Half ass'n it

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I tend to get lazy…a lot. Sure, I still run 3-4 times a week and I get up and go to work Monday through Friday, but I’ve still been pretty damn lazy over the last few months.  Some days I am absolutely surprised that I even got out of bed.

I’ve been lazy with this blog. This is my first post in how many months?? It’s not that I don’t want to blog. I just don’t want to blog about stupid, meaningless BS so I’d rather just not post at all. I post when inspiration strikes I guess. So maybe my inspiration has been lazy and not me…see…totally not my fault. I mean I still post on FB (my personal) and Instagram a lot but even then I think I could do better and I mean to do better…but then I get lazy and eh.

I’ve been lazy with tracking. I went from tracking literally every.single.day for months to barely tracking one whole day. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m eating like absolute garbage but I think many people know the benefits from tracking and how it can help not only on the scale but also with the mental game that weight loss can bring. When you’ve been a Weight Watcher member for as long as I have tracking is so easy to do…yet I haven’t been doing it. I have even been too lazy to look up the Point+ Values for some of the food I have consumed. Lazy just all around when it comes to the points and tracking. 

I’ve been lazy with exercise. I mean I’m still active. I’ve ran a few half marathons these past few months and this is the most consistent I think I have ever been with my running. Coming back from the stress fracture I got in March has been slow and trying on my patience at times but I am feeling great with my running and starting to see progress again. What I mean when I say I’ve been lazy with exercise is that I haven’t done anything to switch it up. I think I only rode my bike twice this year. My weekly Sunday yoga sessions have namaste’d the hell away from me. I got on the elliptical a couple times though. That counts for something, right??

I feel an overall laziness with people too. Does that make sense??

However my weight loss has been the absolute laziest of them all. I have been living in the same 10 lbs for months now. Up a little here, down a little there, down a lot, up a lot. Up, down, up down. Since June I have lost a total of 4.8 total.  I would lose that in just one week then creep it back up for a couple weeks, then back down, then back up…so on and so on. I can’t seem to break out of these 10 lbs. I’ve been 2-3 lbs away from hitting my 100lbs lost mark for the past couple of months. It’s annoying…it’s irritating…and it’s downright stressful. Sure I still get very kind remarks about how great I look with the weight loss and maybe I am down more in inches (I didn’t keep track of my measurements which was something I regretted not doing the first time I lost 100 lbs so you would think I would’ve done it this time…again my laziness got the best of me) but here’s the thing…you know how people say the number on the scale doesn’t matter, well that’s kind of true and kind of a bunch of bullshit. If you weigh yourself once a week and are in the process of losing weight and trying to get back to your healthy range then the number on the scale absofuckinglutely does matter. It doesn’t matter the most…it’s doesn’t matter a lot…it doesn’t measure anything…but it matters a little. And that little bit can drive us insane.

So obviously my biggest lazy moment over these past few months is because of all the others. Tracking, exercise and being vocal about my ups and downs have always been the things that have made me succeed and continue to lose weight. I know that by getting back into my habits of tracking and such that things will start progressing again. It might not happen in a week or two weeks and I will still have ups and down on the scale, but at least on those hard weeks I can still have the comfort of knowing that I made the right decisions and did all that I could do that week. Some people find Autumn and Winter the hardest for weight loss but I’ve always been the opposite. I’ve always found summer to be difficult for me to stay on track and keep up my habits.  This summer ice cream got the best of me. I mean 98% of the time it was always light ice cream but it was every single night…this week I have to focus on breaking that habit. But pumpkin ice cream is out on shelves now soooo…yeah….

I can sit here and beat myself up for months of forward progress being wasted, but that will accomplish nothing…so here’s to trying to not be so damn lazy anymore. 

Crushing on...

1 comment
It's been a little bit since I've posted here. That's not to say that I haven't written anything because I have. I probably have about 8 or so drafts floating between my phone and iPad. But I haven't been able to finish any piece and nothing felt "right"...and then I realized that it's because I felt like I had this need to make every post "abundantly inspiring"...I mean I can only come out as an alcoholic who has regained weight so many times...or I hope so at least. Needless to say, things have felt heavy here on the blog. I'm still active daily on all my other social media sites, but I kinda put the core of my "social" existence to the back burner..

So I'm going to make this a light post...hate it, love it or like it....it is what it is. I'm never going to be that blogger that posts every day. That's just not me. And while I want to publish stuff that hopefully has an impact in some way or another, sometimes you just have to have fun and that's what I'm doing here.

This is just some random stuff I am loving on these days. 
None of these things were given to me by the companies. None of this is sponsored or anything. 

These are some products that I am really digging with the warmer weather *finally* here.



                                          
Maybelline Baby Lips Tint....this stuff is GREAT!! Especially in the summer when you don't want to deal with a full on lipstick or heavy gloss. Plus it makes your lips super smooth. 


This Rimmel Matte CC Cream. I don't usually wear a lot of face makeup and in the summertime the last thing I want is a thick, cakey complexion. But some days I need to even my skin out a little, or if I'm going out or something I like a little bit of coverage. Well this stuff is great! Not only is the coverage amazing for a BB cream but it doesn't streak or anything when I sweat. And bonus feature: it has a broad spectrum SPF 15 in it too!! 

I don't wash my hair everyday. In fact I really only wash it when I run, so that would be about 3 days a week. And after a run and a shower the last thing I want to do is stick a blow dryer at my head for 20 minutes (I have pretty thick hair). Very few volumizing products work well enough where I can eliminate a blower dryer, but if I don't get something at my roots my hair hangs in an awful way and I can't stand it. But this stuff....this Garner Fructis Full & Plush Root Amp spray mousse is awesome!! I haven't even blow dried with it yet and I am already hooked!! I just put it into my hair when it's damp, comb it through and leave it be. It gets a little crunchy but once my hair is completely dry I brush it out and voila....instant volume that has literally been lasting for a couple days. 

Here I am at work this week actually wearing all 3 of the products above:

                                                      


Things I'm doing....

                                           
Packing...it's the hubby's & I's 2nd wedding anniversary this Monday and we are going camping for a few days. While the weather is calling for rain, and the area we are camping in has been having some serious flooding, I am trying to stay positive and I am *really* looking forward to this trip!!


Running...I ran the Paiges Butterfly 5K 2 weekends ago and I was so happy to be back at that race. I finished in 33:31 which meant I beat a time I was trying to go for. It was my first race back since my stress fracture back in March. Thanks to my awesome friend, Ellen Brunet, for taking this great action shot of me! 


Things I'm eating...
                                         
OK, so this one is what I plan to eat but whatever...Have you seen this?! I just recently heard of Halo Top. There are only 2 flavors in our area but I am excited to try this. The ENTIRE PINT is only 10P+!!!!!!! 


I am OBSESSED with this new restaurant by me called CORE. Everything is made from scratch. It's healthy, delicious and so satisfying. I have yet to try something and not like it. I would eat there every.single.day if I could afford it. 


So that's it...random crap that I am crushing on lately. 
Anything you're in love with lately that we should know about?

The Art of (re)losing...

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There are some things that are hard to put into words. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to type this post. I’ve thought about doing it in a video post but then it would just be me asking you to watch me babble on and on. Or what would probably happen is that I would have total mental time out and just stare weirdly into my iPad camera for like 5 minutes. That would be cool, no?

I do not say I am losing weight…I say (re)losing. Now some have deciphered this into me thinking it’s not as important or significant as the first (well technically 2nd) time around. However that could not be farther from the truth.

If anything, it is MORE significant to me. That’s why I've given it its own term…(re)losing.

See, it’s not like I lost 101 lbs 10 years ago. I didn’t give up Weight Watchers and decide to come back. I never left!! I have been an active member the entire time…yes, even as I was gaining 130 lbs back. Sure, I wasn’t doing shit with the plan, but I was in and out of meetings and I was randomly tracking. Trying…half assed, but trying to get back on program and get my shit together.

My big 101 lbs and then 130 lb gain all happened very quickly. The loss/gain/loss has all been within these past 5 years. I cannot forget about those 101 lbs I lost. I couldn’t “start new”…you cannot lose and regain that amount of weight in such a short period of time and expect to wipe the slate clean. Especially when I had so much happen to me and my story of losing the weight. It was only 4 years ago that I was shooting the commercial’s and campaign for Weight Watchers.

I can’t erase or forget those 101 lbs. They matter. They are part of me because they helped to shape me into who I am today…into what I do with this blog and what I’ve done with sharing my story and what I continue to put out there to hopefully inspire others.
Taken exactly 1 year apart...April 2014 & April 2015

These pounds lost now are smarter…they are wiser…they are not naïve…they are not there purely for vanity…they are not there for acceptance.  They have given me knowledge that I thought I knew before and have taught me things I didn’t even think I had to know.

(Re)losing is kind of a contradiction at the same time though. The biggest part of (re)losing is letting go of the past. Letting go of where you were and accepting where you are right now. It’s not focusing so much on where you want to be (which ideally is right back where you were) but where you are at that moment and how to make the next moment better.

Letting go and forgetting are two different things though. I can let go of those 101 lbs but I can never forget them. I never not have them be part of my story. Jesus Christ my story in a New York Time’s Bestselling book. I hit my goal…I am a Weight Watchers Lifetime member. That will never change.

Now if I had done all of this 10-15 years ago, maybe I would have a different approach. But this is how I have learned to forgive myself and move on to (re)losing. Forgiveness is one of the biggest parts in the art of (re)losing. Forgiving myself for all abuse I put myself through, both mentally and physically. I did what I did. It happens. It happened! I can’t change it. I can’t undo it. All I can do is say “well, that fucking sucks but it’s time to move on now.” And that’s what I did.

That’s what I continue to do every day. It’s a fight. It’s not easy. I’m in this for the long haul. I will never say that I will “never be that girl again” or “never regain the weight”…but every day I will continue to fight for this body that I have worked hard for. Every day I will continue to make choices that I feel are the best for me at that time. This is not a diet. The choices I am making today have to be no different than the choices I will make a month or a year from now. Why get so angry over “accidentally” eating a pint of ice cream that you sabotage yourself for the rest of the week?! It’s not worth it. It’s going to happen. 

These are not mistakes…they are not cheat days or cheat meal…they are choices. Good choices, alright choices and bad choices.  Not every day is going to be filled with 100% good choices and if it did, well life would suck big time. The scale is always going to go up and down and up and down. It doesn’t matter if you are at goal weight or if you are just beginning your own weight loss journey…we are all a solider in the war against unwanted pounds. You don’t hit a # on the scale or get your WW Lifetime card and POOF…you can go back to eating like you did before. If you can’t live with the food choices you are making today, then you will never be able to live with them a year from now. 


And while I will never say that I am “glad” that I regained all of the weight, I am thankful for what regaining the weight has taught me. Things this time around have been different. I care less about #’s and more about how I feel and how I like what I see in the mirror. It’s ok to be a little vain sometimes…it’s healthy and I think that keeps me more on track than anything else really. I don’t obsess about going over my daily or weekly points. I’m not going crazy to make sure I get all my exercise in. It is what it is. As long as I am trying each day to make the best, healthy choices that I can then I think I am doing all right. And 90 lbs (re)lost later…I think I can comfortably say that for right now I am in control and I don't feel like I am going to lose that anytime soon. 

Meal preppin'

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This weekend I did something that I have never really done before.
I meal prepped.
That’s right…I’ve managed to lose 100 lbs almost twice now, yet I have never really done a meal prep. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t plan ahead and just eat whatever on a whim, but I’ve never really made, portioned out and put together meals in advance.

At work recently there were some changes and my lunch time is cut down a bit since my husband (we work together) needs to get back sooner than I do. We live right around the corner from work so we go home at lunch but when you factor in the travel time there’s really only about 20 minutes to sit down and eat lunch. In our obscenely small kitchen it is impossible for both of us to be in there making lunch at the same time, so I have found my lunches to be bland, boring and not really satisfying. It’s been a lot of ham or peanut butter sandwiches. What’s next…cold square shaped pizza and chocolate milk in a pouch?!

I decided that I wanted to try and meal prep some lunches and snacks. This way I know I have something that is satisfying and Points+ friendly for my lunches. And having them all prepared and ready to heat up if necessary solves my time crunch issue.

I didn’t do anything for dinners. See, I really love cooking and so does The Frank. I don’t mind eating leftovers or reheating things for lunch but for dinner I like to prepare it fresh. And a lot of the time we are deciding what to eat that very day. By doing that it helps the meal to feel more satisfying because I don’t know about you but sometimes there is no worse feeling than having to eat something you don’t really want to eat, LOL.

But for my lunches? This is can prep up and look forward to. So I did just that!! And to break out of the sandwich rut I broke out the crock pot. I made 2 different meals from the SkinnyTaste site: Balsamic Pork and Santa Fe Chicken. Not only do I have these for lunches but we also had them for dinner the night they were made. This saved $$ on extra groceries. Score!! After we ate them for dinner I would let them cool a bit then I portioned out the serving size. 

First thing I did was get some containers. I wanted something that I could store everything into one…not 4 or 5 different containers. I found these at the dollar store and my mom found that red one at the Christmas Tree shops. Amazon also carries some that are a reasonable price. Not crazy about them being a circle as they take up more space in the fridge but for a buck you can’t go wrong. Plus it will just encourage me (hopefully) to clean out the fridge more.

I also got these little containers (also at the $1 store) to hold dressings & dips. They fit into the large tray perfectly too.

I said OK, I got my protein…how can I add some flare to it? SO I put some fat free re-fried beans with the chicken and some quinoa with the pork. Now I need some sides, because I’m all about QUANTITY…I roasted some broccoli to go with the pork because it just sounded good and added a brie cheese snack to give me some extra protein because I am a total protein slut. With the chicken I decided to cool things down with some cucumbers and fat free black bean dip and/or yogurt ranch dressing.

The lunches feel kind of big but I think that’s because the circle container makes it feel like a giant dinner plate. The Weight Watchers Points+ Values are 10P+ for the Pork and 7P+ for the chicken.

For snacks I just did simple things, like portion out more ranch dressing and dip, cut green peppers & cucumbers and portion out edamame (which after MANY years of just thawing and eating it I learned it needs to be cooked…oops). Other good snacks to do are hard boil some eggs, string cheese which is a lot easier to grab if you break them apart from each other instead of having to rip one each time you want one, cut fruit and portioned out crackers & chips.


So some good tips to get started:
  • Buy something to store your food in that is easy and accessible to you. Don't over complicate things because you're likely to grab something else.
  • Keep it simple when you start...sliced up cucumbers and pre-portioned cheese. Things you can just throw in there. Just like when you start out on a the program (or any program really) too much too soon can feel suffocating. Keep it simple.
  • Make something that provides many servings. Both of these recipes made 8 servings a piece. This left me with a lot of leftovers. I don't want to eat the same thing everyday of course but with each of meals I can mix it up by adding a different side or adding it to something else.
  • Set aside some time. It doesn't take a TON of time but it's nice to block out an hour or so on the weekend and dedicate it to yourself and your wellness. Due to my extremely small kitchen it takes me a little longer to prep but it was fun and it was worth it. Plus I'm on my feet and moving around so it's something active as well.
  • The internet is your BFF when it comes to meal planning. There are SO many sites out there with meal prep ideas, especially for lunches. Pinterest is my BFF when it comes to this and with a lot of Weight Watcher friendly recipe sites a lot of the Points+ calculations are done for you!  

I really hope that this is something I continue to do each week. It’s nice knowing that I have a decent lunch waiting for me and that all I have to do is heat it up when I get home. Money was pretty tight this week (ok every week really) but these meals were extremely cheap to make and we got so many servings out of them that there are enough for Frankie to have as well if he wants or we could have them for dinner again…though if I’m eating them for lunch that probably won’t happen, but it’s an option! Hell, I could even just have the chicken or pork by itself for a snack if I wanted. Throw some of it in a piece of baby romaine lettuce and yum yum in my tum!!



Do you meal prep?? Any good tips or meal suggestions??

My body...

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So many things change when you lose weight. Especially when you lose a significantly large amount of weight. No one can really prepare for these changes. They go far beyond anything the scale can show you. I can write this post and try to paint a picture of my experience, but it really won’t do much. 

I was in the shower last week (cue porn music) when I reached behind my back and felt something funny…it was sticking out and had a curve to it...it freaked me out! What was it? My shoulder blade! I had completely forgotten what it felt like to feel my shoulder blades in that matter…or to be able to actually bend my body like that so I can.

Shaving my legs is like going through a whole new terrain. Muscles that I have built…muscles that I have forgotten about. My strong calf muscles that almost roll like hills. I have knee caps again! I have ankle bones! And did they get longer?! I swear it takes me twice as long to shave now. ;)

I have elbows! I have a collar bone! I have hip bones! Who the hell knew I had all these bones in my body?!?!

It’s not about the bones though…it’s about the shape. The shape of my body that these bones create. I shape that was long forgotten about when I regained the weight. I forgot what all of these things felt like. Sometimes I will rub my arm and feel something and think there’s an issue. There’s no issue…it’s just my body expressing itself in a new way. It’s not being hidden under excessive pounds of my own gluttony.

One of the biggest times I notice the changes in my body is while I am running. The way my arms don’t rub against my hips. The air between my thighs...I mean they still rub together, just in a different way. The weight I lift off the ground feels different so therefore my form has been different. This is something I have needed to stay aware of while I run.

I’ll be honest and just come out and say it (Grandma, don’t read this part…skip to the next paragraph)…sex has changed too….with and without my husband, ifyaknowwhatimsaying, LOL!! #brownchickenbrowncow Obviously my confidence level in my appearance has greatly increased, but also the way my body moves…the way it feels…the way it reacts. Now I’m not saying it’s any better or worse than it was at my previous weight. I mean, skill is skill…but…it has been something that has been noticeably different.

Then there is the fact that I can cross my legs again. I think this is something most women forget about when they gain weight. I think I definitely took it for granted last time. I realized about a month or so ago that I could indeed cross my legs again. Eat your heart out, Sharon Stone! I don’t have to question whether or not I can squeeze between those cars (unless you park like a total jackass). I don’t have to worry about whether or not the towel will wrap around my body. I don’t have to worry about not fitting into the movie theater seat. The knuckles on my hands…the length of my toes...the shape of my jaw. My face! My face is so different and I have talked about this on my Facebook page. I think out of everything this is something that I've had to adjust to the most. And I still am adjusting. That change brings a lot of emotions with it.

Look, I’m not bragging here. I’m still overweight (though happy to announce to that I am no longer in the obesity category!). But maybe because I had lost/gained/lost all within such a short period of time I noticed these changed to strongly this time. I remember the feeling of being able to wrap a standard size towel around my body…but this time it just felt different. The feeling of joy was stronger. Maybe because I don’t take any of it for granted. Maybe because I never want to go back to NOT being able to wrap a standard size towel around my body.

I wish that I had paid a little more attention to my body in this way the first time around. I think we get so caught up in the scale and numbers and goal weight, maintenance weight, Points, calories, Activity Points, miles, ect. that we forget one of the biggest recipient’s to receive the bounty of our hard work with weight loss…our physical bodies. No matter your size, I encourage you to really take inventory and learn the map that your body creates. You are in this body 24/7. This body LET'S you lose & gain & maintain. Learn it...accept it...love it.  

Catching the Excitement Bug

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Excitement is a very contagious emotion. At least for me it is. When those around me are buzzing I tend to start buzzing as well. I can easily get caught up in the excitement, not really paying attention to if it’s the right thing for me to be excited about or not.

A good example was this past weekend. Here in Syracuse we have a 4 mile run called the Tipperary Hill Shamrock run. Pretty much every single person I know who runs in this town was going to be there running this past Saturday. I myself have never ran it…even years ago when I would run most local races that are 10K’s and under.  But I have just never had any interest. Though the after party always sounded nice, the hills did not. It’s in an area I’m not familiar with and while my Irish blood loves a good shamrock themed run, it just didn’t appeal enough to me.

But hearing everyone talk a few days before about the race and seeing everyone post their excitement on Facebook about it got ME excited. I contemplated signing up. Even though in my head I told myself no because A.) Hills and B.) The post party does not interest me any longer, obviously and C.) I had planned to have my own running adventure the next day, when the weather would be a bit warmer.  But all of a sudden I was double questioning myself and these plans. Maybe I really did want to run this race.

No…no, I didn’t. I just caught the excitement bug.

I’m glad I didn’t run that race. Because the day after I went out on my own adventure and ran a glorious 10 miles. I even tackled….HILLS!! I even did…HILL REPEATS!! Who am I?! It was a great run and I had a really great time. Those 10 miles were completely unplanned and spontaneous. I ran those 10 miles like I had hoped to run the Lake Effect ½ marathon….and how I hope to run the Syracuse ½ in 2 weeks (seriously...PUUUUHLEAAASSSEEE let me have a run like this during a race...I can't handle another struggling race.)

Running with the Lake Effect Run Club has been one of the best things to come into my life. The friendships I have made and the support and encouragement is like nothing else I have ever experiences before. It’s very similar to a Weight Watchers meeting…but I’d even go as far as saying a bit more intense & involved. But I don’t need to do everything that the club does. I don’t need to run every race that most of my friends are running. For one, I can’t afford it and also, not every race is for me. That doesn’t make me less of a runner or not as dedicated.

Listen…I love running (mostly after I am done actually performing the physical motion of running). I don’t dedicate my life to it. I don’t consider myself a “fanatic” of running. I don’t live in running clothes (hell I don’t even wear sneakers other than when I am running) and I don’t consider half marathons to be something that I can do in my sleep…and that’s A-OK.  It doesn’t take my miles away from me, or weaken the heart that I put into running. 

I have to remind myself that I run for *ME*. I should be signing up for races because *I* want to run them. I have to be careful to not get caught up in others excitement and put myself into situations that maybe are just not for me. There will be many other races coming up this year where I will feel like I should be there. Maybe some of them I will be, but there will be plenty where I wont...and that's OK. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t get inspired or challenged by their enthusiasm. But I should always be keeping my own goals in check.

This really goes for anything…whether you’re wanting to lose weight, enter your first race, start a family, try that croissant/donut hybrid love child…you have to choose to do something *when* it is right for you and because it is right for *you*. Let others excitement inspire you to reach for greatness within yourself...it might not always be the same path, and the details may not be the same, but in the end it's all for the same outcome...and that's to be a stronger version of your current self. 

Lake Effect Half recap...

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It’s taken me some time to write this, as it’s been hard to go back and emotionally visit. This has been written in bits and pieces so hopefully it will make sense and have some sort of flow to it…
Sunday, February 22nd was the Lake Effect ½ Marathon. This would be my 3rd time signing up. But it would be my first time finally running it. This race was a BIG DEAL for me. This race was pretty much me coming full circle in what has been an amazing year for me. For the first time ever I actually followed a training plan and ran consistently (minus the 2 weeks prior to the race where I would nurse a calf injury).

This race was the hardest ½ marathon I have ever ran. Both physically and mentally. And that doesn’t seem fair.

I’ve been trying to write my recap but it’s been very difficult. There are emotions here that I honestly just don’t want to revisit. I’m not going to go into every detail.

The weather was not great, but not AS bad as we have been experiencing. The temps were in the high teens/low 20’s and while it wasn’t snowing during the race we did get some significant snow the night before. While some parts were clear, others were slushy, slippery or just down right snow covered.

My struggle started at just about mile 3 and it never stopped. It never let up. 

The terrain of all that slush and trying to avoid bothering my calf or falling and slipping in the mess us runners were creating was a challenge and it was tiring. But my main issue was that I could not keep my heart rate down. I couldn’t seem to catch my breath and for the life of me I could not get a steady breathing rhythm. This wore me out the worst. Thankfully my friend Mary had an inhaler so on the turnaround I was able to get a puff off of that. It helped a bit, but not for long. The air, while warmer than the negative temperature we’ve had, was still cold. Especially coming off of the lake…yes, the entire course takes place next to Onondaga Lake.

My lungs were begging for mercy. Also, I have never, ever been so thirsty in a race. I couldn’t get enough water. And I was plenty hydrated. I will forever be grateful for my friend Lauren who came out to cheer us runners on, as gave me her water bottle when I was complaining of thirst.  As I would run past a fire hydrant I would envision hooking up a hose and drinking out of it. Yes, I was THAT thirsty.

The course loops twice. This course is also the same place I run almost every time I have ran in the past 5 months. It’s been either at the parkway, or on my treadmill. To say that it was boring was an understatement. I expected that to be a problem, and it was, but I had bigger problems that were craving my attention so I didn’t dwell on my surroundings too much.

My calf was surprisingly OK. It didn’t bother me too much.  But my legs were tired and my quads were on fire. You definitely run different in conditions like those that we faced. You could see the physical struggle on the faces of many runners.

I did not imagine struggling so early on in the race. I really expected it to pass. And when it didn’t, when I couldn’t even get my breath steady, I instantly felt like a failure. I can’t remember the last time I was that mean and negative towards myself. I thought awful things. On the first turn around I saw my husband and I went over and threw my Yaktrax on the ground by him. I remember starting to cry and seeing my friend Brandi and my Uncle Timmy there. I didn’t want them to see me like that. Frankie told me I could stop…all I remember next is taking back off onto the course.

It would only get worse from there. The mental aspect of this race was the hardest part. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve thought that many negative thoughts about myself. It’s a place I care to never visit again and every day I fight to stay away from it. But Sunday I could not escape it. The one question I kept asking myself over and over again was “Why?!?!”….why was this happening?! I had trained! I was smart! I was prepared! WHY?!?!?! I was berating myself with every step. I hated myself and all I wanted to do was bury myself in the snow. I felt like a failure. Even after I finished I felt like a failure. I couldn’t get that feeling to go away. Not during, not after…and honestly, I am still fighting with it today.

I wanted to drink. I wanted a beer so ‘effing badly.  There were so many moments when I thought “screw sobriety”.  I had honestly convinced myself a few times that I was done being sober and that I was going to drink. And it wasn’t going to be one beer…it was going to be ALL THE BEER!!  (Side note: this right here is why I need to stay sober…there is no “one” beer with me)

I was embarrassed, and I hated feeling embarrassed…it’s not an emotion I am common with nor one I care for at all. I run for me and only for me, yet I felt like I was running for everyone else and that I was letting them down. I hate this feeling probably most of all.

On the flip side…I am damn proud of myself. There were so many times when I could have given up…I could’ve quit….I could’ve stopped trying all together. But I didn’t. I finished! I got my medal! I added another 13.1 to my list! I didn't back down. I knew I fought a good fight when my husband gave me a super strong hug at the end. I’m happy though to put this race behind me. I’m happy to say that I signed up, showed up and finished it up.

 *I have to give an extra special shout out to all of my Lake Effect friends….for your support on and off the course. And to Brett, for not only crushing that course on his own, but coming back out and running it with me to make sure I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t have done it without out. You showed me that day what true friendship really means. Thank you.*

1 Year Sober

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I can’t really sit here and write about all of the things I have learned in being 1 year sober. It seems pretty much impossible to find the words.  I don’t even know where to being to start. I am literally a head full of emotions and thoughts and gratitude.
I guess I could sit here and list all of the amazing ways that my life has changed since I stopped drinking. But if you’ve been following my journey then you already know how much has changed…80 lbs lost, running again, happier, all that jazz…

But I could also tell you some of the things that I’ve learned in this past year that are not all full of sunshine and daisies. The crappy parts of being sober. So because I don’t know how to process all of my good emotions right now let go with this…

1.)    If you don’t drink…bars suck. No seriously. They are pretty much pointless. I’ve put myself in a bar situation a handful of times since getting sober. It wasn’t as hard of a situation as I thought and whenever I would feel tempted I would either leave or get a moment by myself and gather my thoughts & strength. But it sucks. It’s not that much fun. You feel like an outsider and you feel like you are bringing the fun dial WAY down for everyone else. I want to be there having a good time and I can still have a good time without the alcohol, but it’s just an awkward situation.
2.)    I miss drunk sex. Now I’m not saying that I don’t do the same stuff sober that I did while I was under the influence, but there’s those drunken moments where you just “get lost” & things just get messy and all over the place…yeah not so much when you’re sober.  
3.)    Kind of going with #1…I feel like I’m the party pooper. When I am around friends who are drinking I feel like they feel like they can’t have as good of a time, or that there is a sense of guilt because they are drinking and I am not. I also feel that because they know I am sober they know I will remember everything they say and do and that puts them on guard or alert. It makes me feel uncomfortable in return.
4.)    Alcohol is everywhere. Literally…everywhere. I feel like every time I pick up beer for my husband at the grocery store there is always some lady standing there trying to hand me a sample. And I don’t know how many times I had to turn on some of sort of alcoholic beverage, or dessert covered in booze at our Valentine’s Day dinner this year. We were also seated right in front of a huge glass wine cellar…awesome.
5.)    You’ll still wake up with headaches occasionally. And they suck worse because you have nothing fun to blame it on.
6.)    I can comfort a bad day or stress with a good run but I’m not going to lie….alcohol was a damn good stress reliever…well, ya know…before it became the cause of my stress.
7.)    People will say shit that will piss you off. Like “well at least you weren’t court ordered to quit drinking” or “well at least you didn’t let it get too bad”…what the fuck?! No really…what. the. Fuck?!
8.)    You may have a brand new outlook on life but life is still pretty much the same. Crappy stuff is still happening and the stuff that caused you to drink before probably didn’t go away. *You* changed, life didn’t. You have to actual deal with stuff…the good & the bad.  
9.)    It’s very easy to become addicted to something else. Especially if you have an addictive personality, such as myself. I have to be very careful that I don’t find myself becoming addicted to something that can be equally dangerous.  
10.)  We can revisit this one later but I don’t think I will never NOT want a drink. I am constantly having to remind myself that I am sober and that no, I will not be ordering a drink at dinner or that no, I do not need to pick myself up beer at the grocery store. Even a year later, I still think about drinking every single day.

For all the things that kind of suck about being sober there are a million and one more things that ROCK about being sober. Do I sometimes think “You know what…I could have just one drink and be ok”…you bet I do! But that is a bet with far too high of a risk and that is a risk I am just not willing to take.   I can’t imagine living life the way I used to before I quit drinking. I hope that I never do.
I bought myself this MantraBand as an anchor to celebrate today
I again want to thank everyone for their support, love, encouragement and inspiration. You have all been such a huge part in this milestone. My sobriety is for myself and no one else…but I am happy that I can share it all with you. XO



Goodbye Brewfest...

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Today is the CNY Brewfest. As many of you know today was like a holiday for my family and I. It was our Super Bowl. Family would drive 40 minutes to come to this event. We would spend 3 hours sampling some of the most delicious beer offered here in the great USA. Great times would be had and great people would be met. I've blogged about it many times and through that I was able to meet the creators and directors of the CNY Brewfest, along with many great regular attendees.
I was one of them regular attendees.

It's almost 11am right now. Right now I would be just about ready to crack open my first beer at home...pre-game time!

This is my first year not attending the CNY Brewfest. Why? Well because I am 11 months and 12 days sober.

I've been confused as to why today is so difficult for me. I've been having a really rough time about it all. I've even cried a few times this morning. So many times I have said to myself "It's just ONE day...a few hours...one day of fun drinking with your family and friends...fun memories...ONE day, that's all...you counting the days of sobriety is really no big deal, so you'd just start over? Or not keep track at all. It's just ONE day of fun!"

That's when it hit me. I know why today is so hard to deal with.

Because the brewfest WAS nothing but fun! It was one of the few times where drinking WAS FUN.

See, I wasn't someone who got "drunk" a lot. I was a binge drinker with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol. I could drink 15-20 beers and still be able to stand and carry on a conversation. When I was in my deepest days of binge drinking I would still be able to remember every phone call, text or post made. I was a at home drinker. I was a wait till my husband went to bed & then pound 6 beers in 30 minutes drinker then plan my own funeral drinker. None of it was fun drinking. None of it brought laughter.

But the Brewfest? That was fun. That brought laughter. That brought memories that I still smile fondly at. I still look at pictures and remember the great time we were having at that moment (well, most of them I remember, lol).
          
Today is hard because it was one of the very few moments I had where drinking was a good time for me. It wasn't about me drinking myself to death or curling up with my headphones all alone & going over all of my self hate. The brewfest was a day where I was the girl I was for so many years...the girl who just truly loved craft beer.

Well, the fact is...I still am a girl who truly loves craft beer. But like some things in life you love, you have to let them go because they are not the best thing for you.

So I guess the CNY Brewfest is like an ex lover. It is something that I will forever be grateful for and will always love in one form or another. I will always be thankful for all of the smiles and laughs it brought into my life and every now and then I will remember back to them & think of how lucky I am that I got to experience all those great times.

But I know that today would not just be ONE day. I would want more. I would *need* more. Tomorrow would turn into a day to help ease the pain of the hangover from today's fun. I would drink a couple to ease the pain and then drink some more to erase the pain that follows. ONE day of fun could easily turn into a life time of hell for myself.

I wan't always an alcoholic. I mean, it does run heavily on both sides of my family. But I was someone who could control her drinking. And the brewfest is a great exmaple of how drinking used to be fun for me. And that is what I miss. That has been the hardest part in staying sober. But like I said earlier...those fun moments were barely seen through all the non-fun moments.

Confession: Last year at the brewfest, I turned to my husband and said “This might be my last brewfest.”… That was it. That’s all I said and he asked no questions. I didn’t know why I said it. Well I guess I did. Things were getting pretty bad…calls to suicide hotlines, inability to ride in a car without getting sick, ect.. But it would be a couple more weeks until I would put down my very last beer.
          
Today I will be thankful, not sad, about the CNY Brewfest. I will be thankful that I got have some great drinking memories, because sometimes the bad ones are just too hard to swallow. And I will accept that while I wish I could enjoy just one day of drinking, it is not what is in the best interest for myself and so therefore I must let it go.

So thank you, CNY Brewfest, for all the great memories and laughs.

Training, like a boss...

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I realized something crazy. Like super, duper crazy.

I am into WEEK 9 of my training!! 9 weeks. 63 days. 1512 hours. 90720 minutes. (If I told you guys that I just knew all that info off the top of my head & that I did NOT have to google it, would you believe me?)

This is crazy! This is madness! This is a miracle! Never, ever have I followed a training plan this long. Not even before I ran a full marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past a week or two without completely throwing the whole plan out the window and just going to beat of my own drum.

With the exception of missing a day or two because of listening to my body I have followed it very closely. Some runs I have even gone a little past the mileage called for in the plan that day.  This past Saturday I did my long run and it was the best run of the year so far. I would even say it might be the best run I have had since I’ve been running again. I couldn’t believe how easily the 8 miles came to me. I didn’t have to struggle for them or through them. I wish every run was like that. Or hell, I wish I could just have some more runs like that period.  And maybe I will. Maybe this whole “sticking with a training plan” thing has its benefits…maybe it really does help.

Post Run in a Wegmans Bathroom...in a complete runners high!
All of this training is really paying off...especially in my speed and my endurance. Just this past Monday I ran 5 miles at a 10:52 pace!! One of those miles was at 10:16!! I haven't seen those #'s in years. Training has is really getting me back to where I was before with running, but even better...slowly but surely, all the hard work is paying off!

There is one thing however that I have not done. Not at all. Not even a teeny tiny bit.

That is Cross-Train. I spend 3 days running, one day with Yoga & the other 3 days are rest days. I have an elliptical at home, and I love it…I just never get on it. I know how vital and beneficial cross training can be but it’s just not something I have not seemed to work into my routine.


Unless going to the grocery store or browsing the internet counts as cross training…cause if that’s the case then I am a cross training maniac!!  

Anyone else have trouble getting cross-training in? Any tips or advice? 

There is still time to donate and help me raise funds for Ophelia's Place while I run the Lake Effect Half! Any amount will help! If you are interested please visit this link here and thank you so much!!

11 Months

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This will be the last time I will get post about being sober for a certain # of months that are under a year. 11 months. Wow…11 months sober. It feels huge yet so trivial at the same time. I am always so grateful and I certainly feel celebratory when I hit milestones like this. But honestly it’s never something I work towards. Unlike weight loss where sometimes it’s a good thing to look at a bigger picture, like losing 5% or 10% of your body weight, recovery from alcohol abuse doesn't really work like that. It’s a day by day fight. Shit, it’s even an hour by hour, minute by minute fight on some days.


I know that I am one month away from hitting the 1 year mark. And that’s huge. That’s like really, *really* HUGE. But honestly I can’t focus on that. I have to focus on today…right now…this moment.

I sure the hell hope that I get to celebrate a 1 year sober anniversary. But until that day arrives I will be extremely grateful for the hours and minutes that pass where I do not consume any alcohol. And as always I continue to appreciate and soak in all of the love, support & encouragement that you all give to me and inspire me with. 

Here’s to the next minute! 

Running for a reason...

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So this was supposed to be a beautiful post. You know, one of those posts that look like my full time job is to blog, not just something to do when I have time. I had plans with a friend to go to place I am about to refer to and take pictures. I was even going to buy a shirt from them and stage a beautiful setup. Ya know…real pretty blogger shit. I had plans and questions laid out to interview a few of my friends who have had personal experience with this organization. You really would have felt the time and effort I put into this post, because it truly means something great to me.

Yeah…only you are not getting that kind of post because none of that happened. Life happened and things go in the way, plans got cancelled, time slipped by. So instead you are getting on my half-assed, boring run-of-the-mill blogger posts. You are so very welcome.

As many of you know I am running the Lake Effect Half Marathon on February 22nd. And guess what...I've actually stuck with my training plan!!!!!! This is a total first for me. I've only missed a day here or there and that's mostly because of my knee and trying not to re-injure it. I still have time left so I have to keep this momentum going. This is the 3rd time I am signed up for this race…but this will be the first time I actually run it (if there is no curse of injury or such between now and then!). So this race is a HUGE “omfg just do it already!” race for me. It’s also filled with all of my Lake Effect Run Club friends as well as friends from outside the club. I’m nervous about the weather…it’s been a cold one here in Syracuse so far and my asthma and lungs just don’t function in weather under 20 degrees. But I’m excited! I’m excited because I am running for a cause!
https://runsignup.com/suzisnowstorm

I’m not only making an effort to run 13.1 miles…I am also trying to raise $ for Ophelia’s Place. What is Ophelia’s Place you ask? Well to quote the origination themselves…

Ophelia’s Place is a non-profit organization committed to empowering individuals, families, and communities to redefine beauty and health through initiatives that increase self-esteem, improve body image and introduce alternatives to dangerous desires for perfection; and to providing outreach, advocacy and educational services to those impacted by eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.


http://www.opheliasplace.org/

I know many people who have been helped by this great organization and what they are doing to educate and provide assistance for the community is outstanding. I fully support ANYTHING that truly helps to educate woman, young or old, on how to love themselves and their body. The issues that they tackle or not just about weight. The really get to the root cause of why we tend to do such horrible things to ourselves.

I am rallying a little late but that’s better than never. I am trying to raise $500 for Ophelia’s Place. I don’t know if I will get there in such a short amount of time but I am certainly going to try! It feels nice to be running for a reason that is bigger than myself.

If you wish to donate to this great charity and help support me while I run the Lake Effect Half Marathon then please visit this link. Your donation, no matter the amount, will go directly to Ophelia’s Place.


I thank you all for taking the time to read this and your support. XO
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