Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year... What Was I Thinking?

Yeah, yeah... I know what I was thinking.  I was thinking that 2019 is my year to continue to get active and continue on my journey to better health.

So what did I do? I went with my family (and an extra kiddo) and did the Atlanta Track Club's Resolution Run. (It was rainy, so not many photos... but there are a few at the end of this post.)

Now don't get all excited. I didn't run. I walked. Slowly.

It took me an hour and two minutes to walk this 5K. My pace was roughly a 20-minute mile.

But here's what is so exciting to me. In November, we were in Florida and we did the Cocoa Beach Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The race course was flat. No climbs. Today's race course was NOT flat. LOL  But compare my time.

Even with the hills, my time was consistent. I think if there were no hills my time would have improved. I can't wait to attack even more 5Ks in the future and see how my time improves with more weight loss and more training. I honestly haven't trained.

So, what's next?

I'm signed up to do a 5K in February called the Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K. I'm doing the 5K. My friend who is doing it with us says she wants to run it. I'm not sure I'm up to running it in a month and a half... but OK... we'll see how that goes.

I'm planning to do the AJC Peachtree Road Race in July. It's a 10K... and it's huge.

In August I'm planning on doing the Rugged Maniac with some friends. It's a 5K obstacle course race.

In November, I'll do another Turkey Trot wherever we are.

I'm well on my way to my goal of 8 races in 2019... length of 5K or more. I'm ready and eager to reach these goals. Happy Healthy and Fit New Year!!!!

Me and my Mini-Me... I call her C.

C and her friend, whose name also starts with a C.
We call them C-Squared.

Me and C-Squared


Silly C... I have no idea what she's doing here. She was cutting up with her friend.

We ordered the tee in a 2X... it's a little big on me now. 
Note to self - order race tees in an XL (for now).

First Race Tee of 2019

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Year and All That

It's almost here... ready or not, right??

I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions because I've usually already broken every single one before January 5th.  Who's with me?

But I've been thinking about some goals for the new year. Things to work on. Goals are different from resolutions, in my humble opinion. Goals are things you strive for. It may take a while to get there, but you keep working toward your goals.

Resolutions are like goals, but it seems like once we have an "oops" we completely throw out the whole dang thing and give up. So many times I've said something like, "I'm going to give up soda." And then I drink a soda. Well.. I broke that one. Might as well keel enjoying my Coca Cola.

Maybe that's just me, though. I really need to work on my mindset, huh?

So anyway.

Goals. Resolutions. Whatever you want to call them.

Have you made any?

I've been contemplating what goals I should set for myself in 2019. I think we should all have some goals that we are working toward, whether it be goals for the new year or just goals you set out to achieve randomly throughout the year.

So here ya go.  My goals, so far. I'm sure I'll add to them. I might even modify them. But here's what I've got.

1. Daily devotional time... read my Bible more... time in prayer. I seriously feel the need and the desire to grow closer to God. I find myself getting up in the morning and going immediately to social media. My goal for 2019 is to focus more on Him than my Facebook timeline.

2. Reach a healthy weight. I don't know what that number is yet. My surgeon, my PCP, my dietician, and I will have to decide this together. I don't ever remember being under 180 pounds or a size 14 in my adult life, and even then I thought I was huge. So I honestly don't have a clue what that number will be.

3. Get more active. Specifically... 8 races over the next 12 months (and walks/jogs/runs with the family to prepare for these events)... they have to be at least 5K in distance. I have a few planned so far. Resolution Run (5K)  in January, Hot Chocolate 5K (not up for the 15K this year) in February, Peachtree Road Race (10K) in July, Rugged Maniac (5K obstacle course) in August, and a Turkey Trot (5K) in November. 

4. Exercise at home at least 5 days per week. Specifically... videos I have. DDP Yoga and Body Groove are two that I have and keep saying I'm going to do. 2019 is my year to start them. Right after everything gets back to normal and the hubby and kids go back to work/school. I don't want an audience. I'm still too self-conscious for that. ***On a side note... why is it I can go to a gym and do a workout class with a bunch of other people and not feel as self-conscious as I do if I were to workout at home with people in the house?

5. Pay off bills. Maybe get to a point where I can actually start saving money instead of everything going toward debt.

So far that's all I've got. I'm sure there will be other goals along the way. Goals that aren't really relevant right now, but that may present themselves throughout the year.

Friday, December 28, 2018

How Do People Do It? (And some really yummy chili, too!)

So I decided to pop in here and maybe do a little blog post since I knew it had been a minute since I'd last done so. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my last entry was almost two years ago? I mean, 22 months is close enough to say "almost two years," right?

How do people keep up with blogs? I, apparently, suck at this. Two years? Geez!!

So, what's been going on with me over the last almost two years? I'm so glad you asked.

Yeah, I've been on diets.. but there's a whole lot more to tell. Want the Reader's Digest version?

Here goes.

Feb 2017 I ended up having to leave my 17-year teaching career due to health issues... I suddenly couldn't walk into my classroom without having a panic attack. On top of that, major depression hit me hard. This all started in Sept 2016, but by Feb 2017 I had to officially walk away.

March 2017 I took a temp job making a whole lot less, but I wasn't having daily panic attacks. That's a bonus!

Rest of the year... work, diet, work, forget about diet, work, diet.... you get the idea. Not a whole lot to talk about.

Dec 2017 I was offered a permanent position with my company.

Jan 2018 I officially started with my new company and making a little bit more money, but still not what I was making teaching. Bummer on that, but it's a good job... and I'm not having daily panic attacks still. No complaints at all from me!

March 2018 Since I started my new job, I was able to pick up my own medical insurance. My husband's insurance is good, but the insurance I was able to pick up covers something my husband's doesn't. Weight Loss Surgery. Yep. I did it. On March 15th I started the process to get WLS. My starting weight was 317 pounds.

July 2018  The 18th, to be exact, I had a procedure called the duodenal switch. Best decision ever! I lost 20 pounds during the pre-op clearances and MD supervised nutrition/physical activiity monitoring, so the day of surgery I was 297 pounds.

December 2018 This morning I weighed in at 225.6 pounds. I am down roughly 92 pounds overall, 72 of that since surgery. I feel so much better. I was a size 26/28 when I started this journey. Now, depending on the clothing, I'm wearing either 14/16 or 18/20.

So, there ya go! The last two years in a (really big) nutshell.

Now, I want to share with you a recipe that I made a whole heck of a lot during my pre-op phase. I ate it almost daily. I'm going to be making up a big ol' batch of it this weekend... I call it "Tricia's Chili." I mean, hey... why not? Also, I'm not really original with names.

I don't really know where I got the recipe. I kinda adapted it from some other recipes I found online. I make it two different ways... one way with all ground beef and Ro-Tel tomatoes, and another way with ground beef and bulk sausage, but with diced tomatoes. I'll share both.

Tricia’s Chili

·        2 lbs of ground beef... I use 1 lb ground beef & 1 lb of Jimmy Dean Hot sausage
·        Garlic salt, to taste
·        2 cloves garlic, chopped
·        2 tbsp olive oil
·        1 ½ cups onion, diced (about 1 large onion)
·        ½ cup chopped celery, about 1 stalk
·        1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and diced (about 4 medium carrots)
·        3 bell pepper, diced  – 1 each red, yellow, orange
·        4 cups zucchini, diced (about 2-3 medium zucchinis)
·        1 15oz can tomato sauce
·        1 15oz can diced tomatoes
·        3 tbsp chili powder
·        2 tsp ground cumin
·        1 tbsp oregano
·        1 tbsp basil
·        1 tsp sage
·        ½ - 1 tsp salt, to taste
·        1 tsp pepper
·        1 tsp onion powder
·        ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like)
·        Chicken broth (or broth of choice)

1.     Season meat with garlic salt and cook beef until browned. Drain. Set aside.
2.     Add oil and garlic to skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, and then add onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and seasonings to skillet. Cook until translucent over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Be sure to mix well so that seasonings coat the veggies.

3.     Add the meat, tomato sauce, and tomatoes and stir well. Add broth to desired liquid level. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir for another 20 minutes.  Stir every few minutes. I often cook longer to get the veggies good and tender.

     Version 2...  here are the ingredients... instructions are the same as above..

·        2 pounds of ground beef, 93% lean
·        Garlic salt, to taste
·        2 cloves garlic, chopped
·        2 tbsp olive oil
·        1 ½ cups onion, diced (about 1 large onion)
·        1 cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks
·        1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and diced (about 4 medium carrots)
·        3 bell pepper, diced  – 1 each red, yellow, orange
·        4 cups zucchini, diced (about 2-3 medium zucchinis)
·        1 15oz can tomato sauce
·        2 10oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes
·        3 tbsp chili powder
·        2 tsp ground cumin
·        1 tbsp oregano
·        1 tbsp basil
·        1 tsp sage
·        ½ - 1 tsp salt, to taste
·        1 tsp pepper
·        1 tsp onion powder
·        ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like)
·         2 cups Chicken broth (or broth of choice)


Sorry I don't have any better photos... I don't usually do the recipe thing. I'll try to do better. LOL

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Starting Again... and Again... and Again...

I find myself here often. Starting over. Always starting over. Why am I always at this place? Why do I start personal things, but rarely see them through to completion? What is my problem? If I knew the answer to those questions, maybe it wouldn't be February 27, 2017 with me not only not at any of the goals I've set for myself over the years, but actually even farther from every single one I've ever set.

It seems that every time I set goals, the challenges or obstacles in my way are greater and bigger than before. I guess that's what happens when you don't follow through and just going down that destructive path. My destructive path is called "Unhealthy Eating." It runs parallel and often crosses paths with "Sedentary Lifestyle." That path is often known as "Won't Get Off My Butt."

These paths are easy, to some degree. And the path seems kinda appealing and fun, too. See, it's easy to run through a drive-thru. It's easy to throw some chicken in the slow cooker with butter, cream of chicken soup, broth, and noodles. I mean, what's not appealing about some fattening comfort food? Plus the ingredients are usually cheap. That's great for my family to eat on a budget. And this business about it being fun? Well, playing on the iPad all day is pretty fun. Sitting in my chair. The iPad propped up on my belly so I don't even have to use any energy to hold it. (Can't get much lazier than that, can I?)

So,  here I am. I have no idea what I weigh. I haven't stepped on the scale in ages. Guess I'll be doing that tomorrow. I do know that my clothes are either shrinking in the dryer, or I'm expanding. I'm pretty sure I know which one it is. My body aches. Anyone's body would ache if it were carrying around this much extra fat. I'm tired a lot.

There's more I'll share, but not today. Today I'm just focusing on the diet and exercise. I'm going to get used to moving my body again. I'm starting with DDP Yoga tomorrow morning. I'm not planning on making huge dietary changes other than to focus on limiting the junk and replacing it with good. I'm not going to follow any specific diet plan right now other than just deciding if the food is going to move me closer to my goal or farther away. That's it. I'm going to take things slowly. I want to really think about my goals and decide what's realistic and important to me. Then, I'll put them in writing. Right now, the only goal is positive changes.

More to come later.

~ ~ Tricia ~ ~

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lose weight without dieting?


How? I mean, seriously. How do people do it? I've heard people say they just ate healthy and cut the junk. They don't weigh or measure their food. They just eat right and exercise. But how?

I've been carb-cycling for four weeks now. For the most part, I love it. I honestly do. But I measure and weigh everything. I'm constantly worrying about calories. I don't understand how you can lose weight simply by just eating right.

Or am I just scared to try? My whole life I've heard you have to count calories or points. I've been given a calorie target or points range. Always. The only times I've not been told to have been when I've tried Atkins or South Beach. Those were pretty restrictive, though. There were some major limitations on foods you could eat. Even now, with carb-cycling my calorie target is 1200 on low-carb days, and on high-carb days it's 1500.

I love the foods I'm eating now. It's much "cleaner" than I've ever eaten before. My daily diet (as in the foods I consume, not a plan I'm following) consists of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, Greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond milk. I do have the occasional "treat" on my reward days or special events. I'm eating healthy. I'm not eating frozen "diet" meals. The thing I can't get away from is measuring and weighing. I can't look at a portion of meat and say that looks about the size of my palm, so it must be a serving. I'm too scared to try that.

I guess I'm just rambling. This really isn't a motivational post. It's me griping. It's me dealing with the fact that I don't want to have to work so hard to lose this weight. It's not the hard work I mind, it's constantly thinking about it. I have a friend who runs a very successful coaching program where she and her business partner (who I haven't personally met, but know online) teach people wanting to shed weight and get healthy and fit how to do it. Maybe I should think seriously about saving the money to join their program. If for nothing else, to help me learn to stop obsessing about food and calories. I feel like that's all I do now is talk about my diet (again, how I eat, not something I'm on) and its restrictions. Every function I bring it up. I don't want to be that person who others look at and always think is "on a diet."

I'm OK. I'm not giving up. I'm not having a pity-party. I'm just saying what's on my mind. I'm going to keep on keeping on. I'm going to get this excess weight off my body.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Do I dare?

Oh my gosh. Yes, I'm typing this just after midnight. I think I just decided on a goal, and it scares the daylights out of me.

Yeah... that. Running. Well, for me more walking right now. I am seriously considering a 5K a month. Part of me gets really excited about this idea, but the other part of me wants to hide in a closet. I am terrified I won't be able to finish. Or that I will finish last (highly likely). I'm afraid I'll be embarrassed.

I'm afraid.

And that's why I have to do it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Move It!

That's right. Move it! I mean, exercise. Ugh. That's like a super-sized four letter word, right?

Yeah. I know. When you've been sedentary for so long, it's hard to find the motivation to exercise, and then you've got to deal with the pain and discomfort of putting your body into positions and situations it's just not accustomed to. I feel your pain.

No... really I do.

I don't love exercise. Maybe one day I will. But at just under 280 pounds, I am not a fan of it. But, I'm a big fan of what it does for my body and how it makes me feel.

Let's explore. Why do I exercise? Why should you? Now, I'm no trainer. I hold no degree in exercise science. I hold no certifications. But I will tell you just a few reasons why I'm choosing to get over the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment (yes, I do feel embarrassed at my size an inability when I walk into the gym and do my thing around bodies that are more fit and able than mine) of physical activity.

1. When I'm done, I actually feel good. I don't know if it's endorphins or some happy hormone that released, but when I walk out of the gym I feel good. I certainly walk out differently than I walk in. If you can get in the door, that's a major part of the battle right there.

2. I feel proud. Yeah, I "loaded up" my bar with the smallest weights they have (but I put two on each end, thankyouverymuch), but I made it through the entire BodyPump class with just a few minor modifications. Like tricep dips. I'm just not there yet. But I know how to modify them on the step, so that's what I do.

3. I push myself more than I normally would. Today, I rode a stationary bike that looked much like the one pictured above. I rode five miles. At the first mile, it took me just over 5 minutes. I decided I would do two miles, but try to reduce my time and finish the second mile in less than 10 minutes. I missed it by about 20 seconds, so on the third mile I said I wanted to make it under 15 minutes. I got really close. At that point I was getting worn out, but I kept promising myself I'd get under an average of a 5-minute-mile on this blasted thing. So, I said to myself I was going to go five miles. The last mile was hard, but kept pushing. I was literally talking to myself. "OK, you're in your subdivision." Then, "OK, you've made it to the soccer field. Just have to go around it." I was proud to finish up five miles at 24:22. I make promises to myself when I exercise and push myself to not only meet that promise, but as I surpass each little goal I make a new one. I push myself just a little farther. I don't typically do that. This is new territory for me.

4. Yes, I'm sore. My husband just shakes his head and smiles as I hobble about the house. But you know, it's proof that I'm alive. It's proof that I'm working my body. I'm using my muscles as God intended. I'm working on this temple that I've let get completely destroyed by fat. I will have no regrets because I could have exercise and chose to sit on my rump instead.

5. It makes me feel sexy*. Yep, you read that right. Sexy. My husband calls me Sexy, and he has done so for years. He has never known me thin. Ever. He met me overweight, and he continues to love me obese. To him, I'm sexy. But I've never felt it. But when I exercise, (oh please don't laugh) I want to strut around in all my sexiness. OK, laugh. It is pretty funny. But it's true. I feel sexy after I've worked out. That right there feels really, really good. Even though I know what I look like, I still feel sexy.

So, there you have it. Five reasons why I exercise. If you don't exercise, give it a shot. Figure out the personal benefits for yourself. Your reasons may be totally different than mine. That's OK. Really. But seriously, find something you enjoy and get moving. It's worth it. And please, someone remind me of this post when I stumble and just don't feel like doing it. I have to motivate myself every day to get up and do it, even though I know how I'll feel after. I'm still holding out hope that one day it'll get easier. But, I'm gonna keep plugging along and doing it.

*Note: My husband also makes me feel sexy and strong... just not the same way exercise does.