Friday, July 27, 2012

Shopping in Nashville!

There is one big aspect of my weight loss journey that is both thrilling and intimidating to me: shopping.
Really, it’s more thrilling than anything else.  Once I got out of the dreaded and much hated plus sizes, I felt like my wardrobe exploded into endless possibilities. At my heaviest, weighing in over 400 lbs I had pretty much zero options. If I found something that fit I wore that.  I didn’t wear anything fitted- everything was baggy and flowing, with elastic or drawstring waistbands pretty much always.  The nice thing about those pants- they expand with you as you grow and you don’t even realize it.  I was all about denial. I bought most of my clothes from Walmart then.  Not because I chose to, but because I didn’t have a choice.  After all, you could get sizes up to 5x at Walmart.
Today I didn’t shop in Walmart or Lane Bryant.  I haven’t had to shop in either of those stores for months now.   Lane Bryant gave me a lot more options once I was in the “normal” plus size range that they covered but I was totally pigeon holed into their style.  I didn’t have my own style when I shopped there- I had theirs.  I realize that I could have gone to other plus size stores but for some reason I didn’t.  Lane Bryant was comfortable for me because I knew things would fit there, I knew my size, and their style worked for me at work.  LB was good for me, but I am so glad that I never have to shop there again because it truly isn’t my style. 
Today I lost myself in Saks 5th Avenue- Off 5th, aka their outlet store.  I also LOVE the Nordstrom’s Rack.   While playing I tried on so many different pairs of designer shoes that looked incredible I lost count.  My favorite- a pair of Minolo Blaniks strappy stilettos that were sexy as anything and made my legs and butt look BAM.  I died a little bit because I couldn’t convince myself to purchase them- they were only about $450 which is good for Minolos, but WAY over my budget, DUHH.  I am still dreaming about those shoes and this pair of Michael Kohrs nude peep toe pumps with a cheetah accent on the sole. Killer!
And then after almost choosing a new Coach AND Michael Kohrs bag (talked myself out of both, don’t worry)…. I got to the clothes…..angels were singing.  I tried on so many different designers, including a pair of originally priced $250 jeans.  FYI, $250 jeans are that expensive for a reason.  I have never seen my butt and legs look that good in jeans, and I probably never will again.  But even on sale they were $150, people!  So alas, no phenomenal jeans, but…I did get a killer blue Calvin Klein dress. 

Yeah, I know...the compression socks are super sexy, I know you are super jeaulous.  I took a picture to send to hubby and Jen because sometimes a girl needs a second opinion before thunking down some dough.   I picked it out because I thought it would be an appropriate work dress at a meeting.  Certainly not a hospital visit as it hits above the knee and there’s no way I could restrain a big dog in it without flashing half the hospital both pairs of girly bits.  With the Ft. Lauderdale, FL meeting coming up in a month I hope I can shed another few pounds and it will look that much better.   It’s going to be hot as anything in FL because it will be late August and I really should wear as many skirts and dresses as possible to keep cool.  Or knock some socks off and look professional hot, however you want to look at it, lol.  
PS- the dress…it’s a size 10. What what?!  That’s right, designer size 10.  Loving it!  I am still a while from a size 8 but I hope I will eventually get there.  If not, I am THRILLED to be a size 10 and could stay there happily. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

O Nashville...

This week I've been in Nashville for work.  It's been exhausting, enlightening, rewarding, and full of good food.

Waaaay too much good food.  Went over my daily WW points plus values each day, but you know what...when in Rome, right?  I made good choices and chose healthy whole foods and enjoyed each bite, even if they might have been a little higher in calories, I knew they were nutritionally good choices.  Sometimes just a salad just isn't enough to sustain you for a day full of traveling and being on your feet.  I even tried my hand at a vegan burger that was a black bean, sweet potatoe, and cashew patty with hummus and more veggies on focaica bread.  This was a leap for me because I have never liked sweet potatoes (unless they were sweet potatoe fries) and only mildly into black beans- but so glad I tried!  The combination was amazing! I had no fried, smothered, or any other sinfully delicious southern foods.  Only splurged once with 2 delicious peanut butter cookies.  Super soft, delicous pb heaven.  Worth every sinful calorie. 

My coworker who I was working with this week and I did go into downtown Nashville one night for dinner and had some great food at this microbrewery, including probably the best quacamole I've ever had. Delicious, and you could taste how fresh the avacodo was.  We then strolled the streets of music city and certainly heard a lot of music....most pretty good but it is a little unnerving to literally pass beggar after beggar for blocks- even if it is in the form of musicians. 

The best night hands down though was at this awesome restaurant called Ellendale's that specializes in all farm fresh, organic, eco friendly and incredibly delicious food.  They have a huge and beautiful vegetable and herb garden surrounding the restaurant that you can stroll through after dinner.  They also have live music every night.  We went there Wednesday and tonight because we liked it so much, although the atmosphere was the best on Wednesday with a husband/wife duet that were super talented, both with beautiful voices and hauntingly romantic original songs.  I bought their cd they were so good. :)

In workout news, I did get my butt down to the gym every morning like a good girl.

Did you have doubts? I really hope not people.  If you thought I was going to be away from home so therefore wouldn't work out you are nuts. lol. 

Tuesday I did a solid 4 miles. Wednesday I just couldnt get into it because I wasn't running and there was nothing to use for strength training (big pouty face).  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and got a decent sweat on but I never really got the normal buzz out of it.

This morning was really my shabam workout- 8.25 miles on the treadmill!  I started out with half a mile of walking and then HAD to go to the bathroom (annoying!!!) so after dealing with that, my run was solid but meant that I didn't have time to get the full 9 miles in that I wanted to do.  In the end, it is still my longest run to date so I am thrilled!  My coworker gave me a great comment (she was running next to me for a while) afterwards.  She said I looked very relaxed and was moving like it was effortless with great form.  Also that it looked like I was really enjoying the run.  I had no idea she was even paying attention to me! lol.  She is a long time runner so it made me all giddy inside when she said this. :)  And I really did enjoy the run, even though I was flinging sweat all over the place and was hot. O wait, that's normal. lol.

Tomorrow I get to head back home...where I will then be promply leaving for our NYC and Boston trip early Saturday morning with Adrian.  I can't wait but I am kinda nervous about how/when I'm going to be able to get workouts in.  Jen H and I will be running together Sunday morning and once we get to Boston I will have the hotel gym, but I'm not sure about when we are chilling with George and Kyle.  I'm sure I'll figure something out! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Party time!

I don't have any great (or perhaps incriminating) pictures from our party last night, but we of course had a fantastic time.

But let me start with this- having a party at your house just 2 weeks after moving is STRESSFUL.  Especially because work has been sucking all week, and we have just been so darn busy each weekend, our first opportunity to unpack was Saturday.  Yeah.  We got through it with our marriage still intact even though I was probably about as fun to unpack with as a wildebeest.  Thank goodness my husband is patient when it comes to me - especially when I get stressed.

The grill itself gave us some issues initially until we realized- with Dan's help- that the propane connection wasn't secure, so once that was fixed...


Yeah, once the propane connection was fixed there was a bit of a scary fireball that happened when they tried the relighting procedure.  Everyone was ok- except for a little hair on Adrian's hand and arm that got singed.  After making sure he was ok, we did a full blow FIRE dance we were so happy, very circa Castaway.  We had WAY too much grilling food, and it would have sucked to not have a working grill.

So lots of grilling later....everyone was fed and happy- and I tried a Morning Star spicy black bean and corn veggie burger. It was INCREDIBLE.  Like, holy cow, best thing since peanut butter and chocolate made babies good.

Ok, maybe not but pretty darn close.  You just can't beat a Reece's peanut butter cup, let's be honest.  But, I was very impressed to say the least.  Especially given how much of a healthier and lighter choice it was than a burger.    I also made a full blown, no holds barred fruit salad (with some help from Rob at the end) which was popular and delicious, along with some tasty Sangria courtesy of a recipe from Chadd's Fords vineyard.

I had very little snacky food till late in the night after many a rounds of drinking games and laughing till it hurts.  We had lots of tasty dips to chose from- 1 that Bill brought that was a huge hit, 1 that I made from tastefully simply, 1 that Jen brought that was nice and light, ranch for the veggies, and salsa (always a winner).  Needless to say, lots of options and lots of chips also to go with them all.  What is it about drinking that always makes you want more food?  Totally bonker

This morning when I woke up I had a decently bad headache and a very annoyed tummy from all the salty food and alcohol from last night.  So after dragging my feet for over an hour, I drug my butt into the gym and onto the treadmill.  Once walking outside I realized it was cool and regretted my decision of treadmill running, but my stomach was really not thrilled with the thought of being anywhere but within very close distance to a bathroom.  Let's face it- when you have to GO, you have to GO AND NOW!!  That feeling is the worst feeling in the world when you are running and 3 miles from home.  Trust me, I know.  It SUCKS.  My headache wasn't really helping either....

Well, I enjoyed my reading material (evil grin) and got through 8 MILES!!!  I warmed up and cooled off with half a mile on each end so I ended up on the 'mill for 9 MILES! 


 Although I didn't complete a race today, I did run on exhausted, slightly hungover legs and powered through some soreness throughout and bad stomach pain at about 6.5 miles (what I was scared about).  I gritted through it all and I felt DARN good afterwards.  I used "Cliff Shot Bloks" today too, to help my low energy.  I had one before hand, one at about mile 3, and one at about mile 5.5 or so.  And my digestive system is still with me in one piece, lol.  I feel so proud of getting through it- and I know my body is grateful to get all the toxins sweated out from last night.  And sweat I did!

I do need to seriously get more frequent runs outside though, especially my long runs.  I hope the weather is nice in Nashville next week so I can get some runs in there outside....

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm not done yet!

Sorry I have been MIA this's been a really terrible week to the point that I knew if I blogged about it, I would regret it- because I don't keep this private.  That's all I'm going to say about that...

So now that I just finished a great 5 miles on the 'mill, I can handle writing something positive on here and not be the depressed, miserable version of Colleen that I have been all week.  I'm really trying to break out of this funk and my weigh in last night should have done that....but it only did momentarily until I got a good runners high today.   Whoever said endorphins aren't fantastic obviously know diddly crap.


Speaking of my weigh in....the nice thing about losing as much weight as I have is that no matter where you go people freak out and are inspired.  It's humbling, embarrassing, and exciting all at the same time.  I'm so grateful for weight watchers, I can't even fully express how much it has changed my life.  O wait....before and after pictures, take a look and you'll have an idea.  But it's so much more than just how I look, it's how I feel physically and emotionally.  This week I hit another MAJOR milestone- I have now lost 250 LBS TOTAL!  To be precise, 251.6 lbs!!!  To hit my ideal goal weight, I only have 23.4 lbs left.  HOLY CRAP!!  Very exciting indeedy!  My doctor goal is only 3.4 lbs away, but as my doctor and I discussed, I'm going to let my body decide where it feels happy, and it's telling me closer to 160, not 180.   Also met a potential new running friend at the meeting, and we run the same pace (by some miracle)!  I'm hoping we can run together sometime, it would be so nice having a running partner, especially for long runs. 

I've also been really trying to cross train more after my week of high mileage that was immediately followed by shin pain.  That's meant more time on the combo-elliptical and strength training which is great and would make Emily happy, lol.  O how I miss Gettysburg and the Y....I guess I really miss my routine there and my safe zones.  Sometimes it's good to get outside your comfort zone and test your limits.

Like when you start getting people that tell you "you're getting so skinny, you aren't going to lose anymore, right?"  When people say this it makes me feel two conflicting thoughts at once: 1. Me?! Skinny?! AWESOME?!  2.  Don't say that, I am SO not skinny and can't handle those thoughts.

Really number 2 is the scary part- it places this little seed in my head that I am good where I am.  But I am NOT.  First off, yes I am much healthier and thinner than I was, but skinny? Who are you kidding?!  Colleen will never be skinny.  Fit, HECK YES!  But skinny? NO!! I am muscular and curvy and very happy with both of those facts.   While I would love it if I could shrink my trunk-like thighs and get rid of my extra skin pretty much everywhere, that's not going to happen, let's face reality.

So friends and family- please help me out and don't tell me to stop losing, it messes with my head.  I am not at my goal weight yet- trust me, you will know when I get there because I will be FREAKING OUT and there WILL be a big party!  <3

Monday, July 16, 2012

Recent Workouts

Jen C and I just got back from an awesome weekend in Williamsburg, VA!  I'm going to do a post about it once pictures go up because everyone knows a story is better with pictures.  Jen has an awesome water proof case for her iphone so we took a bunch of pictures in the water park- hopefully some come out, lol.

So until then.... here's a recent workout since a birdy told me the last workout of the day post was very popular.  This was a strength training circuit I did on Friday at the gym.  I started with 25 minutes on the combo elliptical to get my heart pumping.

2 sets of 15 reps (unless otherwise specified) 

-bosu squats
I try to get my legs this parallel to the ground!

- bosu speed side squats- fun!

I do these fast with a little hop on the bosu to get your heart rate up

- traveling lunges with 5 lb dumbbell arm swing. I swing with the opposite arm as the leg that is lunging forward, you could also do the same arm as the leg leading.
nice form!

- bosu forward leg lunges- one leg with 5lb shoulder press, one leg with 5lb shoulder extension
I need my sneakers, though!

- curtsy lunges with jumps in between- Just found this video of it- definitely going to try adding the step, that looks like an awesome add in! Usually I do them with a little leap in between sides for extra cardio vascular burn.

- 5lb bicep curls on bosu - this time, just standing because I was focusing on my curl form. Usually I do these as a combo with a squat.
- 5lb tricep extensions - focusing on form here.
- passovers with balance ball - this is killer on your lower abs. KILLER.

- bicycle crunches on the floor

another good one!

- crunches on balance ball (25 reps per set)

In other workout related news, I had a nice 3 mile run on the treadmill Thursday which felt pretty good after my shin pain earlier in the week.  Then I busted out 7 miles on the treadmill on Saturday!  After my last 7 miler I feel much more confident that this was definitely 7 miles- and at my normal 12 min/mile pace.  I felt good and even tried out a cliff shot block (just one) to see how my tummy would take it in a controlled environment like the gym where I could hit the bathrooms if needed.  No need, it was great and MAN did I feel that extra energy- I felt like I could have run much longer, but needed to get home for a shower before our Williamsburg trip. I was a sweaty nasty mess when I got home, which of course felt incredible. duhhhh.  I love a really good sweat, people!  An extra perk of the shot block is that I still felt that extra energy long after I finished.  It might also just be a coincidence because I was super excited about the road trip, we will see in future tests, lol.

I also ran 4.5 miles today in beautiful Colonial Williamsburg!  It was hot and humid as all get out, but it was worth braving the heat to get such a unique run under my belt in such a lovely setting.  Ashton gave me a suggested route and it was a great run with good footing for the most part.  Old school cobble stones are not fun to run on, fyi.  But the well kept brick sidewalks are almost the same as pavement I learned (thank goodness). 

I'm going to try to keep to running every other day and not get my mileage for the week up too high like I did 2 weeks ago when I ran 5 days of the week.  While I would love to run 5 days a week, I think it's best for my legs to keep it to 3-4. Sad.  But I do love cross training, I just need to keep that in mind! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I want to run!

Sometimes your legs don't want to cooperate with the rest of your body.  And it SUCKS. 

Yesterday's run ended in pain after a little over a mile.  Darn left shin pain started barely mild and developed into full fledged pain.  Today I chose to do spin instead of running after asking Emily for advice last night.  So I iced like a good girl, took a spin class, and wore compression sleeves to increase circulation.  So, what do I get?  Relief you might think. Nope, hamstring soreness.


So, in light of the realization that I might have increased my weekly miles too much last week, I need to take it EASY this week.  Which means maybe just cross training or very low mileage.  I can't afford to get a full blown leg injury.  No, sir.  I need to chill out and remember I still have time before my first half-marathon.  I can take my time working my mileage up after this blip.   It's just frustrating because I WANT to run!  I am missing it and know that the longer away from it the more ground I'm going to lose.  O well, such is the roller coaster of life.

There is a good reminder I saw this week, posted on the Insanity facebook page that I really need to remember as I have to take a step back in my exercise.

The reason I bring this up, is because I have made the conscious decision that I can and will get to my goal of 160lbs.  I think this is realistic, attainable, and maintainable.  My doctor doesn't 100% agree with me which scares me a little bit, but I am darn well going to try to get close to it.  After my 1.6 lbs loss this week, that means I am only 25.2 lbs from goal!!  As much as it would be nice to accept my doctor's goal of 180 and be only 5 lbs from goal I know that isn't right for my body, particularly for my fitness goals. My body will appreciate having to carry less when I'm running, that's for sure.

So, I need to buckle down and tighten up my food these next couple weeks even more so the decrease in exercise doesn't hurt me too much on the weight loss side.  No dieting here, just a reminder of the importance of eating very clean.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Missing my running shoes

Stolen from one my favorite blogs, runner12!  He is not just a funny, amusing blogger but very inspiring and part of the "From Fat to Finish line- the documentary" about a group of 12 runners who have all lost a significant amount of weight and are now going to run a ragnar relay

I LOVE that!! I was really wanting to run today but I was still feeling shin pain in my left leg.  It started yesterday early afternoon at the beach and the more we walked, even in sneakers, the more it bothered me.  Mostly it was dull on the front of my shin, but at times it felt sharp.  My fear of not being able to run the next day was actually causing me some distress and near the end of the night, even though I was having an awesome time, I felt like I couldn't get my compression socks on fast enough to get relief.

As I re-read that last sentence I can't believe those thoughts came out of my brain. I was worried about not being able to run the next day?!?!  I was more concerned about potentially having to take another rest day than I was about the delicious Kohr's I was enjoying...?!?!  I have officially lost my mind. 

And it feels darn good to be crazy! :)  Luckily the compression socks, stretching, and elevating my feet in the car did actually help (thank goodness).  But, even so, I had some lingering pain in my shins this morning and I made the smart, although reluctant decision, to forgo a run and spin instead.  That is...until my work schedule interfered with a call that went really late, so I checked out the new (for me) combo ellipticals at the gym.  Awesome!  Much harder and more variety/options than a typical elliptical, and I had fun doing the "training 3" setting for 50 minutes.  And then a nice long foam roll and stretch afterwards.  My IT Band is finally making some progress- it doesn't hurt nearly as much to roll as it used to.

ooooo pretty....

Note to self- remember that cross training is good for many reasons.  That being said, I want at least 4 miles tomorrow after work- it is going to be a super stressful day and I am going to need the release.  I will even tolerate a treadmill run.  I am going to wear compression sleeves all day and hopefully my legs will still want to run after a long day of presenting aka standing in heels.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

THAT is a great experience!

Today Adrian and I went to Rehobeth Beach for the day.  It brought back lots of memories of past trips to the beach....some good and some bad.  My weight has held me back a lot in the past and the beach is no exception.  Can you say heat rash? That stuff HURTS.  Even though that hasn't gone away completely with weight loss, being able to shop in a "normal" size store is a major change from a couple summers ago, and it means more than most people realize.

White House, Black Market is one of those stores that I have always liked but have never shopped in for many reasons but mainly: 1. I couldn’t fit into their clothes. They only go up to size 14 I think. 2. They are PRICEY.    But I remember passing by their beautiful shop every time we went to rehobeth in HS.   Jen H and I would stop there frequently, particularly to look at their sale rack outside.  Each time we looked through I would feel so miserable because I loved their clothes but didn’t have a shot in hell of fitting into them.  I remember thinking one time when Jen H. and I were browsing that there would never be a day I would be skinny enough to shop in their store and fit in with their beautiful, stylish image.

I was wrong.  That day was TODAY.

After lots of sun and surf, Adrian and I changed and we both wanted to do a little shopping to get out of the sun and into some air conditioning.  We stopped in a few different places then started heading over to funland for bumper cars, when we passed the familiar store front and their rows of sale racks.  I made a little noise and said how much I liked that store and Adrian was like- let’s go then!  After browsing through some sale stuff I found a handful of stuff to try on.  We were greeted immediately by a sweet woman named Megan who asked me what my name was.  Wow, great start!  She then asked if she could take my clothes and start a fitting room for me.  Bonus point number 2!  I love when sales people do this in clothing stores.   Call it what you will, but I like being taken care of sometimes.  Then Adrian and I went looking, picking out several more things for me to try and show to him- with very little hope of them really looking that great on me.  At least that was what the evil little gremlin in the back of my head was saying.
Well Megan did not just hook me up with one of their gorgeous dressing rooms but asked me what size shoe I wore and proceeded to bring me several different pairs of heels that I could wear while trying on different dresses.  Then she asked me if I had any jeans to try on to go with my tops and when I told her no- immediately asked me my size and brought me the size 12s I told her I was.  I hesistantly tried on the jeans and beautiful size M shirt she brought me and opened the curtain- to a stunned “wow” from both Meghan and Adrian.   After wowing over the shirt, she immediately told me the pants were too big for me and with the smaller size on proceeded to tell me how great my ass looked in them.  I gotta admit, it did look good, but I didn't want to buy cropped jeans.  And the shirt she picked out…..wowsers.  On the price but also on the look- Adrian was very insistent on the purchase of that top especially.   

image enlargement
in LOVE with this top!

 At this point Adrian informed her of my weight loss progression and she got all giddy excited and kept bringing up how I needed to dress my new body to show off all the hard work I’ve done.  She brought me somewhere between 2-3 dozen dresses and outfits to try on by the end of the visit.  She has an amazing sense of style and what would look good on me, because every single one looked gorgeous and made me feel beautiful.   Every time I opened the curtain, it was to great reactions from them both.  I felt like I was shopping with a close girl friend instead of getting help from a sales woman.
I finally narrowed it down to two of the most beautiful dresses I have ever owned- a maxi and a cocktail, THE shirt that Adrian was in love with, and the shoes I was wearing the whole time. They were FANTASTIC, sexy, and quite comfortable.  The shoes were also 30% off, making them the easiest decision of the day. 

image enlargement
duh, these are awesome

In the end, I feel guilty for how much money I spent but no amount of money could ever re-create the amazing experience I had.  I’ve heard work friends talk about shopping trips to Neiman Marcus where the sales woman just asks your size and brings you endless fabulousness.  This felt even better than that because it was a personal connection and I felt SPECIAL the whole time. 

Adrian said as we were leaving that it was one of those milestone moments for me.  Totally on the ball, as always :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A running machine!

This week I feel like I have been eating, breathing, living for running. I'm sure that this honeymoon period is short lived, but I'm going to live this as long as humanly possible!

So to catch up where I left off- I had a GREAT run on Wednesday!!  The night before the weather report informed me that Independence day was no day to run outside.  6am forecast: 84 deg, 90% humidity. NO WAY!  I wanted to tough it out but that irking voice in my head (namely Emily) that keeps reminding me there's a reason I have a gym membership, that includes many state of the art treadmills.....

So I slept in Wednesday morning and dragged my feet for what was basically forever but finally drug my butt into my new gym for a workout.  I was going to warm up on their indoor jogging track then hit the treadmill for the bulk of my miles.  Then I started running on the track....

And ran 7 miles.  It just felt sooo awesome to be inside but still be able to have complete control of your run without having to push buttons or run on the treadmill.  The only sucky thing- you have to count laps.  1 mile= 13 laps (I later learned 1 mile= 13.25 laps but close enough).  It's kind of a pain to count but I would keep each lap I was in at the forefront of my brain until I crossed my imaginary "start/finish line."

After the first mile, I look down at my watch and see a magic number: 11 minutes even.  I've run sub 11 min miles before but I typically don't go that "fast" naturally, even on flat for multiple miles.  And I was feeling GOOD.  Like this pace feels very natural.  It wasn't until about mile 5 that the pace started to feel too hard to keep up so I slowed down to whatever felt good.  Gotta listen to your body.  According to my garmin (I had it running but no splits because it had no satellite reception inside) I finished the 7 miles in 1:17:34.  That works out to an 11:04 pace.  Speaking of Garmin, I think not seeing it helped me because I just let my body run what it felt natural running.

So...reality sunk in later.  I probably miscounted or had in issue with my time keeping because that really doesn't seem like a real time- for me at least.  I was probably running 11 min/miles pretty steady until about mile 5- they were ticking off easily and felt awesome, but I KNOW I slowed down to at least a 12 for mile 6, maybe 12:30 min/mile for the last mile.  Also there is the little quarter lap thing I learned today, so technically, if I counted correctly, I only ran 6.86 miles or something like that.


That's right!! I am so proud of my run.  Yeah, I shouldn't do long runs on this track because I can't switch directions which could cause injuries.  I'm glad Emily reaffirmed that in my head, because I was thinking it, too afterwards.  But....I kicked this run's BUTT and it felt good to run that long straight.  My previous longest distance had been 6 miles but I had several walking breaks in there, some pretty long- so this is by far my longest consecutive run. :)

I took Thursday off completely from exercise- it felt like my body needed it after that run especially with how exhausted I was Wednesday afternoon.  I checked out a new WW meeting in White Marsh, and it was really nice with some very friendly and nice people! I love WW!! :D

Friday I bit the bullet and got my already hot from the heat body on the treadmill and ran a very solid 3 miles at 12 min/mile pace.  I've struggled in the past keeping this pace up on the treadmill for some reason- it just feels easier to keep up on the road, but it felt great that day.  Also was able to read on my kindle which was sweet.

Friday was an awesome day for many reasons but the most important- Adrian got the job he wanted!!! So proud of my husband!!  So rightfully so, we celebrated at Macaroni Grill.  Although my entree was a great choice, we split a delicious appetizer of shrimp and avocado on was almost as many points as my entree!! Luckily, it was delicious so I have no regrets.  I tracked it and moved on. We joined some friends in Trolly Square for drinks and dancing so I just had one beer given I had to drive all the way back to Middle River afterwards.  :)

So feeling like I needed to beat myself a bit today, I was in the gym for 2 hours which included a treadmill speed workout and strength training.....will share that workout with y'all later because I need to meet up with some friends to see...

I can hardly wait!! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recovery and new gym- complete with crazy lady!

Even in the heat and with crazy stress (well that's normal) I have still been enjoying my running. Crazy, right?

Rewinding a couple days....Sunday we literally just laid around most of the day, unpacked some stuff, went shopping to stock up the kitchen, and explored the surrounding area.  After a packed 2 days of moving, cleaning, then the reunion I felt like I couldn't get my body moving in any type of forward and productive motion.  I felt so exhausted and drained that eating seemed like it wasn't even worth it.  Eventually had a decent sized meal at dinner but I was going to be way under points for the we splurged and got ice cream (I got a tiny little kids size, calm down).  It was awesome and literally felt like a lift to my spirits.  Maybe it was just the sugar and peanut butter/chocolate...whatever it was, I felt like a human again instead of a slug.  The fact that I drank my dinner in the form of 2 glasses of wine and a shot the night before might have had something to do with that..... O yeah and this:

My killer sexy shoes were killer on my left side heel

Adrian, being the wonderful husband he is, gave me an amazing foot massage when we got home from the reunion.  Really, he is unbelievable- sometimes I can't believe he is mine!  ::squee::

By Sunday night, post ice cream deliciousness, I felt ready to return to normal life and set my alarm for 6:30am so I could get a 3 mile run in before all my conference calls started at 8:30 am.  And so that I didn't melt in the heat.  Somehow both were accomplished- although I was sweating through every layer of clothes when I returned home from a nice 3.5 mile run around the neighborhoods around us.  But the important part- I did complete what I wanted to run and more.

Tuesday morning I got distracted before my run and was only able to get in 2.5 miles before having to turn in so I could shower and get my butt on a 2 hour conference call. yeah. seriously long call.  Had to go right to a hospital after that so you know I couldn't hold that shower off.  Plus who wants to be sitting in their own nasty sweaty-ness for 2 hours? ewwww. Not me!

That night Adrian and I went to check out gyms.  We had narrowed our choices to two that we were going to trial membership each...but then we walked into LA Fitness. And ended up walking out with two memberships....

 First off, I knew the closest YMCA (our other option aside from Planet Fitness) was at least 15 minutes away- with no traffic.  That really does NOT work for us.  We knew this but were still considering it- even though it didn't have a pool.  I was not thrilled about the no pool fact, but I realized it was a deal breaker once I saw their lap pool at LA.  Recently I have been reminded of the joys of swimming and my long term goal of completing an olympic level triathlon....then maybe half-ironman (if I lose my mind) get the idea- I'm an addict after all as Jen C tells me.  ;)

By the time we finished our tour of LA Fitness with David, the totally awesome guy helping us, my only personal concern was price.  The facility was great with separate areas for stationary legs/arms/abs/benching on the main level, a stretching space, special personal training space, a huge aerobic room, a gorgeous and brand new spin room that literally made me salivate, so of course I just HAD to try out their brand new bikes.  On the lower level were the locker rooms (with access to the pool on the main level), 2 racquetball courts and the free lifting room with so many squat racks, Smith racks, and free weights I wanted to jump up and down and squee!!  And then we went upstairs to the cardio area......amazing again.  Tons of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, stair steppers, AND the combo ellipticals I have been dying to get my feet on.  So, of course I tested them out as well. SOLD.  Also- they had a jogging track surrounding the cardio area.  13 laps=1 mile.  Tediously boring, but another option for a shorter run.  I have been to bigger gyms- like the Gold's gym in King of Prussia (I think it was Golds, if not some other chain) which is basically like the mecca for gym lovers with 50 treadmills!! I would like my ashes scattered there, thank you very much.  Just kidding.......

Turns out, they were running a 4th of July special (convenient, eh?) which knocked our price down a bit.   He gave us some privacy so we could talk about it and realized that A- I was already in love (if you couldn't tell), B- why wouldn't I be?! , and C- there is no way the YMCA that was close could match this since there was no pool, similar prices, and it was much farther away.  Being a quick 5 minute drive from our house really helped the decision.  And my giddiness of playing on all the equipment!

We had a great experience with Dave and since we had talked about potentially using personal training down the line, he sent us to meet with the training coordinator.  FAIL.  Will never train with her. EVER.  She was like a bitchier, nasty, close minded version of Jillian Micheals.  Obsessed with herself and with a nasty attitude and zero respect.   And she would not shut up- especially about how much she hated running.  Really? This is clearly not the way to my heart after I tell you I have recently found a love of running and am training for a half-marathon.  You should be trying to win me over, I am a brand new member that is also a fitness lover!  Also, please don't diss weight watchers after I tell you that's how I lost my nearly 250lbs- that you were hardly fazed by.  Dave freaked out and high fived me, which made me feel awesome.  Let's face it- fitness people love to hear that stuff and that I've done it with healthy eating and exercise.    O yeah, get this, too- if I had lifted all throughout my weight loss I would have no loose skin....


That was after telling her that I had been strength training for 2 years and working out throughout my weight loss.  Either she is a terrible listener or just nasty. Maybe both.  I have never claimed to be an expert but I do know that I have tried my best to manage my extra skin.  I also know for a FACT there is NO way you loose 250+ lbs and don't have extra skin, so don't you DARE try to make me feel like I could have done more. YOU SUCK.

Last tidbit I learned from her during her constant contradictions of herself...  My weight goal (according to her) IS 150, and I don't have a choice. This was AFTER I explained where my doctor wanted me to be and our plan to find my body's happy place somewhere between 160-180.  My dander was UP.  Especially because my doctor has basically been trying to prepare me that I will struggle to maintain 160 with my extra skin and muscular body type.  Later on she proceeded to say that BMI isn't important, but % of body fat is how they measure your fitness.  I agree, that is a better fitness how can you possibly KNOW that I should be 150lbs at goal except for with BMI- which you said was good 30 minutes before hand?!?! 

grrrrrrr indeed

Deep after all this BS, we finally learn their prices/packages and walked out without signing up for any. DUHHH.   I voiced my sticker shock a bit and she dumped salt into my gaping wounds by then telling me how crappy Y's are and how there were probably no good trainers in such a small town.  I nearly came across the desk I was SO pissed.  I was ready to take off her 4 in stilleto boots and beat her with them.  In the head.  Instead, I gave her the patented O'Neil glare (Nicole is another master of this).  It is deadly and I actually saw her squirm (success!!).  She then quickly started saying how she's been kidding the whole time after I explained how absolutely awesome my trainer and old gym was and how I was missing her like crazy, especially at that moment.  And reminded her I would train with her at least once a week, sometimes twice- as I had already told her several times since she kept mocking me after I said I was pretty self sufficient.  Apparently that simply isn't possible that I work out 6 days a week without somebody looking at my log every week and watching over my shoulder.  Because, you know, you can't possibly keep yourself motivated without a personal trainer to tell you ever single step to take and then monitor that you did it correctly.  O and heaven FORBID you lift without said personal trainer- you WILL over lift and hurt yourself.  According to her, who is the expert of the universe.  AGGGHHHHH

I feel like I need to do some sun salutations now to get her bad juju out of my brain.  Emily helped me calm down afterwards by reminding me that she was crazy and I was right.  That's what good friends are for! :)

So since this post warped into this huge rant about crazy gym lady, I'll talk about my 7 MILE run tomorrow.  That's right- 7 MILES!!! So proud of myself :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NHS 10 year reunion

Saturday night was my 10 year high school reunion.

It was awesome!! The organization committee did a great job and there was a great mix of people there.  I obviously wish there was more of my old group from high school there, but it was mainly people I barely knew.  Although, 2 of the very most important people from high school were there- the Jens (Huang and Sprout).  We had a full blown JCJ (Jen Colleen Jen) reunion and it was awesome!!  I got so many compliments on my weight loss (especially from those that saw me near the end of college) and my dress.  I actually had a random girl come up and compliment my dress and ask me where I got it.  So cool.  So MAJOR props to Jen Cohen who went shopping with me and helped put together my whole fabulous look!  I will take credit for pulling the dress because I saw it first and I fell in love but she helped me decide and I'm SO glad I went with this dress and the sexy shoes.....even if I still have the scars on my feet to prove the pain.

JCJ reunion!

Adrian and I met first at Jen H's place to see her family and take some classic, hs inspired pictures.  Classic, I know!  It was nice to see her dad again- after all I've known Jen and her family since 4th grade!! Bayard for life!

Jen H and I :)

We had to get Adrian in on the action!

So just bear with me through lots of's what you do at reunions.  I just wish I had gotten a shot of myself solo (especially the back of the dress because it was KILER and a good one of Adrian and I together with nobody else.  Such is life when you are having too much fun for your own good! 

from left: Jen Sprout (now Forster), me, Jen Huang, and Andy Hazzard.
me with Amanda L- our moms used to work together

me with Keith Mod- better friends in college than hs oddly enough

so great to reconnect with Jen S (now F!)

The below two pictures are classic and were talked about several times during the night.  The old one (on left) was taken at our JCJ graduation party in 2002.  That's right we had a joint graduation party, that's how awesome we were!  The new one was obviously taken at the reunion.  The tall, very nice guy, in the back is Al who was our senior class president. One of the nicest guys I have every known in my life.


So now that you have been overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) with pictures.....I am off to get a good night's sleep after my yummy hi carb whole wheat penne dinner.  Because tomorrow I am getting up at the butt crack of dawn so I can totally rock out a 6+ mile run in this crazy heat before I melt in my clothes.

Ummm until I just looked at the weather report and it's going to be 82 DEGREES with 90% humidity at 6am tomorrow morning. WHAT?!  Apparently waking up early is not even going to be worth it.  I am going to enjoy some extra sleep and suffer through those miles on the treadmill with my wonderful new, shiny gym membership.

REALLY WEATHER?! Colleen wants to run, you better take notice!

Monday, July 2, 2012

We are moved!!

It's official, I am making this post from our new place in Middle River, MD!

I feel like I should post pictures....but the place is a mess with some unpacked areas looking great and some completely a disaster. lol.  We were SO blessed to have a lot of help from some great people!  Tommy, Butch and Phil helped in Gettysburg- all guys that Adrian worked with at the Gettysburg Times.  They were awesome and really knew how to pack a truck!  Alex and Jen C helped in Middle River and my parents also brought over the mini-van load of stuff they had at the farm.

Rewind to Thursday....Had major issues getting a UHaul truck.  I blamed them hardcore and bitched and moaned about being put on a waiting list- but really it was mostly my fault because we reserved only 2 weeks ahead of time.  I normally am more of a planner- but we changed the date we were moving, which is why the reservation was so late.  The thing that upset me about the whole process was why are you confirming my reservation if you don't really have a truck for me to use?  Why not tell me that up front they don't guarantee pickup time and location? wtf?!  After a lot of stress and freaking out, we finally were given a truck to use at 9am on Friday after I made some waves with customer service.  We had to drive about 30 miles each way to pick up a new truck through back country roads so it added almost 2 hours (including pickup) to our day. But I was able to get an extra free 80 miles added to our contract so we didn't have to pay for it.  They were going to make us pay for each extra mile and I made the free miles happen. lol.  Please don't think I'm one of those crazy yelling/nasty people with customer service- just the opposite.  That is what gets results. :)

Seriously, they suck.  Never again, U-Haul.

So....once we got the truck,  it went quickly and the guys were awesome and super fast! We headed to our new place where we had to sign all the final paperwork and get our keys. That took longer than we were expecting but eventually we got into the town house and started the unloading with Jen C.  Jen KICKED ASS.  Like holy crap, she was awesome! (as if you could expect anything less from my bff)

We were very nervous about the cable setup apt, especially since they were supposed to show up between 1-3 and we got to the complex about 2:30pm due to the delay in the truck pickup.  But all was good because he arrived a little after 3:00pm, just when we were starting to unload the truck. So everything worked out and we have cable and internet (o yeah, and a useless phone line that I still need to buy a phone for...).

I had just gone to pick up a new bed frame for our bed, because our old one had broken, when Alex arrived.  At the perfect time according to my darling and exhausted husband. My parents arrived about the same time as well with their mini-van full of stuff they had stored for us for a couple weeks to make our move easier.

After some showers all the way around, we got dinner at a great little Chinese/Japanese place we found that surprisingly had several "diet entrees."  Sweeet! 

Saturday Adrian and I went back to Gettysburg to clean the old place.  And holy cow, was it an ordeal!  An exhausting and stressful ordeal, especially trying to fit everything left (how was there still so much?!) into our two cars plus bring back the professional carpet cleaner back to the grocery store. Somehow we did it....and in the process I lost my keys.  Of course I flipped the crap out and we searched the whole place to no avail.  Luckily Adrian had an extra key for my car so we could get back home.  We found the lost keys when we got home and were unpacking the cars.  They had somehow ended up in a bag with random stuff.  Blah.

And then we had to get ready for my 10 year high school reunion....which definitely deserves it's own post. To come later....Thanks again everyone for your help!!