Sunday, January 31, 2010

My daughter...

went running/walking with me yesterday in the cold. She asked me if Dad was going to do the 1/2 marathon with me next year. I told her that he is supposed to and then she asked if he didn't, could she do it! I was thrilled. I told her that whether he does or doesn't, she definitely can do it! How awesome that will be not only to have my husband but one of my kiddos there next year!

So far, so good with the running/walking program. I am learning as I go but rather than do it for the timed splits, I use landmarks. I am going to run to here...then walk to here and so forth. For me it's too complicated to have a stop watch and be preoccupied with that. I do stretch out well before I go and also include that 5 minute brisk walk to warm up before I go.

Still loving my "Courage To Start" book. The more I read...the more I want to recommend it. This guy really speaks to me.

You know I have waffled a lot with the running vs. walking thing but this is something I really want to do. I want to do it because I have always told myself that I couldn't be a runner and I want to prove myself wrong. That is the absolute main reason why I am doing push myself to a new limit and do something I believed I couldn't. I believe it's all about reaching forward heights, ya know?

Selfish Lady Sends....

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's the little things that he does....

that just melt me! I know...I know...I brag but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. What is it that is so magical about turning around in the shower and watching a big heart appear on the door as the steam fills the air? Probably as magical as looking in my rear view mirror as I am driving down the road only to discover "I Love You" written in the dust on the back window for the whole world to see! I don't know how he does it...BUT HE DOES IT! He is kinda sneaky that way! I love those little, silly things he does to remind me that I am special and apparently still rock his world! :) I know he does mine.

Just wanted to share.

Selfish Lady Sends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A book suggestion...

I bought this book on Amazon after a suggestion from a gentleman I met on an isle in Walmart. I was wearing a marathon training shirt and we struck up a conversation as he and his wife were both doing the marathon. When I told him that this year I was walking but wanted to learn to run as that is my goal for next year, he suggested this book.

I have barely gotten in to it but so far I really like it! It fascinates me that the author started "running" at the ripe ol' age of 43...the same as I am now. He has such a cool perspective and I am excited about getting further in to the meat and potatoes of the book.

I love what he says though...."The miracle isn't that I finished the race...the miracle is that I had the courage to start".

Selfish Lady Sends...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Couch to 5K...starts TODAY!

Yeppers, starting that program today. I am excited for the new challenge and the opportunity to push myself to do something new. I know it's going to be a struggle for me to hold back a little as this program insists you do but I'll deal with that.

Had a nice weekend. I honestly ate whatever the heck I wanted to...including some pineapple-cream cheese "King Cake" and it was yummy. No worries though. I am just moving along here.

I feel like I have so much to do this week as my house is like "tornado alley". So I need to get a grip on that because it is driving me crazy! Music helps me with that so after I pick up "Mr. Pickles" from school today I'll put on the tunes, and dance around the house while I work on seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I work tonight so gotta do while I can...oh yeah and fix a meal for the family to have while I am at work too.

Life is good and it's a beautiful day to get out and exercise! Out the door I go!

Selfish Lady Sends...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Here's a banana bread recipe for ya!

I sometimes add a 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds. The give it a nutty texture and then all the yummy goodness that flax seeds offer as well. It's a win!win!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I found the video of me crossing the finish...Yay!

Okay, time to move on to somethin...somethin...

Alright, so I met my goal for the marathon! It's time to work on other goals I have! I still am a little sore but don't want to let the grass grow under my feet. So I will get out this morning and do a couple of miles to stay loose! Next week I will start this...

Hubby and I have an anniversary next month and it's a big one. So I am hoping to be down 13 pounds by then. That would make me a very happy "slinky" self! (giggle)

Folks ask me what kind of things I eat. This morning I had 2 egg whites scrambled on a high fiber (5g) whole grain tortilla with some homemade salsa. It was yummy and keeps me satisfied for a good while. Lately for snack I have been eating a Light & Fit yogurt with 1/2 cup of frozen blackberries or raspberries, a little bit of Splenda (on the berries) and 1/4 of low fat, high fiber granola. I eat almonds and break up my two little squares of Hershey extra dark chocolate sometimes for a snack. Apples, bananas, grapefruit...I will have some piece of fruit and a cheese stick for another "snack". Lunch for me is usually a salad with grilled chicken and homemade dressing or I have a sandwich made with high fiber bread, lean meat and lots of different veg's on it. I also add things like smeared avocado rather than mayo, some olives and salad peppers. I also love a piece of baked or grilled chicken with Cajun seasoning and then a baked sweet potato for lunch. There is something about the two of those together (has to have the Cajun seasoning) that tastes really yummy to me. Dinner is tricky if I am working because I usually leave before what is considered dinner I'll eat a bigger snack or some good soup and then at work around 7, I take my yogurt, fruit and granola but increase the 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup. 5 small meals is what I shoot for each day.

If I am home for dinner I make different things but all as nutritionally lean and healthy as I can. If I make spaghetti I use ground turkey or venison. We eat Ronzoni "Smart Taste" pasta which cooks up white, is tender but high fiber. I don't eat much of it...maybe 1/2 a cup. I make sure I have salad on my plate to make up for the huge pile of pasta everyone else might be eating. I grill a lot or make things in the crock pot. I always trim away extra fat on pork loin or roast. We definitely eat more chicken/turkey than red meat. Chili is made with ground turkey and venison. I love to roast vegetables. Roasted asparagus with a little olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper is the bomb. I squirt fresh lemon juice on it before serving. I also love roasted brussel sprouts and so does my family. I do the same thing with the olive oil and cracked pepper and kosher salt. I roast them on 400 degrees for 15 or so minutes until the start browning. Those crackly little leaves are yummy. I don't use the lemon juice on brussel sprouts though.

I have a little garden in the back yard. Right now I just have brussel sprouts, cabbage and collard greens. Soon we'll start working on our spring garden. My herbs however have just been amazing. I used to have LOTS of fresh basil (until a very hard freeze) so I enjoyed making a lower fat pesto. It's great on chicken, pork and on pasta of course. I'd even add in fresh spinach. The herbs I use to make amazing marinades and rubs. I even make my own croutons when I want a carbohydrate for a salad. I chop up some 0f my favorite fresh herbs and put them in a zip bag with some kosher salt, and cracked pepper, may even some minced garlic. I add about 1 tsp. of olive oil. Then I will cube up a high fiber english muffin, or half a high fiber bagel throw it in the bag and work it until it is lightly coated in the oil/herb mixture. I put them on a sheet pan and then toast in the oven. These are awesome on a salad and because I use a high fiber product and have made them myself I know how many calories they are.

I experiment making breads using whole wheat, flax meal, ground oatmeal, etc. I have a great recipe for a whole wheat banana bread made with Splenda.'s not like the real thing mind you but it's good and it's better for you. If I have that on hand I will toast a thin slice, smear it with low fat peanut butter, top with slice bananas and then drizzle it with sugar free syrup. That is really good!

You can tell...I love to cook! So I do what I do so that I can still enjoy cooking but find better ways of doing it. Just about ANYTHING can be reworked to make it healthier. The taste might be slightly different but in many ways I find it better. Doing all of this is what has helped me accomplish my goals. I try to make it as normal as possible.

The other thing is WATER! WATER!WATER! Water helps the cells move a lot of the junk they are getting rid of out of the body. Keeping the bodies cells hydrated is really important. Diet soft drinks do NOT replace water and they are actually dehydrating. Yep...I have a diet Dr. Pepper but make sure I have plenty of water throughout the day to offset that.

In a conversation I had with someone recently it felt like I was sitting in a confessional. They were rattling off all the excuses as to why they "CAN'T" or haven't done anything serious about their weight. I think they must forget that I have "sat in that chair" myself. When they kept saying "I know I am just making excuses" I should have opened up my mouth and said what I was really thinking. "At what point are you going to stop making excuses and start living the life you deserve?" comes down to that for me...I can either spin in circles and do nothing an go nowhere or I can just do it! Once you realise what you have been missing out want more. This summer when I finally had the nerve to learn to drive that 4 wheeler at the in laws...I was pumped. That was fun! I never did it before because I thought I'd be a ridiculous fat girl jiggling around on it. So many things...and it makes me kind of sad because I could have been enjoying so much more with my kids had I not done something sooner. However...I can't change the past. I direct my future though and set my course. NO EXCUSES! They are just not going to bring any kind of satisfaction and joy.

Alrighty...I have to get my feet on the ground and walk a ways this morning!

Selfish Lady Sends...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here's Pictures....

This picture was taken at the start line. An awesome stranger came to me and told me how awesome it was what I'd accomplished. Then she asked if I was doing this alone. I told her I was and then she said..."give me your camera! I'll take your picture!" I am so happy she did because this one totally shows how happy I was. My nose is red not because of the cold but rather because of my crying spell. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I just don't even know where to begin....

I did it! I put that goal out in front of me and I reached it! I feel unbelievably blessed and amazed.

I had a tough time sleeping last night but probably got 4-5 hours. When I got up I ate my breakfast and showered and then waited patiently for the clock to strike so my sweetheart could get me to a friends home. I rode down with a buddy from church who had reserved a parking spot in a downtown garage. He is an inspiration as he had lost 65 pounds over the last year and he ran the full Marathon.

I had all kinds of butterflies this morning but when I got to the place to line up for the start...the tears started to come. It was so exciting to be there in this huge sea of people in anticipation of the cannon and the signal to start. I knew they all had their different reasons for being there and I felt like such a champion to be among them. When they counted down and the gun went off...I don't know if my feet were on the ground. Then I had so many runners come by and pat me on the back or give me a thumbs up, or tell me congratulations! That made the moments so much more poignant.

This was truly one of the funnest things I have ever done. It was a challenge but that didn't come close to the pure fun that I was having. I ran some, walked some, and waved at the crowds who lined the streets cheering us on. It was so cool as these complete strangers reached out for a high five or would call out my name as I passed by reading it off my bib. "Come on Amy Lee...your looking good!" "Yay Amy are almost there".

I had a great pace the whole time and finished in 3 hours 6 minutes. I had to take a 5 minute break to use the "port o potty" so I would have been there a little sooner. When you gotta go gotta go :)

I decided as the finish line came into my view that I wanted to run that last mile...I think that's when the tears, almost sobs began for the final lap. So I sailed down that last mile and came to the finish line as they called out my name! I DID IT!

I couldn't have done this a year ago and everything I have put in to loving myself and working hard was worth the many moments I had today. That finish line is my starting line to infinite possibilities. I'll do it again for sure. I'll do many things now that I never dreamed I could.

I am sore, I am exhausted and I am filled with pride! I reached my Mt. Everest and I can see forever from here.

So now..I keep working on me. I still have more weight I want to lose and will be working on that. I am going to start running and so running a 5K in the next 3 months or so will be my next goal. After I run a 5K then I will actually run a half marathon.

There's no stopping me now...

Good Night All...

Selfish Lady Sends

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Off to bed I go....

That is after a hot bath of course. I feel full...too full and that is yucking me out a bit. I am not big on the carb loading stuff! I made red beans and brown rice for dinner. It was yummy but's laying in my stomach so it might be hard to drift off for a while.

Of course I won't post again until after the race tomorrow. My clothes are layed out, alarm is set, and my prayers need to be said...lots of them.

I have gotten emails and messages of luck and they absolutely lift me up! Tomorrow is going to be a multitude of emotions for me. Words will fail me this time so I'll leave it at that!

Much Love to ALL and goodnight!

THIS Selfish Lady Sends.....

Here's a couple of pics from today! :)

Here's a picture of the finish line! I should be hitting that somewhere around 10:30 AM tomorrow!

This is the finisher shirt on the mannequin that we'll get when we cross the finish. A medal is given as well! :) And my bib with my name and my lucky number...33083! I just decided it was lucky!

Lastly...I am a big enough nerd to show my funky toes! I got the butterfly to make me extra light on my feet. LOL
So I think I have it all ready for tomorrow. I changed my ipod to a "My Marathon" play list only. I was telling my daughter that I have certain songs on there that will forever remind me of those days on the treadmill back last winter when they pushed me through hard moments. I remember dancing literally...well kind of on the treadmill to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance". I only did that of course when no one else was in our little gym. I bet you didn't know you can really get down and bust a move on a treadmill did you? I am living proof! It's probably a good thing I didn't fly off and go through the wall. I always feared that might happen like a bad movie. Other songs just hit my soul and others remind me of Kent and Kelley and Katie and Logan and my little Jellybean Justin. I carry them in my heart as I do this tomorrow. I love them all so much and they have helped me through so much by cheering me on...being interested in how I was doing and watching for that "magic number" to change daily on the dry erase board. Logan has this fun way of wrapping his arms around me and squeezing me and telling me how much he loves his new skinny Mom. They have all been amazing! Justin was looking on here the other day and saw my before and after pictures and wanted to know when "I got little". Any COLDPLAY songs that pop up on my ipod remind me of my special night out with the girls to see them in concert. I had a blast and am so grateful that I felt comfortable enough in my own skin finally to really enjoy myself with them.
They all will be with me tomorrow every step I take! I did this for me but I did it for them. I want to be here a really long time to live, laugh and love with them.

I wonder how many times I post today.

I guess that will depend how badly I want to wrestle the four year old away from Nick Jr. com, huh?

I am impatiently waiting for my husband to get out of the shower so we can go downtown to the Health and Fitness Expo where I will pick up my packet/bib! I have butterflies like crazy this morning. Uggg. I think it's going to become even more real when we get down there today and I set the finish line already set up and have that bib with my name and number on it in hand. WOW

Last night I came out to my car after work only to discover a dozen roses and a card waiting for me from my husband! Can I just say...the guy melts me! He just wanted to remind me how much he loves me and how proud he is of me. Once again...I am such a lucky girl!

Today is my last day to carb load. I had a bowl of high fiber oatmeal, with a tablespoon of flax meal and 1/2 cup of Kashi granola on it. I washed it down with a glass of lowfat milk and a banana. It was probably 400 calories and I don't ever eat that much at one sitting usually unless it's dinner but today...I'll make an exception. Last time I walked 13 miles I burned way more than 1000 calories so pretty much anything I eat today will get burned off tomorrow. I still will eat my same ol' healthier stuff today but with more carbs than I am used to eating along with even more water. Whatever I do nutrition and hydration wise today will set the stage for me in the morning.

I hear him coming...yay! Out the door we go.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I have been thinking....

and that's always dangerous in Amy's world. I have been thinking about the pictures I have over the years of my children strategically planted in front of me to hide my fat self. I am one who ran from the camera, held up my hand to hide my face because of my shame. Now, I don't hide at all and that amazes me. I finally love who I am. The different body is great but I LOVE WHO I HAVE BECOME...way beyond the physical appearance. I think you can love yourself at any size. I think it's just the fact that I finally believe in myself and that is what I see when I look at pictures of me now. I see a girl who is confident and has so much more faith in herself that she ever did before.

With all my heart I believe that we all have it in us...ALL OF US! You just have to hang on for dear life sometimes and become "selfish" about saving it!

Off to work I go...(in a Deli of all places!)

Selfish Lady Sends..........

The temperature is rising for Sunday....

I had it all figured out what I was going to wear based on a cooler start. Now the trend for the weather on Sunday is rising temps. I hate being cold but don't want to be miserably hot as I warm up and so does the temperature. Hmmmmmmmmm....I may have to re-think this.

I bought an inexpensive digital camera yesterday so I can get lots of shots of all the fun. I am so excited! Seriously over the top excited! Did I mention how excited I am? LOL

Tomorrow we go to pick up my packet that will contain my "bib" in it! Goose bumps! Seriously! :)

2 days now and a wake up! Yahooooooooooooooo

Selfish Lady Sends....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This is what I want to hear as I cross that finish line...

I've been waiting for my dreams

To turn into something

I could believe in

And looking for that magic rainbow

On the horizon

I couldn't see it until I let go

Gave into love

And watched all the bitterness burn

Now I'm coming alive

Body and Soul

And feelin' my world start to turn

And I'll taste every moment

And live it out loud

I know this is the time,

This is the time

To be more than a name

Or a face in the crowd

I know this is the time

This is the time of my life

Time of my life

Holding on to things that vanished

Into the air

Left me in pieces

But now I'm rising from the ashes

Finding my wings

And all that I needed was there all along

Within my reach

As close at the beat of my heart

And I'll taste every moment

And live it out loud

I know this is the time,

This is the time to be

More than a name

Or a face in the crowd

I know this is the time

This is the time of my life

The time of my life

And I'm out on the edge of forever

Ready to run

Keeping my feet on the ground

Arms open wide,

Face to the sun

And I'll taste every moment

And live it out loud

I know this is the time,

This is the time to be

More than a name

Or a face in the crowd

I know this is the time,

This is the time of my life, my life

More than a name

Or a face in the crowd

I know this is the time,

This is the time of my life,

This is the time of my life,

The time of my life....

Time of my life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wanna know what I did today?????

Made myself a fleece headband and some mittens.I have been unable to find any I guess no one thinks it's cold here in Houston. It was only 22 this morning. They were cheap to make not too terribly unfashionable and I can toss them along my way Sunday if I get too hot and don't need them anymore. I went and bought a white long sleeve shirt to wear under my race shirt and also got a compact belt to carry my shot blocks and gel for the race. I want to have something handy if my energy starts to wain. I think I am all set. I even got a copy via email of the logo going on my t-shirt! I wish I could post it on here but darn adobe won't let me. I will post a picture of it when I pick it up...hopefully tomorrow!

Man...just getting giddier (?sp) as the days go by. I even sat here and watched other folks video footage on YouTube of last years marathon/half marathon to get an idea of what I am looking at. I was happy to see that there are indeed walkers and folks of all shapes and sizes!

Yep! It's getting harder by the day to contain my excitement! Someone hold my feet to the ground! Please!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A week from today....

I will be recovering! Woo Hoo!

I seriously feel like I did when I was a little girl the night before Christmas. I didn't imagine I would have all the excitement, butterflies and energy of heart that I have about this! I was talking to a friend today with whom I'll be riding downtown with to the starting line. Just talking about the logistics of that morning gave me chills. It's becoming very real to me.

I don't think I can put in to words the intense feelings I have about this. It is so hard to explain but for most of my life I have thought in terms of "them" and "me". I looked at the group of people who worked hard to accomplish things like this and set myself aside and said "that will never be me". I thought I couldn't do this, I have thought I couldn't do a lot of things. So now I am just so overwhelmed with emotions and pride and gratitude to a very loving family, and Father in Heaven who have lifted me up and beyond my inabilities. I have on my play list the Whitney Houston song..."I Didn't Know My Own Strength" and when I am walking for miles and it comes washes over me. I didn't know I had it in me but it was there all along. I am so glad I found it. It has never been about being a size 8, or wanting to be as "thin as my high school days" because frankly now I am smaller. It has been about discovering me and changing me for the better. It's about climbing mountains, or moving them or doing whatever I set my heart on because nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible for me or for anyone else. HARD....oh HELL YES!

So I walk just a few miles a day in preparation for the Half Marathon and it gives me time to think about "what's next." I said I am the golden scissors as the ribbon cutting ceremony and the finish line next Sunday is just the "grand opening" to my possibilities. I have decided to do the couch to 5K next. Now I haven't been on the couch by any means but I don't run and waffle back and forth on that. I'd like to try this program and start running and then choose a 5K to run. Next year I plan to run, not walk the Houston Aramco Half Marathon. I may even find another half to do before then. Maybe if I am ready I can hit my cousin up and do one with her in the early fall. (Clare if your reading this! wink!wink!)

Thank you a thousand times over to all my dear friends who pop in and read my random thoughts. I love all of you and appreciate the support be it silent or written. Please keep a little prayer in your heart for me next Sunday that all will go well and pray that I won't flood the streets of Houston with tears of JOY!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A countdown begins.....

Until race day....January 17Th and I am siked! I got my confirmation email yesterday with my bib number and I got all teary eyed! It's becoming very real to me! Even as I type this I giggle and then get teary eyed! I am going to do this! Wow! I just never dreamed!

I tie dyed a shirt yesterday. It's peacock pink and sunflower yellow and this morning I dropped it off at a graphics place. I am having it fixed up for my race. The front of the shirt will read...."Half Marathon Virgin". The back of the shirt will read...."1 year ago and over 100 lbs. I never dreamed I'd have THIS moment..." It made me teary getting that all taken care of. I fear I may cry the entire marathon...what a site that will be!

Lately I have been playing catch up...with my walks and in my eating, etc. These two weeks leading up to the race are critical that I am ready, rested and have fed myself well. Next week I'll have to work on loading up on more carbs so that I have plenty of energy. I have my concerns about exactly what I should eat on the morning of... but I'll figure all that out. I don't like drinking too much because that makes me have to go to the bathroom and that is distracting. I know they'll have stations along the way where I can grab water or Gatorade if I need it. I hope it's not freezing cold...40's...please...that would be nice.

I was asked to write an article for a health and fitness magazine. It's supposed to be in the Feb. issue. I had my reservations about doing it because I don't consider myself a "buff" girl or having perfected my body. I said yes, then no, then agreed to do it but gave them the option not to use the article. So we'll see. It was a struggle to write because it had to be about 600 words and I am NOT the queen of "short on words". ha!ha! I left many of the details out.

What a huge struggle this has been...continues to be...but I am in it 100% no matter my mess ups, gains, losses, stumbles. I am committed to living a happy life and enjoying the amazing changes that have come as a result of all this hard work I have done.

Selfish Lady Sends....

Oh what fun...