Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Happy New Years!!!!!!! Yeah, I'm a little early, but them's the breaks!   Suffice it to say that I'm happy to say adios to 2013 and I'm tickled to welcome 2014 into existence.   I'm ready to roll into this new year and to lose this weight through my plan of consistency!   Lets get this show on the road! (No, I'm NOT waiting until the first to start...I'm already on top of it!!!)

So I saw this visual and LOVED it!   What a perfect way to usher in the new year....new rules for life!!!

And then I saw this video.  It is TOTALLY a must see!!!  So GO WATCH IT!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year in Review

The year 2013 has been crazy.  I had some ups and some downs.  When it's all said and done, even though the last few months have been horrendous, I managed to end the year with a loss.  So in that way it was successful.  So here is that year in review.....picture style!
I labelled all the snacks at work with the calorie count.  Sometimes knowledge is all it takes to succeed.  I was THAT determined to lose weight!

Water Water Water 
 I tightened up my eating.  I monitored every bite I ate and kept myself totally under control!!!!  But I knew that food was only part of the equation.  I stepped up my exercise.

I decided to become a runner.  It was cold, but I was consistent!  (notice the tear generated from the biting cold!)
More winter running.

No worries, I also ran in the terrible heat of summer too!

I ran the Keller Williams 5k in March
I ran and PR'd at the Paws on the Pavement 5k in May.
I ran into celebrities!

I ended up with a common runners injury.
I certainly can't forget running the Donut Alley Rally in August!
And I ran the local Turkey Trot in November
On Christmas day I participated in a virtual 5k
It may seem as if all I did was run...but that was certainly not the case!
Step aerobics!  I was doing anything to move!
And of course I rode my bike!  Here I am with my Trek!
I splurged and purchased a road bike!  It was my nemesis during the summer...but I rode!
Todd and I took some walks
And of course I continued with zumba a few times a week!

However, my whole world was not exercising and watching what I ate!

I enjoyed time with my niece and nephews!
And my parents
Family really is so important!

Todd and I enjoyed some fun events including this Chicago Concert!

We built a patio
And added a hot tub.  This is going to feel SO good after a hard workout!

What is not shown in these pictures is the fact that in July my world was shaken to it's core.  I allowed that personal strife to derail me from my weight loss efforts.  I slowly regained some of the weight that I lost during the first half of the year.  Thankfully, I'm still in the loss column for the year.

I read somewhere online that the end of the year is the perfect time to start the shredder and shred the bad from the year in order to move on.  I like the visual reminder that the past is just that...the past.  Shred it and start anew.  So that's what I'm doing.  I'm shredding the bad from last year and I'm ready to rock 2014

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Just call me the Cat Calmer

Today the weather was gorgeous!  I had a run planned.  I knew where I was running, when I was running and how (slow as a turtle through peanut butter).   I was going regardless of the weather so having temps in the 50's was a delightful plus to my day. (I think Christmas morning when I ran it was 20 degrees....lol).    However, my body had other ideas.

We got up and ran some errands in the morning.  Early morning...we went to breakfast and then picked up groceries.   I was doing great.   We got home and Todd had a repair job that he wanted to do on the house.  It required that the cats be locked up for a bit.   Now the cats typically go nuts when we lock them up.  So nuts that on three different occasions I've had them locked up and one or the other has scratched so hard and viciously to get freed that they have started to pull up the tile/linoleum from the edge of the door.  Seriously.   So I took over the very difficult job of going into lock down with the cats....trying to keep the calm.  I laid down on the bed with my kindle and pretty soon they were all curled up beside me.   I had a few tense minutes with the two youngest ones. (Winni and Mertz) At two different times they each got a bit panicky about being locked up...but my tender loving care helped them calm right back down).

Pardon the unmade bed...I was working hard keeping my kitty cats calm and couldn't be bothered with trivial things like bed making!  And I don't know what was happening with my sweatshirt...I was laying on my back, but somehow it got all twisted around on my body.  Oh well.

I honestly don't know if my morning activities (cat calming) set me up for a lazy day.  But I just couldn't function the rest of the day.  I have felt off kilter and just not right.  I ate lunch and then promptly fell asleep on the couch in the living room (a few of the cats followed me).

So my run went out the window.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  Why?   My general feeling of lethargy could very well have simply been a side affect of my lazy (but oh so important cat calming duties)....but I'm trying to learn to listen to my body in all ways.  That doesn't just include eating and exercise...it means that when my body is demanding rest I listen to it.  I listened to it today......and I'm feeling much better this evening.

But seriously.....what a waste of a GORGEOUS GORGEOUS day!!!   GRRRRR

Friday, December 27, 2013

Much awaited for!

It’s about that time again.   What time am I referring to?   New Years resolution time. WEEEE  how fun.

I personally don’t believe in resolutions.  I believe that what I do at the end/beginning of each year  is a recommitment or a renewal of my priorities.  That’s not to say I don’t set goals and challenges for myself.  I do.   

This year I’m going for consistency.  Yes, I want to lose weight….and so bad want to declare and avow that my 2014 goal is to lose weight and be at my goal weight.  I want that quite badly.   Is this the year that I ride my century ride….maybe, who knows!   I would love to PR in a 5k….or make my sub 30 goal.  So many goals and things to strive to achieve.  I would love to say that this year is the one that I’m going to run a half marathon (I’ve kinda shelved that….I’m not sure that my body can handle that at this time…but it is still on the to do list…..AKA my bucket list).  I have those things in mind and 2014 may be the year for them.  However those items are not making the list for this year.  As I said…this year I’m going for consistency!  All of those items that I COULD include in my goals are things that I can’t reach without consistency within my life.  So this is the year of consistency!

So what are my goals for the year???  

*Track my food every day…regardless of what I’m eating.
* Stay within my food budget 6 out of every 7 days. 
* Exercise 5 times a week….at least 30 minutes each time.  
*  Water Water Water.  I’m not aiming for perfect.  5 days a week 64 ounces of at least CLOSE 

That’s it.  Seriously.  That’s all I’m aiming for.  If I do that….everything else SHOULD fall into place!  The tracking of the food is instrumental in keeping me cognizant of what I’m eating which will definitely help the weight.  Staying within my food budget will bring the weight down!   Exercising will also help with the weight…but face it….if I’m running and riding and being active I may be in the shape I need to be in to complete some of those bucket list goals.   It all goes hand in hand!   I just need consistency on these seemingly simple things!    

I’ve created a calendar so that I can keep track of my progress.  Consistency!

As for 2014 in my general life.  I'm going to CHOOSE to be happy.  I'm going to work on getting our emergency monetary fund built back up. Those are the biggies......I have some projects around the house that are on the 'goals to complete' in 2014 also...things like changing the steps from the deck to the patio....creating steps and a landing off the high end of the patio (landing important for latching the hot tub cover...quite important when it's dark and late at night I discovered)......so projects like that.   2014 is going to be MY YEAR!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Get busy Living or Get busy Dying

Christmas is over......that means celebrations are over...at least for me!!!

A small collage of my day. (Emphasis on food...the relaxing in the living room was too boring to take a picture if)

So Chrismas is over......No more snacks at work (they will be there I'm sure but I will not be indulging).  No more continual desserts being made in my kitchen (cookies, cobbler, fried bananas, ice cream, etc etc etc).  I'm not waiting for the new year....it's happening NOW.

I recently read the book I'd like to apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza.   I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical when I picked up the book.  I had actually looked at the book for ages before anteing up the money to buy it. (and only did so when I received a gift certificate...I'm such a cheapskate!)  I'm glad that I finally did pick up the book.  It was an emotional read for me.  The circumstances were a bit different (he was teaching high school and only one class where as I was teaching elementary school and was inundated with children all day long) but his stories and his experience resonated within me.  I was nodding my head along with his memories and experiences.  But even more importantly, for the first time in a long long time I felt the excitement of education and the feelings that had initially drawn me to that profession.   Was it enough to draw me back to teaching?   No....can't say it is at this time...but I will admit that the thought crossed my mind for a fleeting moment.  But as soon as that did, sanity was reclaimed....memories of teaching and knowledge of how schools are run now were enough to return myself to a state of sanity!!

But reading this book made me look deeply at myself.  It made me look deeply at where I stand (ha....as if I don't do that enough in December with the new year upon me and with my birthday year ending) in life.  The teaching thing has stood  in my life as a huge failure for 13 long years.  My ultimate dream growing up was to have a child......I got married and thought that my husband was on board with the same goal and desire...but after marriage his behavior and tone changed and now at forty-one I have to realize that I failed with that dream.  Fail!  My career (if you can even call it that...I have a job...it's not a career) is a big fat FAIL. (yeah, if you knew how much I got paid you'd agree!)  FAIL!!!!   My marriage......it's been a lot of fails.  I've lost the weight once and regained....fail.  I was losing this year..but stopped and actually started regaining....Fail.  Fail...fail...fail...fail.   It has seemed to be a common occurrence in my life.  FAIL!

However, this book by Tony Danza made me realize that picking myself up out of the ashes is where success is.  No, that was not the premise of the book.  But while I was being awed by the return of those idealistic feelings that I thought were gone....I was seeing the common theme that he was trying to push upon the kids in the book.  What was that common thought?   In my words.....basically that life is crappy sometimes.  Face it...it is....heartbreaking sometimes.   But success is  overcoming the adversarial stuff and succeeding in life.  It's continuing in school even when you are raised in an environment where education is not respected and encouraged.  Success is rising form the ashes of my failures and living a happy well adjusted life.  Success is pushing through the bad and coming out on top..successful and happy.  Winning is taking ourselves and using opportunities, experiences and just life and using it to push us to a better future.  If we sit back and allow life.....we will fail.

As if the book wasn't enough to open my eyes.....I stumbled upon a blog.  It was cowritten by a couple in their mid thirties.  They moved cross country....they bought their first house.....they remodeled that dream house...and literally as they moved into their house the husband was diagnosed with cancer.  The blog continued to chronicle their lives...but it also chornicled the two year fight and eventual death (as in he died within the last two days).  It was a heart wrenching read through this blog (and yes, very voyeuristic) but through it all, even as this gal watched her husband die....even while she's crying out her frustrations, she is holding her head up and carrying on...accepting life and being as upbeat as possible.  Makes my problems look minor...and makes me say "if she can go through that with grace and an upbeat attitude.......I can face my life the same way."

I don't know how to not dwell on these things that I deem failure.  It's incredibly difficult to not be saddened when I see my friends having children.  It's incredibly difficult to hold my head up and smile when my husband and I are going through one of our recurring rough spots.  It's HARD.   But in the words of Westley (the Man in Black)  in the Movie Princess Bride said.  'Life is pain, highness.  Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something.'    And I just have to TRY.

I need to CHOOSE to be happy!  I need to CHOSE to live my life to the fullest within the confines that has brought me to this exact place.  I'm here for a reason.  I may not like the results of being overweight (ok, i'm still actually obese) but I'm here for a reason.  I may not like being childless...but for whatever reason....that is how I find myself.  I need to find joy in that state (and my niece and nephews certainly help that cause..they are awesome!).   Accept life for what it is!

And as if those previous eye openers weren't enough....(yeah seriously).  Today I was out running. (Yeah, I went running on Christmas morning) I heard the song Try from Pink......tell me these lyrics are not perfect for me!

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try

You gotta get up and try try try

When I accept life and stop wallowing in the negative....I have a feeling that the weight will be much easier to lose....simple because I will feel like I DESERVE to be thin!

Although, in my mind I DO know that I deserve to be thin not matter what!  So right now.....In the words of  Red...played by Morgan Freeman in the movie Shawshenk Redemption.....IIt's time for me to "gett busy living or get busy dying.'     First thing up....the weight will come off and while I'm doing it....I'm choosing to be HAPPY!

Soooo...I actually made a committment to run a trilogy of 5k's...virtually...it's hosted by DVFfitness.com.  The first was on Thanksgiving....I did the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day.  One down...two to do.  Today is Christmas and that meant number two was upon me.  I got out early.  I was the only person out on the battlefield this morning at 9AM.  It was cold.  I was TEMPTED to cheat and do just two miles.  But I knew that I would only be cheating myself.  I did the WHOLE thing...and then some!  Second 5k of the trilogy done!   One more to go!!!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A simple Greeting

And just remember...it's ONE day.....keep it at one day and move on!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Major decision time

  I weighed in the other day at 228.9.  NOT happy with that number...but that's what it is.  I have two options.  I could throw up my hands...cry, wail and gnash my teeth OR I could accept the number.  Recognize what brought that number about.  Fix the trends that have caused that number and move on.  I'm choosing to move on!

So what are my plans to make that number drop again?  The first and most simple thing is that I am weighing myself everyday.  I have to know.  If I don't weigh myself everyday...then the tendency is to skip my weekly weigh ins.  It's not a conscious decision....it's the fact that I just happen to forget.  Honestly forget.   So when I skip I am clueless and I tend to put my head in the sand.  When my head is in the sand I tend to eat what I want to...skirting the edge of healthy but not quite making it.

What else am I doing?  I"m trying to beef up my water consumption.  I've gotten very lax on my water consumption in the last months.  So I'm working to fix that!

Small steps...the biggies will be arriving shortly!

So the weight this morning 226.8  I'm moving downward!

Friday, December 20, 2013


I don't have much to say today.  I haven't had much to say recently  That usually means one thing........I'm struggling (failing in many cases) with my weight loss efforts.

This time is no different.  I'm struggling big time.  I know that a good part of my problem is mental.  Mentally I'm just not there.  I'm feeling down...I'm feeling a lack of self worth.  I'm struggling.  I sit back and think I'm making progress in healing from things...and then BAM...something hits me and I'm back to being sad.  It can be something as simple as a card in the mail that brings up issues between my husband and I....to a customer bringing in a baby into the bank where I work.  Simple things throw me for a loop.  GAH

So as for my weight.   Right now the biggest change that I'm going to make is that I'm going to start weighing myself daily.  I'm not going to be happy with what I see tomorrow....but I need to see it EVERYDAY.  OTherwise it's a 'far off' /'tomorrow' deal that I don't HAVE to think about....which means that the brownies (the ones in the oven that I can smell right now as they bake) can be eaten with impunity because...well....I have such and such amount of days until I have to face the music of my weight.   That is a start!  The rest will follow...especially since I have some ideas to help me!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bring it On

Christmas is right around the corner....wow....the end of the year is upon us.  

My birthday and the upcoming end of the year caused me to sit back and think and ponder.   Yeah, I did this last year around my birthday also......so is this going to be my new tradition every year?  This year the pondering brought about some depression.  I'll admit it.  It's the same thing.  I sit back and think about where I am.  I can't help but correlate that with where the dreams of a young 20 year old MaryFran had.  I'm not exactly happy with where I am.  Coupled with the issues of this past year and it just hasn't been a good place in my mind.

Last night at zumba I was thinking though.  Yeah, in case you haven't picked up on it....I do some of my best thinking whilst exercising!  Anyway, I was thinking.  And yeah, I can continue to keep my eye out for a better job....something that would actually pay me more than the peanuts that I currently make, but more importantly something that challenges me and makes me excited to go to work. But that is somewhat contingent upon external factors.....the marriage is also contingent upon external factors.  The 'having children' thing is well...I'm pretty sure that that is not going to happen....41 is just kinda old to be starting a family.  So that leaves me back with the weight.......I was doing so good this past year.  I actually reached 40 pounds lost in early July.  And then things went really bad and while I managed to hold onto my weight for a while through the stress in my life....but eventually the weight started creeping back on.  I've regained about 10 pounds.  This is UNACCEPTABLE!   So 2014 is the year that I'm going to totally blast the weight off of my body.  I was talking to my zumba peeps and the instructor after the class.  I mentioned that 2014 I'm going to reach my goal and not let external factors derail me.  Anita (the instructor) smiled and said "the three of us are going to hold you to that and keep you focused!"  I sure hope so because I want the weight GONE!

Meanwhile...this week at zumba my legs have felt like lead weight.  By the end of the class I feel as if I can't even lift my feet off the ground let alone jump. Crazy how some weeks I get into the class and feel light as air and some weeks I go in and drag through it!  I don't let the 'bad classes' derail me...I still push myself.  I still try to jump and move at the highest level possible....but it's hard.

So Christmas is coming...my eating is borderline out of control.  My exercise is so so.  That is NOT going to get me where I want to go.  So tracking begins in earnest.  We are picking up new tennis shoes for Todd today and then hitting up the gym this afternoon.  I'm not going to let this weight win!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A pictures is worth a thousand words

Winni enjoys her crocheted hat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, Todd and I have had a few days off of work. (Saturday through today...Tuesday).  I've been proud of what I've gotten accomplished.  I've crocheted a bit......mostly granny squares (using up random pieces of yarn) but also a crocheted cat hat.

Christmas Cross stitch

                                                               I've finished up a cross stitch project.  I started this cross stitch only a month or two ago...and worked on it mainly at work.  I was surprised I got it done in time for Christmas....but I'm happy that I did.  I'm tired of unfinished projects (and yes...my weight is an unfinished project that I need to rectify!)

We went to my nieces gymnastics meet.  She of course takes after her aunt and was dashingly adorable!
Balance Beam
Uneven Bars

We were planning on having lunch with family  after the gymnastics meet.  However, we left the meet and found about 6 inches of snow on the ground.  The roads were horrible so Todd and I called my father and gave our regrets.  It took us over and hour to make it home (10 miles).  We were home for the rest of the day.  It snowed and we just curled up inside and relaxed.  Here is the last picture that was taken before my age flipped up to the new improved number of 41.
Rosy cheeks after being in the hot tub
Two snowy days during my time off.......My birthday snow.....and an early morning hot tub dip.

December 10 hot tub usage

So if you notice there has been very little mention of food in this blog post.  There is a reason.  I haven't been eating exactly the best.

So you may have noticed that this blog post doesn't mention exercise.  There is a reason.   I haven't been exercising exactly the best.

Birthdays are a time to reflect.  I'm want this birthday to be the last year that I sit on my birthday as an obese person.  I'm done.  I'm tired.  I want it.  I'm willing to work for it.  I'm willing to shed the blood, sweat and tears to get it.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Swimming in Chocolate


225.1  Up.  My eating on Thursday was totally less than stellar.  I had my plans and they went up in flames when life threw some curveballs.  GRRRR  

I was totally determined to be good on Friday  I had great plans.  I had my breakfast...I packed my lunch....I was set!  And then they decided to order out Chinese.  Ohhhhh that sounded so god.  I initially said no. Then I thought about it and I started to waffle on my decision.  And yeah, I ordered sweet and sour chicken.   Surprisingly my calories were still in line when I put in my actual meals.  What threw me over was the darn boxes of chocolate that a customer recently brought us at work.  I nibbled......I'm not going to say how many pieces but I'll say this....it was close to 400-500 calories in chocolate.  Uhhhh not good.

We are heading into a 'vacation period'....four days off.  It's gonna be rough.  I'm not admitting defeat...but I'm just saying it's gonna be difficult!!!!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Completely Nuts & Nonconforming......another try at CNN

Yesterday was a good day.  I woke up and had a healthy breakfast (oatmeal with a banana cooked in with the oatmeal...so tasty) and headed out for a run.  I packed my lunch (a salad) and I knew what dinner was going to be.  I was set for the day.  I had a slight problem when I forgot my banana in my lunch, but it turns out that my salad filled me up and I didn't need the banana.  However, I guess I did not need to replace the missing banana with the truffle that I had at work. (Darn-it, our customers bring us so many yummy things! And it's only going to get worse during the holiday season!).  75 calories and I was OK, still within my planned caloric budget.   The second truffle was probably over the edge....but I wasn't too concerned.  I had run and I also knew I was heading to zumba later in the day.  :-)

So zumba and a run!  My run was an ok run.  My pace was slow and steady but I was out there moving.  It will improve with consistency.

So we all know that when I run I start to think about things.  Sometimes I have some amazing Epiphanies whilst I'm out running.  (Yes, my thoughts are amazing, and don't you dare tell me otherwise!  Leave me to my delusions!)   This morning my thoughts were spurred on by random facebook post that I had read earlier in the morning.  The facebook post was about the CNN triathlon challenge that they do each year...the six pack thingy.  

My thoughts were all over the place.  Way back in December 2011 I applied to be part of the 2012 team.  I had thought of my application and possibly being picked as a 'salvation'.  If I got picked I would be swooped from the world of obese lethargy.   They would fix my woes.   When I wasn't picked I lost my 'chance' and I gave up.  No one was going to save me so I sat on my couch and ate myself into oblivion. Ohhh, I was still giving off the attitude of caring and trying.  However, my spirit was crushed.  It wasn't until about a year later that I realized that they couldn't swoop in and save me.  There is only one person that can save me and that is myself.

After I had thoroughly  chewed over those thoughts the epiphany happened.  Why not try again this year?   This year I wouldn't be looking for a savior to fix me.  I would just be looking for help as I tried to save myself and also looking for assistance as I try to knock a triathlon off my bucket list!   I ran along down the road and I decided to do it.  I gathered my thoughts about what direction I would want my video to go and grabbed Todd and off I went.  My video is raw, unscripted, off the cuff.  I may have rambled a bit.  But you know what.  I don't care.  It's me, it's a wild stab and I can sleep well at night knowing that I didn't waffle on that thought.  I don't want to live my life with regrets...thinking "you know what, I thought about applying but I didn't".

I don't hold out any great hope....but I'll tell you this...I want it.  :)

Monday, December 02, 2013

Down with a Gain

Victory precedes failure.   I was on top of it last week when I weighed myself after Thanksgiving and saw a loss/maintain.  And then life happened.  My binge hasn't been a planned bing, it's simply been circumstances that put food in front of my face....and we all know that I struggle to say no.  Ok, it hasn't been THAT bad, but my weight is definitely up this morning.   I've got until Friday to get it back in line...because I do NOT want to show a gain. 

So my food is planned for the day.  I've got my plan.  I've packed my lunch.  My food is accounted for in myfitnesspal.com.    I have exercise planned.  I know what to do and I'm going to do it!

It's December and I'm making a vow to propel myself 100 miles this month.  I reached the 100 mile mark this way:
    1.  I plan on running three times a week. 2-3 miles each run.  So I figured to count 7 miles a week for running.   That's at least 28 miles for the month.
    2.  That leaves me about 72 miles.  Eighteen miles a week. I'm planning on jumping on the exercise bike.  My bike workds...but the computer doesn't...so I can't get an accurate reading on how many miles.  I'm planning on counting a half hour as 5 miles.  (When it worked I was doing about a 15 miles an hour...so I'm actually probably cutting myself short...but I'd rather error on the side of caution)  Sooooo....about 1 hour and 45 minutes on the exercise bike a week.  I've got that.

So Decembers weekly work out plan.......

*Exercise bike=  at least two hours
*Zumba = two times
*Running =  three times

Everything else (walking, gym, extra zumba) is icing on the cake.

Hold me to it!!!!