Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Hello again from the air! There is something about writing on an airplane that just feels natural to me. Even though you are surrounded by people, you often times feel alone, which is nice.

Yes, this is coming from a self-proclaimed "extrovert" who finds energy in talking with others. During the first hour of the flight I was chatting with my seat mate off and on about all sorts of things, and loved.

I just get frustrated at what the stereotype has turned into, though. So many people see introverts as the more thoughtful, smart people and extroverts as just party people. That's not only offensive to myself who enjoys both, but just untrue. I got into a discussion about this with a colleague who was complaining about a situation with a coworker she just couldn't understand. In her eyes, this other person is an extrovert so therefore she couldn't shut up and she moved really slowly with setting up for tomorrow's presentation because she was distracted with being social.

I had to interrupt her and interject. Just because that person is an extrovert does not mean that all she knows how to do is talk. Perhaps this person is just chatty and moves slow?! There are most definitely times when I have zero desire to interact with another human being. I get mentally, emotionally, and socially exhausted, too! I love exercising, horseback riding, cuddling with Ding, or just sitting down with a good book can really help me feel rejuvenated. Does this actually make me an introvert that has trained myself to be more social? Who cares? Labels are just that- labels.

So, I would love to hear what you have to say about this subject! What do you identify yourself as?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ice and acupuncture!

Helloooooo! I hear an echo....from so much time in between posts...

This is what I just finished doing, might look familiar...

Hello Ice!

I'm icing my left because of this:

Photo: I'm not sure how this happened....any ideas?
Last night

I have this weird bruise on the side of my left big toe- and I'm not sure why exactly.  It presented itself after I got done riding- in well broken in boots where I was wearing supportive socks...so a little confused how this happened.  But ice did help, the color is less red and more blue/purple now.

And my right foot has been bothering me a little bit- across the top like before when I had stress fracture issues- so I figured ice couldn't hurt it, I might as well double ice!

I did something really cool yesterday that I've been wanting to do for a long time- acupuncture!!  I'm really happy with the acupuncturist I worked with- she was very friendly, calm, and gentle.  It was a relaxing experience and afterwards I felt so calm and centered.  I even have some ear candy to remind me of the experience- some points she kept on my ear that are low intensity points meant to stay on for 1-2 weeks.

Photo: I'm curious if anyone has had acupuncture treatment? I had my first consult and treatment yesterday with a new friend, Laura, who was awesome!  Part of treatment was leaving these longer lasting points on my ear- fascinating! Have you had acupuncture before? Share!!!
Left ear looking sexy

Have you had acupuncture treatment before?  Tell me about it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yes, I'm alive!

Long time no blog!

I've been distracted with another injury- I know, it's hard to believe, but true.  A few months ago I got slammed with crazy pain in my right shoulder that wouldn't go away.  After x-rays, massages, and 2 doctors- I got a script for steroids and BAM the pain went way down.  It was wonderful to have less pain, but the steroids had some crazy side effects if you have never experienced them before.  This is how I felt on my second and third day of steroid treatment:

Yeah....it was weird how I felt like I was just a bundle of energy inside.  As if at any moment I was going to explode.  I was able to keep pretty well in control from an outside perspective, but on the inside I felt like a rage machine.  Very unsettling, and I was glad when that side effect diminished.

The final diagnosis which didn't come until after an MRI and lots of physical therapy- winged scapula.  It's getting a lot better with physical therapy. My key is to keep with it.  I guess it was caused by a trauma of some sort to my shoulder- which we can't seem to figure out what that was....and an issue with the nerve being impaired.  The important thing is that the pain is minimal now which is awesome

In running news....I have been building up my walking mileage over the past couple months and received the go ahead to work on running again! Wahoo!  Yesterday I did couch to 5k week 1, day 1.  I used the free app on my phone and it was nice to be able to have it tell me exactly when to walk and run.  It made it super easy and kept me from getting obsessed about my pace- which is way too easy for me to do!

My feet still feel good the next day, so since the is so nice, I plan to go for a hike or walk- just not sure where yet.weather.

What's new with you on this beautiful May day?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back to basics

So the scale...we are still fighting.

Yeah....this was exactly how I felt after my weight watchers weigh in last night.  Last week I had lost 1.8 lbs after that disastrous 7lb gain and then this week...I gained 1.6 lbs back.   I was so shocked, that I was PISSED.  Angry.  Frustrated.  I wanted to throw a temper tantrum.  Did I have a perfect week?  No....I had an absolutely awesome time drinking at Kevin's birthday party Saturday night.  It was fantastic- and I tracked it all- including the tequila and chocolate cake.  And then I kicked butt in the gym and ate awesome on every other day.

I guess what frustrated me so much was because I knew in that moment what I needed to do.  And I really didn't want to.  So instead I lived in angry, denial, border line temper tantrum land during the meeting until a good conversation with a few fellow weight watchers.  Ultimately, I knew that I needed to...

Yeah, the dreaded and terrible D word.  The irony is not lost on me that to spell diet you first have to spell "die."  I know that I have forever changed my lifestyle- and that's how you make lasting and steady change in your health and weight.  I will NEVER step foot into a fast food restaurant again.  I will never binge again at Golden Corral or some Chinese buffet.  It's not going to happen.  I simply and plainly refuse.  Those are my red lines in the sand- I won't cross them again.

But the reality is, I am 15 lbs over my goal weight.  15 lbs!! That is NOT ok.  Ever since my foot injury, my weight has been very slowly creeping up little by little.  At first just a couple ounces, then I would lose it.  And then this winter happened....between all the terrible weather keeping me inside and continuing to say yes to all those delicious holiday treats like my sister's crack cookies (for the record they don't legally have crack in them, but somehow they are more addicting).

So, I am going back on a lower daily points total and gosh darn it, I am going to use my food scale obsessively again and go back to the basics of what worked for me.  Darn it, I've lost 250 lbs!  I know how to lose weight.  My body knows how to lose weight.  After a great conversation with my sister today, I was reminded of this.

I don't have drastic things to change, but I do need to mix things up with my exercise, tighten up my eating plan (like not taking shots of tequila chased with chocolate cake), keep up with strength training, and get my head out of my ass.   The reality of my body is that I have to be constantly vigilant to keep the weight off.  I need to break out of maintenance mode and get back into full blown weight loss mode.  Colleen knows weight loss mode.   I flipped that switch while talking with Brianne today and I stepped back into the game Tony Horton style with some P90X.  I did Kenpo X and Ab Ripper X- and felt deliciously tired and sore afterwards.

You heard Tony....It's time to BRING IT!

How are you going to bring it?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bad scale!

I weighed in at Weight Watchers on Wednesday and my weigh in showed a gain....

of 7 lbs!!

This was my reaction:

yeah....Even factoring in that I was probably wearing an extra lb or 2 in heavy clothing after a busy work day without being able to change into weigh in clothes- and I haven't weighed in for 2 weeks.....7 lbs is nuts.

I busted my tail while in Phoenix- with double workouts nearly every day and I did 2 strength training workouts during the week, including 2 ab ripper X from P90X!  This is a great improvement over my lackluster strength training routine over the past couple months.  Overall I did a good job with my food choices.  I only had desert once a day, if that- and I tried to walk as much as possible when not sitting.  Also, I was feeling thin all week- and kept hearing from everyone how great I looked.  I can usually tell when I'm a few lbs over in the way my clothes feel- but not at all here!

I felt like I had literally been punched in the stomach.  Quite literally, actually.  I was nauseous all night that night- not sure if it's from the stress or those peanut butter M&Ms at my work meeting on Wednesday (yeah, I had some candy- but it was in moderation!)

I am trying to keep my head on straight this week, I'm doing a week of simply filling- which focuses on eating whole, clean foods.  Something I already do, but with the simply filling program you only count points for the food that is NOT a power food.  And power foods are foods I typically eat a lot of- fruits, veggies, lean protein, fat free dairy, whole grains, etc.

What do you do when you see something you weren't expecting on the scale?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Interesting morning....

I'm sitting in the BWI airport right now waiting for a flight and I just had a totally bizarre experience...

Suddenly I began experiencing some of the worst stomach cramps I've had since before being on Prilosec. (It's an amazing drug)  I immediately start rewinding my morning in my head and start frantically thinking- did I take it this morning?  Most definitely.  My routine with taking Prilosec then brushing my teeth is as solid as my habit of eating breakfast every day.  Aka- nearly flawless.  So, my mind is racing as I double over and try to give my stomach some relief.  It's cramping so bad my back hurts.

A couple minutes later, as abruptly as this bizarre spell came on me, it dissipated.  I look around in a bit of a daze and realized with a start that the person sitting right next to me eating a fast food breakfast sandwich had walked away.  I hardly noticed her sitting there eating it, but when she got up to leave it was a reminder that she had been eating one of my old standby breakfast feasts.  My brain had registered that for a split second when she sad down and I had immediately dismissed it.  Apparently my stomach didn't dismiss it and wanted to starkly remind me that it wanted NONE of that crap.  I heard you loud and clear- thanks!

Say no to fast food!

As I sit here pondering what just happened, I'm realizing how startling different my life is than it was just 4.5 years ago, before starting weight watchers.  This past October marked my 4 year anniversary with weight watchers. Wow.  That is absolutely incredible to me sometimes.  Just 5 years ago, I was a depressed, morbidly obese, desperate shell of a person.  I was going through the motions of my life, sitting in the backseat and watching it go by.

Now I'm the pilot. I'm in control of my destiny- and I'm loving life. 5 years ago if I had a flight delay I would be like that woman that just stood up- I would be eating fast food and inwardly dreading the nightmare that was about to face me on the plane.  If I was still 400 lbs I would be sweating nervous buckets of sweat waiting for the inevitable humiliation that IS flying when you are morbidly obese.  The pain of the seats, the emotional anguish and embarrassment of having to use a seat belt extender.  And that terrible discomfort of sitting next to a stranger that wishes there was any other seat on the plane to sit in, but beside you.

Now people want to sit next to me on planes.  Women talk with me comfortably, with plenty of space for themselves.  Men hit on me.  I once had a young man chose a middle seat next to me when there was plenty of other seats available, including a window seat nearby.  I was really confused....lol. But I was polite, and chatted back with him for the majority of the 3 hour flight to Chicago (I think it was Chicago? lol).  He told me as we were leaving the plane that he had seen me in line and had to try to sit near to me because my face was mesmerizing and he wanted to see if my personality matched.  He said it did and then asked for my number.  Wow.

Last night I was having a blast trying on all different combinations of dresses, shoes, and jewelry to match to figure out exactly what to pack for this week.  I have a closet full of size 10 clothes that fit me.  Even some 8s in there. Never could I have imagined 5 years ago that I would be here.  And I've been here for over a year!

I'm so grateful for this new life I've made for myself. And proud of myself. I DID THIS!

What are you proud of?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

O my ....

Hello all!  I had an awesome workout yesterday! 45 minutes on the recumbant bike and a solid lower body strength training and abs routine.  I've been extremely lacking in strength training lately and I don't understand why I haven't been able to get my head back in that part of the game.  Sometimes it bothers my feet- but not always and I just tend to cling to that lame excuse and not even try anything.  I know that if I work on strength it will help with my foot recovery as well, but I just keep making excuses.  Well this is my second solid strength training workout in less than a week! My last one was Friday- so that's progress!

I'm gearing up for what will be a crazy, stressful, and extremely exhausting week.  I'm leaving for Phoenix, AZ tomorrow morning where I will be staying at the gorgeous JW Marriott resort for 7 days.

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Gorgeous, huh? Unlike my trip last year to Disney, I won't have a single day off while I'm there.  So, I have to make sure I find ways to fit in workouts even given earlier starts than usual.  We are facilitating or presenting in some way every day of the session- Monday-Friday.  Saturday and Sunday will be a little more relaxed because those will be practice days in jeans.  And the best thing about this trip is I'll be seeing an old high school friend when I fly in tomorrow!

Looks like I will need to get my butt in bed by 9, so I can get up at 4am to get a workout in!  I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that every early morning workout will be worth it and help me start my day on the right foot.  I just need to somehow get my butt in bed early enough to get some decent sleep.

I'm really proud of a solid 3.2 lb weight loss at WW this week!  I'm still about 10 lbs over my goal- but at least I'm not 15 lbs over goal anymore! lol!  That binge in Portland is behind me and I have every reason in the world to eat well on this trip.  Typically the food at these conferences are great and offer a lot of healthy options- and a fair share of unhealthy as well, so I have to be dedicated to making good choices and not taking the easy way out with just eating what is "ok."  Or, the trap I fall into often...eating a great meal, but then having dessert every meal..  It's so easy to do that at these conferences- and my health and waste line depends on me NOT doing that!  I can have dessert once or twice during the week, but not twice a day!

What tips do you have on getting to bed early?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On my way home

I haven't written in a while and it only seems appropriate to write an entry from the air, as I've done so often.   Something about being on a plane with my headphones on that almost forget I'm surrounded by strangers....almost.

It's been a busy and stressful week in Portland, OR.   When I come to Portland I'm lucky if I see day light while here.  It's all days inside at headquarters- typically 8am- 5pm at the office, but add in travel time before and after plus the team dinners every night and we are looking at a work day from 7am- 9pm every day.  Some nights we are done dinner earlier and I might be back in my room by 8pm.  Those are early nights- but late nights can get to be 10pm when I'm returning to my room.  Yeah.  I'm lucky I like my coworkers and that these type of weeks are rare and typically only happen a few times a year.  I actually calculated my total work time, including travel to and from Portland for this week.... and my week was roughly 82 hours....I think.  Good thing I like my job and this is not a regular week ;)

However sometimes these outings just plain suck....To understand the full suck-o-tude of Monday, you have to understand my day... Monday was a very long and very stressful day of teach backs using advanced facilitation skills.  In a nut shell, what I had to prepare for was a new rally that is typically 2-3 hours (that I have never facilitated before, only heard presented on a webinar, which is totally different) and I had to be ready to facilitate any 30 minute section of it- because I didn't find out my assignment until immediately before I facilitated.  And the advanced facilitation skills part?  Imagine as you are facilitating, you have a coach in the back with huge charts with things like "paraphrase, probe for more detail, empathy statement, reflective listening" written on them that she would point to.  So while I am facilitating, I have to keep her in the corner of my eye and then I had to make sure I worked in whatever she pointed to immediately or I would be stopped and I would redo.  Sound like the most terrifying thing in the world?  Kinda.  It was intense, and it is every time we do that- but I am proud to say that I KILLED IT.  Yeah!!

So on to Monday night...after this long day of 200% brain power we all go to this bar to unwind and have a social night- planned by the boss so the whole team is there.  I played some darts, which was fun....and then the reality of the situation came crashing down around me.  Not only were we in a bar- so just bar food- but they gave us a limited menu and they refused my ask of having a large salad with plain grilled chicken.  Their reason? Because it wasn't on the menu so they didn't have grilled chicken.  Who doesn't have grilled chicken?! I wasn't asking for a fresh caught lobster or a gourmet 5 course meal....just plain grilled chicken.  I almost throttled the waitress and then manager and then chose a turkey sandwhich instead with everything off it except veggies. It was literally the only thing on the menu that wasn't deep fried, a burger, or pizza.  I was certainly not the only one frustrated.

So you can probably guess what happened next...or maybe not...it took an hour for my sandwich to come out.  You think I'm exaggerating?  Afraid not.  I'm talking a turkey deli meat sandwich on a roll.  With a side salad.   Took 1 hour to be made.  So after a long day of eating well but not nearly enough, what happened? I started eating the only thing available and in front of me on the table- battered and deep fried portobello mushrooms.  Yeah.  Bad choice, I know.  It was either that or buffalo sauce drenched wings, nachos covered in cheese, or french fries.  So I went with the battered mushrooms and thoroughly enjoyed every terrible bite.

And then while I was waiting for my sandwich out came a pizza that looked amazing with artichokes, spinach, and mushrooms- so duh, I had a slice. or two...I'm honestly not even sure if I had 2 or 3 slices which means I was totally and completely out of control and in binge mode.  I think at that point I even had more battered mushrooms.  When my sandwich finally came out I should have been full enough to not eat it, right?  If you think I pushed it aside because I was already full, you don't quite understand what it is like to be a binger.  O yeah, I devoured that sandwich even though by the time I got back to my hotel room my stomach hurt so badly I was considering forcing myself to throw up.

You will be happy to know that I did not throw up- instead I put on my big girl pants- aka my gym clothes - and did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike.  Impressed? Looking back, me too! So for that day I did 1 hr total on the bike.  Every day this week I woke up  between 5-5:30 and did 35 minutes on the bike!  Some days I even did a little abs- I know, shocking!

And then on Friday I met up with an old Alpha Zeta friend that I met on a volunteer relief trip- and we went on a 2.5 mile walk/hike!  It was awesome to catch up with her, and I hope we can make this a regular occurrence each time I'm in Portland! It was a great way to end a really stressful week.

Unfortunately at this moment in time my feet hurt.   Sometimes life just isn't fair. I plan on taking the next 2 days off exercise, which shouldn't be hard because I have 0 time that isn't already committed.  I land in Baltimore around 4:15pm so should be home by 5:30 if I'm lucky.  I can't wait to see Adrian and Ding!! :D   Originally I had a Silpada party- but I just got word that she is bailing.  Not cool.  The day of- but it means I get to celebrate a friend's engagement!  Then some much needed time with my little family before collapsing in exhaustion and then Sunday is going to be INSANE.  I'm helping a friend with a party at 11:00, then have my own party at 1:00pm- both in Wilmington so a little over an hour from home.  And then...I board a flight to Indianapolis at 6:00pm out of BWI.  Yeah...I'm in MD for about 24 hours.  I will then be working outside of Indianapolis until I catch a flight home Wednesday night at 7:45pm.  Yeah..... during all that "free time" I have, I need to print out several presentations for next week that I will be going through to adjust content and pack a new bag for Indiana. For the record, the two parties were planned before my trip to Indiana....

What busy schedule are you looking at this week? Or just suffered through?  How did you handle it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013!

Wow, I'm a bad blogger...

I would love to say that one of my new years resolutions is to write on this more....but I honestly don't know if I can commit to that.  I would like to write more, but I don't know what "more" will look like.

2013 has been a very busy, exciting, and overall great year!  Adrian and I played the what great things happened in 2013 game on the way to our New Years Eve party last night....here are the top 10 major things we came up with that happened this year.  Pretty much in order...

1. I had tennis elbow surgery #1- January 8th- way to start the year off with a bang! Ding is so little in this picture! O, how he's grown!

2. I declared my WW goal weight!!  and reached LIFETIME with Weight Watchers!!

3. We had an awesome time in Disney!  This was made possible because I was there for a work conference and Adrian joined me for some fun together! I love my job!

4. We bought a house!!

5. I was on TV!  Yeah....pretty amazing, check it out if you haven't yet!

6.  I had my second tennis elbow surgery- August 27th.  Ding has grown so much since my first surgery!

7.   I had some awesome moments in my career, including the opportunity to spend at week at the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY for a work summit. It was incredible and I got to some awesome things like: bobsledding, skeleton, and curling. Just to name a few!

8.  I was an outrider at Fair Hill International on Dancer! It was incredible, made even better because my mom and I rode together. The picture below is from Dressage day- first time I've been able to attend and it was great!

9. Adrian and I saw Pearl Jam live for the first time, and hopefully not last time, when they played in Baltimore!  It was great to experience with our friends as well- Tanya and Jen A.

10. I became a Silpada Designs Rep! I've loved their jewelry since I first got a piece at a fundraiser and decided to help support our home repair efforts further by making it a fun second job!  Check out my website!

What a great, and challenging year as well.  I was plagued with lots of injury recovery, from surgery recovery to recovery from foot pain- which I'm still working on.  I've also struggled with my over eating addiction, especially around the holidays.  My goals for next year are centered around losing the 10 lbs I've gained since getting my foot injury and feeling more in control of my food addiction.  I am strong, hear me roar!

What awesome thing happened to you in 2013? Share!