Looking back at May / Superman / NRD coming up…

31 05 2010

If I’ve learned anything while on this journey it’s the following: Be patient with yourself. Some days you’re going to feel like you’re zipping along at 150 mph and nothing can stop you. Other days you’re going to feel like getting out of bed is an emotional chore that you just can’t seem to accomplish.

May was like that for me.

I’ve had some very tough days in May. Particularly the week my brother was in the hospital and this last week. It was hard to remember the “Be Patient with Yourself” rule as I muddled through the weeks crying,  spending endless days at the hospital, looking at a stranger in the mirror and getting hurt. Even though I didn’t feel like I was being patient, I survived both weeks a stronger person with much more clarity about what this journey means to me.

I’m ending May on a positive note.

I walked a half marathon. I ran a total of 19 miles (not including the 13.1 mile walk). I swam 800 laps (11.4 miles). I donated 6 bags of clothes to a local charity. I ran my first 5k almost 3  minutes faster than anticipated. I lost 10.6 pounds. I kept moving even when I didn’t think I could. I went to the gym even if it meant I cried in the car first and I’ve learned that I might go in feeling like crap, but always come out feeling better.  I left a lot of sweat on the floor of the gym and I’m looking to leave even more come June.

A lot more!

There are some major changes coming in June. The first and foremost is my work schedule will be much more manageable starting tomorrow. Gone are the days of working 52+ hours/week. Gone are the days of getting up between 430a – 5a to get to the gym before work. Gone are the days of coming home exhausted with just enough energy to eat, pack my gym bag and crawl into bed.

I worked so much because it defined who I was a person.

I’m going to try and change that way of thinking over the summer. I’m going down to 32 hours a week and keeping my current afternoon work schedule (1-7 most days) so that my mornings will be free. I will be running more. I will be swimming more. I will be biking more. I will begin training for the September triathlon. I will give 200% every time I see Superman. Work will no longer be the only thing that defines me as a person. My strength, my determination and my sheer desire to be a better person will also define me. If I thought I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror last week…

You can bet I won’t recognize myself by the end of August either.



kicked my ass.

I needed it.


I kicked his too.

About half way through our session he had me do an iron chair squat. Its where you stand against a wall and then squat down in an imaginary chair with your arms straight out. He says “go one minute or as long as you can”. It hurt almost immediately. I don’t know how the hell I managed to stay in that position for a full minute but I did.

I thought we would do it once.

He said again.

I squat down and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to last a minute. Every time I dropped my arms he would just look at me and say “Don’t give up”. My legs are shaking. The sweat is pouring off of me. A minute feels like an eternity.

Sixty seconds later I slide down to the floor.

He said again.

I just looked at him like he was crazy. He smiled and said “you got this”. Up I go and into position. The entire time he’s watching me like he’s got something to tell me.  At 30 seconds he starts a countdown. At 30 seconds I start to wonder if he’s going to ask me to do this a fourth time. At 20 seconds I’ve got snot running down my nose (so classy) and I’ve closed my eyes cause I just don’t want to quit. At 10 seconds I start to think “WTF” shouldn’t it be over by now. He’s sitting across from me and counts down 5…4…3…2…1. I relax my legs and slump to the floor. I curl up in what I’m sure was pretty close to the fetal position and he said the following: “No one, I’ve ever trained has ever gone three rounds, for three minutes on their first time…no one!”

I aim to please.


Wednesday is National Running Day. Lots of people have entered my first giveaway in honor of NRD. I too will be running. As much as my ankle will let me. I managed to get in a 15 minute run this morning at the gym and it was feeling pretty good. WednesdayI’m just going to get on the treadmill and let my ankle decide what we’re doing.

If you haven’t signed up for my bag of goodies, then get on it. You only have two more days left. If you have then go to Seattlerunnergirl’s blog and enter there too. That’s right two kick ass girls giving away two kick ass prizes!


Catching up…

28 05 2010

Oh what a difference falling down, spraining your ankle, having an emotional break down, having your husband get rear ended while on the way home from work and 24 hours makes on your psyche.

I had a plan of action put in place yesterday.

I’ve decided to change it.

That’s what I like about this journey.

It’s mine.

I said I wasn’t going to blog until Monday. Or log my food for that matter. I got some very good advice from some very wise people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since starting this adventure and after hearing what they had to say I’ve decided that I’m actually not going to take a break (Hello Miss Obvious) from either of these two things.

I made some quick decisions based purely on emotions. I wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers over me and wait until the storm passed. I can’t do that anymore. I am the storm. I won’t just pass. I’m here for the long haul and hiding under the blankets won’t make me go away any sooner.

Cozy Yes!

Healthy No!

When I stood in front of the mirror on December 29th 2009 and made a commitment to make a lifestyle change I thought it would be a slow process. Even though I set a goal to lose 100 pounds I had in my mind it would take forever. I thought I’d lose a few pounds a month, ease into some physical activity and slowly but surely see the changes I so longed to have.

I started reading a few blogs about people losing a significant amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time and I thought “Well look at them. How lucky. That won’t be me for sure.”

Then I lost a few pounds.

Then I lost more

Five months later I’m down 50 pounds and I realized I am one of those people who have lost a significant amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time.

I was not mentally/emotionally prepared for that.

My body took off like a rocket. My mind took off like molasses on a cold winter morning. I woke up this week and realized I no longer recognize the woman that stands before me in the mirror. At the same time that I know it’s me, I don’t know it’s me. My body is at 212 pounds. My mind is still at the 263 pound starting gate wondering what the hell just happened.

My body is here:

(size 24 —–> 16)

(263 —–> 212)

My mind is still here:

and here:

I look in the mirror and I keep expecting that person up there to be looking back at me.  She’s gone and I’m in this weird mourning stage.  I didn’t think I’d have to say goodbye so quickly and in turn say hello to someone I’ve never met before.

I thought I had time.

My body thought something else.

So here I am today. Not really sure how I feel about losing the weight so quickly and losing the one person I loved so much but didn’t love at all.  My body wants to move and run and sweat. My mind wants to cry and mourn and throw a tantrum for being forced to adjust so quickly.  I didn’t understand just how far behind my mind is on this journey until I went shopping yesterday. The pants that I had recently purchased had become to big for me and so I ventured to my local second-hand clothing store.

The first place I went was the size 20 rack.

I stopped wearing a size 20 over a month ago.

But there I was looking through the rack expecting to find something to fit. I had to stop myself and say out loud “Tara, you don’t wear a size 20 anymore. Move on and let it go.” I moved to the next aisle and aimlessly looked through the size 18 rack.

Tara, you don’t wear a size 18 anymore. Move on and let it go

Okay seriously, who cries when they get to move down a new clothing size rack? Well apparently I do cause I moved over to the size 16 with tears in my eyes and my heart beating fast. I picked out six pairs. My mind was already made up that none of them would fit (even though the 18’s I was currently wearing needed a belt). I take them into the fitting room and just looked at myself for a few minutes.  My body knew what was going to happen. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around the notion. I stand in front of the full length mirror and look at what my body knows, but my mind can’t comprehend.

Smaller hips.

Smaller thighs.

Smaller calves.

Smaller stomach.

Smaller everything.

I couldn’t bring myself to put on any of the  pairs of 16 pants  I had grabbed because my mind was so convinced they wouldn’t fit. My body was like “Oh come on already, it’s kind of creepy to be standing here half-naked for so long. I mean seriously can we get it together and make a move?” I had to finally say to myself that I didn’t expect them all to fit. If one fits that would be enough for me and I could leave the store. I grab the first pair, close my eyes and pull them up.

They fit.

I open my eyes and look in the mirror.

For the first time since December of 2009, my mind is finally catching up to what my body knows is happening. For the first time in this five month journey my mind starts to recognize that person in front of the mirror staring back. It is in that moment the epiphany hits me (I sort of wish I was on the elliptical when it happened): My mind and body are strangers to one another.

I try on the next five pairs and sure enough they all fit.

I pick out the five pairs I like the best (six just seemed a little too greedy) and stepped out of the fitting room a different person. A little more like 212 pound person. Less like a 263 pound person. A little more like a size 16 person. Less like a size 24 person. I know it’s going to take time for my mind to fully understand what’s going on. I will take more time to look in the mirror to help my mind get to know the person standing there.  I will have more out loud conversations with myself every time my mind forgets the direction in which my body is traveling.

I feel better emotionally today than I did at the beginning of the week.

I am still going to stay away from the gym to let my ankle heal up. I’ve decided that I’m going to check out the yoga class on Sunday so I can use my kick ass Yoga mat I won a few weeks ago from Jeremy and Aurorae Yoga. I’ve taken my much needed nap and found my indulgence (a scoop of spumoni ice cream). I’m still going to skip the weigh in tomorrow (though there is a slight loss) and I will sleep in tomorrow until I see double digits on the clock.

Most importantly I will work on the friendship between mind and body.

After all they’re in this together.

Listening to the universe…

27 05 2010

I’ve had a bad week.

I am overwhelmed by so many things right now I’m having a difficult time seeing anything good in what I’m trying to do as a person, a wife, a friend, an athlete and as someone trying to lose weight. I don’t know if it’s because I crossed over the fifty pound mark or because I’m thinner today than I have been since my mid twenties. I don’t know if it’s because I no longer medicate myself with paxil or don’t delve into World of Warcraft for eight hours in hopes of riding through an emotional upheavel. I don’t know if it’s because of the pressure to make the right choices and keep moving forward or because I’m stressed about a portion of my work coming to an end for the summer. I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling weak when I go to see Superman lately or if it’s because I just feel like I’m not doing enough.

Whatever the reason, I am at a breaking point.

I’ve been crying everyday.

When I get up.

When I leave the house.

When I get to the gym.

When I get to work.

When I’m driving home.

I feel like I’m pushing myself just to function. This is not where I want to be right now. However, it is where I am and unless I do something about it, nothing is going to change. I should have listened to the Universe last Tuesday once the gate to the cryfest was opened but I didn’t, so today Universe stepped in again…

I got hurt.

I was at the gym today with Superman and wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and rolled my ankle. Bad enough that I heard a “pop” when I went down in a tangled mess of clumsiness. I probably should have stopped right there and ended the session. I didn’t. We took it easy the rest of the time but my ego was just as hurt and I didn’t really evaluate the pain in my right ankle as closely as I should have. Now it’s swollen, painful and doesn’t look to be getting any better any time soon.

Ummmm thanks Universe?

As I was crying in the gym shower, I realized I need to take a break. My life is too hectic right now and I’m not finding pleasure in anything. Not even the gym which is usually where I find the most comfort. As hard as it is for me to say this, I need to step back, unplug and relax. Just thinking about it upsets me. Not because I think it’s the wrong thing to do but because I’m trying so hard not to beat the crap out myself emotionally for taking a few days to recoup / reevaluate / readjust.

I feel like I’m giving up but that doesn’t make any sense.

If someone wrote the exact same thing or told me they were going to take a few days off to get back to a strong mental state of awareness I would think “That’s spot on! That’s exactly what I would do”. But here I am and my mind is screaming “Weak! Lazy! Told you, you couldn’t! You’ll never lose another 50!”

I can’t get it to shut up.

I know I will survive this episode. It’s a part of the healing process, the learning process and the process to moving on. Today it just sucks. Instead of trying to cover up what I’m feeling, I’m going to do my best to embrace it. I am going to unplug. I am going to relax and I am going to recover.

Here’s the plan:

  • I am not going to the gym until Monday. I don’t care if it kills me and if Stinkin Thinking Tara wants to kick and scream all day in my head and call me names I don’t give a flying fuck. If I do go to the gym it will be to check out the Yoga on Sunday at 1030a. That’s it!
  • I am going to unplug from the rest of the world. No blogging until Monday.
  • I will not have a weigh in on Saturday.
  • I will not log my food (though I will stay conscious at all times).
  • When I wake up in the mornings, I will stay in bed for at least another 30 minutes.
  • I will nap at least once this weekend
  • I will allow one indulgence this weekend (once I figure out what my definition for indulgence is).
  • Every time I look in the mirror I will say something positive about what I’ve accomplished in the last 5 months.
  • I will ice my ankle and do what is necessary to heal properly.
  • I will not talk bad about the injury.

That’s the plan.

What’s yours?

See you later Monday!

My First Giveaway!!!!!!!!!

26 05 2010


Oh man am I excited.

Can you tell????

Seriously, I feel like such a big-girl blogger now that I’m doing my first official giveaway. The great thing about this giveaway is it’s being co-hosted by my friend Val (SeattleRunnerGirl), who by the way has a smashing new blog layout (read: totally jealous!).

June 2nd is National Running Day and if you’ve been following this blog (you have been following right???) then you know I’ve been running since mid February when I started with the Couch to 5k program (coolrunning.com). When I started running I couldn’t. At least not for more than a block.

Fast forward to today and I’m doing some amazing things with this concept of running. I’ve just completed my first 5k this past weekend and run everyday on the treadmill to improve my speed.  Running has helped not only with my weight-loss but also in my ability to believe in myself. It has taught me perseverance and how to push through to finish when all you want to do is fall down and cry like a baby.

I don’t love running just yet. I like it a lot. The faster I get and the more races I do, the more I inch closer to using that “L” word. I want you to experience getting to the “L” stage too.

Now to the fun part!


There will be several ways to enter this challenge.

Each entry will require a separate comment.

  • The first and most important is you pledge to run on June 2nd. I don’t care about distance. I don’t care about time. Just leave me a comment with what you’re going to do.
  • Tell me why you love/like/hate running.
  • Post a link to this challenge on your blog. Comment with that link.
  • Follow me on Twitter HERE. Tweet this challenge and comment that you gave me some twitter love.

So that’s four chances for you to win something pretty awesome! You probably want to know what I’ve put together for the NRD giveaway! Well let me tell you I wish I could enter this one myself cause this stuff is mad cool!


  • June’s issue of Runners (with some great beginning running articles)
  • A kick ass water bottle. (kickass!!)
  • A $10 gift card to Starbucks (for after those long runs)
  • Tigerbalm (which is DA BOMB…stinky yes, but still da bomb)
  • 3 Clif bars (my favorite flavors: Cool mint chocolate, Carrot Cake, Blueberry crisp)

Now here’s the exciting part. Since Val is co-hosting with me, you can go over there and enter as well…Whoa, what kind of crazy talk is this??? Want to know what she’s giving away?

A $10 card to REI (Sahweeeeeeet)


We girls that run, know how to kick it back to cool like whoa! So what are you waiting for? Come back here June 3rd to find out who the winner is. Until then…


My Great kilted run pictures from photographer!!!

25 05 2010

Man they are fast!

Had to post!


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the official kick off of the “National Running Day” Challenge!

The post that wasn’t

25 05 2010

Catching up on blogs today but wanted to give you a head’s up to come back tomorrow. I’ll be posting the official “National Run Day” Challenge for June 2nd.

Val (SeattleRunnerGirl) and I are co-hosting this event. We each put together a giveaway. That’s right people, you have the opportunity to not only win one awesome giveaway, but you can win two!!!!!

Cause we’re awesometastic like that!

See you tomorrow!

The Great Kilted Run / Mush

24 05 2010

I’m not even sure where to begin talking about my experience yesterday. It was fantastic. It was emotional. It was hard. It was awesome. It was challenging. It was fun. It was inspiring. And it was damn near the toughest thing I’ve had to do in a long time (except for today’s session with Superman…keep reading).

When one is getting ready to run their very first race, I highly suggest preparing by donning a Transformer band-aid to remind yourself WWOPD!

Unfortunately this placement didn’t last very long since I was a nervous wreck and sweated it right my wrist on the way to Seattle. No worries though I’m a McGyver athlete so I rigged it onto my finger with a strip of 3M/Scotch lint roller (RAWR!).

I ran the race with my friend Elizabeth. This would be the first time I’ve actually run a long distance with someone else. Elizabeth would prove to be a great running partner. She’s getting ready to do an ENTIRE MARATHON (Rock and Roll San Diego) June 6th. Unbelievable!

Then I got my number.

I’m seriously thinking about having that number tattooed on me.


10 minutes to race time!!

Donning our skirts!

If you look closely I am dressed in about 3 layers of clothing. It was freaking cold out there that morning (about 48 degrees) and it didn’t look like it was going to warm up any time soon. With the wind coming off the water it felt like it was going to start snowing on us. I’m wearing my shirt from 1/2 marathon, a regular t-shirt and then my Great Kilted Run shirt. I look bulky. I think about what I looked like when I only had one shirt on six months ago and I’ll take this 3 shirt bulkiness anyday.

The race had about 400 participates. We took our place sort of in the middle and just as the race is about to begin, Elizabeth says to me “We’re going to walk the first minute”…


No wait, I want to run. I mean I knew we were going to do a walk/run interval but I thought it would start out with running. I was wrong and it was the best piece of advice she could give me. It did three things 1) it got us warmed up 2) it gave the faster runners a chance to pass us and most importantly 3) it gave me a chance to work through the nervousness of running my first race and forced me to slow down and not jump the gun and start too fast. The minute came and went and we were running. I was hoping for a 40:00 minute race but with our 1 minute walking intervals I was able to keep a pretty good pace. The last time I ran a 3.1 mile distance it took me 43:00 but now I was with Elizabeth and she helped to keep me paced.

All in all the race was a blast. I got passed by runners. I passed runners. I walked when it was time. I ran when it was time. The last mile was the hardest but I continued to talk myself through it and breath. I saw the finish line and I crossed it with a vengence. My time – 37:40. Two minutes and twenty seconds faster than goal and five minutes faster than my last personal 5k (I think the mile sprints every morning are helping too)

And then I almost threw up.

Elizabeth looks smashing. I look like I’m going to fall over lol.

Then I got back to my normal self.

Nice hair!

Then it was time for Bagpipes, beer, and cute dogs!

Not only did I survive my first race. I left there with a smile on my face.

And my hair back to normal!

My next race is slated for June 12th (Sound to Narrows). Now that the first one is out of the way I won’t be nearly as nervous (at least I hope). I’m shooting for another under 40:00 run but I’m not going to try and best my time of 37:40. The route is much different. Kilted run was very flat most of the way (with a few inclines). Word on the street is S2N has a much longer incline during a portion of the run. This Sunday I may run it just to get a idea of what to expect. I’ll go back to running my mile sprints and longer runs on the weekend until the 12th. I’ll reevaluate where I want to take this running business and push myself toward a 10k. I’m hoping to knock one out before the end of summer.

Who would imagine I’d become a runner?


So what’s a girl to do when she’s just run her first 5k? How about see Superman the next morning and damn near get my ass kicked? I’m not sure what I was thinking. Hell, I’m not sure what he was thinking. No lower body work but man oh man did I work my arms to the point of mush. Seriously. Mush. As I write this I think my forearms are having a meeting about whether or not they are going to cramp up on me at some point tonight. Don’t get me wrong, it was pure awesomeness as usual. I think it was just a little frustrating because I was still in la la land over my run and now I’m in the middle of the gym trying to do a bench press and it’s harder than I thought it would be. He let me work through my frustrations and didn’t once tell me to stop because he thought I couldn’t do it. It was me that thought I couldn’t do it and in the end he pushed me and proved me wrong.

He checked my measurements today and while I forgot to write them down I am smaller in all areas. Some places  (calves, arms) I’m one inch smaller. Other places (waist, thighs and shoulder) I’m up to three inches smaller. Not bad for a month’s worth of work.

Not bad at all.