Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Taking Back Control


It is no doubt I have lost it these past five months. I believe my last post was even about how I was getting back on track, however, I hadn't. I am not going to apologize that I am not one of those people who can come across clothing I wore a year ago and say they still fit. I am not going to apologize that I really don't like working out or always eating healthy. I will apologize, however, that I have not been the best motivator or “inspiration” to those people who had looked so closely to me for weight loss support and followed my journey the past three years.

School is back in which means routine is back too. I am a person that heavily relies on routine. When routine wavers, so do I. I suppose that is something I need to work on.

Today I joined a Biggest Loser contest at school that runs for 12 weeks. There are 35 of us involved in this contest and it's a really decent prize at the end of the 12 weeks. Good motivation, besides fitting back into my smaller jeans. I'm doing a lot of the same when I was doing Weight Watchers; packing my lunch for the week, heavy on veggie and protein, beginning a workout regime, every day after school, watching alcohol intake, etc. One major difference I've decided to do this time around is not seeing my actual weight.

How weird, right?

I do not want to know what my actual weight is. I want to focus on how I feel. When I was an active Weight Watcher member, I became very obsessive over the number on the scale. When I was doing all the right things, like exercising well and eating perfectly and wouldn’t see a difference in number I did not care that my pants fit better or that I could run farther or faster than the week before. It was all about the number. For me, that was not good. When I finally hit my goal weight at 125lbs, I was happy to hit the number but I was way too thin and did not look attractive to myself. I should not wear a size 0 like I did at 125lbs. I had no hips, a small chest, was just not “womanly.” I’m prideful of my curves and quite honestly, so is my husband. So, this time around I am not looking at the number. My co-worker will weigh me in each week and keep track for me. I’d like to know what I lost in pounds each week but don’t want to focus on hitting a certain weight. I know how my pants should fit and once I’m back into my 4/5’s I don’t care what the number is on the scale only that my pants fit well again.

This is a new approach for me, so I’m anxious to see how it goes. It will be nice having my co-workers doing this with me and some looking at me for support or advice because I have done this before and have still managed to keep a lot of the weight off.

It is time to take control of my body again.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ready or Not

It's been three months since I last posted and a lot has happened in those three months, which hindered my blogging. But I feel I am ready to post and write about it.

Many of you know that my grandparents did a majority of raising me. Not taking anything away from my mother, whom I love so much, but she had me at such a young age that she took support from her parents. I lived with my Grandma and Papa until I got married at 22, with the exception of living with my mom for a few year when she was married to my sister's dad. Although I would typically go back to my grandparent's house on the weekends. Needless to say, I am extremely close with my maternal grandparents.

On March 6th, during 2nd period, I received a text message from my Aunt Teri, asking for me to call her when I get a chance. Luckily, I was on my plan time so I called right away. She informed me that they think Papa had a stroke and not to worry just yet because they were unsure of exactly what had happened at this point. Naturally, I instantly lost it at work. One of my co-workers pulled me into her office to cry and call my husband to tell him that he has to come pick me up and we need to get to the hospital.

Upon arrival to the hospital, my grandma and aunt were the only ones there yet and told us that it was not a stoke but a brain aneurysm. The doctor gave us little hope of survival, saying that only 50% of people make it this far and it only gets worse from here. Unless a miracle was to happen, I was going to lose my Papa. My God how I prayed then that it was just the stroke that I had been told they thought it was first.

I am not going to go into all of the emotional details of that day and the days that follow, but I reminded of how blessed I am to be surrounded by supportive in-laws, friends and even co-workers. I still cannot believe the support I recieved from the school I've only worked at for not even one full school year. I cannot say that I am surprised as to how strong our family is, because I already know that. I don't have a typical family setting, as my brothers and sisters are my aunts and uncles. We choose to spend a lot of our free time together, sharing a meal and/or playing games. We are luckily a big picture taking family. We figured that out when we made the photo boards for Papa's wake. We could have filled 50 boards and still had pictures left over. The running joke was if there was any picture without me and Papa and me sitting on his lap, even at the age of 27. I was Papa's girl and everyone knew it. Hey, my license plate even says it. They say parent's don't play favorites but we all know he was my favorite and I was his.

Changes followed after this. I dropped both of my Weight Watcher meetings that I was leading. I was not the spunky, lively leader at the front of the room and I wasn't sure when I'd get that back. It isn't fair for me to guide people when I myself needed some guiding. I'm not much of a talker or a crier and being around people isn't really what I wanted. So I dropped them both. And to be frank, in the weeks to follow, I cared less about my eating habits and my exercise habits. I could probably stand to lose 10-15 pounds which is what I gained since the beginning of the school year, the most of it since March 7th. I weighed in at 148 this past Monday.

Good changes follow also. I have been thinking about extending our family. I've never much cared to be called "mom" but with the loss my family has had, maybe it's soon time for a gain. That's all I'll say for now.

I've started getting back on track this week. I haven't started tracking my food just yet, but I've begun running again and working out with co-workers after school since we have access to an entire gym. I've been more conscience of what I eat and how much I eat. And drink.

We know that I am not one of those that naturally gets high from exercise and heathly eating. I have poor eating habits when I don't think about them and like most people, exercising blows. I do it because I have to, not because I want to, generally. This is why I relate to most people who struggle with their weight. I'm not even close to perfect. I have to work hard to keep motivated and I'm easily distracted. When stress hits or routine is changed or a huge piece of life is taken away too soon, sometimes relapse follows.

I'm ready to get back on track and live post-Papa. I will still struggle and I will still fall off track once in a while. But with the support around me, I will continue to succeed and I have before.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

To cleanse, or not to cleanse?

I have never done a cleanse before, and quite frankly, at this exact moment, I'm not a huge fan. That's probably because I'm starving and can't do anything about it.

Why I am I doing a cleanse? It's post-holiday season and I ate a lot of foods that I only get once a year. My first holiday season when I began to lose weight, I was very strict and lost weight over the holidays. However, I focused so much on losing weight that I didn't truly enjoy myself while visiting with friends and family. All I thought about was what I can and can't have if I want to lose weight. For the last two holidays, I've been at goal (or around goal) and I've thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn't worry about what I consumed because I knew once the holidays were over, I'd get right back on track with my normal healthy eating. For some reason, I thought doing a cleanse this post-holiday would be something new to jump start me back on my normal path of eating. All I feel like doing right now is consuming a family size pizza in bed while watching a Lifetime movie. And it's only day one.

I found this cleanse on Pinterest and it seemed like a good one because there is actual food involved, it's not just a juice cleanse. Here are the details:

Breakfast:
1 cup skim milk
1 cup berries
1 tsp peanut butter

Snack:
1 cup cucumbers
1 cup green tea

Lunch:
4 oz chicken breast
steamed spinach
2 tsp. EVOO

Snack:
10 asparagus spears
1 cup green tea

Dinner:
Same as lunch

I've only had 5 WW PointsPlus today out of my normal 26. This is giving me a great new appreciation for my typical WW plan and how much food I actually get to eat in a regular day. Today, I feel like I'm dieting, which I've never done before. I really don't know if I can handle 48 hours of this. I'm irritable and losing concentration quite easily. I cannot work out because I have no energy.

I spoke with a good friend of mine about cleanses and she's a pretty clean eater regularly plus has a rare digestive issue that causes her to really have to limit the fruits and vegetables that she consumes. She suggested a Detox Bath that she takes frequently. Instead of the lavender oil shown in the link, she uses ground ginger. I haven't taken this bath yet, but I do plan on it tonight.

I haven't decided if I'm going to finish this up or not. This is just my first go at a cleanse, maybe it's just not the one for me...? I'm not sure. Do all cleanses leave you feeling so deprived? Maybe just getting back into my normal eating routine is what I need to do, and not mess around with calorie-depriving myself. I'm not looking to lose weight, I'm just looking to get healthier foods back in my body. Certainly I don't need a cleanse to do that.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Schaumburg Half Marathon



The day finally came and went. I started a training program 11 weeks ago for the goal I had myself at New Years. I've started this last year, instead of a New Years resolution, I made a New Years goal in which I have all year to accomplish. For 2012, it was the half marathon.

I did really well on the training program for about 7 weeks. I was making all my runs and cross-train days, but I started assistant coaching freshman basketball and that really took over my time after school. My training started to slack because I typically don't get home until after 7:00 pm, by which time we have dinner and it's too dark for me to go running outside. As yesterday approached, I wasn't too concerned. I knew I could finish and I was up to 8.5 miles of non-stop running in my training. Yesterday I made it up to about 9.5 before I took my first walk for about 30 seconds. Overall, I walked less than 1/2 mile throughout the entire 13.1 miles. I was pretty impressed with myself.

I was pumped and ready to go. I was a little nervous on Friday, but Saturday I felt great. Friday night I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought a brand new running outfit. I've wanted compression pants for a long time but didn't want to drop the money on them. I was lucky to find both Nike compression pants and a Nike compression top for only $70 with all the Black Friday sales/coupons. For $70, I had to get both and I'm glad I did. They were the keep warm kind also, which was perfect since it was only 25 degrees during the race. At 9:15 am, off I went. Well, really it was 9:25 am by the time I crossed the starting line. I had set a light goal for myself. I say light goal, because realistically, my goal was to finish a half marathon this year. However, throughout training I was keeping a good pace on long runs at 11:00 min/miles and was hoping to be consistent with that during the race. It's amazing how different it is from short runs. At first I was down on myself for training at such a slow pace for myself when I can run a 5k with a 9-9:30 min/mile. Obviously, keeping pace for 13 miles is much different than 3 miles and I eventually got over it. So, at 11:00 min/miles for 13.1 miles it should have taken 144.1 minutes which is 2 hours and 24 minutes. My official race time was 2 hours and 29 minutes (17 seconds), so about a 11:24 min/mile. I placed 1424 out of 1647 runners, and 115th out of 150 in my age group (Female 25-29). I was a bit on the slower side but I'm okay with that! I did my absolute best and I am sure feeling that today.

Up until around mile 9 I was doing great and felt great. Towards the end, my hip flexors really began to hurt. My aunt had suggested it was because I was taking the same sort of step, or running the same way for so long, so we quickly walked using a long stride and sort of swinging my hips in a different motion to open them up and move them differently. That was the only thing that had bothered me throughout the entire race, but boy was it painful! That was during mile 11 that I finally stretched them out because I wanted to finish strong, which I did. I picked up my pace and sprinted (or at least what felt like sprinting after 2 1/2 hours of running) through the finish line to pick up my finishers medal.

Kristian felt really bad that he couldn't be there to support me, however, in my absentmindedness, I registered for the race during his annual family trip up to deer camp. I was totally okay with it though, he felt worse than he needed too. It worked out well, I took the dogs and stayed at my uncle's house which is a bit closer to the race than where I live. I drove to my co-workers house, which is like 2 miles from the starting line and she and her boyfriend dropped me off and picked me up. It was great! Didn't have to fight parking or anything. I really appreciated that.

What really helped me through was having my Aunt Teri there to help pace me throughout the race. She met me some time between mile 3 and 4 and jumped in to run with me. It was nice to chat with someone while running, it really made the time fly when she left me around mile 6. Then I was on my own again until she met up with me around mile 10. This time, my Uncle Larry was with her too, taking photos. He ran with us a bit, snapping photos but not for very long. He's a bike rider, not a runner. My aunt ran with me just until the finish line where she hopped out and let me finish in all my glory. I'm really glad she was there. Once I started hurting, if I was alone chances are I would have walked more and gotten down on myself, but I didn't. So a big "THANK YOU" to my aunt for being there and running with me.

Photo: Great job on the 1/2 KC!I'm pretty sore today. My hips are okay, but my back, my thighs and the front of my feet hurt. Almost the ankle, but more towards the front, like the tendon that goes to your big toe. It's weird but that's where it hurts.
As I mentioned yesterday to those I was with, I have absolute no desire to run a full marathon. As I was closing in on the finish line yesterday, I told my aunt that there is no way I'd do 26.2 miles. She reminded me that I'd only be half way done. No way! I am proud of my 13.1 miles. If you ever hear me mentioning that I want to run a full marathon, please direct me to this blog post so I can remember the half marathon.





Friday, September 28, 2012

Half Marathon Training

I have been epically failing at blogging lately. My new job has me so tied up, in a good way, that I'm barely on the computer for personal use anymore. I absolutely love my new career as a high school teacher and am thrilled that all the people I work with are super supportive in helping me adapt. After four years of not working, this is definitely a breath of fresh air. I love getting involved and meeting new people. There is just something about walking down the hallway and hearing a student yell over people "Hi Mrs. Jagow!!" I am a lucky, lucky girl to have not only one job that I love and get to help people but TWO, between school and Weight Watchers.

In a post from the beginning of the year, I made it my new years resolution to run a half marathon. I am not a summer runner, in fact, I'm quite a sissy to the heat. On September 10th, I started training for a half marathon I am running on November 24th. It's an 11 week training program and here is where I am so far.



Week 1:
Monday: 3 m (33:33)(11:07)
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3 m (34:13)(11:23)
Thursday: 3 m (33:05)(11:00)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 m (38:39)(9:35)
Sunday: 90 minute Bikram Yoga class

Week 2:
Monday: 3 m (31:19)(10:23)
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: (31:04)(10:18) Later in the evening I started to feel under the weather.
Thursday: 3 m (30:55)(10:17) Sick
Friday: 5 m (54:45) Sick. Didn't care how long it took as long as I finished and got in the miles.
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Fighting a nasty cold...took an extra rest day on cross train day.

Week 3:
Monday: 4 m (47:57)(11:57) Day I felt the worst. Again, just wanted to get in the miles and not skip a run.
Tuesday: Rest. Thank God.
Wednesday: 3 m (29:33)(9:50) First day I started feeling better. Obviously.
Thursday: 3 m (29:26)(9:48)
(Today) Friday: Rest
Saturday: Will complete 6 m run
Sunday: Cross - Likely a Bikram Yoga class.

Week 3 was really tough. I've been running inside on a treadmill since my cold hasn't fully gone away. It's a little easier on the respiratory system inside rather than outdoors which it's a bit cooler. Hopefully next week I can get back outside. Treadmill running is so boring, although since I'm running at school it is nice to have other people around while I'm running. My overall times are getting better, but I'm struggling to find a good pace that I can keep for 13.1 miles. If I make a goal of 120 minutes that would be a 9:16 mile. That seems like an unobtainable goal right now. Although, I think I can do better than 150 minutes which would average an 11:45 mile. Somewhere in between two and two and a half hours would be acceptable to me. It's my first half marathon and a really just want to finish. Any pace I have would be a personal best since it's my first one!

I recently purchased new running shoes and I love them!


They are the new Nike Vomero 7's and I hadn't realized how old my previous ones were. It was like getting new tires for your car. It was so much more comfortable! I also got a pair of inserts because I hadn't realized how high of arches I have. What a difference! Although yesterday I forgot socks and now I have some awesome blisters.

I'm pretty excited to continue training and increase my running endurance. It's almost time to start thinking about a new years resolution for 2013!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Post-Vacation


Last week, my husband and I decided, relatively last minute, to take a trip. I say relatively last minute because while we had planned for this time off we didn't really know where we were headed to. We were trying to decide between Memphis, New Orleans or Cabo. His first choice was New Orleans and my first choice was Memphis. Naturally, Memphis it was! We were off to celebrate his 31st birthday and my last week before the school year starts for first year teachers. Not to mention - we hadn't been on a vacation together since our honeymoon in Fiji almost 4 years ago!


Hello Beale Street!
My intentions were good. I packed us a bag of goodies for the 8 hour car ride to Tennessee, full of all my yummy Weight Watchers snacks.
First stop we made - Casey's General Store - for Slim Jim's and Apple Fritters, of course.

Whoops. 

We stopped in Sikeston, Missouri at Lambert's Cafe for lunch. It's a cute country restaurant that is known for their "Throwed Rolls" - literally - the roll guy comes out of the kitchen with hot rolls and throws them right to you. Put your hands up and you've shortly after got a hot roll nestled in between them.
Hot Buns!



Once we got to our hotel, which was facing Beale Street - we unpacked, rested a bit and then started our long weekend of living it up in the night life.

View from hotel - Beale Street - and right below is Silky O'Sullivans. That was our "go-to" place.
Each day started with lunch someplace, then a nap, followed by setting out for dinner around 6pm and returned back to the hotel sometimes between 3am-5am the next morning. I'll say, for 31, Kristian can sure hang with the best of them!

Because Beale Street is closed off and open containers are allowed we had a lot of these 32oz "Big Ass Beer" cups.    And one of these Hurricane drinks from Silky's ^
<------I even got a little bit more crazy and got a 100oz WalkMeDown drink from an outside bar.   
 At any rate, the food and drinks were plentiful. No surprise.
So much fun!

By Saturday afternoon, my body was hating me for what I had been doing to it for the past few days. Trying all these new foods and few drinks I'd consumed. Our hotel had a workout room - so I utilized that and ran on the treadmill for about 4.5 miles in addition to all the walking were were doing already. It reminded me how much I hate treadmills, but I knew I had to kick up my activity. Luckily, I have my awesome ActiveLink device that let's me know where my activity is for the day in relation to my activity goals.
Goodness I love this device!

 Once I got home and plugged it into the computer to see all my fancy graphs of activity, I found out I AVERAGED 102% of my daily goal!

Today was the dreaded weigh-in day. It's always stressful to weigh-in after a gluttonous vacation. I was curious to weigh-in on Sunday after we got back home but I knew it wouldn't be an accurate depiction of my actual weight so I waited until my regular weigh-in day of Wednesday morning.

To my surprise - I lost 1.7lbs over vacation.

WHA!?

It was the perfect mixture of extra activity and eating I suppose. This vacation was already guilt-free because I told myself before we left, "it's okay if I gain a little weight". I think it is very important to set that goal for yourself before you leave for vacation. What is your objective? Is it okay to gain a little weight because it's vacation and you know you will get right back on track once you get home? Do you just want to maintain your weight? Or do you want to lose? And what happens if you don't hit that objective or it isn't realistic? I knew I hadn't been on vacation in quite a while so gaining was okay for me, however, I still kept up with regular exercise and much more was added on since we walked everywhere and danced every night while we were out enjoying the live blues music.

This post would have taken a slightly difference direction had I gained over vacation - but it still would have been positive and I would still have been accountable for what I ate and drank. It was my choice and now I'm right back on track to my regular eating habits.





Monday, June 18, 2012

Warrior Dash!




This past Saturday was the Warrior Dash. I have been looking forward to this event since I registered in December for it. That's a long time to wait! This event is pretty epic. I am still ridiculously sore from it and I like to think I am in good shape. I used so many muscles that I did not even know I had. For those who don't know about the Warrior Dash, here is what is to expect...

The Warrior Dash is a 5k, but not an ordinary 5k where you run the entire thing. I can run a 5k in about 28 minutes, when in competitive mode. It took our group between 48-50 minutes to complete this 5k. It is full of obstacles, roughly 12-17 different kinds. There was a tight rope walk over what I think was a dried up stream, rock climbing walls, vertical and horizontal cargo net climbs, lots of crawling in/through dirt tunnels and under barbed wire, jumping over rusted out cars, sliding down mudslides into pools of mud, giant hills to run up and at the end, before wading in a small pond of mud, we leapt over two rows of fire. It was intense. Much more so than I had anticipated. You definitely have to be in some kind of shape to do this. There was a lot of jumping off obstacles. Kudos to my Aunt Teri, who recently had back AND knee surgery and she still completed it like nothing. It was amazing to see someone who just a few months ago was in a knee and back brace from surgery, jumping and climbing and crawling through these obstacles. She's a warrior, no doubt!

Aunt Teri and I before the race!
If you didn't take some caution throughout this race, you could seriously injure yourself. Two of the six of us in our group were bleeding by the end, and my knee is scratched up pretty good. We all survived to brag about it though, and we are getting pumped up for next year’s Warrior Dash! The obstacles change each year, my group said that last year there were different ones and about half of what there was this year, so I anticipate next year’s course! 


This is our group before and then after. The best is that Carrie, Maggie and Steve all wore white shirts and clearly you can see how dirty they are!

At one point, I think I had more mud in my mouth that actually on my body!
After the race, there was someone at the finish line giving out the medals. This was the first event that I've earned a medal! Yay! 

After the race, we hung out for a while at the festival that follows for a while. It was hot and I ended up getting pretty toasty! Once I got home, the first thing I did was shower. Twice! After the first shower, I was drying myself off and noticed there was STILL mud on me! So I hopped back in and re-washed again! After the second one, I was good to go. I drove over to my aunt’s house where we proceeded to  nice little restaurant, Brio, for appetizers and martinis and then met my uncle a little later at Adelle’s for dinner and more martinis. My aunt and I know how to treat ourselves after an event like that! 



I am still working on my Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week 6 Pack challenge. I just finished week 2 and wrote out my schedule for week 3 this morning. I hadn’t planned to take yesterday as a rest day, but I had too and after I woke up this morning, I decided I had to take today also. In the DVD, there is A LOT of upper bodywork and my upper body is still quite sore from Saturday. It is no big deal, I’ll just do the DVD workout Tuesday through Saturday and I’ll still be on track. Sunday, I’m going to the Pride parade in Boystown, so I know I’ll get plenty of walking anyway. Even on my schedules days off last week, which were Tuesday and Saturday, I got lots of activity in. Tuesday we went to see the Conan O’Brien taping and in between getting our tickets and the show starting, we walked at least 6-7 miles. And Saturday, obviously, was the Warrior Dash.
It has been an extremely active week for me and I’m looking forward to a calmer week this week. At least I came out of it a WARRIOR!