Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Power of One: The Beginning

A brand new fitness and weightloss challenge is starting TODAY at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans!  Are you signed up?  I hope so, because there is no time like the present to get back on track after the holiday debauchery that has just ensued.  This challenge is a little different because there are no teams.  This challenge is focusing on the most important person in your life:  YOU.

I definitely need this challenge.  I had managed to reach my goal weight about a month ago, and technically I'm less than a pound above what I considered my maintenance range of 135-138, but I've gotten a little too loosey-goosey and I've put a few pounds back on.  3 pounds to be exact (and only 1.8 since the end of the last challenge, so it really isn't that bad).  Now, that really shouldn't get me down, but it does.  My weigh-in this morning of 138.8 is dangerously close to a decade I said I'd never see again.  Yesterday, my scale said 139 and it made me cry.  But it also made me go to the gym and work out for an hour and a half, so I guess there was some benefit although I'm pissed my workout only earned me 2/10 of a freaking pound.

So, onto the challenge portion of our challenge.

Step 1: weigh-in.  Check. 138.8 (boo)
Step 2: blog about it. Check. you are reading it, aren't you?
Step 3: take measurements and a photo.  Sorta.  I'm not going to take a photo because with only 3 pounds to lose, there isn't going to be much visual change.  I did take my measurements but I'm keeping those to myself.  M'kay?
Step 4: weigh-in form. Check.

And finally, my healthy living goals for this challenge and the New Year.
  • Drink at minimum 64 oz of water 6/7 days a week. (I've been HORRIBLE with this over Christmas break.  I do much better with my water bottle at school.)
  • Run 2-3 times a week
  • Sign up for my 25k race (the race isn't until May and I won't need to start officially "training" until probably February, but I should just get the sign-up out of the way, don't you think?)
  • Do the Shred DVD, EA Sports Active, or some other strength/crosstraining 2-3 times a week.
  • 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups after each run.
  • Log my food on Daily Plate at least 4/7 days a week.
  • Lose at least 3 pounds to get back to 135.8 or less.
OK, I think that's it!  Ready, Set, Go!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

True Confessions: post holiday edition

It is Tuesday, which means it is True Confessions time at the Sisterhood. We've been instructed by the lovely Christie O to confess the good and the bad.

I'll start with the good:
•the almond bars are now gone.
•I made a huge crock pot full of vegan ratatouille and ate tons of it at Christmas & for several days afterwards.
•I used light ingredients in many of the dishes I made (but sadly, the almond bars I demolished were NOT light).
•I did not have any pecan pie.
•I made a turkey breast in the crock pot I won from the Shrinkingjeans vlog challenge. It was A.MAZ.ING and I will never cook turkey in the oven again.
•I ran 6.3 miles the day after Christmas & worked out for 1.5 hrs today.
•I bought myself a dot-com & new blog design for Christmas!

Now for the bad:
•cookies, candy, cheesy potatoes, and almond bars.
•the above in excess.
•too little, too late on the exercise front.
•there are still cookies, stroope, ham, and pretzel m&ms in the house mocking me.

Needless to say, I desperately need to get back on track. I fear I am getting dangerously close to that decade I said I'd never see again and that scares me. While I'm sure I didn't gain the 11 pounds the average person puts on between Thanksgiving & New Years, I've gained some. I am so glad we have a new challenge and a new year to start fresh. So, here's to starting anew!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas in Pictures

Our Chrismas holiday in pictures.

The one time of year I get out my Mom's china.

The cousins enjoy a couple rounds of UNO.

Holy presents, Batman!

Squirt & Grandpa check out the snacks

M gets to go first!

C loves his new tools!

K's doll got glasses and K got a new MSU hat.

D got more guns 'n ammo than he knows what to do with.

I got a great new running hat :). I need to exchange it cuz it's too big :(

Finally ready to eat.

Squirt asks Aunt B for some turkey.


I pray you all had a blessed Christmas with family and friends. If you don't celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a wonderful Saturday.

If you haven't switched your reader over to my new home at www (dot) livelaughrunbreathe (dot) com please do that soon! I don't want to lose any of you :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From My "New" Home!

Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

As you can see, I've "moved" (or maybe you can't because I'm also posting this on the "old" site)!!!! Beginning today, I'm now blogging at and I'd love for you to join me there.  If you are finding this from Shrinking Chick, please go to LLRB and follow me there because it looks like my posts from there may not show up in your reader.  I hope you love the new look of my blog as much as I do. (Major props to Lindsay for the awesome design-click on her link to the right and show her some Christmas love!)  Make sure you click on that little orange RSS button up top and subscribe to this blog and grab my new button!!!! You will continue to be redirected from Diary of a Shrinking Chick, but I'm not sure for how long.

Love you all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Hoe-Down: The Finale

I can't believe we are already done with the Holiday Hoedown!  I've had the most amazing team (love my Healthy Holiday Ho's).   While I didn't end this challenge any lighter, I also didn't end in any heavier, really.  Maintenance during the holiday season can be a great accomplishment in and of itself!

So let's get down to it, shall we?

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Challenge Starting Weight: 136.6
Last Week's Weight: 136.4
This Week's Weight: 137.0
Change: up 0.6
Challenge Change: up 0.4
Total Pounds Gone: 28.8

While I'm not happy for not still being at the 30 pounds gone mark, I am happy that I didn't do even more damage.  Considering the number of pounds the average America gains over the holidays, I'll take my 1/2 pound gain! 

We were supposed to log minutes this week as well, and I logged 170.  Not too shabby.  (Too bad I couldn't count the 1 hr 21 min "tri" I did this morning in those totals!)

Unfortunately, I didn't really talk nice about myself much this week, although I was pretty proud of my attempts at swimming this week and did manage to finish 6 pairs of mittens for our church and that made me feel good.  Hopefully our new Power of One challenge will have me rethinking my outlook a bit.  What???? You haven't signed up yet???? Go. Now.  I'll wait.

Ok, now that you've signed up for the next challenge, I can say:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
to all my fellow sisters, brothers, and bloggy friends.  I really do treasure you all.  The support you've given me this year has truly been one of the best gifts I could have ever asked for.


ps-this little blog is going to be undergoing some changes! I'm super excited and can't wait until I can share the new look, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Help Me Rename My Blog!

Hi all!

As a Christmas gift to myself (in line with the health and fitness I've gained this year) I've decided to rename this blog for the New Year.  Below is a poll of several possible new names for this blog (I tried putting a poll in the sidebar but it was an epic fail - sorry this isn't anonymous, but I love you guys anyway, no matter how you vote). 
  • lighthouserunner
  • runningmademeloseit
  • fromshrinktoshrank
  • livelaughrunbreathe
  • diaryofahealthychick
I don't anticipate changing the format or my ramblings much (unless there is a topic you'd like to see my write about!) but I feel that since I'm really not "shrinking" anymore, my name should reflect where I am now in this journey.  I plan on keeping the "poll" up until at least Christmas, and possibly New Years, and I value your opinions, so vote-vote-vote.  If you think of a different name, please include it in the comments!  Write-in votes are encouraged!  Also, thank you to all of you who submitted ideas.  I had a hard time narrowing the choices down :) 

ps-Since the sidebar poll didn't work, just write your vote in the comments!
Thanks friends!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday HoeDown Week 4

Well, here we are on another Wednesday and already at week 4 in our latest Shrinkingjeans challenge.  Time sure flies when you are hanging out in the blogosphere with your friends *waves to fellow Healthy Holiday Ho's and bloggy friends*.  Time to hop on over to my scale and see what it says.

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8

Challenge Starting Weight: 136.6
Last Week's Weight: 137.0
This Week's Weight: 136.4
Change: down .6
Challenge Change: down .2
Total Pounds Gone: 29.4

Our fitness challenge was to log minutes this week.  The weather here in Michigan has been abysmal for working out outside (granted, there are some crazies who run in this crap, but I prefer to avoid the broken ankles and head injuries I'm likely to incur by running in snow and ice).  I logged fewer minutes than last week, but these were what I consider to be more quality workouts, so I'll take that.  Still not what I feel I should be able to do, but with the craziness going on right now, I'll take what I can get.  Also, my foot has been pretty good lately and I don't want to reinjure it before I start hard-core 25k training in January.
Workout minutes: 132

Our nonfitness challenge was to try something new.  Seeing as I have a bunch of IRL and bloggy friends pestering me encouraging me to do a triathlon, I decided to see if I could actually run, bike and swim in the course of a single, long workout.  I did not do the events in the proper order (I chose to run, then bike, then swim because the pool wasn't open for lap swim when I first got there - so basically I went backwards), but I was able to complete a mini-tri very mini since I think even the kid's tris are longer than this.  I ran 1.5 miles in 15 minutes, biked 6.3 miles in 30 minutes, and swam 400 yds in 15 minutes.  The next day I could barely walk, thankyouverymuch.

For the next week, our nonfitness goal is to say something nice about ourselves/give ourselves a pat on the back each day.  This has been hard for me to do lately.  I really feel like I am in a rut exercise-wise and I seem to have no motivation to do anything.  Hopefully my 2 week break coming up will give me the opportunity to hit the gym, maybe take some kickboxing, spin, or weights classes, and get back on track.  I will give myself a pat on the back that even though I haven't been training for anything, I've managed to maintain my weight (and even lose a tiny bit more) since my 1/2 mary.  That should count for something.

One more tiny thing - a favor if you will.  I am planning to buy myself a domain name for Christmas (I never thought I'd type THAT statement).  I have a couple ideas but welcome suggestions for a new name for this blog.  I don't anticipate the format/content will really change much, but I'd also like suggestions about what you would like me to ramble on and on about :)  So, talk to me peeps!  Help a Shrinking (now Shrunk? Shrank?) Chick out. thanxkbye!

Monday, December 13, 2010

December Monthly Project

The Monday Project

This month, the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans has asked us to look outside of ourselves. In their words, "This month’s project has nothing to do with ourselves and everything to do with other people. It’s not about weight, it’s not about confidence, it’s not about eating this or that. It’s about giving. Because it’s the season of giving."

We have been very blessed as a family.  We have a beautiful home, drive nice cars, have jobs that pay the bills and provides health insurance, can send our kids to music and sports camps, we can take vacations every few years.  These are luxuries that many in our community do not have.  The unemployment rate in the state of Michigan is at 12%.  12%!!! Over a tenth of the population is out of work.  51% of the homeless in Michigan are adults and children in families.  This saddens me like you could not believe.  I used to work for a school district in which the majority of students came to school without appropriate winter clothing and over 75% were below the poverty line. 

On the last Sunday of every month, our church provides a community pancake breakfast to any who would like a warm breakfast.  This year, the last Sunday of the month happens to be Christmas Day.  Our family will be helping to serve breakfast this year.  I feel it is important for D and K to give back and look outside of themselves for a change.  In addition, K and I will be making fleece mittens to donate to the church.  (Now, if anyone knows me, they know I am not a crafty person and barely know how to turn on my sewing machine, but if I can give of my time and churn out a few mittens, I'll give it a shot).

I encourage everyone to find a way to help in their own communities this holiday season.  Next time you are in the mall and there is a 50% off sale or BOGO on coats (it happens a lot at Old Navy, btw!), buy an extra coat and donate it to a shelter.  Find an elementary school and offer to sponsor a student or family.  In August next year when all the school supplies go on sale, buy a backpack and fill it with supplies for a student who would otherwise go without.  These are just a few ideas.  Also, if you could click over on BB's button over there <------------- and help a little boy provide clean water to parts of the world without, that would also mean so much.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Hoedown Week 3

Today is really not a good day for me, for reasons completely unrelated to weight loss and fitness.  I should blog about it but I don't want to.  Forgive my lame attempt at a post.

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8

Challenge Starting Weight: 136.6
Last Week's Weight: 137.4
This Week's Weight: 137.0
Change: down .4
Challenge Change: up .4
Total Pounds Gone: 28.8

Workout minutes: 194
Getting in my water: great during the week but suck on the weekend
Try something new: Does running outside on ice and snow in December in Michigan when you are still injured count?  Yes?  Then check.

I'll be back in the groove tomorrow.

PS: Thank you to everyone who voted for me in ShrinkingJeans vlogging contest.  I'm going to rock that pimped out crockpot.  MWAH.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

True Confessions: I confess that I'd love your vote!

First off, it is True Confession Tuesday over at Shrinkingjeans, so that means I need to fess up about my week thus far.
  • My workouts have been very limited.  I'm trying very hard to heed my own advice and listen to my body.  I was given the ok to run again this past weekend, and I ran a very slow, painful 3 miles.  I finished wanting to cry because a) it hurt, and b) I feel like I'm losing all my momentum.
  • We were supposed to try something new this week as our non-weightloss challenge.  My run was in sub-freezing temps on snow and ice.  December in Michigan, baby.  I've never done that before.
  • Running is probably not going to get better for awhile, but I've done nothing else either.  I will do some strength and core tonight.  I have a membership to a gym, but have not gotten there because I'm driving kids all over creation or going to diving and gymnastics meets.  When we finally do get home, I just want to curl up on the couch.  I did manage to spend 2 hours Saturday night helping set up my daughter's gymnastics center for their meet.  Do you have any idea how heavy gymnastics equipment is?  That is totally going towards my minutes total this week!
  • My eating has been OK, but with our schedules lately, coming up with a healthy, home-cooked meal has just been hit or miss.  Hubs was off on Friday (he works 4 10's so he's always home then).  I was so mad that he didn't plan anything for dinner (and completely overlooked that fact that he'd cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the living room) that we ended up having Sonic for dinner.  My daughter has an away meet tonight, so we will probably be hitting fast food on the way home again.
Shrinkingjeans wants us to outline how we will stay on track this holiday season.  Right now, I just want to focus on healing so I can really workout again.  Perhaps I need to start logging my food as well.

The last little thing I'd like to discuss is a plea for your vote.  I am one of 5 women who vlogged a holiday tradition and posted a recipe over at shrinkingjeans.  We would all love if you'd take a look at our posts and vote for your favorite.  There are some pretty sweet prizes, and the grand-prize crockpot would probably help a TON in the whole meal planning with kids in a bazillion activities problem I have :)  Obviously, I'd love it if you voted for me, but really, all of my "competitors" are amazing ladies that I consider friends, so a vote for one of them would be a-ok, too :)  You can find my post here and the voting is available here (you need to scroll down the page a bit).  Voting is only open for a few more hours, so hurry over there and check it out!

Thanks.  And please, leave me a comment telling me to get off my arse and find something athletic to do. M'kay? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Hoedown Week 2

I'm afraid I've let down my Healthy Holiday Ho's this week.  Granted, as a team we are not necessarily focusing on weight loss but rather health and fitness, I'm still disappointed in my performance this week.

Our challenge was to log as many exercise minutes as possible.  I ran a 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in just under 53 minutes and ended up pretty injured (I was actually injured to start with but too stupid to back out).  You can read about it here.  I didn't exercise again (I don't think we can count walking around doing our Christmas shopping as minutes, although that certainly would have helped) until last night's Tworkout.  I can't do anything that would work my ankle or calf, so I did about 20 minutes of arms and abs.  Coupled with the stretching exercises I've been doing the past few days, I'm logging a paltry 75 minutes of exercise.  Lame.

After hitting goal last week, I was bummed to see a higher number on the scale today.  Not totally surprised, but disappointed nonetheless.  I felt I made great choices at Thanksgiving, but in the days since, the lack of exercise and eating only ok has taken it's toll.  Here are my numbers:

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Challenge Starting Weight: 136.6

Last Week's Weight: 135.6
This Week's Weight: 137.4
Change: up 1.8
Challenge Change: up .8
Total Pounds Gone: 28.4

Part of this challenge for me and one of my goals is to not stress about the little ups and downs.  I'm trying not to stress, but I am disappointed in myself.  I am going to need to learn how to balance less activity and eating.  I certainly can't eat like I'm training for a race if I'm not.

Tamarac Turkey Trot

Last Thursday, Mike and I completed a 5 mile (8K) Turkey Trot race in his hometown of Fremont, MI.  The weather reports leading up to the race were looking quite frightful.  Temps in the 20's and snow.  NOT what I want to run in.  I packed all my warm gear Wednesday night, along with all the usual shower supplies and a change of clothes.  I'd need to be de-stinky'd before we headed to Thanksgiving Dinner!

We woke up at the butt-crack of dawn on Thursday to drive the 70 minutes or so to his mom's house, where we deposited the wondertwins.  No sense in having 2 tired, grumpy 13 year olds harshing your mellow on race morning.  Lucky for us, the temps were warmer than predicted (in the mid to upper 30's) and it wasn't snowing.  It was misting rain, though.  We weren't really sure where the race was being held, but this being a very tiny town, MIL was able to give us good directions.  We made it to Tamarac (a beautiful, new fitness facility) in plenty of time to pick up our race numbers and take care of any lingering bathroom issues.  This was Tamarac's first race EVER and the registration area was easy to deal with, they had some water and powerbars out for folks if they wanted, and we were able to wait inside for the race to start.  Since is wasn't as cold as we thought it would be, I just wore my new long running pants, a long-sleeve compression mockneck and a One More Mile t-shirt over top.  I had on my Bondi band to cover my ears and a running hat.  I decided at the last minute to throw a ziplock bag in my pocket, which I used to protect my iPhone during the run.  I kept it in my zipped pants pocket.

A few minutes before 9, we headed outside to find the starting line.  Across the parking lot, and not very well marked, was literally a line drawn on the pavement.  There were less than 400 people participating, so Mike and I lined up in the middle of the pack and waited for them to signal the start.  We didn't really hear the start, but rather the people in front of us started moving.

We crossed the starting line and I hit my watch.  (There were no timing chips in this race.  It was clock timed with a stringer at the end-I'll try to explain later.)  The course went through the parking lot of Tamarac and across the north end of town.  We ran through a nice park that was much hillier than I'd expected.  Thank goodness it didn't snow, because I'm sure it would have been ugly slippery.  Mike ran next to me the entire time, looking at me at each mile marked wondering why we weren't taking our usual 1 minute walk breaks.  Yeah, I didn't tell him I wasn't planning to walk at all.  (I've been having a lot of issues with my left foot and I just wanted this to be over.  You can read more about my injury here. Since I just confessed it all yesterday, I'm not going to do it again.)  Mike stayed with me the entire time.  I was really proud of him.  He's never run farther than 3 miles without walking and he ran the entire 5 miles.  Granted, if he'd wanted to, I think he could have beat me because he actually can run A LOT faster than me.  In any case, it was nice to run with him.  With the finish line in sight, he grabbed my hand (to be sweet or to keep me from passing him?) and we crossed the finish line together.  At the finish line, we see my sister-in-law Laura and 5 year old nephew Alex cheering for us.  Totally unexpected and very cool. 

Here's were things get a little weird.  At the end of the finish chute is a girl with a giant safety pin.  She asks us, Who finished first?  Mike told her we crossed the finish line together.  She asks again, Who finished first?  Um, what part of "together" do you not understand?  I think we pissed her off and she didn't know how to deal with a "tie".  She tore the little tab off the bottom of Mike's race bib and then off the bottom of my race bib and strung them on her enormous safety pin.  Here's how we finished:

Mike: 52:51.9 (this was also my watch time)
Me: 53:36.0 (WTF? How did I get almost a minute behind him when we finished together?)

Mike finished 12/12 in his age group and I was 8/12 in mine.  I was the slowest of the "fast" people.  The finisher behind me in my age group was behind me by 20 minutes.  Overall, we were 157 and 158 out of 370, so we finished above the 50th percentile.  I'm very pleased with that, considering the overall was a mix of men and women!

Needless to say, it was a great way to start out Thanksgiving and I will definitely do it again. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

True Confessions: Let This Be a Lesson to You

In this week's true confessions post for The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, I could talk about how I ate all manner of crap on Thanksgiving and had to unbutton my pants, but I didn't-so I won't.  I actually made really good choices and left the table feeling satisfied and not the least bit like a stuffed turkey.  The past few days haven't been as great because I'm a bit down on myself, but not so bad to cause total sabotage.

What I do want to talk about is the need to listen to your body.  I mean REALLY listen to it.  Even when it's telling you things you don't want to hear.  Ready?
  • I have had some nagging calf soreness since my 1/2 marathon (over 6 weeks ago). 
  • I took a bit of a break with my running (I've run 4-8 miles a week since then), but didn't stop completely.
  • Every time I've run since the 1/2, my arch and up into my ankle has hurt.  Not just a little muscle soreness, but honest-to-gosh pain.  Do we see where this is heading?
  • On Thanksgiving morning, the hubs and I got up mega early, piled the wondertwins into the car, and headed for my MIL's about an hour away.  We dumped the kids at moms and headed to the location of our 5 mile Turkey Trot race.  We got to the race plenty early, picked up our race bibs (no timing devices-only a clock-that's a whole other post) and sat inside waiting for the race to start.
  • 9:00 finally rolled around and we headed outside and were off.  5 miles through some beautiful rolling hills. 
  • At about mile 1, my arch and ankle were screaming at me.  Did I mention that it was freezing cold, raining, and I didn't do any of my usual running warmups?  Oops.
  • I had told myself for weeks that I was going to run the entire race without walking.  I didn't tell hubs this. Oops. At each mile marker, he looked over at me like, "Seriously?, don't we get to walk here?"  I choose to ignore him and the pain in my arch that was pretty bad, but if I focused on how cold my hands and face were I didn't really notice.
  • We finished our 5 mile race, holding hands, in just under 53 minutes (a 10:30 pace, about the fastest race pace I've ever run and the farthest distance hubs has ever run without any walk breaks).   
  • Flash forward to about 3 hours later.  My foot/ankle is screaming at me and looks a bit swollen.  I rubbed some BioFreeze on it, but didn't ask MIL for any ice.  Oops
  • Flash forward to the weekend.  It still hurts. It's still swollen.  I haven't been icing it.  Oops
  • Flash forward to yesterday.  I finally went and saw my sports chiro and he took one look at my calf and said, "That is one angry Tibialis Posterior muscle. Have you had any problems with shin splints?" Um, I guess my shin was a little sore when I started running again within the week after my 1/2, but I brushed it off.  Turns out, the tibialis posterior muscle is the muscle (and it's tendons) that support your arch and run under the bony prominence on the inside of the ankle where all my pain was located. Tightness there can also present as shin splints.  My super tight calf muscle that I didn't let heal properly 6 freaking weeks ago has been torquing on my arch and ankle, making for one very sore me.  Doc did some of his Active Release Technique magic on my calf muscle and the tendons around my inner ankle and heal, reducing me to tears.  I have the bruises today to prove it and my inner calf is so sore that my pant legs rubbing against it hurts.
  • The recommendations?
    • Ice and massage 3 x a day which hurts like a mother
    • See doc again tomorrow for more pain and torture which hurts even worse than the ice and massage
    • Maybe he'll clear me to run some short distances by the weekend, but more likely next week.
  • Bottom line?  Listen to your body and when something doesn't feel right, or when modified activity doesn't make it any better, go to the freaking doctor!  Just make sure you go to a doctor who is invested in getting you back into your training.  If you go to someone who tells you, "You can't run anymore" or "Just stop running", turn around and find someone else.
I hope at least one of my dear readers learns something from my idiocy.  Thank you. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Traditions & Healthy Recipes: A Vlogging Contest

When I heard The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans was having a vlogging contest, I knew I needed to enter.  When I told my hubs that the Grand Prize was a cool new crockpot and the runner-up prizes included a bunch of cookbooks, he cleaned the kitchen so I could get the vlog done today :)  You see, along with the obvious cookie jar and not so obvious cookbook obsession of mine, we also have a deep affection for crockpots.  LOVE them.  So, without further ado, I submit to you my entry into the Holiday Vlogging Contest.  I hope you love it and my grandma's recipe and vote for me on December 2nd!  Thank you! MWAH!

Grandma's Blueberry Jello Salad

(makes a 9x13 pan - probably 12 servings)

  • 1 small pkg sugar-free Berry Blue and 1 small pkg sugar-free Black Cherry jello (really, any blue-colored jello will work)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 15 oz can blueberries in juice
  • 8 1/4 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 8oz pkg low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 pt light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we use pecans because hubs is allergic to everything else)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions for base:
  • Dissolve jello in water
  • Drain pineapple and blueberries into a measuring cup to make 1 cup of juice (toss the rest)
  • Add juice to dissolved jello
  • Fold in fruit
  • Pour into 9x13x2 pan sprayed with cooking spray
  • Put in fridge until set
Directions for topping:
  • Blend all ingredients except nuts with a hand mixer until soft
  • Fold in nuts
  • Spread over set jello
  • Return to fridge to set topping
  • Keep refrigerated until serving
I have no clue what the nutritional info would be for this recipe, only that it is relatively low in fat and sugar and is diabetic-friendly.  I hope you enjoy it :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Hoedown: Wednesday Check-In Week 1

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE !!!!!!  I have a couple new buttons on my blog - did you see them????

That is all.  Well, not really, because I still have to post something :)

It it official, I have now lost 30 pounds with the help of my Shrinkingjeans sisters.  I could not have accomplished all that I've done this year without the love and support of all of you girls.  Smootches and Hugs to each and every one of you.

Ok, now that we have that little tidbit out of the way, we can get to the challenge happening over at Shrinkingjeans.  I am so proud to be a member of the Healthy Holiday Ho's.  You women are amazing!  We have logged a boat-load of minutes exercising this week.  I managed to get in 134 minutes.  I had hoped for more but sometimes life just gets in the way.  I even managed a little loss this week, which explains the squee up above :)  Here are my stats:

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8

Last Week's Weight: 136.6
This Week's Weight: 135.6
Change: down 1.0
Challenge Change: down 1.0
Total Pounds Gone: 30.2

What an amazing way to go into the Thanksgiving holiday :)
I pray everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Drive safely if you are traveling and run fast if you are Turkey Trotting (I will be, if only to end the misery of the weather sooner!).  Blessings to you and yours! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Check-in: Holiday Hoedown

Holiday Hoedown Challenge

It's time to start our new challenge over at Shrinkingjeans: The Holiday Hoedown (doesn't that sound like fun!).  I am so happy to be a part of the Healthy Holiday Ho's.  Here's a little shout-out to the rest of my team:  Thea, Kirsten, Tiffany, Jamee, Lisa, Beki, and Elaine!
For this challenge, our team is focusing more on fitness and healthy habits than on weight loss, although a few more pounds gone would not be a terribly bad thing for some of us (including me).  This go-round will have us competing in fitness challenges and non fitness challenges.  Since my exercise has been decidedly lackluster since my 1/2 marathon, I'm counting on this challenge and my teammates to kick my arse in gear.  The first challenge is a minutes challenge!

As for my personal goals for this challenge, I would like to see my weight maintain between 135 (which would be my "goal" weight) and 138.  Getting through he holidays without gaining a bunch of the weight I have lost would be SUPER.  Even though I'm not focusing specifically on weight loss, I will continue to post my weights to stay accountable.  So, here are my starting digits:

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Last Week's Weight: 136.8
This Week's Weight: 136.6
Change: down .2
Total Pounds Gone: 29.2

I am getting so stinking close to that 30 pound button!  I'd like to post that button during this challenge, but if I don't, I'm ok with that too.  It is the holidays after all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

True Confession Tuesday

Short and sweet since it is now 11:00 and I need to get to bed!
  • I'm still doing minimal workouts.  I'm not really sick anymore (other than this fraking tickle in my throat that won't fraking go away), but I still don't really feel like doing anything.  Not good.
  • I've been eating better, but haven't been tracking my food. 
  • I just signed up for my Thanksgiving 8k Turkey Trot.  My hubs is also registered (although he registered as a "featherless bird"-he didn't want a shirt-but I'm all about the long sleeve tech shirt).  I'm glad that he is running, but if he beats me I'm going to be really, REALLY pissed.  Competitive much?  Maybe this will motivate me to ignore the pain in my ankle and really train for then next week or so.  *snicker* as if that would help.  My only hope is that he has been running even less than I have.  And it's 5 miles.
  • Our new challenge at the sisterhood starts tomorrow!  I'm proud to be a Healthy Holiday Ho! I really think we have the best team EVER!
  • I can't wait to see what they have in mind for us!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monthly Project - Monday Check-in

So for this month, the Sisterhood has this little project going on to try some of the recipes they've been posting. Now, there have been some great options out there! Last week, I decided to try the Easy-Peasy Pea Soup. Here is my post in pictures! (Keep in mind, pea soup is not the prettiest food & I am not the best food photographer!)

Yum! The soup turned out delicious. Hubs & I devoured it, but the wondertwins were too scared of the looks of it to try it. You can't please everyone. I will definitely make this one again.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Card Time!

It's hard to believe it is almost time to start on the Christmas cards, especially since it has been so unseasonably warm here in Michigan the past few days.  But knowing this is Michigan, we could have snow tomorrow and will almost certainly enjoy a white Christmas.  Now, why am I discussing Christmas cards on my blog when it isn't even Thanksgiving?  Because it is never to early to start and I'm going to be trying something different this year. 

Normally, The hubs and I hit the day-after-Christmas sales to pick up our holiday cards for the following year.  We send out a lot of cards, so I'd much rather find some cards at 75% off than pay retail any day!  The problem with this method is "you get what you get".  Digging through the bottom of the barrels (literally) to find some decent cards.  This year, however, I've decided to go with Shutterfly for my Christmas cards.

I have been a huge fan of Shutterfly for many, many years.  Every vacation for the past several years have been immortalized in Shutterfly Photo Books and I even helped a good friend create her wedding album using Shutterfly.  Seriously, you can't go wrong with their products.

So, last weekend, we took a family photo and now I have the nearly impossible decision of which card to choose.  They have so many styles and colors to choose from.  Here's where you can help me out!  Take a look at the picture we snapped last weekend and a few of my favorite card styles.  Let me know which one you like the best. 

Christmas Letter
What a cool idea - a combo Christmas letter and photo card! Granted, I'd need to come up with a couple more pictures for this one.

Love 2010
We had a fabulous year - so maybe a "top 10" would make a great card!

Elegant Cranberry Damask
I love the black & white with the beautiful damask design of this one.

So there you go.  Easy-Peasy, right?  I can't wait to get started on my cards this year.  Shutterfly even has matching address labels for some of their cards.  How cool is that?

Attention: Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à

While this post was sponsored by Shutterfly, I swear by their products and hove ordered many Photo Books and prints.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Check In

We are currently between challenges at the Sisterhood, but I'm uber excited for the next one.  All we know is we are getting to pick our own teams.   I just hope we don't have to vote anyone on our team out on this challenge cuz I love these ladies WAY too much.  For now, I will just stay tuned for more deets!

Onto the Wednesday Weigh-In.  As I indicated in yesterday's confessions post, I have been under the weather, not eating right, and not exercising.  I did manage to follow along with the Tworkout last night and I just posted a 3.1 mile run.  It really sucked and was HARD, but I never walked and finished in 32:20.  Not too shabby for feeling like crap.

Here are my digits:
Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8

Last Week's Weight: 137.6
This Week's Weight: 136.8
Total Pounds Gone: 29.0

Getting close to that 30 pound mark!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

True Confession Tuesday: Ugh

Here are my bare-bones confessions: 
  • I have been sick for a week and a half. 
  • I have not exercised other than last week's tworkout.
  • I did go to the doctor and got meds, but they really aren't helping much. 
  • I feel very sloth-like.  Sluggish.  I don't like it.
  • There is still Halloween candy in the house, but there is less of it because I keep eating it.
  • I'm going to post a loss tomorrow, but I feel I don't deserve it.  How the frak do you not exercise and eat like crap, but still lose weight? I think all my muscle is turning to fat, but friends have told me that's not possible this soon. However, if I don't suck it up and start working out again soon, it could very well be my reality.
What is going to change starting tonight:
  • I'm going to do tonight's tworkout.
  • I'm going to run tomorrow.  Don't know how far or how long I'll last, but I'm shooting for 3 miles.
  • I'm going to do the wii or a dvd on Thursday.
  • I'm going to run again on Saturday.  Shooting for 5 miles.
  • I'm going to sign up for that stupid Turkey Trot.  I said I was going to do it and I just need to sign up.  I might not be able to run the whole 8k now since my training has taken a serious dive, but I still need to do the race.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shrinkvivor: Final Weigh-In #8

I cannot believe we are at the end of our Shrinkingjeans Shrinkvivor challenge!  While I didn't make it to the finals, I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge.  In fact, it has probably been my favorite of all of the Shrinkingjeans challenges I have participated in!  I loved the minutes and miles challenges (it helped that I was near the end of my 1/2 marathon training)!  Might be due to the fact that I am a Survivor junkie and anything that comes close to letting me play along is A-OK in my book!  By Friday, we are going to find out which of the amazing 7 finalists will win that sweet prize package.
Shrinkvivor Exile Island Member!

For the past week, I have resided over on Exile Island, although I have to admit I really haven't checked in over there very much.  Instead, I've just been trying to find my footing and come up with some new running goals for the off season.  (I live in Michigan and it is getting too dark for me to run after work outside, so my weekly runs will need to be on a treadmill.  I'm hoping to suck-it-up and still do my weekend running outside.  I even bought a new pair of nice, warm running pants that will hopefully keep my legs from turning into frozen stumps.  Anyhoo....)  If you follow me on twitter, you know that since finishing my 1/2 marathon, I've been a bit scatterbrained in what my next running goal should be.  I did run my first-ever straight 5 miles without any walk breaks this past weekend!!! WOOT!!! So now I am thinking I will make it a goal to eliminate walk breaks completely.  I will be signing up for an 8k (about 5 mile) Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving day and plan to keep my long run mileage around the 6 to 8 mile mark throughout the rest of this calendar year.  When everyone is running their virtual 5k with the sisterhood on January 8th (and while some of my dear friends are running 1/2 mary's and fulls at Disney), my plan is to run a 10k without walking.  I'd originally thought I would train for the 1/2 and run it "with" the Disney girls, but that just isn't realistic in my neck-of-the-woods.  I can't commit to running for 2.5 hrs on a treadmill or hoping we don't have a blizzard and running it outside.  Sorry Disney ladies :(

So, wish me luck.  Hopefully this plan will keep my weight right around where it is now.  I'm still not quite willing to say I've hit my goal weight, but I am very happy with where I've been hanging out weight wise.  Shall we get to the numbers?

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Challenge Starting Weight: 141.6
Last Week's Weight: 137.4
This Week's Weight: 137.6

Change This Week: up .2 (basically maintaining)
Change For Shrinkvivor Challenge: down 4.0
Total Pounds Gone: 28.2

My goal for the Shrinkvivor challenge was to get back down to 138 pounds and I made it!  Now, I would really love to see that scale hit 135.8 or less so I can earn my 30 pound button (and probably the "I lost it all" button), but I'm not going to stress if I don't get there.  I think a healthy weight range for me is somewhere in the 135 to 138 range.  (I've looked at a number of "ideal weight" calculators and they have me anywhere from 107-Yikes! to 141.  I don't ever want to see the 140s again even though my Weight Watchers goal weight from years ago was 141 and I maintained there for 6 years).  My BMI is now in the "normal range", although that scale has issues as well.  I think the important thing to do is to get to a weight that is somewhere in your "ideal range" based on medical data, but also at a weight that is something that can be maintained.  Could I starve myself and get to 107? I highly doubt it.  Could I get into the 120's? Probably, but I would have a very hard time maintaining that weight.  So for right now, the mid 130's are looking pretty good.

Oh yeah, one other REALLY COOL AWESOME PHENOMENAL LITTLE THING happened over the weekend.  I WON ONE OF THE SHRINKINGJEANS PASSES TO FITBLOGGIN!!!!! (Along with Kirsten, who won the grand prize, and Carmen!)  Yes, I wrote that in all caps because I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to meet the wonderful, supportive, amazing ladies behind The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans (plus all the other ladies I have "met" through the blogosphere and twitter).  Had I not discovered their site a little over a year ago, I'm sure I would still be a 165 pound (or heavier) unhappy unmotivated nonathletic woman sitting on my couch.  Instead, I'm back down to a healthy weight and I've completed 2 10k's and a 1/2 marathon with their love and support.  So a HUGE SHOUT OUT of THANKS to all the girls and guy over at Shrinkingjeans!  IRL hugs will come in May the week after I finish (God willing) my first ever 25k (15.5 mile) run!  I sure hope I survive to run that 5k with all of them!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shrinkvivor: Weigh-In #7

Shrinkvivor Challenge at the Sisterhood!
Here we are at the end of week 6 on our Shrinkingjeans Shrinkvivor challenge!  Someone is going to win a pretty sweet prize package very soon, but unfortunately, it won't be this shrinkvivor. Tribe Navy Seals managed to be in the bottom 2 for weight loss last week, so we have all been banished to Exile Island.  At least the company is nice there :)  
Shrinkvivor Exile Island Member!
Last week I posted a bit of a gain.  Let's get to the numbers and see if I've recovered:
Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Challenge Starting Weight: 141.6
Last Week's Weight: 139.0
This Week's Weight: 137.4
Change This Week: down 1.6 yeah
Change For Shrinkvivor Challenge: down 4.2
Total Pounds Gone: 28.4

Well, I managed to lose the 1.6 that I gained last week.  Yippee.  Pure dumb luck mostly.  I haven't been watching my food or liquid consumption and I haven't been exercising much since I finished my half.  I did manage to log 116 minutes of exercise, but to be honest, it doesn't feel like enough.  I'm a little lost now that I don't have a race to train for.  Last night, one of my girlfriends hauled my sorry butt to the gym and we did a 45 minute swim class and swam for 15 minutes.  Then, I came home and did the tworkout.  Totally crazy, but maybe this will be my Tuesday night plan (at least until K's diving meets throw a wrench into it).

So how did everyone else do?  Hop on those scales and head over to Shrinkingjeans and let us know!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

True Confession Tuesday: The Storm Edition

True Confessions

For those of you who don't live in the Midwest, we are having what are local news portrays as "The Storm of the Century".  Not really, but they tend to be all "the sky is falling" and crap.  School was cancelled for me today because there were tornado watches early this morning.  Apparently in my district, the buses don't run if there is a watch.  So, I received a phone call at 6:00 this morning that we didn't have school.  Yeah! Back to bed for me and the kids after I went and checked the computer because I seriously thought I was being punk'd.  I slept until 9:30, putzed around, and then headed to the basement for a couple hours when the watches were upgraded to warnings.  Now, from where I was standing in front of the windows watching for tornadoes taking shelter, there wasn't anything more that a little wind and rain.  Total.Storm.Fail.  On the plus side, if I was at school, I would have spent those 2 hours on the floor in the boys bathroom with 2 kindergarten classes, so Thank You Mr. Superintendent for cancelling school today.

So what does this have to do with today's confession post?  I also have a bit of a "the sky is falling" in me that has now turned to complacency.  Kinda like today's weather.  All year, I have been training for one race or another (2 10k's and my first 1/2 mary).  I've been working very hard to lose weight and keep it off.  I've had goals.  But now?  Nothing.Zip.Zilch.Nada.Nothing.  I don't know where to go from here.

My confessions:
  • I haven't tracked my food in who knows how long.  I'm not sure I need to be tracking.  I'm not sure if I really  need to lose anymore weight.  Sure, I'd love to drop a few more pounds, but do I really need to?
  • I've only worked out twice since my 1/2 (that was 9 days ago).  I ran 3 miles on Friday and 2.5 miles on Saturday.  My calf still hurts a bit.  My ankles feel stiff and sore.  Am I really injured or am I using some post race soreness as an excuse to sit on my ass?  Jury's still out on that one.
  • During this morning's "storm" I could have thrown in a workout DVD or fired up exersiseTV, but instead, I sat on the couch in my PJs and watched the weather radar.
  • I need to learn that workouts can be other activities besides running.  I have this mindset that it is all or nothing.  Either I pound out 3-4 miles or it isn't worth doing.  Not a good place to be.
  • I have no goals.  I need a race or something to be training for.  I need a plan.  A bunch of girls are thinking about "running" the Disney 1/2 Marathon on Jan 8 in support of our friends who are actually lucky enough to be going to Disney.  I haven't committed yet, because the thought of doing 13.1 miles on a treadmill makes me want to vomit.  The thought of doing 13.1 miles outside when it is 10 below and through 4 inch drifts makes me want to turn blue, vomit and then pass out.  There is a reason why there are no races in the winter in Michigan.  IJS.
  • So, help me out.  Where do I go from here?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Operation Send Bari To Fitbloggin'

Good day, beautiful readers!  I'm hear to tell you about a fantastic contest the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans has put together.  They are giving away 2 tickets to May's Fitbloggin11 conference, plus a $100 gift card for the grand prize winner to help with travel expenses!  How incredibly cool is THAT!  As a requirement for my entry, I needed to prepare a short vlog discussing why I would like to attend this conference.  (Please excuse the poor quality as I created and edited my vlog using my iPhone-it's not bad, but it's not my Flip either. Also excuse the still youtube decided to attach to my video.  I swear, I am not stoned.)

I was also inspired to create a "motivation board" with memorabilia from all my races.  What do you think?  I think I'm going to need another board!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shrinkvivor: Weigh-In #6

Can you believe we are already to the end of week 5 on our Shrinkingjeans Shrinkvivor challenge?  Time sure flies when you are trying to Outfit-Outlose-Outlast.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty:
Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
Challenge Starting Weight: 141.6
Last Week's Weight: 137.4
This Week's Weight: 139.0
Change This Week: up 1.6 boo
Change For Shrinkvivor Challenge: down 2.6
Total Pounds Gone: 26.8

As I suspected, I had a bit of a gain post 1/2 marathon.  I'm not too upset about it, but it is disappointing nonetheless.  I'm more concerned about next week since I'm on a doctor-imposed break from major amounts of cardio this week (ie-no running until at least this weekend) and I'm still sore in a few spots from my run, especially my left calf.  I actually have a weird lump in my calf muscle and it is tender to the touch.  If it isn't better in a couple more days, I'll have it checked out, but I suspect it is just a result of almost 2 1/2 hours of pounding on Sunday. 

Speaking of 2 1/2 hours, that was the immunity challenge we had this week.  Keeping track of exercise minutes.  Since the only things I've done is my half marathon, which I completed in 2 hours, 27 minutes, plus about 30 minutes of slow walking afterwards, my minutes for this challenge are 177.

As for the non-fitness challenges, I did participate in the "Exposed Movement".  However, I did not do very well on tracking my food (in all honesty, I haven't tracked at all, but I'm starting again today).  I had at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, so 5 of 6 days for the challenge is pretty good.  Water continues to be great.  I'm drinking water almost exclusively now, but I still allow myself one Diet Coke per day.

So how did everyone else do?  I feel bad that I couldn't post a loss for Tribe Navy Seals this week.  I'm hoping this doesn't send me or my team to Exile, but if it does, I've heard there are a lot of awesome people hanging out over there *waves to my peeps on Exile Island*.  So, strip down to your naughty bits, hop on those scales, and head over to Shrinkingjeans and let us know how you did this week.  While you're there, show the rest of your shrinking sisters and brothers some bloggy love.  Peace Out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

True Confession Tuesday: Post Race

True Confessions

The Good:
The Bad:
  • I did some serious carb-loading before-hand, and since I didn't really eat much at all after the race to combat the 2000+ calories I burned, my body thinks it is starving and I'm having to force myself not to eat everything in sight.  It's been a couple days.  I think the starvation-factor should have worn off by now.
The Good:
  • I put in 2 hrs, 27 min, 52 seconds towards our Shrinkvivor challenge.
The Bad:
  • I can barely move today and will probably have to miss the Tworkout.  Seriously, I'm sore in places I didn't even know I had muscles.  I also haven't tracked food or gotten in enough fruits or veggies.  I'm most likely going to be up this week and headed to join my friends on Exile Island.
The Good:
  • The Fat-Goggles came off for a few seconds while looking at some pictures of myself while working on my race recap.  I also joined the Exposed movement (although the fat goggles have a hard time looking at my own post).
The Bad:
  • I'm fighting the belief that the skinny pictures are all smoke and mirrors and good angles. (I'm a work in progress.  Yesterday I wore pants that were WAY too big and no less than 4 people commented on how much weight I had lost and that I needed to go buy some more pants.  Today I feel puffed up and huge.  I don't get it either.)
So, in 10 minutes or less, those are my confessions.

PS:  Did you see that adorable little boy over there on my blog, just a bit to the left?  He is the most amazing little guy EVER and wants to save the world, one glass of drinking water at a time.  Please click his button and show him some love.

PSS:  Shrinkingjeans has an awesome giveaway going on right now with Girlz N Gear.  You can try and enter, but I'm going to win, so it might just be a waste of your time.  IJS.  I REALLY need a 13.1 shirt now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Have a Story: I'm a Half-Marathoner!

According to my dear friend Kirsten, I now have a story.  The story of my first half-marathon.  Until she mentioned that on twitter last night, I hadn't even thought of it that way.  I was just glad I had so many running "sisters" to share the day with.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  I need to back up a couple days (actually, to several months ago when I started training, but that would just take too long). 

*warning-photo heavy LONG post!

Back in July, I ran my 2nd 10k of the year.  It really kicked my butt (90 degree weather will do that to you) and I wondered if I would ever be able to run farther than 6.2 miles.  A couple weeks later, I started researching fall races.  I wanted to push myself and see how far my body could take me.  I wanted a challenge.  I wanted to continue to lose weight.  I found a 1/2 marathon race in my hometown and a great training plan.  Fast-forward to this weekend.  12 weeks of training would come down to this.

My best IRL friend Angie and I headed to the marathon expo at our downtown YMCA Saturday afternoon.
We signed the board, picked up our race packets, and started carb-loading with the most yummiest of smoothies.
(PS-who the heck is that skinny girl signing the board?  OMG, it's me! This running stuff really works, yo!)

I set all my gear out so when the alarm went off Sunday morning at 5:30, I wouldn't have to think.

 Angie and her hubby Joe came over for a carb and protein filled Chicken Parm dinner. Then they headed home and I headed to bed.  5:30 am shouldn't really exist IMO.
*classic rock blares* It is now race day!  I was up at 5:30 am (I was up pretty much every hour all night but who's counting) and started getting ready.  I wrote the names of all my running "sisters" who also ran 1/2 marathons this weekend on my arm.  I wanted to keep them with me to motivate me since they all did such a great job keeping me going during my training.  (On Sunday, Kirsten, Renee and Lauren ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Fransisco, while Jen also ran her FIRST 1/2, the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  Becca got her FIRST Half out the the way by running the Middle Half in Tennessee on Saturday.)  The family headed downtown with me (without attitude, which I soooo appreciated).  Since the race started at the YMCA, we were able to wait inside where it was warm and I had a nice bathroom to use (5 times-I know, TMI, but seriously?). I found a quiet corner and stretched and rolled my muscles.  The kids jammed to their iPods and Mike headed outside to watch the Velocity Challenged runners start at 7:00 (if you think you'll be longer than a 6 hr marathon pace, you get to start an hour ahead of everyone else - and yes, they call these runners Velocity Challenged - I ♥ that).

I don't have pictures of any running other than the start and finish.  Professional pictures are coming, but probably won't be available for a week or so.  Anyhoo, here's my recap of the race itself. 
We headed outside a few minutes before 8am and the sun was just starting to come up.  I lined up with the "Al Gore" pace group (the pace groups were all labeled with famous people's marathon times and his was a 4:58 full finish). I did this so I would not start too fast and burn myself out.  It worked. I stayed with the group for the first 3 or 4 miles (doing my usual running with a 1 min walk at the top of every mile). By the 3rd or 4th mile, they weren't catching up to me anymore on my walk breaks and I just kept doing my thing. Miles 4 to 8 were a pretty steady uphill (not a "Holy Hill" 300+ footer! like the SF girls were doing-only about 60 ft total) with some rolling hills that really started to hit my glutes (literally-my @$$ was on fire!). On this back section were pockets of fans.  I made sure to take in as much of the scenery as I could as it is fall in Michigan and the trees were beautiful.  I high-fived an entire busload of high school Cross Country runners.  I tried to high-five as many kids on the course as I could.  I said "thank you" to all the TNT groups because they reminded me of my ShrinkingJeans sisters who raised a boat load of money this year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I loved the fans with loud music - one group was playing Guitar Hero! - and some had hilarious signs.  My favorite sign:  "Run like you STOLE it."  LMAO around mile 6.  At about 8.5 miles, we cross a little grassy area (where I walked because I was afraid of going arse over applecart) and we turned back around and headed back into downtown. There were a couple more rolling hills and I hit mile 10 and checked my watch. Holy cow! I was at about 1:50 something and realized I only had a 5k to go and it was all downhill. I was tired but knew I was going to finish pretty close to my goal time.  I hit the "1 mile to go" sign and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" came on my playlist.  I yelled out "Lisa!" (we've totally channelled each other while running to this song) and I think I scared the crap out of the runner next to me.  LOL. Next up on the playlist as the finish line came into sight was Holler Back by The Lost Trailers - AWESOME! (The video was filmed in GR-they are local boys. Watch the video and you can see some of the places I ran by!) Coming through the finish chute with my family and friends cheering was the best feeling EVER. I heard the announcer say my name (correctly, even!) and hit that finish. Got a hug from the race director and my medal from a sweet volunteer. I bawled and held onto her for quite a while. Throughout the race, I had my iPhone tweeting my progress at 3 mile intervals.  After each tweet, I received a bunch of "binks" back, knowing all of my friends were cheering me on.  This meant the world to me, although it did royally kill my battery!  (Probably won't use that feature on the next long race.) Later, I cried again reading everyone's tweets. I seriously have the best friends in the world!  This race would not have been what it was without the love, support, and @$$ kicking motivation of my ShrinkingJeans sisters!

And, what would a race report from me be without a little video :)

I had finished my first half-marathon!  I saw my family through the fence and finally found them at the end of the finisher chute.  I got a rose from my hubby and hugs from my friends and family.  Angie took good care of me and walked me around, feeding me potato chips and pickles when my legs cramped up and making sure I drank enough water and gatorade.  I got my complimentary massage (HEAVEN!).   There was beer poured by Elvis and later on, an afterparty at HopCat with more beer (New Holland's The Poet oatmeal stout) and a delicious pulled pork sandwich and crack fries!

I am now a Half-Marathoner and always will be. 
Noone can take that accomplishment away from me and I am absolutely THRILLED with my finish.  
Placed 1355 / 1686 Total
778 / 1039 Women
112 / 154 in my age group
2 hours, 27 minutes, 52 seconds
Memories - priceless

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010 marked the one year anniversary of a little post called Exposed over at Eating Journey.  At the time, I was relatively new to blogging and the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and really didn't give the post much thought.  In fact, I don't even know if I was really aware of it.  However, my twitter community was abuzz with talk of the anniversary of this post.  Tweets flew back and forth between myself, Brooke, Kirsten, Karena, Beki, Thea, Melissa, Lisa, Jen, ... I don't even know who all was tweeting at this point. All I knew was, I was seriously contemplating putting my bits and pieces out there for the world to see.  OMG, could I actually do that?  I've posted before/after pictures before, but with slightly more clothing!  Now, I never had any intention of nekkid pictures - I'm not THAT brave - but a bra and panties?  The whole point of Exposed and the reason SO MANY women and men have joined the Exposed Movement was to stop hating our bodies and start celebrating them! 

Nobody or no BODY is perfect.  Not even the Victoria's Secret cover models have perfect bodies.  They have airbrushing and photoshop.  Our bodies tell a story.  Maybe you have a few scars.  Maybe your dog bit you and you've always seen the scar that no one else ever notices.  Maybe you've given birth to a baby or two.  Maybe you have freckles that you say you hate but you secretly love because they really are cute. Maybe you've lost almost 30 pounds and you have 5 or 10 pounds of extra skin hanging around and your girls have completely deflated.  Maybe you've slacked on the strength training and even though you are lighter you aren't as toned as you were a couple months ago.  No matter what "maybe" is you, that "maybe" makes you a beautiful person designed by God.

God doesn't make mistakes.  YOU are not a mistake.  You are beautiful in HIS eyes and it's time you recognize your beauty for what it is.  Real. 

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...