OWiS #29 (a day early) and just the picture…

16 07 2010


Let’s talk about coach chuck…

14 07 2010

I’ve wanted to sit down and write a post about coach chuck for a while now. I’ve been working out with him for about 3 weeks and while I am sad that I had to make the switch from Superman to him, he has not let me down at all. In fact he has upped the level of performace that I am looking for and I feel he is the right person to take me where I want to go over the next three months.

I gave Superman his name for a few different reasons. First reason is because his real name is Kent so it was easy to associate him with that particular superhero name. The second reason was because in the story of  Superman he flys around and saves people from perilous danger and for the last three months Kent  has been doing just that: helping me save my life from the perils of depression, obesity and allowing my life to slip past me. Finally Clark Kent is a very quiet and reserved person to most of the world around him and Kent is much the same way but when Clark Kent becomes Superman he has all the charm of a true superhero. Kent possesses that quality as well.

Unfortunately due to his illness I had to move on to another trainer and when I picked Coach Chuck I wanted to give him a nick name that was fitting and appropiate to how our relationship was forging. It didn’t happen overnight so instead I’ve taken the last 3 weeks to really get to know him before bestowing the honor of having a nickname. I thought about just calling him Coach Chuck but it just didn’t seem right. I mean don’t get me wrong, I call him “Coach” when we’re training together but it just didn’t have enough substance or oompha in describing his personality. For three weeks I waited for the nick name to come to me. I researched male superhero names in hopes that something would pop out at me, but I got nothing.

Until yesterday.

Coach Chuck is very demanding. Not in a bad “I’m gonna yell at you until I’m blue in the face and you’re gonna lay there and take it you weakling” kind of way. I think they have those kind of trainers at my gym. No, Coach Chuck is a “this is what you want and this is how you’re going to get it” kind of trainer. He has some high expectations when it comes to the 60 – 90 minutes you spend with him. He wants you to work hard. He wants you to earn every drop of sweat you leave on the mat and he doesn’t want to hear any negativity come from your mouth. He wants you to take pride in the work you’re doing even if you feel like you’re going to puke up your guts if you have to do another round of stations he set before you. He pushes hard. And when you feel like you can’t continue, he pushes even harder until you finish. He can tell when you’re physically tired or when it’s a mental obstacle and if it’s mental you better believe you’re not stopping until it’s done. When you think you can’t, he’s gonna let you know you can and he’s going to make you prove it to yourself. He’s asks and in the end all you want to do is give because you may not want to do it for yourself but there is something that makes you want to do it for Coach Chuck.

During our session yesterday, another one of his clients came up to him. I was sweating profusely and pretty much curled up in fetal position after having done a total of 60 crunch like exercises while my feet were in straps. I hurt. I was loving every minute of it. He looked right at her and said the following sentence:

You need to work harder when you’re working with me

In that instance I knew I never wanted to hear those words come from him and have them be directed towards me. If Coach Chuck ever has to tell me to work harder then I’m not there for the right reasons. I wanted to look up (but I was still laying down waiting for my stomach muscles to relax) and say to her “How can you not be working hard with this guy” He knows if you’re  not pushing yourself enough and he’s not afraid to put in out there for you to recognize: Either get it together or move on. Here he is offering me the chance of a lifetime…

It’s an offer I can’t refuse.

Much like Marlon Brando in the Godfather, I can’t refuse when Coach Chuck asks me to perform to the best of my ability and just when I think I can’t keep going to take a deep breath and push through the fatigue to show him I can and in the end prove to myself I can. Much like the Godfather, he asks and much like the mafia I respond. Much like the Godfather, he doesn’t want to be disappointed by his “family” and much like the mafia, I do not want to disappoint!

Coach Chuck = The Godfather

It’s going to be an AWESOME summer!



Must have bulleted post…

12 07 2010

I’m blogging so it can only mean one thing: I’m at the library! Not much time to get all my thoughts down (and the library computers are notoriously slow) so I’m shooting for the random thought layout and just gonna start writing and see where I’m at when my 60 minutes is up.

Let’s begin.

  • I ate a piece of carrot cake this weekend! I had $5.00 in my pocket and a street fair in my neighborhood so I went there with the intention of buying food and not feeling any guilt about it. I walked the small yet very exciting “Art of Tacoma” street fair a few times looking at all the goodies and finally picked my target. It was delicious. I sat in some shade on a curb and just let my mind think whatever it wanted to think. I was not going to let it deter me from enjoying something that I not only deserved but also am allowed to eat.
  • I didn’t count one calorie this weekend. I didn’t gorge myself on fatty foods out of a bag that I asked to be “super sized”. I didn’t eat a pint of ice-cream. I didn’t order a large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and eat in a dark room with only the t.v. on. In fact, I ate out once for lunch and only ate half of my sandwich and some of the fries it came with and brought the rest home (which later went into the garbage because I can’t stand cold fries and no way in hell I was going to heat them up when there was good clean eating to be done in my house).
  • I’m going to be running a 10k this coming Saturday. I’m trying to stay cool about the whole thing but it’s not working too well. I know two things will take place on race day 1) I will start 2) I will finish. Those are the only two things I care about. The race is on Vashon so lots of hills to be climbed. I hope to finish in 90 minutes but I’m not going to hold my breath on that time.
  • Yesterday I ran a 3.3 miles sans electronics. No music, no heart rate monitor, no watch. It was a beautiful process to run, listen to my breathing and just have a conversation with myself about how life is going.
  • Tomorrow is the first meet and greet for the TrekTriathlon taking place on Sept 19th. I am thrilled and scared beyond words to go only because it will reinforce what I already know to be true: I am going to be doing my first triathlon in approximately 10 weeks!!!
  • I will also be going to a meet and greet meeting for Team in Training. If I like what I see then I’ll be joining. My event that I’m shooting for? The Amica 1/2 marathon on November 28th. That’s right, I said it HALF MARATHON BABY!
  • The scale is on the downward move again after seeing close to a 5 pound gain since my last OWiS (#27 = 200.8) a little more than a week ago. I identified why there was a gain (stress) and systematically went about getting myself to a much calmer state of being. It’s working and I look forward to pulling up my big girl panties and getting back to business.
  • I miss all my VBB(s). I’ve only been able to read a few of them via my phone since I’m cutting out the internet usage while at home. I find so much strength in reading every struggle / victory / frustration / accomplishment / movement forward / gain / loss / slump / triumph. So stinkin proud of everyone!
  • Life is moving forward.
  • I am in control.

Taking some much needed time…

9 07 2010

I think I’m going to unplug for a bit.

I’m not sure what that means just yet but I’m going to take a step back and slow life down for a while. I am feeling a lot of anxiety over the last couple of days and it is being reflected on the scale. There is a gain this week. I am upset over it but before I let things blow way out of proportion I’m going to take an active role in what I’m feeling and am going to take a much needed break from my life as I know it right now.

I’m allowing myself to get stressed over situations that are sort of beyond my control and that stress is manifesting itself in ways that are starting to physically take a toll on me. My body is sore all the time. I’m not sleeping well and I’m freaking out over calories that normally I wouldn’t blink an eye at. I thought the way to combat this was to push myself even more but in the end my body is physically shutting down and my emotional  state of well being is…not so much well being as just being.

I am going to skip tomorrow’s weigh in (this morning it said 203). I could blame it on salt intake, water retention or July 4th but in all honesty I’ve been eating the exact same way this week as I have for the past 25 weeks. I know why there is a gain and instead of running myself into the ground thinking that is the ONLY way to take care of it, I’m going to stop in my tracks, take a seat and seriously think about how I’m going to take care of myself emotionally first before I take care of myself physically. The weigh in would only add to the negativity I’m already feeling about myself so I can take control of that by letting it go and not worrying about what I weigh tomorrow. The gain is not food  nor exercise related. I’ve put in the work this week. It is purely stress / anxiety related. Why add to that with a weigh in?

Will I still go to the gym? OH HELL YES! Will I be wearing my HRM? Probably not. My workouts have become about calories burned not about moving and getting healthy. I look at my HRM and become upset if it doesn’t reach a specific number. This is not appropriate behavior. I see Coach Chuck Tuesday / Thursday this coming week and I’ll be going there with the most bad ass determination I can give him. Will I be going balls to the walls the other days of the week? Probably not. I’ll swim most likely or take a long walk. I have a 10k run next Saturday and I want it to be awesome. I need to remember this is a journey, not a contest and right now I feel like the latter.

I’m going to stop counting my calories on the weekends. The July 4th incident was an eye opener for me. I know how to choose my food wisely and getting upset over cheese cake and the 600 calories when I had a total of almost 2900 calories to play with and was not anywhere near that (1500 daily calories + 1338 calories “earned”) is a red flag for me. I am denying myself simple pleasures because I think that’s what I am supposed to be doing. No, what I’m supposed to be doing is finding a healthy balance between my life, my food and my pursuit of becoming the athlete I was meant to be. I will still count during the week and this by no means I’m going to be driving down the interstate looking for every fast food joint between here and Oregon. Far from it. I know how to write everything down so that I come under a net calorie intake of 1500. I make good choices everyday and I need to practice trusting myself that I know without writing it down what that feels like. If I want to eat something then I need to know that I trust myself to eat it without shame or guilt. My body wants healthy, clean food but it also wants to enjoy the food and not be bogged down mentally. I know how to push my plate away when full. I know how to take one serving and move on. I know how to say “One scoop of Pralines and Creme Please”. I know how to say “Egg whites” and “Dry toast” and “Just water for me thanks”. This journey is about learning to trust myself and it’s about time I start putting that into practice.

I am going to limit my time on electronic devices as well. Blogging from this point forward will be done at the library when possible. Wii time will be limited and if possible non-existent. I am finding myself inside the house for too many hours of the day when I should be outside participating in my life. There are parks to explore, books to be read and people to be watched. There are drives to be taken, movies to be watched and farmer’s markets to attend. I don’t care if I leave my house and go to the library for 8 hours…those 8 hours don’t need to be spent inside my house.

Over the next couple of weeks I will re-evaluate how these small yet important changes are affecting me. I will adjust accordingly. I need to remember this is my journey. I don’t need to worry about what other people are doing or how they are going to perceive me with these changes. What works for me is what this is all about. Figuring out what works for me is what makes this journey worth it!

On a side note: I can’t even begin to send out enough thanks to all of you for the support you’ve given while I’ve been on this journey. You’ve made me laugh, cry and even spit almond milk out of my nose. In all of you I find the strength to move forward on this journey. Thanks!


5 07 2010

So check this out: Life is going to get in the way. What are you going to do to make sure you’re not a casualty when it does? The reason I ask this today is because I am in the middle of this war zone called life and some times I’m not sure how I’m going to avoid being a casualty.

Is this making any sense?

To be more specific, I can’t seem to shut my brain off  long enough so that I can take the time to seriously reflect what I’m doing, where I’m going and what exactly do I want from this Life Changing Journey. Every time I take one step forward and feel good about the decisions / choices I’m making something happens and I feel like I’m taking another step back and not really learning anything from this damn journey. Every time I think “I should really sit down and make lay down some goals” I feel angst over fear of failure before I even start. Every time someone says “you’re such an inspiration” I want to scream back at them “TO WHO, CAUSE I’M NOT INSPIRING MYSELF!!!”

I am in a constant state of panic these days over work (or lack there of) and money. To know me is to know I obsess over money. This probably stems from watching my mother try to provide for 4 children while battling alcoholism and eventually losing the house I spent my entire childhood  in (15 years) and then having to move multiple times every year until she passed away when I was 20. At the moment things are sort of FUBAR with our banking situation because we had a break in with one of our vehicles last week and banking info was taken so we are in the process of moving everything to a new account but I don’t know where all the money is at this time (some here, some there…it takes time to get everything worked out blah blah blah). If I don’t have my finger on where the money is at all times, well lets just say it doesn’t help current state of well-being.

I’m in a constant state of panic over this weight loss stuff. Every day I wake up and look in the mirror and see a new face looking back at me, a  new body standing before me and I wonder “is this forever?” Just when I think I have everything under control and feel comfortable with the changes that are happening, something happens and I think “Fuck, I just don’t think I can live this way anymore”. Yesterday, I went to the gym for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Why? I don’t know. I think there was this underlying fear of being out of my element (going to friend’s house for bbq) and since I couldn’t go up to a complete stranger and ask “hey, do you know how many calories are in a serving of your potato salad?” I spent 225 minutes running, doing step class and yoga thinking this would combat any over indulgence. I even decided something sweet would be added to my menu at some point in the day. I felt good about that decision. Then I went to the store to pick out what I wanted and I panicked. I looked at the calorie counts on everything and right in the middle of the store (with my husband standing next to me) I just about had an emotional melt down.

Who has emotional melt downs over cheese cake?

In the end I choose something extremely small (caramel chocolate) and split it with my husband because god forbid I eat a piece of chocolate that has 250 fucking calories!!! At the bbq I had to finally draw the line with myself because instead of enjoying the company I was with and being on the island (Vashon is about my favorite place) I thought about what I was going to eat and how it was going to affect me later (because everyone knows 1/4 cup of potato salad is going to cause a 63 pound weight gain over night right?!)

I did fine at the bbq. I ate some chips. I drank one beer. I had a burger (sans bun) and some chicken. I even ate the potato salad all the while battling the voice inside my brain that was screaming “FAILURE” at me. Six months I’ve been on this journey. Day in and day out. Not just willy nilly but full force planting my feet firmly and yet here I am still battling as if I’ve not learned anything over the last 180 days. I know I’ve said that food is part of the solution, not the problem but do I firmly believe that today?


I’m not even sure if there is a point to this post. My title is just about the only thing I can remind myself to do: Just. Keep. Moving. I have a training session with Coach Chuck today, but am feeling more than a little intimidated about going. I’m hungry but afraid to eat because of the calorie intake from yesterday. I have a well thought out list of things I need to do but am afraid to start because I’m just plain old scared to move forward.

I will go to training session.

I will eat.

I will cross off one thing from the list.


OWiS #27

3 07 2010

Yhea, so remember this statement from a post a few days ago? “I have seen 199 enough this week that I am confident it will happen on OWiS #27. Barring a massive salt intake or TOM it will happen and I am ready to enter a new phase of this journey.” TOM will be the culprit for this week’s weigh in. It’s still a great OWiS but damn if I’m not a little irritated at my impeccable timing.

So close!

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) *joined a gym
  • Week 14 = 230.0 (-2.8) *graduated c25k
  • Week 15 = 227.8 (-2.2)
  • Week 16 = 225.6 (-2.2)
  • Week 17 = 222.4 (-3.2)
  • Week 18 = 219.2 (-3.2)
  • Week 19 = 221.4 (+2.2) *the brother situation
  • Week 20 = 213.8 (-7.6)
  • Week 21 = 212.0 (-1.8)
  • Week 22 = skipped
  • Week 23 = 208.0 (-4.0) *over the course of two weeks
  • Week 24 = 207.6 (-.4) *switched over to new scale
  • Week 25 = 204.8 (-2.8)
  • Week 26 = 202.8 (-2.0)
  • Week 27 = 200.8 (-2.0)

Chicken and Blue Cheese Stuffed Baked Potatoes

2 07 2010

With the extra time on my hands I can go back to adding to my TTHA (Tara Tested Husband Approved) page. This time I picked a recipe out of the July/August issue of Clean Eating magazine. I love this magazine as I’m sure many people out there love it. I’ve decided to go ahead and get a home subscription instead of scouring the magazine rack at my local Borders waiting (sometimes not so patiently) for the next issue to come out.

I changed the recipe just slightly. I added red pepper for color (and because it’s what I had in the fridge after realizing I forgot to buy an onion while at the store). I skipped the salt that it asked for. I’m a big proponent of the “add your own salt” way of thinking. This way nothing comes out tasting like you just bit down on a salt lick. Finally I added more chicken than what the recipe called for since I have a husband that likes his meat and this whole switch to clean eating is about making things I’m pretty sure he’ll like but also giving it to him in portions where he feels like he’s actually eating something substantial. With that being said, the calorie count is a little higher (about 150 calories per potato higher) but in the end that little extra goodness made this is a TTHA recipe that was a hit.

The ingredients:

Yep that’s pretty much all there is to this recipe. I forgot get that red pepper in the picture only because I hadn’t realized yet that I needed that darn onion and the red pepper hadn’t popped into my head as a good substitute. The spinach of course you can buy pre-washed / pre-packaged but it’s cheaper if you buy it in the bunch form. Blue cheese and cream cheese can always be bought in the light form.

  • Chicken breast (I used 1/4 breast for each potato half).
  • 2 Russet Baking potatoes (If you have more mouths to feed = more potatoes).
  • Spinach (You can never have enough spinach so desired amount is up to you. I used the entire bunch).
  • Red pepper
  • 1/4 c blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp of cream cheese.
  • Lemon (1 tsp lemon juice)
  • Pepper to taste (we use a lot of pepper in this household)

The longest part of putting together this recipe was baking the potatoes. It took almost 90 minutes to cook these bad boys. Poke them with a fork, wrap them in foil and bake at 400 degrees until tender. You’ll need to let them cool down before doing anything else with them so take this opportunity to go break a sweat to a yoga video or get on that treadmill for a bit!

Once they are cooled you can move onto the rest of the process.

Prep your red pepper and spinach and blue cheese / cream cheese.

Remember if you use fresh spinach then you’ll need to thoroughly clean each leaf. It can be time consuming so if you want it to be more easy, just buy the bagged spinach. Cube your chicken and cook with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. If you want to skip the calories, then use a non-stick spray but hey who doesn’t love olive oil. Once the chicken is cooked, add the red pepper and spinach.

Cut your potatoes in half and scoop out the center so that you have about 1/4 inch shell. Mash the potatoes in separate bowl. Add the chicken / red pepper / spinach to mix then both the blue cheese and cream cheese and lemon juice and mix well. Spoon that delicious mixture evenly into the 4 potato shells and place into baking dish (you should spray the baking dish with non-stick if you have it).

Bake at 400 degrees for an additional 10 – 15 minutes (thoroughly heated). Right before serving add a few crumbles of blue cheese on top cause seriously, can you ever have enough blue cheese????


Serving size: 2 filled halves

Calories: approx 396

Fat: 4 g

Sat Fat: 2 g

Carbs: 40 g

Sugar: 2 g

Protein: 40 g

Sodium: 219 mg

Cholesterol: 25 mg