Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ready to date?

Happy Thursday Beautiful People,

This morning as I was driving to work I heard one of my favorite love songs.  Now I have a long commute and I usually like upbeat music that makes me move for my ride in.  It takes a lot to wake me up. But, I love this song so I listened to it: "Amazed" by Lonestar. It made me wistful.

I miss having the dreamly lovey dovey feeling over someone. Gym crushes are nice, but they are just that. I miss the butterflies. I miss the smiles.  I miss the giggles.  I miss the anticipation. I miss having someone to think about during these songs.  Does this mean I'm ready to start dating again? My head and my heart are seriously disagreeing on this.

Heart: YES 

Brain: NO!! Get Certified and then date all you want!  We don't have time right now.

Heart: Just a little fun, we deserve this.

Brain: Do not lose focus!

Heart: Come on...just ONE!

Brain: It's like pringles, you can't stop at one!

Heart: Mmm...did you just say pringles?

Brain: See you are already losing focus.  Think about the food. If you date right now you will stress about eating.

Heart: I can make it my cheat day!

Brain: NO!

Heart: But I wanna!

Brain: And what if you fall for some guy and he breaks your heart?  Are you strong enough to handle that? Are you willing to risk all of your progress?

Heart: I might be okay.

Brain: Might ain't good enough. We have worked so hard.  Let's just get certified and then you can date all over the place.

Heart: I want to be courted.

Brain: See, that's more than just dating. NO TIME!

Heart: But what if I find a guy that will workout with me and help me study?  Can I date him?

Brain: Where are you going to find him?

Heart: I don't know, I haven't gotten that far yet. One step at a time.

Brain: Fine, if you find him and he respects your food choices and woos you then you can date him!

Heart: WOO WOO!!!

So there you have it Universe...if you want me to start dating my head and heart have agreed if you have someone in mind I can make the time for him.


And on that note, here is a recap of an email conversation with Heather yesterday:

Heather: What's the link for this weekend's 5K?

Me: Here ya go.

Heather: Got it. Signed up :-)

Me: Sweet! Let's take lots of pictures of the Cherry Blossoms and Find Me a Man!

Heather: LMAO

Me: But preferably not one dressed up in a bunny costume.



Alright kids, less than 5 minutes to go in the Syracuse game. It's time to focus. Happy March Madness everyone!

Have a Blessed Night.

****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, March 27, 2013

Random Wednesday: Oreos, Fairies, and Kim Kardashian

Happy Random Wednesday! And random it is...

Okay so I have been meaning to bring this up for months, but I keep forgetting.  So you know how I am obsessive about time? Well I have now gone a couple of months without wearing my watch. Basically, I take my jewelry off before I go to the gym and in the mornings I am running out the door. So I would remember to put my watch on in the car and then one day I just forgot. And I haven't put it on since. Now it's not as crazy as it sounds since my phone has the time, but I am not obsessively looking at my watch.  This is a good thing :-)


My name is Jennie and I like cheesy Hallmark channel movies. I do. I don't come running home for them or adjust my schedule for them, but if I find a nice big cheesy one on and I am available I will watch it. And that's what happened on Saturday morning. Just Desserts came on. It was a romantic comedy involving a dessert baking competition. I am not sure if I watched it because of the cheesy love story or because of the desserts...all I know is that I craved a cupcake the whole time. Oh who am I kidding, I craved the whole cake.


I'm a little out of it when it comes to what's in in fashion. I'm all over jeans and sweatshirts basically.  Have to say though, that I'm not a super fan of low rise. They just put the belly right up there don't they...bah. Well I found out yesterday from Ms. Kerri that high waisted jeans are coming back. THANK GOODNESS!


So after I slept in on Saturday and then watched that delicious cheesy movie, I hunkered down to study. It was such a beautiful day though and we hadn't had them in so long. I wanted to go outside and play. I at least wanted to frolic a little.

I asked Heather if she wanted to go for a walk with me and she countered with "Would you like to join us on a hike? Xavier found a tree that was carved like a little fairy house including furniture." Uh YEAH I do!

That afternoon we grabbed some water and protein bars and headed out. There is a park a couple of blocks from the house that has a dog park, walking trail, and playground. The walking trail goes around the wooded area and through it.

It took us a little while to find it, but it was way cool...

It wasn't an intense workout, but it got me out of the house on a beautiful day for a little while and kept me active. Plus, I felt really really tall!


March Madness is upon us and Syracuse played on the West coast for the first two rounds. They were given the last time slot of the night on Thursday and Saturday. Murphy's law says if I like a TV show that is on at 10pm I will never stay awake for the full show. And so I prepared myself. I made sure to hit up the caffeine for each game. I have had more caffeine in the last week then I have in the last month. Tonight is the 100th episode of Psych and I am determined to stay awake for it...but Syracuse plays at 9:45 tomorrow night...someone's out to get me.


Yesterday we went to Plaza Azteca for lunch. I opted for the side of rice instead of beans. At the time I was still planning on going to the gym after work and did not want to clear the room with gas.  I ended up skipping the gym because my belly was still full and I didn't want to reverse the affects of my chair massage on my neck.


I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian. I am not going to go into why I am not. However, I am not a fan of how she is being treated by the media right now. It's Jessica Simpson all over again. I don't care who you are, it's LOW to call someone "fat" and report on their weight gain just to sell magazines.  It makes me sick.


OMG I just saw a commercial for Rolos...I haven't had a Rolo in forever...If Psych was not coming on in 13 minutes I would be running to the store for some right now.


So after we got back from the hike I studied a little longer and then we went out to Big Lots.  I had never been and Heather needed to pick up some snacks. She has found bag of sweet potato and apple chips that is just yummy so she wanted to pick up some more.

I wasn't going to get anything, but blasted!  I got a bag of those chips, a small pack of double stuff oreos, and some other items. All I kept saying to her was "I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you." haha.

The oreos were opened in the car. I couldn't wait to get home. I broke my rule, but I cannot control myself around Oreos. DOH! 

My future boyfriend got a little feisty after the race on Sunday. I still heart him...and await his phone call. Tony Stewart CALL ME!


Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Studying: Anxiety and Stress

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

I'm going through Biggest Loser withdrawal! haha. I didn't know what to do with myself when I got home from the gym last night. And so I decided to study. It pained me not to blog, but I need to cut back on something right now...temporarily...don't panic!

I want to study. I enjoy the studying for the most part, but it seriously stresses me out. So I need to work on some things.

First, it stresses me for the obvious. I'm tired. I'm short on time. I work from 8-5 every day and my commute is 60-90 minutes each way. Then I need to get to the gym as often as I can. How can I devote the time I need to?  I try to get it in during some lunches. I try to schedule time at night. I try to schedule weekends. But, I am not race training anymore. I can now afford to double my study time. Possibly triple it.

So can I cut back on my gym time?  Technically yes. I am not in training any more so I don't need my long distances every week. I would still like one every month or so, but I don't HAVE to do that right now.  And quite frankly my knee is a mess and my hamstring is still tight. They need the rest.

I do not need to workout 6 days a week. It's not the end of the world if I cut it to 4 or 5 days for a little while. Or is it?  Physically it's fine. Mentally it's not. Mentally I am a basket case if I am not getting my workouts in. It all falls back to the ever present fear that I will fall back into the Former Fat Girl ways and start to gain the weight back.

Second, it stresses me with my test anxiety. I was never so happy to graduate from college. I am not a good test taker. Graduating meant no more tests.  But, did you know that if you move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina then you still have to take the written drivers test again?  I had been driving for years and was terrified that I was going to fail the exam (even though I think people should have to take the exam to renew the license, but that's another story haha).  I couldn't breathe and drove myself crazy studying for it.

I can't relax during exams. My brain gets dysfunctional and overthinks every question. The thought of a 150 question exam scares the *BLEEP* out of me.  It's not just a little discomfort. If you checked my blood pressure at rest and then checked it while I am just thinking about the exam, well it ain't good. I have severe anxiety over it.

Third, to me studying is a trigger to eat. Maybe it has to do with comfort for the test anxiety, I don't know. But when I'm studying all I want to do is snack on something. I don't care what it is, but I want something to chew on. NOT good when you are a food addict and trying to study 12-15 hours a week. It's extremely hard to sit down and focus for a couple of hours while resisting the urge to go buy a bag of chips or box of cookies to munch on.

For the most part I try to do my studying away from the house. I do it at lunch during work, I go to starbucks, and I go to the library. It's easier to do it at these times to minimize distractions. If I am home I will think about doing laundry or cleaning something or even put the tv on. If I am away for a scheduled period of time I can focus. I can also minimize the snacking. You can't eat at the library. If I am studying during lunch at work then I am eating fairly healthy. Starbucks sells food, but I'm not that wealthy to afford more than a cookie every now and then.

Fourth, it's stressing my body. My body is no longer exhausted from all of the running, but it's stiff and sore from studying. I try to stay seated upright, but I know I slouch. So my posture suffers and my neck gets stiff from constantly looking down. My neck has been sore for a week. Today I had a chair massage and usually they tell me that I have a lot of tension in my shoulders. Today she commented on how tight my neck was. She did a good job relaxing me, but I know it's going to come back as soon as I start studying again. 

I already sit and stare at a computer screen 8 hours a day. It's bad on my eyes and keeps me from moving around. I feel like I gain a pound every time I sit at my desk.  I need to move!!!

It's important to listen to your body. Mine screams at me all of the time. But, I have a hard time figuring out if it really is my body telling me to relax or if it's the Former Fat Girl trying to get out. This past weekend I was super excited to sleep in on Saturday. I literally had nothing planned for the day. I had things that I wanted to do, but nothing was scheduled in a time slot...well except for the Syracuse game that night. 

And so I slept in. I woke up at 9 and my brain wanted to get up and get the day started. My body had other ideas. I stayed in bed until 11 watching tv. And then I forced myself up on commercials to do little tasks. My brain was screaming GET UP AND GET STUDYING!  My body was screaming YOU HAVE ALL DAY! STAY HERE!  I did enjoy my time lazing around, but I got scared. That's how the Former Fat Girl used so spend all of her Saturday mornings. I think my fear of my old habits is keeping me from resting and relaxing. I should not feel guilty about one moring in bed, but I did.

Sometimes I wonder if the Former Fat Girl doesn't want me to take this Certification exam. I think she's trying to distract me and put doubts in my head. I think she's scared that she's going to disappear completely, as I hope she does, but I know she won't. As much as I don't want to be her anymore, she's who I was for 30 years. She is causing me stress. I'm starting to feel like Sybil...and I feel like I'm losing :-(

On the Upside, I have decided that to help with my studying of Anatomy, I will watch Bones and Gray's Anatomy to see if the terms are sticking in my head. hahaha. Hey, if studying means some time with McDreamy...well I gotta do what I gotta do.

Have a Blessed Night.

****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, March 24, 2013

Race Weekend Part 3: Post Race Foodfest

Happy Sunday Bleeps!

Okay, so where were we?  When last we spoke we were just leaving the medic tent all iced up and ready to go. First thought: FEED ME!  So we headed towards the Metro station. We decided to go back to Federal Triangle and go to the Old Post Office Pavilion for lunch. 

However, getting down to the metro was not quite the easy task. There was a St. Patrick's day festival taking place by the finish line so many people were coming out of the metro and just as many people were trying to get on to it. The 4 people in front of us were arguing. My leg was turning numb from my ice pack (as it kept sliding off of my knee). Our little group got separated. It was MAYHEM I tell you!  Luckily it was the perfect time for some photo ops. Our lovely "Stuff Holders" Hannah and Keeley:

So about an hour later (just kidding, more like 20 minutes) we made it down to the platform.  Good thing I hadn't just watched an episode of Elementary where someone got pushed on to the tracks and died...good thing I'm not that paranoid!  (I did step back a little and let others stand in front of me haha).

To put it bluntly, we were packed in like sardines when we got on the train. It was painful. I am too dang short to reach the overhead bar comfortably. I was stretching for it and felt my calves cramping from that. The girls said I could hold on to them so I did. We got up close and personal. haha. Big shout out to the conductor who was hilarious. Every stop we made he told the people not to get on. There was no room. We were packed in there...and let me just put it out there: Many were really sweaty!

We got off of the train and I was willing to throw my body between the doors to hold them open so that all of my peeps got off. That may sound chivalrous, but really, I just wanted us all to get to the food. haha.

It was eerily quiet when we came above ground and headed over to the entrance. All we had to do was cross the street and it felt like it took forever. I felt like I had been hobbled (reading Misery has ruined me forever haha). Where's a boyscout to lead you across the street when you need one?

We had time to kill waiting for our green light to cross and so I routed around for the gel packs that I shoved down my shirt. I only found one...hmm...what happened to the second one? I can only imagine what it looked like to someone from behind if it dropped out underneath me.

30 minutes later we cross the street *totally just felt like that* and we walked into the Pavilion. Stairs. CRAP!!!!!!!  I guess I looked pathetic enough because they let me use the ramp that went around the medal detector, but I still had to come around and go through it. That meant taking the medals off...dang it.

One of the reasons why I wanted to go there was because it had a wide variety of food. Everyone could have what they were in the mood for. It's also a place that I used to go to at least once a week when I lived in DC. Naomi and I would got there often to just chill out. I miss her.

I was physically tired, but this also had me emotionally tired. I really needed to sit down...but first I needed to use the ladies room. I managed to avoid the port-a-potties during the whole race, threatening to just pee my pants and let it be, and now I really had to go....tutu and all!

When it was time to order I asked for a burger and fries.  That's really all I crave after races. Don't know why, but I do. We happened to be sitting by a Ben and Jerry's...yeah, totally not leaving without some of that.

*Funny story: every now and then we would look up and see two guys walking by us putting their belts back on. It was always different guys. We were getting a little weirded out when someone realized that we were by another entrance and they had to take them off for the metal detector. hahahaha*

Our Cheer Squad: Keeley, Aunt Carol, Aunt Kathy, Mom, Hannah, and Me *Randy had to get back home and wasn't able to join us for lunch

When it was time to place the order for the ice cream I couldn't see the full menu. I don't remember what I decided that I wanted, but when Hannah was in line someone moved out of the way and I saw Chunky Monkey, which is my #1 I started screaming "CHUNKY MONKEY HANNAH!  I WANT CHUNKY MONKEY! DID YOU HEAR ME? CHUNKY MONKEY!!!"...she was all of 20 feet away from me and I literally had no energy to get up. I had used up my energy on one of my 5 trips to the ladies room (I drank a lot of water and gatorade that day haha).  And I hunted around during those trips looking for the other gel pack, but could not find it. It was lost forever.

After what felt like a few hours we got up to leave. We were standing at the cross walk again waiting to cross when I rubbed my chest and it hurt. I reached down in there one last time and found the missing gel pack. I have no idea how it managed to do it, but it had wiggled it's way between and then under the boobs. It was a TIGHT fit, so this was one determined gel pack. haha.

The good news is that by the time we got on the train the crowds had thinned out. We were able to get seats to ourselves. Which meant I could put my feet up. I could have slept if I really wanted to, but I don't think the angle of my head would have been comfortable. I just needed that knee up.

I very much enjoyed my shower when we got home. I put my sweats on and relaxed on the bed.  As it approached dinner time we had a couple options. We could order in or we could go out. As tired as I was, I voted to go out. I needed to move around or my body would stiffen.

So we went to the used book store that I love so much before dinner. Usually I am walking around for so long I will find mom sitting on the bench in the front of the store. I also will have a bag full of books with me. This time I was severely limited. I couldn't really look on the shelves below my waist. haha. There was no squatting. After a little while, they found me practically passed out on the front bench with my 2 books. haha. Oh well, I tried. At least they were both on my list!

We opted for Panera for dinner. It's always a good choice. And since it was still "eat whatever I want" weekend, I went for my comfort food: big kid grilled cheese and tomato soup...ahhhh...and then I found us a table where I could put my feet up. My feet were fine earlier while my sneakers were off, but they started swelling as I was walking around the book store. So up they go.

Needless to say, I slept hard that night! And when I woke up it was Cheesecake Factory Day!  HOLLA!  Okay, seriously I was more excited about meeting up with an old friend then going to Cheesecake Factory...but it was a close second!

And can I tell you that as I was driving there it started to snow!  Thank goodness it didn't happen the day before. We totally lucked out with great weather.

Ann and I hadn't seen each other in about 14 years. It was hard to stop talking. Our poor waitress kept coming over to take our order. Finally we decided to concentrate on the menu. If I'm going to cheat, I'm going to cheat big. We ordered the appetizer that was fried avocado, fried zucchini, and fried portobello. I really try to not eat fried foods and it kills me to fry such healthy options, but we did it anyway. I just about died with the avocado....O...M...G!  I still prefer it in guacamole form, but this was yummy.  argh...I was hoping I wouldn't like it.

I ordered the southwest egg rolls...they are my favorites. There are 8 on the plate and I stopped at 6. I would take the others home...and that left room for cheesecake. YEAH!

Being the smart and indecisive girls that we are, we decided to each order a slice that the other liked and split them. So I ordered the raspberry lemon cheesecake. Ann ordered the Dulce De Leche cheesecake.  They were HEAVENLY!

It was so good seeing each other and we had some we walked the mall. We walked every floor..and then a couple several times. That felt good. It was no where near what was needed to burn off those calories, not even closes. Maybe one egg roll, but it was better than sitting around. And then we did that. haha. 

It was nice to not think about what I was eating all weekend, but my body was not happy. It was upset with me. It was not used to it. Deep fried vegetables is not how it likes to eat them these days. It scares me that the Former Fat Girl used to eat like this every day. NO MORE! The good news is that the next Eat Whatever I Want weekend is not until September.

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Race Weekend Part 2: Rock'n'Roll USA Race Day

Hello Beautiful People,

Alright, let's get right down to Race Day.

The morning actually started pretty smoothly. Showers were had. Breakfast was eaten. And we left for the metro at 6:15 am.  It was still dark and I was trying to wake myself that meant dancing and skipping from the car to the metro station. I don't know why my peeps kept moving further and further away from me...maybe it was the tutu...

We were cold and we were a little we took some pictures (theme of the day I think). But, we were having fun.

We got on the train at the first stop so we had to wait a little while for it. And the fun part was seeing a few more Rock'N'Rollers on the platform. The girls were loving the tutu, but I was loving the dude in his kilt and green knee-high socks.

The ride in was funny. Aunt Kathy and I have two totally different modes to prepare. She was resting up and I was pumping myself up with my music...and I might have danced a little on the train...I hope there's no video of that.

The ride was only 30 minutes and the closer we got the more RNRs there one point I was giggling thinking about how much spandex was on that train. haha.

We arrived a little after the start of the race, but there's no worries. It's going to take a while to get 30,000 people across the start line. The funny thing is that when we came out of the metro stop it was disorienting coming outside into a courtyard that was not there back when I worked there and we had to quickly figure out if we needed to head to the left or the right.  It was easy. Close your eyes and listen for the music. We were one block away and headed left.

CHILLS! That's all I have to say when we walked out to Constitution Ave and saw the masses of people moving in front of us. Off to the right just in front of the Start Line was the Washington Monument...this is gonna be a cool day.  OH and speaking this point there is no rain.

We walked down a couple of blocks then started to get in line.

 And then came the call "I think I should try to use the bathroom before we go." Oh you know that was not me. I refuse to use a port-a-potty after the last race...and Lord knows it AIN'T happening in a tutu. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Aunt Kathy was in that line that didn't seem to be moving, but the line for the race sure was.

This is me jumping up and down ready to go. The neon to the left of me is the back of the line. Seriously, I worked so hard to move up in corrals and I'm going to start at the end again!  Oh well...just more people to pass. (ps check out how killer my legs look!)

Okay, so we had a little bit of a run to get to the start line...but that was a nice little warm up. We caught up with 2 corrals to go and then I heard our names being screamed. Mom and Aunt Carol had arrived and met up with the girls. YEAH!  More cameras!  I love having paparazzi.

Alright finally it's time to get started. Let's GO!  We crossed over the start line and immediately to the left was the Washington Monument...pretty.

And we crossed under the large American Flag hanging above us which is so cool.

Now if i was paying attention I would have looked to the left of me at the White House...DOH!  Oh well. When we crossed the first mile marker it was a little sad. The time listed was 1 hour. had been an hour since the first person crossed the starting line. The good news is that it will make the math a little easier when we pass each marker!

We decided to slow it down a little on mile 2. I hadn't trained to start off running and we wanted to see how Aunt Kathy's back was feeling. The first water stop was by the Lincoln Memorial...which was cool, but the two sides we saw were not Lincoln.

My favorite part of the course was on mile 3 running across the Arlington memorial bridge and then back. That was beautiful and a little emotional.

On mile 4 we had our next water stop and I wanted to pick it up a little. My Run for Autism group would be cheering us on at mile 5. Mile 4 was a mix of walking and running. When we came up on them it was great. 15-20 people on the side lines screaming and jumping up and down for high-fives.

Miles 5 and 6 were relatively calm. It was pretty along Rock Creek Parkway.  We had done a lot of running for the first 5 miles. My knee was feeling good, but I was starting to feel tight in my right hamstring and butt cheek. It wasn't that bad yet though.

As we were coming up on mile 7 I saw the hill. The big one. The one that I had been afraid of. It was not pretty. Basically we cut a left and head right up the hill. No one was running it. No one was standing upright. It SUCKED!  And it lasted forever...and ever...and ever.

These lovely ladies were on the hill. LOVE the TUTUS!

There was a sign a the top of the hill that said "It's all downhill from here...literally"...LIES! haha. Nothing was that bad, but there were still more. It took a little while to get my legs working again.  The thigh was so tight at that point that it was difficult to move it. I kept going. We were halfway. And still no rain!

Mile 8 was fun. I can't remember the cheer group except that they were by a DJ who was playing hip hop music and they were dancing. My legs had stretched and I felt better so I kicked it into high gear. I sprinted and danced and then it was another quick left and up a hill. DOH!  My breath was knocked out of me. No sprinting like that again.

Mile 8 was fun. I can't remember the cheer group except that they were by a DJ who was playing hip hop music and they were dancing. My legs had stretched and I felt better so I kicked it into high gear. I sprinted and danced and then it was another quick left and up a hill. DOH!  My breath was knocked out of me. No sprinting like that again.

At that water stop Aunt Kathy needed a restroom break. I didn't hear her say "go on and I'll catch up" so I waited for her. I tried to keep moving, but my momentum slowed down considerably. This is bad. BAD.  I always have a hard time starting up again. I did however take the time to text and give an update on our mileage.

I think this was the mile that we were crossing the street when the light turned red. We joked with the cop blocking traffic that we were speeding.  He jokingly took our Race numbers and said he was sending us tickets. We so fast!  haha

There was an unofficial beer stop on mile 9. I don't normally like beer, but I was hot and I'll take the carbs. As we were coming up on it they were yelling "The tutu is going to take one!" oh yeah I will. Although it was handed to me by a 4 yr old...I'm not really sure that's legal.

Mile 9 had my favorite band. It was a marching band. They were drumming it up. That was great. Sadly it was also where we saw our first major injury. Some poor woman had face planted and they were icing up her whole face. Ouch.

So now all I'm thinking is that we have 4 miles left. I had hoped to run the last 5 straight, but I couldn't take it. I cannot even begin to describe how bad my hamstring felt. My legs were tight in my last Half Marathon, but this was totally different. This felt pulled.

I tried to keep up as much as I could. We would jog for a little while and then I would have to drop back. If Aunt Kathy would look back I would hold up my fist and that was my sign that my butt was super tight.  I felt bad holding her back a little, but she also kept me moving which was nice.

Mile 10 brought a lot of drama. First up was the water stop with the gel packs. I told Aunt Kathy to grab a couple if she could. I took one to eat and shoved 2 down my shirt. As we were running this was a long stretch heading towards the Capital. That was way cool. We never actually got that close to it, but it was really cool to see.

Notice the Capital in the background...And the Blue sky!  It turned into a gorgeous day!  This is the mile that my phone ran out of memory. DOH!  Time to put it away. No more pictures.

When we turned away from the Capital I tried to kick up the running but the hamstring was killing me. I put my energy into reserve for the last two miles. This was one of my favorite miles though. There was a police woman on mile 11 who was blocking off traffic and talking into her speaker. She was calling out numbers and encouraging everyone. That was really awesome. Lots of people were talking about her on instagram saying how much they loved her.

Mile 12...well it HURT. My knees were bothering me, but I was starting to feel like I had sat in a bear trap.  My mind wanted to take off and run. "The sooner we get there the sooner it's over". We pulled over to stretch for a few minutes. I couldn't take it any longer. If I didn't do that I was not going to be walking across the finish line. I was going to be dragged. After we stretched we passed someone with a sign offering free hugs. I want one!  I got me a hug. And another cup of beer around the corner. That was the last push I needed. Mile 13 was all mine. I kept it steady. No walking, but no sprinting. If I slowed I would never be able to start up again.  I had pushed the pain to the back of my mind.

I knew where we were at this point. It was the start line for the race last year. I knew the finish line was up and around the corner. I had gotten the text so I knew where to look for the family. What I had totally forgotten was that the last part was a hill. DAMN IT! Okay...steady...steady...the plan was to sprint when we got to the last .1  And that's when I heard them...our cheering squad!  I turned and started waving and smiling...Aunt Kathy didn't see them. So as soon as I passed them I had to turn it into overdrive to catch up with her. But I did! And we crossed the finish line together.

Whenever I have a race I pick someone ahead of me that I want to focus on. I want to pass them. They are my motivation. For the last 5 miles I had my eye on these two ladies with more green tutus. We would pass them. They would pass us. It kept up for 5 miles. I had no idea what happened at the end. But, I looked through the pictures my family took and they were right behind us. I'm happy for them, but I was a little excited that we passed them.

So after we got our medals we were walking through getting our food and drinks. Gatorade. Water. Chocolate milk (mine was frozen though...argh). Bananas. Protein bars. Apples. When we came out we headed towards Charity Village where we would meet the fam at the Run for Autism tent.

It was emotional. Everyone was crying and hugging. I was excited to see everyone and excited to see that cousin Randy had made it to see us too.

I went to the tent and got my Run for Autism Medal. And we had a do-over because the photo op was missed.  This is my shout out to Sean from Run for Autism. He was great. He was a great cheerleader and very helpful.  He is also very tall!  haha  It was nice to talk to a few other runners in the tent...and of course get some more food. I also verbally committed to signing up again next month to start fundraising for my next race in September also.

But, before we could do anything else, we had to find the medic tent. Ice was desperately needed for the knee. I missed the massage area or I would have gotten them to work on my hamstring. And so we sat and iced up before we headed out to find real food.

We were battered. We were bruised. But man, we were happy it was over. We had joked about following the course for the full marathon because we just felt so great on mile 12. And we are planning on running a full together in the next couple of years. My family is awesome!

So now on to how the outfit did. I wasn't thrilled. My running leggings were pushing fat up and my sports bra was pushing fat down. It was meeting in the middle. BAH!  The tutu kept trying to ride up to my waist. My bib ripped several times. I was having wardrobe malfunctions all over the place. haha. But, it's okay. I survived.

Coming up in the next post: Just how many people can you fit in one metro car?  Will Jennie get her burger? What happened to those gel packs she put down her shirt? Will she ever walk again?

Stay tuned...

Have a Blessed Night.

****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.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Madness: my butt is cramping up

Happy Friday Bleeps!

I was all set to write my post about my race tonight, but I'm tired and there's a lot to tell. So I will hold off until tomorrow.

I'm tired because it was an Orange miracle and I was able to stay up for the Syracuse March Madness game last night...and well, to put it plainly: I'm not 22 any more. I can't stay up that late and be expected to function fully throughout the day. haha. And quite frankly, right now I am riding the FGCU high! They beat Syracuse Arch Nemesis Georgetown tonight.

I do have some things to talk about before I go to bed. And since Syracuse has a late game time tomorrow you know I'll be sleeping in in the morning.

Yesterday was our last Yoga class at work until the Fall. Seriously going to miss this class. The instructor was awesome. He wanted us to work our shoulders since we sit at computers all day. Alright!  Let's get started.

There was a lot of reaching up and back. Some downward facing dog and plank. And then there was the laying on our bellies with our face on the floor and our arms crossed under us...weird...awkward...painful...totally awesome!  I wanna do it again!  It's helped the big giant knot in my left shoulder.  Once again it was a class full of "I know this is uncomfortable now, but it will feel better when it's over right?" moments. And it did. My shoulders felt awesome...ahhh.

We did end the class with Happy Baby. Oh man, I could feel the pull in my much so that I was doing it on my bedroom floor during commercials last night. YEAH!

And why did it feel so good?  Well I've been complaining about how tight my right hamstring is for some time. I am very aware of the muscle 24 hours a day. It's sore. It's tight. It's holding me back. It almost took me down during the race on Saturday.  But, I'll tell you more about that later.

I was thinking that my ham was tight because of all of the running and the driving I am doing. I ride the break every rush hour and that's no fun. I'm sure that helps contribute to it, but I figured it out tonight.

I've taken it easy this week. My knee is still sore. I walked this week and I had yoga. Tonight I wanted to see how I was with running.  I was able to run for 30, but I should not have. It hurt. I was limping as I ran. And that's when I figured it out. It's my left knee that's really messed up. It's my right hamstring and butt cheek that are so dang tight.  I am compensating for the knee. My body is putting more pressure on that leg to keep it off of the knee. I should have figured this out before, but now that I know we'll work on fixing it.  And I have to fix it. My butt cramps up all of the time.  And as fun as that might sound, well it's not.

I had planned on a long walk tomorrow. That's not going to happen. I have been icing the knee all night. I will either do a light walk or some more yoga tomorrow. We are resting until we feel 100%.

Before I go, let me just say that I am running out of food. I still have some, but I haven't gone to the store because I am scared. I am scared that I won't be able to resist the Easter candy. I want chocolate soooooo soooo bad right now.  :-( 

Alright kids, time to call it a night. Happy March Madness!

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Race Weekend Part 1: Health Expo and Carb Loading

Dear Diary,

It snowed again today. I am beginning to fear that we will never see Spring...

Just kidding. It is coming right?

Okay, let's just get started. I have so many things to talk about. Today we will cover Part 1 of Race Weekend.

The weekend started for me on Thursday. I left work at 3 to pick up my cousin, Keeley, at the bus station and head down to Virginia. We could have gone straight down, but then I knew we would get caught up in Rush Hour traffic. So we stopped to visit grandmom on the way. It would have been a good time to eat, but that's 2 hours earlier than I am used to so we waited until we were close to mom's. Subway!  Good news! My favorite sandwich is the special of the month. A 6-inch Oven Roasted chicken is just $3 for March.

Friday morning we grabbed some breakfast and then headed in to DC to go to the Health & Fitness Expo. It was being held at the Armory which is at the finish line. It's a nice 45 minute metro ride so being the good studier that I am, I pulled out my flash cards. I didn't want to bring my books to study because I didn't want to carry them around.

The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday was cold and rainy. I had on my sweatshirt and coat...argh! I could have left the coat at home. It was sunny and warm. I was starting to get hot.

I could feel the buzz as we were getting off of the metro. All of these people were getting on with their race does not take much to get me excited.  After going through security we went straight to check in. There were 34 Corrals starting on saturday. They had me registered in corral 12. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Remember, I was not asked my time and was registered by Run for Autism (who apparantly thinks I have wheels on my feet).  I mean I know I've trained hard and my time should move up, but not by THAT much.

Then we picked up my shirt and headed in to the merchandise area...oh yeah!  I was good though and limited myself to a shot glass and the "official" area. There were a couple of shirts I liked and I figured if I didn't find anything else I liked then I could come back.

As we walked in to the rest of the Expo we were hit with samples of power bars. There were a couple I liked so I picked up some. Then I wanted to find the table with my Run for Autism peeps. I had looked it up on the sheet the night before, but naturally they were moved.  I did eventually find them though. It was nice. I got a map for where there tent will be after the race for more food and my second medal of the day :-) And then we walked around a little more.

I got a couple of shirts and then was looking at hats. I still wasn't sure what to do about my hair for the race. A race hat would keep the rain out of my eyes and if I found one that was cute I would get it. I did!  "This isn't Sweat, It's Liquid Awesome"...te he. SOLD!

Aunt Kathy and cousin Hannah would be arriving in a little while to pick up her packet, but we needed to get something to eat and get to the car before Rush hour started. If you've never gotten caught in DC Rush hour then consider yourself extremely lucky. haha.

As we were walking out we got stopped by a guy a the Spartan Races table. It's basically another take on the Warrier Dash. Race with obstacles. I'm partially intrigued, but it's the stopping and starting that makes me hesitant as my knees really just can't do that.   But, it doesn't matter since the dude made a major mistake in his approach. I can't remember his exact wording, but he seemed to be questioning that either of us would be in the race the next day. I said I was doing the Half and his response was "Well that's good too." do you only want to talk to Full Marathoners? He was a tad snotty throughout his sales pitch about it and really the postcard he gave me went right into the trash. Really not cool to dismiss anyone like that.

When we walked outside we were greeted with sunshine and blue skies...and a Cherry Blossom!  YEAH!  I probably wouldn't be seeing too many more. There was a chance that we could run and see them before heading home, but my back was getting sore from carrying my bags so I made the decision to skip that and just go home.  I needed to lay on my back and put my legs up against the wall. I needed to realign and stretch.

I didn't want to buy anything from the concessions and I wasn't sure where we were in relations to other food places. So I just got a very large soft pretzel from a street vendor. Carbs and salt. I scarfed it down. I didn't want to get too much else because we were going to my Aunt's to carb load in a little bit.

I was too tired to study my flashcards on the metro heading back, so I just relaxed. When we got to our stop I made sure we picked up metro cards for everyone for the morning so that we wouldn't miss a train standing in line for them. 

We got home and relaxed a little before we headed out to the grocery store. We needed to get drinks for dinner and then snacks for the crew for Saturday. We got some bagels, peanut butter, raisins, animal crackers, and gatorade for me...and bananas even though they weren't looking good.

We pulled up to Aunt Carol's for our Carb Loading dinner and I was salivating before I even got out of the car...pierogi casserole...baked ziti....That's what I'm talking about!  And I was NOT disappointed!

We waited as long as we could for Aunt Kathy and Hannah, but I had a schedule to keep and couldn't wait much longer. Just as we sat down to eat they arrived though so it wasn't too bad. I had one serving of each with a salad...and a couple Shamrock sugar cookies. Seriously, I heart Carb Loading Night!

I had broken my rule and was wearing sweatpants. That was more to make sure my back was okay, it wasn't to give me license to eat too much. I can eat the calories, but not the volume. My body is not used to it and the last thing I wanted was an upset stomach.

My cousin Corey was also there for dinner and I love every time I see him. He always says "What's up Skinny?"...te he...seriously, that NEVER gets old!  I'm not sure how it came about but we were joking about starting a series of Naked Boy and Skinny Minnie (he spent the better part of his younger years sporting underwear and a homemade cape hence I nicknamed him Naked Boy...and for the record, he now towers over me so I have to be careful about using that again haha).

I was getting tired and really wanted to go home and go to bed. We had 5 ladies using one bathroom in the morning. I called it first and that came with a 4am wake up call. But, we needed to plan out the agenda for Saturday.

Is everyone going into DC at the same time? No. I would drive Aunt Kathy and the girls in. Mom and Aunt Carol would come in 30 minutes later. They might miss the start of the race, but they would be there to meet up with the girls.

Where are we meeting up before the race? They would all meet up at the start line.

What are they doing during the race while they wait for us? Starbucks (that was just mean!)

Where are we meeting after the race? At the Race For Autism tent in Charity Village

Who is carrying my bag? Hannah...because she is strong. haha

Once everything was resolved I hurried home and got my PJs on...and Passed out!

Will I wake up at 4? Will we miss the train?  Will we all meet up in the morning? What will I be wearing? Will it rain all day?  Will the tutu survive? Will I get to see anymore Cherry Blossoms? Will I get to eat after the race? Will I be running or crawling at the end of the race?

All these questions and more will be answered in the next post...

PS - Bonus points if you can tell me what I just referenced lol

Have a Blessed Night.

****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, March 20, 2013

Randomness on the First Day of Spring

Happy First Day of Spring my friends!

We're going a little random today. Are you excited?


I brought my book to work today to study during lunch. It was time to buckle down. And then Ms. Tracey invited me out to go to the store with her. I was tempted. I was really tempted, but I declined. Then when I was heading to the bathroom right before lunch I noticed the table by my comfy chairs was covered in pizza. Seriously? In all of the days that I've done this, no one has ever put pizza there. Do I stay and study? Do I go somewhere else? Do I give up?

I stayed and studied. And didn't sneak any pizza.


I would like to give a shout out to my cousin, Keeley.  She is in her Freshman year of college. We have been working on a workout program for her and she has recently signed up for a Fencing Club. Practice is an intense workout and she is eager to stick with it. So cool.  Find what you love!


Today was breakfast club day. But, it was Ed's week and he was sick. I was sad. But, I survived. I got my oatmeal out and had that. And can I tell you something? I really really REALLY wanted him to bring in bagels today. I would say outloud that I shouldn't, but would secretly be doing the dance of joy for it.


I am sad to report that Ms. Kerri will be leaving us next week. I am happy for her. She has gotten a job in her desired field so it's a good thing. We will be going out to lunch on Tuesday to Plaza Azteca!!! Holla!!!  Let the countdown begin....


Just so you know, I have not forgotten to tell you about my race. There's a lot to share. I'll probably need to break it into several posts :-)


Once again I was watching Friends when I cringed. It was another Fat Monica episode. It was the one where they watch the video from prom night. WHY does she have to be standing there in a prom dress munching on a turkey leg?  Come on!

Then of course there was her comment that the camera adds 10 lbs.  To which Chandler responded "How many cameras were on you?"

This bothers me to NO end!


Today is the first day of Spring. And that means free Rita's Water Ice. I couldn't figure out why there was so much traffic coming out of the gym tonight...well that was it. And the line of people was around the block. I kept going though.


So there was a 5K next weekend that I really wanted to sign up for. Honestly, my knees are shot after Saturday. I feel like a bunch of kids are using my knees for whack-a-mole.  There's a chance that they will be fine by next weekend...but there's a chance that they won't. So I got the brilliant idea to see if they needed any volunteers. Sadly, they do not. DOH!  I still may go just to cheer people on because that's just so great. Doesn't matter if I know you, I love having someone on the sidelines encouraging me.

And speaking of my knees...I mentioned the recovery from this race is taking longer to a friend of mine. He was kind enough to point out that it takes longer at my age now. We are no longer friends!  Just kidding...but he is on probation.

Tomorrow is the last yoga class at work. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....


Seeing Ms. Danni win the title of The Biggest Loser made me want to really work my arms. I was doing great, but then I was focusing on my running. So now I am back to working on my guns....oh yeah!  In fact, if I am watching tv, the new rule is to lift my free weights on commercials.


Alright kids. I'm going to try and do a little more studying before Psych comes on...I HEART Psych!

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Biggest Loser: Season 14 FINALE

Raise your hand if you are sad that this season of The Biggest Loser is over. *both are up!*

I am happy to see them all doing so well, but man am I going to miss my weekly dose of Bob Harper...

So I'm not sure how this post is going to go. The show was a review of everyone and how they are doing now. This may feel a little choppy.  But, before I start I want to send a note to The Biggest Loser people. I miss the hour of watching how the finalists did at home!  We don't get that any more. It's great to see how everyone is doing, but I personally would like a little more time with the finalists. I mean they trot them out in the last ten minutes, declare a winner and then the show is over. Just sayin...

As they were panning the audience before Allison came out I saw a sign that I loved: Pain is Temporary Quitting is Forever!

And then Allison came out in this tight little black dress...that I want by the way. She reminded us that this was Jillian's first season back since she left to start a family. And then it was time to bring out all of the trainers. As hot as Ms. Allison looked, Jillian was rockin a hot little yellow dress, that I so wish I had the coloring to pull off.

They talked about how this season addressed the problem of Childhood Obesity. Bob said that he has wanted to do that since Season 1.

America's Vote: Jackson Vs. Joe

Wasting no time Allison announces that we will start the show with the results of America's Vote.  She introduced Jackson first. He is 21 and the first openly gay contestant.  When he walked out, well let me just say that I literally said out loud "WOW".  We all know he was going to be cute, but darn he is just a walking adult cupie doll. He was proud to share that the youth group that he works with is now focusing on health and fitness.  He is even going to be on the cover of a magazine. And then she brought out Joe.  Joe was the first contestant to lose 100 lbs. And when he came out I believe my response was "DAMNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN" Looking hot there Joe!

I think we all know that America fell in love with Jackson. I felt bad for Joe and I really did try to rally the troops for him, but I don't think anyone stood a chance against Jackson.  Jackson is going to the Finals.

Kid Time

Then it was time to start bringing out the kids. As excited as I was to see all of the contestants, I was more excited to see the kids. First up: Lindsay. The recap on Lindsay is that when we first met her she had pre-diabetes. She loved gymnastics and cheerleading, but stopped trying out because of some bullying. One of the most touching moments of the season was when Lindsay stood up in front of her school and talked about bullying. Well our girl no longer has pre-diabetes. YEAH!  And she came out on stage with the cheerleading squad. They did a cheer "Never Give Up. Never Give In. Fight to Win!"  She looked so cute in her tiny little outfit. She has lost 47 lbs and can run a mile in 9.5 minutes. Her reaction to this experience: Hard work does pay off.

At Home Weigh-Ins

Okay so the first 3 contestants were called out to weigh in.  Up first: Pam, Nate, and Alex. Pam Danced her way in to our hearts. She gets recognized and people ask for her dance and call her "Damn Girl!" Nate was one of Jillian's favorites. He found the support when he went home and his mom has even lost 70 lbs. Alex took a while to figure it out, but now she has the figure to show off. She realized that the key to change is confidence.

Time to step on the scale.

*Pam started the season at 237 lbs and now weighs 166 lbs for a total of 71 lbs. - 29.96% (she does the dance :-)
*Nate started the season at 359 lbs and now weighs 260 lbs for a total of 99 lbs. - 27.58%
*Alex started the season at 240 lbs and now weighs 156 lbs for a total of 84 lbs. - 35%

Alex is the new leader.

Next up: Francelina, TC, Mike, and Cate.

Francelina let the past hold her back.  TC made a promise to his son that he would lose the weight after an accident. Mike feared that his new son would not know his father. Cate was tired of sitting on the sidelines while everyone else lived.

Scale time

*Francelina started the season at 267 lbs and now weighs 172 lbs for a total of 95 lbs. 35.58%
*TC started the season at 376 lbs and now weighs 266 lbs for a total of 110 lbs. 29.26%
*Mike started the season at 444 lbs and now weights 308 lbs for a total of 136 lbs. 30.63%
*Cate started the season at 237 lbs and now weighs 173 lbs for a total of 64 lbs. 27%

Francelina is the new leader.

The next group is Lisa, David, Gina, and Joe.

Lisa's whole family is losing weight. Her husband lost 70 lbs and her mom lost 40 lbs. And she looks INCREDIBLE!  She doesn't look like she could lose anymore.  David...well for a man who had an injury most of his time on the ranch...I give him an A! He looks like a Police Officer again. Gina...Love her!  She got into fights with contestants and trainers, but really was fighting herself. And well you know how I am crushing on Joe. He also had my favorite quote of the night. "There is a difference between being in shape and being healthy." AMEN!

Facing the Scale...and honestly at this point I was positive one of these four would knock off Francelina, but I truly had no idea who.

*Lisa started the season at 246 lbs and now weighs 138 lbs for a total of 108 lbs. 43.90%
*David started the season at 307 lbs and now weighs 205 lbs for a total of 102 lbs. 33.22%
*Gina started the season at 245 lbs and now weighs 132 lbs for a total of 113 lbs. 46.12%
*Joe started the season at 364 lbs and now weighs 217 lbs for a total of 147 lbs. 40.38%

Gina wins the At Home Prize.

Challenge America

Three people that participated in Challenge America were in the audience and with the trainers. My apologies, but I missed the name of the lady with Bob. She has lost 75 lbs and is competing in her first Half Marathon this and she got to stand right next to BOB FREAKIN HARPER!  Jillian introduces Caterina who is 19. She has lost 50 lbs and uses Jillian as her motivation. She hears her talking to her all day. Dolvett introduces Jessica. She still has 50 lbs to lose, but she has already lost 100 lbs. She's so cute. She grabs his arms and says that she promised her friends that she would check out his biceps...YUM!

Kid Time

We are all on the edge of our seat to see Biingo. America fell head over heels for him. He was just a boy who loved baseball. He just wanted to be a normal kid at a normal weight that doesn't get made fun of. He used to spend 9 hours a day playing video games. Our hearts broke for him this season as he was nursing a foot injury.  Well today he is just plum adorable. He comes out in a bow tie that cutie pie. Not only has he grown 2 inches, he has also lost 43 lbs. His parents have lost weight too. As a family they have lost 200 lbs. He recently tried out for a baseball team, the Maryland Cardinals. The coach comes out with a jersey and hat and tells him that he made the team. YEAH!


Jackson came out of the closet in 9th grade. He was teased mercilessly and turned to food for comfort. His first workout he passed out and he's been puking every workout since. Allison asked how he feels about his competition. He looks at the At-Home contestants and says "If they look like these guys, I'm in a world of hurt.

Jeff's catalyst for his weight gain was the loss of his father. Allison asks if he is proud of himself. For the first time in a long time he is. Bob is also very proud of him.

Danni says that her weight stole her confidence. She was tired of living 70%. She wants more. And DAMN she looked stunning. She is tiny and muscular. I was excited. She looked FIT. She wanted to give Jillian a hug, but Jillian wouldn't let her. She's been imagining this moment and she wants to be the first hug after Danni wins on the scale.

Kid time

I loved the other two, but Sunny has had my heart all season long. She just wanted to look pretty in a prom dress. She did the toughest thing imaginable this season. She talked to her mom and told her that her mom's weight scares her. Not an easy thing to do. Sunny is now the queen of 5Ks.  She came out in a pretty pink sparkly prom dress.  She has lost 51 lbs and is down 4 dress sizes.


Remember when Jared came on to tell them that the winner will be in a commercial with him?  Well he also said that America would vote on past contestants to be in the commercial also. The winner: Courtney Crozier from Season 11. I follow her on twitter and instagram...she is so loved this is not a surprise :-)

Last Weigh Ins of the Season

*Jackson started the season at 328 lbs and now weighs 190 lbs for a total of 138 lbs. 42.07%
*Jeff started the season at  388 lbs and now weighs 207 lbs for a total of 181 lbs. 46.65%
*Danni started the season at 258 lbs and now weighs 137 for a total of 121 lbs. 46.89%

Danni wins by 1 lb!

*There were no previews for next season...BAH!  I NEED BOB!

Have a Blessed Night.

****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, March 18, 2013

Race Weekend: Support and Motivation

Happy Monday My Friends,

Obviously I have a lot to share with you, but The Biggest Loser finale is on in a little while...and well I think we all know that I need to focus and take notes. :-)  I promise a more detailed post to come.

The race was great. Once again I didn't follow my race plan, but that's okay. I finished. I finished strong and I've improved my time from my first Half marathon by almost 30 minutes. And please, you know I stopped and took pictures so if I actually focused it would be even better.

I don't like to put my times in here because I don't want to discourage anyone or have people get competitive with me. I compete in these races for me and to challenge myself. If I beat my past time that's great. If I didn't, then it's okay too as long as I gave it my all and never gave up.  Because that's what this journey is all about.

Aunt Kathy and I had not trained together and we did not have the same pace at all.  But, we stuck together. We helped each other. I paced her down so that she wouldn't burn out early and injure herself. And she pushed me to not slow down.

Before the race started she had injured her back. There were several trips to the chiropractor and a lot of ice.  We had committed to stick with each other, but she made me promise that if she was hurt and would get a ride to the finish line with a medic I was to go on without her.

I'm happy to say that we started together and we finished together. There were some really great moments and some challenging moments, but we did it together.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love my family for all of their support. We had five people at the finish line screaming for us and cheering us on. That support means the world to me. And yes, there were lots of tears shed after the race.

So the support was there, but so was my motivation. I looked like a hot mess with my colorful outfit, but I wore that Run for Autism shirt proudly. I was excited to come across someone else from my team along the course.  There were 23 of us in a sea of 30,000.

We decided that a good place to meet the family after the race would be to meet at the Run for Autism tent in charity village. I got to meet a few other teammates, get some more food, and get my medal.  That was fun.  Usually at the finish line they just hand them to you. I felt like I was on an Olympic stage when the coordinator put it around my neck. And then of course we had to do it over again because my aunt missed it to take a picture. haha. I did not mind a re-do.

I didn't think I needed that motivation. I have the Half Marathon bug.  But, I also have a lot going on so having that motivation of raising money and finishing strong helped me focus.  And I know that my family loves me. And it's not that they weren't supportive before, it's that I wasn't vocal about my dreams and desires before. And now...well I don't really shut up about it. haha. And just so that we are clear, this is just the beginning! I am not even close to being done yet.

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My day: Yoga and Biggest Loser Joe

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

Well it's been an interesting day. Let's just say that the day started with new that one our customer's truck's being held hostage by a driver....I know it's not really funny, but man did we have a fit of the giggles over it. Don't worry, there was no one but the driver and the product in the back. Dude just didn't want to make the delivery.

So once I recovered from this, even though I'm still laughing, I got ready for yoga. I asked the instructor if we could possibly work on our legs since mine were so tight on Saturday.  He was happy to oblige and I am forever thankful.

Highlights from the class:

Bending at the waist and extending our hands to the wall. Then dropping one hand to the floor and lifting the opposite leg.  Then removing the hand from the wall. 

The whole time I was saying "I'm sorry!  This is my fault!" haha. It was good. Hard, but good.

Then, we fold ourselves over and walked to the wall placing the base of our neck and top of our back against the wall. Hold it!  Hold it!  Hold it! (seriously I think I'm going to vomit if I hold it much longer). I have to say, pretty impressed that I could actually fold over like that). I felt the burn! My legs were pulling!

I was very happy the instructor worked with me and made sure that I doing things correctly. Afterwards he came over and said that he could tell that I was tight "Here, here, here, here, and here" pointing all over my legs. ha yeah...I would be 2 inches taller if I stopped training!

I left work at 3 to pick up my cousin and head down to my mom's. I'm glad I am here so that I can head in to DC tomorrow to get my packet, but man I sat in my car for 4 hours and my legs are SORE!  So up they go.

I really should go to bed soon.

But, before I go. I wanted to share a twitter conversation. hahaha.

So there it is ladies...for those of you who have found my blog by searching "Biggest Loser Joe Girlfriend"...he's single!  Yep..I voted for him. I heart Jackson, but I heart Joe too...and well he has a horse named Big Daddy. So there ya go. hahaha.  And now you too can vote for Joe:

Have a Blessed Night.

Don't forget my Fundraising for Autism Research:

****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, March 13, 2013

Random Wednesday: Underwear, Rain, and Girl Scout Cookies

Woo Woo for Random Wednesday!

Okay, I'm sorry, but this is going to be a short one. I need to finish my packing. I'm leaving straight from work tomorrow to head to Virginia so I have to get moving.


I'm excited to tell you that I finally made my spaghetti squash on Sunday. It was yummy. I did practically need a chainsaw to cut it and I don't think I baked it quite long enough, but it was still good. And stinkin COOL to pull apart. I know the name is 'Spaghetti' squash, but I didn't actually believe it. The next time I will brush it with olive oil and some seasoning while it bakes.


Confession: It's been a stressful week. I stopped at Walmart to return something and pick up some oatmeal. And while I was at the check out I grabbed a Three Musketeer. I ate it in the car. SO mad at myself!


So on Saturday when I hit my wall I had to get my emergency bag out of my trunk. I've kept it there ever since I had that nasty fall two summers ago. I just keep an old pair of glasses, contact container and solution, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a pair of underwear in the bag. Well I got out the underwear after my shower and well...they were way too big. YEAH!  That's a good feeling.

They have been replaced in the emergency bag by a smaller pair.


Well we are within the weather window and I'm getting slightly nervous. It getting warmer...and wetter!  It started as partly cloudy and in the 50's. Now it's looking like it's going to be it the mid 60's...yeah...and showering...NOOOOOOO.  60's would be great with the sun...but, it will be cold and wet. BAH!  I am freaking out about what to wear. I have to wear my Run for Autism shirt and that's sleeveless. So do I have something to wear underneath it?  What about my head? I have packed a hat to wear. What if I wear a long sleeve shirt and then the sun comes out?  I can't take it off in the middle of the race. I have a throw away shirt packed, but if it's raining then I will just be wearing a wet shirt. Bah!

And let's face it...I'm a little worried about the tutu.

Today was a planned rest day. That meant that I could wear fancy underwear today. haha.
I can't wear anything fun when I workout because it rides up. Just sayin.  Well it's been a while since I wore this pair and DANG my butt looks nice in it!  I'm almost there!


I have a secret to share. No, Tony Stewart did not call...YET!

I have been kicking around trying a Vegetarian diet for a while. And frankly, every health program I attend basically reinforces the idea. So I decided to try it on week days. I can splurge on chicken and turkey on the weekends.

I have done it!  Last week was my first full week and so far I've made it 3 days this week. I'm pretty proud of myself. And my food has been fantastic!


Speaking of health programs, I know that I still owe you a post on the Smart Heart program that I attended last month. Yesterday was the Blood Pressure program. I took lots of notes. I will post them both soon.  I will have lots more time when Biggest Loser is over. haha.


So proud to say I continue to get pledges or my Run for Autism. My total is over $700 now!  I have the best friends and family!

 There are two boxes of my FAVORITE Girl Scout cookies on the counter downstairs. They are not mine and I have not snuck any bites. Ultimate willpower my friends!


Okay, I have to finish packing and then get on my knees and start praying for a sunny Saturday...

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

Don't forget my Fundraising for Autism Research:

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

I'm now on instagram: Jennie5973

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Biggest Loser - Season 14 Episode 11 - The Final 5

It's the last week on the Biggest Loser Ranch!  I'm Sad :-(

Guess what!  The kids are back!  YEAH!!!!  I love these kids.

The trainers take them in to watch videos of their progress. Sunny's first response is "Just to see where I was in the past, it's not gonna be easy." I can totally relate to her there.

When we first met the kids Sunny's goal was to fit into a pretty prom dress, Lindsay wanted to join the cheerleading squad, and Biingo wanted to play baseball. Biingo just wanted to be "a normal kid of normal weight that no one makes fun of." Breaks my heart.

Sunny said "I've always had a voice in the back of my head telling me that I can't do that. I shut the voice up!"

After watching the video of Lindsay standing up and talking about bullying in front of her school, Jillian told her that it brought her back to being a kid. She told Lindsay that she inspires her.

Back in the Gym

It looks like the teams are back with their trainers. Bob is with Gina and Jeff. Dolvett is with Jackson and Joe. Jillian is with Danni.

Bob starts by talking about the coveted top 2 spots. Everyone wants them. These guys are going all out. Danni is lifting Jillian over hear head. Dolvett comments on the difference between the first workout and this workout.  On Day 1 he saw fear and doubt.  Today is sees belief and determination.  Jackson tells Dolvett that he knows he is worth it now. He was doing it for the wrong reasons. When he started he was doing it for his family and the kids he works with. Now he is doing it for himself.  And no amount of vomiting is going to keep him from his goal. haha.

Bob is reflecting on week 1. He says that Gina was a mess, but look at her now. She's been the Biggest Loser for weeks. And just then she is on the treadmill and her foot "snaps". She's upset. She has worked too hard to let an injury take her down. *they never actually define the injury, but it slows her down this week*

Back to the Kids

Dr. Joanna is back and sits with the kids.  She talks with them about their progress and about encourages them. They have cut out the junk food and made positive changes.

Lindsay doesn't have pre-diabetes anymore. YEAH!

Biingo has lost 25% of his body weight. His Body Mass Index went from Obese to Normal. Biingo's mom is there and says that she's gone down 5 dress sizes. He has inspired her.

*70% of parents of overweight children think that their kids are fine*

Sunny was here to lose weight. Now she's here to get healthy. Her cholesterol is in the normal range now. She's never been happier.

Back with the Contestants

I love when Bob says that it's time to sit down with their "athletes" and reflect on their time on the Ranch.

Jackson cried (as did I) during his video. "I came to this place a sick kid." What he learned is that working out is 100% mental. "You have to want it more than the cupcake. You have to want it more than the TV." I could not have said it better! And I hope he doesn't mind that I am going to use this all of the time.

Dolvett tells him that he has the control now.

Gina says that when she came to the Ranch she was living in fear. She was afraid of dying and she was afraid of living. I loved when Bob saw the video of her coming out in the Blue dress from the makeover "WHOA!".  He tells her that she's finally starting to see herself the way he sees her.

When it's Jeff's turn Bob says that he holds back. That he sets small goals because of his fear of failure. When Bob sees the video of Jackson living in his mom's basement he sees a vacant boy. He wants him to live in the world outside of the basement.

Joe's recap is a little different. He is a former athlete. His journey is not about finding the real Joe, it's about "reminding" the real Joe of who he is.

Danni's reaction to her video "Wow, I forgot I started that bad." Jillian is so proud of her. She tells her that she's become everything that Jillian thought she would be."

Challenge America

We meet 10 yr old Breanna. A year ago she weighed almost 200 lbs.  Her mom said that doctors told her that she would "grow into her body". What doctors are saying this????

Breanna started making the change by exercising for an hour a day. She has lost 72lbs. She and her family have started a walking group. I heart them!

Back on the Ranch

Dr. H. meets with Danni and Jillian.  He tells her that she's a record setter. He had to check twice, but she's gained 19 lbs of muscle. Jillian says that men don't even add that much muscle in 3 months. She's a machine!


The contestants are walking up a snowy mountain. Jackson "I hate cold. I just lost 93 lbs of what was keeping me warm!"

They are at a ski resort. This is their "last mountain to climb" while on the Ranch.  It's the "Put the weight back on" challenge.

Joe will put on 120 lbs
Danni will put on 84 lbs
Jeff will put on 112 lbs
Jackson will put on 93 lbs
Gina will put on 82 lbs

They will be pulling a sled up the hill to 10 different stations. Each station will represent a week on the ranch with the corresponding weights that they lost that week. The first one to cross the finish line carrying all of their former weight will win a 1 lb advantage.

Joe really wants to win. Danni has won every challenge. Her plan for this challenge is to go slow and steady. It's neck and neck between them, but Joe pulls out to a slight lead and never looks back. He finally won a challenge.

Jeff was shocked at his weight. "I can't believe that I carried this on my body."

Gina was in last place. She was struggling with her injury. So Jackson went down to help her and then everyone one else did too. So proud.

And let me just say, that these peeps were looking SVELT in their snow suits!

Product Endorsement

Dolvett was talking with everyone in the kitchen. They were making Progresso soup. It's good for a snack or meal. They have a new Chicken Pot Pie need to try this!

Time to Say Goodbye to the Kids

It was cute to see Lindsay run and jump up into Jackson's arms to say goodbye. It's time to say goodbye to them, but we will see them at the finale. CANNOT WAIT!

Last Chance Workout!

Gina vows to finish strong. 

Danni admits that the Last Last Chance work scares her. Jillian is getting worried because she's seeing the Danni that she saw in weeks 3, 4, and 5. It's not good. She's struggling and beating herself up. She even has a panic attack. Jillian tells her that it's about the money or the title.  It's about the Girl inside.  "We don't control the world. We only control how we respond." Wise words!

Bob pulls Jeff outside to talk. Jeff tells him that he's like the father figure that he's needed. Bob tells him that he affected him this season. His story touched him and broke his heart. The boy he saw in his mom's basement was lost and sad. He doesn't want that for him. Bob tells Jeff that his father would be so proud of him. He understands always looking for approval from his father and tells him that if he ever feels like he is falling into a dark place to call him.

Weigh In

Remember, there's a yellow line AND a red line.

Joe started at 244 lbs and now weighs 239 lbs for a total of 5 lbs. Plus his 1 lb advantage.

Jackson started at 235 lbs and now weighs 230 lbs for a total of 5 lbs.

People are starting to get worried.

Gina started at 163 lbs and now weighs 161 lbs for a total of 2 lbs.
She's never had a number that low. Bob says the fact that she's not jumping up in frustration and down is huge and shows just how far she's come.

Jeff started at 276 lbs and now weighs 265 lbs for a total of 11 lbs.

Danni started at 174 lbs and now weighs 163 lbs for a total of 11 lbs.

Gina is going home :-(

Danni and Jeff earned spots in the finale.  America will decide between Jackson and Joe.

The good news is that each of them will enjoy a week at one of the Biggest Loser Resorts.

Dramatic montage:

Jeff: "My future is bright and full of bright skies and endless possibilities."

Danni: "You can't play a game and finish in the 3rd quarter. You have to finish the game."

Jackson: "I faced so many challenges and I got up every time."

Joe: "You can do it too."

Gina Today:

Gina started at the ranch at 245 lbs. She now weighs 145 lbs. Before her life was ruled by insecurities. She couldn't keep up with her husband. Now she can outdo him in many things.  She's also teaching her kids to eat healthy now. "They have a shot at a long healthy life now."

Next week: The LIVE FINALE

Have a Blessed Night.

Don't forget my Fundraising for Autism Research:

****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.