Sunday, June 30, 2013


I have known for some time that I have an addiction to food.  I eat for that blissful high. You know it, that moment when you take that first bite of something utterly delicious...when you close your eyes and allow the flavors of the food wash over you.  Orgasmic bliss brought on by food.  (Ok, maybe not orgasmic bliss...but pretty darn close!)   I've known this for a while.  This is not shocking.   What IS shocking is the revelation I had the other day while in Hagerstown running errands.

As I was running into a few stores (I was looking for bags for a Bissell vacuum cleaner that Todd has at the studio..who know it would be that hard to find!) I realized that I hadn't been in some of these stores for ages.  It was like visiting old friends.  That is when I realized.  I had at one point traded my love of food and tried to substitute it with shopping and filling my 'void' with purchases. (lots of them crafts....LOL)

I started to try to lose weight shortly after I got married.  I started because I wanted to have a baby and I didn't want to have a baby at 300 plus pounds.   (Not that it made a hill of beans baby for me).   I never had financial problems before I got married.  After I got married they fell down upon me.  My husband doesn't handle money well at all (he spends like it's growing on trees) and I tried to bury my food addiction with purchases...this was a bad combination for us.   Circumstances has caused me to quit the mindless spending cold turkey.  Some days I miss it, but it's not bad. 

So that brings me to current day.  I've been filling my 'empty void' with exercise.  I've actually laughed about it and made the comment that "at least it's something healthy"  and that is true.  But I need balance in my life.  Do I plan on curbing my exercise at this point?  NO, it makes me feel good.  I like seeing what my body is capable of.  I like conquering the unimaginable (for a former 300 plus girl a lot of the stuff that I'm doing was previously unimaginable) .  I like the way it clears my mind and gives me energy.  I'm not curbing that.  

What I am committing myself to is to find balance in my life.

  Last fall I became appalled at the unfinished (and un-started) projects I had laying around (this harkens back to the indiscriminate buying days).  I decided that projects needed to be finished.  I had to finish projects.  I had to finish stuff I started.  Leaving things half finished was no longer and option.  This brought me to my weight loss journey..  My weight loss was a half finished project. 

So back to the balance.  Balance means that I have to find the time to work on these craft projects.  It means that I have to find time to get out with my camera and do the style of photography that makes me happy.   It means that I have to find balance.

Today I should have ridden my bike.  My heel is still bothering me, so running is not an option.  I woke up early and lounged all morning reading a book.  I then did  few things around the house and started working on two craft projects (a baby quilt for a friend and then since the machine was out, another project that I'm close to completing).  I feel slightly guilty for not exercising.  But I think I needed the time working on these projects to come to terms with the balance.  It's not all or nothing.  I can do multiple things in my life and not drown myself in one thing. 

I WILL be exercising tomorrow.   The foot thing has thrown me for a loop, but I'm not going to let one little speed bump keep me from my goals. (although admittedly food has been a horrible temptation for me today!)

I had assistance on my projects today!  

Friday, June 28, 2013

I don't wanna

I came inside after pushing mowing the yard.  I walked into the bathroom and sat down on the toilet a I waited for the shower to warm up.  I couldn't help it, the tears started to fall.

Let me back up and start at the beginning.  On Tuesday morning I woke up and jumped out of bed ready to go for my run.  Immediately I felt a twinge of pain on my heel.  I thought about it and just carried on.  I was a bit nervous, but that pain dissipated and during my run I didn't feel a thing.   That day I would occasionally feel a twinge or two when I got up to walk, but it disappeared and thus didn't phase me.  Wednesday I once again felt some twinges but nothing too worrisome, I went to zumba and that is where it changed.  The pain worsened.  Thursday during work I actually looked up heel pain and saw a few things, OK OK OK, there was really only one major thing that kept popping up.  Planters Fasciitis   Undeterred I headed out for my walk with Sherry.    We headed out and I was fine.  A mile or so into our walk I could feel some twinges but nothing major.  By the last 1/4 of a mile I was in some serious pain.  Sherry also rattled off the same diagnosis when iI told her my pain. I went home and limped around making dinner.  Friday was more of the same....almost constant pain when I got up to walk...but it eased up as I moved....but then worsened again if I remained on the foot.  After work brought a chore that I couldn't ignore for any longer.  I went out with the push mower and mowed for about 2 hours. 

And that brings me to sitting in the bathroom crying.  I was waiting for the shower to warm up to wash away the grim and sweat from my mowing job and I sat crying.  At  the risk of sounding like a spoiled rotten kid....  I don't want to be injured.  Seriously.  I don't want to!   I'm on a path of forward motion.  I've hit my stride.  An injury is not what I want right now (or ever really).  I have weight to lose right now tough.  I'm on a roll, I don't want to stop the momentum!  No, I cant be injured!   I'm going to sit back and rest it for the next few days.  If it doesn't settle down, I'll hit up the doctor next week. 

Taking a deep breath.   one thing I saw about planters fasciitis is that it's caused primarily by running and a little less commonly by people that participate in dance aerobics.  It's seen often in obese people and also in people that are wearing high heels.  I fit all four out those categories (I wear heels to work  lot in the summer).    The GOOD thing is that while they sy stop doing the offending activities, they recommend switching to swimming and bicycling.     SOOOO I should be ok out on my bike.  I'm going to change my tire tonight (at least that's the plan, I'm beat right now) and go for a ride tomorrow!

I may be stressed out about this turn of events but I REFUSE to let it get me down!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


  I got a SUPER late start on my bike this morning. I originally wanted to start out between 6 and 6:30.  But I just didn't have it in me to move.  I KNEW that I was still going to was never in debate to not go, I just struggled to get moving in that direction.  6 passed, then 6:30......  So 7 became my new projected start time.   A few minutes before 7,  I  got dressed and went into the kitchen to grab a string cheese and to fill up my water bottles.  My husband asked "would you make me some shrimp salad for my lunch"  I have a problem with saying no so I made him shrimp salad...and packed his lunch.  I did get our dishes done and my lunch packed also!  :-)   So I didn't get out onto my bike until 7:45 Yeah.....a tad bit late, but I don't work until as long as I was home by 9:15 I could swing it. (who really needs to dry their hair before work....brush, twist and clip it up wet is my hair style). 

So I was trucking along and about  mile 6 I went down a hill and around a corner.  I had to keep it tight to the berm because a truck was coming up behind me.  There was some gravel loose on the edge of the road.  NO, I didn't go down (thank goodness)...but I flatted out.  SOOOOO I got off and called my husband and walked toward the direction in which he was coming from. (we figured out that my bike fits perfectly in the back of the civic hatchback, that's a good thing to know!)   OH least I got 6 miles in.  :-)  I felt GOOD too! 

The good thing about getting home from my bike ride earlier than projected?   I have a load of laundry in the wash, the floors have been vacuumed, the bed made...I'm rolling!  Ohh and the bike tire will be changed tonight or tomorrow and I'll be back out on Saturday for my planned ride!  (yes, I have a spare tube and know how to change it,.....and I sure hope my words don't come back to bite me and I have to wait for my brother to get back from Indiana to help me....but I've changed tires on my Trek and Todd's trek quite a few times).

My weight.  I know it's my food.  I am eating lower calories but I've allowed food that shouldn't be in my diet to not only creep in but to take up residence.   So I'm cleaning house...kicking those things out......back to the basics. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Self fulfilling

I've been saying for a long long time that weight loss and exercise is a battle that is lost and won in the mind.  It is a pure mental exercise.  Today I had a first hand experience to show me exactly how much this is a mental battle.   It was morning, I planned to go out running.  I got myself dressed and set off  I had my plan.  I was going to do about 3.5 miles. I was planning on running it at my somewhat current normal pace of 12.30.  Or rather that is what I hoped. I just run, giving it my all and hope for the best with my pace.  So I started off.  My heart rate seemed a bit low, but I seemed to be going at an OK pace.  I tried to pick up the pace, simply based on my heart rate.  I just couldn't do it.  So my first mile was run with me running, and feeling ok, just thinking I was slow.   Mile two is when the mental adjustment occurred for the worse.  I just spent roughly a mile of running stressing about my speed, my lower heart rate, my running...everything.  Mile 2 is when it hit.  I started to mentally abuse myself.  I lamented my horrible run (which I was still running).  I even stopped and walked a few feet.  My legs felt heavy.  I beat myself mentally that whole mile.  I was having such a tough battle that I decided to not do the extra loop which would net me the full 3.5 miles...I was going to go straight back to the car and call it a day at 2.5 miles. Afterall, it was a horrible run you know!  I decided to ignore everything and just run to run for that last half mile and I finished it with a smile on my face and proud of myself for doing it.....then I looked at my stats......

So let me recap...

mile one, I thought I was doing bad
mile two, I flogged myself for how bad I did on mile one, to the point of physically feeling horrible
mile three, I ran to run.

So here are the splits......  and let me say that my base run is usually 12:30 or thereabouts....but I have run a sub 12 once or twice I'm inching downward.

Mile one...the horrible mile wasn't so horrible afterall..... I ran a 12:02
Mile two...I psyched myself out that I couldn't do it and ran a 12:58  (can we say mental failure)
The last half mile.......11:24    Uhhhh hello!

So it's clearly obvious that my mental game totally affects me!  

How often have I done this to myself.  I can say I'd started the Couch to 5 K training program time and time again (I know at least 3 times for sure) and each time I psyched myself out.  I let the mental voices beat me down.  The screamed at me "maryfran, you can't do this"  I listened to them and when you listen they turn into a self fufilling prophecy!   NO no no....I will not listen to the voices.  When I have a bad run, I will accept it at the end when I look at my stats.  I will just run to run...I will ride to ride when it seems difficult.  I will push to do best each mile and I will accept it when it's my best effort.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

bicycling thoughts

When I run and ride I find that my mind swirls.  I have some deep thoughts.  I sometimes 'write' my  next blog post (when I have a moment of inspiration) in my head.  It's my me time.   So today I'm going to take you along on my ride and you can 'hear' my thoughts.

I step out of the house with my bike and it begins.

Dang, it's hot out here, I thought it would be cooler since it's 6:30 AM, darn humidity.............This isn't too bad, I'm feeling it today, of course it's downhill at this point...........Drat but I do hate riding on this road.................last monday I forgot my water, glad I have it today............Stupid road, crevices galore.  That would really blow to get my tire stuck in a crevice................Oh look, there's Terri driving by..........ahhh that was fun to see a friend and to be able to wave a good morning message.............Oh I don't think she recognized me in my bike gear though.........seriously, another hill.....................the stop signs coming up....don't forget the clips on your shoes..........Clip.....clip....clip....ahhh stop signs are over for a while..........WHAT????........Seriously, I thought motorcycles were more cognizant and aware and KIND..........I am on a huge shoulder, a good 5 feet beyond the white line and that motorcycle didn't have to come across the white line and buzz me!..........wonder what road I should take today.........stupid motorcycle........wiggle toes, wiggle toes, wiggle toes................Move out of the way squirrel........oh no, I'm going to hit the squirrel..........what's up with motorcycles and squirrels today.........another hill, how did I get so lucky............relax my shoulders and loosen the arms........ahhhh poor pretty dead fox, now I want to cry..........wiggle wiggle wiggle the toes...........uhhh that was stupid, why did I not pedal out of that hill, now i'm at the bottom of a hill with literally no momentum.........stand up and ride sissy........ahhhh made it to the top and I didn't have to unclip, that was last hill and I'll be there..........unclip dummy.....ahhhh two feet on the ground, legs are a little jelly-like but how exhilerating!!!!..........

Yeah, there were no grand, deep epiphanies today.  But that's OK, we can't have that happen every day!

Monday = weigh day!    218.3  I'm good with that. It's not a HUGE drop, but it's a drop.  I'll take it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Scaredy cat

I ended my last blog post with a line.  It was a simple line.  "I think there has been an athlete lurking under all my fat and she just may be trying to emerge."   I wrote that line, then deleted it.  I wrote it again and deleted it again.  Back and forth I went.     Seriously?  I wrote about my emotional stress that led to me not working out and to a small binge in that post.  I didn't care, I had no problem writing about it.  I wrote about my frustration with the rate of my weight loss and my conclusions as to why that could be....totally my fault.   I had no second thoughts about sharing that.  But I worried and stressed over sending the little stinkin' line that said that The athlete that had been lurking under the fat was being set free.  Why?

Why indeed?  Why would something as benign as that worry me.  Before I could second guess myself, I put it into the post and hit send.  After I had sent my post live I started to REALLY think about why it bothered me.

I've never been an athlete.  Well unless you consider a little girl in the early 80's who rode her bike up and down the road and pretended she was either Ponch or John from the tv show the Chips. (no, I can't remember if I was Ponch or John....isn't that sad?).   It was a passing fad.  My brother can verify that fact, he saw first hand how unathletic I was on many occasions.  At some point (midway through my high school years) he decided that his sister would be a great riding partner.  I was game (he probably bribed me to go!) and went along.  We went up and down roads.  It seemed to go on forever.  I was so tired.  It was an endless ride.    It was hot (seriously, we lived in Florida).   And did I mention that this ride was never ending?   I contend that I was just resting my forearms on my handlebars for a rest and lost my balance.  My brother says that I was simply going so slow up a slight grade that I couldn't stay balanced.  Believe who you want.....(ME ME ME). it was not a shining moment   OK OK OK, I will admit that I was going very slow and that I was NOT enjoying this hellishly long ride that he took me on.  (shhhh looking back we were probably not even 2 or 3 miles into the ride...but I'm not going to admit that!).     But anyway, my walk down memory lane just proves that athleticism and the name MaryFran didn't go hand in hand. As a side note, it took me about 10-15 years to get back on a bike (well, I did get back on that day, I rode like the wind to get home and clean the pebbles out of my knee!..but when I got off that bike I never once got back on it!) 

So I've never been an athlete.  So was that my issue with that sentence?  I'm not an athlete.  I'm a girl who is learning to like some forms of exercise.  Or maybe I should say I'm a girl that is learning to enjoy the challenge of pushing her body into zones and areas it has never been to.   But still, saying that out loud doesn't bother why the indecision?

And then it hit.  It's fear.  (damn fear!)   Fear.  Oh yes, my frenemy and a frequent topic to this blog.  You see, if I put it down and admit that the athlete is emerging, then how will I feel in a year if I've turned back into a fat couch potato?    If I admit it then I will be the laughing stock if I fail.  I don't want to be a laughing stock.  I HOPE that this is a new lifestyle for me that lasts for the rest of my life, but seriously....what if it's not.  I'm 40 years old.  I have 40 years of bad habits pulling at me.  (well, except for my brief stint as Ponch or John!). I could and probably will slip in the future. I'm afraid of failing at this new lifestyle.   Fear of failure is a huge things with me.  But then I have to tell myself..... There is nothing to be afraid of.  All I can do is be true to myself and I will be fine!

  Fear is a debilitating thing.  Intrinsically I knew that I had to leave that 'scary' line in my blog post because I'm facing one fear at a time and knocking the fear out of the ballpark!

This newly minted athletic girl has stared this fear in the face and has decided that she will enjoy every day of this lifestyle that she is building.  If I slip...I will face it with my head held high knowing that even if I fail in the future that I have asked my body to do amazing things and my body responded favorably and I did things that I NEVER thought I could.   Fear is not allowed.....PRIDE is welcome!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ahhh life.......

Here’s another two part blog entry.  This is simply because that’s how my mind works….a million directions at once.

 The first topic up for discussion is my relationship with the scale.   I have purposefully not set concrete goals for myself.  Or rather, I’ve set concrete goals but I don’t have a finite end for my goals.  I did not start this year when I recommitted to this journey with a statement that “I will be at my goal weight by my birthday (or whatever date)”  I didn’t want to put unrealistic expectations upon myself.  Even though it wouldn’t be unrealistic to say I would lose 70 pounds (or thereabouts) in 12 months, I didn’t want the pressure on myself.  I wanted to lose the weight but at the same time learn how to really live and eat healthy at the same time.  I have largely been OK with this approach.  I know how much I want to lose (initially at least, I may go lower than that previous low….I’m not cutting myself short this time.  I want to lose the WHOLE WAY!)  I have my goals but I’ve not been bothered with the ‘when’.   Until this week.  I looked at myself and I looked at this year.  I’ve been back on the bandwagon since January (actually I got myself back on track in December, but for the sake of conversation we are saying January).  I’ve lost about 35 pounds.   That is good.  I’m proud of that.  But then I started looking and I’m looked at it more clearly….that’s not quite 6 pounds each month.  I am working my arse off…I should be dropping much more rapidly.  I burn mad calories…by the book and figures I should have lost about 10 last month.  I started to let myself get swayed by the numbers and figures.  Seriously, that time frame and those numbers…..but then I had to sit back and think two things.

1.  My body will lose it at the rate that it needs to for me to be healthy.  I’m not doing a total strict deprivation style eating plan.  I’m eating healthy.  I’m allowing myself to be ‘normal’  (Not fat normal….but not anorexic normal either).  In losing this way and it is making me a stronger person.  My muscles are developing and physically I’m growing stronger.  Mentally I’m growing stronger because I’m learning to deal with the pressures and stress that go along with having a food addiction.    Weight loss is best kept from time frames.   When you start to focus on time frames it’s easy to get depressed and down about your progress.   I should be CHEERING about 35 pounds and not down because it should be more!

2.  The scales do show us progress…..and my progress is slow.  So why?  I could use excuses.  “I’m building muscle”.   Or I could say “I’m exercising too much” (which was suggested to me a while back…ha ha ha) I could even say that “it’s my age”   But those are excuses.  They play a factor but it’s not the reason I’m not losing weight.  So looking at things objectively, I’m not losing weight for a reason.  I struggled on vacation, but still managed to hold it to a very small gain.  I pulled it together enough to recoup my gain and then I’ve been sitting relatively still on the scales.  So what’s happening?   The answer is plain and simple….I’m pushing the boundaries with my eating. Seriously, I'm eating my correct calories. The problem is that I’m eating way too many carbohydrates. Really…..for me to lose I can have bread (and yes, I eat whole grains), potatoes, rice, and pasta.  But I can only have those things on a limited basis.  One of them ONCE a day is my limit.   If I cut back, I do better.  I love my carbs so this is difficult for me and I can look back and see those things creeping back into my life.

 So no excuses allowed.  I don’t care that I am 40 years old.  I don’t care that I am building muscle.  I don’t give a rats ass about any of that.  I will be cleaning up my eating.  Carbs need to be cut back and fruit and veggie consumption ramped up again.  This is my life and I’m taking control

Emotional eating…seriously?  How many times to I have to talk about emotional eating (and emotionally charged decisions about my health)?  Can’t I just get past this emotional eating stuff?  I want to be miraculously healed and never have to face it again.
So here we are.  Monday night at Zumba something clicked and I started to obsess about money…or rather our lack of money.  I was a hot sweaty mess…emotionally and physically when I left.  I got home and walked into the house and mentioned my stress, fears and worries to my husband, mentioning the need of new tires for my car, the property taxes that will coming out in the next week or two and one or other two big ticket items that HAVE to be attended to SOON.    My husband in his typical narcissist fashion alleviated my fears and worries so well (note the sarcasm). He decided that would be a good time to tell me that the mower was broke (again), he needed drum heads before the band that will be using the studio set in an upcoming session, ohh, Desi needed to go to the vet because he had this weird black lump that was looking really bad,and while we are talking about Dr.'s maybe he should go also for a weird pain he had,  his cell phone is acting weird and may be broke (it is...but I can't imagine we didn't pay for the warranty/replacement plan) and ohhh don’t forget that the AC guy is coming tomorrow (well today now that I'm writing this).   Yeah, kick me while I’m down…..thanks honey.    Stress levels and the emotions rose.  (as a side note...the relay has been replaced on our AC...we will be billed...but along with the bill will be an estimate for our blower that is bad..., Desi had an infected cyst that has been drained and he's OK other than a tooth that apparently needs to be pulled.....and the Dr. visit for Todd...well, he has chicken pox.  Yes, that part amuses also worries me because if he ends up missing work...well, when you are self employed no worky means no money).

I didn’t let the emotions get to me on Tuesday morning.  I got out and ran. (it was a tough run but I persevered).   By the time my work day was over, I had decided to skip zumba.  I can say that my legs still felt as if they were boat anchors and I can honestly say that I had a headache. But I’ve gone to zumba with those ‘issues’ before and I’ve lived to tell about it.  The real reason that I didn’t go was because my emotions took control of my life.  Instead I went home and polished off the rest of the homemade bread that we had on Sunday.  Yeah, four slices of bread.  Warmed up with butter melting into it’s crevices and cracks.  DELICIOUS!   As soon as I was done I felt bad about it…..and I am proud to say that I DID stop right then and there and ate nothing else.  That WAS my dinner.  So I DID stop the binge.  But I allowed my emotions to control my actions and my eating. 
I will probably always have binges.  My emotions will always call out to me.  But I WILL work to keep them as far under control as humanly possible!

There is no ifs ands or buts, I WILL win this war against my weight.   Carbs and emotions will not derail me!   They will just make me stronger!

So this afternoon, after getting home at noon, making and eating lunch.  I took Todd to the Dr. (he was dizzy..ha ha ha) and I got back to the house at 4:30.  I could have scrapped my bike ride, but no.  It was scheduled so out I went. I won't conquer this if I don't ride it.

 I actually hate riding my bike on the road I live on it's narrow. It's up and down hills the whole way and the road surface is pockmarked and HORRIBLE.  I've hated it on my trek and I hate it just as much on my litespeed.  I do it though.....a    Yes, I could throw the bike on my car and skip it...but that's wimping out and I'm NOT wimping out anymore. (granted there will be and there ARE days where I will cart my bike out and ride, but not on a regular basis).  So I pushed through it.  I always ride the southern portion of my road as a point of egress to and from my house on my bike. The northern section I have ALWAYS avoided like the plague (on my trek too)  It's even more hilly than the southern section, and probably even more narrow, if that's possible.  So today I was out there and I actually saw the intersection for the northern end of my road.  I typically just go by it and loop back into my town and enter my road from the southern end.  Today I said what they heck.   I took the road.  It really wasn't bad.  It was actually kinda fun for most of the way. It did cause my bike ride to end on incline, but oh well, I did it!  (I actually think going out that way FROM my house would be maybe I will have to make that a challenge someday!....)   Taking that road actually cut my planned bike ride down by about 3 miles, but you know what?  I don't care.  I faced something that has scared me and I WON!  (and no, I do NOT walk up any hills, that would be unacceptable....I go slow but I pedal the whole way up the hills!)

I think there has been an athlete lurking under all my fat and she just may be trying to emerge. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dreams collide with reality

 It was early, right after 6AM (hey, that’s early for me) and I was in my car heading down the road.  I had decided that this morning I was going to run on the canal (C&O canal).  I saw a local family putting their kayaks up on their cars (large family…took two cars apparently).  I saw this family loading their kayaks and I had that momentary thought that “wow that would be the kind of family that I always wanted to have as an adult”.  Now, honestly, part of that was said in sadness that I don’t have the kids and family that I always dreamt of.  But there was some awe that ‘fat MaryFran’ would actually be seriously thinking about such an active lifestyle with longing).  All  of sudden I had an epiphany.  Yeah, sometimes it happens that way….one second you are mindlessly driving and the next minute you have thought of something utterly profound.  Anyway, my thoughts and how they progressed.
It’s no secret that in December I had a really difficult time with facing up to the fact that my life is not what or where I wanted it to be. (sorry, I can’t post links on my phone so you get the web address…really classy eh?  I had dreams all my life and I had to face up to that fact.   I accepted the responsibility that my decisions in life have brought me to this position in life.  I accept my roll.  But it wasn’t until today that I realized what I actually did to bring me to this point.
The problem?   I had so many dreams and hopes for my future.  The problem?  I dreamed the dreams of a thin person. When I dreamed I had myself being active and fit and healthy.  I dreamed about things that would happen but really only if I were thin.  I dreamed the dreams of a thin person.

The problem was reality.   I wanted everything that a thin life can offer a person.  I wanted the large family.   I wanted the family that threw the kayaks on the car (ok ok ok, maybe not kayaks, but the CONCEPT) and went off for the day, skis in the winter.  I wanted that.  I wanted so much.  Reality lead me down the path to where I am today.   When I dated, got engaged and eventually married I gravitated toward a person that had a similar lifestyle to mine.  What lifestyle am I talking about?   We both had relatively sedentary lifestyles.  Oh yeah, we dabbled in active pursuits, he had a bike and I bought one and we rode…but for the most part, we were sedentary.  We both loved our food and therefore made it an integral part of our life.  My decisions in life were based upon the reality that I was a fat girl.
Thin dreams collided with the reality of a fat lifestyle.  I never took the initiative to be the thin person that was IN my dreams and now I don’t like the fallout.   But it’s not too late to change.    Some dreams are pretty much totally dead (sadly enough) but I can still change my life to enable thin dreams to come to fruition. 
I was a self fulfilled prophecy this morning.  I woke up early and actually dragged myself out of bed for my run.  As I walked across the bedroom my legs felt like they were anchors on the bottom of my body.  In fairness, I wake up many days with my body stiff and achy from whatever torture, er exercise that I put it through the day before.  However, In my mind I was thinking, “This is NOT going to be a good run.”   Regardless, I pushed onward.  I planned to do between three and four miles on the canal.  I started off and immediately I felt heavy.  I felt like I was going ‘fast’ but I could tell that my heart rate was way to low for me to be pushing it.  I just didn’t have it today.  I did manage to complete 3.5 miles and I’m considering that the victory today.  I have an average pace of 13:18 (which is about a minute slower than my current overall average), so I was slow.    So my question is this….  Was my body just sluggish today or did I take the random “early morning tightness aches and pains” and make a comment that then turned into a self fulfilled prophecy?  No matter, I ran and that’s what matters!
I’ll kill it on Thursday which is my next scheduled run day.  Up on the exercise docket next?   Zumba tonight
Tomorrow is a riding day.  Not any ride….a road bike ride tomorrow (can’t conquer it if I’m not out there putting the miles on my bike and my body)  and if I can talk Todd into it, a ride on the canal tomorrow also (I’m good with pulling out my Trek….it probably feels unloved!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rolling onward!

Back to the grind!  Yes, it's Monday which means the weekend is over.  I'm already counting down until the next one!!!

I didn't let my busy weekend keep me from exercise.  I knocked out 4 miles of running on Saturday morning and 5 miles of walking on Sunday morning.  This morning I rolled out of bed early and hopped onto my bike.  I was about halfway through my ride when I realized that my bottle cages were empty.  Yup, I left my water bottle on the kitchen table.  Oops!  
No fears.  It was early and not stinking hot yet!  (I had plenty of options should I have needed water...the studio, a coworkers house, etc etc etc) The ride wasn't as painfully awful as some of my earlier rides have been and my arms don't ache like they have in the past!!! Progress!!!  Hip hip hurray!!!!
After returning home I had a productive morning.  I prepped and made dinner for tonight (Todd will have to pop it in the oven at the set time), cleaned up the kitchen, finished the wedding pics , burned the disk to mail out and packed my gym bag.  I showered and actually also got bills paid and mailed and the books updated for the business.  It's amazing to me how I'm always just a busy bee of productivity after an early morning run or ride!  Crazy I tell ya!!

Tonight is Zumba.  My clothes are packed and ready!  Tomorrow morning will be a run and evening will be Zumba.    Bring it on!!!   

On the food front...
I tried a horned rimmed melon today.  I'm part of a weight loss/healthy habits challenge and this week our mini challenge was to try something you had never tried before.   I can safely say that I won't be eating another horned melon any time soon. (My manager is in the same challenge....she tried it with me...neither of us liked it!)I found the taste bland and the little mucus'y pods disgusting!  But hey, I tried it!!!

Meanwhile I'm pondering a mud run.   Not a tough mudder, but similar.  Hmmm.  (Seriously, I must be absolutely insane...I've gone bonkers....this is not the MaryFran that is familiar!)

Last but not least, I maintained my weight this last week.  It's a miracle!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Busy busy busy

I've been busy, but holding on to my healthy lifestyle.   Some weeks will be more difficult, but I'm determined to nail those days and weeks too. (at least to the best of my ability!)  This is life at it's greatest.  I may have eaten less fruits and veggies than my normal truckload a day.  I may have actually eaten french fries and gotten something at a delightful NY bakery.  I may have even bought a piece of cake to eat for breakfast the next morning.  I'm still on track.  I did what I needed to to allow for those things either via cutting back elsewhere or amping up my exercise.  That's all I'm going to say about's LIFE and I'm living it!   So I will leave you with some fun pictures showing you what's kept me from my normal hum drum life the last few days.

My friend and  I waiting for her doctors appointment (NYC--generally speaking) on Thursday.
The doctor was running behind and we got a little crazy.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!   

Mirrored Ceiling in the elevator, it begged for a picture!
Eh, that standing up picture was was MUCH better laying down in the elevator!

I freely admit that we ate a bit of food whilst in NYC and surrounding areas!

Friday had me back in Hagerstown enjoying a bike race with my niece and nephews.

A jog in Hagerstown early Saturday morning, it was fun to run through a town versus the country side that I normally run.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'twas inspiring

Inspiration.  Me?  Really?    I’m humbled.  I’m near tears.  I’m honored.  I’m just trying to be me, in the healthiest and fittest fashion that is possible.  Yet numerous times recently, I’ve been humbled by someone’s words citing me as their inspiration.   I have had a gal at zumba who is larger tell me that she watches me because if I can do it, she can too.  I have had my 18 year old coworker (more on him later in this post) express his interest to run again after watching me.  Seriously?  I’ve sparked you to start running again?  I just got an email from a gal that I used to talk to quite regularly.  We were in a weight loss challenge years ago.  She and I have been friends on face book for years.  (in fact I think she is the one that got me to sign up about 7 or so years ago…even though I barely used facebook for the first year or two I was a member), so we have never really lost touch, we just don’t really communicate.  Anyway, I got an email from her today.  Basically just saying “You running is amazing and inspiring.  How did you start.”   I didn’t set out to be an inspiration.  I’m just a gal that is out there pressing myself to be better each and every day (or maybe ‘most days’….I have a few bobbles). As I said, I’m humbled. Will it change how I act and what I do everyday?  No.  I am in competition with myself and each day I will strive to win that competition, regardless of anything else!
This morning I had the pleasure (pain sometimes takes on the form of pleasure as discussed yesterday) to run with a co-worker.  I was tickled to have someone to run with.  WEEE
We met up at 8AM and set off.  Immediately my heart rate jack rabbited up, way up.  I didn't feel as if I was going any faster, but my HR was at least 10 beats per minute higher. Since it felt the same to me, I looked to the only difference that I could readily see.  Music.  Normally I run with music in my ears.  Easy enough fix, I turned on my cell phone to Pandora radio and we had some tunes rolling mere moments later.  The music helped me take my mind off of the higher heart rate. We talked a bit as we ran.   I struggled because my HR was just so high.  It was so high that I have to admit, that when I hit the hill that I've run up the last 2 days, I made it halfway and then slowed to a walk.  Ok ok ok, I admit it. that wasn't the first time I walked.  I walked twice during the run this morning.     When we were done, I looked at the stats.  I have been running right about a 12.30 minute mile, average.  Today we ran 11.55 minute average miles.  Thirty seconds doesn't seem like a lot, but let me tell's a BIG difference! (and that 11.55 average includes those two walk breaks!)
The person I ran with is young.  He's 18 years old. I've known him about 5 months through work.  He struggles with his weight. He was overweight growing up and a year or two ago his friend was preparing to join the military and wanted to be in shape and thus started running.  My friend lost 40-50 pounds by training with his friend.  When the running stopped, he regained some.  He talked this morning about how he kicks himself for letting his fitness level drop and allowing some of the weight to creep back on.   This young boy this morning was quiet for a bit after sharing how he kicks himself.   Suddenly he said something that made me smile from ear to ear.  He said, "MaryFran, I don't want to sound creepy, but since I've met you, you have totally changed."   I had a feeling I knew what he was talking about.  But I wanted to be sure so I asked what he meant.  Stammering and shyly (remember, I'm old enough to be this boy's fact his parents ARE my age) he says.  "Your shape and your body have changed, for the better too."    I just looked over and him and grinned and said "Thanks!  It's good to know that my hard work is paying off."     No more was said, but my heart was singing. 
That was actually the second compliment that I had received....and it was barely past 8AM.  The first was a message on face book by a person that had apparently driven by while I was returning a book to the library yesterday.  (I guess the third was the email about me being the inspiration).  (Cue the Chicago song, “You’re the inspiration” right about now!)
And now that that song is in my head….adios

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


“I don’t like to go to class with this new instructor.  I am in pain.  I won’t ever come back to that class!”   I heard this refrain time and time again.  Sometimes it is about running.  Sometimes it was about biking.  Occasionally it was about walking.  People would try something new and when it hurt they would whine about the pain and run away. 

  I sit back and watch people when they talk about exercise and fitness.  It's very interesting, even more so because I've been on both sides of the spectrum.  I've been in the camp that "I can't exercise because it hurts me."   So many people start an exercise regime and then back off because of how they hurt.  They wake up the next morning stiff and it's difficult to move.  They stretch and it aches a bit.  They are sore and yes, tired.  So they run away screaming and crying that exercise is not for them.  Some just run away from that particular exercise.  "I can't run because it hurts."  Or "I can't go to zumba because my knees ache."  They run away.  Yes, they are excuses (which I've talked about extensively;  here and here just to name two more recent posts!) And yes, they are valid excuses, these people REALLY do hurt.  I'm not disputing that.  Exercise hurts, plain and simple.  If you are doing it right and really pushing yourself to improve, it will hurt.  The problem is that we as Americans run from pain like it's the plague.  (I'm not talking like pain from a broken foot, or pain from cancer.  Yes, THAT is pain and that is pain that we SHOULD be afraid of.) 

Somehow it clicked with me a few months back.  I realized that I WILL hurt.   It's not really pain as much as it is discomfort (Although when I've really pushed myself it surely feels like pain...but realistically speaking it is more discomfort.)  It clicked that this discomfort was good.  And for some reason I embraced the pain. I embraced the fact that trying something new was going to hurt.  I embraced the fact that running would hurt some days.  I embraced the fact that I would hurt and on a daily basis.  

Somewhere, somehow in the last 100 years or so we as Americans have been brainwashed retaught the belief that pain is a bad thing.   If it hurts, don't do it.  What kind of mentality is that?   How will you EVER succeed if you don't push yourself past a little discomfort.      Our ancestors were not afraid of pain.  Our forefathers sacrificed a lot to settle and survive in harsh territories.  Our ancestors faced unmanageable pain when they  fought for freedom.  History shows that pain was a very real and very present fact of life.  They didn’t run at the first sign of pain.  If they had, we would not be free.   Their families wouldn’t have food.  Our world would not have evolved into what it is today.  
So where did we go wrong?  I have no clue and it’s not really important.   The important thing is to recognize this tendency to flee from pain.   Real and true pain is something that we should be on the guard for.  However, we need to recognize that what we perceive as pain is really progress.
Like I said, I’ve begun to embrace pain.  The beauty of pain is this……by ignoring the aches and pains that pushing my body brings, I have been able to see myself progress further than I EVER thought was possible.   
So how HAVE I learned to push myself past this pain.  The best example is a bike ride I had the other week.  I wanted to quit.  Ohhh, I wanted to quit so bad.  I had a mental conversation with myself.  “Was I dying?”   The answer was no.  “Were my legs in danger of falling off of my body?”   The answer was no.  “So what’s the issue?”   And the answer?  I guess there is no issue!  I pushed through it.  I admit that I was sore and achy.  But that ride gave me a sense of accomplishment that filled me with confidence and self satisfaction.  That ride ALSO helped me gain progress in my long term bike riding goals.  It was a win win.  If I had quit I may not have LOST, but I certainly wouldn’t have won!   I want to WIN!