A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Bumpy in the middle, but a strong finish!

This was an interesting week. Thanks to stressing out about the rheumatology appointment (update on that here), I missed out on Tuesday and Thursday’s workouts – speed work and a tempo run. My mind was just not in the right place was those workouts. It was mentally hard to get myself back out there on Friday and yet as soon as I did, A) I felt like I’d won even though that Friday run wasn’t the prettiest and B) I remembered that running is what has made me feel the best during this whole process. The longer I went without running this week, the more tired and achy I felt. After getting back to running, I have more energy during the day and get several hours in which I don’t notice my hands as much. Yay for endorphins!

So what did the week end up looking like?

Workouts

Monday 3 easy recovery miles – I really do love this post-long run outing and it was the thing I was most worried about with this 6-day-a-week plan.

Tuesday Nothing – I’d planned on speed work on the treadmill after work, but after about noon my brain just got so jumpy with worry about the rheumatology appointment that I couldn’t imagine getting through a 3 X 0.5 mile speed workout.

Wednesday A rest day and my run-i-versary. I felt bad not running on this day because it’s a big one for me, but by the time I got through with the doctor’s visit and talking things through with my family, it was too late to get anything in.

Thursday I just felt exhausted and couldn’t get going to get my tempo run done, as much as I wanted to. I think this was when I really realized how much running regularly was helping my energy level this summer and countering the autoimmune fatigue. Two days without running and I was just so TIRED.

Friday I MADE myself get out and run on Friday for 3 easy miles and am glad I did, even if they were slow (13ish minute miles) and painful. My NSV this week is definitely getting myself back out there, even if it took every bit of OOMPH I had. My shins and calves were really sore, which is unusual for me, but I got it done. Given the shin/calf pain, I did a lot of rolling on Friday night.

Saturday I had the Peak 2 Peak 10 mile run and was pleasantly surprised by how well it went, given the way the week had been up to this point. I had no thought of repeating last year’s performance (10:41/mile pace) but ended up with sub-12 minute miles and my fastest long run in MONTHS. I’ll have a full report later this week! I also did foam rolling Saturday morning and night, which helped tremendously.

Cute medal this year!

Cute medal this year!

Sunday I switched the usual Saturday-Sunday runs this week since I had a 10 mile race planned for Saturday. That meant I ran four miles post long run rather than my usual 3 and it went surprisingly well! My total pace was around 13:10, a smidge faster than my post-long-run run has been in weeks past and felt good overall. I also did strength training and yoga on Sunday afternoon, so I at least got some of those in. I tend to do yoga in the hall Sunday evening while Darrell and O are handling his bathtime so I can keep them company. πŸ™‚

Technically, I ran 4.25 miles because O wanted to race me up and down the block a couple of times after I finished my run.

Technically, I ran 4.25 miles because O wanted to race me up and down the block a couple of times after I finished my run.

This week, I’m grateful for my health insurance. Between O and I this year, we’ve definitely used it! My good deed this week was hanging out after my race to cheer for the last finishers – such a little thing and yet worth it for the smiles. πŸ™‚

Even with two missed runs, I finished the week with 20 miles, so that’s not too shabby. I’ve got an 11 mile run this week, just in time for temps to creep back up to the 90s, ugh. I know these are our last gasps of summer, so I’ll survive.

I’m joining Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap-up. Thanks for hosting!

weekly wrap up

I hope everyone has a good week! Summer is almost over – is that a good thing or a bad thing for you?

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My first time with Bulu Box

This month, I got the chance to review the Bulu Box program through Sweat Pink (I was given the box for free to review, but opinions are my own as always). While I’ve tried a subscription box of snacks before (Graze, thanks to one of those coupons in some magazine for a free trial), this is the first time I’ve tried something that focused more on vitamins and supplements. I’m not a huge supplement person, but I’m also someone who HATES spending the money on a vitamin or other supplement and then realizing it didn’t work out for some reason. You can waste a ton of money! In addition to my arthritis meds and a vitamin D supplement, I take a multivitamin and a flaxseed oil supplement for the omegas. I can’t tell you how many bottles of vitamins or fish oil that I’ve thrown out because I couldn’t stand the taste! Thus, I was pleased to see that two of my samples to try were a multivitamin and a omega supplement.

My box of goodies, along with a postcard describing everything in the box.

My box of goodies, along with a postcard describing everything in the box.

So far, I’ve tried the Ovega-3, which is a vegan, algae-based omega supplement. It has absolutely zero aftertaste and didn’t upset my stomach, so I’d definitely pick up a full size of that after I finish my current supply of flaxseed! I also tried the Martha Stewart vegetarian multivitamins. They’re chewy and taste okay – not too sweet or artificial, not too medicine-y. I didn’t have reflux or “re-taste” them over and over like I do a lot of vitamins, which is a perk. The nutritionΒ  panel is pretty much the same as my current Flintstones with the exception of the added “vegetable” extracts – a whopping 17 mcg. I confess, you made me laugh there Martha. πŸ™‚ I got a whole bottle of these, so I’ve had a whole week to really test them out and see how they worked for me. That’s definitely a nice thing – with a lot of trial offers, you really don’t get enough of the product to tell anything about it.

The other thing I did get a large enough sample of to make a definite NO decision on were the FunnBar protein chews. They were like Starburst in appearance but the taste – not my thing. I’ll take my protein in a powder or string cheese, thanks. On the plus side, at least I tried them here rather than paying for a lot of them because I saw them at the store and got intrigued, which a perk of this kind of sample box. If you’re interested in getting more protein into your day, this is definitely a delivery mechanism I hadn’t thought of before.

It is a super cheerful box to see in your mail!

It is a super cheerful box to see in your mail!

With the Bulu Box program, you choose either the traditional box or weight loss box (I was a little put off by the fact that all of the photos on the site were more geared towards to the weight loss and seemed very “too good to be true-back of the magazine ad” quality). You can do a month-to-month subscription or a 3, 6 or 12 month plan, with a slight discount on your monthly cost if you do the 12 month plan. It’s $10/month for the month-to-month, 3 and 6 month subscriptions. That price is reasonable given the amount of stuff you get in the box (4-5 items). It might be a fun thing to check out every once in a while or to gift to a friend more interested in supplements than I am. You can also complete surveys about the products and get credit to use towards purchasing full size items down the road, which is a nice perk. With each kit, there’s a card that includes the price for full sizes of any product you’re interested in, which makes it quick and easy to see if you’re interested in buying something you’ve tried.

If you’re interested in trying Bulu box, take advantage of the SweatPink discount code: SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription on BuluBox.com.

Have you ever tried a subscription box? Which ones did you like?

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Friday Favorites: Lots of running thoughts!

At the halfway point in half marathon training, it makes sense that I’d have a lot of running articles tagged this week for further review. Of course, a lot of these things I’d tagged before I found myself sidelined by mental monkeys thanks to the rheumatology visit this week. I’ve suddenly found myself on my fourth morning in a row without a run and I need to get my mojo back to get back out there! I know running is the thing that makes me feel the best right now, so reading these things will hopefully get me back on track. After all, even if I don’t have a particular time goal, I do still have two half marathons to run this fall!

Brief pause for what is making me happy today: My secretary got me wrist supports for both of my offices and it already feels better to type this morning. :)

Brief pause for what is making me happy today: My secretary got me wrist supports for both of my offices and it already feels better to type this morning. πŸ™‚

First up is this post from Hungry Runner Girl about the importance of easy runs. I’m finding this to be especially true with my current 6 day a week training plan. The only way I’ll keep up this level of running is if I keep the recovery runs EASY. No matter how good I may feel with the unexpectedly early cool fall-like weather we got in spurts this time of year, I shouldn’t push it on those days! My goal for today is to get out for three of these don’t-push-it-miles, just to get moving again.

Adrienne Martini’s posts over on Another Mother Runner are always a highlight of the week for me. A little while ago, she wrote about the stubbornness of runners and it really stuck with me. Why on earth would we get out in the misery of summer to run and run hard as we train for fall races? Are we a little nuts? Do we need to prove something to ourselves? Or are we just stubborn to consider NOT doing it? I think it’s probably a mix of all three and that’s perfectly okay with me. What’s particularly funny to me is how it has rubbed off on my husband too, even though he’s not a runner. This morning I told him I was debating whether or not we should even go to the Des Moines half marathon since I wasn’t going to be looking for a PR like I’d originally wanted for that course this year and he looked at me like I was insane. “Why wouldn’t we go? Of course you’ll still run it.” Love that man. πŸ™‚

Active.com posted a slideshow this week of 10 things runners should never do. I’m always curious about those, because I’m usually guilty of at least one thing on the list for these things. This week, I’m particularly appreciative of the advice about not following a training plan that is uncompromising and getting enough rest. This summer has definitely driven those home for me! Today I’m trying to look at the last three days as a much needed rest break, just because it has been an overwhelming week, rather than a complete derailment of my training plan. Speaking rest, also check out this post on the importance of sleep for runners and tips for how to get more zzz’s in your life.

In follow up to the post I mentioned last week about body shaming from the lovely Carla Birnberg, here’s a guest post she shared from one of her readers about the skinny shaming side of the spectrum. A) I LOVE that she gave a voice to other side of this so nicely and that this reflects the strength on the online community in having these discussions and B) Really, let’s all just not talk about people’s bodies. πŸ™‚ Unless we’re talking about Thor. Because, really, Thor.

This weekend, I have the Peak 2 Peak 10 mile run (so I’ll finally get some miles in this week!) and no other big plans other than marveling at the fact that we’re already at the end of August! Naturally, next week will be back up to the 90s, just in time for my 11 mile training run (grumble grumble).

Poll the audience question of the day: Since I missed this week’s tempo and speed work runs, should I do those next week or just move forward to the next runs on the schedule? I have the same tempo run planned this week as next – 2 miles, so that’s not an issue. The question is do I go forward with 3 X 1 mile (at “strength” pace, so not quite as fast as the speedwork) or do speedwork? I’m leaning toward the 3 X 1 mile and just see how it goes, but confess that could be because speedwork is scarier πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend everyone! Stay safe if you’re in Tropical Storm Erika’s path!

 

 

 

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An update after the rheumatologist . . .

Thanks to all of your for your kind words and thoughts yesterday. Things went fairly well at the rheumatologist’s office. I got to laugh at myself answering the question “Have you fallen in the last year?” on the intake form – Of course! But that has everything to do with me being a klutz and not the arthritis. πŸ™‚

Thankfully, they didn't make me wear a gown.

Thankfully, they didn’t make me wear a gown.

I also got to laugh myself when I got rescued by the nurses before I accidentally walked into the wrong room returning from a restroom break. I didn’t faint when I saw the number on the scale (although that scale stinks – there’s no way that number was right). All good things.

Most importantly, I got some information. They think I’m on the lupus spectrum (and spent a while talking about how we don’t really have a good test for lupus so it is hard to ever say anything more definitive than that unless you have biopsy proven kidney disease – gotta love academic types! Totally speaking my language!) but I’m on the milder end. As he put it, this will be annoying but I’ll probably die from something else. Good, right?

I got major kudos from the fellow (a doctor training to be a rheumatologist) for being a very good historian and she laughed a little as she asked me what other symptoms I’d blamed on the stress of my job and being a mom. It turns out, a lot of little things that have been going on this year like fatigue, hair loss and mouth sores are actually lupus symptoms, not just getting old and stressed. My husband was especially excited because my super cold hands are likely part of this too. They seriously radiate cold lately – we just assumed it was the weight loss.

The part I found most intriguing is that they think my lymph node back in November that got me admitted was actually the first big flare of this, a rare phenomena called Kikuchi syndrome. Gotta love being rare and special right? That episode has always bothered me because it was so odd. I’m sort of relieved to know that there’s an explanation for it.

So what are we doing about all of this? First and most importantly, I feel a lot of relief just KNOWING. Knowing I’m not nuts and knowing that there’s a name for what has been going on. That means we can treat it and who knows how I’m going to feel once we start that? I’ve assumed that being tired and achy was just getting old. I’m only 37 – that’s not old, it turns out. Maybe I’ll get to feel a little younger again. That would be lovely. At this point, I’d settle for the arthritis settling down. Everything else I can handle.

They’ve put me on medication, which I will likely take for the rest of my life. That’s okay. It’ll take a couple of months to see if it works or we need to try something else, so this will be a definite test of my patience. In the meantime, I’ll keep taking the arthritis medication I’ve been on. I need to work a lot harder at drinking water while I’m on the arthritis meds as they can have kidney side effects, especially if I get dehydrated running.

I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

I get to keep running! Even more importantly, they WANT me to keep running because it will help. I’ll confess that when I first thought this was rheumatoid arthritis, a HUGE worry was that I wouldn’t be able to run as much if at all because that can be much more joint destructive. I’ll also keep my focus on healthy foods. I need to work on getting more sleep and managing stress better. Looks like the yoga and meditation that are always on the back burner of things I need to work on incorporating in my life need to come to the forefront. Today I read this article on SparkPeople about “8 ways to put yourself on your priority list” that I definitely need to start actively working on.

 

Sunscreen is also going to be key. Not only can I get weird lesions from sun exposure (already have some of those this summer unfortunately), but the sun exposure can trigger my other disease symptoms.

All in all, I’ll be okay. I have a plan and can move forward. I’m fortunate in that some of the most well-respected rheumatologists in the country are here in Omaha at the University. I’m in very good hands. For my whole little family, this has made us pause and both appreciate what we have and re-evaluate how well we’re doing in taking care of what we have. I’m so blessed and have to remember that.

This also means I’m not going to set any time goals for my remaining races this year. I don’t want to stress myself out and beat myself over failing to meet time goals in my races (well, really the Des Moines half marathon – the only race I had a real time goal for in the remainder of this year) when my body is clearly doing other things these days. I still want to stick with my training plan – although in full disclosure I was NOT in the mental space to speed work Tuesday evening because I was stressed about the doctor’s visit and didn’t do my tempo run today because Oliver asked me to stay in to talk with him instead of running in the storm. I think getting through this training plan with its increased mileage is going to be good for my sanity and its own kind of achievement this year, as this is a lot more running than I’ve ever done in a training cycle. However, I’m going to treat my race as a victory lap to celebrate getting through a rough summer and the fact that I’m hopefully feeling better if the meds have kicked in by then.

I apparently make stellar scrambled eggs :) He was right about staying in instead of running - the hail started a few minutes after I took this photo!

I apparently make stellar scrambled eggs πŸ™‚ He was right about staying in instead of running – the hail started a few minutes after I took this photo!

Thanks to all of you for your support and your kindness! Having this community has been really helpful as I’ve struggled with these symptoms and the binge-temptations brought on by the stress I’ve had this summer. You guys rock!

PS This is all just my experience, not medical advice. Definitely seek out medical care if you having any concerning symptoms of your own!

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Good thoughts today please!

I don’t have much to contribute today because my brain is a little distracted by my rheumatology appointment coming up this afternoon. There’s lots of worry and anger swirling right now, so any good vibes you can spare to keep me even keeled will be much appreciated. I know it will all be fine. I just need to keep repeating that to myself. πŸ™‚ I’m not even sure what I want – a diagnosis so I don’t feel crazy, even if that diagnosis is something that I’ll deal with for the rest of my life? To be told I’m just getting old? Or that I’m crazy? Or that it’s really something even more problematic than the autoimmune diagnosis I’m expecting? What I’m dreading most, actually, is the very real possibility of “we don’t know but let’s watch and wait” (and draw gallons of blood of course). Waiting is not my strong suit. I’m much more into “doing.”

When O heard me on the phone setting things up with rheumatology, he got his doctor stuff out so he could make me better. What a sweetheart!

When O heard me on the phone setting things up with rheumatology, he got his doctor stuff out so he could make me better. What a sweetheart!

It’s never fair for people to get sick – it just happens. And people are much more sick than I am, so I’m lucky. And being healthy makes it all easier to bear – the fact that I got healthy doesn’t make it especially unfair that I might be sick or mean that I got “cheated.” Can you tell I’m doing a lot of self-talk today?

Really, I need you guys to come with me throughout the day to keep me from eating everything in sight so that all of this angst will just get washed away in the oblivion of food and a binge that leaves me feeling worse than I do now. I don’t miss the disgust that came with binge eating, but right about now I miss that all-too-brief oblivion I got before the disgust sank in.

It will be okay.

Before I got too distracted, I was going to write about advice for a friend who is about to become a Weight Watcher leader, so why don’t we distract ourselves with that. What would you like in a weight loss leader? We’ll put together a bunch of advice for her and I’ll share it in a post with you guys and her next week. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the good vibes, as always.

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Tuesdays on the Run: Running Bras

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is Running Bras, something literally near and dear to this mother runner’s heart. πŸ™‚ Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and April for hosting!

Tuesdays-on-the-run1

I have tried a lot of different bras to find something that would be truly supportive for my 36D girls and the Moving Comfort Women’s Juno Bra (link here, just FYI – no perk for me) is the one that works best for me. It minimizes bounce and doesn’t chafe or cause those weird little dots of bruising on my shoulders. It also does enough separating to keep me from getting chafing under/between the girls unless it’s uber-sweaty, which is nice.

Pic from Amazon - Mine are all black, not this lovely purple

Pic from Amazon – Mine are all black, not this lovely purple

One disadvantage of being larger is that I have to pay a lot more to get something supportive and they usually aren’t nearly as cute as the smaller cup sizes. It’s worth it in terms of support though. Any time I buy a cheaper, cuter bra, I regret it when I end up with black eyes from the bouncing. πŸ™‚ Maybe not literal black eyes, but definitely an urge to run with my arms over my chest! It takes a lot of trial and error to determine what is going to work for your particular body type.

  • Try it on in the store before you bring it home and bounce around a little. For many bras, I can tell immediately that they aren’t nearly supportive enough for me in the dressing room.
  • If anything rubs or feels uncomfortable in the dressing room, it’ll probably be amplified on the run – be wary!
  • Only buy one of any particular style at a time until you’re SURE it works for you. Some problems don’t become apparent until you’ve worn them a while, so you don’t want to invest a fortune only to find out it doesn’t work!

At this point in life, I know I can’t rely on reviews online or in running magazines. It turns out, sports bras are a very personal thing – we all have our own particular quirks. I used to get all excited because other D cup women would rave about a bra only to find out it doesn’t work at all for me so now I stick with what I know works for me. Definitely try things out yourself before you invest too much by buying a bunch of bras other people recommend! That being said, now that I have something I like, I’m okay with spending the money. I can save in other places – I’m going to invest in a good bra and shoes because they make running a thousand times more bearable. I do lots of laundry so I can get by with fewer bras. πŸ™‚ I’m envious of people who can get more than wearing out of a sports bra! I’m super sweaty so that doesn’t really work for me unfortunately.

Really, as much as I spend on these I should follow April’s advice about lingerie bags and line drying – definitely make sure you guys do that!

What’s your must-have, don’t-compromise piece of running equipment? Be sure to check out the link up for everyone else’s advice and tips on running bras!

 

 

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Weekly WrapUp: Miles creeping up!

This week, my mileage totaled 26.7 miles, which is more miles than I’ve gotten in a single week in any of my prior half marathon training cycles and I’ve still got two months to go! No wonder I’m hungrier than usual. πŸ™‚ Other than the hungries, I’m still holding up fairly well. My knees and feet are a little achy, but that may be the arthritis. My cranky left hip/glute is behaving nicely (knock on wood) as is the Achilles I tweaked in the spring, so the yoga and gradual increase in miles are working well together. I definitely should get back on board the foam rolling train and confess that I whiffed a bit on strength training this week (some occasional body weight exercises thrown in but nothing dedicated), but overall things are going well. I’m joining Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap-up. Thanks for hosting!

weekly wrap up

Workouts

Monday Easy 3 mile recovery run – I’m still amazed at how much I enjoy these runs. In my other training cycles, the day post long run has been a rest day. It turns out,Β  a slow easy run is nice too! This is always my slowest run of the week (usually 13:30-14 / pace) but it feels good to move again.

Tuesday Speed work: 3 X 0.5 mile at 10:00/mile pace – I was worried after last week’s workout that I wouldn’t be able to hang in for this one but I totally rocked it! I covered the display of the treadmill with my towel so I couldn’t watch it count down and set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes. I just kept moving until the timer buzzed and then checked the display to see if it was time to stop. It worked like a charm! I think it also helped that I a) didn’t drink a soda on the way to the gym (FAIL last week) and b) took some Tums before the run. I have a little gastritis from the arthritis meds and speed work really ups the stomach irritation unfortunately. 4 miles total for this workout, with warm up and cool down.

Wednesday Rest!

Thursday I was supposed to do a tempo run, but couldn’t get myself moving (like I talked about in my confessions here) so I did 3.1 miles easy run instead, plus another 1.2 miles walking to the library to return some books. I also did squats and lunges while I cooked dinner and planks before bed.

Friday I got the tempo run in Friday on a gorgeous morning. This week called for two tempo miles and like before, I used my anticipated race intervals to see if I could hit race paces and it worked: mile 1-11:15, mile 2-11:03. 4 miles total, with warm up and cool down thrown in.

I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise after my tempo run!

I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise after my tempo run!

Saturday 3.6 easy miles (well, easy-ish – runs should not start at 10:45 am in August)

Darrell & I did a locked-room mystery game for date night Saturday - I highly recommend it! (And yes, we figured it out!)

Darrell & I did a locked-room mystery game for date night Saturday – I highly recommend it! (And yes, we figured it out!)

Sunday Long run time: I convinced Darrell and Oliver to take me to the park for a change of scenery and logged 9 miles. Thanks to the cooler weather, they were all around 12:30ish pace, which is speedier than my prior long runs. I also got in some yoga and planks in the afternoon.

The park was hopping with lots of people out running, walking and biking on such a gorgeous day!

The park was hopping with lots of people out running, walking and biking on such a gorgeous day!

All in all, a pretty good week. My good deed this week was donating Gatorade to our high school football team at their pre-season scrimmage. O had little interest in the game once he realized he wasn’t allowed to get out there and play. πŸ™‚

I’m grateful for this spell of weirdly cool August weather. Not to make anyone too jealous, but I had to wear a long sleeved shrug on my easy run this morning because I was chilly.

I thought I'd eventually warm up and take this off, but I really didn't. I love this weather!

I thought I’d eventually warm up and take this off, but I really didn’t. I love this weather!

My NSV is wearing pants on Sunday for the first time in ages. (Whew! They fit!) Also, I talked to the friend that triggered the whole “Outing myself as a binge eater” episode earlier this summer and didn’t binge even though I’d been dreading that conversation all week. It went reasonably well and now it’s mostly resolved, but it was not a conversation I’d looked forward to.

This week, I’m essentially repeating last week’s workouts with the exception of upping the long run to 10 miles and the other weekend run to 4 miles, instead of 3-4. I’ll be doing the 10 miles at the Peak 2 Peak 10 mile race, which will be fun. I loved that race last year and still consider it one of my most successful race efforts. I don’t have nearly as lofty goals this year for this race and will likely treat it as a training run, but I’ll still get a medal which is lovely.

Do you ever treat races as training runs? I like the idea of not having to worry about water (although I still may carry my own, depending on weather) or where exactly to map out the ten miles and the applause at the finish is alwaysΒ  nice, even I am near the back of the pack.

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Friday Favorites: Wine & Dine Medals Revealed!

Today RunDisney revealed the new Wine & Dine medals on their Facebook page:

Photo from RunDisney, Facebook, Brian Gehrig

Photo from RunDisney, Facebook, Brian Gehrig

It’s so exciting to think that in less than 80 days, my little family will get all 3 of these! I can’t wait to show Oliver tonight. My little runner is going to be very excited. πŸ™‚

Check out that speed!

Check out that speed!

I’ve got a handful of things that I found interesting this week that I thought I’d share, with a lot of body image theming.

First up, I love that Melissa McCarthy is taking on the whole concept of plus size clothing. It’s so frustrating how difficult it is to find clothing you want to wear when you’re over a size 12 or so, and yet that’s where a huge chunk of the buying public lives! It makes no sense. Good for her for speaking up! I’m very tempted to buy something from her line to support the whole concept (even though I don’t really need new clothes right now!).

Carla is half the fabulous #WYCWYC duo I’ve told you’ve guys about before and recently posted something on her personal blog that I’ve been thinking about for DAYS on skinny shaming. It’s amazing when anything sticks in this scattered mom brain for that long. πŸ™‚ Her post reflects a frequent conversation I see online, whenever someone talks about fat shaming or body confidence or similar topics – amidst the many overweight women chiming in with their experiences are a handful of thinner women commenting and complaining about their own experiences with comments about their size. I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t really be commenting on other people’s size at all – it has very little to do with who they are and you can’t tell anything substantive about someone just by looking at their body type. So yes, commenting on someone’s body because they’re thin is no more fair than commenting on someone because they’re overweight. It can be harmful, particularly for those with body dysmorphia or eating disorders. However, if I’m being honest, that’s really intellectual agreement and not the same level of empathy I have for fat shaming because having been on the receiving of both comments (not that I’m remotely skinny), the fat shaming hurt more for me. My personal experiences just make the fat shaming resonate more, so I was really curious to read Carla’s thoughts as someone who has experienced it from the “skinny” side of the coin. It’s an interesting conversation – be sure to check out the comments – and brings up some thoughts on privilege and the line between shaming and discrimination that have rolled around in my mind for a while now. I wish we could all focus on the positive things our bodies DO rather than what we look like, but since we don’t live in that perfect world, is there a difference between skinny and fat shaming? Does the one side positively or negatively impact the other? I think it’s an important conversation to have and wish I’d been in that room at Fitbloggin’ to hear how that panel discussion went.

For a look at the positive things our bodies can do, check out Kelly’s 10 Things I Love About Finally Losing the Weight post. Don’t wait until you’ve lost weight to celebrate these things about yourself! Taking notice of things along the way that you can do now or how you feel now that you’re making positive changes in your life, whether you’ve lost all of the weight you want to lose or any weight at all can be so empowering and motivating. Most of the things on Kelly’s list are things you can probably see in yourself right now, no matter where you are, if you take the time to notice. Celebrate the fact that you started! Notice how much better you feel already! Don’t wait until your “after” to make this list for yourself.

One last thing you should check out: Shelley, at My Journey to Fit, is one of my favorite voices because she’s always so honest and open about what her decisions in weight maintenance look like. She doesn’t seem to let it consume her, and yet there are clearly lots of small decisions you make to keep on the right path. She talks about some of those decisions here and I particularly like the idea of limiting things like french fries to a certain number of occasions rather than saying you’ll take just one (because really, when is it ever “just one”?). Definitely check it out (and also this week’s Friday Mishmash, which gave me lots of laughs as a former Texan who would get frustrated by the fall things showing up in catalogs this time of year!)

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Tonight, we’re taking O to a high school football scrimmage – it’ll be his first game! Darrell and I also have plans this weekend to do one of those locked-room-escape things on date night. Here’s hoping we make it out!

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Random confessions :)

Today is a day full of random confessions for you all.

I confess that I woke up at 5:20, got ready to run, ate breakfast and then decided to hang out on the sofa instead with a magazine and a cup of coffee. That workout will have to wait for evening!

At least I was reading a running magazine - that counts, right?

At least I was reading a running magazine – that counts, right?

I confess I was feeling successful in being caught up on laundry and dishes (a huge win!) until I opened the washer and realized I hadn’t checked O’s laundry basket closely before I tossed it all in there. Two pull ups in that load. Giant mess everywhere. Ugh. “I won’t do it again Mama.” Thank goodness he’s cute.

My heart just sank when I opened the door and saw this white stuff EVERYWHERE!

My heart just sank when I opened the door and saw this white stuff EVERYWHERE!

I confess that I have not done a single plank or foam rolling session in a week. So much for that goal this month – time to get back on it!

I confess that I haven’t worn actual pants since I got back from Italy, not because it’s summer and dresses are cooler, but because I’m worried my pants don’t actually fit comfortably anymore. With the cooler temps we’re having already, the moment of truth is coming sooner than I’d like.

Thank goodness I have loads of dresses! They're very forgiving for weight changes.

Thank goodness I have loads of dresses! They’re very forgiving for weight changes.

I confess that I am currently starving. I blame the increase in mileage with this training plan! Wowza! Thank goodness for a well packed snack bag. πŸ™‚

I confess that it makes me smile to find safety pins all over my house and my car because it’s a little reminder of how much my lifestyle has changed (as I register for yet another race this morning – the Omaha Great Pumpkin Run – for O and I to do together!).

It is sort of handy to always have an emergency safety pin readily available.

It is sort of handy to always have an emergency safety pin readily available.

What do you have to confess this morning? Anybody want to volunteer to clean my washing machine? πŸ™‚

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Much needed perspective

I saw my primary care physician a little while ago to start figuring out what was going on with my arthritis and while I was there, I definitely winced at the number that came up on the scale (182). Yes, that was mid-morning and a different scale and my naked at home weight is probably what it has been all summer – 178-179ish, but it still stung a bit. I have bigger fish to fry at the moment health wise, so I tried not to focus on it and instead to celebrate my lovely blood pressure. I confess, having great blood pressure without medication (after 5+ years of requiring two meds to keep it under control) is still a huge source of joy for me.

When O heard me on the phone setting things up with rheumatology, he got his doctor stuff out so he could make me better. What a sweetheart!

When O heard me on the phone setting things up with rheumatology, he got his doctor stuff out so he could make me better. What a sweetheart!

I got a bit of a jolt in my perspective during that visit when I was talking to my doctor and she’s asking about symptoms in other places than my hands and arms. I mentioned that I was having more knee aches than usual with my running and some pain in my feet, but I assumed that was because I’d regained 10-12 pounds. She said “It’s so great that you’ve been so successful withΒ  your weight! It’s because you lost it the right way in first place.” I found myself trying to backtrack and make excuses, like she hadn’t heard the regained 10-12 pounds part and she totally brushed that off because in the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing, as she put it.

You know what? She’s right. Yes, it’s a slippery slope that I’ll need to keep an eye on for the rest of my life most likely, but I can’t let that distract me from the big picture. I’ve maintained almost 100 pounds of weight loss for TWO years now. I’ve resolved my borderline insulin resistance and borderline triglycerides. I’ve got normal blood pressure and was able to come off daily medications with all of the costs and side effects they entail. In the grand scheme of things, totally WINNING.

I need to remind myself more often of how far I've come.

I need to remind myself more often of how far I’ve come.

I’ll confess that I’ve found myself angry at the thought of going back on daily medication and at being “sick” again despite making all of these changes in my life. It feels so unfair to have done so much good for myself and still have some bad to deal with. However, my bad is tiny in the grand scheme of things people deal with in terms of their health. The medication has greatly helped with my stiffness and swelling in my hands and everything else will sort itself out. As frustrating as it is to deal with these little health hiccups, if I hadn’t lost weight, changed my diet to a healthier one and starting exercising, I likely still would have the arthritis and other issues but would have the added burden of those 100 extra pounds exacerbating all of the symptoms. Those extra 100 pounds would have likely confused things even more as my joint symptoms may have been blamed on my weight rather than looking in to other things. I’d probably still have the high blood pressure and those medications complicating things too.

It isn’t unfair – it’s life and it’s okay. Being healthier now is a fantastic thing and will make all of this easier. I am trying to figure out how exactly to explain to the rheumatologists next week that they shouldn’t be startled by my very crackly knees. Thanks to 15 years of being 100 pounds overweight, I have some impressive crepitus! You should hear me on the stairs. πŸ™‚ Actually, you could, if you were anywhere within my house – it’s LOUD! I do think, however, that morbid obesity is a pretty significant part of my past medical history, so I’ll need to them that. I need to remind myself how significant it is that it is my PAST and rejoice in that more often.

Have you had your doctors talk to you about your weight? How did it go? I’ve always found it odd that my former doctor never suggested losing weight when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at 29 years old and weighing almost 300 pounds. I will also always remember my current doctor crying (happily I promise) the first time she saw me during the weight loss. Doctors don’t always get good training for dealing with obesity despite the major health issues it can represent, so I was curious what experiences you had, good or bad?

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