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Everybody Loves Jello!!

May 27, 2011

The truth of the matter is, nobody really likes Jell-o.

I walked out to the kitchen with the biggest sweet tooth, hoping to find something that would fit into my diet. For this week of the said diet (as I am trying to kick-start things a bit) I am going low-carb. This eliminates all opportunity for such well-loved delights as cookies, pastries, ice cream, and bread.

Alas, I open up the fridge to find a happy assortment of sugar-free Jell-o cups. With a sigh, I grabbed one. It was better than nothing.

As I chomped on my artificially cherry-flavored, jiggling excuse for a dessert, I thought to myself, Now here is an empire – Jell-o – founded on peoples’ unhappy dietary states. The truth is, I have never heard anyone impatiently awaiting a “Jell-o fix”. I have never seen anyone jump into his or her vehicle at midnight to go get a Jello cup! I have never seen Jello sold in ice-cream shops or vendor stands. Why?! Because nobody loves Jell-o!

Jell-o is a mere replacement for what we all wish we were having. Lucky for the Jell-o company, there are plenty of chubby dieters out there looking for love in all the wrong places, just like me when I went out to my kitchen tonight. And ergo, the Jell-o sales continue.

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The Overdue Update!

May 23, 2011

Link to my finishing photo.

Yes, I did. I completed my first 5K ever yesterday!

The night before the race (Friday), I had a nice pasta dinner, as I have heard is customary for runners. I woke up at 5:30 a.m., which is definitely far from my normal wake-up time, and started the day off right with a carb-filled bagel. When I actually gained consciousness (like I said, not a morning person) I began to get a little nervous. I was attending the race alone, and I didn’t know what to expect, as it was my first. I was hoping I wouldn’t stick out too bad as the noob that I was.

The race (Harvey’s 5K) was held right next to the bay in St. Petersburg (FL, that is – not Russia!), which was a pretty scenic route. All the runners (about 300, I’d say) huddled near the starting line and before I knew it, I was jogging steadily. Except, unlike what I am used to when running alone, person upon person passed me up (in the beginning).

Luckily, I had my trusty Pandora radio going to help me zone out. I had a great station going that included heavy doses of Armin Van Buuren, Deadmau5, and David Guetta. The perfect mix to get me psyched out.

I had been averaging about 12.5 minute miles and the 5K equates to approximately 3.11 miles so I was hoping that I could just finish in under 40 minutes (and not be the last one!) My first mile was complete at a time of 11:32, which I was very happy with. To my surprise, lots of people (even – as I like to point out – “thin” people) had resorted to swift walking even before the end of the second mile. I, suited in my nearly 200-pound body armor, take a strange pride in knowing that I kept running after all these “thin” people had given up.

The last mile was really difficult. I was very tired. I saw a couple of people sweating and jogging around me, struggling just the same and I continued on, knowing that I could make it to the finish line without stopping.

As I reached the end of the third mile, I saw the finish line approaching. I was huffing and puffing, exhausted, but I knew this was it. I broke into my fastest sprint, and as I crossed the finish line and heard my time called out – “34:27” – I couldn’t have been happier.

Finishing that race was like avenging every – for lack of a better term – ASSHOLE who has ever taken a stab at me for being over my weight. I still remember an obnoxious 5-year-old laughing and exclaiming to her friends at recess, “Look at the fat girl run! See her fat jiggling!” I still remember my dad telling me to “get my lard ass up there” when I was having trouble lifting myself onto an inner tube in 5th grade. I remember how boys scoffed at me in high school. But this, this was me finally fighting back.

Officially signed up for a 5K!

May 15, 2011

So, I finally did it. I signed up for my very first race – a meager 5 kilometers to some, but a culmination of three and half years of lifestyle changes for me. It is next Saturday, May 21st in downtown St. Petersburg, which should be a very nice, scenic run. I had originally been interested in another 5K that was in Tampa, but this one was $18 cheaper, which ended up being the deal breaker for me. Here is a link, in case you are interested: Harvey’s 5K Run.

I have been contemplating doing a run for a while, but I just wasn’t sure that I could. However, recently I have actually ran three miles straight outdoors twice in the past three days, which finally convinced me that I could actually do this thing. My miles were around 12:30, so at that rate I could actually finish the race at about 40 minutes. This means that I will be in the very last 10% to finish the race (based on last year’s results, including 353 runners), however there were about 20 people out of last year’s results that ran it in

slower than 40 minutes. Please don’t let me be the last to finish!

On the down side, this week has been treacherous as far as eating has been concerned. For one, the Starbucks Frappucino half-off happy hour was this week and partake, I did.  I was also placed in charge of house-sitting for a friend. As re-payment, she gave me a $50 Publix (grocery store) gift card to take care of whatever groceries I would need for the week. While I did get some healthier items like sushi and pasta, I also entreated myself to ice cream sandwiches and soda. Then, to top it off, I went out for drinks on Friday. More fat fuel to the fire!

Luckily, I have been continuing to run every other day, which has hopefully combated some of the overeating and drinking. Tomorrow is my last day house-sitting, and I will weigh in then and assess the damages! One thing is certain though – I am running that 5K Saturday morning! 🙂

It’s all in my head

May 11, 2011

Yesterday night, I dressed up, wore my favorite skinny jeans that I had recently purchased in a smaller size than normal, and did my hair and make up. I was feeling pretty snazzy, to say the least. I went out with a group of friends, one of which was a guy I was potentially interested in. Things didn’t go very well. In fact, the guy I was interested in ended up flirting with a friend of mine all night, and being a complete jackass to me!

When I came home, I started evaluating everything about myself. I started analyzing how fat my arms were, the areas of my body that I needed to work on, and whether my make up and hair were still in tact. I began questioning my outfit choice, criticizing the way I could have done better on my diets and workouts, and feeling as though it was because I was still overweight that I was not landing this guy. After all, my friend (who he seemed to be much more attracted to) was probably 50 pounds lighter.

After stressing and assessing my body, I finally realized how mentally unhealthy the whole process was. I was literally directly relating my weight to my success with a boy – a boy who was not even giving me the respect I deserved in the first place. Even worse, I was demeaning all of what I had accomplished, and had been so proud of, as a result.

I’m realizing more than ever that I have a lot of insecurities to overcome along with the weight. No matter where you are with your weight, with your appearance, and with your life, there is no one that has the right to make you feel like less of a person.

Back to the Gym

May 9, 2011

My Gym

I had this crazy goal (perhaps just ambitious) to run a 5k on May 21st. I started my “training” on May 1st, hoping that I could build up the endurance necessary for such a feat. After all, eventually my goal is to run a half-marathon on November 20th of this year. So, logically I should start building up my tolerance anyway.

Then, last week, I was doing yoga and I pulled a muscle in my back. It was incredibly painful. I didn’t go to the gym for a few days after. The problem is, a few days out of 21 is a lot when you are preparing for a 5k.

I went back to the gym today and ran for the first time in almost a week. Amazingly enough, I ran 3.25 miles as opposed to last week when I was almost gasping for life at 3 miles. I am feeling a little hopeful that I could, in fact, actually run this 5k still.

It’s $25. Over 700 people are entering. My goals would be to 1, finish without stopping and 2, not be the last one finished! I feel like it I don’t fulfill these goals, I would fail. I guess I’m afraid to enter the race and fail. At the same time though, if I don’t enter the race to begin with, aren’t I already throwing in the towel?

3 and a half years and 75 pounds ago…

May 9, 2011

Me at about 270 pounds

Life-Long “Fat Kid”

I have been a “fat kid” my whole life. I was a 43-pounds one-year old, for crying out loud! Unfortunately, that isn’t an exaggeration. I went through elementary school feeling like I could never do everything the other kids did. I had my fair share of taunting and teasing. I waded through my teen years as somewhat of a geeky fat kid, being an obese honor-roll student and a member of the marching band.

I’ve experienced the mortification of going shopping with friends, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fit into any of the clothes in the stores. I’ve been down to that dark place where getting your “fix” is number one. I used to find myself eating a package of place and bake cookies at a time, only to gain more weight.

For me, food used to be like a drug. I would want it so bad that if I couldn’t have it, I would feel

This was me.

the anger and frustration of a child. I would go to the store just to pick up a box of ice cream, a pizza, or a package of cookie dough. I remember seeing a Family Guy episode where they joked that the Cookie Monster was placing cookie dough on a spoon and using a lighter to cook it. This was me. Cookie Monster and sugar addict.

Nearing 300 Pounds

When I began losing weight (weight that actually stayed off) in January of 2008, I was trying to escape the 300 pound mark that I hovered uncomfortably close to. I was completely out of shape. If it wasn’t for college classrooms being spread out so far around campus, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any exercise at all. My eating habits were out of control although, at the time, I didn’t even realize the severity of it. I just wanted to see the numbers on the scale drop.

Me at about 258 pounds

And, if you eat only a half of a box of ice cream instead of the usual entire box, then you will lose some weight. From there, I added in occasional exercise, putting in a half-hour of cardio here and there. Before I knew it, I had lost 15 pounds. I weighed 258. I stayed at this weight for some time, having gained a safer distance from the frightening 300 mark.

Getting Fit

It was then that a friend convinced me to take things to the next level. She convinced me that, in fact, I could and should lose more weight. I would just have to commit myself to a regimen. A workout regimen? I was not looking forward to the task. Worse yet, it would be four days a week and include weight-training, crunches, and push-ups. Great.

So four days a week, my work-out partner and I did 30 minutes of cardio, push-ups, sit-ups, lifted weights, and afterwards would reward ourselves with Subway. I would get a 6″ sub, chips and usually some sort of calorie-infused soft drink. At the time, this seemed like an extremely healthy meal. These were the thoughts of an obese person addicted to sugar and fat, weaning off of them slowly.

Me at about 235 pounds

Still, I proceeded through the summer, eventually losing 20 pounds. At 238 pounds, I was fairly happy with my success. Once school began again, I proceeded to bounce up and down between weights, but generally remained around 238 pounds for the next semester.

Busy is Good

Unfortunately for my weight, I obtained a boyfriend around January of 2009, and we commenced in all of the wonderful dating activities – eating, movies, eating, bowling, eating… and cooking. We both enjoyed food, although he did not have a weight problem to the same extent as I did, and we ate! Before I knew it, I was back up to 250 pounds.

It was not until April after getting a job at Subway – ironically enough – that I started losing weight

Me at about 228 pounds

again. I worked 30-40 hours a week, and was able to eat free subs once a day. This made it easy to stay on track. I was on my feet, busy, and had healthy food conveniently at my disposal. I then obtained a second job at the bowling alley as a cook, where I had even more hours on my hands. I had a lot going on, and before I knew it, I was down to 228 pounds!

Well, the truth is, that after that initial drop in weight, I went back to a phase of up-and-down five pounds that basically equated to maintenance. I would eat poorly one day, and then starve myself the next. I would try and follow a diet for a week, and then fall of the wagon the next. It was not a good system, but it at least allowed me to keep from gaining weight again. It wasn’t until nearly a year and a half later that I began losing weight again.

Lose Weight – Leave the States!

September of 2010 I went on one of the biggest adventures of my life. I studied in London for a semester! It was a great experience, allowing me to immerse myself in culture, traveling to various cities in Europe on weekends, and meeting many diverse people. It was also great for my weight. Ironically enough, it was the first time in my life that I didn’t have access to a scale. I didn’t even weight myself for three months! Yet, I lost 16 pounds whilst living in London.

It is true that other cultures definitely have a lower

Me at about 212 pounds

percentage of fat people than the U.S. And with good cause. In London, most restaurants did not provide free refills on drinks – no extra calories there. They heavily rely on public transportation, which also means you must walk a fair distance to bus stops and tube stations – burning calories. They tend to use milk instead of cream with coffee and tea, and don’t include high-fructose corn syrup in their beverages. These are a few simple differences, but these are the kinds of differences that add up!

I came home in January and all anyone could talk about was how great I looked, now being 212 pounds. I loved the compliments, and I was starting to feel a lot better about the way I looked too. I was particularly excited to surpass that dark, dirty number – the one every woman hates to look at. I was so close to being under 200 pounds, I could taste it (no pun intended).

My Latest Progress and Goals

After dallying around with the “I’m going to not write down what I eat because it makes me think about food too much” idea, I finally decided to get serious about weight-loss and began an online food journal to keep track of my calorie count. I joined a local gym as well, and never looked back.

I’m now 197 pounds, and more determined than ever to reach a healthy weight where I am comfortable with how I look and feel. I am, perhaps pathetically enough, in the best shape of my life, despite being about 50 pounds overweight still. I have began running and am up to three miles without stopping on the treadmill. Every time I try to go a little further.

Me now at 197 pounds (taken 5-7-11)

My goal is to get down to 140 pounds by the time I graduate college in December, and to run a half-marathon along the way! I feel like I am in control, however every day is not perfect. I slip off the wagon. I drink. I eat. I am merry. But I always pick up the pieces and hop back on the wagon. Every time I try and go a little further. I hope to share that journey with you.