Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Official New Year's Resolutions

Hello there Bleeps,

Have you made a New Year's Resolution yet?  I make one every year and never ever follow through with it.  In fact, I've had the same resolution for the past three years...get the picture?  I gave up on them being health/fitness related years ago.  I get very frustrated when the gym gets packed for the month of January and then completely empties by February.

I'm making one this year though.  Actually, I'm making a bunch.

1-I am going to find my way into that elusive Size 6.  I am going to go buy a pair of incentive jeans tomorrow.  I want that 6! (goes back to Sweet Valley High and those perfect size 6 Wakefield Twins). 

2-I was going to say full marathon, but I've been thinking a lot lately and I really Really REALLY want to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day (  If you are not familiar with this, it is the 3 day walk for the Cure for Breast Cancer.  It's 3 days of 20 miles each.  Brutal I know.  I want this though.  It's going to take a lot of training.  The good news is that it's not a race, so that 20 miles will be at a much more leisurely pace than I am used to.  I have full confidence that I can do this.  It will require a lot of fund raising ($2300).  It's going to take a lot of dedication, but it will be well worth it. I am looking to walk in the DC 3-Day Oct 12-14 so if you are interested in teaming up PLEASE let me know.

3-I am going to start keeping a workout journal.  I am hoping this will help with my abs/weights workouts.

4-I am going to try a new workout.  I like the idea of belly dancing.  I think that would help with my belly issues.

5-I am going to get into that bikini by June.  It may not be pretty, but I'm going to do it.  My blinding white belly has not seen the light of day in 35 years and I will probably end up with 3rd degree burns...but it's a dream.

Well now that the Resolutions have been documented I should actually be able to make them happen.  I am a different person than I was last year.  I definitely have more will power, confidence, and dedication.  I think it's going to be a good year.  Maybe this will be the year that Tony Stewart finally calls...

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All Hail Julia Child

I heart Julia Child!

I absolutely adore the movie Julie & Julia.  If you have never seen it I highly recommend it.  It's like crack for me though.  The first time I saw it in the theater I walked out with my mouth watering.  The food is amazing.  I read the book, which is the story of Julie.  She writes a blog for a year as she cooks her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  It was an inspiring tale, but I fell in love with Julia in the movie.  Her book My Life In France was one of the best books I have ever read.  GO READ IT.

She was an amazing woman.  She was in her thirties when she took her first cooking lesson.  I love this.  Sometimes I feel so lost with what I want to do with my life.  One of the greatest chefs EVER didn't even get started until she was in my phase of life.  Who knows, maybe I will be the next Bob Harper!

She also had the sweetest love story with her husband Paul. I just adore their relationship. They were so sweet with each other and on each other.  Just plain adorable.  You just want to eat them up with a spoon.

So you might have guessed that I watched the movie again the other night.  I was able to watch it this time without running to the fridge to grab something to eat. Although there is a bruschetta scene that I still dream about.  I was pretty happy with my progress.  It did however, make me want to make something out of her cookbook.  My mom bought it and I'm going to need to borrow it.  I remember looking through it when she first got it and thinking how many wonderful recipes there were.   

Now I am not stupid.  There is nothing in there that is on the Healthy side.  I want to start enjoying food again though.  Don't get me wrong, I love the healthy food I eat.  I would just like to be able to indulge every now and then without the emotional baggage.  There is the guilt that I didn't eat right. There is the disappointment that I let myself be seduced by the greasey goodness.  There is the fear that it will lead to more bad eating.

So maybe if I start having one special night a month I won't feel like that.  If I have this dinner to look forward to then maybe it will be easier to say NO to Five Guys (although I have been doing a good job of that). **Five Guys is a the best dang burger joint with fresh burgers and fresh french fries...get your mind out of the gutter! LOL...Only one guy for me...Tony Stewart CALL ME! **

No I don't think I can handle a Julia Child recipe every month, but it would be nice to have every now and then. Maybe I will alternate with my Guy Fieri cookbook. :-)  I would make such nice meals for Tony...

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sending a big Thank You to my family

I LOVE my family!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Mine was.  There were of course some minor hiccups, but mostly it was awesome.  I am a road warrior and try to see everyone all at once.  This year we switched it up.  I went to my sister's after church on Christmas Eve.  I usually visit for a couple of hours and then head over to my uncle's to spend the night and have Christmas morning there.  This time I slept at my sister's and then went to my uncle's on Christmas morning.  Teenagers like to sleep in so that meant that I could have two Christmas mornings :-)

I did not get the walking in on Saturday that I had hoped for.  I tried. I went to the track, but I had a really hard time. I had taken medicine the night before that completely dried out my throat.  So I had barely gotten one lap in when my throat was so dry that I had tears streaming down my face.  I drank a bunch of water and it happened again on my second lap so I called it a day.  I was frustrated, but these things happen.  To make up for it I went to Subway for lunch.  It was a good decision.  And then I want to Starbucks.  I got my skinny peppermint mocha (it was going to be a long day), got a cozy spot in the sun, and finished my book.  It was so relaxing that I got a second drink.  I love their iced green teas.  YUM.

Mom was coming up to hear me sing at church and we were going to be cutting it close on time.  So I stopped and got us hoagies earlier.  I got my Turkey, spinach, ranch again...minus the ranch.  Another happy choice.

When we go to church I ran up for practice.  My throat dried out during that too.  Bah.  The good news is that I had been sucking down water all day, but I was still fighting it.  Oh well.  Lovely Lisa, our choir director, always has a gift of chocolate for us on Christmas Eve.  This year it was wrapped Godiva bars. YUM.  There were two piles: Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate with peppermint.  I love them both.  I took a dark chocolate.  After service was over she had extra and gave my mom a white chocolate.  When we got home mom begged to switch.  If I didn't look exactly like her sometimes I would wonder if we were related.  haha.  How could I say no?

Soon after we headed out.  I got to my sister's and was just completely exhausted.  But, it's Christmas Eve and I'm always a little kid and have a hard time falling asleep. haha.  It didn't seem like long before my nephew was banging on the door for my wake up call.  I grabbed my water and headed down. 

The boy opened presents in record time.  So I was going to have enough time to pack up and go see the teen agers wake up.  Before I left though, my sister admitted that it had been a little bit since she had checked the blog. She asked how I was dealing with the holidays. I smiled.  It was nice to have people realize how difficult they could be for me.

I am happy to report that the amount of candy received this year was very minimal.  YEAH!  I did get a few pieces of which chocolate peppermint Not gonna lie.  They didn't last until dinner.  But, the amount consumed this year is so little compared to every past year it's a happy thing.

I mentioned before that my favorite part of Christmas morning is the incredible breakfast that my Aunt makes.  It's the most amazing french toast and an egg/sausage casserole. I had two small squares of french toast and one square of the casserole.  I really wanted more.  I was content though.  But, the want was there.  Usually I have seconds of both.  I decided to have seconds of one this time.  Just couldn't decide which.  And then the decision was made for me.  The french toast had cararmelized so much that we practically needed a jackhammer to get it out.  Egg casserole it is.  I felt full after that piece and knew I was done.  Time for a Christmas siesta.  I fell asleep in a chair and my knees were dangling the whole time.  When I woke up they were NOT happy with me.

I had my workout clothes and after the food and the nap there was really no reason not to go for a walk.  I wanted to.  I really did.  I started to get nervous about walking outside though.  It was a beautiful day, but I'm not super familiar with the area.  Would I really get a good walk in?  Would it be a good distance?  My Aunt offered to go with me, but I just didn't feel like it.  And then the magic words were said: There's a treadmill in the basement.  She kept meaning to let me know about it.  Bonus.

The boys were down in the basement playing some war game on playstation.  So I could either go down and watch that while on the treadmill or I could stay on the couch and watch A Christmas Story.  I was just talking myself out of the treadmill when I mentioned this to my mom.  Her response: it's that fat devil on your shoulder talking to you.  That's all I needed.  It was like my body took over.  I went upstairs and changed.  I was going down. 

My plan was for an hour.  Five minutes into it though I was contemplating cutting it to 3 miles.  Of course this is because I wanted to jog.  So my first mile was jogging.  I was happy, but it hurt.  My second mile was back to walking and it was off pace.  I was good by mile 3.  I knew once I got to three I would push it to the full hour.  Then to finishing that fourth mile.  And because I wanted to do it, I finished my fifth mile.

So now here's the fun stuff.  I wanted to throw up the whole time.  There is nothing wrong with exercising at night, but do it earlier when your belly isn't full of stuff.  That french toast was trying to come back.  It was a struggle.  I never feel that sick if I exercise after I eat right.  Another issue is that even though I finished the Half two weeks ago, I had not really gotten back out there to walk since.  I only had a hand full of walks since then.  If you told me I had to do one tomorrow I would finish it, but the pace would be MUCH slower.  So if you aren't feeling it, don't be discouraged. Just make it more consistent.  You know how much I love it, and if I struggle it's because I'm not being consistent.

My aunt was worried that I would say bad things about the food.  I will not.  Breakfast was delicious.  I will admit to craving vegetables all day.  Luckily there were green beans and broccoli with dinner.  There was also ham and "smashed" potatoes (not quite mashed).  I filled half of my plate with greens and then had a little of the others.  I was full with one plate and did not go back for seconds.  This is a Christmas miracle.

So thank you to my family for helping me through the holiday.  While there were some cookie sneakings (not sure I can ever give that up), the support I had kept me from diving in to the sugar deep end.  Thank you for asking.  Thank you for providing the motivation to workout.  Thank you for letting me sleep.  Thank you for the advil.  Thank you for a wonderful Christmas.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope this is finding everyone healthy and happy. And I hope Santa brings you everything you wanted this year (Ahem Santa...Tony Stewart in a big red bow please!)   I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  I generally ban the computer on Christmas to concentrate on time with my family (I am bringing it with me, so you never know).

For the record, I am packing a pair of workout clothes.  I am hoping to go for a nice long walk tomorrow after presents.  My motivation is the food for tomorrow.  A big shout out to my Aunt Sarah who makes the best Christmas breakfast (and the real reason I come back year after year :-) -the Best French Toast EVER and the greatest egg Casserole 

I need to finish packing and head out to church in a little while.  I wanted to also quick give you this note: if you are having Christmas Ham please remember there is a lot of sodium in ham.  If you weigh yourself in the next few days do not be discouraged.  Just try to drink a lot of water.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Drop the cookie and nobody gets hurt

Hi there Bleeps,

Have you survived the week?  I think I have.  It was a little rough yesterday.  I did feel really sick all day.  In fact, I fell asleep in the comfy chair at lunch.  I had every intention of going out for a walk, but I had taken some medicine and when I walked to get water I felt a little light headed.  No walking for me.  Considering that I fell asleep twice, I'm thinking it was the right decision.  I felt a little better in the afternoon, but when I got home I put in 3 hours of overtime and just completely passed out.  I felt so much better today.

Although it was a struggle.  It was the last day in the office before the Holidays.  You know the atmosphere.  It's the "Why are we in the office?" atmosphere.  No one really gets a lot of work done.  Today also brought lots of treats.  It was "snack day".  Everyone brought in cookies, pies, cookies, fudge, cookies, eclairs, cookies...well you get the idea.  Naturally it was at the desk across from me all day.

Thankfully someone brought in a box of clementines.  I had one.  That's all I had from that desk all day.  And let me tell you, it was a STRESSFUL day.  Even if I could avoid going over and looking at all of the goodies, people were constantly coming over talking about how good everything looks and how tasty it is.  For someone who is battling her addiction to food it was a freakin nightmare.  I never focused so hard on my computer...that is when I was sitting at my desk.  I had no qualms about getting up and going to see other people for the day.  It's all I could do not to hurt someone.

I know not everyone understands this and they think I'm crazy, but seriously I am working so hard at trying to lead a healthy life after years of neglect.  It's not easy.  Again I will repeat: would you take an alcoholic to a bar and tell him it's okay just to have one or two drinks?  Would you take a gambler to a casino and say go ahead and just play the slots for ten minutes? 

If I could have one bite and walk away that would be fine.  But I can not.  Why?  Because that one becomes all I can focus on.  I want another.  Just one more.  That's all.  Oh I had two, so three won't hurt.  No one saw that, so I can have another one.  This is what happens.  This is how I got to 200 in the first place. You might be able to have one or two cookies and go back about your business.  Not me. I have two and start to wonder how I can sneak more without anyone noticing.  It's an addiction!  And it ain't pretty.

"Come on It's Christmas" is not a reason to eat junk all day.  Hearing that all day long every day between Thanksgiving and know you're going to gain weight.  At this point it's hard to me to lose so why would I do that to myself?  Why would I sabotage all of my hard work?  Besides, at my height you can totally see it if I gain even 5lbs.  It's just not worth it.  Not to mention how much better your body feels minus the junk.  My body knows it hasn't gotten the exercise and nutrition it has been used to.  It's letting me know.  You might not see the difference, but I look at myself naked every day.  I see it. And this is where it ends.

I stayed strong today and I did not cave. I did not have one of the goodies out there.  As a reward I have washed the "fat" jeans I wore earlier this week and put them in the pile of clothes for Good Will.  Bye Bye fat jeans.  If I made it through today, I can make it through any day.  I don't need you anymore.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Overtime, Tortillas, and tasty chocolate pretzel treats

Happy Hump Day!

It's especially nice because I just finished day three of Overtime...5 hours tonight and my brain is mush.  Which is not hard since I started to get sick today :-(  My nose has been stuffed all day.  I'm hoping that it was just sinues and now that the rain has passed I may be okay tomorrow.  Fingers crossed cause I need to walk at lunch.

My belly is gross.  It's looking mighty jelly-like right now :-(  I really need to do abs.  Tomorrow I swear!  I still have overtime tomorrow (that new laptop will be mine in no time!) but I can do abs in between purchase orders.  I'm about to lose my mind so I need a break.

Anyway, today was tortilla day!  I went to lunch with a friend to Baja Fresh.  I had intended on two tacos and a side of guacamole, but I changed my mind.  I almost got the mango chipotle chicken salad.  It comes in a taco shell...enough said.  And then while I was in line I saw the picture for:

Skinny Chicken Bowl

Baja Fresh's New Skinny Chicken Bowl, begins with Achiote marinated fire-grilled chicken, atop black beans, green chili tomatillo rice, and topped with calabasitas squash, achiote onions and topped with our New Tomatillo Salsa Fresca.

SOLD!  Oh and a side of guacamole.  I HEART Guacamole.  When you order they give you a tray with chips to munch on until your food is ready.  They didn't give me my guacamole with the chips so i got the delicious fresh pico de gallo salsa.  I had to ration my chips so that I would have some for the guac.  When my number got called I had to remind them about the guac. "That comes with a bigger tray of chips. Do you want more?" DUH!  YES.

I made the plan to eat my meal before I started on the guac.  Hopefully that would cut down on the amount of chips consumed.  It sort of worked.  I did leave some of the rice in the bowl because I was full.  And yet I still had some chips.  Argh. 

For my drink I had the caffiene free diet coke.  I would normally fill up again before I leave, but this time I did not.  I still had a lot of crystal light and water at the office.  GO ME.

I did try to look up the nutrition of the Skinny bowl online when I got back to's not listed.  Not sure how I feel about that.

So here's the kink in the day.  Work husband and his girlfriend made some wonderful treats last night.  They gave me a container with mini-pretzels that had melted mint-milk-chocolate in the center topped with an M&M.  I love them. I hate them. I love them. I hate them. I love them.

What do I do with these?  Leave them at work?  Bring them home?  If I bring them home there is a chance that I will polish them off in one sitting. I shall leave them at work then....Um...except that I grabbed them when I left.  It was a nice night full of traffic...I ate some.  Then I ate some more.  Eventually I got so mad at myself that I threw the container in the back seat so that I couldn't eat any more.  Good tactic.  But it may have been too late.

Why do I do this to myself?

Alright kids, my nose is running and I'm tired of looking at a screen for 13 hours today.  Get some sleep and remember: Tomorrow is a new day!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trying to get back on track

Happy Tuesday...although it is sad without The Biggest Loser...only two weeks until the new season! YAY!!!

It's still super busy at work right now.  I did a few hours of overtime last night and more tonight (just that much closer to the new laptop...Holla!).  Anyway, it's throwing off my schedule, as is the weather. 

I mentioned before that I was worried that things would get complicated after the marathon.  And they are.  Christmas events, work, and weather are interfering with my workout schedule.  Argh.  I know that things will get better in a week, but I'm still frustrated with myself.

I had a good walk on saturday and had hoped for another one on Sunday.  My mom was still in town and it was important to spend time with her and help her with her christmas shopping so I had to pass.  I tried to eat healthy at least, but still managed to mess that up.

It's very hard to eat in public when you very publicly announce what you eat.  Are you following me?  After church on Sunday we had a small reception celebrating a wedding.  You know that means cake!  I had a plate with fruit, a slice of cake, and a small cookie.  As I was walking back to my seat Pastor's Wife (who is like a second mom to ya Faye Baby!) stopped me and asked what was on my plate.  Bah.  I can't say no to cake when there is a special occasion.

After shopping we stopped for a late lunch.  It was hoagie time.  I was very excited to see the new Ranch Turkey Vegetable hoagie (turkey, spinach, tomato, cucumber, and ranch on a wheat roll)...well I was happy except for the Ranch.  I had it without.  It irritates me when I see people ruining a healthy choice with ranch dressing.  Sure it's not the worst thing if you put a little on, but I've seen these kids make these hoagies.  It's half a bottle.

I could have exercised later that night, but instead I finished up my took hours, but it is done.  So I celebrated with dinner.  Needless to say, after the family party we were sent home with leftovers.  So I've been having chicken parm for dinner since.

I made the mistake of getting on the scale yesterday morning.  I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  It wasn't.  Let me just say that my weight has not moved, but my body has changed.  I know I should not worry about the scale, but seeing it go up is my motivation to do better.  I planned on walking at lunch to make up for it.  Sadly, I let the scale get to me and I put on my "fat" jeans.  They are not the most flattering and I was mad at myself all day. That's a good thing though.

It was freezing yesterday and I had to talk myself into walking. I'm glad I did.  I felt great after lap two and was no longer cold.  I felt good. I was so happy that I did it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have never regretted the decision to workout, but I have regretted the decision not to.

It was especially important to get out there yesterday because the rain was acoming.  So today I was not planning on walking.  The forecast was different this morning and they said nothing about rain.  Bonus.  Then it started sprinkling when I went out to my car. FOILED. It had actually stopped raining during lunch time, but by then I was sniffling.  I do not want to get sick.  And so I enjoyed my book.  I wish I had gone out, but the last thing I want is to be sick on Christmas.

So the good news is that I finished the last of the chicken parm tonight and can get back to my healthy eating tomorrow...except that I'm going out to lunch and let me just say this: Tortilla chips and salsa. Damn it.  I will get back on track soon.

Before I leave you for the night I want to give a shout out to my friend Crystal.  She is one of the lucky ones who has all of next week off.  I asked what her plans are and she said "Absolutely nothing.  Although I may use it to go to the YMCA and focus on getting back into a routine.  That will make it easier when I start back at work." YOU GO GIRL!  I love it.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Monday, December 19, 2011

Family Christmas Party-The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hello there Beautiful People,

Let's cut to the chase.  There were some really great moments at this year's Family Christmas Party...there were also some old habits that are hard to break :-(

Let me start by saying that I was out shopping with a friend the night before.  Just as we were finishing up I realized that I had not planned an outfit for the party.  Well let's see what Target's got...since I'm here and all.  I wasn't overly impressed with a lot of the sweaters and had just about resigned myself to wearing a sweater or something at home.  Then I spotted some pretty cool looking tops out front.  I called it a Flashdance top.  It didn't have the cut neck line but it was the broad shoulder and cinched waist look.  Okay, it's not exactly Flashdance, but that was the first thing that popped into my mind.  I was looking at a fun blue/green solid version.  My friend had other things in mind.  He liked the "jailhouse" striped one.  It was a light grey and beige striped shirt.  It was nice, but come on and say it with me "FAT GIRLS SHOULD NOT WEAR HORIZONTAL STRIPES!". 

I was extremely hesitant to even hold it up to me.  I grabbed one of the solid shirts and he kept shaking his head.  I told him about my fear of stripes.  Horizontal stripes make you wider.  I couldn't possibly wear this.  His response was that I look fabulous and that I can wear many things now that I couldn't before.  I love that.  So I got it.  Well, not the jailhouse one.  I got the melon and grey striped one.  I needed a little color.  I figured I would try it on when I got home.  If I didn't like it I would bring it back. I paired it with a some formerly "skinny" jeans.  Now they are just "rockin" jeans :-)
Okay, so I need to confess that I broke my own rule.  I made cookies on Wednesday and figured I would bring them to the party.  It was only a dozen and a half, but it was something.  I had planned on stopping for a veggie tray to compensate, but I totally forgot.  So here I am suggesting people bring the healthy dishes and I show up with cookies. argh. Luckily, there was a nice platter of veggies already there.  *Side note - this was cool, in the center of the tray was a hollowed out yellow pepper with the dip inside...clever and pleasing to the eye *

When I got to the party I hung out in the living room for a while. I needed to finish up my Christmas cards, but I had also seen the food in the kitchen.  It looked GOOD.  The good news is that I did not hang out in the kitchen the whole time because I wanted to avoid the food.  I did eat my dinner in there though.  There was lots of delicious food.  Chicken Parmesian, Baked Ziti, Ham, Green Beans, Steak tips with Mushrooms, Salad, Shrimp, and the most important thing: Spinach dip in a rye bread bowl.  OH...MY...GOSH!!!!!!  That was my downfall.  I ate a little too much of that.

I did have two plates of food: 1- Chicken parm and green beans 2-Steak tips and green beans.  I also had a salad.  I was nice and full, but not overly full when I was done.  I had specifically worn fitted jeans so that I would feel it when the waist started to expand from the food.

There were a lot of desserts, but I avoided them for the most part...except for my cookies and grandmom's Angel Food cake.

Happily I drank a lot of water throughout the night....unfortunately, that meant many trips to the bathroom.  On the way to the bathroom I passed the bowl of chocolate in the hallway.  :-(  I overdosed on candy cane hershey kisses and saw that coming didn't you?

I must say that it was very nice to hear all night long how "skinny" I was and how great I look.  It's still hard for me to accept compliments.  I'm still not used to the positive attention.  I love to hear it and yet there's still a part of me that is uncomfortable with it.  I know that it's good recognition for all of my hard work, but in my head there is always that insinuation "because you were fat before".  I smile and say thanks and really try to accept it as a nice thing, but I'm not sure I will ever be comfortable with it.

In addition to all of the "skinny" comments, it was nice to hear my mom bragging to everyone about the Half Marathon last weekend.  Um, yeah, I brought the medal.  Go ahead and laugh, but I am very proud of it (even took it to church the next day :-).

I would like to give a big shout out to my cousin Brett for hosting such a wonderful evening.  He's so cute.  He said "I was telling my mom that even though it doesn't always apply to me, your writing is really good.  Although I could lose a few."  Ha thanks...and quit putting out the baskets of chocolate! Still love ya though.

We had a lot of left over food and I got to bring some was an hour drive.  My car smelled like chicken parm for two days.  I had to bust out a new air freshener to mask the delicious aroma. 

I hope you make some good decisions at your parties.  Just remember, if you make poor decisions then tomorrow is a good day to start making amends.  That's what I did.

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Shopped til I Dropped...but my Christmas Shopping is DONE!

Hi Bleeps!  I'm sorry that it's been a few days.  It's been a little hectic this Christmas Season.  I'm sure you understand. 

My family party was this past Saturday.  So that means that Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday are a bit of a blur.  I would like to say that I got a lot of walking in, but I did not.  Both Thursday and Friday I went to the mall at lunch to shop.  And then I shopped after work both days.  Granted I was moving most of the time so I'm going to count that as something, but I'm not putting a lot on that.  I've taken the pedometer to the mall before and have been severely disappointed after 4 hours of shopping.  While you are on your feet a lot, you are also standing still a lot.

I did redeem myself on Saturday.  I got up and went to the track at 9am.  My original goal was for two hours. When I got there the gate was still locked.  I could sneak in, but there was no one else there.  So instead I started walking around the giant parking lot.  On the first lap my head just started swarming with everything that I still needed to do before the party.  I was up until 1am wrapping presents, but I still had some things I wanted to knock out for next weekend.  Technically I have time.  BUT, I wanted it all done so that I could relax and enjoy this week....or keep it open for overtime (looking for a new laptop next month...fingers crossed).

So I decided to make a change.  I couldn't do the full two hours, but I could change up my routine.  I would begin my training for the next Half right then and there.  My problem has always been that I have two speeds: walking fast and running.  I needed to focus on light jogging.  So I started alternating laps.  One lap I walked. One lap I jogged.  I got a mile in before the guy came to unlock the gate.  I was very happy to be on the track again.  I kept up this pace for 4 miles.  I wasn't winded with the jogging so I was happy and my knees didn't feel tooo bad.  Oh they were very aware of the change, but they adjusted okay.  Deciding not to push it too much I walked the final mile. 

The result?  I shaved 5 minutes off of my 4-mile time.  That means that if I can keep this pace up for 13.1 miles then I can most definitely beat my time by 15 minutes :-)  I will add a mile on next week and see how I do.  Now my knees were not super happy.  They were a bit tight for a day, but not in pain....I may be able to do this after all :-)

I was potentially meeting some friends for lunch after my walk.  I decided that if they couldn't make it then I would finally go for that Pedicure that I had been needing FOREVER.  They couldn't make it.  And so off I went.  Luckily I keep a pair of flip flops in my trunk for just such an occasion.  I was wearing my realflex sneakers and all of the ladies in the place were commenting on them.  They were so cute. 

I had been putting of a real pedicure until after the race because I didn't want to mess with my callouses and hurt my feet.  However, since this was not planned I did not realize until I pulled my pant legs up that I had not shaved since Wednesday.  DOH!  I was going to do that during my shower after my walk.  *I am still so sorry Lady-who-did-such-a-nice-job*.  Oh well, as my roommate pointed out, she's probably seen much worse.

After the pedicure I needed to eat.  I think you know where I'm going.  SUBWAY!  Seriously, what did I do before this?  Oh yeah, I ate at Wendy's, McDonalds, and Burger King (ALL of the time).  I had my oven roasted chicken on wheat with my veggies.  YEAH! 

So while I didn't do as well as I would have liked leading up to the party, I did make some good decisions and changed things up.  I was just hoping for a little better so that I would not feel so guilty if I over-indulged at the party...and I think we all know that I did.  The good news is the amount of over-indulgences paled in comparison to past years. So we are going to look at the positive side and try not to dwell.  I still have another week to get through and I need a positive outlook.  Otherwise I will "guilt-eat"...example: I polished off a bag of cookies last night that had made this week.  My reasoning: if I eat them all now then I won't be tempted and will behave this week.  I have such a warped mind. I'm still working on that one.

Party details to come :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello My Name is Jennie and I am Addicted to Chocolate

Hi there Beautiful People,

So here's a riddle for you: What do you get when you add me plus stress plus chocolate?  The answer: a whole lotta trouble.

Needless to say, since I've had a bunch of days off in the last two weeks and we are in our busiest month of the year, things got a little hectic today.  On top of my heavy work load, I was covering another group for the afternoon and I hadn't worked on their stuff for two months. It got a little crazy. 

The bonus was that it was Secret Santa day.  I had planned on running out at lunch to get my present.   I went to Modell's (Gotta go to Mo''s a sporting goods store) for some hockey memorabilia.  The bonus is that they have my Reeboks RealFlex on Santa got me a new pair of sneakers!  Time to start training for the next Marathon!

The bad part of the day was that of course someone brought in a lot of candy and put it on the desk next to mine.  I was good at first and had only the small dark chocolate pieces.  I was good with that.  And then they handed out the individual bags of candy.  Hershey kisses.  Chocolate Santa.  Giant Nestle crunch bar.  As the afternoon went on I got more and more stressed.  I ate every Hershey kiss. (and polished off the chocolate Santa when I got home).

Argh.  I was mad at myself.  It was not going to get any better at night.  I really needed to get a lot of shopping done tonight so that I can have a long walk on Saturday before my family party.  Well there was an accident and it took me 90 minutes to get to the mall after work.  Normally it takes 30.  I was starving when I go there too.  argh.  I quickly made some purchases, but I still had another stop before going home.  After the second store I realized how late it was and I really needed to eat.  So I went to Chick-Fil-A and got the grilled chicken sandwich.  Yum...but I ate the fries too.  I had considered stopping for Subway or a salad earlier, but then I talked myself out of it and thought I would have dinner at home.   I was wrong.

So I hit a third store after dinner and then I was really ready to come home. When I was getting undressed for my pjs I found the chocolate that had fallen down my shirt and between my boobs.  This is a sign that I have a problem.  It's not a surprise.  I know my weakness.  I also know that I really am addicted.  So often I hear "you can have a little" or "It's christmas, go ahead and treat yourself".  They just don't understand.  It's not just eating a piece of chocolate.  It turns into binge eating and then horrible guilt for hours and days.  I wish I could just have one, but alas it's not going to happen.

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Biggest Loser - Finale

Well it's the Biggest Loser happy to see everyone and so sad that it's over.  The good news is that the next season starts January 3...YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay,  so things were a little different this year.  Usually all of the at-home players weigh in for the At-Home prize.  This time they weighed them before the show. Only the top 3 would weigh in.  They broke them out into groups of 4.  One person in each group would make the top 3.  They looked so good. 

Mr. Johnny comes out and he looks great.  He's lost almost 100 lbs. Ms. Becky looked fantastic in her red sassy dress.  Ms. Jessica came out in a slammin blue dress.  She had a good story about how before people would always say she had "such a pretty face" and what the implications were.  Now people ask her what sport she plays because she obviously works out.  On a side note, I got a note from cousin Randy that she totally looks like me.  hahaha.  I'll take that.  And out comes Vinny.  Boy is smokin!  He looks awesome.  He has done very well at home.  It's kind of no surprise that he made the final 3.

Next up is Courtney in her gold dress.  Then Bonnie who looks great.  Sunny is slammin skinny and then Patrick comes out.  It comes down to the two of them and the difference is less than 1%.  Would have loved it to be Sunny, but alas Patrick is in the final 3.

The last group is Debbie, Jennifer, Koala Joe, and Coach Mike.  They look good.  But, it's obvious that it's between Jennifer and Koala Joe.  My favorite part is the video montage of Jennifer's crush on Bob.  Seriously, can you blame her?  He even came out and gave her flowers.  Loved it.  Honestly, I thought Koala Joe had it, but Jennifer pulled it out.

So then it was time for the weigh in.  I don't remember the order so I'll cut to the chase...Jennifer got it!  YEAH GIRL!  What I loved best about that is that if you remember her, she was the one on crutches with the bad knee.  She did most of her workouts in the pool.  Sister kicked butt.

And now it's time for the final 3.  These guys looked amazing.  Ramon was first.  He looks great.  His parents were in the front row.  His dad has lost 85lbs and his mom is about to go to the Biggest Loser Ranch for two weeks.  Paying it forward is what it's all about.  Next is Antone.  LOVE HIM.  Now here's confession time...I fell asleep.  I know I know...I was flipping out.  I woke up when the news came on.  I happened to see the winner on Live With Kelly this morning...John.  Good for him.  Man lost 220lbs.

I liked what he had to say today.  Don't look at it like "I need to lose 10lbs in this amount of time".  Look at it as "I will start with this meal and make the right decisions".  It's such a healthy way to look at it.  It's so right too.  One meal at a time.  Congratulations John!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back to work...booooo

Hi there Bleeps!

Well it's back to normal now.  I went back to work today (have tomorrow off so it's going to be busy catching up).  Luckily I got smart and made sure I drank lots of water and crystal light today.  I am so not dehydrated.

I was also happy to walk at lunch. It was beautiful and brisk, but I needed it.  I should have walked a little on Sunday to stretch, but I was so darn tired. My adrenaline for the last two months came to a screeching halt after the race was over.  Yesterday was a travel day and then a quick visit with Santa.  lol.  I met a friend for lunch at our favorite Southwest grill, Moe's. They don't have a lot of healthy options so I went with the kids burrito.  It's the perfect size. 

The plan was to go to the movies, but we didn't realize that the movie we picked was in 3d...a little too pricey thank you.  So we went to the mall and sat on Santa's lap.  hmm...just realized he didn't give out candy canes. After Santa it was time for a trip to Target for some usual groceries (yogurt, carrots, bananas) and Starbucks.  Okay, confession was my second Starbucks trip of the day.  The first one was for a tall skinny peppermint mocha.  I needed some caffeine before I got on the road.  I also treated myself to the cranberry bliss bar. It's my favorite Starbucks treat and I promised myself one after the Race.  It was nice and warm out so I got a tall caramel creme brulee frappacino.  It was heaven.

I was kicking myself after though.  Enough of the celebration.  I was losing focus.  My family Christmas party is coming up this weekend.  I can celebrate then.  So when I got home I made some chili with deer meat in the crockpot. I am not a huge fan of deer meat, but it's lean and it was free.  It makes for a good chili.*Thank you Daddy*

So I was stressed and super busy at work, but I was proud that I did make sure to hydrate and walk.  I was very happy to leave though. I was drained.  So tonight I can't tell if I'm still coming down off of the adrenaline rush or if I'm just beat from work.  Either way, it took me over an hour to motivate myself to do my abs and arms.  I putzed around forever. I rewarded myself with some delicious chili after though so it's all good.

Luckily I can sleep in tomorrow.  I want to walk, but I also want to rest my body.  I don't remember the last time I slept in. Every saturday or day off for as long as I can remember I had to get up and go walk.  Tomorrow we feast in bed :-)

Before I go (and get ready to watch the Biggest Loser Finale) I want to share some good stuff.  Of course I'm itching to register for my next Half.  I just have to figure out which one.  I won't be alone though.  Since Saturday 7 people have expressed interest in joining me for their first Half.  I'm beyond excited. 

****Please note**** 

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Letter to The Former Fat Girl (Jennie)

 Dear Former Fat Girl (Jennie),

I want to start by saying I am Sorry.  I am soooo sorry for not believing in you.  I am so sorry for all of the wasted years.  I am sorry for all of the unhappiness.  I am so sorry for the lost dreams and the hidden disappointments. I am so sorry for all of the years of not feeling like you were good enough. I am sorry for years of hiding.  I am so sorry for the fat. 

I learned a lot about us this weekend.  We are capable of so much.  Are you sitting down?  We finished a half marathon this weekend.  Yeah, that's right.  Remember how we used to secretly admire everyone who ran in the NYC marathon?  That's a realistic dream now.  In fact, before the race we walked around and were not satisfied that we were scheduled for the Half.  We could taste a Full.  Oh and there is no keeping this a hidden dream.  We are putting it out there for the world to know. We had not even finished the race before we were making a list of the races we want to compete in.  We are looking at the 3 day for the cure in October...that's 3 days of 20 miles each.  You heard me.  And you know what?  You are so capable of that.  There is not doubt in my mind.  NONE.  If you want it then you can do it.

You are so much stronger than you thought you were.  You are so much more focused than you thought you were.  You have so much more willpower than you thought you had.  You had a dream and you made it come true.  And you worked your ass off to make it happen!  Oh and it's a great ass now!  Next up is a flat belly.  We're hoping for a bikini next summer.  Yep, you heard me.

I wish I could go back in time.  I wish you could look into the future and see just how far we have come.  You would be amazed.  You would not even recognize yourself. You are healthy.  You are fit. You are making good choices. You are open and honest about your journey.  You are no longer hiding or ashamed of yourself.  You have been open with the world about your weight.  And I do mean the world. It's been a crazy wild journey.  The only regret is that we didn't start it sooner.

You are a beautiful woman.  You are a strong woman.  You have so much support it's crazy.  You have no idea how many people are behind you routing you on. They made you cry a lot this weekend, but it's because they love you.  And here's the best part: you love yourself.  You finally like who you are and where you are going.  It's a wonderful world out and you are making the most of it.

You got this girl!
-The New Healthy/Fit Girl (Jennie)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Sunday, December 11, 2011

13.1 part 2

Hello beautiful people,

As detailed as I was able to be yesterday with my post, I left a lot out.  Now that my brain has recovered (I had a nice 3 hour coma this afternoon that helped) I have remembered a bunch of things that I wanted to tell you.  So this is going to be a whole lot of randomness.  Sit back and enjoy.  haha.

I of course had my ipod on for the race and put on the pedometer.  The average person takes 2000 steps in a mile.  My short legs take 2200.  I've known this so it's not a surprise.  What hit me yesterday was that according to my pedometer I had walked 14.9 miles.  So if my legs had only been 6 inches longer I would have finished 30 minutes earlier.  I had a great pace I'm telling you :-)

One of the things that made it hard to keep on pace was the water stops.  Have you ever tried to walk past someone and grab a cup of water and quick drink it in 5 steps before you hit the trashcan?  It's so hard to do without crushing the cup.  Now I know that everyone just drinks it and tosses it on the ground.  There are people there to pick it up. I just can't do that.  I did get gatorade at a couple of the stops and know I had a nice red moustache for a little while.  haha.

So I mentioned in a previous post that I had learned that nipple chafing was a real issue.  I was worried that I would start laughing if I saw bleeding nipples.  Well in my race bag they gave us a free sample of ointment to help with chafing. I took a picture.  haha. I never saw any bleeding, but I did see a lot of "wet" nipples.  Obviously these guys had put the ointment on.  Oh yeah, I giggled a little.

One of my favorite things to see was the truck bringing up the rear.  The guy jumped out of the back to pick up the clothes littering the route.  All of the clothes end up in a bin at the celebration tent.  I saw lots of shirts, jackets, hats and gloves, but toward the end I saw a pair of pants.  I just tried to imagine someone stopping and taking off his pants before going on.  I would be worried it would trip me up.

Speaking of tripping me up.  I did spot a dollar in the grass.  Oh yeah, I leaned over to get it.  It is now my lucky dollar.  Randy said we should take it and buy a lottery ticket.  haha.  No, it's going in the frame (with my medal, bib, and a picture).

I was worried before the race that people would be judging me for walking, but so many people smiled and told me what a great job I was doing when they passed me.  That made me feel so good.  So I did that for everyone I passed.  It meant a lot to me.

I have a new song that I want to add to the play list...the theme from Chariots of Fire.  haha.  Randy asked if I had that on.  He wanted to know if that was in my head at the finish.  It was not, but I so want it now.

The night before the race I had a long talk with my brother.  He had done a marathon in Vegas.  Turns out that I'm not the only one who puts holes in my socks with my toenails. No matter how short they are, I'm a hard walker.  He does it too. He said that means we use our calves more than our thighs.  Makes sense.  He also gave me some advice.  If I was stopping to use the bathroom (he does not know me at all...haha) then I should stretch out my legs first.  I need to relieve the blood from my feet before they swell.  I did not pee, but it was nice to know.

As I was walking I could feel the tightness in my hamstrings and my I am butt cramping like crazy.  It's good though...I'm that much closer to my future butt! 

Before the race I was looking around and saw so many people wearing the pink bibs.  Blue bibs were for the Half.  Pink were for the Full.  I want a full some day.  I was hoping to train for it for next year, but after yesterday I will hold that off for at least two years.  Next up is to shave time off of my time.  It's still an ultimate goal, but I have to be smart about it.

Lastly, having the support at the finish line was so important to me.  It was so amazing to share the day with people that I love and who supported me.  So if you are signing up for a Half or a Full and you want someone there to cheer you on, then hit me up.  I will be there to scream for you and cheer you on.  I mean this.  Well as long as I have one scheduled.  haha.  It might be hard to just sit and watch, but I will do my best. :-)

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Saturday, December 10, 2011 new lucky number

I DID IT!  I finished my Half Marathon today :-)

Yesterday was very emotional for me.  I went through tissues like you would not believe.  Before I had even finished packing the car I was already crying.  In fact, I stopped at Subway (Eat Fresh!) for lunch and cried the whole time.  I scared this poor elderly couple who wanted to make sure I was alright.

It was a good cry.  I felt like there was a video montage of my life happening.  I was reflecting on who I used to be and how far I have come.  I was completely cried out by the time I arrived to pick up my packet.  I got my number (1099) and my shirt.  Then I took the half mile walk up to the beach.  I wanted to sit on the bench and just clear my mind. It was a beautiful day, but the smell of french fries and pizza was overwhelming. 

I had been worried that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep, it felt a lot like Christmas Eve, but I was so emotionally drained that I didn't think it would be an issue. I loaded up on carbs (pasta pasta pasta) and headed up to bed at 8:30.  I didn't quite fall asleep until 9:30, but I fell asleep hard.  4:30 came mighty fast.  I can't believe I was up that early, but I was.  I got up and jumped into the shower.  I needed that to wake me up. As soon as I got out the giddiness took over.  I quickly finished getting ready and then had my protein bar and a banana for breakfast.  Time to get on the road.

I'm giving a huge shout out to my cousin Randy.  He was my chauffeur/cheerleader/photographer for the day.  He's doing his first half in March and I will be happy to reciprocate. I was way too anxious to drive.  I was also a little freaked out at how dark it was.  Had I not just experienced Sunrise club over Thanksgiving?  The sun was up at least a half hour earlier...this was freaky dark.

Waiting on the boardwalk was one of my favorite moments of the day.  The buzz in the air with everyone stretching and taking pictures and just enjoying the moment...the cold moment.  Yeah, it was a little chilly.  As it got closer we gathered around the bandstand area for the National Anthem (I was not prepared for that and got a little misty...shocking I know). 

Right behind the starting line were the first port-o-johns...the line was huge. ICK.  Luckily I had hydrated the day before so I had only had a couple sips of water before the start.  I was fine.  Oh, and in case you were wondering...I was also good to go on the other front.  I was quite happy that I would not need to worry about that.  haha.  Randy loves me talking about that.

When the starter gun went off it was funny.  There were so many people that I didn't move for a few minutes.  Randy's pictures show a blur of people starting. By the time my group passed you could see all of our faces.  haha.  Just wanted to finish. No need to run.

So my first mile was good.  I had passed a bunch of people.  I know that sounds bad for someone that just wanted to finish, but I'm also competitive and I knew having people behind me would push me to keep moving. There was this couple that kept jogging past me then slowing to a walk.  I would pass them and then a minute later they would pass me again.  This kept up for a mile, then I got my lead.  I didn't think they were going to finish the way they were doing.  I did pass them again later on the final turn around and I had a mile lead on them.  Pace yourselves!

Before I had even finished the second mile, the leaders were heading back towards me and that sucked.  Do you know how hard it is to walk in one direction when close to 2000 people running past you in the other direction?  I tried to not let it get to me, but it's hard.  We had our first water checkpoint and that calmed me down a little.

I am amazed at how I could pick people out of that group. I had seen the guy that checked me in (who had done the JFK 50...amazing) and the very cute guy that had checked me out twice prior to the race.  He checked me out on this passing too.  Nice.  That felt good.  When I hit the turn around point I started counting the people behind me.  I couldn't help it.  I had a dozen.  That was good enough. 

My mind started wandering though.  I had to stop myself.  There was to be no thinking.  I was in the zone.  I don't know how I did it, but I completely cleared my mind.  I know that if I started thinking about the finish line I would start crying.  That would slow me down.  If I started thinking about how far I've come I would start crying. That would slow me down.  I literally focused on the pack of people in front of me. 

I soon noticed that I was not losing ground on them.  They obviously had started earlier than me because we were keeping pace with each other.  If I ran I could have kept up with them.  NO RUNNING.  My hope was that I could catch up with them on a potty break.

On mile three I was walking back on that long stretch where everyone had just been running towards me.  It felt like forever when I was going against the people, but following them it seemed much shorter.

Mile four was funny.  My mind started to drift towards the Hottie that I had seen three times.  Hmm...maybe he's single.  Maybe I'll see him at the finish line. Oh we could get married and have little Marathon babies.  FOCUS JENNIFER!  I let my mind wander for about 3 minutes and then I was back on track.

Mile five I passed two more the potty.  HAHA.  This is also when I saw the first runners heading back towards the finish line.  I had just finished 5 miles and they were about to finish 13.1  argh.  Well good for them, but this was going to be hard to put out of my mind. Something else happened on mile 5.  I also realized that two people who were ahead of me swerved off course.  We were supposed to turn right with the white arrows.  they went straight with the orange cones.  Oops.

So mile six I saw my Hottie pass me.  We smiled...awww...he was cute.  It was nice to see before I headed on to the trail. Up until this point we had been on pavement.  Now we were heading into the trail and it was going to get tricky.  It's a smaller path.  It's a gravel path.  It's a path where you can't really see ahead of you.  It was very tough for me.  I focused on staying out of the runners' way, but also trying to stay on pace.  Not knowing where the next mile marker is was really hard for me.  I let it go though.  I also avoided looking at my watch the whole time.  I just want to finish.

Mile seven is where I started to see the casualties.  Lots of people stretching out cramps.  Sitting.  Stumbling to a walk.  That'll play mind games with you.  But, I was paced to walk and that's what I did.  I never broke my stride.  I may have slowed down a little on the first half of the trail.  It was really hard to focus and stay out of their way, but I never really dropped my pace by much.

Mile eight was exciting.  I was still seeing lots of people coming towards me.  I knew that the turn around point was at mile 9.  That meant that I was within a 2 mile pace of a bunch of people.  That was all I needed.  It helped me get through the hunger.  I started to get really hungry at that point. I had a protein bar in my bag, but I didn't want to get the bag out.  That would mean slowing down.

Mile nine was awesome.  I was turning around and now knew the path ahead of me.  The only thing that got to me was that now I was going to have the Full Marathon runners coming up behind me and blowing past.  It sucked the first few times, but I got used to it and was happy for them.  Except when they got too close to me.  I was hugging the side of the path to give them room and more than once they literally brushed past me. 

Mile ten it started to get tough.  I felt like blisters were starting on the bottom of my feet.  I was getting pinches.  The rest of my body was numb from the cold (it had gotten warm earlier, but the wind had picked up again).  The best thing came into my mind then.  I'm an Athlete now.  I am pushing past this and I am going to FINISH.

Mile eleven was tough.  I no longer felt the blisters, but my feet hurt.  Less than three miles to go though.  I got this!  I contemplated texting Randy to tell him when to expect me at the finish line, but I knew that would mean I would see the time.  I really didn't want to know my time just yet.  If it was good then that's awesome, but if it was bad I was afraid it would really mess me up.  It already felt super long.

Mile twelve had the next to last water stop.  And the only beer stop.  haha.  I had water.  The paper cups were blowing around at my feet because the wind had kicked up so much.  One of them was actually keeping pace with me.  I stepped on it and crushed it.

Mile thirteen.  My body hurt.  My feet were killing me.  One mile to go meant that I didn't give a damn about my pain. I was soooooo close.  When I rounded the corner for the final stretch I could see the white tent up ahead.  I started to feel it.  The emotion just built up in my chest.  I pushed it back down for a minute, but it was hard to keep down.

I had told myself that I could run the last .1 mile.  I was going to finish strong.  I almost took off with .2 to go, but I started to cry and I was afraid that my lungs would give out before the finish so I waited.  As soon as I saw the 13 mile marker though I took off.  The best was that I heard a woman yell after me "That's right girl FINISH STRONG!" 

I saw Randy and my dad at the end and I really thought I was going to trip because my eyes were so blurry.  And then I saw the clock.  HOLY CRAP!  3:28.28...I crossed the line 7 seconds later at 3:28.35.  I had completely blown away my anticipated time.  I really thought I was going to be in the 3:45 range.  Not knowing the course and dealing with the runners coming at me had really thrown me off, but apparently not by much :-)  The best part is that when I crossed the line I heard my name over the loud speaker :-)

I got my medal and my running blanket (that looks like a silver superhero cape) and looked for anyone I knew.  I needed a hug and was about to collapse from emotion.  I found Randy first and just hugged him. Then I got a big hug from my dad and that's when I exhaled and sobbed.  It was over.  I had done it.  I had finished!  AND I had finished with a great pace for me.

Immediately after I had to go into the tent for water and food.  I saw people carrying plates with pancakes and mac'n'cheese and I knew I had to find it.  I got my plate and we went outside and found a bench.  It was the best food I had ever eaten.  I tried to stand up after though and immediately had to sit back down...and take some aleve.  After a minute I got up because I had a mission.

I went back to the ten for a 13.1 t-shirt...and that sticker for my car!  I actually got 3.  One for my car, one for my scrapbook, and one for the mirror on my dresser. I want to see that every day when I wake up.  I was also hoping to run into Hottie, but I never saw him again.  Oh well...maybe next year...

It was still a little early for lunch so we decided to come back to the house, let me shower, then head out.  I had asked my dad to bring ice packs with him so I iced my knee in the car on the way home.  That felt good.  Surprisingly, they have not hurt at all today (and I thank myself for staying smart and walking only).  The shower was wonderful.  Although my fingers started to tingle and I realized just how swollen they were.  I hadn't actually been able to hold a pen to sign my name for my purchases. It looked like a kid had signed my name.

We went out to lunch and they brought me a pitcher of water.  I was a happy girl.  I ordered my mega cheddar cheeseburger with fries.  This is my day of celebration.  Back to the healthy food tomorrow.  Oh and I topped it off with raspberry cheesecake.  Good stuff.

I tried to nap when we got home, but it was useless.  I laid in the massage chair for 3 hours trying to sleep, but my brain would not allow it.  Unfortunately, my body really wanted a nap so I was pretty non-responsive for that time.  It was a good rest at least. Plus I iced the knee a little more. Oh well, I earned it.  I shall sleep well tonight.

So the day was amazing.  I ended up with no blisters. Go buy Reebok Realflex.  I highly recommend them.  In fact, I am buying another pair for myself from Santa.  I hadn't even finished the race when all I could think of was "which race can I do next?".  Oh yeah, I'm in this for life now.  I'm good for twice a year I do believe.  In fact, I already have a partner lined up for next December's race.  This was one of the most amazing days of my life.  I have come so far and could not be more excited.

Have a wonderful wonderful night.

Check out my facebook (address below) page for pictures :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Less than 48 hours to go!

Today was a beautiful day.  It was a cold day, but beautiful.  I struggled with what to do at lunch.  I really wanted to walk, but I also really wanted to relax.  As much as I love walking and working out, you have to know that I still have to talk myself into it every day.  I can come up with a hundred reasons not to.  It's easy.  But, I know I will be very unhappy with myself if I don't do it.

Today was different.  The Sun was calling my name.  I wanted to so bad.  I actually had to talk myself out of it.  Why you ask?  That's just plain madness Jennifer.  Here's the deal.  Last night at church everyone was sick.  I was so paranoid that I would catch something.  Between that and the cold I didn't want to take a chance of getting sick when I'm this close to the race.  I wanted to walk, but I wanted to stay healthy more.  So I stayed in and read.

I compromised.  Since I was not walking I doubled up on the weights and abs tonight so that I wouldn't feel so bad.  GO ME!  I want a flat belly sooooo dang bad.  One day I will have one.  I promise!  I'm hoping that the stress and anxiety from this race will go away Saturday afternoon and I will drop 5lbs on the spot from relaxing.  haha.  I know it won't happen, but a girl can dream.

Okay, so I have to was a bit much.  Since I had yesterday off and I have the next two work days off I had a lot to do at work.  It was a crazy day.  I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I didn't have any water until I got home tonight.  *GASP* It was cold this morning so instead of taking my usually bottle of water, I filled a travel mug with Chai tea.  Then for lunch I bought a diet pepsi.  I don't remember the last time I bought a soda at work.

So did I just let stress get to me?  Or am I self sabotaging?  I really hope that I wasn't doing that.  I will let you in on a little secret.  I keep having this horrible vision.  I see everyone waiting at the starting line and all of these people are looking at me saying "What are you doing here?  You don't belong here."  I do believe it's that Former Fat Girl leading the charge and trying to get me to fail. I don't have these visions often.  Mostly I am seeing me cross the finish line, but they still pop up.

Alright kids, I've got to get to bed soon.  I am planning on getting up with my usual alarm in the morning.  I'm anticipating having a hard time falling asleep tomorrow night so I don't want to have slept in and encouraged it.  I need to make my packing list and read a little.  Sweet dreams.

PS-Someone tell Tony Stewart that I should be crossing the Finish Line between 10:15-10:45am :-)

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Different mall...Different temptations

Happy Hump Day Bleeps!

Well I got up and went to the mall for a walk this morning.  It didn't look like it was raining too hard and I considered going to the park, but you never know when it will downpour so I didn't want to take the chance.  I got to the mall a few minutes after 10 and I got started.

Time wise it appears that four laps equals a mile.  So I kept track on my fingers. I had one mile slow me down, but the rest were right on pace.  This is a smaller mall and going at 10am means there's not a lot of foot traffic.  I did have some problems though.

Did you know they start cooking the cheesesteaks and pizzas at 10am?  That delicious aroma was floating upstairs every time I passed.  I could smell the fried cheese and I wanted nothing more than to go downstairs and eat.  Even at 10 in the morning.

Oh it gets worse.  I totally forgot about the Gertrude Hawk store on the second level.  I had to walk by that Heavenly Chocolate scent on every lap.  There was a picture in the window of a caramel apple...oh dang it I want one.

Luckily Carrabbas is not open until 4pm.  However, they have a sign out front with a picture of their spaghetti and the biggest meatballs I have ever seen.  Oh I wish there was a Carrabbas at the beach.  I would totally be carbing up on that the night before the race.

The best part of the walk was that since it was my day off I could wear my workout clothes.  Not wanting to do more laundry than I need to I wore my old sweatshirt and my workout leggings.  I got to see my butt in leggings in the reflection of every window.  Oh yeah, that as NICE.  Usually when I walk it's in jeans.  It's still nice, but this was different.

I had to cut the walk short because I had to call in to Bible Study at 12:30.  I had considered going back out for a couple more miles, but it's so hard to get started again after a good walk.  My body is definitely a little slower for a while.  I couldn't make it to Starbucks in time to get in and place my order before the call, so I sat in my car until it was over.  Um...that was a bad move.  I had a hard time getting out of the car when it was done.  I did though and decided to eat lunch there.  I've had the Tomato and Mozzarella Panini, but they didn't have them today. I got the Roasted Vegetable one instead.  Did I like it?  OH HECK YEAH!  It was so tasty.  

I feel good about Saturday.  I needed today really bad.  I think I can sleep now.

Okay, so I have been looking at a few more Marathons.  I know.  I know...I haven't even finished this one, but that doesn't matter.  I'm all over it!  I like this.  I found my motivation to get me through the rest of the Holidays.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Biggest Loser - Episode 12

Did you cry?  I sure as heck did.

Well there's one week left before the Finale (It's always bittersweet for to see them, but hate that it's over).  This was the last weigh in before the finale.  The remaining four contestants went home (not sure for how long, but I think maybe a month).

Dear Ms. Becky was the only one who went back to work.  Everyone else kicked the training into high gear.  On the Trainer visit, Dolvett was not happy to see John's wife doing everything for him.  She is still taking care of the house and doing all of the cooking for him. John said it was because he was aiming for the Biggest Loser Title and wants to focus on working out.  Dolvett is worried about how he will fare after the competition.  It's a valid concern.

When they came back to the ranch it was Marathon time.  This year is different and all of the contestants competed.  The winner is automatically in the final three.  It was great to see everyone back. They look great.  Bonnie did sit out on the race because of scheduled knee surgery.  She was a great cheerleader though :-)

Okay, so let me say that it's because of the Biggest Loser Marathon that I have really pushed myself to do my own Half (and hopefully a full next year).  It's always amazing to see how far these amazing people have come in such a short time.  I'm so proud of each and every one of them and wish I had the opportunity to congratulate them at the finish line.

Usually the marathon is along the Pacific highway.  It's beautiful to watch. This year, for some strange reason, it was in the desert. I would have cried on the spot if I was them.  Running on sand would be my nightmare.  It was a sand covered road, but I would have been terrified of sliding and falling.

It was awesome to see how great everyone was doing.  It broke my heart though when the Doctor pulled two of the contestants for injuries.  Neither wanted to stop, but when the Doctor says its for your own good then you have to listen.  Poor Vinny got pulled for his ankle and Oh how my heart broke for Joe.  Joe has my knees.  He got pulled after 21 miles.  He only have 5 to go.  Honestly, he might have made it if he hadn't chosen to run it. 

Ramon won in just over 5 hours.  Good for him.  The top five all finished within about 20 minutes of each other.  I was happy for them, but I was ecstatic when after the 10 hours the final two (older) contestants crossed that line.  Johnny and Debbie are both in their 60's and finished a marathon.  Oh yeah, I cried like a baby for them.  YOU GO!

Then it was time for the final weigh in.  Since there was already a finalist, there were two spots below the Red line.  John and Antone made the finals.  YEAH ANTONE!  YOU GOT THIS!

Next week should be exciting.  Train will be performing and Ali has a big announcement (she's doing a marathon too :-)  Let's just hope that season 13 starts in January, I will be super sad if it doesn't.

Oh and PS - Bob finally got a hair cut and I was so happy.  Who loves Bob Harper?  I DO!  I DO!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rain and Snow? Okay, let's not panic....

Hello Beautiful People!

Did you see the weather forecast? A storm is a coming...Rain and possible snow tomorrow night.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  Deep breaths...ok we can handle this.

Since it was raining today that meant walking at the mall or skipping walking.  We all know I like to walk at the mall.  But, not during the holiday season.  It's too stressful for me to be behind the groups that take up the whole walkway and walk at a snail's pace.  I just couldn't stay in though.  Saturday is around the corner.   So I sucked it up and went to the mall.

I got distracted.  I had Christmas on my mind and shiny pretty window displays caught my attention.  It was hopeless.  I got one mile in and called it a day.  Argh.  It's going to be raining tomorrow too.  I will have to go to the mall by my apartment to walk.  It's not my usual mall walk and I'll have to figure out how many laps equal a mile, but I shall just walk for the time.  The only thing is that it doesn't open until 10am and I have Bible Study at 12:30.  I can really only get 2 hours in.  It'll have to do.

Tonight The Biggest Loser is on at 9pm.  This is killing me. I have a hard enough time making it until the end when it starts at 8. Right now my eyelids are quite heavy.  It's as if my body knows I have a day off tomorrow.  It is starting to shut down. I am exhausted.  I'm taking this as a sign from God that he wants me to chillax (oh that's right...I went there).  Still planning on the 8 miles tomorrow, but will be happy with 5.  I can walk at the mall at lunch on Thursday.  Friday I have off to head down to the beach. I can pick up my race packet at 2pm.  The forecast is 50 and sunny.  I may go early and get an hour in.  I don't want to overdo it though.

As it is I'm not looking forward to my Friday night dinner.  I'm supposed to carb up with pasta.  This goes against everything my body has been training for.  I used to eat pasta by the bucket full.  It was cheap and it was good.  Pasta most definitely helped me get to that 200lb mark.  I try to avoid it as much as possible right now.  If I do have it, I have a cup of whole wheat with garden vegetable sauce.  I'm worried.  I'm worried about crossing the line of eating the right amount and going over to the sick side.  I don't want to be hungry during the race, but I don't want to be sick either.

In preparation of my walk tomorrow I had some whole wheat pasta tonight.  I use the measuring cup now when I make pasta. I no longer eyeball the pot.  Pasta expands in water...follow the serving size suggestion please.  It's there for a reason.

So I've been doing a lot of thinking.  I have decided to give myself a title.  I am an Endurance Walker!  I'm hoping that will keep me from trying to pretend that I am a Runner. I am not a runner.  I have not been training as a runner.  I have been training for Endurance walking.  If I forget who I am, then I may not finish the race.  I WANT TO FINISH!  If it's on my hands and knees I am going to cross that finish line.  I want that medal.  And I want that 13.1 sticker for my car.  Oh I'm such a nerd and I get all giddy when I see cars with those stickers.  As far as the medal is concerned, everyone who finishes gets one.  I have only ever gotten one trophy.  It was from my soccer team when I was 10.  Everyone got one.  I have always been a Certificate girl.  I got awards for my brain.  Never for my body.  This medal means that I completed something that I worked so hard for. I will probably sleep in it.

Oh heavens I am tired and I am rambling.  So I shall call it a night.  Hey I get to sleep in a little tomorrow...YEAH!  Now I'm excited. Have a wonderful night. 

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting Nervous

Happy Monday Bleeps!

The Half Marathon is in 5 days and yeah, I'm getting nervous.  It's not what you think though.  Is all of my talking about the Marathon getting on your nerves?  I'm sorry, but it's the only thing getting me through the Holidays.  Focusing on the goal at hand is what has kept me from slacking off and gaining the weight back.

The training is helping with Holiday stress.  Of course, it's also adding new stress.  All of that time for walking could be dedicated to preparing for Christmas.  I spend a lot of my walking time making To Do lists.  There is still so much to do.  My family party is less than two weeks away.  I haven't even started my cards yet.  I just got my tree up last night.  I still have several scarves to knit.  I am way behind on my Christmas movie watching.  I have Christmas cds to make.  I have not wrapped one gift yet.

Going into today I still had 2 unscheduled vacation days to take before the end of the year.  You would think that is a good thing.  I have been trying to schedule them for a month now.  There are several people that cannot be out of the office if I want off.  This has been torture.  I didn't want to just take random days off.  I wanted to make sure I had someone to spend the day with.  I get depressed and lonely over Christmas.  My immediate family is not in the area and schedules get busy so I don't get to spend the time I want with my friends.  I was able to schedule a day next week to hang out with Daddy Long Legs.  That left one more day.  I opted to use it this week. I shall use my day off as one last long walk before the race.  After my walk I will watch Christmas movies and write out my cards.  Bonus.  It all works out.  Of course next week we will be making Christmas Cookies...wish me luck.

So what happens after the race?  Will I be able to walk away from the cookies? What will my motivation be?  Can I get through the holidays without falling off the wagon?  Can I get through the winter without putting on some survival fat?  I've been kicking around some ideas.  I was going to pledge to post a picture of me in a bikini on June 1.  Please note, that I have not been in a bikini since I was 3yrs old so that is a huge deal.  The problem is that clothing doesn't really give me long term motivation.  A future post will go into detail about the Bridesmaid dress that almost gave me a heart attack last summer. 

Motivation is sooooo important.  I have to share that while I am walking at lunch I often see two guys going out for a run.  Oh how I wish I could do that.  I got to talking with one of them recently and he told me that seeing me out there walking every day gives him the motivation to out there on days when he just doesn't feel it.  That was so awesome to hear.  Especially since I really want to grab my book and head to Starbucks on most days.  What's cool is that seeing them out there running motivates me too.  What a wonderful circle.

You also motivate me.  Seeing the number of people reading my blog every day helps me.  Seeing the number of people from Europe is simply awesome.  Sending a big shout out to Russia, Germany, Romania, Sweden, and the UK.  I love that!  So thank you for coming back every day :-)

Okay, I am going to try and knit a little before bed.  I need a little down time.  Even if it's for thirty minutes before bed.  My brain is on overload right now.  I am extremely anxious about this race and I need to chill out a bit.  Until tomorrow my beautiful ones....

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday is a Day of Rest - so obviously today is really Saturday.2

So if Twitter followers are "Tweeps" are Blog followers "Bleeps"?  Hi there Bleeps!

It's been a long day.  A good day.  Just very long.  Usually Sunday is my day of rest, but we are less than a week from the Half and I gots ta get to work!

I got up and went to church.  I took my awesome Starbucks water "shaker" (don't know why they call it that, but it's a cool cup for water). My plan was to walk 10 miles at the track right after church.  I was half way to the track when I realized that I left the cup at church.  BAH.  I will be back for choir on Wednesday, but I wanted it.  I quickly turned around and headed back.  We had a guest Pastor today so by the time I got back everything was locked up.  So then I turned back around and went back to the track.  Oh, I quick stopped by Target to look for something for a friend.  By the time I got to the track it was an hour later and all I could think of was that I should have peed while I was in Target.

I got started and after 4 miles I had two problems.  One - I had to pee.   Two - I was Hot.  I was wearing the jacket that I am planning on wearing for the Half next weekend.  I had a tank top under it.  And if I was alone at the track I might have taken the jacket off.  However, there were a couple dozen high school boys messing around playing football on the field and I didn't feel comfortable doing that.

So now I'm rethinking what I am going to wear next weekend.  Maybe I need to go buy a zip up jacket.  I have a black one, but it's not exciting.  Will I be wearing shorts?  Crap, that means I have to shave too.  Anyway, back to my jackets.  The one I bought for the race is royal blue.  I love it.  I love the fact that I'm out there buying bold colors.  You know what I'm talking about.  For years my closet was full of black clothes.  Nothing hides fat like dark clothes.  I would occasionally toss in the red sweater, but for the most part my clothes were black, gray, or dark blue.  Now they are full of bright colors: Pink, orange, green, white, red, and light blue.  One of my favorite workout shirts is a lime green.  Don't get me wrong, my pants are still black.  One step at a time.

Good news!  I just looked at the weather and it's going to be a high of 43!  Now I need to worry about keeping warm enough.  haha.  Crisis averted.

Okay, so back to the walk. As I was finishing mile 8 I had it in my head to finish up and do two more miles.  I really wanted to get 10 in.  But, my bladder had other plans.  I had to pee.  I also realized what time it was (remember I got a later start than originally planned) and I need to eat.  So I left after 8 miles.  I'm sad, but I'm still glad I got that much in.  I mentally made my list of what I want to take with me next weekend and what I will need after: extra clothes to change into, a cooler with bags of ice for my knees, a change of shoes (as I'm certain my feet will hurt), a case of advil, a snot hankie, and baby wipes.

After the walk I went to Subway (Eat Fresh!) and then Target.  I needed to get some groceries.  By the time I got home it was after 4 and I had a lot on my To Do list.  I had not decorated for Christmas yet.  If you know me, you know how shocking this is. I am little Miss Christmas.  I Live for Christmas.  I would normally be decorated and have my cards already mailed. I have a different focus right now.  It's a good focus, but I really wanted to put my tree up.  So I did.  It's so pretty!  Plus I watched another Muppet Movie while I was putting it up :-)

I hope you had a wonderful and healthy day.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reindeer Run 5K and some Muppets...Obviously

What a beautiful day!

I had a hard time going to bed last night and thought it would be difficult to get up early this morning.  My alarm went off though and my body shot out of bed.  I was ready for this 5K.  I braided the hair, put on the antlers and headed out.

Well before I left I did get online just to double check where I was going.  I was able to pull up a route map and saw that it was mostly weaving up and down some roads, then heading around a ball field and back to the YMCA.  I also saw that they asked runners to bring canned food.  Good thing I saw that.  I rummaged the cabinet and found some beans I bought last week.

When I pulled up I had 10 minutes to run and sign in and then stretch.  There were lots of people dressed up for the Reindeer Run.  Some elves, some reindeer, Santa, and even a Grinch.  Te he.  I wish I could have taken a bunch of pictures.  I was trying to focus though. 

When we started everyone took off running down the two blocks before we cut over to a side street.  Yup, I got caught up in the excitement and ran with everyone.  My head was screaming DON'T DO IT! I just didn't listen though.  We rounded the corner and I started to slow down.  I knew it was a bad idea.

Then the sweetest thing happened.  A women came up beside me and put her hand on my elbow.  She said we would do it together.  She told me to concentrate on my breathing and she would pace with me.  I tried to stay with her for another block because it was the nicest thing.  I didn't have the heart to tell her about my knees.  Naturally I started tearing up with her there.  After five blocks my knees started screaming at me so I slowed it down to a walk and let her go.

The damage was done. The emotional flood gates were open.  I would think about the marathon next weekend and I started shaking and trying to keep the crying from happening.  A few tears made their way out, but I held it together for the most part.

You know my body doesn't react well to the running.  Not only are my knees unhappy, but my pace is generally way off.  I put on my watch this morning, but I did not look at it the whole time.  I wanted to focus on finishing.  I'm proud of that.  I was still on the first mile though when the leader passed me on the way back.  He must have been pacing for a 4 minute mile.  That messed with my head.  I suddenly didn't feel good enough.  But wait, this dude is obviously a ringer.  Get him out of your head Jennifer!

So I got back to walking and focusing.  I didn't even notice when I had crossed into mile 2.  A little while later my body finally got back to pace.  It was as if my knees said Alright Let's Do This!  When I hit mile three I was super happy.  There were still a few people behind me.  Not many, but about 97% of the people involved were running.  About 5 of us were walking.

The sucky thing is that as I was walking they were breaking down the barriers.  At least they weren't following me with them.  The other sucky thing is that when I had a half mile to go a bunch of people came walking by on their way home.  Argh.  Rub it in why don't ya.  That made me kick it up though.  And off I went.  I pushed it for the final hill up to the finish line.  When they called out my number I started sprinting.  All I saw was that I was in the 46 minute mark.  Seriously?  I was just one minute off of my pace?  I couldn't believe it.  I was so proud.  I really thought the running ruined me. YEAH!

So here's what I learned today for next week:
*the hair will be in braids (my grandmother loves when I do this.  She says my great-grandmother would be so proud that I show my Swedish heritage :-)
*We are sticking with the RealFlex Reebok sneakers.
*I need a snot rag.  When it's cold my nose runs when I walk.
*I cannot run.  I really need someone walking behind me ready to yank on the leash in case I start that.
*I am not super worried about the cold now.  I was fine...and it was quite brisk this morning.  (I would have worn my earmuffs, but they would have clashed with the reindeer antlers)

To celebrate I went to the movies with some friends this afternoon.  I heart the Muppets (I'm even working on my irrational fear of frogs...thank you Kermie!).  My knee did stiffen up during the movie, but I was able to stretch it out and I was fine. 

Tomorrow I am planning on 10 miles.  However, if it is really cold I may only get in 5-8.  I am worried about getting sick so close to the race.  I trust my body to finish next weekend, but I want to make sure I get as much training in as possible.  I so got this!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.