Sunday, August 30, 2009

Playing Refrigerator Survivor this Week!

Here lies the entire contents of my refrigerator: Sam's Choice Cola (the men's) Bar-S Franks (again the men's), an almost empty sippy cup of milk (Butterbean's), various types of cheese, match stick carrots, bok choy, eggs, Oroweat Sandwich Thins, parsnips (bought for the fruit and veggie challenge at WW, still hanging in there -Anyone have a good recipe?), ham, bologna, turkey pepperoni, canned biscuits, iceberg lettuce, coconut milk, assorted condiments and pickles. My freezer is better stocked with chicken breasts, pork loin chops, ground beef, some leftovers and such. My pantry has the normal canned stuff, ramen noodles (my stepson swore he'd eat them, but hasn't), popcorn and cereal. So since my husband is going out of town tomorrow for the week, my stepson is going to be staying with his mama and I'm going to pack my daughter off to Grandma's on Tuesday morning until "one of starts to miss the other" (which for me will be Wednesday, but she can go much longer)...and the budget is rather tight this week anyway, I am going to play Refrigerator Survivor this week! The idea is to eat what is on hand without going grocery shopping for the entire week. Sadly, I know that I will have to make a stop on Tuesday for some produce, because I just can't survive on canned and frozen all week long. I'm so excited! It is going to be like when I was a single teacher waiting for the end of the month to get my paycheck!

We have also decided to do a book study on Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover at church starting in October. I read it this past summer and have been trying to get my husband on board with the budgeting and saving. He has FINALLY agreed that it is something we need to do seriously. So, we are going to get the book and workbook for each family who is interested and start the class in October. I'm thrilled! Not so much about having to live on a budget, but about getting control over our spending and starting to save money. Refrigerator Survivor fits right in to this, because in the past when my husband would go out of town, I would just end up eating out all the time instead of cooking. I'm going to keep a running total of what I am saving by eating at home this week and put that into our savings account or maybe my bicycle account, since I haven't had any serious inquiries about the treadmill on Craigslist.

I'll try to post some of the creative meals that I come up with this week and let you all know how it goes!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm with Garfield on This One!

Sorry for it being so blurry, but I guess those Yahoo! comics folks don't want people stealing their stuff. It says: First box, "Ah!" Second, "Eggs!" Third box, "Now where's the nest with the bacon?"
This made me smile because a) I have chickens and have carried and dropped many eggs like this and b) who doesn't like bacon??? Hope everyone is having a great weekend! My stress levels are slowly going down. I think, or maybe I'm putting Keeven's advice into action and managing it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chores and Stress Eating!

After having a wonderful day on Wednesday, it ended with a bang or rather an argument with my husband concerning his son who moved in with us a couple of weeks ago. While I'm not a neat freak, I do like things clean and tidy which seems to be impossible with a three year old and working three, yes, three part time jobs. Enter a 20 year old step-son, who leaves dirty socks, t-shirts, shorts, games, empty soda cans and candy boxes in my living room. On top of that, the yard isn't mowed and the dishes in the sink are overflowing; both chores that my son and husband are avoiding. I tell them, "If you get up from eating and go do the dishes immediately, it takes about 15 minutes." They ignore me. We used Chore Buster to divvy up the chores and since I do all the cooking in the house, I only have to clean the kitchen once or twice a week. Personally, I'm all about deadlines, but neither of the men in my house are. I feel like chores should be completed ASAP and not be put off. "Do what you have to, so you can do what you want to do." is my motto. Anyway, it has been determined that if I have a problem with my stepson, I am to complain about it to my husband and let him handle it. Any suggestions on how you handle chores in your house would be deeply appreciated!

So, with all the stress at home, I have been stress eating. Today is day 3 in my week and I have 16 flex points left for the week. I'm going to have to behave myself this week. I have got to get back on schedule. Tonight we are having dinner at church which normally throws my week off. I need to learn to stay in my points when eating other people's cooking. Anyone else struggle with this?

Update! The yard appears to have been mowed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2.2 Pounds More!!! Gone that is!!!

WooHoo! I'm down to 271.8#! Only one more and I will get another 5# star. I just live for those stars! I know it is just a silly gold star, but it represents something to me. I heard of one WWer who would buy a 5# bag of sugar every time she lost 5# and would put it on her counter as a reminder of what she had lost. While that is kind of a cool reminder, I'm not sure that I want to waste counter space on (currently) thirteen bags of sugar. By the time I hit my ultimate goal that would be a LOT of sugar! If only I could afford gold bars. I could put them on the counter. They are more dense, so they wouldn't take up as much space and in the end, I would have a nice little nest egg. As of today and at today's prices, I would have $1,043,368.32 of gold in my kitchen and you know what? That is about the right value for the weight I have lost.

My! aren't I Little Miss Sunshine today? Yuck! What is up with that! I guess I'm just pleased with my losses so far. I'm averaging 1.7# per week which I'm happy with. On the home-front, I'm ready to beat my twenty year old stepson for not doing his share around the house, but other than that, I'm in a pretty good mood.

Oh! While I am thinking about it, do you like prizes? I do!!! Prior Fat Girl has a giveaway going on for a cook book and apron. She has a couple of really great looking recipes on her blog from the cookbook too. Now, go to her blog and check it out, cook you up some chicken or fish, but if you win...ok, I'll still be happy for you.

God is blessing us! I just had a knock on the door. A lady that I met through Freecycle just came by to drop off a bike and a scooter for my daughter! I'm so excited! My little girl has been saving up for a bike for a long time now. I'm so excited to be able to give her one in the mean time while she saves up for a bigger one in the future! God is good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lee's Chili Cheeseburger! or Don't Let Yourself Get Ravenous!

I blew through a lot of points today! I normally don't do that on the day before a weigh-in, but today I did. I woke up around 7am this morning hungry, so I fixed myself an egg sandwich on rye bread; 2 slices of bread, 1 egg and 1 egg white, 1 slice of cheese (regular-we were out of the low fat) and mustard. 7 points total.

I got to work and got busy. I could feel a migraine coming on. I don't get many migraines and ran out of the medicine over a year ago. Anyway, I started getting sick to my stomach and decided to treat it with ibuprofen and a cup of coffee. It helped, but all the caffeine mixed with my Metformin made my blood sugar sink. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have dug in my purse for a snack. I wasn't thinking clearly. There were too many people in my office, too much confusion and the pounding on my skull wasn't helping. I did look in my desk for a snack, but it was empty.

By the time I got off, I was starving! Normally, I get off at 12:30 on Tuesdays, so I can make the deposit, but the there were too many people in my office for me to get done with what I needed to accomplish. I ended up staying well after 1pm. Then I had to run into the bank to deposit the coins from the children's offering. It was edging closer to 2pm. I was reaching into my purse looking for a wipe for my hands and came across a 100 calorie pack of almond! WooHooo! 2points! I would have the energy to go shopping before getting lunch. Bad move there!

I go into the Bike Zone to shop for a new bike, but the sales people were too busy to even acknowledge that I was even there. For that reason, I doubt I will be making a purchase from them. Then I went to the bank to deposit my paycheck and over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries. The hunger started creeping in again. I decided to get something to eat at a fast food place. Sonic? Nah, too much mayo. Chick-Fil-A? Nope, had that yesterday. McDonald's? Nope, their healthy stuff isn't even worth buying. Just go home and eat soup! Then it hit me! Lee's Hamburger! It just opened across the street from Wal-Mart. I had the cash! I don't know about the new place, but Lee's in Slidell doesn't take debit cards. So, I did it! I ordered the chili cheeseburger and it was good. I tried to calculate the points in my head, but I don't eat quarter pound burgers anymore. When I got home, I tracked my points! 16 for the burger. Thank goodness I didn't order fries and a soda with that.

I ate a turkey burger for supper with baked Cheetos. 8 points Then at Bible Study, we had pear pie with ice cream. 7 points for a sliver of pie and a spoonful of ice cream.

I don't know how this will look on the scale tomorrow, but I learned something. Don't let yourself get to that point. You know the point...where your brain checks out, your stomach makes the decisions and your hands shake just enough that you don't spill too much of the yummy chili and shredded cheddar on your shirt! Bring a lunch or a snack!

On another note, I posted a for sale or trade for my treadmill on Craigslist. I would love to get a few bucks or trade it for a bike. I really feel like the treadmill is boring for me and it is taking up a huge amount of space in the bedroom. It wouldn't be a big deal if my stepson had not moved in with us, but now that he is here and my daughter is lost her room for him, she is sleeping in our room. Part of me says, I should keep the treadmill and get a bike, but I don't know. We shall see what happens! If it sells, it sells. If it doesn't sell, then I will start putting the money that I make from selling eggs away to buy a bike.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Accepting Weight Loss Complements

Breakfast today was one scrambled egg with low fat cheese and mustard on an Orowhet Sandwich Thin - 4 points.

I'm feeling all weird and emotional today. My breasts hurt and I'm crampy. Sometimes I hate being a woman! I got all emotional when my WW leader asked about setting a new goal even though I had already set one for myself. Something about putting it down in their system freaked me out. I told her that I wanted to go for another 10%, but really I want to hit 250 pounds which is about 2 lbs. less than the 10%. Not that 2 lbs. makes a huge difference.

I'm under 275 lbs. Do you know how hard it is to admit that knowing that a couple of my friends in real life read my blog? (Love you Lynn and Nancy) I haven't been here in over five years! Wow! I don't really feel different yet. My knee isn't bothering me as much as it did a year ago, but then again I don't have to carry a 30lb. kid up the stairs twice a week at work. My clothes are much looser and some don't fit at all, but I don't have the tons of energy that people claim they have when they lose 65lbs.

I'm still very bothered by complements about my weight loss. I post my success and failures on Facebook and this blog. I have tons of folks rooting for me, but it really makes me uncomfortable. Is it a fear of failure or just a feeling of not being worthy? Sometimes when I read their complements, I feel like they are saying, "Yeah, if you hadn't hit the drive thru so often, you wouldn't need to lose weight." Or, "Whoopee for you! Ya fat slob!"

Complements from my pastor are the worst! He is thin, never had to deal with this struggle, so I don't know that he totally understands what it is like. It really bugs me when he comments on it. I know his wife understands. She did WW for 9 months. She and I never really talked about it until today. I don't know why I didn't feel like I could talk to her about it.

Do you sometimes feel like you don't want people complementing you on your success? Do you feel like you can't talk to someone who has been down the road that you are now traveling and who has succeeded? How do you deal with complements?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm not a second class citizen!

I woke up to one of my strange dreams this morning. I was back in high school getting another degree. I know it doesn't make sense, but it was a dream. Anyway, I'm back at my old high school, but living in an apartment. One of my old teachers, who gave me a hard time in high school, walks into my apartment with "proof" that my parents and my family including me are worthless people. Evidently, my parents' name was put in the local paper as owing money to someone, but it was a mistake. This teacher, I'll call him Frank, was going on and on about how I'm worthless and he has proof. My friend, Karen, was there and she wasn't saying anything, but I was embarrassed because she was hearing him go on and on about this. So, I got mad and started yelling back at him. I told him that I was not a second class citizen and if he wanted to discuss this with me we would do so in his office, not my apartment. We start heading out the door and through the grocery store where I evidently lived in the back of for some reason. Only this grocery store was very different. It had wooden slats for the floor so when customers walked across the floor it made music. Well, I was chasing Frank out of the store and making a ton of noise, so one of the managers was yelling at me to slow down. I finally get out of the store and head to my car where I see a man trying to break into the backdoor. He doesn't hear me come up so I stomp on his hand which had a toy gun in it and scream, "I'm not a second class citizen!"

Anyone care to interpret that for me? I think that several issues in my life has always made me feel like I was a second class citizen: my weight, my financial stupidity, my working class upbringing. I have always felt like I wasn't deserving of praise or admiration. I felt like I would always be less of a person than other people. I'm not a second class citizen though. God doesn't view me as one and neither should I.

Lost 2.6 this week! WooHoo! I was really surprised, because I only got to exercise once this week and overall it has been a rough week. I just never know with my body. Does that mean that I should not exercise and overeat every week? Yeah! I mean no. My body is probably catching up from the exercise that I did the week before when I didn't lose anything. I'm just happy to have lost this week.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Check-in

It has been a crazy week. I didn't lose any weight at my Wednesday Weigh-in, so I was kind of bummed about that since I had earned 19 activity points; then again, I didn't gain any either, so that is good. Wednesday, I attended a property tax meeting to protest raising the millage for the local fire station. There was a pretty good crowd for a 5:30pm meeting there to protest the millage increase, but they did it anyway. Scary thing was our local area has 3 fire stations each contains 5-6 different pieces of equipment, but only 1-3 people are on duty at each fire station at one time. It doesn't compute! Why have all that equipment if you have no one to operate it? I also attended an altered journal workshop at the library that evening. This was really cool. Our teacher, Anna Marie, was very informative. She is one of those literary/artistic people that works in a book store. Just a really cool evening, I had out with a friend. I love doing mixed media art and have wanted to do some altered journal/books, but time and supplies are limited. Also, Glenn Beck has been encouraging his listeners to get a Moleskin and keep a journal about what America was like in our day and time. While I would love to buy a real Moleskine, I opted to use a sketch book that I already had and a less expensive journal that I purchased recently at Barnes and Noble. I decided to take the time and work on one. I will post pictures as they progress.

Thursday, I was able to have a pretty normal day with a 40 minute walk on the Trace, but I was feeling a little out of sorts. Well Friday, I found out why. I ended up sick and in bed Friday evening and Saturday.

Sunday, we had church and then a wedding and more church, so no walk and no down time. Monday was a comedy of errors too. My husband's battery died and I had to go to Covington to help him get a new one. We ended up eating at McDonald's inside Wal-Mart. Has anyone noticed how expensive McDonald's is getting? Sure, I can order off the dollar menu, but everything else has sky-rocketed in price when I think about the nutritional value of it. Maybe it is just me, but if I'm going to spend $15 for the three of us to eat, I'm better off cooking for myself. We can have steak for less than $15. Last night was just horrible. Butterbean has come down with a cold. She started out in her bed, but came to ours around midnight. She spent the night sniffling, crying and kicking. Alan finally gave up sleeping in the bed with us and went to the living room. We got up this morning and went to work where I attempted to keep the yellow snot off of her, me and the office equipment. The pastor let me leave early, so I could get her home and in bed after watching her cling to me. I'm driving home after just telling Butterbean's grandma that no I won't be taking her to the doctor, because they probably won't do anything for her anyway when a news report comes on about the Swine Flu vaccine that will be coming out soon. So now, I am wondering if I should take her to the doctor? What is a mom to do? No fever yet, so I'm waiting on spending the co-pay only to be told that can't do anything for her.

So, tomorrow, we will see if I get my next 5lb. star. That will take me to 35 lbs lost at WW and total 64 lbs. People have been asking for progress pics, so here is one taken on August 3, 2009. This is my 5k Summer Beach Run tank which is an XL size, the biggest that they had. I'll try to remember to take another picture on September 3rd with the same shirt and hopefully, we will see some progress.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been

I walked 3.92 miles today and it feels great! I love mapping out new walks using Some bloggers post their maps on their blogs, but since I start and end at my house, I'm not willing to do that. I do post photos from along the route, so if you were really savvy with computers, I'm sure you could find me now that Google has Street View online. Today's photo comes from the same house with the Giggle swing. It is hard to make out in the photo, but it says, "Don't Think So Much! Smile!" I love it! It kind of makes me wonder if they did that to annoy a neighbor? We have a great variety of folks living in our neighborhood from the little shack on the corner to the McMansion in the back of the neighborhood. Oh well, it makes me smile.

What else makes me smile as I walk and sweat and walk and sweat (hey, it's August in southern Louisiana!) is my playlist that I created to work out. I have a good mix of fast and slow songs, so I can do intervals. Some of the songs were selected because of the words, some just for the beat, other just because I like that I get to spend time with God alone on my walks. One song, "Who I am Hates Who I've Been" by Relient K, seems to really be hitting home to me today.

"Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus x2]

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

The line drawn in the sand as far as eating habits for me goes back to kindergarten. My family had gone to McDonald's which in and of itself was very rare at that stage in my life. I had been watching too much TV and seen the commercials for Big Mac's. You remember the one, "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese. . . " When Mom asked me what I wanted, I told her that I wanted a Big Mac. She told me that there was no way that I could eat a whole Big Mac, so I set out to prove her wrong. I did it. Looking back I consumed 580 calories plus I'm sure I had fries and a drink. That is way too much for a 6 year old! I know that that first Big Mac was not the only reason I am obese, but it was a turning point in my life. It was me taking control of my eating habits. I wish I could take that moment back. I am sorry for the person I have been, but I am ready to make sure I don't continue on that path and that is a good thing!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Women's Health Magazine 100 Calorie Snack Quiz

I just had to go and take this quiz! Women's Health Magazine has a 100 calorie snack quiz where they show two different photos of a snack and give a description. I had to pick the snack that has 100 calories. Well, I took it and scored 19 out of 24. Not too bad, right? Then I thought about what this means. It means that Weight Watcher's has taught me a lot about portions and calorie content of food. It also means that I have the head knowledge; I just need to make sure that I put it into practice in my life! Take the quiz and tell me how you do!

Exercise Confession

Can I confess something? I hate to exercise. LOL Ok, so most of you figured that out the first time you met me. It is boring and tiresome, and I would love to be doing something else. I also hate, hate hate sweating and body odor! I have come to the point in my life though that I realize that it is also a must. Since I have been exercising, I do feel better. My clothes fit differently and my body looks different. I can tell a difference on the days that I do and don't exercise. I sleep better. Yup, all the stuff that the exercise experts tell us about exercise, they are all true. Dang it!

I have decided that I'm going to track how many miles I walk this month and see how far I can go. Here is the month as it stands so far:

Date Distance in miles Total
8/1 3.1 3.1
8/2 2.5 5.6
8/3 1.9 7.5
8/4 0.55 8.05
8/5 3 11.05
8/6 0 11.05
8/7 2.5 13.55
8/8 2.5 16.05

I am also chronicling these walks in photos which I will share here. The Giggle swing is on my Tranquility walk. Tranquility is the name of the subdivision. That swing always makes me smile. One day the owners of that swing are going to find me out there swinging and giggling. I wonder if they will mind?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lost 2.8 Pounds This Week!

WooHoo! I lost 2.8 lbs. and my leader said, "You'll hit 35 pounds next week." I sure hope so! The 35 lbs. doesn't take into account the 29 lbs. that I lost before officially joining Weight Watchers, so my total now is 63 lbs.! That is twice the size of my little girl!

So, why then after I see a success, do I beat myself up over spending the money on Weight Watchers? I'm on the monthly plan which costs $39.99/month. This is going to be a tight month financially for us with my two adult stepsons moving in with us. Anyone who has fed teenager boys can attest to the increase our grocery budget is feeling. One will be starting college at the end of the month, so I have to budget for him to buy some new clothes and supplies too. So, then I ask myself, do we have the money to continue Weight Watchers? Alan said, "Can your really put a price on your health?" I guess I just feel guilty spending that money on me. Or maybe it is that I would rather spend that money on other things like:

  1. A new bike for me and one for Butterbean. I would love to have one of those retro cruiser style bikes or one of those adult tricycles. I love those adult tricycles! I know it is strange, but they are so functional with the basket in the back. It's like riding a giant purse! I love purses!
  2. Speaking of purses, I bought a Butler Bag from Kmart. I love it, but the material is very cheaply made and the color is peeling off of it. I would love to get a real leather one. A girl's gotta have dreams!
  3. This one is more of a need than a want: I need some new bras. I hate buying them, because they are so expensive and the comfortable ones look like something my mother would wear. I really want some pretty ones, but for now I just need some that fit properly. The ones I have have been tightened as far as they can go, but there isn't much I can do about my shrinking girls except gain weight and that is NOT an option!
  4. OK another need: I really need to go see a doctor about my knee. I injured it in college and lately it has been bothering me (part of the reason I got serious about losing weight, because what is the first thing any doctor is going to say to a 339 lbs woman who comes in and complains that her knee hurts? Lose weight!) I hate to go, because I'm sure it is going to involve X-rays and possibly long needles into the cartilage, and I doubt that I will have my daddy's shoulder to cry on like the last time they did that to me. I won't even have my husband's shoulder to cry on when the bill comes, because he would just fuss about how much he hates doctors. Besides, if I do go and the doctor does tell me to lose weight, I might deck him!
Anyway, tell me about how you deal with the expense of paying for a weight loss program? Or are you doing it on your own?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stupid Tax and Portion Challenge

Dave Ramesy has a name for when we do something that ultimately costs us more than it is worth, a Stupid Tax. For example, when I cashed in my retirement after teaching for 4 years to pay off my credit cards only to turn around and not only charge them back up and have to do debt consolidation, but also pay Uncle Sam a hefty tax on the retirement. Turns out the debt consolidation was a stupid tax too. They tell you that it could hurt your credit, but they don't tell you that it will be even worse after you pay off all those bills than if you had filed bankruptcy!

Anyway, sometimes I feel like there needs to be a food stupid tax. Saturday after I walked the 5K, I stopped by Dairy Queen on the way home. I had planned to "celebrate" with a small Blizzard. Now going to Dairy Queen is not an every day occurrence for me. Fortunately for my waistline, the only Dairy Queen around here is in Diamondhead, Mississippi which is about 30 miles away. Normally when I do hit the DQ, it is on the way home from my sister's house and I have Butterbean in the car to share a small Blizzard with me. Well, this time I was alone. They say you should never drink alone, but I say I should never get a Blizzard alone. All totaled I earned 5 activity points walking the 5k (about 250 calories spent) but eating that Blizzard cost me 15 points! (660 calories and 29 grams of fat) What is worse, is that less than half way through the Blizzard I thought, Hmmm, I'm full and satisfied. I should stop eating this. But did I? No! I ate the whole thing, because "It was too good to waste." Stupid? Yes!

I sometimes wonder if my portions are stalling my weight loss. I have seen all the easy portion guides, but honestly, when it is time to eat, I fill my plate without a thought to how much I'm putting on there. Then, I'm challenged with the task of guessing how much I ate to put in my tracker later. I also have trouble remembering which is which. I got the deck of cards equals 3 ounces, but is the computer mouse a medium or large potato? The baseball is a cup, but how do I measure something that doesn't stay all nice and rounded up?

So this is my challenge this week for myself, I'm going to measure everything I put in my mouth and eat the recommended portion size. I want to see if my eyes really are bigger than my stomach. Since we have no plans to eat out this week, it should be a good time to do it.

Last week, I challenged myself to earn as many activity points as possible. I earned 31 points this week which is 5 more than I have ever earned. I had planned on earning more, but Butterbean insisted on going on my walk with me tonight. With her short legs, I couldn't get the intensity up to earn those extra points. We had gotten half way around the block and she wanted to be carried home. I told her no, but in hindsight, I should have piggy backed her home and enjoyed the extra load. She is currently 34 pounds which is actually a little more than half of the weight that I have lost since November of last year. Oh well!

My weigh in is tomorrow, so we will see if all the extra walking has paid off. But as Jillian on the Biggest loser said, "You have no control over the scale. You only have control over how hard you work." I have worked hard this week, so we will see if it pays off.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My First 5K or how to come in last gracefully!

I did it! Yesterday, I walked in my first 5K. I walked in the Summer Beach Run in Pass Christian, Mississippi. It was very hot, but a beautiful day for a walk. I woke up at 6am which is very early for me. After reading KathEatsRealFood's Tribute to Oatmeal, I was inspired to make oatmeal with butterscotch chips and brown sugar for breakfast and a fried egg. It was yummy! Hubby and Butterbean were supposed to go with me, but alas they slept in, and I went by myself. Butterbean would have loved it! The run started and finished in the War Memorial Park which doesn't sound like a place to take a child, but it was a really nice playground and exercise course. I believe that I have been to that park before when I was student teaching at Pass Christian Elementary School. I am sure that it has been revamped since Katrina destroyed almost everything along the coast there. This was the first time I have been to the coast since Katrina. I adore the Mississippi Gulf Coast and was devastated to see the damage it incurred from the storm.

Upon arrival, I checked in with the registration table. I told the lady my name and got my number. "You're a race walker. You know you are not allowed to jog even a step?" she said. Uh, yeah, my knees told me that long before you did. "No problem!" I replied. She took my number, wrote XL and handed me an extra large tank that I knew would be way too snug to wear. I should have asked for a small so Butterbean could wear it as night shirt. I filled out the bottom of the race number and pinned it on my black tank. Why did I wear black? Oh well, let's hit the potty. I walk over the the public restrooms where people are milling around stretching and waiting. After my turn, I decide to walk around the park to stretch while we wait for the race to start. I update my status on Facebook and Twitter. I'm feeling a little anxious about my size. I am the largest person there, not the oldest though. Oh, they have pizza! Guess that is for after the race, but it will be cold by then. I text message my sister, "If I had known that there would be so much "eye candy", I would have taken up 5K walking years ago when I was single!" Now I'm an old married woman and have to keep my eyes on the path ahead. She texted me back that that is why she used to walk at Keesler and why she started wearing reflective sunglasses.

About 8am, everyone begins to line up. The official makes a few announcements about the course, be careful of the potholes on the north side of Scenic Drive and says we will start with the siren. I situate myself about three quarters of the way back next to an older lady and someone my age that appears to be as out of shape as me. We make small talk. Then the siren sounds and off we go! The runners run ahead and the walkers get off to a good pace. Then I notice that I am falling behind. Within minutes, everyone is ahead of me. I'm dead last. Thoughts pass through my head. Why did I do this again? Because I can? Because I get 6 months of free Weight Watcher's magazines? I'm already a subscriber. Do you think they are smart enough to know that? Or am I going to be getting two copies now? Heck, I haven't even gotten my last one! I bet it is sitting in my stupid mail carrier's truck along with the two letters from the storage place telling me that the rent is going up! Hmmm there's a crossroad, I could just take a quick right and catch up with the others. No, you said you were going to do this, now do it. Hi! nice old lady watering her lawn! Water! That looks wonderful! Keep walking! Man! If you don't hurry it up all those skinny people are going to eat up all the cold pizza!

Then I see it! The one mile marker! I walk on. I round the turn onto Menge Avenue and start heading south. I contemplate picking up the orange cones, since I'm the last person walking. I don't. They promised us water sometime before the two mile mark. I turn right again and head up Scenic Drive. I see the water table and three young men walking toward it. Please don't let them be taking down that table before I get there. They don't. I arrive, drink three cups of Kentwood water and chat with them for a moment. The one encourages me to "Keep up your pace!" I move on. I am so focused on the walk that I almost totally missed the glorious beach view. It was so pretty. No one was out there and I could see for miles. I took a photo with my Blackberry and hoped that it would turn out since I didn't stop to take it. Then I noticed the houses on the north side of the street. There are some beautiful old homes that were spared by Katrina, but the live oaks seemed to have suffered. There was a mom with her dog and daughter out by the fence. I thought the dog was one of those Scottish Terriers, but then he stood up. He was a majestic black Great Dane.

As I passed up the two mile marker, I noticed that there were people running toward me up ahead, rounding a cone in the middle of the road and heading back to the finish line. Please, Dear God, don't make me run all the way to the end only to turn around and come back! I then remembered that they were also having a one mile fun run, so that cone meant I only had a half a mile from there! WoooHoooo!!! I got a new spring in my step and pressed on! At least, I wouldn't look like a dope coming in last. Some of the one mile folks were behind me. As I approached the chute, I took a photo of the official time clock and walked on through. The officials took my tab from my number and handed me a little sticker that said I was 199th. Oh well, I finished!

I filled out the sticker and stuck it on the poster, grabbed a piece of pizza and a piece of watermelon. I was wrong there was plenty of pizza left. It was water and Poweraide that ran out before I could get there. I was able to get a little cup of water. I walked around the farmer's market as they announced the winners. I was amazed to hear that there were people there from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and even Ohio! The official website says I finished 198th out of 198 people, but in my mind I'm still a winner for having tried. I'm planning on doing another one! My friend, Nancy, and I are going to do one in January in Mobile. January is a much better time of year for walking down here. I would like to work myself up to do a half marathon at Stennis next year. If you would have told me that I was going to walk in a 5K this time last year, I would have laughed in your face! Now, anything seems possible!