Monday, January 31, 2011

The Great Sports Bra Debate

What's a perfectly average 34 B/C girl to do when she's lost about 30 pounds and her favorite Nike sports bras are no longer doing their job and are no longer available ANYWHERE?

She goes shopping, of course!

Hopefully my shopping experience (which literally took weeks, people!) will help your girls be happy and contained during your workouts, and maybe help you find a new favorite.  I should say that these opinions are all my own and I was not compensated by any companies with free swag (although if you work for Nike or Under Armour and want to hook me up, let's chat!).

As I indicated in the first paragraph up there, I have perfectly average girls, although I joke I'm more a 34 long after having children and having my weight bounce up and down so much, along with my bewbs.  Anyhoo, what did I discover while trying on at least 40 or 50 different sports bras?  Us average girls get the shaft and trying on sports bras should be an aerobic activity.  I've also decided that the only way to eliminate all movement completely is with duct tape, and frankly, the removal makes me shudder.

Let's get started, shall we?

If you are more kiwis or lemons than oranges or grapefruits, I think you can pretty much wear whatever the heck you want.  If you only want to spend $10 on a strappy little compression bra at Kohl's, then you are in luck!  If you want to spend more and get a bra with some padding and shape, you can do that too.  The possibilities are endless.  Happy shopping!

Alternatively, if you are more cantaloupes, you also have a ton of options, although they are a bit pricier (the Moving Comfort line received many recommendations when I asked my friends on twitter what they liked to wear and they had some cute styles).  But, I've also discovered that some of them aren't as cute.  That's really unfortunate.  Just because your girls are larger doesn't mean you want to wear something that looks like a bra your grandmother wore in the 50s.  I also discovered, the majority of bras for you more well endowed ladies had hooks in the back.  When I was able to find a bra in my size that had a hook, I discovered I HATED it.  Couple reasons - I have a bum shoulder, so having to reach behind myself to hook a bra that was already on was actually painful.  If I did manage to get it hooked, I didn't like the feel of the hook mechanism.  Again, this is totally a personal preference of mine, but I tended to run screaming from anything with hooks.  I also found I did not like adjustable straps or bras that looked like traditional bras.  I guess I like my sports bra to look like a racer-back sports bra.

So, did I find anything that worked for me?  I'm happy to report I did!  Here were my favorites:

Nike Swift Y Back
This bra is very similar to the favorites I had been wearing for years.  I just had to go online and order it in a smaller size (for reference, I wear a small in this bra - my old ones were a medium).  I should have just done this in the first place and saved myself the hassle.  I love that this bra has nice flat seams so it doesn't chafe, is made of the Nike Dri-FIT fabric that wicks sweat away, and has some shaping to the cups so you don't end up looking all smushed down. (The uniboob look is SO unattractive on me.)  Plus, it comes in a million different color combinations.  I have this green and yellow one, plus a blue/black combo.  Very cute.  I am extremely brand-loyal and I have to admit that probably 85% of my workout gear comes from Nike.  The Nike website has some of the colors on clearance - which I highly recommend taking advantage of as these bras aren't cheap (usually around $40 but I got mine for $32 each).  ♥ Nike.

Under Armour Endure A/B
This is a new bra to me!  It has nice, padded cups, a slight v-neck (which I lurve) and did a great job at controlling bounce.  The criss-cross straps felt very supportive and were quite comfortable.  It also did a great job wicking away sweat (I wore it for my 5 mile run on Saturday!) and I had no chafing anywhere.  I was able to find a hot pink one at my running store (SQUEEE) and then a black one at Dick's.  Online, it looks like only white and black are available, but other retailers might carry different colors.  I had only planned on keeping one of these, because they were pretty pricey (around $45 each) but I was able to use my running club discount on the pink one and had a Dick's coupon for the other, bringing them down to $40 and $35.  Score!  I'm keeping them both.  For reference, I bought a medium.  The small was very tight in the band.  This one also comes in a C cup version, which was too big on me.

Aerie Fit High Impact
There is no link to this one because I think I found the very last one ever made.  I bought it on clearance from the Aerie store at my mall for a whopping $15!  The small fit me well and was tight but not restricting.  I did notice after my run that the seams on the side left some indents, but I didn't have any chaffing.  For a bra that was originally only around $25, this was a major score.  Aerie had a huge selection of bras with the hooks in the back (which as you recall I couldn't stand), plus a ton of other medium and low-impact styles, all on clearance.  Right now, all their clearance bras are $15 and if you buy 2 or more bras (clearance included) you get an extra 25% off the entire order!  I bought my daughter one of these and a different sports bra that isn't available online.  Super cute and she loved the strappy one.  It even has a little pocket inside the cup that fits her Nano.  She is already requesting another one, but I got the last 2 extra smalls on clearance, so I told her she needed to wait until we'd earned our free bra before I'd buy her another (Aerie has a bra club-free to join-and you can earn points at American Eagle also).

I picked up a couple of these tops on sale (I won't really say bra because I need to wear them with another bra underneath). I found one at my running store on sale for $30 and another at Dick's on clearance for $20 (this one might actually be the Airborne 2 which is a little more basic).  They are cut very similar to the Swift Y Back and combined with another bra, do a fantastic job of supporting the girls.  These Nike long bras range from $35-$45 depending on the features, but Nike's website has some colors on clearance for $27.  I don't feel they are supportive enough by themselves, though.  The fabrics and colors vary but pretty much all of Nike's tops are Dri-FIT and have cute little details like a loop to string your headphone cord thru.  The more expensive Airborne has the little pockets in the back to hold gu or maybe even your ipod.  Very cute.

So there you have it.  How I spent a small fortune trying to keep the girls in place.  If you've been shopping around for a new sports bra, hopefully my pain and suffering will help prevent some headaches for you. 

Some take-aways:
  • Get fitted at a running store if you can.  Especially if you've recently lost weight, you may be surprised what size you actually are.  (This goes for your everyday bras too.  The girls deserve your love and support, so make sure they are wearing the right size.)
  • I really do encourage you to try on everything in the store.  I honestly didn't think the Under Armour bra would work for me, but it turned out to be probably the best one.  I also went in thinking I would get a bra from Moving Comfort, and while they were fantastic bras, they didn't really work for me.
  • Be prepared to spend some money.  I work out nearly every day but don't want to do laundry every day, so having multiple bras is important to me.  Maybe you can get away with 1 or 2 really good bras and use lower impact/less expensive options for lifting, yoga, etc.
  • I also am very spoiled by performance fabrics.  Seriously, once you go wicking, you will never go back to cotton again. 
  • Have fun and be crazy in the dressing room.  For realz.  Jump, bend, and shake what your momma gave you.  Make sure the bra does what you want it to.
  • Buy workout gear that makes you feel good.  You deserve it.
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 4

This week has been a crazy week.  I'm just glad it's over.

my view for 4 miles (28 laps & 112 left turns for anyone counting)

the only thing that makes grocery shopping bearable
(I also loved how the peppers and cup were the same color)

my newest iPhone app Nike Training Club - I was sore for DAYS

my lap warmers - heated throw and a heated kitty

finally got my Zumba on & tried out the game I won from Tirah

someone at school gave me a magnet for my 25k

the great sports bra debate - this may become it's own blog post

So there you have it.  A little running, a little latte-ing (it's a word, I promise), a little snuggling, some booty shaking, and a lot of bra buying.  What did you do this week?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Power of One: Week 4

I'm having a bit of a weight identity crisis as in how much should I really weigh anyway and am I where I should be.  Christy left a great comment on my True Confession post yesterday and I think she made some very valid points.  I am at a weight I was able to maintain for over 6 years and I'm actually quite a bit leaner/more muscular than I was back then, so I'm in a smaller size.  I think I need to focus more on continuing to tone up and building my running mileage back up, rather than the number on the scale.  A range of 134-138 would be great to stay in.  I spent a bit of time on twitter today chatting with a couple of my twitter buddies about how frustrated they were with the numbers they were seeing on the scale.  The same up/down that I deal with.  The same sore muscles sometimes causing a gain because they are retaining fluid.  Gaining 2 pounds in just a couple days - or losing 2 pounds in just a couple days.  Fluctuations happen and that's what I told them.  Weight training is good, even if it causes a gain one week because your muscles are a bit pissed off at you.  Drinking enough water is good.  Not drinking enough water is bad.  I need to listen to myself sometimes.  I had a good week on the scale.  I am in that range, but is that really where I want to be?  Hence, the stupid identity crisis.  Here are my stats for the week:

Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8

Challenge Starting Weight: 138.8
Last Week's Weight: 137.8
This Week's Weight: 137.0
Change: down 1.0 
Challenge Change: down 2.0

Overall, I had a good week.  My 25k training is coming along and I've gotten in all of my required workouts this week.  I ran 4 miles on an indoor track (112 left turns) on Saturday because the temps here were below zero with windchill and it was snowing like a mo-fo.  I had my fastest 4 miles EVER.  I did feel like a bit of a shmuck seeing how many people DID run outside though.  Those people are effin NUTS, IMO, but they still went out there. 

I downloaded a new iPhone app to use for strength training: Nike Training Club.  If you don't have it, do download it.  The app is free and has tons of exercises.  I was so frigging sore yesterday from Monday's workout that I almost didn't do my training run on Tuesday.  I still did it though - 3 miles outside in the slushy snow YO!  Today, I want to cry every time I have to get up out of a chair or walk down the hall.  My legs are TOAST. 

Today I tried out the Wii Zumba game I won from Tirah.  It was really fun, but I honestly didn't feel I got much of a workout because I was trying to figure out the moves, and let's face it, my hips just don't move like that.  At least I only embarrassed my children, though.  I'm sure once I get the moves down, the sweat will happen.

So, I hope everyone else had a great week. If you lost weight this week - congratulations and good job!  If you didn't lose this week - it's ok, remember this is a marathon, not a sprint and every week you get a little stronger.  The strength might be physical.  It might be mental.  It might just be a little more knowledge about what works and what doesn't work for YOU.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True Confessions

I confess I forgot it was Tuesday!  Been busy today, so you get bullet points.
  • I've been completely scale obsessed.  I'm not sure if I need to be happy with my 135-138 range or if I want to push it to get below 135.  I'm certainly in better shape at this weight than I ever have been.  This is the weight (number-wise) that I maintained for over 6 years after losing 50# with Weight Watchers.  Maybe this is where I'm meant to be.
  • I've slacked on the sit-ups and push-ups, although I did download a new iPhone app (Nike Training Club) that was free and rocks.  If you have a 3GS or newer, go download it while it's still free. Apparently it doesn't work with older iPhones, but you could always try it.  This workout kicked my arse yesterday.  I haven't been sore from a workout in quite a while.
  • I feel like I've been eating OK, but I haven't seen the results on the scale.  I really don't want to start counting calories again.
  • I have date night tonight to go see Black Swan.  I really want popcorn, but that would royally screw me on the scale tomorrow, so I won't have any :(
  • I ran outside in my neighborhood tonight.  It was slushy but the temp was around 30 so I stayed pretty warm.  All the slush is tough on the ankles, but not as tough as running the indoor track at the gym.  I ran 4 miles there on Saturday.  112 left turns really ticked off my left ITB.
  • I'm currently stuffing my face with PopChips.  Right out of the bag.  Wasn't really hungry for "food-food" when I made dinner, so only had 1 buffalo chicken taco.  Now I have the munchies.
  • Went out with my IRL BFF and her hubby for her 40th b-day this weekend.  I had several drinks (but stuck with rum and diet coke - 69 calories!).  I had the best sushi I've ever had and a delish "smore" creme brulee for dessert.  Oh crap.  I also had an espresso martini with the creme brulee.  In my defense, I did split the dessert with the hubby.
OK, gotta get ready for my date. 

PS-if your name is April, I will catch up with the #tworkout tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stylish? Who, Me? Thanks!

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers passed on a Stylish Blogger Award to me!  She @ The Thirsty Magnolia (love that blog name, btw) wrote:   "Bari, you are very motivating, on twitter and your blog, you deserve recognition, albeit free on my part!"  Awe, that is about the sweetest thing anyone has ever said!  So, thank you, She, for this little award.  (Now, as for the "stylish" part, I have to thank my blog designer, Lindsay, for the super-cute blog I'm rocking over here!)

I "met" She on twitter and she's participating over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans with their latest challenge.  So head over to her blog and give her some love, M'kay?

Now, this award doesn't come totally free.  There are rules.  Seriously, what would life be without rules.  Rules are good!

Rule #1: give thanks.  Done - see above.

Rule #2: share some things about myself.  She shared 7 things about herself (I found out we both love mustard on our hot dogs and prefer to do the driving!).  I figured I'd stick with the idea of 7 random nuggets.
  1. I've hiked a very teeny-tiny section of the North Country Trail.  I did this about 10 years ago when I was at my heaviest.  I'm thinking this summer I need to do it again.
  2. I love, love, love to travel, but don't have an endless supply of cash, really don't like to fly and can't stand to be in a car for more than 6 or 7 hours.  I'm going to love it when we can just teleport ourselves a la Star Trek.
  3. I have a thing for numbers, specifically palindromes, but I usually miss them by *thismuch*.  For example, I noticed yesterday that my van hit 60608 miles.  Darnit!  
  4. I've been thrown from a horse.  It was between graduating from college and starting my first job, so I didn't have any health insurance.  I refused to go to the hospital, even though I probably had a couple bruised ribs.  I had trouble breathing for weeks.  Not my finest hour.  If you get seriously injured, don't be a dumb@$$ like me.
  5. I went to a rave (with a much-younger friend) while we were in DC for a conference.  A rave is the only way I can describe it.  Totally gutted brownstone in Dupont Circle, devoid of any furnishings other than a bar on each level, completely packed with 20-somethings.  Did I mention I was in my early or mid 30's? Filarious.
  6. I like to drink my Diet Coke straight from the can.  If I'm home, I'd rather drink it a little warm than put it in a glass with ice. 
  7. I'm a certified SCUBA diver; however, I've only been on one dive trip and that was in July 2007.  I'm afraid if I strapped on a tank now, I wouldn't have a clue about what to do.  Once you are certified, you are technically certified forever and never need to renew.  That is really scary.
And now, I get to pass on this award to 7 of my favorite bloggers!  Sorry I didn't grab your buttons but I was being lazy at work and it was SO SO hard to only pick 7, because I love all of my readers/friends so much. 
  1. Nancy at She's Getting Serious
  2. ChristieO at Average Moms Wear Capes
  3. Mel at Mel Rene
  4. Monica at Monica Wants It
  5. Tiffany at A Tall Drink of Life
  6. Lisa at Growing up Mo'
  7. AZLB at The Love Bug Adventures
OK, ladies!  It's your turn.  Grab your award, tell us a little more about yourself, and pay it forward.  MWAH!

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    LLRB 365: 2011 Week 3

    This week is brought to you by my new favorite photo app: Instagram

    got to meet up with Nancy and do some shopping

    my beautiful gymnast

    not having to drive 6 hours home at 9:30 pm - priceless
    my winter BFF

    met some college friends for drinks

    my lapwarmer

    never get between Squirt and a box - she was happier to see my CLICK arrive than I was

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Power of One: Week Three

    Well, here we are on another Wednesday where we all get to *officially* face our scale and see how our week went from a numbers standpoint.  I say this, because I'm trying REALLY hard to look past the fraking numbers on the scale.  It's really hard, people.  Especially when I am so scale-obsessed that I weigh myself nearly every day.  I know that I reached my "goal" weight of 135.8 Saturday morning.  I also knew yesterday that I had completely blown that over the weekend, despite making some pretty decent choices and getting in exercise.  A couple years ago, you would not have found me on a treadmill at a hotel, getting a run in before the group ordered dinner.  You also wouldn't have found me smuggling in Subway to a gymnastics meet.  I would have just eaten the pizza, nachos, nasty burgers, etc available at the venue.  So, all-in-all, I'd say I did pretty well this week, even if the scale didn't reflect that.  You can read more about my transgressions (and watch my girl compete) here if you are so inclined.  Here are the numbers, since I sorta need to report them:
    Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
    Challenge Starting Weight: 138.8
    Last Week's Weight: 136.4
    This Week's Weight: 137.8
    Change: up 1.4
    Challenge Change: down 1.0

    Me and Nancy!
    In all honestly, I'm getting sick of the up one/down one every frigging week.  I need to start looking at the non-scale victories.  I got to meet one of my favorite bloggy friends on Saturday!  Our very own Nancy, one of the newest contributors to Shrinkingjeans! We went shopping at the local outlet mall, and I scored a pair of size 6 dress pants and a sweater at the Gap for 6 bucks each. (I'm wearing them today-see!)  Seriously - that's freaking awesome!
    excuse fuzzy cellphone in mirror shot
    In fact, the majority of pants are now a size 6.  Why can't I be happy with that?  I just keep telling myself that it is vanity sizing, and maybe it is, but should it matter?  I'm also dealing with the fact that all of my size medium workout clothes are too big, especially the bras but we won't even talk about how THAT makes me feel.  I really don't have the cash to replace my workout clothes, but I definitely need to find some new bras.  If there are any sports bras out there that you love that fit girls in the size 34 B/C range, give me some ideas.  I don't want to just squish them down completely because I really don't rock the uniboob look, but I also don't want them bouncing all over the place.  Really, why aren't there any sports bras for us "average" sized girls?  It boggles my mind.  Speaking of my mind, my head needs to start catching up to my body, and quick, or I'm going to make myself crazy.

    As for those *other* goals I wrote for the challenge, I'm doing OK.
    • Drink at minimum 64 oz of water 6/7 days a week. - I did great during the week, but not so good on the weekend.  Also, spending 12 hours in the car with a full bladder is a bad thing, so I don't drink much water when I have to roadtrip. 
    • Run 2-3 times a week - Yep.  I am fully into my 25k training, so running 3x a week is happening from here on out.  Speaking of which, April has a little challenge going on that I've also signed up for.  100 miles in 100 days.  She is planning on a minimum of 1 mile a day for the 100 days, but I will probably just use my training miles and spin classes when I cross train (although I'm not sure how to calculate the miles from spin since the bikes at our gym don't show miles).  
    • Sign up for my 25k race - Done
    • Do the Shred DVD, EA Sports Active, or some other strength/crosstraining 2-3 times a week. - fail. 
    • 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups after each run. - fail.  I'm still doing my crunches after I run, and I tried some pushups on Saturday but they left my shoulder hurting, so I think this goal gets bagged for the time being.
    • Log my food on Daily Plate at least 4/7 days a week. - fail. 
    • Lose at least 3 pounds to get back to 135.8 or less. - I had on Saturday, but now this is also a fail.
    How did the rest of you do?  Head over to Shrinkingjeans and let us know!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    True Confession Tuesday? Do I have to?

    Hi, my name is Bari and I'm a scale addict (and to answer Mel's question, I'm also addicted to Price is Right and all things NCIS and CSI). 

    Because of this little confession (the scale one), I know that I had returned to my goal weight as of Saturday morning (I was back to 135.8).  Notice I said "had".  I was out of town Saturday thru Monday afternoon, which resulted in not so great food choices and minimal water consumption.  (Sorry, I refuse to drink water if I'm driving 6 hours.  As it is, I'll need to stop at least twice anyway to pee.  Any more than that and we might never reach our destination.)

    For meals while I was gone (with K to her first major trampoline and tumbling competition of the year), I think I did pretty well.  Saturday lunch was Subway (with Nancy and her gorgeous daughter!  She was just as wonderful as I knew she would be!) and walking around an outlet mall where I scored a pair of size 6 dress pants at the Gap for 6 bucks (great NSV!).  When we finally reached the hotel, I ran 3 miles on the TM and we ordered Famous Dave's in.  I had a pulled pork sammie (minus the bun) with coleslaw & potato salad.  I only had 2 rum and diet cokes.  We stayed at a Hampton, so I ate WAY more breakfast than I normally do.  On our way to the venue on Sunday, K and I picked up Subway to smuggle in for lunch and I had carrots/celery with my sub.  I didn't eat any food from the venue except 1 bite of K's chicken strip and 2 of her fries.  During the meet, I calmed my nerves with twizzlers and pretzel M&M's and spent from 10 am until 8:30 pm basically sitting on my ass.  I was sweating, but only because I was nervous for my baby girl.  (If you want to see my girl's mad skills, you can click here.  She's the one in the green/white/gold leo.) When we finally got out of there at 8:30 at night (notice we hadn't really had dinner yet - K just munched on some chicken strips), we stopped at Culver's for dinner.  I had a hamburger kids meal and I used my token for my free scoop of custard.  I ate a few more twizzlers on the 3 hour drive to the hotel 1/2 way home where we stayed the night.  More Hampton's breakfast in the morning and then Subway for lunch when we finally made it home.  I attempted Zumba last night and it was a disaster.  So, overall, I tried to make the best choices I could, but I also snacked on some not-so-healthy choices.

    I hope the large quantities of water I'm trying to consume today, and the run and Tworkout I will do tonight, will help on the scale tomorrow.  In any case, I am disappointed that I "blew" my goal weight yet again.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    LLRB 365: 2011 Week 2

    Hard to believe we are 2 weeks into 2011 already! I hope everyone's year is off to a great start.

    ran 6.3 miles in the snow & celebrated with a Guinness
    Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Virtual 5k/10k

    major PROPS to ChristieO, Brooke & Kirsten who ran
    the Walt Disney World Marathon today!

    recumbent bike or airplane cockpit - you decide
    ps-never again

    streetlights thru my icy windshield
    (don't worry-I scraped it off before leaving)

    M brought me a yummy diet limeade because I was sick all day

    1st official 25k training run - a snowy 2 mile "wog"

    icicles outside my window

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Power of One: Week Two

    Today we come to another Wednesday, and for me it is a sick day at home.  I have been battling a head cold for weeks that finally decided to turn itself into (yet another) sinus infection.  But, all is good because I have my meds all in a row and I will start to feel better soon.  I have to, I get to meet one of my all time favorite people IRL on Saturday: NancyThat, and spend 12+ hours in a car driving to a gymnastics meet where we will spend many hours for K to compete for a total of less than 3 minutes.

    Anyhoo, as I crawled out of bed at 9:45 this morning (don't hate-I'm sick), I hopped on the scale. 
    Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
    Challenge Starting Weight: 138.8
    Last Week's Weight: 137.8
    This Week's Weight: 136.4
    Change: down 1.4
    Challenge Change: down 2.4

    So, Yippee! I've just about gotten back down to my lowest weight.  Granted, not really eating much of anything yesterday probably helped a bit.  We shall see if the momentum carries me into next week, since the weekend will be comprised of crap food and the gymnastics venue and fast food on the road. 

    As for those healthy living goals for this challenge and the New Year, I'm afraid being sick has derailed them slightly, but here they are:

    • Drink at minimum 64 oz of water 6/7 days a week. - check! I think I'm still here.  I've been making an effort, especially since I've been so sick, to get my water in, but water also tastes really bad to me when I don't feel week, so some of this water has come in the form of iced tea or Crystal Light.
    • Run 2-3 times a week - check! Just barely.  I ran 4 miles on Wednesday and 6.3 on Saturday as part of the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Virtual 5k (yah, I did a 10k). You can read about my snowy run here!
    • Sign up for my 25k race - OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD Yes, I signed up for the race!!! Now I'm looking at training schedules.  I want to basically follow Coach Joe's 1/2 marathon schedule that I LURVE (this schedules RAWKS and also includes 5k and 10k training!) but I need to add some weeks on (obviously).  I'm going to basically merge his schedule with the schedule put on by one of the local running clubs.  They have free training runs on Saturdays if I decide I want to run part of the course with them.  My first official "long run" will be this Saturday at the hotel.  I have to go 3 miles.  I think I can handle it if my head doesn't explode before then :)
    • Do the Shred DVD, EA Sports Active, or some other strength/crosstraining 2-3 times a week. - fail.  I rode a recumbent bike for 40 minutes at the gym on Monday.  The most wasted 40 minute workout ever IMO.  Being sick has knocked me on my butt, I'm afraid.
    • 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups after each run. - fail.  This is a fail because I apparently do said pushups incorrectly and messed up my right shoulder.  I did do the situps though.  Pushups will have to wait quite a while until the shoulder stops hurting so much.  Sports chiro gave me the ok to use the arm again (do you have any idea how hard it is to NOT pull your arm behind you or bear weight thru your arm/shoulder??-holy crap I had no idea).
    • Log my food on Daily Plate at least 4/7 days a week. - fail.  I haven't logged since the 5th of January.  Oops.  But, I've definitely been eating much healthier for the past couple weeks.
    • Lose at least 3 pounds to get back to 135.8 or less. - not yet, but getting there!
    So there you have it.  My week in a nutshell.  Now it's your turn.  Hop on over to your scale and then link up here!  How did you do this week?

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    True Confessions

    True Confessions

    This will be about the shortest confession post ever.  I've been doing OK. I ran 6.3 miles on Saturday (in the freaking snow thankyouverymuch). I haven't done upper body work because I fraked up my shoulder and it still hurts, but I have been cleared to start using it again, so we'll see.  I haven't tracked my food but I haven't gone overboard either.  Why?  Because I feel like poo.  I'm sick as a dog and actually left work today at 10:30.  I have a doctor's appointment later this afternoon to get some much needed antibiotics.  I'm going to bed now.  Good night.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans 10k

    Today, all across the country, folks are running.  Now, I know people run all the time, but today is a bit different.  We are all running "together" as part of the 2nd Annual Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Virtual 5k!  This 5k was envisioned (is that the right word?) as a way to get people who wouldn't ordinarily take up running to try something outside of their comfort zone.  This is also the weekend that 5 of my favorite people in the world are running at Disney World in Orlando!  Dr. Mo ran the 1/2 marathon this morning (you RAWK, Monique!) and Kirsten, Brooke and Christie O are all running their very first ever MARATHONS tomorrow!!!! My IRL friend Shawn is running the GOOFY (that's the 1/2 mary today and the full tomorrow)!  I wanted to run this weekend to honor them.

    Many ladies and gentlemen started training back in November, I think it was, to run this 5k with Shrinking Jeans.  Now, you might be wondering why my title says "10k".  Easy, I'm a crazy overachiever!  Actually, I had originally planned on doing a 1/2 marathon distance today with a friend who is training for a marathon (she ran 15 miles this afternoon-Go Angie!), but injury and a bit of running burnout squashed those plans about 2 months ago.

    Thea, Beki and I all decided we would run our 5 and 10k's "together" at 11:00 EST.  (We needed to wait for west coast Beki to wake up!)  All of us fired up our iPods and took off - Thea in Maryland, me in Michigan, and Beki in Cali!  My thoughts all along were to do my 6.2 on the treadmill (Dude, I live in MICHIGAN), but I decided to suck it up (especially after dropping some coin at the running store on cold weather gear yesterday) and run mine outside.
    Here I am before my run.  Like all the snow?
    The weather was cold (wind chills around 5 degrees) but it was so sunny out.  I'd wished I'd remembered to wear some sunglasses!  Luckily, my hat kept the glare out of my eyes.  I had plotted a route last night because I knew I didn't want to bring my iPhone with me on this run last time I ran with it in 20 degree weather the GPS froze and I love my baby too much to chance it.  I loaded Mike's iPod with a playlist and headed off down the street.  I live in a community that plows its sidewalks, but they don't get done every day and it snowed again last night, so the sidewalks were pretty covered with snow.  It wasn't too bad to run in (think running on the beach, I was!) but my ankles, calves and knees felt it almost immediately.  I also knew this was going to be one slow-ass run.  My route took me along the main roads that circle my neighborhood - twice.  I didn't want to carry a water bottle, so I had Mike meet me back at the entrance to our neighborhood at about the 1/2 way point.  I also treated myself to two cherry sport beans (Mike got them for me for Christmas) every 20 minutes.  I "ran" then entire time except for when I was getting beans out of my pockets or waiting for cars to pass. A few times I hopped off the sidewalk and ran in the street to give my poor ankles a break.  My new duds kept me toasty warm (I was a little too warm at one point, until the wind picked up again) and my skin was much less red than my last outside run.  I finished my 6.3 mile route (yah, overachiever went an extra .1 mile) in 1 hour 14 minutes.  I averaged an 11:50 pace, which is slow for me, but I'll take it considering I was trying not to fall for over an hour!
    I celebrated with a Guinness :)
    I thought a lot about my girls running Disney this weekend, Beki and Thea running *next to me*, all the other sisters running possibly their first 5k's this weekend, and how far I've come since last year at this time.  I became a runner in 2010.  My goal for 2011 is to go faster, harder, better, stronger.  Today certainly wasn't "faster" but was harder and in the long run (pun intended) will make me better and stronger!

    Love to all my peeps running 5k's, 1 mile, a block, 13.1 miles and 26.2 miles this weekend.  You ALL make me stronger!

    LLRB 365: 2011 Week 1

    Welcome to what I hope becomes a weekly feature of Live Laugh Run Breathe.  "LLRB 365" will be my attempt to take a photo a day of something that reminds me to live, laugh, run or just breathe.  Last year, some of my friends had separate blogs dedicated to this undertaking, whereas others posted once a week on their main blogs.  The thought of starting a completely separate blog for what will likely be crappy cell-phone photos seemed silly, so I'm going with the once-a-week method.  I realize I am completely ripping them off on the idea of posting once a week, but I hope they realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flatery!  So, here we go!

    warm soup on a cold day in my new crockpot from shrinking jeans
    snow falling on our beautiful church

    the gymnast

    it's finally looking like winter

    replacement iced tea pot pitcher came!!!

    merry Christmas to me
    (it says "run like a girl" and "13.1" - so ME)

    bought some new running gear so I won't freeze


    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Dear 2012 Me

    The Monday Project

    Last year at this time, the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans asked us to write a letter to ourselves from the future, January 2011, which would be now, for our January Monthly Project.  Right? Confused?  Anyhoo.  So, back in January 2010, I wrote a letter to the "me" of January 2011.  When I reflected back on the year, I had already pulled out this letter and checked to see how close my "predictions" were.  You can read about it here.  Clearly I underestimated myself in a few areas, but I'm not going to rehash it again today.  This was Part 1 of this week's Monthly Project!

    Now on to Part 2: write a letter to the "me" of January 2012.  What is life going to look like for me a year from now?  Will I reflect back like I did this year?  I'm sure I will (and if I don't, I'm sure it will become my homework at some point)!  So, here goes....

    Dear Bari,

    Wassup, girl?  Have you recovered from Christmas break?  Ready to get back to work for the New Year?  I hope so, cuz school starts again SOON.  But, before we look forward, I want to look back.  Take a nice, long but not too long look at how 2011 treated you.  Ready?  Too bad, we're going to do this anyway.

    2011 started out with a bang for you!  Only 6 days in, you signed up for your longest race EVER.  A 25k that you would go on to SMOKE in May.  You set your mind to run the whole race (after using intervals for your 1/2 marathon in 2010), only walking through the aide stations because, lets face it, you are a klutz and running over slippery cups while trying to drink and stay hydrated is a recipe for disaster.  Before that 15.5 mile race even started though, you were planning your training and you ran a couple other races for fun.  You convinced Mike to run a 10k with you in February (his longest race ever!) and then you ran a 5k for St. Paddy's day.  Fun races with fun people.  After the St. Pat's run, you got down to business and trained your heart out for Riverbank.

    The Riverbank 25k was awesome, but know what was even better?  The next weekend, meeting all those amazing hookers you'd been chatting with on twitter and through blogging at Fitbloggin!  It was so incredible that you won that ticket from your friends at Shrinkingjeans.  You really could not thank them enough for the opportunity to go to Baltimore.  You got to room with Lisa, Melissa and Christy and had an absolute blast!  Seeing Kirsten again ROCKED.  So did meeting all those other fab ladies and then running a 5k with them.  You didn't PR that one (you had just run 15.5 miles 5 days before!) but it was the company that counted.  You even learned a little more about how to be a better blogger :)

    You kept running and in the summer, you tackled your first triathlon.  Yah, you swam in open water, did a little biking, and then went out for a run.  All on the same day.  Amazing, huh?  If it weren't for those skanks pressuring you encouraging you, I'm sure you would never have had the guts to "tri" (ha-ha, get it? ohnevermind).  You got through the heat of the summer, got a couple more 5 and 10k's under your belt, and then you ran the SH*T out of the Grand Rapids Half Marathon.  Your time from last year?  Blew it out of the water!  I was so proud of you.  You felt strong and really enjoyed the moment.  You finished your racing year by running the Turkey Trot with Mike again.  You even convinced him to pay for a shirt this time :)  Did you realize when the year started you would log over 500 miles running?  That's pretty amazing, if you ask me (which I am you, so I do)!

    As for the weight you lost in 2010 - it all stayed away thanks to the running and healthy eating you did.  You will always need to stay on top of your eating, cuz let's face it, you like food!  But you have learned what works for you.  Great job!

    I'm also very proud of you for not completely flipping out when your babies started High School in September.  Well, at least you didn't flip out TOO badly.  I'm sure they will recover.  Eventually.

    So anyway, it was fun to reflect back on all you did this year.  No way a couple years ago would you have even CONSIDERED running a block, much less an average of 10 miles a week!  Keep it up, my dear!  You are a runner!

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Power of One: Week One

    Today is Wednesday, which means it is weigh-in day (or check-in day for you non-losers out there).   Let's take a look at how I did this week:
    Weight on June 23, 2009: 165.8
    Challenge Starting Weight: 138.8
    Last Week's Weight: 138.8
    This Week's Weight: 137.8
    Change: down 1.0
    Challenge Change: down 1.0

    Yeah!  I lost a pound.  Not a huge change from last Wednesday, but considering I was WAY up on Saturday, I consider it a major victory (a loss of 2.4 pounds since Saturday-probably mostly water, but I'll take it).  I'm back out of the "danger zone" and back into my "goal zone".

    Let's see how I did on my healthy living goals for this challenge and the New Year.
    • Drink at minimum 64 oz of water 6/7 days a week.  - check!  The past few days I've gotten in over 86 oz and made more trips to the bathroom than I care to count.
    • Run 2-3 times a week - check!  I ran 3.1 miles on Thurs, Sat, and Mon (and hope to run again after school today).
    • 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?) - not yet. There is a mini expo/kick off party tomorrow night and if the lines aren't too long, I'll sign up then!
    • Do the Shred DVD, EA Sports Active, or some other strength/crosstraining 2-3 times a week. - check! Did the Shred Wed, Sun and Tues!
    • 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups after each run. - check!
    • Log my food on Daily Plate at least 4/7 days a week. - so-so  I logged about 75% of what I ate 4 days this week.
    • Lose at least 3 pounds to get back to 135.8 or less. - not yet, but getting there!
    So how did you all do?  Also, have you started working on that Monthly Project yet?  I had already reflected back on last year's letter to me, but still need to write one for this year.  Hope to get that done by Friday!

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    True Confession Tuesday: It's a New Year

    True Confessions
    Today is Tuesday, and like every Tuesday for the past year or so (for me anyway), today is the day the wonderful ladies and gent over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans have set aside for a little soul cleansing.  A chance to look back at the previous week and fess-up if anything hasn't gone the way we'd originally planned. 
    I started out the week in a pretty ugly place.  I'd hit a number on the scale I said I would never see again.  Damn, it made me sad and I hate that a stupid number on the scale has that kind of power over my emotions. I had really upped my workouts and was feeling like a decent runner again (nothing crazy, but I was getting in some nice runs) and the scale was being mean.  
    The scale was mean because, even though I was exercising better, I was still putting all kinds of crap in my mouth.  Candy, popcorn at the movies, little appetizer sausages, crap, crap and more crap.  Since Sunday or so, I've been back on track.  I'm getting my water in (and many, many trips to the bathroom, thankyouverymuch).  I've tracked probably about 85% of my food (that's good for me).  I had a kick ass run yesterday (although not as good as the hawt dude running 10 freaking MPH on the treadmill next to me - I still can't wrap my mind around that one).  I've gotten some good Shred workouts in and if I don't feel like I'm dying tonight (I've been feeling under the weather all day), I'm going to Shred and Tworkout tonight too. 

    Today was an employee appreciation/holiday luncheon and I went home for lunch instead because a) I felt like poo, and b) the choices weren't all that healthy.  I feel a bit bad about being antisocial, but I knew I couldn't eat what they were serving and expect to show a decent number on the scale tomorrow.  I've worked too hard the past few days to blow it on one stupid lunch.  I will get back to my goal range.  Maybe not this week, but I will get there.
    This week I decided I needed a mantra.  During my run on New Year's Day, the Black Eyed Peas blasted through my earbuds and I heard the lyrics "Faster Harder Better Stronger" (from the song Boom Boom Pow, I believe).  Granted, I don't think they were talking about running *wink, wink*, but this is my goal for this year.  To strive to make every workout fit at least one of these words.  How about you?  Do you have some words that will get you to the next level?  Fess up.
    P.S.  If you haven't had a chance and need some extra inspiration, check out yesterday's post that I wrote about my Dad.  Leave a comment for him.  Later this week, I'm going to assemble all the comments and email them to him to show him the love.  Because he rocks and totally deserves it.

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Some Monday Inspiration

    My Dad is probably going to kill me for doing this (actually, he won't because he loves me unconditionally-it's his job-but I really hope he isn't mad at me for sharing this).  Every Monday, he sends my sister and me an email letting us know how his weigh-in went that morning. 

    This was today's email:

    Good morning girls,

    Last week, 252, a 3 pound gain over Christmas
    This week, 246, a 6 pound loss! Losing the 3 pounds I gained plus 3 more. Whoooooooopie!
    That's 113 pounds overall and a new all time low.

    I start my 6 weekly sessions with the trainer today, working on cardio and strength. I'm really looking forward to it. I envisioned all week that he is going to be like Bob Harper on The Biggest Loser. But, I think he will be gentle on me. He knows my limits.

    Love you guys and have a good week.

    I can't even begin to express how proud I am of my Dad.  He is 71 years old and his hips and knees are shot but he's lost 113 pounds!!!!!
    I didn't write this post to embarrass Dad (I really hope he isn't embarrassed).  I wrote this post to tell anyone who thinks they can't lose weight and get in shape that they are wrong. 
    You can do anything you set your mind to!
    Thank you, Dad, for reminding us of that.  I ♥ you.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    2010: A Look Back

    I can't believe 2010 is over.  It seems like only yesterday, I was writing a letter to myself as part of a Shrinking Jeans monthly project.  Amazingly, that was 12 months ago!  We were to "reflect" on our year, written from the perspective of our 2011 self.  Now, it really is 2011 and I thought I would take a look back and see how I "did".  I hadn't looked back at that letter until yesterday when I had planned on writing this post (but do to internet issues, couldn't get it done).  Here are a few of the highlights:
    • You finally got serious about getting back to a healthier weight. You bought a wii, got an iPhone with some running and food tracking apps, and found all these awesome, supportive friends through the blogosphere!
      • Check, check and check!
    • You definitely met your goal of being in the 140's before you hit 40.
      • Check!
    • Part of going crazy must have prompted you to sign up for that 10K race.
      • Check!  Not only did I sign up for 1 10k race, I ran 2 10k races, an 8k race, AND RAN A 1/2 MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My "reflections"/"predictions" were pretty spot-on.  I didn't only meet them, I exceeded them.  I spent 2010 getting healthier, meeting some amazing new friends, and really became a runner. 

    Now, what kind of 2010 reflection post would this be without some pictures?
    In January I took the twins to their first arena concert.  Brad Paisley!!!!

    In February, I embarked on a journey to become a "runner".  I ran 417 miles in 2010! 
    In March, my father's partner of 15 years, "Uncle Bobby" to my kids, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  He lost his fight in April.
    April came and Mike and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Chicago.
    I finally crossed the finish line of my first 10k race in May!

    In June I got to hug Kirsten IRL when we met up in Chicago!

    I ran my 2nd 10k race in July back in my hometown in almost 90 degree heat.  GAH!
    August marked my 40th and D & K's 13 birthdays.  We celebrated at Disney World.
    I loved celebrating my birthday with fireworks!
    August was a REALLY good month, because I also got to meet Mendie and Brooke!
    Melissa and I got to meet IRL in September!  We had a great time at Bell's Brewery :)
    October was HUGE because I RAN A 1/2 MARATHON!
    November marked Mike's longest run w/o walking: an 8k (5 miler) on Thanksgiving Day!
    December brought us to the end of a very busy year, with Christmas at our house, surrounded by our family.
    Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey.  You have truly made this a year to remember.  This was the year I lost 30 pounds and got back down to my goal weight.  This was the year I became a runner!  I hope you stay with me to see what 2011 brings!

    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...