Who Is This Person?

Back in January I was having a conversation with the mobster. He told me he was thinking of starting this program called C25K. Having done this program years ago I jumped at the chance to train with him and get back into running.

We began in mid January. We ran three days a week and started off with a whole 60 seconds of jogging at a time alternating with 90 seconds of walking. By week four I was cussing up a storm and feeling completely defeated. I couldn’t even manage the 3 minutes/5 minutes/3 minutes/5 minutes intervals, never mind the whole “run 20 minutes without stopping.” Each week I kept trying and I kept failing. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to run 3 miles again.

In late February/early March I finally caved and downloaded the MyFitness Pal app. I hated it! Three whole days of torture where I was always hungry. But the mobster had been following it for 6 weeks and had lost more than 20 pounds at that time. I didn’t want to be the fat woman to his skinny man and really hated the idea of weighing more than my boyfriend so I knew I was going to have to do something. I was at my heaviest weight ever; I hated seeing myself in pictures because I knew I needed to lose weight. I downloaded a carb manager app and started watching my carb intake, limiting myself to no more than 30 net carbs a day. I made great progress in the beginning but then along came a few frustrating weeks where it seemed like nothing was budging. Fantasies of cheeseburgers, biscuits and gravy, chocolate cake, chips and salsa, and Chinese food filled my head.

For probably a year the mobster has been pointing out how bad diet soda is for me. My son has voiced concerns over me drinking it, letting me know I really need to give it up. I would agree and yet continue to drink 1-3 diet Cokes a day even as I read those articles entitled, “What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Diet Soda?” Nothing good, I can tell you that much.

Today, May 17th, I am still running. I am now able to run over an hour at a time. I’ve run 5 miles without stopping. I even have been getting up at 6 in the morning to run before work. Who would have ever thought that would happen? I was dead set against that one, let me tell ya! Now? I don’t necessarily like getting up early but I love the fact that I’m done with it before I even go to work. I’m also deliberately seeking out hills to run UP. Never would have seen that one coming.  AND I have bought some elastic bands, a set of 3 lb. hand weights, and 2 kettle bells with the intentions of doing some at home workouts on the days I don’t run so that I can build more muscle. Plus, I started taking the stairs at work. I was only using them at the end of the day instead of taking the elevator, but Friday I used them for both breaks and lunch. I went down those stairs and then when it was time to come back I went UP those stairs. Three times down and back up, and a fourth trip downstairs at the end of the day. I work on the eighth floor.

I did not give into those food fantasies. I was so good, in fact, that on Mother’s Day I made biscuits and gravy for everyone and then turned around and made myself a bacon and cheese omelet. While everyone else had Chinese food from one of my favorite Chinese restaurants I had an Atkins bar. The other night for my Mom’s birthday we went to Olive Garden. Unbeknownst to me they were only serving a limited menu so instead of having the salmon I had their salad. I lost 2.8 pounds this week despite all of those temptations and have lost a total of 30 pounds now. I’m roughly back to where I’ve remained ever since I gave birth to Picasso almost 18 years ago. It’s not a good weight for me; I still want to lose a lot more, but at least I’m back to that point instead of being 30 pounds heavier. My fat pants are falling off of me and I actually got out a pair of pants I hadn’t worn in 2 years and wore those to work on Friday. My old jeans are fitting. I’ll be breaking out the summer clothes soon and I’ll see if I can once again fit into my older summer clothes; I had to buy a whole new wardrobe last summer because almost nothing fit me anymore.

I have not had a diet Coke or any type of soda since May 3rd. I’m still going strong. Still drinking lots of water flavored with Crystal Light. Sometimes it is just water. As I said before I don’t know that I will never drink another diet Coke again. Maybe I will. I just won’t have one today.

I’m a whiner. I will admit that. I throw fits, gnash my teeth, complain endlessly, and then I do what I need to do. It floors me sometimes that I have stuck with changing my exercise habits for 4 months now. I am amazed that 3 months ago I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to run 3 miles and now I do that before I go to work. I even run 4-5 miles on occasion. I’m looking to expand my routine to include weights. I’m doing it.

I feel the same kind of amazement when I look back on my weight loss journey, seeing the first big milestone passed and now working towards the second. I’m doing all of those things I complained about- I’m giving up foods I love, cooking separate meals, skipping the pasta or the potatoes while everyone else enjoys them. There are weeks that I struggle, mainly when I don’t see much progress, but overall I pack my little low carb lunch and get on with it.

Even giving up diet Coke for now hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I thought I would be having major withdrawals but I haven’t. I had a moment yesterday where I thought I really wanted one, but I didn’t have one and the feeling passed.

All of this causes me to wonder, “Who is this person?” Then I realize it’s me.


That’s how far I’m running now. 4.5 miles. Last time I discussed this I was running a full hour. Surprisingly my time has not changed much. It took me an hour and 5 minutes the first time I did it, an hour and 3 minutes the next time, and today it took an hour and 1 minute.

Today was my first day strapping on my Hoka One One brand running shoes. The mobster swears by them. I’ve been making due with my Skechers and Filas up until today. I did cut about a minute and a half off of my time so maybe they’re working.

I think I’m going to stay at this 4.5 mile mark for a while. I am seriously dying after about 50 minutes. Today as I ran the last half mile I was saying out loud, “OMG! I think I’m going to die!” Thankfully no one was outside. That would have been embarrassing. 45-50 minutes is probably my sweet spot. I feel like I can run that amount of time fairly effortlessly. I suppose it’s good that I’m challenging myself. Push just a little further. But I’m pushed about as far as I can go right now. I’m sticking with 4.5 miles for a little while longer and then maybe in another week or so I’ll add on a half mile.

Honestly though? I don’t want to spend hours 3 days a week running. By the time I warm up, run an hour, and then walk back home I can easily be out for 90 minutes. On top of a full workday? Does not leave a lot of time.

Thankfully I do feel like I’m recovering more quickly after these runs. Right after running I would be so exhausted; I could barely climb the stairs. Once I sat down I was down for the count and found it difficult to move. I used to feel it the next day; I was so sore and stiff. Today I was climbing stairs pretty easily and I’ve had plenty of energy. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and if I’m stiff as a board after a good night’s sleep.

I dropped to second place at work on the Weight Loss challenge last week. I’m still in the top three though, and the top three “losers” split half the pot so I’m fine with being #3. I prefer #1, of course. I keep hoping the others will lose their drive and I’ll emerge victoriously.

Normally results are posted Friday afternoon; unfortunately that wasn’t done this past week so I have no idea what the results are. I’ll probably find out on Monday whether or not I’ve reclaimed my #1 spot or if I’m still in the top 3.

I do know that I have lost approximately 23 pounds since I stepped on the mobster’s scales back in February. I wasn’t doing anything back then; since I began the weight loss challenge it’s more like 22 pounds.

I’m still finding food to be an issue. This was so much easier when I was staying at home and could eat when I wanted and what I wanted. I’m sticking with it so that’s good, but I’m finding it a pain in the ass.

We got Chili’s to go tonight and my mom got the chips and salsa. Oh my God! I love their chips and salsa. I could make a meal out of their chips and salsa. Alas, I cannot have chips and salsa.

Oh, I know; I know. I’m supposed to phrase it as, “I don’t eat chips and salsa.” That’s supposed to be empowering. It’s not that I can’t eat it; I choose not to. Which is a bunch of bullshit because if I could eat it and still lose weight I would!

Anyway, I did not indulge. I stayed away from them although I did give them several longing glances before she took them downstairs out of my sight. Instead I made do with my side salad that somehow had 6 grams of carbohydrates even without the damn croutons and the shrimp fajitas, minus the tortillas and with way too many peppers and onions. Now I’m sitting here full but not fully satisfied either.

Here’s my other dilemma, and it’s probably the biggest one. Rationally, I know I did not put on the weight overnight, and therefore I will not take it off overnight. Rationally, I know I am doing an incredible job. Seriously, I see everyone posting memes reminding each other to try on your jeans every now and then to make sure they still fit after weeks of lounging around inside the house and wearing pajamas all day; I’m wearing a pair of jeans today that were too tight a few months ago. My fat pants are almost too big for me and the other two pair of pants I broke down and bought are both loose on me. Rationally, I know you have to start somewhere and you keep building on that success (or loss, as it may be in this case). No matter how much you want to lose you have to start with that first pound. I get all of that.

Yet, right after I’m done patting myself on the back for continuing to lose and celebrating 23 freaking pounds gone, I’m sighing heavily and telling myself, “I don’t know why you’re so happy; you’re still fat.”

I still have a double chin. I still can’t wear cute, form fitting clothes. I’m still not going to be dressing up in lingerie any time soon. I’m pretty sure I still can’t wear my original work clothes. I’m still not down to the weight I was when I was on the divorce diet. I still haven’t achieved my first big goal. And I still weigh more than the mobster.

Don’t worry. I keep going and I do applaud my efforts. Most of the time I try to ignore that critical voice. As I said above I do know that you’ve got to take it one step at a time. I can’t lose 50 pounds without first losing 10, and then 20. I’ve broken it down into little pieces. I mark my achievements at each level. I have lots of little goals along the way.

The mobster keeps asking me what my ultimate goal is and I’m still not sure. Right now I think it’s somewhere between 130 and 140 pounds. Some days though I think to myself, “That’s not enough! You’re not even 5’4. You should be down around 120 pounds.” Then I think, “Are you fucking crazy? I haven’t been 120 pounds since college! Maybe since high school. You’re insane!” Other days I think, “150 sounds good. I could be good with that.” Really, I’m just winging it. I may get to 150 pounds and think, “Wow- you’re still a fat ass. You need to lose another 20 or 30 pounds.” Then again, I may get to 150 pounds and say, “Yep, this is as good as it’s gonna get.” Or, I could get to 150, 160 and decide I’m not going to lose anymore; I’ll just maintain for a little while. After a month or so I’ll take it up again and attempt to lose the last however many pounds.

Right now I’m trying to focus on the positives. I’m running 4.5 freaking miles! I can run an entire hour without stopping. It’s not taking me as long to recover. I’ve lost 23 pounds. I can wear jeans I haven’t been able to wear in a while. My fat pants are almost too big. I’m doing this.

P.S. I call one pair of my new pants my fat pants because of this. When I could no longer comfortably wear my old work clothes I went out and bought 3 new pairs of pants. With the brand I normally buy I can wear a size smaller than what I normally take but with the weight gain I was wearing the size I normally take! I found 2 pairs of pants that were that size. I wanted a third pair but the only other ones they had were the next size up. Those are my fat pants. At one point, my fat pants were tight! Now, there are times I have to keep pulling them up because they’re falling off of me.

One Hour

I ran a full hour on Sunday. 4.23 miles. I’ve been doing 45 minutes. I don’t know why I decided to up it. Something to do, I suppose. It really puts a damper on your night though when you run on a work day.

I got home around 5:30, changed my clothes, and I was outside walking to warm up around a little after 6. I ran for an hour and then walked the rest of the way home, which took me about 20 minutes. By the time I got home, showered, and put the shrimp in the toaster oven it was almost 8:00!

Tuesday was unseasonably warm for us. I think it was in the 70s when I went running. I did another hour, which I probably shouldn’t have seeing as how this was my first time running in warmer weather. I think this one was only 4.21 miles. I didn’t care. I was exhausted. Those last five minutes took forever! LOL

Here’s a funny thing: I’m actually kind of enjoying it and looking forward to it. I mean, on one hand, it eats up a huge chunk of my evening. And I’m always worried that I’m not going to make it the full time. It’s like this weight that hangs over me. Will I be able to do it again? Will I wuss out? On the other hand when I’m out there running, especially when I’ve gone 30 or 35 minutes, I keep telling myself, “Just think… 2 months ago you couldn’t even run 20 minutes at a time. Now you’re up to 45 minutes (or an hour)!”

It’s a lot like the first time when my running partner and I had finally conquered the 3 miles and we would talk about how running for 90 seconds used to be a challenge.

I’m out there. I’m doing it. I mostly like it. It’s leading to good things… I think…

Mini rant: People, for the love of God, research which side of the street you’re supposed to be on! I have so many people walking towards me because they’re on the wrong damn side. You walk/run into traffic. Or against it. However you’d like to phrase it. In other words, you should see the cars coming towards you! I even Googled it because I couldn’t believe so many people were doing it wrong. I thought maybe I had it wrong. I didn’t.

I think I almost prefer running on crappy weather days. Not as many people. On those nice days you’ve got everyone out since no one is allowed outside except for exercise. Families. Strollers. Dog walkers. Kids on bikes. It’s a zoo sometimes. But you run when it’s 40 degrees out or there’s the slightest bit of rain? Pretty dead.

I’m still doing the low carb thing. I have not yet found my sweet spot. Some days I have a hard boiled egg. Other days I take an Atkins bar. Before that if I didn’t have time for breakfast I would eat my carefully counted out 24 almonds. If I get up early enough I can do frozen sausage patties and fried or scrambled eggs. I really like to sleep as much as possible though. Plus, I end up with 8 grams of carbs for breakfast so if I add on those almonds as a mid-morning snack I’m up to 12 carbs before lunch.

It’s really hard with all the precautions they’re taking to bring any kind of salad that I would bring from home. I prefer to bring everything individually and put it together as one giant salad at work. For now, lunch varies. A lot of string cheese. I’ve been doing deli meat rollups. I’ll throw a pickle in. Some sugar free Jell-O. Sometimes I have tuna fish salad. Sometimes I have cottage cheese.

Dinner is typically a meat and a vegetable. I’ve been eating a lot of asparagus. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s out of season.

It seems like it was a lot easier when I did this the first time around. I was a stay at home mom. I could pull out my George Foreman grill and grill up a thin ribeye or sauté some shrimp in garlic butter. I remember making cheese quesadillas quite often. I also seem to remember being full and satisfied a lot more back then as well.

Don’t get me wrong. When I’m done eating I feel full. It’s just that I generally am not thinking, “Wow! That was really good!” I’m one of those people who needs to enjoy my food, not merely tolerate it. Plus, there are times I will feel full, stuffed even, and then 2 or 3 hours later I’m hungry again. It’s a challenge for sure, especially being downtown and around tempting food all the time.

I am actually at the top of the leaderboard for our weight loss challenge. I’ve lost 7+% of my body weight. My total still stands at 16.8 pounds. Unfortunately, I have not budged from that since Friday.

It is so hard to focus on the here and now instead of looking towards the future and how far I still have to go. I know many “experts” say it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. I myself know I didn’t put it all on overnight so it’s not going to come off overnight. Yet it’s disheartening when I realize even with what I’ve lost I’m still not back down to where I was after the divorce diet. I’m not sure I’m even down to where I was before the divorce diet. Maybe.

Oh well. I’ve just gotta keep going. I have small goals all along the way. Still haven’t settled on an ultimate goal. The stupid BMI says I should weigh no more than 130 pounds. Aside from the fact that it will take me over a year to get there I haven’t been under 130 since college. I don’t see that ever happening again.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.