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The Change

Greetings, readers!

First off, I have a new blog project that I am super excited to announce.  It is called Skinny Sister, and I will be chronicling all of my adventures while continuing to eat healthy and journey down the fitness path.  I hope you enjoy reading it, and please feel free to pass it along to any people you think might benefit from reading about a more healthy and active lifestyle.

Secondly, I’ve changed the title of this blog.  My first blog I started back in 2005 was entitled Bury My Lovely, after a song by the band October Project.  I loved that blog, but put it to rest a few years ago.  Originally, this blog was supposed to be a forum for me to put my writing and photography out into the world.  However, it has sort of morphed into what it is today.  From now on, any diet/health/fitness related stuff will be found at Skinny Sister, and BML 2.0 will be used primarily for random thoughts, musings and other things I see fit.

Thanks for continuing to read!

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She’s Going the Distance

This past Sunday was the Cornbelt Running Club Chili Chase, a four-mile run through Duck Creek Park in Bettendorf.  After a miserable Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (too cold and FIVE miles), and an equally miserable Run Your Ice Off Hardcore 5K on New Years (too muggy for my asthma and UGLY course), I was feeling nervous and very apprehensive about running the Chili Chase.  I was concerned it would be too cold, that I’d have to walk parts of it, or that my body in some way would totally give up the ghost either via side stitch, asthma problem or sore legs.

First off, it wasn’t nearly as cold as I had feared.  It was right at 32 degrees at race time with little to no wind and no precipitation.  There weren’t many runners, either.  Maybe only 300, which for a CBRC race is pretty small.  The course, as I mentioned, was through Duck Creek Park, the surrounding neighborhood, and on the Duck Creek Bike Path.  It was absolutely GORGEOUS.  The trees, the snow, the flowing creek.  It was the perfect run.  I was a little chilly for the first mile, but right at that marker, my body was warm enough and I was good to go.  I was surprised to find each mile marker closer than I had suspected, with the exception of between mile 1 and 2, which felt much longer than a mile.  The best part was that I ran the entire 4 miles, not stopping to walk AT ALL, even the hills.  And, I ran it in 46 minutes.  I was so extremely happy and proud of myself.  Training in the gym is not the same.  I train in a sports bra, spandex tank top, workout shorts and running shoes.  On Sunday, I was wearing compression pants, a sports bra and spandex tank, Under Armour, workout pants, a sweatshirt, winter cap and gloves.  And running shoes.  I was concerned my body would feel differently, but it didn’t.  Plus, I have NEVER run 4 miles in the gym.  EVER.  The most I’ve ever run at the gym is 3.2 miles.  I guess it just goes to show when you are running outdoors on a beautiful course, you don’t seem to notice.  When you’re running in place on a treadmill, your mind gets the better of you.

Now that it’s getting warmer, I am looking so forward to training outdoors.  Training outdoors means longer training runs.  More miles.  My goal is to run the Bix 7 this July.  A sweltering, hot July morning and a 7-mile run.  I know I can do it.  It only took me 6 months to run 4 miles.  I’ve got almost five more to add 3 miles.  I got this.

Here is a pic of me Post Chili Chase on Sunday.

WW meeting this morning.  I was so terrified I was going to be up.  After being so sick, I had gained a little over a pound at weigh-in two weeks ago.  I was concerned that today, I would be unhappy with my results.  However, I stepped on the scale to reveal I had lost 1.2, which was exactly what I had gained while being under the weather.  Very pleasantly surprised.  I received my Leader materials in the mail yesterday, and I am registered for Leader training in Chicago March 25-27.  I am SO EXCITED!  The hotel is pretty swanky, and has a pretty kick-ass fitness center, so I’ll be able to get in my workouts while there, too.  I think it will be interesting to be in a room full of people who have all had a similar journey as I have.  I’m sure I’ll meet many folks who have lost A LOT more than my 20 pounds.  Not that my 20 pounds isn’t an accomplishment, but it will be neat to meet some other people who have lost much more than I have, and hear their experiences with getting healthy and changing their lives.

Back in the Saddle

I am FINALLY well, after a just-about 3 week stint of feeling like total shit.  I was finally back in the gym on Monday, and got a run in on Tuesday.  My mileage and time were lower than I had wanted, but not training for 10 days did a number on my body.  I got to about 18 minutes and my mind/body sort of gave up.  Running on a treadmill takes much more mental fortitude than I actually possess.  I am getting so bored running on that damned thing, but what is a girl to do in Winter?  I am GREATLY looking forward to warmer weather so I can run outdoors.  Sunday is the 4-mile Chili Chase.  I haven’t run outside since the Run Your Ice Off 5K on New Years Eve.  Not training outdoors is terribly difficult when you finally have to run outside again.  The race season is gearing up as the weather changes, which means more training outdoors.  Tomorrow, I think I’m going to mix it up at the gym, running half on the TM and half on the track.  Just the thought of spending 30 minutes on the TM makes my skin crawl.

In other news, last week I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers.  It was a really wonderful moment, despite being sick out of my mind.  I really feel that everything about my body and mindset has changed.  The thought of being bad to myself with food doesn’t even cross my mind.  I am reminded of what overeating and eating poorly does to me on the very rare occasion when I do it.  I either spend all day on the crapper, or spend hours after I’ve eaten with bloating or gas or a stomach ache or all three.  Why in the world would I put myself through that?  I think of that every time I hear people in meetings talking about binge eating or not being able to resist eating an entire cake by themselves in one sitting.  Why would you do that to yourself?, I think.  Now that I’m in the counseling program, I’m constantly aware of my emotions and feelings, much more than I ever was before.  I am forced, on a daily basis, to process feeling and emotion in a healthy way, and I realize that 99% of the time, these people are probably emotionally eating, trying to feed some THING that is lacking in their lives.  Trying to comfort themselves.  I can’t help but wonder, when I’m sitting in a meeting, how many of those members would benefit from therapy?  Would it help control their eating habits?  When R started seeing L, my therapist, one of the first things he wanted to address was why he was so addicted to food, and why he turned to it to comfort himself.  Once he addressed it and confronted that demon, he was able to understand and let go of the thing that was plaguing him for years and years.  Now, of course, he’s changed the WAY he eats and the way he exercises, and because of that, has lost nearly 50 pounds.  But he had to change that emotional component for it to work.  It really makes me wonder, when I look around the room in the meetings, which of these people will succeed and which won’t?  It fascinates me.

 

Sidelined 2.0

Pardon my mouth for a moment:

MOTHERFUCKER.

That is how I currently feel about the state of my health.  Last week when I posted, I had assumed I had had my annual virus and I was to be done with it all.  Apparently not.  Sunday afternoon, I started getting a sore throat, which turned into sinus congestion, which by Wednesday turned back into a sore throat that felt like I was sliding sandpaper down my esophagus every time I swallowed.  By Friday, I was coughing uncontrollably and sounded (still do) like Harvey Fierstein.  Today when I woke, my asthmatic windpipe was clogged with phlegm, which I promptly hacked up and into the sink.  I am still somewhat stuffed up, but the chest congestion is gone, as is the uncontrollable coughing.  I hope to dear sweet, fancy Moses that this is the last of it all.

The worst part about all of this is that I haven’t been to the gym since Monday.  FIVE days ago.  I haven’t run since last Saturday.  While my brain is jonesing to get back at it, I understand my body and, most importantly, my lungs will not be up to the challenge just yet.  But holy frakking piles of shit, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I knew I would be sick once I started school again, as it is that time of year when people get sick.  But we’re going on two weeks of sporadic exercise, and I am so pissed I am not able to run.  I am hoping this respite means, when I’m finally well again, I’ll be so pumped I’ll run 4 miles no problem.  We’ll see.

The Week

The last three nights in a row, I’ve dreamt of The Runner.

I wish I could say that they weren’t naughty, but of course they were.  The boy is HOT, and now, I have an excuse every week to actually set eyes on him.  It is ridiculous, but I still can’t help myself.  Have also finally had conversations with him, and he is quite nice.  He has fine taste in movies, and is also a snappy dresser.  Possibility he is gay, but cannot tell.

It has been one helluva week.  On Wednesday, I had my interview with WW, and I am SO EXCITED to work for this company.  The pay is nice, but the perks are even better.  Plus, I’ll be doing something I am passionate about, which is sharing my experiences about living a healthy, active lifestyle with people who may be struggling with the program.  While I never really struggled (other than being hungry during PMS week), I hope I am able to impart some wisdom on to those who are needing it!  Also, on a whim, I applied to be in a WW national commercial.  Yesterday, they emailed me back to say they are considering me for casting!!  OMG!  I couldn’t believe it!  Who knows what will happen, but wouldn’t it be fun to be watching TV and see me in a little black dress, talking about WW?  I sure think so.

Charley gave us a scare yesterday.  Thursday afternoon, I made the mistake of giving him a rawhide chewy.  Charley is used to a special brand of chewies called Bully Sticks, which are all natural and organic.  I gave him some crappy thing I bought at Target.  Thursday night, we could tell he wasn’t feeling well, and Friday morning, he was throwing up and having diarrhea.  I promptly called the vet and made an appointment after he wouldn’t eat or drink anything, and became very lethargic.  All day, he laid on the couch at my side, snuggling up and being so sweet.  I think he really felt like shit.  A visit to the vet told me that, apparently, these companies that make rawhide chewies (mostly the ones overseas in Asian countries) use arsenic, insecticides and other poisons to “clean” the rawhide.  Can you imagine??!!  The vet also said sometimes chewies can have salmonella in them.  GROSS.  His stool sample was clear, and he didn’t have a temp, so the vet sent us on our way with some antibiotics just in case.  A few hours after we got home, he devoured a bowl of white rice and started to play again.  By 8pm, he was back to his normal self, barking and playful and FUN.  He did snuggle on the couch with me during movie time, which was so nice.  Today, he is completely back to normal.  However, this sequence of events yesterday totally freaked me out.  I was entirely too worried and stressed, and by the time R got home, I was a giant ball of crazy, hot mess.  After snapping at R, I burst into tears, telling him I was sorry and that it just reminded me of Ike.  It was just too soon after losing our boy to to have to worry about another sick dog.

However, as I mentioned, our boy is doing just fine today.  He’s been barking up a storm and spending most of his day standing on the window sill watching cars and squirrels.  Life is good.

Sidelined

Over the weekend and early this week, I was sidelined by a sinus thing.  It’s finally on it’s way out, but I was so miserable on Monday that I was forced to stay home from class.  Of course, this really upset me, as I absolutely, 100% HATE missing class.  However, I realized that #1 I was miserable and #2 I didn’t want to perpetuate the damn thing by spreading it to MORE students/faculty that don’t want or need it.

I did, however, run that that morning.  I was really struggling due to this virus, but I got the run in anyway.  Now THAT’S dedication.  Got back to the gym this morning after taking yesterday off and ran again, but was distracted, tired and still a little off.  One more day and I’ll be back to normal, with a good run on Friday!  Hanging tough in maintenance, still 3 pounds under my goal.  Lifetime is coming up soon, and my interview with WW is today to be a Leader.  Looking forward to it!

Charley is AWESOME.  He and Maddy are getting along just great: she is learning that he isn’t Ike in every way possible.  He knows his place as #2 dog, but he LOVES her and constantly wants to play with her.  Sometimes she is game and sometimes she isn’t.  We have a feeling that he will extend her life now that we have him.  He is so active and fun and playful and lovey.  Last night, he sat on my lap for nearly an hour, snuggling and letting me pet him.  I felt a little pang in my heart, missing my Isaac boy.  Charley is nothing like Ike, accept in looks.  His personality is so opposite, but he still has soul like my old boy had.  Charley is gentle, a breed characteristic of Shelties, but my Ike boy was never this playful, and never had this much energy.  Charley’s original Mama was a 74-year-old woman with COPD, who was tethered to an oxygen tank and a heavy smoker.  She did the right thing by Charley, letting him go.  This boy has too much energy to be stuck in a smokers house with an ailing 74-year-old.  I don’t think he is used to this much playing, as that boy laid on the couch for 3 hours last night, snoozing away.  I greatly look forward to warmer days so I can walk him and eventually run a few miles with him: he could use that kind of exercise and energy-letting!  Here is a pic of him snoozing the other day.

Charley

Charley is here!!

This was a busy weekend for us.  Saturday night, we threw our The Big Lebowski Anti-Super-BOWL Party with much success.  We had a good group of folks, about 30 or so, who showed up to party like rock stars and pay homage to The Coen Brothers’ masterpiece.  Because we have a zillion actor friends, we always make excuses to party in costume.  Of course, just about everyone showed up in costume, and we proceeded to Wii Bowl, eat a “Toe” cake, drink many, many White Russians, and just enjoy each others’ company.  R dressed as Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character Brandt, and I was, of course, a White Russian.  Here is a pic of us at the party.

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We had a super fun time!  Lots of friends and fun.  We had guests until about 1:30, and we packed it in.  I am fighting a bit of a sinus thing, and am unsure of whether it’s allergies or a cold, or both.  Didn’t sleep great on Saturday night, as I was feeling a little apprehensive about picking up Charley the next day.

I was excited to bring our new boy home, but there was a piece in my heart that was a little scared.  After losing Ike, I was afraid that maybe I was trying to replace him, or that Charley would be too much like our old boy.  I don’t know if my heart could stand it if that was the case.

When I woke on Sunday, I was feeling much better about the idea of bringing him home.  We met halfway (near Springfield) with a volunteer from Second Chance Sheltie Rescue with our crate all ready for Charley.  I don’t know if he remembered us or not, but he let R walk him around the parking lot of the gas station, and then myself.  Luckily, with him came his bed, towel and toys, so we threw those in his crate and he hopped right in there.  He was so quiet on the way home, and slept most of the time.

We introduced Maddy and Charley at the park up the street: neutral turf. We then let them walk around the back yard together before bringing them inside.  Maddy has been really good with him.  If he gets out of line, she’ll growl but not aggressively.  He definitely knows his place in the house.  He is doing really well at just walking around and exploring things.  He really enjoys playing.  A LOT.  But he is only 9 months, so he of course wants to do nothing but play.  He also enjoys looking out all the windows and watching the cars, people, squirrels.

My fears of him being like Ike have definitely been swayed.  Of course he has breed characteristics of Shelties like Ike did: sable coat, likes to give kisses, herding instincts.  But this boy is PLAYFUL, with both us and Maddy.  By the time Ike was an old man, he didn’t play much any more.  Due to his blindness/deafness, he was very isolated near the end.  Maddy was used to this isolation, so I think Charley wanting to play with her (the two played a very amicable game of tug this morning) is a little confusing to her.  Of course, he can hear and see, has beautiful teeth, and gorgeous tail.  While Ike had a beautiful coat, his tail was thin and like a bottle brush.  Ike was an average sized Sheltie, but Charley is BIG for his age.  He is already 21 inches at the shoulder, yet thin.  Since he is still a puppy, he will fill out as he ages.  He has already taken to Maddy like gangbusters.  She is still a little leary of him (of course she would be).  But he has already taken to us, too.  And we to him.  He is so obedient, so we are making sure to reward him for good behaviors.  His only thing so far is that he has a tendency to play-bite during games, but it never hurts.  You just say “No bite” and he stops.  It’s amazing.  What a great boy!

Here are some pics of our new boy from last night.

Snow Day


Last night, Mother Nature dumped a whole lotta snow in the Midwest.  All told, I think we got something like 22 inches of snow in about 14 hours.  It.  Was.  CRAZY.  Luckily, the power held and we were safe and warm inside.  Due to this monster blizzard, both R and I had a snow day today.

Snow days are difficult for me.  I have a very hard time sitting still.  I get bored so easily.  Plus, today was a running day, which I didn’t get to do due to the snow emergency and closure of the entire city.  Tomorrow, I can’t wait to get back on the treadmill, then burn some weights for arms, back and chest.

While it was nice not to have to go to class, I have to admit I was a little bummed.  I love this program so much, and enjoy seeing my classmates.  So when I’m not able to do so, I get a little wonky.  Most importantly, R and I are throwing our Big Lebowski Party on Saturday night, and I wanted to invite some of my classmates to our little shindig.  Luckily, a classmate of mine passed on some last names so I could send emails to them instead.  Not ideal, as I would have rather invited them in person, but it worked just the same.

The weekend in St. Louis was a success.  We loved both dogs, but felt that Charley, the 8-month old, would be better suited for us and our active lifestyle.  I am looking forward to having a boy who is young, full of energy and life, and can hear and see (although I’d give all that up to have my Isaac boy back with me).  Charley is very active and playful, and I’m hoping when it warms up, he’ll be able to run with me outdoors.  We are still pending adoption so the Rescue can sort out all of the details.  Hopefully we’ll get to bring him home this coming weekend, or the week after.  Meanwhile, here are some photos of him at play.  What a sweet boy!

Idiocy and other musings

Why is it when I set out to be one way, I’m completely the opposite?

I guess that is the trouble you get into when you are trying to play it cool and end up feeling like you’re 15 years old again.

I feel sort of like a tool, because I tried to be something I’m not.

Aye, there’s the rub.  Lesson learned: do not try to be something you are not.  Just be you.  Simple as that.

In other news, it’s been a great week.  School is getting going, with TONS of reading and lots of stuff coming up.  I’m enjoying that.  Just ordered my DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision), and couldn’t feel more like a mental health nerd for being so excited at its impending arrival.

On Tuesday, I have my first phone interview with Weight Watchers.  Boy, they aren’t wasting any time, are they?  I just applied on Tuesday!  While I’m excited about this prospect, I am a little concerned as to how it would interfere with school.  I do feel that I have much knowledge to impart on the world about being healthy and staying that way, but my mental health career is my first and most important priority.  We’ll see what the higher ups have to say.

This week was awesome at the gym.  Three great runs over the last 5 days, as well as starting up strength training.  I’m hoping to be totally buff by short-sleeve season, and swimsuit season.  Plus, I’m hoping stronger legs leads to longer and faster runs, which I’m sure it will once I really get going with the training.  I’d like to shoot for doing the half-marathon at the QC Distance Classic in May, but it may have to wait until the QC Half in September.

I’ve been sort of struggling with Maintenance these past few weeks.  After being in a “losing” mentality for 5 months, it is somewhat hard for me to switch over to “maintaining,” which explains my huge loss this past week.  I’ve been doing my best to eat more, but most times, I’m just not hungry.  I’m hoping I am able to figure it all out over the next three weeks.  While I am enjoying my skinny, healthy body, I am starting to notice some negative side effects of losing.  Like my bony wrists, bony jawline, and hip bones that are starting to stick out a little more.  I feel great, mind you, but with the running and exercising I do every week, my body is continuing to change it’s look and shape even though I’m not really going for that.  Again, I’ll just take it one day at a time and see how it goes.

In the good news department, R and I are headed off to St. Louis today to spend the weekend and meet TWO Sheltie boys!  Both are in foster homes after being rescued, and we are totally excited to meet both of them.  Tucker, the Ike look-a-like, is 6 years old, and totally adorable.  The other, Charlie, is only 8 months old, but apparently is a sweetie sweet, and house-trained to boot.  We are looking forward to meeting them and spending a few nights away while Maddy is staying at the puppy hotel.  If we like one of them (which I’m sure we will), we won’t bring one home for another couple of weeks.

Still missing my boy, but I know he is out there looking out for me, my old soul mate.  I know he’d want us to be happy, and bringing another of his breed into our house would be such a joy and tribute to him.  We would have never thought of ourselves as Sheltie people until he came into our lives, but he did and he changed us for good!  Will report back after the weekend on how it goes.

Gold Star

Today, I give myself a Gold Star.

At weigh-in this morning, I stepped on the scale to find I had lost another 2.2.

What.  The.  Fuck?!

Pardon my language, but Holy Crow!

This is week 3 of maintenance, where I should be holding steady.  For whatever reason, my body decided to drop 2.2 in ONE week.

I haven’t had a loss like that in ages and, frankly, I don’t know where it is exactly coming off of.  I’m skinny enough as it is.  I don’t know what happened, but, okay.  I’ll take it!

This brings my loss total to 20.0 exactly.  Admittedly, I thought I might continue to lose.  I’ve upped my Points from 29 to 32, but honestly, I’m having a hard time eating all of those 32 every day.  My daily workouts usually burn off my breakfast, which means by lunchtime, I still have ALL my daily Points left.  I’m not feeling deprived in any way possible.  I’m still allowing myself those cookies before bed, and my meals are totally satisfying.  I’m guessing soon enough, my body will level off when it decides it’s at it’s optimal size.

After the meeting today, I was approached by the territory manager for WW to apply to be a Leader.  I had been entertaining the idea for a few weeks now.  I’m only 3 weeks away from being a Lifetime Member, which means I no longer pay for meetings.  I thought I had to wait to be Lifetime before applying, but the manager said no, and that she was very interested in me for a Leader position!  I, of course, am not looking for anything time-consuming, as school is my first and only priority.  Maybe a morning or two a week, but wouldn’t that be fun??  I think my days of being a working actor and stage teacher might come in handy with this type of job, as well as my aptitude for counseling/helping people solve problems.  We’ll see what happens!

Have had all three classes by now, and really enjoying them.  Tomorrow is a busy day: elliptical/strength train early AM, Lunch and Learn seminar at The Abbey on Military with PTSD and Addiction, then class in the late afternoon.

Still missing my boy, but every day is a little better. The house is much quieter with him not in it.  Maddy has been confused, moping around the house a bit here and there.  I think, despite her intolerance of him sometimes, that she misses the little guy as much as we do.  Treated her to a day at the spa today, which is her favorite thing.  We’ve been talking with a few Sheltie rescues in the Midwest, hoping to get another adorable boy in our house soon.  We are definitely a two-dog household.  It is apparent that all of us, including Maddy, agree.