Friday, June 29, 2012

Some things are not a race

I was talking to an "anonymous" friend yesterday. She read my Fleshy Confessions post from a couple days ago. She informed me about this great product that would shed all 12 of those pounds in one week. All I had to do was starve myself and subsist only on a special "drink" (nameless on purpose).  

I told her, um, no.
Why? she asked. It's only a week. Anyone can do something for just a week.

I told her the same thing I'm gonna tell you, some things are not a race.  I don't have a big fluffy white dress I need to walk down the aisle in a week. Nor am I entering a swimsuit competition anytime soon. I have learned my lesson about losing weight way too fast. It plays hell with your skin, (think a deflated balloon in several prime locations), absolutely screws up your hormone and body chemistry, and is mostly water and waste weight anyway. And it comes back.

I'm in no hurry. I can afford to be smart and tweak my life to lose a pound a week instead of turning it upside to lose it all.

I'm going to impart a little nugget of wisdom, so pay attention: The only way to long-lasting weight loss success, is finding a lifestyle that you can keep. Everyday. Without wanting to shoot yourself.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Full Body: Fleshy Confessions

If you've been reading for awhile, you know I am all about taking responsibility for my actions and choices. So it's time I confess a couple of actions and their consequence.

Choice #1 - in an attempt to focus only on getting through the marathon, I ditched the scale so I wouldn't focus on the numbers, just on how my body felt.

Choice #2 - Believing my friend when he said, you run marathons, you can eat whatever the heck you want.

Result: 12 lbs. extra on the scale. Lame.

Now I'm not fat by any means, just a little on the fleshy side. The high endurance training has just eaten through any muscled definition I had in December in my peak shape. My pants are snug, but they still fit. But when I look in the mirror, I miss seeing the contours of my waist, the slight curve in toned arms, to say nothing of a non saggy bum.

So no excuses. I know exactly what to do. Drag myself to the gym for weight training 3x a week. Zumba 2x and running 1x. Sunday I'll pass out. I'm starting on a 1500 calorie budget, but I will adjust as necessary if that is too little.

I'm not in a hurry. I don't need it off tomorrow. Or even next month. If I keep exercising and keep to the budget, the fat will go down and the muscles will go up.

I thought about taking a NOW picture for reference, but aside from my arms, it's really hard to tell with clothes on. And as much as I love you guys, I am not stripping to sports bra and panties for y'all.

So join me, or just tune in. Either way, it will be an adventure. I'll update every Wednesday

Today's Weight - 154

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Snack Smart: Cake workout

For dinner, my family went to Beto's. My favorite thing on the planet is flan. Mexican custard. Depending on the size, it is 200-350 calories. The one I opted for was at the high end of the scale.

Before eating it, I made a conscious choice. I had been eating high protein all day, plus lots of fruit and veggies. So treat wise, I could fit it in. But if I had it, then I would need to make room in my budget. My caloric budget. Which was already spent for the day. So my only choice is to wave goodbye to my favorite treat. Or eat it and earn the calories. Just like I have to pay the restaurant, I need to pay my body in exercise.

For the record, every bite was savored. And now I am off to run 3 1/2 miles to pay for my treat. Totally worth it.

For the record

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fitness Tip... Weight for it

Pride can really bite you in the butt...
...and the hamstrings...
...and the biceps...
...and the chest...

Last week I went back to weight training after 2 months away while I was finishing the marathon training. So I foolishly tried to pick up exactly where I had left off.

And I paid for it everytime I moved for the rest of the week.

I didn't want to use a lower weight because, in my head, it would mean I was weaker. Well I would much rather the slight sting to my pride than the big pain in my ...

So when choosing your weights for lifting, choose wisely. Don't pick the the same ones as your neighbor just to keep up. Don't pick the weights based on what you used to be able to handle.

Choose your weights based solely on your fitness level THAT day. Than increase or decrease depending how that made you feel.

Your muscles will thank you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Catwoman

I warn you ahead of time. This is a rant.

I read an ABC News story yesterday about radical star diets for the roles they play. The one featured was about Anne Hathaway, the new Catwoman.  I have always loved Anne Hathaway in the past because she looked more like a real girl as opposed to a stick puppet. However, to prepare for her roles as Catwoman and an ill girl in Les Miserables, she has at one point dropped her caloric intake to 500 calories per day, and puts 5 hours a day in at the gym.
"The Catwoman suit. It was a psychological terrorist," she said. "... the suit, thoughts of my suit, changing my life so I would fit into that suit ... it dominated my year. I went into the gym for 10 months and didn't come out." -Anne Hathaway Allure magazine

Why?!! Why are we doing this to ourselves as a society? Think of some of the past greats. Liz Taylor... Marilyn Monroe. They were women, not barbies.  Let's look at Julie Newmar who played Catwoman in the 1966 movie.

Girl had some curves.

Next up we have Eartha Kitt.

A little slighter than the last

Onto Michelle Pfiffer

No real curves to speak of. Very slender waist.

Lets go to Anne Hathaway in a recent photo shoot to promote the movie, Dark Knight Rises

She's got some cleavage, I'll give her that. You can't have a heroine these days without a nice rack. But where did the rest of her go?
Here's one of her the year before
Gorgeous. Normal. 

The promo picture of her is beautiful. Don't get me wrong.  But the effort to maintain that body is completely insane and unsustainable. Yet she will be frozen in place forever as that size in that movie. The public will not think about the long days of starving with radishes and hummus and working in the gym. We will just say, "That is beauty."  

It's not, it's a costume. 

And who wants to put on a costume everyday for the rest of their life?

Not me. I would much rather have a little extra fluff around the edges and eat healthy, than live in the gym obssessively- ignoring every other aspect of life.

I for one wish there were a few less "costumes" in Hollywood, and a few more real people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Full Body: Losing the Pooch

There are so many names for that area between the groin and the belly button. Pooch, Bunt, Kangaroo Pouch, etc.  For women who have previously born a child, it can be puffy and one of the toughest areas to target.

But could the way you're walking be preventing those lower abdominal muscles from strengthening --  creating a nice vacation home for fat? Two common forms of posture for standing and walking, is hips tucked in or booty hanging out. That would be the first picture and the fourth picture.

When you walk and stand in the number one position, hips tucked in, your lower abdominal muscles engage and tone in a smaller straight alignment to the sacrum of the spine. Over time, these muscles will tone and squeeze out the fat between the layers of muscles.

Now go to the booty out picture in number 4. By sticking your butt out, you are not tightening you core muscles, you are actually puffing them out. The muscles can build and form in almost a convex curve as opposed to a straight tight fiber bundle. The fat then adheres and follows the shape --  allowing for a more bulbous front then most of us would like.

So once again, the easiest way to a better shape over time... is posture. Tuck those hips in and soon you will continue to do so without effort.  It's not an overnight correction. It will take months. But walking with your butt hanging out is like undoing all those crunches and sit ups you do every day.

Muscle Bonus:  If you want to tone that lower abdomen faster, here's an exercise for you... heels to the heavens.

After this position, comes the crunch. Leaving the middle spine on the floor, bring the shoulders and chest up slightly and get your talbone up off the floor in short bursts.  A modification for this would be leaving the shoulders back and arms on the ground and just raising the legs and the tailbone.  Hence raising your heels to the heavens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fitness Tip + Snack Smart: Muscle Fuel

Kathy working out

I know, I forgot to blog yesterday. So this is both a fitness tip and a snack smart.

Our bodies are machines. Machines need fuel. What kind of fuel depends on the task you are asking it to perform.

High endurance athletes need lots of carbs for energy and glucose stores.
PMSing women need lots of chocolate to survive the week.
Body builders need lots of protein to build muscle.

Where are you in the fuel spectrum? I am going from marathon training -- high endurance-- to muscle toning. Now I will in no way shape of form be a bodybuilder, but I need protein just the same. Not like, 10 shakes a day protein, but enough to build up the muscles I am breaking down. I generally shoot for 90 grams a day.

Now that sounds like a lot. And you are probably picturing me walking around with a steak in my mouth. But protein doesn't have to just come from red meat. Here are some of my favorite alternate routes for protein intake:

Protein shake- whey in particular. Nasty, but effective and fast
Protein bar- not my favorite. Uber nasty and can often have high sugar content you need to watch. And saturated fats.
Cottage cheese- my stand by. 14 g per half cup. One cup of this in the morning with some berries and I am on my way.
Legumes- fancy word for beans. Chili is yummy.
Nuts- filled with protein, these tasty treats can also include healthy fats in your diet. This doesn't mean to eat the whole can.

Think of your car for a minute. Would you pour sugar into your gas tank? No. I'm not saying to go sugar free, just emphasizing that the wrong fuel for your body and its tasks can make you sputter and die on the side of the road.

Friday, June 15, 2012 what?

So, I made my goal. Finished a marathon in under 5 hours. Now what?

I've trained for this moment for 5 months. Put 10+ hours a week into it. Counted down the weeks, days, then hours until I would cross the start line. And now it's over. And I'm left feeling a little bit like the 3rd day after Christmas. The anticipation is gone, the excitement of the new toys has passed. And all that's left is mountain of packaging and even larger mountain of credit card bills.

My knees remind every step of my accomplishment, like the after haunt of too much fruitcake. But the great thing about Christmas, is that it comes again.

My daughters favorite movie is Tangled. And in that movie, Rapunzel hesitates to throw her lantern in the air, because then her dream is fulfilled. And she will be left with nothing. Flynn tells her that all you do is find a new dream.

Floating in a river aimlessly, is nice every once and a while. But most of the time, we need a heading. A destination. Something to reach for, to dream about.

I'm not sure what my new goal will be. But there will definitely be one. And I look forward to the work, sweat, and tears its going to take to reach it. So right now, instead of the post marathon depression, this should be the most exciting part. The part where the possibilities are endless, and I can choose anything for my to do list.

To quote the last line of Pretty Woman, Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Full Body: Its not a Pageant

I've renamed Dress for Success to Full Body. So Wednesdays can be the post day for all things image and body related.

Today's post is a little pet peeve of mine. I see it at the gym, on the road, even at the marathon. Beauty queen dropouts.

I get trying to look your best no matter where you are. But the starting line is not the place for full makeup and round brushing your bangs then shoving your cosmetics in a stuff sack to pick up at the finish. FYI chick in the plaid pink sports bra and skirt, when I passed you at mile 14, your mile high hair looked like a nest and your mascara was dripping and streaking right along with your fake tan.

If you do it right, working out is not pretty. It's sweaty and full of grunts and the occasional curse. Its not a beauty pageant. There is no prize at the end if your hair is still schellacked on your head.

You don't need to make yourself up like a doll to be pretty. Being healthy is beautiful. Red sweaty face and all.

Plus the makeup mingled sweat seeps into your pores and makes you breakout. Just saying.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Snack Smart: Sugar Free and cranky

It's been 24 hours since I've had any contact with the love of my life... Sugar.

And I am not a happy camper. I'm grumpy and every brown thing I see reminds me of chocolate goodness. So what's the reason for my self imposed hell?

As of Monday my husband and I decided to be sugar free. He's diabetic and not doing so hot in the blood sugar levels. He decided to go on a strict diet to get it under control. So to be a good wifey I thought I would offer to join him in his saccharin exile. Stupid me.

I'm hoping this is just a phase. That after a few days I'll have more energy, and fewer headaches.

So I am asking you the reader, what are your sugar free snack smart tips? Will I survive?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fitness Tip: R&R - rest and rumba

Two days after the marathon and I'm still doing what a friend calls the old lady hobble.

My right leg in particular feels like its been beat up with a meat tenderizer. It's really tight and difficult to move.

Sometimes the best recovery is active recovery. This morning I had my morning Zumba class. I toyed with not going. No one could blame me, but I needed to get out of my bed.

An hour later, my leg feels much better. Dancing has helped work out some of the lactic acid and made the muscles longer and bendier. I didn't dance at 100% more like 50%. My knee still won't allow twists and jumps. But I still grapevined and step touched my way through the songs. My 5 and 2 year old were next to me copying my every move. They probably out danced me.

It's important to rest and not stress or further injure muscles. But it's also important to not let them rust. Think physical therapy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Little Runner that Could

So I've recovered enough from yesterday's marathon to be conscious. Just don't ask me to go up or down any stairs.

I was hoping that my second marathon could be injury free- didn't happen.
I wrote a few weeks ago that I had some trouble on my last long run before the taper. So I've been babying it since. It came back with a vengeance.

The first eight miles flew by. We ran through a little farming town. Lots of pastures and horses. In fact I swear the horses were looking at all of us saying, "Wait...people run? Well what do you need to ride us for?"

After the eight miles, we got to the canyon. But to start going down it, we had to run up first. Big hill. BIG hill. But, it was pretty funny to watch people try to barrel up full speed, then sputter to a walk.

Before I knew it, I was running through the starting line for the half marathon. I'd made pretty good time for the first thirteen miles, about 2:07 I think. I got excited thinking about not only beating 5 hours, but maybe beat 4:30. Cue right leg.

Before hitting the fourteen mile marker, the earlier training pains were back. My knee hurt on the side, and tight pulling shot up my flank and through my lower back. But I grit my teeth and ran through it anyway, sticking to my run walk method. Unfortunately, I probably altered my running form to compensate for the IT Band injury. By mile 18, my left kneecap felt like it had been whacked by loan shark from Jersey. I could run through the tight tearing pain up and down my right leg, but the sharp stabbing pain under the left patella was not workable.

What to do now? Give up and catch a ride to the finish? Not a chance. When in doubt, keep moving forward. At a much slower pace, but forward nonetheless.

The left knee pain immediately ceased with the walking, but the right leg was still sucking though. Just six miles left. I would finish.

I modified my walk into a speedwalk, and stopped taking the slow walk breaks every half mile. When I did the math in my head, with my great first half, I could still beat the five hour mark if I kept my pace around 12:30 per mile. That is more than a fast walk, that's a jog. But the impact of a jog was too jarring on the knee. Oh well I had to try.

I can only imagine that I looked like a robot on speed. My leg was pretty well locked up, the knee not bending anymore. My arms were swinging a hundred miles an hour. My head lowered with what I imagined as a fierce look of determination on my face. Most likely, it really looked like a constipated bull with the grimace and flared nostrils.

In the last few miles, nearly everyone was struggling. Half were walking slowly, the other half doing the runner zombie shuffle. I can speedwalk faster than both of those. One man that passed me a few miles ago had lapsed into zombie mode. He recognized me as I passed him and dubbed me "the little runner that could", impressed that I was still trucking even my walk now had a pronounced limp. I couldn't afford to slow down. I still had a chance to beat the five hour time, but it would be close.

I gave my last burst of speed at a quarter mile to the finish. Ran past my hubby and two kids on the sideline, cheering and giving me the strength to push past the pain. I crossed the finish arch at four hours and fifty-five minutes after I started. The girl at the end put a medal around my neck and herded me to the side before I passed out.

My husband, bless his heart, was ready with the car and ice packs. It was over, the countless hours of running through dark mornings, rain, and other crap had finally paid off. They had prepared me to be in good physical condition, but more importantly, it gave me the will and discipline to keep pushing when it didn't feel like I had anymore to give.

So here I am, the day after. My legs hurt like you don't even want to know. But I'm still ecstatic that I reached my goal of a 5 hour marathon. I'll tell you a little secret though... I would still be just as happy if I didn't. As long as I shuffled across the finish line, it could have been an 8 hour marathon. The accomplishment would be the same. Finishing.

Thanks for sticking with me everyone . I really appreciate all the support I've gotten through emails, messages, and Facebook.

So what's next? First, mastering the stairs without crying. Next, probably building up the muscles I've burned by the long distance running.

Time to tone up. After I've healed that is.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Utah Valley Marathon

It's 3:45 in the morning and I'm on the bus that will take me to the starting line of the marathon. The start is up Provo Canyon and they don't allow any parking or private drop offs up there because of traffic. So I have to wake up at 3 for a 6 am start time. But let's be honest, I didnt really sleep last night anyway. ;)

4:40- just arrived at the start line. That was a really loong bus ride. And I have to run that?!!! Lol. Now just to hang out until the gun goes off at 6

5:55- 5 min to start. Let's go!

10:55- done! 4:55 Unofficial time

I will do a big long post later. I'm too dead now

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 more days until ... Gulp.

2 more days until I run the marathon. I'm going to be getting up a 3:15 to catch a 3:45 bus. Then I'll get to wait by a fire in a barrel, trying not to freeze up Provo Canyon. Then, I can get smooshed like a sardine with the other 2000 people at the starting line. All so I can run for 5+ hours and burn roughly the equavilent calories to one pound of fat.


To prove I can. To prove to myself that I can do something that's hard, painful, and sometimes makes me cry... and still push through and finish. It's my reminder that I can beat anything. One step at a time. With lots of walking breaks. ;)

I'll post all about the race either late Saturday or Sunday. Assuming my legs haven't fallen off.

And in case you are wondering, the best things running a marathon? The finishers medal... And the after marathon meal. I've just burned 3500 calories. I can eat ANYTHING ;p

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snack Smart: Just a taste

How many times have I been looking forward all day to the brownie that I've budgeted for. Five seconds later, its over. The brownie is gone, and I want it back.  Temptation is to grab another brownie, but I'm better than that. Most of the time. :)  This is what I've started to do instead.

I break my treat into four pieces to enjoy throughout the day. Think about it. When you inhale a treat, your tastebuds are really just tasting that first bite. So why not have that first bite... all day. Stick to that one brownie or cookie, but make it last for a while. You trick your tastebuds into thinking you've had more than you've actually had.

Extra tip for you mommies. Make sure you do not leave your partially eaten treat out for small children to find. They seem to think its fair game.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Long Run: One more week - the anticipation is killing me

Next Saturday at 3:45 am, I will be on a bus to the starting line up Provo Canyon. Let the stomach jitters begin. I'm downing antacids by the case load. And over analyzing every little knee twitch and ankle roll. I don't even want to jog to the mailbox anymore, for fear of screwing up my legs.

The odd thing? I'm pretty sure that the morning of, I will be as cool as a kumquat. There's this peace that settles over me, because I know come hell or high water, I will cross the finish line. I might be on my knees, and it might be 3 hours after race closes, but I will still drag my butt across.

After all, I've already had the worst happen in a marathon. Last August, in my first one, my hamstring injury resurfaced at mile 8 and was debilitating by mile 13. I was forced to speed walk the rest of it. But I still made it.   I required a bottle of advil afterwards, but I survived.

  The secret?

Forgetting about the time and putting one foot in front of the other until it's over. Also, the fierce determination that the 4 months of running training hell were not pointless. I will walk away with my medal dammit. :)

Now if only I can survive the next week without injuring myself or giving myself ulcers.


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