care how slow I took them but they had to be taken at a run, not a walk and without stopping. Both times were a success.

It was a slow run.

I didn’t care.

I ran up two hills.

The treadmill:

On Monday I woke up to find a torrential down pour happening in my city.  Not the kind of rain that you muster up the determination to just get out and do it. This was the kind of rain that 10 feet from my house I would be soaked  and it would make for an awful running experience, not to mention it was the first day of  going back to work at the community college and time was not on my side.

So I did the only thing I could think off.

I took my run to the gym.

And this is what I thought of it:

It pretty much sucked. I tried my best to not watch the time and at one point even put a towel over it to cover the damn thing. Unfortunately my running is so haphazard that I vibrated it off and it fell on the belt, under my feet and then landed behind me.


I kept grabbing the bar and then quickly shaking a mental finger at myself to let go. The treadmills are in front of a long ass mirror and I kept watching myself. One thing fat people shouldn’t do is watch themselves in the mirror. It leads to stinkin thinking:

“That person next to you looks so much better”

“Seriously, you’re never going to be a runner”

“You don’t look like you’ve lost 30 pounds”

“Are your legs rubbing together…gross”

“All that sweat is disgusting”

“Look at how fat you look”

“You’ll never run that 5k”

“Give up already”

“You suck”



You get the picture.

Not to mention “snot rockets” don’t work well while running indoors.

The only good thing about the treadmill experience is that the last minute I pushed myself and got the speed up to 4.5 and didn’t fall off like the towel did 25 minutes early.

So there you have folks, treadmill running is not for me.

Tomorrow would officially be my last day to run the c25k program but I’m going to postpone it until Thursday. I really want my last session to be outside and the Wappler Doppler says it’s going to be another bucket tipping downpour.


So instead I’ll be meeting with Superman tomorrow. It will be the first of two free sessions and if he gives me what I’m looking for (which I have yet to figure out) then this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to be a part of this 100+ weight loss life changing journey?

Don’t you?

Weigh in #13 (or what I like to call “Just when you think you didn’t”)

27 03 2010

Up bright and early today.

So much to do.

So few hours to do them.

  • Walk the dogs
  • Run the first day day of c25k week 9 (30 minutes)
  • Get to gym for first training
  • Work out (this is yet decided)
  • Head down south to Chehalis to help my husband cater a wedding

Oh yes and Weigh in…

This has been the strangest week as far as what the scale is giving me in numbers. Up, down, up, down, up down. I resolved myself to not being freaked out. Give me a gain, fine. Stay the same, fine. Give me a loss, fine.

This is more about numbers now.

This is about challenging myself to move more and eat less.

To run 2 minutes longer.

To swim an extra lap.

To go an extra 30 seconds on elliptical.

To become the person I’ve always wanted to be and never had the determination to get there.

This week I was ready for anything.

I got a loss:

I’m almost without words to describe what this number means to me. I have officially crossed over the -30 pounds mark. There was so much tweaking this week with calories, workouts and sleep I thought for sure I’d see a little bit of a gain or nothing at all.

I was not expecting a -2.0 loss.

This week has been filled with so many positive movements forward in this lifestyle changing journey that to get a number like today is just about the bees knees!

So here are the numbers:

  • Week 0 = 263.5 (-0.0)
  • Week 1 = 257.4 (-6.1)
  • Week 2 = 255.0 (-2.4)
  • Week 3 = 254.6 (-.4)
  • Week 4 = 253.8 (-.8) *I started c25k
  • Week 5 = 248.2 (-5.6)
  • Week 6 = 247.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 7 = 246.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 8 = 244.4 (-1.8)
  • Week 9 = 241.0 (-3.4)
  • Week 10 = 240.6  (-.4)
  • Week 11 = 238.0 (-2.6)
  • Week 12 = 234.8 (-3.2)
  • Week 13 = 232.8 (-2.0)

  • Some weeks the journey isn’t only about weight loss…

    26 03 2010

    Tomorrow is weigh in #13 and one of three things will happen. Either I will 1) lose a small amount of weight – by small I mean under a pound 2) Stay exactly where I was from my last weigh in – 234.8 3) Have a small gain – hopefully under a pound.

    I’m not expecting anything big tomorrow.

    I’m not going to freak out if the number is a gain. I’m not going to freak out if the number stays the same. I’m not going to freak out if there isn’t a “big enough” loss.

    I’ve taken a lot of steps in the right direction this week. I need to keep those up front in my mind as I weigh in tomorrow. I can’t get all caught up in the numbers or I’m going to lose focus on what I accomplished this week:

    • I joined a gym
    • I’ve consumed on average about 100 ounces of water everyday
    • I tackled the elliptical 3 times this week (10, 25 and 35 minutes)
    • I swam a total of 120 lengths = 1.7 miles
    • I ran 3 times for a total of 84 minutes / approx 5 miles
    • I had a successful shopping experience and came out with a cute pair of jeans that are 4 sizes smaller than what I was wearing.

    By the end of tomorrow I will be able to also add the following as my accomplishments this week:

    • I will have run 30 minutes non stop and begin my last week of c25k.
    • I will have met with trainer at gym and hopefully begin a long lasting relationship with Kent (that’s his name…he’s going to be my Superman!).

    If this was only about weight loss I’d be disappointed by the numbers that I will or won’t see tomorrow. But since this is about a life changing journey, I’d say I’m coming out on top!

    The epic battle between North and South / The lady on the stairs / and one of the reasons why I’m eating less and moving more!

    25 03 2010

    The Battle

    North = my mind

    South = my body

    Neither of these armies are the enemy, and yet both sometimes play the “bad guy” in this battle over a lifestyle change. Today the bad guy was my mind. The battle went something like this:

    It’s quiet outside, the clock ticks over to 6am. Beeeeep, Beeeeeep goes the alarm. Snooze once. Snooze twice. I feel the war going on.

    North: “Stay in bed today. You don’t need to run today. Yes, I know it’s the last day of week 8, but please we need sleep”

    South: “Get up soldier. I want to run today. MOVE MOVE MOVE!”

    I lay there and think about my options.

    I can stay in bed.

    I can run tomorrow.

    I can sleep in for an hour and then get up.

    I can just skip the run and head to the gym.


    South: “If you don’t get out of this bed right now, you know you won’t get out of this bed tomorrow. LET’S GO!!

    I finally throw back the covers. There is no motivation. Determination is a distant thought. I sit on the couch and think about how I’m going to get out this door.

    I start with one shoe.

    I start with the other shoe.

    I check my ipod shuffle to make sure I’m all cued up.

    I open the door: Rain!

    North: “Rain??!! Oh come on. You can’t be serious. Look here’s the excuse we’ve been waiting for. Get the dogs and go back to bed!”

    South: “Seriously, are you going to let this be what deters you from running today? This weather makes you stronger. You know there won’t be anyone else on the track. 28 minutes isn’t going to kill you. GET IN THE CAR!”

    I get to the track. Stretch. Start walking for warm-up…

    North: “You won’t make it today. You’ll walk at some point. I just know it. You’re tired and look how hard it was for you to even get here. You should have stayed home.”

    South: “What the hell is North talking about? You will make it today. This is the third time you’ve run for 28 minutes. You just have to go around the track 7.5 times to get to the 1.8ish mile you did on Tuesday. North, should just shut the hell up.”

    Lap #1 (.25 miles) – good

    Lap #2 (.50 miles) – good

    Lap #3 (.75 miles)- North: “Please, just walk a little bit. The wind is horrible”

    Lap #4 (1.0 miles)- good. I get the halfway prompt from podcast.

    Lap #5 (1.25 miles)- North: “Can you just walk for 1/4 of a lap? PLEASE!! I DON’T LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THE WIND! THE RAIN! LOOK YOU GOT OUT HERE OKAY, THAT’S GREAT, BUT DAMMIT THIS IS TOO MUCH. NO ONE WILL KNOW IF YOU JUST STOPPED RIGHT NOW.” (*I start crying because at this point I want North to win and I don’t want to keep running anymore)

    South: “Oh for Pete’s sake shut your yapping. We’re almost done.”

    Lap #6 (1.50 miles) – Good.

    Lap #7 (1.75 miles) – Good

    Lap #8 (2.0 miles) – North: “I knew you could do it!”

    South: “(sigh) whatever”

    3 sessions to go….


    As a reward for running the 28 minutes successfully despite the epic battle, I decide that a swim was in order. I head out to the gym. As I enter and head to the woman’s locker room I see a woman taking a set of stairs two at a time. I see she is struggling. This is part of her work out. She’s older and overweight but she is giving it her best. I stop to watch. She’s got that look of determination that makes you just want to start clapping. You can tell she’s in pain, but doesn’t want to give up. No one else seems to notice her. Everyone else just doing their thing, gettin their sweat on…

    I noticed her.

    Because that look on her face is what I was feeling this morning. I wanted to shout out “Keep going! You can do this! I felt the same way this morning”. I don’t. I just wait for her to get to the top.

    She makes it.

    She starts to cry on her way down.

    I look at her when she reached the bottom.

    “I cried too this morning”

    Then we high fived each other and went about our business.

    I swam 50 laps.


    Yesterday I got home and my husband took one look at me and promptly ordered me to go out and buy a new pair of jeans. I’m having a hard time letting go of my old clothes. There is a lot of fear in losing weight, when it has been a part of you for so long. I know most people who have lost a significant amount of weight understand what I’m talking about.

    With buying new clothes, there is an underlying fear that I may need them again some day. What if the weight comes back? Buying clothes when fat is already hard, but to do it when you are just starting out on a weight loss journey can be both exciting and stressful.

    I can’t deny that my wardrobe is now too big for me.

    So with strict instructions I went and bought a new pair:

    The pair on the bottom is the pair I went shopping in.

    The pair on the top is what I came home with.

    This is one of the reasons why I’m moving more and eating less!

    Meet my newest friends: Deltoid and Gastrocnemius

    24 03 2010

    In case your as inept at the anatomy of the human body as I am, here is where I give you a little picture post about what I’m talking about.

    These little beauties are you Deltoids. Today they have made themselves known to me. It’s from the swimming I did yesterday (30 laps). I woke up with them sore and while I did have a fleeting moment of “I’ll just skip the swim today”, I swam with them sore today as well (40 laps) so you can bet they’ll be letting me know they’re still around tomorrow. I probably won’t be swimming at much as I am this week just because school starts up next Monday and I am slated to pick up quite a bit of work at the community college. I’m trying my best not to freak out (as I would normally do) because I am starting to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I am taking on over the next 3 months. I’ll be working about 52 hours per week (Mon – Fri) until the early part of June. I’ve enjoyed the last 3 months of working 32 hours (Mon-Fri). It gave me time to get things in perspective. Time to figure out what this whole notion of “eat less, move more” meant. I had time to plan food and workouts. Time to walk the dogs, run, break a sweat, eat breakfast, get to work, spend time with my husband, get more than 7 hours and repeat all for 3 months. I saw just under 30 pounds disappear and now I’m wondering how I will do over the next 3 months…

    But I digress.

    As I almost always do.

    Let’s move on to my next newest friend: The Gastrocnemius

    Now before you go saying, “Geez Tara, everyone has calf muscles”, let me tell you why this little beauty is my newest friend. Before I started running just a mere 9 weeks ago it was distinctly one muscle (the outer muscle). 9 weeks later not only is the outer muscle stronger and more prominent, but now its sister muscle (inside calf muscle) is making an appearance. I’m developing a runner’s leg!!! Well not just one of course, both legs are developing into runner’s leg. Tomorrow is my last day at a 28 minute run. On Tuesday (yesterday) I ran 1.88 miles in 28 minutes. That’s about a 4.0 mph speed.  A little slower but also a little farther than last week. Tomorrow I’ll head back to the track to see if running on a flat surface, not having to worry about cars, and not needing to be mindful of changes in the pavement make a difference.

    4 sessions to go…


    Back to my digression…

    I’ve been trying to think of ways to make sure that I’m still moving more and eating less with a work schedule that is about to become a lot more worky and a lot less not-worky. My work days will begin with me leaving the house at 8a and getting home around 7:30p. Doing any sort of work out at night is going to be out of the question as this will really be the only time I can spend with my husband (who is out of the house by 5:30a and in bed by 9p). So I’m looking to do my move more part in the mornings. I will have about 2.5 – 3 hours to get what I’m used to doing in 5-6 hours done. This means shorter dog walks, shorter workouts and faster breakfasts.

    On days that I’m running, I will probably do it at the track at school or at least in the vicinity. Parking at the school before my run will ensure me two things: A) I get a great parking spot (which at times can get a little hairy) and B) I can shower on campus and then walk to my first class. If I’m on the track by 7am, I can walk the dogs and eat breakfast with relative ease.

    On non run days I would like to at least get an hour’s worth of time at the gym. I’ll need to be there about 6:30 to ensure time for workout/shower and leaving with enough time to get to campus.

    (Sorry I just need to think this through, I know this is the boring part of my post)

    It’s all feasible if I micromanage. Also there are some pretty kick ass classes being taught at the gym super early if I’m so motivated to go first and then go home to shower.

    Anyway, all this craziness starts on Monday!


    I had a 700 calorie workout today.

    I’d high five myself but my shoulders hurt and can’t really lift them up above my mid-section. This brings up an interesting point for me. When I started on this weight loss I was all about calorie intake and no exercise. It was easy to maintain my 1500 calories day in and day out. When I did introduce exercise it was in small amounts (100 – 200 calories burned) and was able to eat back those calories without a problem. Now I’m stepping it up a bit and it’s getting a little difficult to maintain a net calorie intake of 1500 when I have to have a gross intake of 2100-2200. I’ve never been a big eater.  I’m the clean plate kid but if you don’t fill up too much of my plate to begin with I’m good to go.  I’m finding that I’m forcing myself to eat more just to keep within that range of net calories. Yesterday I had a 350 calorie breakfast (it would have been more if I had my usual oatmeal but I went with egg whites and veggies instead), and a 700 calorie lunch. My snacking is way down to almost non existent (which is pretty rad!) so by the time I got home I still had 1000+ calories to work with. We had Papa Murphy’s and I ate an entire salad (with very little dressing) and 4/10 of a pizza just to make it to my calorie goal. After all was said and done my dinner was 1044 calories.

    I didn’t want to keep eating but I also didn’t want to go below the 1500 calorie mark. I’m in a similar position today. 500 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch and if I’m to eat back all my work out calories I’m left with 1100 calories for dinner. The menu? Fish and cous cous. Now I don’t know about you but I just can’t eat that much fish and while I do love cous cous…I don’t love it that much.

    In the beginning I was eating too much food…

    Now I can’t seem to eat enough.

    With that being said, I’m going to stop tracking all my work out calories. This journey is supposed to be about listening to my body and eating when I’m hungry. It’s about not eating when I’m bored, sad, emotional or driving. Forcing myself to eat when I’m not hungry any longer is self-defeating.

    The good news to all of this is I can now start to incorporate some higher caloric foods that I’ve been cutting out…breads for one thing. I’ve been eating the sandwich thins. I like them but I miss my 12 grain breads…I miss Dave’s Killer Bread (which btw if you haven’t tried, shame on you). Plus I want to eat a real omelet.

    And I’d like some sour cream on my next soft taco!

    Whoa there 28! and a new gym member in town.

    22 03 2010

    Is it a coincidence that as I’m coming up on the -30 pound mark, I’m also coming up to the 30 minute running mark on c25k?

    No improvement on speed during this last run. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was going slower but I blame that on the elements (wind, rain) and on the fact that I was too occupied with the idea of having to use the restroom and too far away from anything even if I did stop. 28 minutes came and went and then I hit the first half of the North 30th street hill. This is no easy hill for sure..I think it’s about 6 blocks long with a serious incline. A SERIOUS INCLINE!!! Before I do my 5k in June I will run up this beast of burden. First I’ll start by walking the first half  🙂

    5 more sessions…

    I am coming to the end of c25k in mere days. I almost want to run everyday for the next 5 days just to get to the end. However, I wouldn’t be slow and steady anymore…I’d be speedy and haphazard! I am concentrating on really pushing that last minute. Running until I’m just about out of breath, since I know it’s the last minute. A few times I’ve surprised myself at how fast I felt like I was running, even after 25/28 minutes.

    I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish before June 12th.


    I did something yesterday that I’ve never done before.

    I walked into a gym.

    I told myself that when I got the first 30 pounds off (by myself) I was going to get a gym membership and begin the second part of my weight loss journey. Part of me thought I would never even get to that number so there was no point in being stressed about taking my weight loss even more public.

    Until yesterday. The scale hit 233 early in the morning. Will it continue to be that number until Saturday’s weigh in?


    But I made a promise that at 30 pounds I would pick a gym.

    So that’s what I did.

    I’ve had one in mind for a while.

    Allstar Fitness.

    No lie, I picked it because they advertise a great playroom for kids while moms work out. Seemed logical. Moms with kids + Tacoma = probably overweight like me. I go in and ask for a tour.

    I am introduced to the Manager (and Muay Thai/Boxing trainer) who looks over my initial information. We sit down and he got right to the point: “Why did you come through those doors today Tara?

    Well isn’t it obvious?

    Then I realize it’s not obvious. What I want to attain isn’t obvious because I don’t look like I still need to lose 70 pounds. I never looked like I needed to lose 100 pounds. So what do I do? Do I fib and say “oh I’m looking to tone up”? Do I say “Oh I’m just looking to lose a few pounds”?…

    I think to myself: Please don’t cry. Don’t be ashamed. You’ve already lost the first 30 pounds. You’re here not because you’re fat and lazy. You’re here because you want to lose even more weight. This isn’t about defeat, it’s about success.

    I look him in the eyes.

    “Well, I’m here because at the end of December, I weighed 264 pounds” (here I think I paused to see the look of shock on his face that someone that fat could actually even think about joining a gym…but I got nothing so I continued) “When I got on the scale this morning it said 233 pounds. I made a promise that after I lost the first 30 pounds by myself, I’d join a gym and lose the other 70”

    He didn’t flinch at the numbers. He didn’t laugh at me or tell me to leave. He just said “I like it when people come in with a specific goal…let’s take the tour”

    I liked what I saw. Main lobby has a 3 story rock climbing station. Main room (with all the cardio goodies and free weights) was open and lots of room to move around. There is a space separate from the main room (on the second floor) for women only. That was a big selling point for me. But the best part was the pool…

    7 lanes dedicated to laps. All laps, all the time!

    I am the newest member of Allstar Fitness. I got up bright and early (still trying to adjust my sleep schedule) and put that main room of cardio goodness to use.