30 days…

29 09 2010

Yesterday I weighed myself 4 times.

I’ve been able to go one week and not step on the scale. When  that week was over I went back to getting on that damn little square box 5 – 6 times a day. Next I went two weeks without getting on the scale. When that was over old behaviors crept in within a few days and I was back to weighing myself multiple times through out the day.

This is NOT a behavior I wish to keep.

I know I have a hard time setting boundaries for myself when there is no accountability involved. I can say I’m not going to get on the scale but if someone one isn’t involved personally in this challenge I know it would be good for a few days (as with the one week) but then old behaviors (thought patterns) begin to push their way back into my everyday life. I walked into the gym last night after weighing for the 4th time yesterday (one should not weigh themselves before boot camp for sure, since it makes it harder to feel good about the ass kicking you’re going to receive), on the verge of tears and asked Godfather for another no scale limit. He said two weeks. I said I could go longer…

He said one month.

This morning is my last official weigh in until October 29th. As I stepped on the scale for the final time at 4am I did so with a smile on my face and my heart a little lighter today. I’m hoping this will finally break the addiction (and I’m not afraid to call it an addiction) to the scale and the number that constantly defines who I am as a person.

This LCJ is about knowing what you need in order to make these changes stick for a lifetime. I need to break this addiction. So today is my final weigh for a month. I am going to make this happen.

Do you know what you need to make lifetime changes?

Are you willing to make it happen?


DDGBD #6 / Getting back to the basics.

26 09 2010

Goals to accomplish by December:
Finish trek tri in under 2 hours (done)
Dead lift 150 pounds (done)
Consistently run 10 minute mile (done)
Get into size 12 pants (done)
Make my bed everyday (hahahahahahahaha)

Proud moment:
I’m pretty sure that picture up there sums up my proud moment!

Need to work on the following:
I’m going back to the basics (more to follow down below) and counting calories again. That’s going to be my focus for a bit.


So let’s talk about getting back to basics.

I’ve been on this LCJ for 9 months. I’ve learned a lot of things a long the way. I’ve learned that I can count calories and stay within the numbers alloted. I’ve learned that there is a difference between my brain being hungry and my body being hungry. I’ve learned how to set small goals that are achievable instead of focusing on the end goal which seemed so far away in the beginning. I’ve learned how to feel emotions and to stay in the moment for at least 85% of the time (which is damn good for me). I’ve learned how to push my plate away when I’m full and to say out loud “I’m eating mindlessly and I need to stop”. I’ve learned that I don’t have to count calories and I can eat intuitively when I take the necessary steps to keep myself prepared. I’ve learned what a serving size looks like (never big enough in my honest opinion) and most importantly…

I’ve learned to take control of my life.

I never really thought about what I would do once I reached my first goal weight of 170 pounds. In all honesty I never thought it would be here as fast as it seems to be approaching. I didn’t wake up one day in December of ’09 and think to myself “I’m gonna balls to the walls this LCJ and at the end of September I’m going to have lost close to 100 pounds”. In fact I think that one day in December ’09 went something a little more like “Well haven’t you just gotten yourself into a fine mess here. Look at yourself fat girl. This is it. Now or never. Do something. Anything. But please don’t let this be your life anymore.”

(Then I’m pretty sure I took myself to Jack in the Box.)

Here I am. So close to that first goal weight of 170 I can see it standing there waiting for me to cross the proverbial finish line and yet I’m still scared to get there. Scared because I don’t know what’s next. All I’ve known for the past 9 months is how to lose the weight that I’ve been carrying around since I was a little girl. All I’ve had in my mind for the past 9 months is that neon sign that says:


As I get closer to that number my anxiety about reaching this goal is going up exponentially. What’s going to happen once I reach that it? Will I sit back and think “okay that was awesome, now bring me cake” Will I secretly begin paying for a World of Warcraft account again because it’s okay to play when you weigh 170 pounds? Will I take myself on a one woman date through Kentucky Fried Chicken and attempt to get past third base as I double down a double down?

Probably not…

However, I am feeling myself getting angst about it and that in turn is keeping me from reaching that goal weight and moving on to bigger and better things. September has been my lowest weight loss since starting this journey. Before you jump up from your reading and scream “BUT TARA -5.2 POUNDS IS STILL A LOT”, I already know this and I’m not down playing the weight loss during this month. I’m just making a point here. I’m pretty sure I’m self sabotaging so that I don’t have to get to that goal weight. The odd thing is I’m not doing it the way most people would think of self – sabotaging. I’m not letting days go by without breaking a sweat or sneaking in a 2000 calorie meals in my car in some deserted parking lot and then going home in hopes my husband doesn’t smell the fries on my breath or notice the ketchup stain on my shirt.

In fact, it’s just the opposite. I don’t think I’m eating enough. I think I’m so scared to reach that goal weight of 170 that I’ve resorted to eating too little and that in turn is keeping me from losing any weight. I could be wrong. I could be stressed out from going back to work full time after being unemployed for the past four months and know that my body tends to gain weight during times of stress. Hell it could be because I’ve lost 85 pounds in the last 9 months and my body just needs a damn break.

But I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not eating enough.

Which brings me to the point of all of this yammering. In the beginning I counted calories to make sure I didn’t eat too much. Now I’m going back to counting calories to make sure I am eating enough. I need to know that I’m not unconsciously trying to keep myself from reaching that goal of 170. Back to measuring and reading about serving sizes, logging my food and making sure that at the end of the day I’m eating the approximate 1500 – 2300 calories per day that my body needs to move towards that proverbial finish line. I need to stop worrying about whats suppose to happen next and focus on what’s happening today. I need to stay in the moment and know that it’s okay to move toward reaching that goal because whatever is supposed to happen next is going to be great and it will not involve cake, world of warcraft and doubling down myself on third base!!

So here’s to getting back to the basics and moving forward!

Meet Kay and her son Jake

25 09 2010

It’s interesting how you come to meet people in your life and then find out later there is a purpose to that meeting. Kay and I met at the gym a while back after she started her sessions with Godfather. I’m an early bird. Kay is an even earlier bird. I have the 6a appointment block, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kay is the 5a appointment block. Anyone that can show up to a session with Chuck and get their butts handed to them has my respect. Anyone that can show up at 5a and do it has my undying love. She’s a big inspiration to me. At 63 with some physical limitations she never gives up. Every week she keeps moving. Every week she gets stronger.

A few weeks ago I happen to mention in passing (her all sweaty, me getting ready to break a sweat) that I was dedicating my Saturday runs with Team in Training to people affected with or by Leukemia and Lymphoma. She said “my son had ALL Leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia)”. I didn’t hesitate to ask if I could run in honor of her and her son and she didn’t hesitate to share her story with me…

My Story (how I responded to my son’s life threatening diagnosis) written 8/31/2010 at almost the 25th year anniversary of diagnosis.

Back in September of 1985 I was married to a great guy and we had two darling boys. After September 6th, 1985 I began the challenge of my life. Our youngest son Jacob had just turned 7 years old and his big brother Joshua was eleven. Jake was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. We learned more than we ever wanted to know about leukemia. The family spent three years of supporting Jake through chemotherapy, in and out of the hospital, 24 blood transfusions, the chickenpox and lots of “pokes”.

Then he was in remission and doing OK for about a year and a half. During this time Jake’s dad move out and said he didn’t know if he wanted to be married any more. The disease had taken its toll on the family, especially Jake’s dad.

Before I could turn around Jake had relapsed with leukemia in his spinal fluid. The only good part of this diagnosis was that where he had been treated before, the treatment was successful. Now Jake needed an ommaya reservoir (intraventricular catheter) implanted in his head and a portacath implanted in his shoulder to receive his chemo more easily and effectively for the next three years (this reduced the number of spinal taps Jake was to receive). He was such a brave boy considering two different doctors did both these surgeries in one day at Children’s Hospital (a place out-of-town that Jake was not familiar with). Now they only do one surgery at a time as they are considered both together too dangerous.

During Jake’s second three years on chemo, I became a single mother with two teenage sons and no child support at first since I was going through a not so nice divorce. Those were really the stressful years when I would put myself last and started to lose my hair.

This time around Jake wanted to only think about leukemia when he went for treatment and try to be normal the rest of the time. As a mom I had to listen to his wishes and be a supportive as possible. By now he was 12 years old and his older brother was 16. Some of my co-workers would wonder out loud why I was still taking my son to his chemo at the clinic at Mary Bridge (a children’s hospital here in Tacoma). After all he was much older now. I almost bought in to their advice until I asked Jake himself if he still wanted me to accompany him to his chemo treatments. He said “don’t listen to your co-workers; I still want you to come with me to the clinic”. I learned how to not only see my young son, but to really listen to his needs.

During this time Jake got to have radiation for two weeks straight, along with chemo. Unfortunately he was entering middle school and the radiation plus the chemo caused him to lose his hair. Jake was the only boy to get to wear a baseball hat in school (hats were not allowed at this time in his middle school). He got teased as some of the other students would try to take his hat off. He never told me about this till later. He knows that I would have been up at the school in a flash trying to protect him. He figured out how to handle the situation on his own (the things we learn through life’s challenges).

My life was filled with church friends, family, sports, school activity (two sons struggling in school), chemo and therapy for myself. Not the way I expected my life to be when I reached my forties.

Since the end of 1993 I have been through two graduations from high school, two weddings and three grandchildren. More personally on a physical level I have alopecia, had two severed patellar tendons repaired, and emergency appendectomy, a total left hip replacement, put on weight, cataract surgery gone awry resulting in the loss of eyesight in my right eye and a prosthetic eye shell.

Oh by the way I forgot that I also have a port wine stain on  the right side of my face. I sometimes forget about that birthmark since I have lived with it all my life.

Even with all of life’s challenges I consider myself to have a great life. I have been blessed with great children, grand children, church family, friends, co-workers, a job and now a trainer and gym buddies. Now I am a single person with no spouse or children at home and am trying to live life to the fullest. At almost 63 years old I am proud that my body may have aches and pains but I am on no medication. My life seems to be on an upswing now. HOORAH!

My Team in Training Page

$1950 raised so far!

This is week number 9. I have 10 more weeks before I am standing in front of that starting line about to run my first half marathon. Please if you or anyone you know is affected by Leukemia or Lymphoma, I would be honored to dedicate a run to you, your family or friend. Please leave a comment and let’s get to planning!

OWiS #39…

24 09 2010

I spent two weeks staying away from the scale.I didn’t look at it. I didn’t think about it (okay I did think about it but it got a lot easier as time went on). In those two weeks I did some pretty awesome things like run 8 miles in 80 minutes and complete my first sprint triathlon. Something else happened over the course of those two weeks…

I didn’t lose any weight.

Well I did, but not much. In fact this will be my lowest loss recorded since starting this journey over the course of two weeks. I won’t lie: I’m disappointed. However I’ve been preparing myself that the weight loss may or may not start to slow down because of where I’m at in my total loss. I’ve lost a total of 85.4 pounds since recording my weigh ins and a total of 92 pounds from my highest weight of 270. I’m still 8 pounds from getting into the “normal” weight range (whatever the fuck that means) so it makes sense that it’s going to start to slow down quite a bit.

So I’m changing my focus.

I’ll need a few days (or weeks) to come to a decision on some things about where I want to take this journey and then I’ll share with the rest of the world where we’re going from here. I say we’re because you as much a part of this journey as I am.

  • 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)
  • Week 28 = 203.6 (+2.8) *lost my job
  • Week 29 = 197.0 (-6.6) ONEDERLAND!
  • Week 30 = 196.3 (-.7) *I cut out starch
  • Week 31 = 193.2 (-3.1)
  • Week 32 = 188.0 (-5.2)
  • Week 33 = 185.6 (-2.4)
  • Week 34 = 185.1 (-0.5)
  • Week 35 = 183.3 (-1.8)
  • Week 36 = skipped
  • Week 37 = 178.7 (-4.6) *over two weeks
  • Week 38 = skipped
  • Week 39 = 178.1  (-0.6) * over two weeks


21 09 2010

Wow, where does one even begin to tell the events of this past weekend?

Should I begin with the Friday before the event where I thought it would be a good idea to practice taking the tires off of the rims of Peppermint Patty only to discover I A) don’t have the slightest clue how to get the tires off of the rim (even though I watched countless videos on youtube and it seems simple enough) and B) am really good at gashing my inner tube to the point that I was frantically calling the bike shop 30 minutes before they closed to see if they could fix my flat.

Should I begin with the Saturday before the event and finding myself at the Trek Triathlon Expo, crying my eyes out because I was picking up my race packet, getting the number 469 written all over my body in permanent marker and feeling overwhelmed at the idea of actually going through with this triathlon even though I’ve been training for this moment for months prior.

Feeling like a badass for sure!

Should I begin with the night before and getting about 2 hours of sleep because it was a torrential downpour and I kept checking the weather app on my phone and praying that the thunder storms predicted would come and pass before 6am or I would need to seriously rethink my commitment to this triathlon.

Should I begin with the morning of and trying to eat something without gagging because I was so full of anxiety and fear that I barely managed to eat 1/2 of a banana, a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds or should I start with leaving my husband outside of the transition area as I began to rack my bike, put on on my wetsuit and step up to a starting line I never thought I’d see.

I don’t know where to start.

Let me start with this:

I am a triathlete!

I didn’t feel like one when I got up Sunday morning. I was freaked out. I was trying to remember to take everything (including my bike which I almost overlooked – no lie). I didn’t feel like one when I was driving down to the site and was sure that I had forgotten my goggles. So while trying to drive, eat a little something and read the directions to where I was going I was also rummaging through my bucket and my back pack chanting “please be there, please be there”…they were.

My bucket of goodness (including my goggles)

I didn’t feel like one as I entered the transition area after kissing my husband goodbye and timidly saying “see you at the finish line” (since I wasn’t quite convinced I’d actually cross the finish line) and saw hundreds of women racking their bikes like they knew what they were doing.

I didn’t feel like one when I saw my friend Salwa (who was also doing her first triathlon) and we both jumped around like high school girls that just got picked for the cheerleading squad. I didn’t feel like one when my friend Kerrie (for whom this was not her first triathlon) came over and gave me all sorts of love and last minute pointers on how to get out of the wet suit and assured me I was going to be fine.

Me and Salwa

Me and Kerrie

I didn’t feel like one when I was standing in a group of women all wearing the same swim cap color (wave 5, blue) and entering the water waiting for them to tell me to go. In fact, this is where I panicked and almost gave up before I even started. The water was so cold and it was a shock to my system. I stood there (we had about 4 minutes) and must have had a look of such fear on my face because a woman standing next to me put her hand on my shoulder and told me it was going to be alright. I didn’t know what to do at that moment. So I forced myself to sit down in the water. Everyone else was standing. I wasn’t about to jump in face first and lose my breath. So I sat while it was still relatively calm and told myself  what the Godfather has been telling me to do for the last 2 months: “All I have to do is remember Breath and Move.”

Top of my bucket (just in case I forgot what I was supposed to do)

You want to know when I started to feel like a triathlete? As soon as  they said go and I hit the water and just did what I came to do – step over the starting line and move toward the finish line. I hit that water and IT WAS ON! No more fear, no more anxiety. No more “I’m going to quit before I start”. No more “what if I can’t”…there was only breath and move.

And that’s exactly what I did.

There’s so much more to this triathlon (like seeing my husband at every transition with a huge smile on his face. Seeing my friends Kelly and Heidi snapping away with their cameras and yelling out my times to me. Seeing Jord holding up a sign that said WWOPD as I was zooming past on my bike and finally all the women in the triathlon that cheered one another on as we dug down deep to get to the end) but there’s also nothing more to this triathlon except what I’m about to say:

We don’t have to live our lives being fat anymore. We don’t have to live our lives sitting around wondering what it would be like to cross over a finish line and be handed a medal that said “you did it”. We don’t have to live our lives sad and complacent; depressed and alone. We don’t have to live our lives thinking that this is as good as it gets. We don’t have to live our lives feeling sorry for ourselves and stuffing our emotions with food. We don’t have to live our lives the way we’ve been living them for ONE SECOND MORE.

It just starts with one tiny baby step.

That leads to finishing a triathlon.

No one can EVER take this away from me.

What’s in a number?

16 09 2010

Numbers are very important to me.

On this LCJ they’ve become the way I measure my success and my failures. They’ve become my constant reminder that I am trying to make some changes in my life that will hopefully get rid of the fat that I’ve carried around for most of my life and get rid of it for good. Numbers have become both my saving grace and my worst enemy.

Here are some of those numbers:

270 – my highest weight ever.

28 – average hours spent per week playing World of Warcraft before starting this LCJ.

263 – my weight on Dec 29th 2009, when I decided enough was enough.

40 – the age at which I decided I couldn’t let my life slip away from me.

1800 – my initial daily calorie intake when I started counting calories.

15 – the amount of minutes I could go on the wii before being out of breath in January.

3 – how many flights of stairs I started walking when I decided that I wouldn’t take the elevator in January.

1.3 – daily average amount of times I cry every day fighting for my life.

12.9 – number of points off my BMI

5 – daily average amounts of time I stepped on the scale up until 3 weeks ago.

37 – number of weeks I’ve been on the journey.

2.3 – average weekly weight loss

84.8 – total weight loss as off Sept 10th 2010.

15:36 – how many minutes it took me to run my first mile.

8 – pant sizes lost

I let these numbers control me. I let them make me or break me. What I need to do is focus on some other numbers. Numbers that not only define me as a person but as an athlete and most importantly as a runner:

1469 – My first racing number. Capital City Half Marathon walk. Official time = 3:27:23 (May 13th)

179 – My second racing number. The Great Kilted 5k run. Official time = 37:40 (May 23rd)

6605 – My third racing number. Sound to Narrows 5k run. Official time = 37:00 (June 12th)

410 – My fourth racing number. Bill Burby 10k Memorial run. Official time = 1:08:43 (July 17th)

I’ll be adding another racing number to this list in a matter of days

469 – My fifth racing number for the Trek Triathlon. 1/2 mile swim. 12 mile ride. 3.1 mile run. I am ready. Sunday September 19th 2010 I will become a triathlete in the truest form. Me, Tara Martin. The girl who 8 months couldn’t imagine going a day without entering a fantasy world in order to forget the world in which  she was living. The girl who couldn’t run a block. The girl who never thought the word athlete would pertain to her. The girl who thought she’d never cross a finish line and more importantly never step up to the starting line. The girl who for 40 years prior never liked what she saw in the mirror now sees someone she loves and is ready to not only step up to the starting line on Sunday, but ready to take on the world.

Are you ready?

DDGBD Week #4 / Stuff…

13 09 2010

Weight 178.7

Goals to accomplish by December:
Finish trek tri in under 2 hours
Dead lift 150 pounds (done)
Consistently run 10 minute mile (done)
Get into size 12 pants
Make my bed everyday

Proud moment:
9/11 – I ran for 8 miles at a consistent 10 minute mile. 8 miles = 80 minutes!!!

Need to work on the following:
I am starting a two week no scale challenge from my trainer. So that is my main focus right now. I’m pretty relieved actually. I feel like a weight (pun intended) has been lifted.


  • I’m hurt. It happened during my 8 mile run (the one up there). There were a lot of hills and I was wearing my vibrams = lots of running on the balls of my feet and I’m pretty sure I’ve strained my achilles tendon. I’m pretty freaked out about it. But it’s much more than that. I have a hard time not getting down on myself when stuff like this happens. It’s an easy hop to go from “oh man I’m hurt” to “oh man look at my saggy skin” and then a small skip to “you’ll never reach your first goal weight” and finally an even smaller jump to “way to fail again Tara”…
  • So to say I’m emotional this week is an understatement. Add to that, the current “no scale for two weeks” smack down from Godfather and I’m pretty much on the verge of tears at any given moment. Yes I am relieved that I don’t have to think about whether or not I’m getting on the scale (he said “if you step on it, you’re killing me”) but it’s still stressful not having those numbers validate me. For the most part I’m staying in the moment. However I am finding myself freaking out periodically over the idea of getting on the scale in two weeks and not seeing any movement.
  • The Trek Tri is next Sunday. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain how being hurt and having this event loom in my immediate future has put a fair amount of stress on my psyche. Trying to stay focused by doing things that I am physically capable of doing (swimming and non weight bearing exercises) and not beating myself up over things I am not physically capable of doing.
  • I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my own spirituality on this journey. I’m not quite ready to blog about it but I’m learning a lot about myself and my return to the church (if that’s is indeed what it is).
  • I’m really happy to be returning to work this week with a full time load beginning next week. I’ve had 3 months off to focus on my personal life and where I am in my commitment in this LCJ. I’ll need to learn how to balance work, gym (Godfather included) and my social network (which is still strange to say). I also have to go back to making my lunches and preparing to have enough food to keep me going for the return of the long days. I’ll need to retrain my body to get up super early in the morning to be on the gym floor and sweating no later than 530a. I still have my priorities.
  • Godfather bestowed another “Chuckism” on me today which I will need to think about turning into a full blown post soon: With Great Ability comes Great Responsibility.
  • I watched videos all day on how to change my tire in the event of a flat on Peppermint Patty. Random bullet yes, but I feel pretty hard core. I’ll be practicing later this evening.