Thursday, December 30, 2010

My One Year Anniversary

So, yesterday was my one year anniversary with my trainer Caleb. It was my first training session at Pure Fitness. I am pretty sure I was trashed by the end of it. I do remember something about having to lay on the floor with my feet elevated because I got dizzy... ah.... memories.
Caleb and I celebrated by him kicking the Christmas cookies out of me. And by kick, I mean making me do drop push-ups, deadlifts, and these kinda wretched woodchoppers. It was fun! No, I didn't get to lay on the floor with my feet elevated. :c)
It's been an off kind of month, but December does that to a person, I think. I am looking forward to January. I have big plans! I mean, look at what I was able to accomplish this year. I can hardly wait to see what I can get done next year!
Caleb is starting up a boot camp next month, and I'm going to help him out with it. I think that it'll be lots of fun. I love boot camps!
I am going to post a more comprehensive list of my goals for 2011 next week, but suffice it to say, they are amazing! I just didn't want 2010 to end without an acknowledgment of the momentous anniversary and the monster it birthed. :c)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lagging... again!

Um, does anyone recognize this person on the left? Because I'm pretty sure the person on the right and she are somehow related. Good grief! It's pretty intense to see these two pictures together.

It's been an up and down couple of weeks. I've been sick since I came back from Janelle's. Coughing and whatnot. I even had to take some sick days. Not fun, not fun at all. I rarely get sick, so it's been weird.

Last weekend was the Undy 5000. It was pretty awesome! I ran the whole thing, which in past years has taken me over an hour to finish. This year, it took me 25:57, according to the official race results. I came in 37th out of all the women in the race. Not too shabby! It was pretty amazing to do an event that I've done before and to see that change. So hard for me to believe sometimes!

I haven't really been losing weight lately, just been hanging tight, which I think is fine. I put my body through a lot, so it's probably a good thing to not be constantly losing weight. I have, however, been toning up. My legs are really getting defined like my arms now, even my quads and hamstrings. I wish that some of that toning would get to my belly, but Caleb tells me it'll be the last thing to go. I have a hard time being patient though! Ah well!

I laid out a realistic plan for myself in the past few weeks. I really need goals and deadlines to make progress, so I made some. I will be running a 12K race in Gilbert on the 11th of December. Instead of the marathon in January, I will do a half. I just need more time to get a good running base. I hope to find a marathon to do in March. There's a fun sounding 17k in Peoria for St. Patrick's day. Not marathon distance, but still sounds like fun.

Looking forward to the upcoming week. Three and a half days of work... not to shabby!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Belt With Legs

It's been another couple of weeks. Jeesh. I just don't hang out on the computer like I used to anymore. What could I possibly be doing with my time that's more important? (Oh, don't know. Maybe working out? :c) )

My body's in the process of metamorphosis yet again. Some days I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore. I go through time periods where I pretty much look the same for a while, but lately I feel like a new person every day. My face has changed a lot! Mom says I need a new pair of glasses. They take up too much of my face now. You know me and glasses. I have decided to put part of my winnings toward a new set of frames to match my face. I really really really want to find an awesome orange pair or perhaps lime green... Anyway, over the past month and a half or so, my arms, shoulders, and back have become really defined. It's been pretty cool to see that happen. I hope to get some pics of the amazingness that is my arms up here soon. I'm going to try to talk Nell into taking some pictures of me to add to the blog here.

Last week was the 110 pound party. It was great to have my friends and family over. My Mom was a trooper and got the house ready and cut up a million veggies for the whole thing. Grandpa and JoRae came, which was so great! They hadn't seen me since Bug left on her mission. I am fairly certain they didn't recognize me when I came in. They gave me big hugs and told me how proud they were. My family and friends were also able to meet Caleb, the man who brought you my massive arms. :c) He thought my boss was the school's maintenance man, because he was so laid back. Funny! The whole evening was pretty enjoyable, and ended with me doing a demonstration of bear crawls down the stairs (do NOT try that at home kids!).

My latest accomplishments are pretty cool too. On October 1st, I did my first unassisted pull up! Woot Woot! That has been a long time coming! I am thrilled! Now I just need to start doing more than one in a row! Nextly, my mile time is down to 7:13! I could not believe that I was able to cut another 32 seconds off my time. I didn't think there was that much more to cut! I was so winded by the end of it though. I didn't make the usual ruckus I normally would have. Whew!

And now, the belt with legs story. At school, my duty is to monitor the 2nd graders during lunch and their recess. As far as duties go, I love it! I come in to the lunch room and feel like a rock star! I have to go see my #1 fans in kindergarten and hear their daily reports, give them knuckles, high 5's, and hugs. Then, I head back through the 1st grade section and say hi to the kids there. They like to have me open things for them. Then it's off to 2nd grade, where I cruise around the tables, making sure they don't eat their desserts first and pick up all of their trash. We head out to recess and I monitor the playground. Anyhow, there's a 2nd grader who is new to the school this year. The other day, he came up behind me at the playground, wrapped his arms around my waist, and said, "I'm your belt with legs!" I could not stop laughing! So funny!

My little belt with legs helps to give me some perspective. I've written before that I struggle with seeing myself as I really am. In my mind, I am still a big person, still overweight, still fat. I truly have to remind myself that I am not that person anymore. My belt with legs wouldn't be able to fit his short little arms all the way around my waist nine months ago. I am grateful for the kids at my school. They are some of my biggest champions! In fact, when I started this whole weight loss hullaballoo, it was a kindergartner who first noticed I was losing weight, before most of the adults I work with even noticed. As difficult as they are to teach, I sure do love the kindergartners in my life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding My Direction

Whew! It's been three weeks since I updated. Sorry! I forgot just how brain-dead I became at the end of my first fitness challenge. I didn't have two brain cells to rub together over the last few weeks! I shall strive to be better, to more thoroughly document what has become one of the most rewarding journeys of my life.

Well, to get caught up, let's begin with the end of the (truly) last fitness challenge. I spent the last few days leading up to the weigh in mostly at the gym when I wasn't at work. I wasn't eating a whole lot besides protein, fruit, and veggies. I'm very sure I was a crankopotamus. I was also quite tired! I took naps on my desk during my lunch. :c)

The final weigh in was on the 15th of September. I worked out that afternoon. My trainer pretty much pushed me until I couldn't lift another weight, then said, "Go weigh in. You're done!" I felt pretty toasted! I showered and headed over to the gym, ready to go! In I came, and the numbers looked pretty good! I was down 15 pounds, and 6.2% body fat. The body fat was the important number, because that's what determined the winner. In the fitness challenge at Thunderbird, the results were a bit more subjective, because it wasn't just body fat that determined the winner (if it was, I would have won that too). I crossed my fingers and hoped it would be enough for the win!

The results party was the following night on Thursday. I came in with my hair fixed and wearing regular clothes. I doubt some people recognized me! They're all used to seeing me with sweat dripping and hair all in a ponytail and just gross in general. Anyway, we gathered our little group together, and Jose decided it would be a good time to ramble on and on and on about sticking with exercise and diet and all that. It took forever! He finally went through and announced everyone's final results. I was surprised to discover that my friend Debbie was in the challenge too, and that she was really my closest competition! I had no idea. Anyway, the final results were that I won! Yay! My prize this time was $250. Looking back from where I am now, I'm not sure it was worth it. I put my family, friends, and body through a lot to get there. It just further cements my resolve to retire from competitive weight loss. So glad to be done with that part of my weight loss and fitness career.

The party was pretty entertaining. One of the trainers, Mitch, said when people were complimenting me, "She's like my Mom!" It was so random and funny. Right now, I think most of the trainers at the gym feel like they own a bit of my weight loss, and for the most part, it's true! They are all very supportive, and I feel like I'm a part of their little group. I can picture myself perhaps becoming a trainer someday as a part-time job. I think I'd be pretty good at it. I don't think I'd want to do it full time. That would be so hard! I don't like the whole sales and commission part of it. No thank you!

So I spent the rest of that week partying it up! I ate pretty much whatever the heck I wanted, including an ill-fated trip to The Heart Attack Grill (so not worth it), and a candy store named Sweeties (so VERY worth it). I also tried for the first time a cupcake from a little store in the mall named Sugardaddy's. IT WAS AWESOME! I had the Pink Cadillac cupcake, which was a strawberry cupcake filled with vanilla buttercream, topped with strawberry buttercream and glitter. So very delicious! I have decided that once a month, I am going to go there and have a treat. Looking forward to my next trip there!

I now find myself in need of direction. I need to set my sights on a new set of goals. I've been living and breathing the fitness challenges for so long, that I don't know where to go from here. One short-term goal is to complete one unassisted pull-up. I am so close! That goal I expect to hit by the end of the month. I need something to aim for in the next couple of months. Not sure yet what that is. Maybe 20 more pounds by Christmas, but I'm not warmed up to that idea. It's not very interesting to me. I mean, I have more weight to lose, but I want to be more fitness-oriented, rather than the whole numbers thing. Perhaps I should aim to be a certain clothing size, like an 8 by the end of the year. Hmmm. Don't know yet!

One of my long-term goals is to complete an Iron-distance triathlon. I think I may have found my race! There is an Ironman in St. George next May that has my name all over it! It's even on a Saturday. I really think that it is something I'd like to train and aim for. Of course, that means I need a grown-up bike to train with. There is also the little hurdle of the entry fee, $575. The whole money thing will be harder for me to overcome than the training! I'm sure if it's meant to be, it will all work out. My head is spinning with anticipation! I am greatly inspired by this video.

Tomorrow I am going to retry beating my mile time. SO VERY EXCITED! Can't wait to see how much better I'll be. *does a little nerdy dance* I hope my gym-mates are bringing their ear-plugs. :c)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Rough Week

It's been a rough week for me. I've really been lacking in the motivation department. I gave in to temptation nearly every time I was faced with it, specifically this weekend. (I really struggle at Nell's house! I love her and her family, but I give myself free reign pretty much every time!)

I know I need a break. I just need to finish out the last bit of the Arrowhead Challenge, then I'm really (truly, I promise), going to take a step back. I've been pushing myself really hard for quite a while now. I think I need a week of down time. I'm sure at least some of you reading this are rolling your eyes, but I really do plan on taking a week and relaxing. I think it'll help me get back in to the swing of things.

Part of my struggle has been the "bounceback" from the end of the Thunderbird Challenge. It's hard to lose all that weight (even though I know the stuff at the end was water weight), and then almost immediately gain a large chunk back. I managed to work most of it off again, but it's still really frustrating.

Speaking of the Thunderbird Challenge (aka Westside Fitness Challenge), I found out that I got 2nd place overall! Not too shabby. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed. Not really that I got second place, but that I didn't win the money! :c) Second place won 3 free personal training sessions. I wish I could just cash that out! Blah. Oh well, second is nothing to sneeze at!

On Monday, Brian helped me run my mile in 7 minutes and 45 seconds! It was great! I am glad that he is willing to help me do stuff like that. He's been a good supporter of my desire to run. He has a weakness for brownies, so his help is easily bought. :c) I'm going to be coaching him on his swimming coming up here soon. He's going to be in a triathlon in three weeks, and needs a bit of direction in that department. I'm just the girl for the job!

Someone I really don't ever talk about is my main trainer, Caleb. He has trained me since I started at Pure Fitness. He started up his own training business, and left Pure Fitness back in February. He is much, much more affordable. Part of the reason I've not talked about him is that I don't want people to think I'm crazy with all the different people I work with. Anyway, he has been so patient with me lately! Drunk Zombie and Overly Emotional Sarah take a lot out on him. Especially last week! I need to find a way to give him some love. I would really like to find a new client for him, so if anyone out there knows someone who might be interested, let me know!

Not a very organized post this week, I know, but you'll get more coherent posts in the future, I promise! 10 more days to go...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fitness Challenge-o-rama

Things are getting ugly people. I am spending inordinate amounts of time drooling over cookbooks on Amazon and making baked goods for my loved ones! I suppose I'm feeling a bit deprived! Let's just pretend that the cookie dough incident from last night never happened. :c)

I had my final weigh in for the Thunderbird fitness challenge on Thursday. I know that I'm in the top two for that club. We find out the results on Tuesday night. I'll keep you posted! The final weigh in for the Arrowhead challenge is on the 15th of September. I'm so looking forward to that!

Things have been a bit hairy. I'm not really remembering things the way that I used to. I've become heavily dependent on my phone's calendar feature. I was deep in drunk zombie mode most of the week. There were also several appearances of Short-tempered Overly-emotional Sarah. *cringe* I am definitely retiring from the competitive weight-loss circuit after this. Only two and a half more weeks! I can do it!

This past week, they've started calling me two new nicknames at the gym. Taylor (one of the trainers) calls me Buffasauras. He's been really funny lately. He walks by my treadmill and ups the speed or incline every time! He has a client named Debbie that I really like and try to encourage. I think he appreciates that. Anyhow, the other nickname is "The Beast". Multiple people have called me that, seriously just in the past week. One of them is Jose. He was showing some people around the gym and I overheard him calling me that as I ran by during Saturday Seminar.

I'm not sure how I feel about being called The Beast. I mean, I like the way my body is changing and developing and becoming leaner, but do I really want to be something that equates to an animal? Not sure.

Sad news... Cameron, the trainer who brought you the Bootcamp Challenge as well as the teacher of the morning classes I take, has quit and found another job. :c( SAD DAY! I really enjoy his classes, and am concerned about who his potential replacement will be. If it is who I think it is, I'm going to need to rethink my morning workouts. Blah.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Triathlete, Check!

So, I did it! I completed my very first, mostly awesome triathlon! Sorry for the delay in race report. The first week of school with kids messed with my head a bit. My calorie-deprived brain can only handle so much! Let's begin the saga, shall we?

Our road trip to Oceanside had an ill-fated beginning, as they always seem to have. As we approached Buckeye, I realized that I left my wetsuit and my bike helmet in my car back at the house. That put us WAY behind schedule. We turned around, had dinner at home, and headed back out. The end of that story is that we didn't get in to Jimmy's (Whitney's brother) house until nearly 2am. Yay! Triathlon on three hours of sleep. Has a nice kind of ring to it, don't you think? :c)

Up we got at 5, ordered a bland but carb-packed breakfast from Denny's, and headed to Camp Pendleton, which was not far away at all. It was easy to find, we just followed all the fancy bikes that I could pay off my student loans with. :c) I went through the lines and picked up my swim cap and race packet, and transponder, got my age, military status (civilian), and division written on my calves, hugged Whit goodbye, and went to set up in the transition area.

We were assigned areas by which wave we were in. My group was 13, the last wave. I racked my bike, spied out how others set up their spots, copied what I thought would be most useful, and chatted a bit with my fellow competitors. On the rack next to me was a woman named Carol. She asked me how many tri's I'd done, and I of course told her none. She gave me great tips on how to swim in the ocean, seeing as I'd never done that before either. She was a life saver!

I eased myself into my wetsuit with surprising grace, made my way down to the beach, and watched the other waves go off. I practiced swimming out and diving under the waves while I waited for my wave. Thank heavens for Carol! It was the best advice she could have given me.
My wave's time finally approached. We all had lime green swim caps. I'll admit to being disappointed they weren't orange. :c) We all cheered on the two waves before us, then when it was our turn to go, cheered ourselves as we took off!

I decided the best approach was to NOT get hit in the face by my jostling co-competitors, so I hung back a bit before entering the water. By the time we were going, the waves were ginormous! So thankful I practiced. Everyone commented afterward how difficult it was going out. There was also a current pulling us to the right, which made tracking the buoy difficult. The guards out in the water kept shouting, "To the left!!" I ended up a bit off course, but was able to correct myself. Once I rounded the first buoy, the swimming was easy and rhythmic. After rounding the second buoy, things got interesting. The waves as I approached the shore were something else! I ended up being spun head-over-heels by one, but stayed calm and swam to the surface. I made it to shore in one piece, ran with jelly-legs across the beach, and moved to my first transition.

In the transition area, I was relieved to see most of the bikes from my wave still on the rack. I peeled off my wetsuit, dithered a bit about what to do next, downed a sports drink, threw on some shorts, my shoes and socks, grabbed my bike, forgot to take off my cap and goggles, threw them back to my spot, and jogged with my bike out of the transition area.
Yay! Bike time! This I knew would be one of my strongest areas, but also what I feared the most. My greatest fear, getting a flat tire. I prayed literally that my tires would hold, that they wouldn't be damaged. If I had gotten a flat, there would be no way to fix it. I would have to run with my bike the rest of the course. Eek! Thank the heavens that I didn't get a flat. I was so grateful!

I really enjoyed the bike portion. I was a bit saddle sore during the race, but didn't have any lasting soreness afterward. I made sure I cheered on every person that passed me, as well as encouraged those who I passed. It made the whole experience that much more fun. There were Marines posted every half-mile or so. Some held signs that said "Slow" when we approached sharp turns. I told them, "Oh, don't worry, I'm plenty slow." They just laughed. :c)
The hills weren't too bad. There were a few that I needed to stand up from my seat to climb, but otherwise, it was pretty great! I downed a bag of Jelly Belly sport beans, which are basically Gatorade in jelly bean form. They worked great! I approached the end of the bike, was raucously cheered on by Whitney, hopped off, and quickly discovered that I no longer knew how to walk properly. So I limp, limp, limped into the transition area and asked the volunteers where the leg transplants were. :c)

My second transition was much quicker than my first. I just racked my bike, forgot to take off my helmet, ran back to put it where it belonged, and was off for the run. I was still trying to get my land legs working at the beginning, but after the first half mile or so I was able to pull myself together. The run was mostly flat, as it was just on the roads and parking lots around the base. I walked maybe a total of a quarter mile, which I'm pretty darn proud of.

The Marines along the way encouraged us, and sometimes told us to attempt to pass one another. It was fun! I approached the finish line, put on the afterburners, and finished! Yay! I had my transponder removed, and headed out of the chute to see Whit. She cheered and took pictures. She did a great job!

We wandered around the venue for a bit, picking up free things and getting a banana and some water. On a whim, we decided to check the race results. When I went over there, there were no results in for my division (Athena) yet. I started to get excited at that point. There was a small inkling of hope that I placed high in my division. I said, "I'm going to pack up my stuff, then let's come back and check them again."
So off I went down to the transition area, packed up my disorderly mess, and schlepped it back up the hill to the car.

We put it all away, then went back to check the results again. I approached the tent, checked the spot for my division, and saw my name in third place! I jumped and shouted and cheered! I was so excited! Whit and I went to pick up my medal, which was so exciting! The girl who handed out the medals, not so much excited, but that's ok! It was awesome! More pics and other nonsense after that.

We went back to car, and I called and texted people who I thought would be interested, and probably several people who really weren't. It was great to talk to my family a feel their support.

It was a pretty awesome experience overall. The only difficulty I had was my gimpy shoulder, which didn't trouble me at all during the race, but hurt pretty bad when I was done. The ibuprofen took the edge off, and it was all ok.

My boss at school made a point of telling big chunks of the school about my tri awesomeness, so the kids have been cheering me and asking to see my medal. It's been a great start to school!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Apparantly Look Like the Daughter of Myself, and Other Revelations

I've been a lazy blogger. Sorry people! I shall repent and do better!

Things are getting crazy people! :c) This week, we mourn the loss of my long-time friend, my Wonder Woman t-shirt. It was a very hard worker, putting in two, sometimes three shifts a week. It was a mercy retirement. Just couldn't get it smelling normal again. The ladies in the class I go to in the morning are pretty disappointed though. We need to find a suitable replacement! I think I need to get crafty.

I rented a wetsuit this week. That was a fun, strange experience. If you've never wrestled your way into a wetsuit, and you've not done your cardio for the day, I'd highly recommend you go try one on. For extra credit, try on one with sleeves. :c) Anywho, I went to Triple Sports in Scottsdale to rent and try on the thing. The woman in the store who helped me was awesome, and very encouraging. It's a great little store, but so very far away! I wish there was one like it on my side of the Valley. Ah well.

I also went out and bought a new pair of running shoes. I went to a store called Road Runner Sports while I was clear in the heck over in Scottsdale (for the 2nd time in a week). They had this cool high-speed camera thingy that films how you run, then they use a computer to measure the pressure you put on your feet, and they match you up with the right shoes. I'm now the proud owner of a pair of Nike Triax. I've been running in Asics for a while, so it'll be cool to try something different. The people who work at that store are great fun too. One of them recommended a race in October called the Cactus Chacha, which is held in the White Tanks. I really think I'll do that race, since I've been working on my trail running skills. Yesterday, I ran the trail at Pinnacle Peak (again, in Scottsdale). The weather was AMAZING yesterday. It was the perfect day to run that trail. So much awesomeness! The pics above are from that run (my head looks so tiny in them. Weird! Isaac is on the left, Jose is on the right).

Over the past week, I replaced my id's as well. I spent a very unproductive hour and a half at the DMV to replace my driver's license. Then, I went to the District offices to get a new work id. The woman there was so funny! She pulled up my profile on the computer, gave me a strange look, and said, "Is this picture of you?" I just started laughing. She said, "You've lost weight! You look like the daughter of this person!" It was so funny!

I was talking to someone about how people treat me differently now that I'm smaller. I couldn't really describe what the difference was, but I figured out at least part of it yesterday. I went to the mall and there were sales in several of the stores. I went in to Aeropostale, where they were having a sale on t-shirts. The salesperson there came up to me and said, "How are you today? Can I help you find your size?" And then it hit me. I've not been asked that in one of those stores before. Usually, they would say something like, "Can I help you find something?" Never before have they asked me to help me find my size. I only put that together because the same thing happened in American Eagle. It's really a small thing, I know, but it is one of those things that makes a difference! Something most people wouldn't notice or think about. It was an interesting day yesterday!

So, this is going to be a pretty big week for me. We are reporting back to work this week. I get to set my classroom up and all that stuff. I'm glad to be going back, somewhere deep inside. When I find that place, I'll let you know. :c) At least I like the people I work with! Especially the short ones. :c)

The triathlon is this lovely Saturday. So excited! I should be getting my packet this week with my swim cap and timing chip. Don't worry, I'll have lots of pictures for everyone. Keep me in your thoughts! I can use all the extra help I can get!

The Fitness Challenge stuff is all going according to plan. I've been busy juggling all my supplements, workouts, and meal plan stuff, but I am doing pretty good. Drunk Zombie Sarah briefly made an appearance earlier this week on Wednesday during Bootcamp, but I was able to combat that with a protein shake. Whew! Be wary that she's out there, consider her dumb and not very dangerous to anyone but herself. :c)

Monday, July 19, 2010

This Post Brought to you by the Letter A, for Awesome. :c)

Yay! So, several new and interesting developments over the course of the week. Let's get caught up, shall we?

Last Monday evening was the beginning weigh in of the Fitness Challenge at the Thunderbird Pure Fitness. I went in, did my thing, wore my awesome "Working on My After Picture" shirt, and managed to scare the living liver out of one of the other competitors. The fitness director, Sean, told everyone that I won the last corporate challenge, and that they should just copy what they saw me doing. It was pretty funny. Afterward, a woman walked up to me and asked me how I did it. I told her that I worked out and was very careful with my diet. She said, "How often do you work out?" I replied, "Six days a week." Her eyes got all big, then I continued, "Twice a day." She just about fell over right there. I hope I didn't crush her spirit! :c)

Are you ready for a plot twist?

After the weigh in for the challenge, I decided to go to the Arrowhead Pure Fitness to do my workout, since I had been gone for a while. I pull in to the parking lot, and what's all over the windows? Fitness Challenge fliers. Dun dun dun.... I just about had a fit right there. Didn't Jose tell me just last week that they weren't going to do the Challenge? Well, it turns out that when I asked him about it, he decided to run one of his own for just our club. I walk in the door, and am immediately set upon by two trainers, Taylor and Jim. Taylor was really nice and asked who I was going to train with. Jim asked me to train with him. It was a bit crazy! Jose was there, and I said, "Jose, you didn't need to get me a present!" He laughed. So, I'm doing both Challenges! Crazy! Arrowhead's starts next Monday, and ends two weeks after the other one. Drunk Zombie Sarah will be hanging around a bit longer that planned, but it will still be awesome!

Speaking of awesome, I found a shirt at Target that says, "Proud To Be Awesome!" I wore that to Saturday Seminar (which was one of the best ones we've had in a long time). People laughed and loved it. I love wearing funky shirts to work out in. Too much fun! If anyone out there finds a cool shirt, let me know!

Last on the big news front, is my new mile time. 8:12!!!!!! I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT! This afternoon Brian (the trainer who helped me through the first Challenge) asked me if I wanted to beat my mile time. I said "Sure!" He made me stretch and all that, then manned the treadmill controls. He coached me through the whole thing, telling me to calm my breathing and even my stride. When I hit the mile mark at 8:12, I pretty much yelled and jumped and cheered and made all kinds of happy noises. People clapped and cheered too. It was so amazing! I LOVE MY GYM! Brian really earned his brownies today.

On a final note, I am nursing a bit of an injury. I hurt my shoulder during the infamous "Bootcamp Challenge" back in June, and it's been acting up again. Blah. Blah. And, Blah. Not fun. No push-ups for me. Feh. So, I've been hitting the Ibuprofen and ice. Hopefully it's not too much of a setback!

That is all! :c)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Push-ups are Your Friend, and Other Lessons

Sorry, I'm a day behind. :c) I drove back from Utah yesterday and didn't get a chance to write up my week. I had lots of fun visiting Nell and her family. I made the Purple Boss' 3rd birthday cake, it was so cute! I didn't bring my camera, so I'll have to rely on those who had one to provide pics.

It was a slow week work-out wise, due to my preparation for the Fitness Challenge. I had my training session with Issac on Wednesday. It was awesome! He had me do those crazy diamond push-ups that you see all the muscle-bound guys do. I felt so proud! I was able to do 8 of them. Issac has great faith in me, and goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to training me. My half-hour with him is the highlight of my week. We try to cram in as much as we possibly can in that small amount of time.

Up at Nell's, I went to the "boot camp" class. There was a different teacher this time, and I really didn't enjoy the class. It was really aerobics heavy. Blah. So not my favorite. Ah well. I needed to slow up anyway.

I also placed myself on a plateau. I've been hovering around 195-6. Everything is going according to plan! Starting tomorrow morning, I'm going in to full tilt diet mode. Whitney is happy to be leaving town for the next couple weeks. She doesn't seem to remember what I fondly call the "Drunk Zombie" portion of the contest, which is the last two weeks. She gets to have front row seats for that. :c)

There was a small blip as far as the contest goes last week. My particular club wasn't participating. I dithered a bit about what to do, but ended up heading down to the club on Thunderbird. I went in to the club, and spoke with the fitness manager. I think he was a bit surprised when I told him what I wanted. I told him that I wanted to join the Fitness Challenge because I was going to win it again. :c) I told him I needed a trainer who was going to push me pretty hard, and he put me with Jeremy. (to be in the challenge, you need to purchase three training sessions)

I trained with Jeremy this morning, and let me tell you, I lucked out! He really put me through my paces. I think he was pleasantly surprised at my fitness level. He had me running and jumping all over that place. It was pretty crazy. I am a major sweater (not something I've discussed on here, but nonetheless, I usually look like I've taken a shower in my clothes by the end of my workout), and when we went up front to sign out and schedule our next workout, I got several comments on the amount of grossness I had going on. :c) I'd say that was a great indicator of how awesome that workout was.

I am very excited for this week. I'm getting my bike out of rehab today, and plan on breaking it in this week. I'm also headed to a store called Triple Sports, which caters to triathletes. Excited to be moving on to cool things!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Here's my latest creation. It's a hit at the gym, and I love it! Thank heavens I have to do laundry twice a week, that means I get to wear it a lot!

Speaking of after pictures, the next fitness challenge was announced! Hooray! It starts on the 12th. I am going to be winning this one as well. I am so excited! Because the challenge is so close, I have backed off my exercise routine (my trainer laughed when I said I was backing off. He didn't think I knew how), and I have upped my calories so that I am maintaining my weight until the start. So. Very. EXCITED!

Prepare yourselves for another big announcement. I am signing up for a triathlon! YAY! It is in San Diego on the 7th of August. I know, it's the Saturday before school starts, but I don't care! I want my summer to go out with a bang. I have wanted to do a triathlon for a long, long time. Cameron at Pure Fitness has been asking me to join him, and I told him I wouldn't do one on a Sunday, so he found one on a Saturday. Can't wait! It's a sprint distance triathlon, with a 500m open-water swim, a 30k bike, and a 5k run at Camp Pendleton.

To achieve my triathlon dreams, I needed to rehab my poor bike from college. It's just a lamesauce mountain bike that I bought at Walmart to get me around campus. It hasn't seen any action in a long time. I took it to Performance Bikes, and the technician Pret pretty much just shook his head and told me I was crazy. I said, "I know! I can't get a new bike, so I'll have to suffer with this one." He said that I definitely didn't want to be riding on that bike for the 18.6 miles I'll need to. I told him I would manage, and we could discuss putting a bike on layaway when I was done. That seemed to appease him, a little anyway. Pret helped be get fitted for a helmet and helped me pick out road tires to go on my bike. Super helpful! He was great to talk to as well. He asked me what made me want to do a triathlon, and I told him a bit of my story. He lit up like a Christmas tree and told me that he had a similar story. So great! Now, I've bonded with my bike guy. :c)

I picked up a bike buying guide. Let me tell you, they don't price those things with poor, starving art teachers in mind. Sheesh! I'm going to need to save my pennies for a long, long time. Fun to drool over and dream though!

Biking is the part of the triathlon I am least familiar with. I'm going to need to learn how to change tires and everything. I'm up for the challenge! I pulled out a book I bought a few years ago called "Slow Fat Triathlete" by Jayne Williams. It's about a woman who up and decided to start doing triathlons after she had been working on losing weight. It's a great book! I have also been reading "Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals" by Steven Jonas. It's a more comprehensive guide to triathlon, and is very helpful. This month in Runner's World, they even had an article about how to train for a triathlon! It think the fates have decided that now's my time!

So much on the horizon for me! I am very excited for the weeks ahead. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How to Celebrate Breaking in to the 100's and Losing 90 Pounds, a Guide For Beginners

My current weight is 194 pounds. Jiminy Crickets, that's strange, yet exhilarating to say! In fact, when I just typed the number, I put a two instead of the one, which shows how foreign it is to me! I surpassed two major hurdles this week. I broke the 200 pound barrier and I lost 90 pounds. Great news after my disappointing week last week. I came back from Utah with renewed energy and focus. I am glad to be back in the swing of things! Also, here's a picture of just how ugly my legs are right now. Good gravy!

How does one celebrate such a momentous occasion as losing 90 pounds? Well, I did it Saturday morning. For my gym's Saturday class, we all met at Thunderbird Conservation Park to do a hike. The trail was roughly 3.5 miles long. Jose, the gym's owner, decided to divide everyone up in to three groups; a group of walkers, a group of joggers/walkers, and a group of runners. Most of the people decided to walk, so he had them all start off first. I debated about joining that group. After all, the last time I went hiking was back in college when we went down one of the lava tubes for FHE. I decided that I'd try the jogging/walking group. Turns out, I was the only person interested in that group! I did it anyway. So off I went on my merry way. I ended up jogging about two miles of the trail, most of it on the uphill part. The downhill was the most difficult for me, for a couple of reasons. Reason one, the sunblock I wore ran in to my eyes, and it drove me crazy! I couldn't stop blinking or wiping my eyes. That made it difficult to see where my feet were going. Second, once the sunblock was all wiped off my face, sweat kept running in to my eyes to take it's place. Frustrating! Blah. I turned my ankle and in that process got a palm full of tiny little cactus needles. Jeepers! My ankle was ok to walk/jog on still, so phew!

The end of the story is that I made it up and down in one piece, and was the first person to make it in after Jose and two of the trainers. :c) I was so happy! One of the trainers was Issac. He trains me once a week and is pretty much one of my favorite people right now. He ran ahead of me for the downhill part and kept calling back to me, encouraging me on. At one point, I came up to a group of women and they each said, "Good job Sarah! Keep it up!" I was like, uh, I don't know these women! I said, "Thanks so much!" I realized that Issac had stopped and told them to cheer me on. He really is a great trainer. He pushes me pretty hard, which is exactly what I like!

This week for our training session, we did these awesome crab walks with the big red ball. What you do is lay on the ball, walk out so that your toes are on top of the ball, then lift your tooshie up into a jackknife position, then go back down and reverse it. I had a hard time getting it down, but it was so cool when I got it! I felt like a real athlete this week.

Anyway, after my 90 pound celebration, I left the park and drove to the first grocery store I came across and bought 20lbs of ice, which upon arriving home I dumped into the bathtub, filled it with cold water, and took a well-deserved ice bath. Not fun for the first few seconds, but so worth it!

Whitney (my roommate) thinks I'm completely nuts, but that's ok! I think I am going to do that trail (or others, who knows?) one day a week. I never (EVER) thought I would enjoy running, much less up and down hills. I just can't believe what I am doing. If you had told me 5 months ago that I would be doing what I did this week, I would definitely not believe you. Heck, if you told me last week that I would run most of the hike, I would call you crazy. It really is amazing what someone can do when they put their mind to it.

I read a great quote this week. It's now on my mirror. It says, "The extent to which we accept responsibility for something, is the extent to which we control it." I think this could be a great title for the first chapter of my book, if there ever is one. :c)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ah, Temptation

Well, this week has been a bit, well, I don't even know how to succinctly describe it. I have been both successful and unsuccessful. Let's dive in, shall we?

First, the good news. I am now fitting in to size 14's. Pretty darn exciting. It keeps Mom busy and the Goodwill in business. :c) I am wearing mostly size large shirts. That is weird for me. I truly don't think of myself that way. I think probably most people have a distorted view of themselves. For example, whenever I've seen a picture of myself, I've never thought it has looked like me. I think that all goes down to self-perception. Now, instead of thinking I'm smaller than I really am, I think I'm larger than I really am. I'm sure I'll get used to it!

One of my goals for the week was to run longer than one mile. On Monday, I ran a mile and a half in 14.45 minutes. That was really exciting. Then, on Thursday, Scott and I went running at the cemetery. We ran two miles without stopping. It took us about 23 minutes. We were both pretty jazzed. There's this part of the route that slopes downward. We call it the "Superhero Part". It was very awesome!

I have been up visiting my sister since Wednesday. I planned and prepared to try to stay on track as much as possible, with varying degrees of success and failure. Let's discuss exercise, shall we? There's a community rec center near Nell's house that I found I could go to. I went both Thursday and Friday. On Friday they had a boot camp class, which was interesting. It was different than what I am used to. It was more of an aerobics class, which was fine, but I like a bit more of a challenge. There's also one tomorrow morning, so I'll go to that.

Now, the bad exercise news. I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon to get ingredients for Trevor's celebratory dinner (he did the Ragnar Relay ultra-style. I totally want to do that relay next year, but NOT ultra). While approaching the building, I tripped over the curb and biffed it in the parking lot. Besides being completely embarrassing (people got out of their cars and ran over and everything), it hurt! I scraped up both of my knees and gave one of my knees a hard enough knock that it's now swollen. Bleh. Scott and I had to cancel our run last night. I have been praying that it heals quickly!

Ah, food. Here's where most of my struggle has been. The best way to test someone on whether they've learned something or not is to take them out of the controlled environment and try them in the real world. Let's just say I've not passed that test up here out of my tightly controlled world at home. I packed food with the intention to maintain as normal an eating regimen as possible. That pretty much went out the window when we decided to go a restaurant called "5 Guys". It's a burger joint. YUMMY. That's where it began. Has it stopped, nope. I have been eating my virtuous breakfast and lunch, but by dinner it's all out the door. Last night we had burritos and chips with queso dip. I so did not resist temptation last night. Nor did I say no to the rootbeer float on Friday. I feel like the old Sarah is back in charge. Kindof a Jekyll and Hyde sort of deal. Needless to say, I didn't reach 200 pounds this week.

I know that you can't be on 100% of the time. Heaven knows that I know that. I feel like I failed this weekend though. My sister says that I've just been normal, but normal for me is not ok. The "normal" Sarah is the one who ate her way to nearly 300 pounds. I am ready to move on. It's scary to have that Sarah back in my life. I am ready to get rid of that mentality completely. I feel like an alcoholic that's been on a bender. Time to get back to reality...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

201, and the Art of Backing Off

This week started out a bit rough. I kinda felt like Lightning McQueen on Cars; like I had two blown tires and was trying to get to the finish line. I was exhausted and it was only Monday, so my trainer and I decided that now is the time to back off the two-a-days a bit. I've cut them back to only three a week. It was difficult. I sometimes feel like if I let go of anything, it will all come crashing down, you know? Well, my world didn't end when I cut back the two-a-days. I feel cautiously optimistic that I will survive the coming week as well. I'll pick back up a full schedule when the next fitness challenge happens.

I ended this week on a much better note. On Friday, I hit 201 pounds. So very close to my goal! Only two more days and I hope to be at or below 200. I am looking forward to it! The next hurdle I hope to leap over is the 100 pound mark. Right now, that is 15 pounds away. I want to be there by the end of July. I am fairly certain there will be a party involved in marking that momentous occasion. I'll keep you posted!

Also on Friday, I ran my mile in 8 minutes and 57 seconds. Yay! I can't believe that I've come that far. Just one month ago, I was celebrating hitting the 10 minute mark. I am starting to feel like a runner. This week I'm heading north to Janelle's. While there, I am going to start working on running multiple miles. Maybe Trevor will help me out. I'm excited to see my niece and nephew again. So much fun!

I hope the people at Pure Fitness won't miss me too much when I'm away this week. :c) Yesterday at the gym, several of the trainers went up to my mom and said, "You're Sarah's mom, right?" She said she was proud that she could be "Sarah's Mom". I'm proud of my parents and sister. All three have been going to the gym regularly for the past couple of weeks. It's great that my family is moving towards being more healthy!

So, it was an up and down week. Looking forward to the next!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Victory, Defeat, and "Oh, Sarah? Is that you?"

Not a whole lot to report on this week, but that's ok! They can't all be event-filled. :c) Last Friday was the boot camp competition. I'll cut the suspense right now and tell you that I didn't win. :c( I know! I know! But, I beat all the women who were competing and tied for first with one, which I think was a bit of a victory.

We started with walking on the treadmill at 3 miles per hour at an incline of 15, which is the highest the mills will go. We got a point per minute we could do it without holding on up to ten minutes. I did the whole ten without hands, but so did almost everyone else. That's ok, though. Then we did the leg press 2x our body weight. I was the third person to go, and ended up having to press 415 pounds. The people before me each did about 15 presses each. I ended up doing 50. I thought that would be good enough to beat Cameron the trainer, but he ended up doing 62. Man, I could have done more! Oh well! I did way more of those than the other women did. Then we went on to the trainer-haters. Those I only managed to do 16 of in one minute, I messed up the first one so it didn't count. Blah. Then we did push-ups for a minute, and I wiped the floor with everyone else and did 43 of them. I wasn't enough to pull me out of my deficit behind Cameron. He brought it home with the sit-ups. I think I was too tired at that point and only managed 32. 32! Geez. I have done so much better on those in the past. I think because they were the last thing we did, I just didn't have enough energy left for them. Ah well!

I am proud that I did as well as I did. All the other women were much much smaller than me, and it made me feel really strong to do as many leg presses as I did. I am going to buy Cameron an energy drink to make up for all the taunting I directed at him in the weeks leading up to the contest. I hope he does one again! I'll really take him on then!

Today at church a guy in the ward, who I went out on a date with once, came up to my friend Natalie and I and wanted to ask her to say one of the prayers. I said "Hi Paul!" He just cast a sidelong look at me and said "Hi." Then he stopped, and said, "Sarah? Oh, Sarah? Is that you?" It was the funniest thing! Natalie and I couldn't stop laughing. I thanked him for making my day. It was amazing! We laughed so hard! It was a great feeling.

Can I just say that I am addicted to the following: almond butter on Sprouts multi-grain bread with a half of a banana cut up on top. Yummmmmm. So very delicious. I'm not really a banana person, but I've been in the mood this week for some reason. I'll just go with it! The Sprouts bread is so good. It has whole sunflower seeds on top and is wonderfully moist and delicious. Only 75 calories a slice! Great to eat. Love it!

On the subject of Sprouts, I pretty much spend most of my food money there. They have great prices on produce and of course I love the bread. I really like the store. The produce department is the biggest thing there. I get my grains like quinoa and lentils there too. They have a great bulk section as well. They're a great store if you have access to them.

Kinda a slow week weight-loss wise. Only down a pound this week. It's ok! I have nine days until the 15th, so I'm kicking it in to overdrive this week to make my goal. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Welcome to the Gun Show!

Here's one of my guns! I've been showing them off all week. I'm pretty proud! Sorry, I know it's silly, but I think they're fun. :c)

I hit another major milestone this week, I'm down to 205 pounds, which means that I've lost 81 pounds. It doesn't feel real to me sometimes.

I have these conflicting images of myself in my head right now. I know that I'm not the morbidly obese person I was, who struggled to fit into restaurant booths and tried her best to hide and be as unnoticeable as possible, but that girl is still stuck in my head, looking out through my eyes, and is surprised at the reflection in the mirror. I feel like my face is constantly changing. My mom said the other day that my teeth look bigger now. It's a strange land to be in, I can tell you that.

Adding to the strangeness is clothes shopping. Like a magnet, I am drawn to the plus-size clothes. I have to keep telling myself that I don't need to look there anymore. I dreamed and dreamed of the day when I wouldn't have to shop at Lane Bryant again. It's odd to not belong there. I don't want to say that I miss it, but it is strange. There are so many things in my life that have changed since January.

This week I was talking to someone about just what kind of changes have happened in my life since I started losing weight. One of the first things to go was watching television and using the internet for hours on end. I spent inordinate amounts of time doing both, now I maybe use the internet for an hour or two during the week, and really never watch t.v. period. I used to stay up late for no reason at all, sometimes staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning despite having to work the next day. Those days are long gone. I go to bed at 10 most nights, even weekends, and get up between 5 and 6, again even on the weekend. I eat slower now, I just ate without really thinking or enjoying it before. Now I take my time, chewing and taking smaller bites.

Enough of that for now!

The boot camp competition was moved to this coming Friday, so I have an extra week to work on my skills. I'm pretty stoked for Friday! I can use all the positive thoughts I can get this week, so send them my way!

I am chasing down 200 pounds, and can't wait to get there. As strange and fast as this weight loss thing has been this time around, I am so glad that I'm here, that I'm doing it, and that I'm being successful. I feel like I've been helped on so many fronts, that I know now is my time. Thanks and have a great week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Looking Back a Bit

So, I've been looking back this week at some of the pictures of me on my profile and came across this little gem from last November. It was a bit shocking. It's difficult for me to believe that that picture is of me in some ways. I've been trying to figure out what I was like then, how I was different. It was only six short months ago that I was that girl chugging along in the way too tight XXL shirt and shorts. Was I happy? I'm not sure, but it is unnerving.

This week marked the end of school for the summer. Thank the heavens! I am looking forward to being able to get more done in my day than just working out, working, and sleeping. I am taking some professional development classes, but for the most part hope to make some jewelry that I can sell when I head up north in June.

Next week I am planning on picking up swimming again. I have a competition suit (size 14) that I bought several years ago (I wanted to do triathlons) as a motivator that never ended up being motivation enough. I tried it on yesterday and it fits! Now I am going to put it to good use. Looking forward to it! Perhaps I'll join a Masters team around here. That would be tons of fun.

I clamped down this week on my diet. My next goal is to hit 200 pounds by June 15th. I am 9 pounds away from that goal right now. I want to stay on track! I went to my friend Sarah's birthday party this week, and was pleasantly surprised that the food was all healthy in honor of Sarah taking control of her eating habits. I'm so proud of her! It was great also to not be tempted to eat something I would have struggled with.

This upcoming week also brings Cameron's boot camp on Friday morning. Cameron is one of the trainers at Pure Fitness. He teaches a morning class that I go to three days a week. He is having this boot camp on Friday and whoever beats him head-to-head gets 6 free personal training sessions. Well, now that I have discovered just how competitive I can be, I could not let that one go. I plan to wipe the floor with him. I've been taunting him for weeks about it. I know for sure I can beat him at three of the things on the list. They are the sit ups, the level 15 treadmill for 10 minutes at 3.0 mph, and quite possibly the leg press 2x your weight. He I know weighs 250lbs, which means he needs to press 500 lbs. I'm not exactly petite, but legs are my strongest asset. I tried pressing a bit more than 2x my weight, and as long as I maintain proper form, I will do just dandy. The items I might struggle with are the trainer-haters and the push ups. They both are about upper-body strength, and that's one of my weaker spots. I think I'll be able to make up for it with my strong areas.

Oh, I nearly forgot! I went shopping yesterday with my friend Charity. Lane Bryant was having a ginormous sale, so I figured I should replace my bras, which were too big of course. I had no clue what size I might be or even where to start so I had the lady do my measurements. The first thing out of her mouth was "I think you might be too small." I nearly died! The final verdict was that I am now a 38 D. Yes, D as in dog. I was completely and utterly shocked! I started out at a 44 B. I was so happy! The lady said to me, "I think I need to give you a hug!" And we did! I hugged the bra lady! So not typical Sarah behavior, but a whole lot of what I do now is not typical Sarah behavior!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another Big Week!

It's been another big week for me. Let me just say, THAT I RAN A MILE IN 10 MINUTES! Woohoo! That happened on Friday. It felt amazing! There's just something about it that makes me feel like a legitimate athlete. I know it's not very fast or anything, but I feel like I've climbed a mountain. So cool! I've not really thought of a new fitness goal yet, but I'll keep you posted. I'm thinking it'll involve running consecutive miles. I'd like to start doing more 5k's and want to do a half marathon by year's end, so consecutive miles is a good goal to pursue.

Next on the list of announcements, I am officially down 75 pounds. It was 80, but I think that was a fluke, so we'll just say 75. :c) It's awesome to be so close to 200 pounds. We're talking how much I weighed in middle school now. It is hard to believe how far I've come! I'm looking forward to continuing to accomplish my goals. I hope to hit my 200 pound goal by June 15th.

Now for the clothing department. I now fit into size 16 pants (for those of you keeping score, I started out at size 26), and can fit into size L and XL shirts. Yay! Exciting except for the whole costing me money part. Mom has been very helpful finding me clothes at the Goodwill and DI, but some things you just can't buy second-hand, you know what I mean? It's so worth it though. On my current track, I'm spending between three and four weeks at each size. Not much use in investing lots of money into something that won't fit me next month. I could have worse problems though!

On the food front, I am starting to branch out a bit. I tried soy milk for the first time this week, and didn't mind it. I'm changing up my breakfast with some different options, so this week I tried soymilk, Kashi GoLean Crunch (delicious!), and blueberries. It kept me full and going until mid-morning, which is just what I needed it to do. So, for a breakfast it gets a thumbs-up! I buy the blueberries frozen from Costco. They're pretty darn good.

To round off this week's discussion, let's talk about me seeing my family last week. They were so proud of me! My Grandma came up to me and told me she was proud of what I was doing. My Uncle Craig kept calling me a mere shadow of myself. :c) I also saw my Grandpa this week when Bug had her going away party. He said to me, "You look wonderful!" I don't think I've ever heard him talk like that to anyone, much less me. It felt so good! It's great to have such a supportive network of family and friends. You guys have no idea what a difference it makes to me!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Bit Early, But What The Heck?

Today is the day! I hit 218 pounds, my lowest adult weight. Huzzah! I am up at my sister Janelle's house in Utah for the weekend. We are here celebrating my Grandma's 80th birthday. I am in charge of making the cake. Yay!

It's been interesting traveling and all this week. For starters, I am sick. I've not been sick since last fall, so that's been strange and different. It's a cold with lots of congestion, so not fun! It's made things difficult. I haven't been able to keep up my level of exercise, so I've cut back my calories. Hopefully disaster will be avoided.

Food has also been an interesting obstacle to overcome. I packed a lot of meal plan friendly snacks, and didn't eat fast food (ok, so I snuck three french fries from Bug). We ate dinner at a little diner in Kanab where I ordered a turkey sandwich and salad, rather than the plethora of other amazingness available. I am saving myself for the party on Saturday. My biggest food problem has been avoiding my favorite fast food restaurant of all time, Arctic Circle. I LOVE that place. I have committed myself though, so I think I'll be ok. :c) I don't want to undo my hard work!

My nephew Scott and I had a "Healthy" date yesterday. He and I went running around the cemetery. It was great! He's very excited about what I've done. He told me that he had a picture of me in his mind and that it was like my before picture, and that when he saw me it was like my after picture. That made me smile!

Scott has always been honest with me about my weight, as kids usually are. When he was little, I called my belly my "sugar baby". He once told me that I needed to go to the hospital so I could have my sugar baby like his mom had Eva. Ouch! Isn't it interesting how insightful kids can be? I was telling Bug that when I write my book one day, it should be called "Giving Birth to My Sugar Baby". :c)

Scott and I have another healthy date planned for after school today. Yay! I am also working like a mad woman on the cake. Wish me luck! I'll update with pics next week.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

News, News, News and More News!

This week has been full of stress and awesomeness. Crazy things are happening in my work life, which made parts of this week insane. Whitney and I took the student council kids on an overnight field trip this week, so that totally disrupted my exercise schedule. I packed food for myself to eat and ordered a boca burger for dinner (yummy! Never tried one of those before). Overall, that part of the week was darn good for the craziness of it all.

Now, some announcements to make. My mile time is down to... wait for it... wait for it... 10:44! YAY! So thrilled about that. I have been working on learning how to breathe and pace myself. Love the way that it going so far! I am ready to try out my new found running skills on the Komen 5k race my family is doing up in Salt Lake this weekend. (I'm am bouncing up and down with excitement)

Next, my current weight is 218.5. I am so close! Nearly at my lowest adult weight. I haven't weighed this little since my first bout with Weight Watchers ten years ago.

And the thrilling conclusion to my announcements for the week, I tried on a pair of size 18 pants, and they fit! In fact, they are pretty comfortable and there's plenty of room. I nearly hugged the fitting room attendant at Walmart (which I know would have been weird, but that's how happy I was!) I promptly bought myself a pair of the pants.

Whew! Big week, eh? In other news, my Mom and Leslie joined the gym this week. I am so proud of them! It was fun introducing my mom to all the people at the gym. Jose (the gym owner) said to my mom, "What took you so long to get here?" I am so happy they are going to come with me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Goals Accomplished

I am pleased as punch to announce that this week I ran a whole mile without stopping in 11 minutes, 54 seconds. I have maybe once in my entire life ever accomplished that feat. I've never been a runner, but now I really think that I want to try it out. I would love to get into half and full marathon training. I've talked about it in the past, and even started the process, but now that I'm on track, I think I could really be successful. I need to find a race to prepare for, one preferably held on a Saturday. If anyone out there knows of one, let me know!

Next on my list of announcements, I am currently four pounds away from my lowest adult weight, which was 218 pounds. I think I was 20 when I weighed that. I am so looking forward to hitting that mark!

On another note, I would like to talk about some of the weird things I eat now, that a year ago I would have never considered edible. Let's make a list, shall we?
-Almond Butter
-Flax Meal
-Whey Protein
I have to say that I find most of the above quite enjoyable, especially the quinoa (suggested to me by my boss at the district). It helps to make my diet interesting. It's fun to try to find new ways to incorporate different foods into my meal plan, especially foods that combine higher levels of protein with carbohydrates.

Physically, I'm feeling pretty well. I went to the endocrinologist this week and she told me that whatever I'm doing, I need to keep it up. She was very pleased with the progress I've been making. I also did measurements with my trainer this week, and he was pretty happy as well. He took a progress picture of me and showed me the picture he took of me when I first started with him in February. It was a big difference! Over all, it was a pretty awesome week I must say. I can't wait to see what the next one holds for me!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On reaching 60 pounds

I finally did it this week. I hit the 60 pounds down mark! These last ten pounds have really been a struggle to lose, despite remaining ultra-strict with my diet and exercise regimen.

It's been hard for me to get in to the mentality of losing weight at a normal pace. I freely admit that losing the 50 pounds in two months was very aggressive. I know that what I'm doing now is healthier, but it is frustrating to be moving along so slowly. I'll get over it!

On another note, I did the Pat Tillman run this weekend. It was 4.2 miles long, on a mostly flat course. I went with Rich, a guy that works out at my gym. He wasn't able to run, so we walked the whole thing. I probably would have run every other half mile, but it wasn't too bad just walking it. It took us 1hr and 17mins to finish. Not too shabby! Next year, I'm running the whole thing.

On the running note, I knocked 20 seconds off my mile, I'm now down to 12mins, 25secs. I hope to get down to 12 in the VERY near future. I'm almost there. So close!

On Monday, one of my junior high students came up to me, looking perplexed, and said, "Miss Grow, are you getting shorter?" I just laughed and laughed. Junior high kids are so funny. They really don't pay attention to much.

I also cut my hair this week. It is now just below my shoulders. I really like it. That's what probably put me over the 60lb mark! :c)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Never, Never, Never Give Up! And other motivators

I have certainly had my ups and downs over the last three months. I needed to find motivation that wasn't food to keep my resolve up. My first great find was a little green ceramic plaque that says, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!". I hung it right above my bathroom mirror.

My next discovery was dry erase crayons. These I have used to write all over the same bathroom mirror. I keep track of my weekly weigh ins on the medicine cabinet, and on the main mirror I write more inspirational quotes as well as my goals.

Another motivator is kinda cheesy, but I have this favorite nalgene bottle. It's red with green and yellow spots on it. I put a flow controller in the mouth of it that has a smiley face printed on it. When I know I'm going to have a rough day, I use that bottle.

After I won the contest, I became a mini celebrity at the gym. I'm a tour destination when I'm working out as well. Nothing's more motivating than having random people coming up to you, asking about how much weight you've lost, or being pointed out to new gym clients as the "Fitness Challenge Winner who lost 50 pounds". Everyone has big expectations for me, including myself. It's probably one of the most helpful things I've found.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Fitness Challenge and my Jump Start

A couple weeks in to the year, the gym advertised its yearly Fitness Challenge. It would take place over the next two months, and the top male and female contestants from 11 gyms would each win $1000. I remember thinking to myself, "I could totally win that." I signed myself up, bought 8 personal training sessions, and on January 18th, I was off!

The next two months are somewhat of a blur. I began a meal plan suggested by the gym and modified by my doctor. I am allowed 1200 calories over the course of the day, spread out over 5-6 small meals. On initially hearing the parameters of this plan, I am pretty sure that my jaw dropped. I had never stuck with any diet I'd tried, all of which were much less restrictive. I steeled my resolve and decided to perfectly follow it. This plan also allows me one unrestricted day a week, which I think is part of me being successful with it. I also write down everything that goes in my mouth. It helps keep me on the straight and narrow.

Then came my workout regimen. I had already established a strict workout schedule six days a week, no questions or excuses. Because I was at the gym nearly every day, the staff started to take notice. The other trainers, not just my own, began encouraging me and checking up on me.

I am not kidding when I say that the owner of the gym, Jose, actually walked up to me one day after I had been working out and was completely sweaty and gross and gave me a big hug. He said, "I notice what you are doing, and think you are the hardest-working person in my gym. I want to give you a big hug every month to recognize your hard work."

Things got pretty competitive the last three weeks of the challenge. I had started taunting one of the other trainers, telling him that his client (who was my closest competition) had next to no chance of beating me. In reality, I wasn't so certain. I panicked several times over the course of those last couple weeks, sure that all my hard work wouldn't be enough. Sure, I knew that weight loss in itself was a great reward, but I had told myself and everyone else who would listen that I was going to win.

The final weekend was not pretty. I told everyone that I felt like a drunk zombie. I had started 2-a-days two weeks before, and had cut my calories down to heaven knows how little. It's a good thing my family and friends love me, I can't even begin to imagine what they thought of me. I think that the only way I was able to survive was through prayers and the intense understanding of my loved ones.

March 15th was the day of my final weigh in, and people from the gym gathered around, eager to see what my final number would be. I thought I might hit 48 pounds, but when it came up fifty, I pretty much freaked out and shouted for joy.

I found out the results of the challenge on March 18th. Everyone who participated in the challenge gathered at the gym to hear the results for the contest both at the gym and between the other gyms. I was confident that I placed in the top two at my gym, and hoped that I would place with the other gyms. They announced the guys top three first, and I was a nervous wreck. Then they announced third place for the girls, and it wasn't me. Jose took a dramatic pause and announced second place, which ended up being the girl who was my closest competitor. I was elated! Jose then said, "And, there's no first place for the women this year." I shouted, "Come on!" and jumped up and down. He announced me as the winner and I was so happy! People came up and clapped me on the back and hugged me. It was amazing.

Then came the conference call with all the other gyms to get the results of the inter-gym competition. They announced all the teams who lost the most weight, which took forever! I paced and bounced, waiting for the results. Finally, the moment of truth. They announced the women, and announced the winner first. I'm pretty sure that all I heard was Sarah.... and then the gym went completely wild. I jumped up and down (my pants nearly fell off, they were too loose!), people yelled and clapped and hugged. I was completely beside myself. I just kept saying, "I won! I can't believe I won!"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Beginning of the Middle

This is my first attempt at a blog. I am several months into the life-changing experience of weight loss and switching to a healthy lifestyle. In this inaugural post, I will write about what brought me to this point in my life, and a bit about my accomplishments with my lifestyle change.

The first thing you should know about me, is that I've been chubby and overweight my entire life. My mother was so proud of me the day I was born, a pudgy, wonderfully plump baby. Fast forward several years to elementary school where being plump is no longer cute, but invites teasing and taunting, especially by a kid named Ned, who suffered the same fate as I, but who I now know was trying to deflect attention away from himself and on to me.

Middle school is where I discovered my athletic strength in swimming, although even being on the swim team throughout middle and high school didn't keep my weight down. I always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I was good for what I was. I eventually became a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor, both occupations that you don't normally associate with someone who is overweight. I am sure people wondered what I was doing, did I have any business protecting people at the pool or teaching them to swim when I couldn't even control my weight? I didn't think of it that often. I knew who and what I was, and just accepted that I was fat, that it was all I'd ever been, and it was too far out of my expertise to change.

I first attempted to lose weight when I was 19, and joined Weight Watchers for the first of many times. I lost in the neighborhood of 30 pounds, but my resolve eventually petered out. That is the pattern I followed time and again, until I eventually weighed nearly 300 pounds when I was 27. It was then that I joined a gym for the first time. I worked out on my own, making up my own workouts, pretty much fumbling around, but stayed pretty consistent. I lost 40 pounds, but life gets in the way as it always does.

In December of 2009, my best friend Whitney bought me a starter membership at Pure Fitness. I didn't have high hopes. Nearly 30 years of experience told me that I was as close to a helpless case as I thought I could be. I was 286 pounds.

This time is different. For some reason, the fates have decided to give me every tool I need to be successful. Perhaps they've been there all along and I wasn't aware, or maybe now is just my time. I feel different this time.

In the past, dieting has felt like holding my breath, like I could only do it for a little bit and then give up, then try again until I couldn't handle it anymore and then give up once more. That mentality isn't happening to me this time.

One reason I think this is is that the gym that I joined is extremely supportive and interested in what I am doing. They start you out at my gym with two free personal training sessions, which was so helpful to me. It gave me a starting point for working out and helped me know what I needed to do. Because of that I have been (mostly) injury free, and have been able to consistently work out six days a week since the first week of January of this year.