Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Letter to Myself when I'm ready to Quit

I saw a post on facebook this morning, "A Letter to My Younger Runner Self." I started to read it but wanted to write my own while I had lots of ideas in my head. That letter was from a Runner, capital R...someone who ran competitively in high school and college. It was only relevant to me in that it inspired me.

So this year, as I embark on taking my body back and kicking those 15 pounds I gained to curb, I need to remind myself that...

* I don't have to be perfect, I just have to be better.

* yes, it does take a certain amount of obsession to get/stay fit...but I need to give myself a break every once in a while.

* I don't need to be afraid of food. A cheat can simply be that, a cheat...not a binge.

* I once ran 3.2 miles in 33 minutes. Less than two years ago. And that I ran nearly two cosnecutive miles a few months ago without really training. It will be hard. Those first consecutive five minutes, consistently, day after day, will be the hardest, but I can do it. 

* I need to remember my running mantra...breathe in for two, out for one.

* I'm still healthier, even with these 15 pounds, than I've been for the majority of my life.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Over the Bridge

One of the things I can't seem to shake is enjoying the process. I look beyond the present and to the finish line. Always.

December, the holidays -- no different. I'm ready for this to be over. Ready to start healthy eating, ready to focus on me, ready to be over the family drama and just be in the 215, far far away from the 315 and the shit that usually ensues when you're one of eight.

I want my routine back. I want the temptations out away. The parties over. The damn Christmas cookies out of my house.

I want, I want, I want.

A lot of bitching for someone who is pretty lucky...relatively healthy, relatively happy, independent, strong, brave. Family, friends, a dog. I am and I have.

But when life gets like this, when I feel myself spiraling out of control, I just need to get to the other side of the bridge. I can't stand the up and down, the back and forth of a couple, good days and then three days of parties.

You would think I would just enjoy the rest of December and know in my heart and in my head that I'm back into my routine in January. But I can't.

I obsess. I think. I rationalize. I focus. I start one day with a healthy breakfast, and then eat eight cookies. I get on the treadmill and run, and then eat more cookies.

I have the best of intentions for Monday. Breakfast and lunch and snacks -- all healthy, all packed for the work day.

I don't have high hopes for the way the day will end. But maybe I'll surprise myself.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What did you learn about yourself?

Those were the words my massage therapist asked me when I told him I ran a 5K the previous week.

It was a response I didn't expect and one I haven't gotten. And one that made me think.

I've had a few experiences over the past month that could make me ask myself that question.

The Arbonne Experiment

I went two weeks with no dairy, no wheat, no gluten, no refined sugar, no artificial sweetener. It wasn't that hard. I learned to be more mindful -- again -- about what I put in my mouth. To answer hunger queues and not eat according to the clock. I ate real foods and tried to not be afraid of certain foods because they were high in fat, good fat, but fat nonetheless (like walnuts and almonds) or high in carbs (like fruit or the bad-reputationed starchy veggies).

While the whole FB challenge is going on through November, I was happy to get back to a more balanced diet after two weeks. I met with a nutritionist on Friday and put a plan in place to focus on calories in and calories out, and not so much about the protein to carb ratio. And for the most part, managed to do just that this weekend.


He texted me at the beginning of the month, that he missed me. I was immediately annoyed. And hour later, he texted again that he was rereading all the cards I wrote to him and balling (sic). [Yes, it bothered me immediately that he spelled bawling wrong.]

Maybe I'm a bitch that my initial reaction was annoyance. And that my reaction didn't change 12 hours later when I finally responded to him. I learned that I don't need a boyfriend. I want one, but I don't need one. And I think in those last few months of our relationship I was afraid to end things because I didn't want to hurt him, because he was comfortable, if not boring, and there wasn't anything really wrong, just unsatisfied.

And he was the one who broke up with me, because he had too much going on in his head, as he put it. I thanked him a month later, thanked him for having the courage to end it because I hadn't realized how unhappy I had been until I was on my own again, I didn't realize how one-sided the relationship truly was, and how much he was not meeting my basic needs, even when I asked for them. A back-handed compliment, but one that I truly and sincerely meant, not as a slight, but as the truth.

And so when he texted me out of the blue, having no clue as to where I am in my life -- I could still be pining for him or I could be in another relationship -- I felt that it was unfair, that he was once again being selfish and putting his own needs ahead of mine. I texted back that I was annoyed, that he fucked up and he gave up and it's too late, that I wasn't sure of his intentions by texting me at this point but it was unfair to pull this emotional bullshit on me.

It took me a few weeks -- and some Catholic guilt -- to learn that I had come through for me on that one. That I was authentic with my feelings and expressing them. I can't do "what if" but I wonder if I had come through for myself more like that in the relationship if things would have changed. I think the only thing that would have changed was that ex-boyfriend would have gained that status much earlier than he did.

The Rocky Run

I didn't really train for it. Some interval running, but no long times on the treadmill of sustained running. I was ready to be happy with a time around 40:00, knowing that if I didn't run at all I could finish in 45:00, but also knowing that I would run some.

And so at 7:30 a.m. on a very cold November morning, I channeled Rocky running through the Philly neighborhoods and ending at the Art Museum.

I ran the first mile in a solid 10:59; I ran the second mile in 11:41. I lost some steam and walked the rest, but still finished in under 37:00.

To quote A.A. Milne in Winnie the Pooh, from all of these experiences, I learned that I'm braver than I believe, stronger than I seem and smarter than I think.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I love this.

25 Famous Women on Childlessness

"There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child."

I thought I was in the first category, but I now know that I'm in the second. And I cherish every minute of it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

"You don't have to be perfect."

I feel like I've had a lot of therapy in the past week.

I saw Terri on Thursday and then yesterday morning joined the ladies form my former gym for a walk around Peace Valley Park and walked the whole 6.2-mile loop with one of my former trainers.

Great conversation about where I am almost 18 months out of the gym. How I let ex-boyfriend sway me with his bad habits, how I used food to fill the emotional void toward the end of the relationship, and how scared I got when the scale hit 199.

And she said something very profound.

"You don't have to be perfect. You just have to do better."

I think that's where I've been living and possibly why I've seemingly been failing. I've tried too hard to be perfect. Tried too hard to lose those 15 extra pounds all at once. Threw my hands up in the air and said "fucks it" and proceeded to eat Hershey miniatures like they were m&m's.

We talked about the guilt associated with our food issues and how it's not just the physical discomfort that comes from over-eating (I've talked about the carb hangover), but the mental beatings we give ourselves. And that's when she said, "I finally figured it out, that I'm allowed to have another glass of wine or a cookie. Because I'm not perfect and I don't have to be. But tomorrow, I have to be better than I was today."

And she's right, and once I finish my detox and slowly re-introduce food back into my daily diet, I have to remember that I don't have to be perfect. I can have a couple Christmas cookies, and then the next meal, I have to be better."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 1 in the Books

So I've been doing the Arbonne detox for more than a week now. Since last Friday, I have not eaten any dairy, gluten or wheat, sugar (except for the occasional Altoid) or artificial sweetener.

I haven't noticed any difference on the scale, but they assure me it's coming.

I'm not really craving anything. The hardest part is trying to get enough calories in my day. And I do worry that with all of the cardio I do, that I'm not eating enough carbs. But it's only a few weeks and if it gets my head in the game, especially heading into Thanksgiving, I'm all for it.

I've been told that there's in a difference in my face. One person told me -- she can see that it's thinner, another that my coloring is better.

I feel more present and aware of what's going in my mouth. I was making a pan of lasagna for my neighbors and as I finished with the last dollop of ricotta on the last layer, had a fingerful of cheese "thisclose" to my mouth and suddenly remember, no dairy.

And I didn't feel deprived and I didn't feel sad and the world didn't stop spinning because I didn't eat something that I previously would have done so mindlessly.

I've never been a big fan of vegetables. But I'm putting spinach in my morning smoothie and having salad at least one meal a day.

Yesterday I ran a 5K. I did not really brian for it. But call it muscle memory or give some credit to a body eating real food -- I ran the first mile in under 11:00, and the second just over 11:00. I had the absolutely lowest expectations of this run, just wanting to finish in under 45:00. I finished in under 37:00.

So I move into week 2, with the promise to my Arboone challenge leader that I will not step on the scale until next Sunday. (I'm a weigh myself every day kind of girl when I'm weight-loss mode.)

I'm anxious to see and feel the changes in my body over the next week. And I know even now, that with just a .2 weight loss since starting the detox, that the benefits have been to more than numbers on the scale.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cleaning House

I was dusting the other day and noticed some papers poking out of my birthday book. It was an article from Self magazine, December 2006. Why had I saved it? There was nothing written on it, not passages marked. It was just folded in half and stuck in the front of the book.

The title of the article was "Done with Dieting," and while that is certainly a topic that would be of interest of me, I typically don't save stuff like that.

 I started reading it and almost threw it away. It didn't seem applicable. And then of page 2 of the article, I realized why I saved it. 

The author, an obsessive dieter, was meeting with a professor of psychology.

I was sold by the experts' arguments and vowed to swap my dieting addiction for a less extreme approach. No restrictions, no obsessive daily weigh-ins. She liked that idea but warned me that it would be a challenge. "You are what psychologists call a 'restrained eater'" she explained. That sounded good to me. "Not really," she said. "It's a sub clinical eating disorder, an anxious state where you want or you're always watching what you eat. If a restrained eater finally gives in and eats what she is craving, she generally gets out of control. Many chronic dieters are restrained eaters, depriving themselves and then binging, over and over again."

I asked if ther was a psychological term for a person who aimed to make healthy choices, wasn't worried about every forkful and could have a piece of cake without feeling horrible about it. "That's healthy, normal eating," she responded. "More specifically, 'normal' is being able to to be flexible and eat a variety of foods in response to hunger." I told her I didn't know anyone like that. "In our research, we do have a hard time finding women who are normal," she conceded. "Most don't come close."

It was the cycle I have been on for at least the last 10 years, straddling between normal and restrained and somewhere in between. When I was first diagnosed with my eating disorder, it was never quite explained in this way. Obsessive. Afraid of food. Exercise bulimic. Net negative calories. Those were the buzz words.

But I never was able to work with someone where I could have a good relationship with food, where it wasn't my enemy, it wasn't my support system, it wasn't my reward, I didn't think about I all the time.

A friend from Baltimore, who leads fitness challenges on FB (I love that this has become this decade's version of the side businesses of sex toy parties of the 2000s or Tupperware of the 70s), wrote something pretty amazing to me today. She posted her planned meals for the week. I, of course, asked her how many calories, what was her ratio of protein to carbs to fat, etc.

Her response was as profound for me as finding that article from 2006. 

I haven't been tracking as much anymore. I've just listened to my body. I don't want to become too obsessed with it, which I know I could if I let myself. I still enjoy food, I just make a conscious effort to grab healthy stuff now, and that's made a huge difference....making sure it doesn't become an obsession was key for me. I knew plugging in those numbers would be. Seeing them in black and white, and then stressing about when I go over. 

I've been told that I'm very aware of my mind set, I know when to make a change, when I need a check-in with my therapist, when it's time to think through a situation. For almost every 
situation in life -- work, friends, relationships, sex -- that is true. Food has always been my kryptonite.

One of these days I will figure it out. I hope.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thanks, SBA!

As a former Rochesterian (and a former natural history museumer in Rochester), I am very proud of the role the city and its residents played int eh suffrage movement.

A friend posted this to Facebook on election day and I just love it more and more every time I look at it.

I just had to share.

I hope everyone -- especially women -- exercised their right to vote on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Those who know me, know I love baseball. And those who don't, just look at the title.

Joe Maddon was named the Cubs manager the other day, and one of his quotes really stuck with me.

“I'm gonna be talking playoffs next year,” Maddon said. “I'll tell you that right now. I can't go to spring training and say anything else. You have to set your goals high, because if you don't set them high enough you might hit your mark, and that's not a good thing. We're gonna talk World Series this year, and I'm gonna believe it. It's in our future.”

Set your goals high.

Miles -- I'm closing in on 70 since the middle of October when I saw the challenge one of my FB friends set for herself. I will get 200 miles before the end of the year. And I will hit 1,000 in 2015.

Exercise -- Every day. Thankfully I have a dog who doesn't let me skip that. Even if I don't get on the treadmill, he needs to be in the fresh air for at least two miles.

Lifting is the bane of my existence when it comes to working out. I hate it. But I know I need to do it. So I will set the goal of lifting (or doing a strength training DVD) three times a week.

Diet Pepsi -- none. Nada. Shooting for the the month of November aspartame, chemical and Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry free. (And all soda in general)

Food -- I'm committed to this seven day detox, though it hasn't started yet so I have no idea what I'm in for. And committed to the 28-day challenge to give me momentum into the holidays.

Weight -- I will be 175 pounds by my birthday. Plain and simple.

So thanks Joe Maddon, I hope I get to the see the Cubbies int eh World Series, not only in my life time, but in the next year. 

Set your goals high. Reach for them. Work for them.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." -- Nelson Mandela.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Over and Over and Over...

Day 1...over and over and over again. Sometimes it feels like I'm looking for the magic pill again, like I did through so much of my 20s and 30s (and teens and preteens)!

It's only 10 pounds. Ten pounds to get me where I need to be. 

So earlier this summer, I attempted the 21 day fix. 

I attempted a three day cleanse (nasty stuff). 

I've started and gotten sidetracked I can't even tell you how many times with the way I used to eat when I was going to the ladies gym and working with the trainers. When I was new in town, had no social life and could actually focus completely on me.

But I'm excited and modestly optimistic about the challenge presented to me by an Ithaca friend. So here I go with Arbonne and a 28-day clean eating challenge. First, there are nutritional components to it. There's a detox, but there's also protein, and it's very similar to the way I like to eat when I'm eating clean. I also like that it's really focused on one thing. I've got the exercise thing down -- I don't need a program for that. It's about the food.

It's always been about the food. That statement alone could be linked back to so many blog posts, I'll just leave it alone. I think many reading this can relate that one six-word sentence to their own emotions and issues.

I'm waiting for my package of products....nutritional supplements and protein. So until that arrives, I'll eat the way I was taught, the way I did for almost all of 2013. Today was a good day so far. It's getting to be the witching hour, that time when I'm almost ready to head home.

Tonight, I will work out when I get home and then am going over to a friend's house for pizza, wine and salad. Thankfully I don't like wine and I'm hoping against hope that I can really just stick to the salad and one small slice of pizza. I've planned and it will fit within my carb/fat/protein ratio and under my calorie goal.

I have three full weeks plus until thanksgiving. I want to be strong going into that holiday. So I'm motivated and there's no mindless eating. Lots of turkey, one spoon of sides and save a little piece of apple pie. And then a workout that night.

And then strength the next day at Jill's 40th birthday party. And then I can end the month strong, with momentum and can repeat my holidays in 2013, when I actually lost weight!

So while I wait for the UPS man to arrive with my latest attempt, I'll give myself a little jump start of clean eating, so that detox doesn't seem so abrupt.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mind Over Matter

That's what I kept telling myself today on the treadmill. For 10 minutes, 10 consecutive minutes, I ran. It wasn't fast but I ran without stopping. I counted my breathing, I ignored my legs and turned the music up louder.

It's been a long time since I've run for that long without stopping. I so want to get back to where I was a year ago.

Time. Practice. Stamina. Training. And never giving up.

I can do this.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finding balance

I'm back on track, even if I'm not 100% clean eating. 

If I had to give myself a grade myself, it would be a B- for both Wednesday and yesterday. Wednesday, I didn't exercise, but I did stay well within my calorie range, even if my protein/carb ratio was a little off.

Yesterday, I could have eaten better, but I did stay within calories and do some intense HIIT for more than an hour last night. 

Today I'm hoping for more of a balance, eating clean for 90% of the day and getting a good workout in.

I'm still having my moments mood-wise, but my days are more good than bad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Decent Day

A good day, a decent day, sometimes hard day. The mouth hunger tried to get the best of me but I hung in there.

Hoping tomorrow is a little easier.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Still Wallowing

I'm not sure what's going on in my head. I could kill or cry at the drop of a hat. I've eaten my weight in chocolate in the past five days and don't really care. Except I do, just not when I'm eating it.

My PMS has come and gone. My period has come and gone. And yet, my mood is still here. Black. Dark. Cranky. Miserable. Sad. That's me.

Work has been rough. I'm feeling disenchanted, like I haven't made a difference in my two plus years.

People are annoying me.

The dog is waking me up at 3am to go out and 4am to eat.

But all of those things have happened before -- and I've never been in this foul of a mood.

And then tonight, as I was getting out of the shower, I broke down. Finally. I needed a good cry and finally got it. The poor dog was scared -- he had never seen my cry like that and he cried along with me. This is one area where the cat is definitely the tougher of the species. Casey knew what to do when I cried. Casey was the strong one. Tonight, I ended up being the strong one for Bernie and didn't get to cry nearly as much as I wanted to.

But it hit me as I was crying. A very dear friend is going through IVF. I even reread part of my blog last night -- another contributor to my mood I'm sure. But it hit me tonight. It's not that she's going through it and reminding me of all I went through.

It's going to be the outcome. I'm scared. Scared for her, but more scared for me. I need her to get pregnant. I need this to be a success. I want her to succeed and get pregnant and carry to term and have a healthy baby. All of the the things I couldn't do, all the things my body failed at. My fragility is tied to her IVF cycle.

And once I had that conscious thought, once I realized what had been weighing me down, I felt lighter (except for the aforementioned bag of Dove mints and dark chocolate kisses in my belly).

I know I have no control over her body -- no more than I had over mine. I can be supportive. I can tell her what to expect. I can help her get through the disappointment of her cycle being cancelled this month because of abnormal hormone levels. And knowing that is half the battle.

Tonight, hopefully I will be able to fall back to sleep immediately after taking the dog out at 3am. Will be able to forcefully tell him to lay down at 4am -- and he will for another hour -- and will go right back to sleep. I need a good night's sleep. I need my mind to shut off, because for the past week, I've stayed awake since 3am, tossing, turning and thinking. Three of the very worst things you can do when you're supposed to be asleep.

So tonight, there will be sleep.

And tomorrow there will be good, clean healthy eating. So much so that I am going to bore you to tears and not only use myFitnessPal tomorrow, but also record my food here. And probably the next day.

A prayer for my girl who is dealing with the disappointment of a cancelled cycle. So many hopes and then just like that, nope gotta wait until next month. Sigh....I remember those updates, that news was as bad a negative test because it meant the same thing. It meant, I'm not pregnant this month.

And so while she won't be pregnant this month, she could be next month. And while I'm not going to lose all the weight I've gained in the past week in one day, I can do something about it tomorrow.

No more wallowing. Maybe some more crying. And being good to myself again.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How I got over Cooper

Two...almost three...years ago, I had a baby named Cooper. For four days, he was mine. Or so I thought. And then he wasn't.

And earlier this year, my neighbors got a puppy, and named him Cooper. It was something I contemplated naming my own dog. But it felt like I was naming my dog after a dead baby. Even though he -- the baby -- wasn't dead, that's the way I have to think about him. And so I named my puppy after Bernie Williams. And then, Cooper came home a month later.

I told Lee -- who we will forever just refer to now as EB (ex-boyfriend) -- that it bothered me, that I would get over it, but it bothered me that they took my baby's name. This, of course, after I had to remind him of the Cooper situation in my life. And then he literally said, I have to take a shower, I'll talk to you tomorrow.

I was dumbfounded. And hurt. And we actually broke up the next day.

Suddenly, Cooper the dog was not the biggest worry in my life. After a few month of trying to figure out if the unhappiness I was experiencing in the relationship, if the things I felt were missing were just compromise or really and truly things that were missing.

And having EB not "get" why having a Cooper live next to me was initially going to be difficult was the bitch slap in the face. This wasn't about compromise, this was a basic need not getting met.

And so Cooper the dog became about how boyfriend became ex-boyfriend and not about my once-baby.

And now Cooper the dog is really just about how he is the arch-nemisis of Bernie and there is no negative connotation for me. (other than I really want Bernie to like him.)

So thanks EB for making it hurtful in a different way, but also a much easier hurt to get over.

And that…is how I got over Cooper.

Friday, October 17, 2014

LIght a Candle

Wednesday was infant and pregnancy loss day. I lit a candle that night, said a little prayer, not only for my actual miscarriage but also the 15 embryos that were placed inside of my uterus (two or three at a time) and didn't stick.

Apparently, and according to Wikipedia (because let's face it, that where we get all of our information), in 1988, President Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

It was something I hadn't heard about until the last five years. And not just because it was something I experienced. I think that people are more open with their grief, sharing (and sometimes over-sharing) their highs and lows.

Growing up, and in my 20s, I knew no one who went through fertility treatment. Or I should say, I knew OF no one. It wasn't something you talked about. You either got pregnant or you didn't. If you went for treatment, it was all very hush-hush, whether for fear of feeling like a failure or fear of condemnation or something else…fertility treatment, shots, IVF, IUI, sperm banks -- those were all things that happened in the movies or on TV. And even then, with very little realism or detail. (Don't get me started on the episode of Friends, "The One with Phoebe's Uterus.")

But in my 30s, it became a little more OK to talk about. Long before I knew that my eggs didn't mature on their own and that my egg reserve was comparable to that of a post-menopausal woman, I started to hear about people going through IVF procedures. A single birth here. Triplets there. Twins over there. And another set of twins to join the single birth.

And then my own struggles. And more and more people going through it. At last count, I know of nearly 20 kids in my immediate life who were conceived in a doctor's office.

Suddenly -- or maybe not so suddenly, but eventually -- it became OK to talk about the struggles to conceive. And just as that became OK to share, so too did the struggles when conception didn't work. In addition to my baby, who should have turned five this past September, there are another six or seven angel babies in my immediate life.

The year I graduated from high school, Ronald Reagan recognized a struggle that I had no idea would affect me so deeply 20 years later. For the most part, I am "over" what I went through as much as I can be.  And that is to say that I have made peace with the fact that I will never be a mother, but that doesn't mean that the little green monster doesn't come out when someone announces she's pregnant, that doesn't mean that I don't feel sad and have a tiny pity party for me when I think about what could have been.

But those moments aren't marked on the calendar, I'm not aware that they're coming. Something little will trigger a moment of sadness. Something out of the blue. Sometimes it's Halloween. This year is was the first day of school as I realized that my baby would have been starting kindergarden. And who knows when someone is going to announce a pregnancy?

And so Wednesday night, I lit the candle because I felt I owed it to the movement of awareness. I had a very conscious thought about the miscarriage and the embryos (though I had to look up how many embryos there were when I started to write this post). But there was no sadness. Not even numbness. It was all very matter-of-fact.

And so maybe next October 15 I will write a blog post, or light a candle or post something to Facebook. Or maybe I won't. Maybe the day will sail right by without me realizing.

I guess because there are enough surprise days throughout the year that remind me of the missing baby, of the lost opportunities, of the lost life I could have had, that I don't necessarily need one noted on the calendar to remind me. But I'm happy that it exists, that women can get the support they need and that lost pregnancies can be remembered for the lost life they represented and not forgotten as a family secret, never to be talked about.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So this happened today:

* too many hershey miniatures to count
* annoying work people
* Wendy's for lunch
* two diet sodas

So this HAD to happen tonight:

* 65 minutes on the treadmill, with some intense HIIT
* more than 700 calories burned
* and only a protein shake for dinner

Thankfully, I don't have to weigh in until next week, but I do need to get over the PMS and annoying work people excuse. I wallowed in it for two days. Time to pull up my big girl pants and get back to business.

And so snack, lunch and breakfast packed for tomorrow...with a goal of 100 ounces of water in the work day.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Last year, I had a goal of "doing" (walking and running) 1,000 miles in the year. I was on pace, I was doing it. And then December happened.

I was getting ready to put my 18-year-old cat down and close on my house. Add in a boyfriend who didn't like to work out and....well. I fell short of my goal.

Tonight on FB I saw a friend post about her goal until the end of the year. 100 miles in the last 100 days of the year. There are now 79 days left so I'm shooting 80 miles, with a stretch goal of 100. Totally doable. Completely.

And not even hard. I did 4.5 today after work.

But what the goal does is bigger than the actual goal, bigger than the actual accomplishment. It's the habit, it's the mindset, it's the training. It will push me.

I'm a very competitive person, and funny enough, I can be competitive with myself.

So 80...scratch that 100+ miles by the end of the year.

And 1,000 in 2015.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


A wise man once said, "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it's lethal."

I disagree. I crave routine. Routine keeps me sane. And happy. And healthy.

Certainly I am capable -- and often really enjoy -- mixing things up. But those are the treats. The chocolate you enjoy once a week. The beer you have on the weekends. Getting a massage. Those aren't things you can do every day.

September, as I've mentioned, was not routine in any way. From having an exchange student, to board meetings, presentations and after-hours work events, to my parents visiting, my routine went right out the window. And with no routine, there was less clean eating, less exercise, less structure to my health.

With all of that also comes less willpower. More mouth hunger.

Mouth hunger is an interesting phenomena. If you've never experienced it, it's kind of like eating out of boredom. But the feeling, the absolute need to eat, is overwhelming. Physically, you're not hungry. Often times you're full, but you still have this strong sensation to eat. I'm able to recognize it. I'm not always able to stop myself, but at least, I recognize it.

Last week when my parents were visiting, I made my dad several batches of cookies. I literally had a carb hangover -- my stomach hurt from the amount of sugar I put in my body -- and yet, every time I went by the Ziploc bags of cookies, I took two of three. Every single time.

I'm sure there are lots of underlying reasons behind these eating disorder triggers -- and I leave that to my therapist to figure out. But just as quickly as the mouth hunger was uncontrollable, once I got back into a routine, my willpower returned.

October started for me on September 29, when I had my house back to myself, when work meetings seemed to go back to normal and when I was able to plan my meals, pack my lunches and find time on the treadmill.

Sunday, I was wanting something sweet. I had a bag of m&m's in the freezer for baking. (Another aside, I can have all sorts of junk food in my house. If it's not opened, I won't eat it. It won't even tempt me. Once opened, all bets are off.) But Sunday, I felt I could handle it.

I opened the m&m's, put a serving size in a small container and sealed up the bag. I enjoyed every m&m, took my time eating them and really tasted them. And while I thought about them once or twice, I have not gone back to the bag. That is a huge win.

And so, apologies to Paulo Coehlo, but I'll stick to my routine. For me, lack of routine is lethal.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Keeping it real

About eight years ago, I had an eating disorder. It was some sort of bulimia. More specifically, exercise bulimia. I would eat about 1000 calories a day (or less) and work out for several hours. Some days, I had a net negative calories of 500 or more.

My body shut down and I couldn't lose weight. So I ate less and exercised more. I became afraid of food. I worked through it, but sometimes swing to the other end of the spectrum where I binge and over eat.

Today, was another good eating day. One hundred percent perfect. And because I ran last night, I knew going into today that I didn't need to run tonight. That a couple good walks with the dog would be enough. But as Bernie and I were on a 45-minute walk, I kept thinking that I needed to get on the treadmill went I got home.

And I had the angel on one shoulder, devil on the other, talk with myself in my head. Eating well, eating clean, is 80% of the battle, exercise is only 20. I know this. Just like I know the difference between true hunger and mouth hunger, and yet there are times when I'm not hungry, when I'm actually full, and I will continue to eat. Because of the mouth hunger.

So tonight, as I was battling in my head, I reminded myself of that cycle I was on in the mid-2000s, and that it was actually healthier that I just get in my 10,000+ steps, that I finish the evening on a high note with dinner and a protein shake for snack, and maybe another walk with the dog around the neighborhood, but that I don't need to sweat, I don't need to burn 400 calories in a half hour, that eating well, and moving, is enough.

If I keep up these healthy habits, there will be a time, not very long from now even , that I won't focus so much on this, that it becomes second nature. But for now, until that time, the thoughts will need to be a little obsessive, at least constant. I need the vigilance until the obsession just becomes habit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Staying on this side of the bridge

I'm in a zone, starting the month off well. I know it's only been three days, but it's been three days of clean eating and great exercise.

October is promising to be a low-hassle, if not hassle-free, month for me to focus on me.

I may fall down 10 times, but I will get up every time and keep on going.

Journaling kept me honest at the beginning of September so here we go again. You might get bored with my posts about food and working out, but it's the only way I know how to keep at it.

My brother was sick for most of this year and is, thankfully, on the road to recovery. His doctor told him to "stay on this side of the bridge," meaning don't focus on being 100% better, focus on one step at a time.

So while I would love to say that I'm getting close to the 180s, I have to tell myself to stay on this side of the bridge. My focus right now is 192. That's it. Nothing beyond that.

Right now, this side of the bridge is the low 190s and I won't venture a glance across at the 180s just yet.

Monday, September 29, 2014


This was how I felt going into September.  Board meetings and corresponding presentations. Dinner with board members and high-end donors...cocktail attire required. Hosting a Danish exchange student for 16 days. My parents visiting for the weekend the day student leaves. And a NASCAR race. was a month. A fun month. An exciting month. An exhausting month. Routines were broken. I exercised when I could, mostly got my 10,000 daily steps in, but didn't sweat as much as I would have liked. Eating habits went out the window. With a 17-year-old in the house, my pantry became home to all sort soy yummy and tempting things, like Halloween Oreos. You haven't lived until you've eaten bright orange Oreos.

I also got to be a mom of sorts. I was responsible for another human being, whose own parents were halfway around the world. I made her dinner, packed her lunch and snacks for the next day, asked about homework, did her laundry and picked up after her. We played board games, went shopping, went to the movies, watched Super Nanny, and took the dog to the park.

Charlotte headed back to Denmark on Friday and my parents arrived later that afternoon for the weekend. I made sauce, baked, cleaned, did laundry, tired Bernie out. They left this morning and today my life gets back to normal.

MyFitnessPal is officially my pal again. The treadmill -- in anticipation of another 5K in early November -- becomes my bestie. And planning my meals needs to become my way of life again. I've managed to maintain my streak under 200 but just barely. The last week was sort of a free-for-all. All junk food is out of the house. Soda has been relegated to the bottom of the pantry, out of sight.

October is going to be relatively simple. At least compared to September. And so that means that October can be about taking care of me.

So instead of Green Day, I can end the month singing to Earth, Wind and Fire.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Finding the girl I used to be

I ran a 5K on Sunday. My first in more than a year. Last year, I ran eight. It's September and I've got one under my belt. Rather than focus on the negative, I'm choosing to think about it in a better way.

I ran a 5K. I didn't run the whole thing, but I ran a whole lot more than I thought I would. And I finished faster than I thought I could.

For the last three months of 2013 and the first five months of 2014, I dated a really nice guy. A good man. However, he was not the right man for me, for a lot of reasons. He was lazy -- emotionally and physically. He didn't like to work out and he didn't like to eat healthy. And rather than do my own thing, I let him lead me down the path of carbs and lazy Sunday mornings and skipping the gym. At the time, it was fun. Towards the end of the relationship -- even before either of us saw that the end was near -- I was getting antsy. I wanted more, I needed more, from my partner.

I needed someone to push me, to understand what finishing a 5K felt like. To understand the difference between 1,200 calories period, and 1,200 calories in a healthy mix of carbs, proteins and fats, and calories in vs. calories out. And if he didn't understand, to listen to me when I tried to explain to him that all calories are not created equally when he attempted to shed some of his winter weight, but he was focused on eating 1,200 calories, regardless of what they were made of.

Yes, I'm still in the stage where I'm only remembering the frustrating stuff. And I say frustrating, rather than bad, because there wasn't really anything bad. There was frustration. There was boredom. There was vanilla. There was purgatory. And in the end, when it was over, there was relief because I could never really pinpoint anything substantive reason to go with: we should break up.

And so when he ended things for his own misguided reasons --  he had a lot going on in his head -- I was appreciative that he pulled the trigger. And as the weeks went on and I was on my own, I began to find myself again. And even though I've struggled to find the 180s, I have embraced working out, in the way I used to, in a way I hadn't known for much of the time I had been with Lee.

I have a dog who makes me walk 10,000 steps every day, and I have a treadmill in my basement that prepared me for my first 5K of the year.

And slowing, I am finding the girl I used to be.

#100sweatydays Days 15 and 16

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Old weight, new weight

Old weight, new weight, the same weight. As I've mentioned, I've been struggling with the same five pounds over the past few months. It's like an unwanted house guest. they leave, but they're still standing on your front –stoop, so it's very easy for them to weasel their way back in the house.    

 The same goes for new weight, I've noticed. These five pounds come back on so quickly, because it's like they haven't really left. My body hasn't adjusted itself to the new weight that any deviation in clean eating is an easy excuse for the pounds to come back.

I  don't understand the science behind it all, but for whatever reason it makes sense. I've looked at the graph of my weight on MyFitnessPal. A steady decline from August 2012 to about May 2013, and then up and down, spike down through the end of the summer, and then nothing but up and up, down and then up and up and then down again. Literally looking like a readout on an EKG machine.

My low-point (in a positive way) was July 2012....under 180 pounds. My high point, just a few weeks ago...199 pounds. Getting back into the 200s scared the shit out of me. And while I'm not excited about my current weight (somewhere in the low to mid 190s), I also need to remember the big picture, which I sometimes forget.

I'm in marketing. My whole professional life is about the big picture, but for some reason, I forget about that with my own life. I have to remember that even 194 pounds -- and to have sustained under 200 for more than a year -- is a huge accomplishment considering that I once weighed 252 pounds. 

Yup, when I graduated from college, I was closer to 300 pounds than I was to 200. So am I happy with 194? Not exactly. But am I still healthier than I was for most of my teens, 20s and 30s? Absolutely.

I recently saw a high school friend, someone I hadn't seen since probably high school. The first thing she said to me was how beautiful I was and how proud she was of me. I immediately thought, but I've gained 15 pounds. But not to her. To her, I was healthier and skinnier than the girl she always knew.

I was in Ithaca last week, as I've mentioned, and my friend Molly said something similar. She told me my face looked thin and I immediately jumped on those 15 pounds of the last year. And she said, but even right now, you were never this thin when you lived in Ithaca.  Big picture. Yes, 194 now. But not 200. Not 220. Not even 252. And so I need to be thankful for the now, the progress I've made and be proud and thankful for those pounds I've kept off and stop focusing on those that I've gained.

 #100sweaty days These pictures represent days 11 through 14, and on day 14, I ran my first 5K of the year. More on that in my next post.

Friday, September 5, 2014

First day of school

In my Time Hop, I saw that three or four years ago I boycotted Facebook for the first week of school. I just couldn't handle all the first day of school pictures when I was so desperate to have a baby of my own.

Time has healed most wounds, although there are moments that sneak up on me. They come out of nowhere and surprise the shit out of me when they happen. It could be someone telling me that she's expecting, it could be someone asking me if I have kids.

Earlier this week when I was showing a picture of my great-nephews to a friend, someone else in the room asked if they were my kids. It annoyed me -- more because this person annoys me, in general, but also because of the presumption. If I've learned anything from this childless existence, it's that you don't ask people if they have kids or presume the pictures on their phone or on their desk are their kids. "Oh, they're cute. Who are they?" That's the appropriate response.

And maybe I'm not being fair. Her question wasn't insensitive, it's just that maybe I'm overly sensitive.

There's no maybe about it. I know what date is coming up next week and in the span of a few hours yesterday, I saw a friend and former co-worker post pictures of her son's first day of kindergarten pictures and then my niece posted pictures of my great-niece's first day of kindergarten. Duncan was born in October, Lauren was born in July. And my baby should have been born in September.

Regardless of whether I carried a boy or a girl for those eight weeks, I have two constant reminders of how big my child would be, how he or she would be developing. And most times when I see pictures of Duncan or Lauren, I don't make that connection.

Yesterday, it bitch-slapped me. If I hadn't miscarried, that baby would be starting kindergarten this week. I texted Jill, who knew immediately what was going on and what to say.

"You will have more of those moments. You are such a caring and thoughtful person and at times like these, it works against you!"

And so, maybe I should have taken my own advice from a few years ago and boycotted Facebook this week. I'm thinking Halloween will be a good time to take a social media break.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Moving into the second week

Day four was good...I went out with a friend, stuck to diet coke and an appetizer and got a workout in before going out. I was on a high note going into the weekend.

I started strong on Friday, as I drove to ithaca for the next 24 hours. I got a strenuous walk in...strenuous because it involved pushing a double stroller with a two year old and an infant car carrier. Up hill. I could feel it in my thighs and the next day, could feel it in my arms. The sweat was pouring off of me and by the time the walk was over, it was just after noon and I had 7000 steps in. My afternoon was just as active as I played on the playground with my best friend's daughter.

Saturday the wheels started to come off the bus. Got a work out in when I got home but attending a housewarming party at my neighbors...cookies, hot dog, more cookies, a brownie nite, another cookie, some fruit, some veggies and probably another cookie.

I felt like shit when I woke up on Sunday. Like a hangover. And it certainly was a carb hangover. However the feeling didn't stick with me long...and leftovers got shared and more cookies ended up in my house and in my tummy. Thankfully, when it slip like this with food, I'm still sweating. The workouts are never the's the food.

By Monday, the wheels were off and I just told myself to enjoy the rest of the Labor Day weekend. Lunch out with a friend and then frozen yogurt for dinner. My weight was not good on Tuesday, but it stepped back on the scale, made my lunch, planned my meals, all the things I know how to do.

Tuesday and Wednesday were all about being back on track, clean eating, good sweating, 10,000+ steps and down a little on the scale this morning. 

I need to figure out how to not slide so badly, to enjoy a taste, a small cheat and not go completely off plan. I can do this. I have done this. But really all I'm doing right now is losing and gaining and losing and gaining the same five pounds. I need to get over that hump.

#100sweatydays #daysfourthru10

Thursday, August 28, 2014


You've seen the hashtag. People post something happy every day for 100 days, making a conscious decision to be happy for 100 days. I'm taking that contract and twisting it a bit. One hundred sweating days. I will work out for 100 days in a row. And hopefully feel motivated to eat clean those days.

I'm a few days in now, but here's recap of days one through three.

Day one has been here too many times over the past year. I need to start and finally stick to it. I've done this before, I've been successful. I've been in size 10 jeans for Christ's sake. I'm on a postcard promoting a gym as a success story. Where is that girl? Searching for her has been scary and frustrating.

I challenged myself to think of this as a project. I love projects, I love lists and I love checking projects off my lists. And list of projects
  • A selfie after every workout...hoping to see a difference, not just in the thinness of my face but also in my attitude.
  • A 10% in six months challenge. I'm also doing a four-week, 4% challenge with a friend from work. Whatever the number goal, the real goal is to get back to that girl last summer. And that girl last summer is 20 pounds away.
  • Journaling. I need to be more conscience of what I'm feeling when the mouth hunger hits. Can I hit the pause button and stop myself?
And so day one, the last day one. I start this at 199. The ultimate goal is 175. But for now, it'll be 4% (or about 8 pounds before the first of October).

Day Two

I found myself making very conscious decisions today as I craved a diet Pepsi or a piece of chocolate, but I won out over temptation. I'm hoping to see a good number in the scale tomorrow, nothing unrealistic, just down from this morning.

I will get to the point where I won't have to weigh myself every day but for now I do.

I have a a quote written on my takes a certain amount of obsession to get fit.

Good thing I definitely have a certain amount of obsession.

Day Three

Lunch meeting out. Dinner with a girlfriend out. Drank a ton of water, but also treated myself to diet Coke at each meal. 

Caesar salad, grilled chicken, no dressing. Both meals. I didn't feel cheated. Or denied. Good conversation is what made the meals, not the food.

That's my healthy attitude that I'll have to remember the next time I go out and really, really want sweet potato fries!

there wasn't enough time to work out before dinner, but as soon as I got home, I changed quickly, put the leash on the dog and away we went on a pretty brush walk. At minimum, on days like this when I can't get my normal work out in, I have to hit my 10,000 steps on my FitBit. We started our walk a little over 5,000 steps and ended at 10,104.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Working it all out

So the first half of the year has had its ups and downs. 

I ended my relationship in May. As  look back on the relationship with Lee -- about two months
post-break up, I realize that there was a lot that wasn't working and that I was really unhappy the last few months. I was having a hard time distinguishing, and was probably rationalizing that not relationship is perfect and I have to make compromises vs. my basic emotional needs were just not being met. He's a good man, who never intentionally set out to hurt me in any way, but he was emotionally lazy and sometimes physically lazy.

And what I didn't realize was that I was eating to fill the emotional void. So it's almost August, I'm about 15-20 pounds up and finally, I think, ready to make some changes.

I like things neat and organized, and so as we come up on the start of a new month, August is going to be the month of me. Bikram yoga. Clean eating. Using my new treadmill.

Friday, April 4, 2014


I hit my goal weight at the end of last summer. And for about a month, I was strong. I was good. I stayed on track.

And then I went on vacation. And then I met a boy. And then it was the holidays. And then I went on vacation again. I slipped down the hill a little at a time.

And suddenly it's seven months later and I'm not happy with my weight, not happy with my body. For too long, I've been unhappy with my weight and unhappy with my body. For about a year, I experienced something that I never had...a positive body image.

Did I sabotage myself? I don't think so. I just think that I got comfortable, that I saw that I could cheat a little here and there and it would be okay. So I cheated a little more here and there, and then suddenly the little cheat was a little cheat everyday.

And I'm trying to find my way back. I know I'm unhappy with the way clothes fit, with the way I look and feel. And yet I still find myself binging. I'm not hungry. It doesn't taste good, but then it does. I guess that's the thing with an eating's like an addiction.

And sometimes it just clicks in my head and I'm strong and I know how to eat and I don't want the chocolate, don't want the peanut butter right from the jar, can live on one Diet Pepsi a week.

But recently it hasn't been working that way. 

And what's most frustrating is not the bag of chocolate chips in my freezer that I may open and eat in two nights, not the mid-afternoon run to 7-11 to get a Diet Pepsi...what's most frustrating is not knowing where that switch is in my head, not knowing how to get myself back to eating healthy, to being able to resist.

My friend Molly told me to give myself a break. "You're in love. (I am!) be fat and happy, it's hard to diet in a relationship."

And I will partially agree with her, but being in a relationship does not give me a pass to let go of all the hard work I did in the last year.

Today was a good day.

I'm turning to my blog for accountability. To help me lose these extra 15 pounds. To keep me motivated. To keep me honest.

I promise it won't all be about weight loss now that I'm back. I'll write about that boy too who is pretty fucking awesome.