A Letter from a Reader and an NSV

Last night, I went to my Thursday night Candlelight Yoga class... Seriously, this class is my favorite part of any week.  The instructor always has a unique message to share with us and it’s just a great way to let go of the week and honor yourself.  If you’re a Colorado reader, seriously… there are a lot of candlelight classes all over the city.  Find one, and go!!!!  So amazing!

I’m still working to perfect my half moon. I can only do one side… I guess, I’m more of a quarter moon still. (Source)

Walking into my class today, I had a realization and an NSV that I wanted to share with you guys, but it also tied back to a question from a reader.  So, I figured I would combine the two stories…

Hi Kelly!
I am a good friend of (one of your sorority sisters) from college; she told me about your blog and I love it!! I am also trying to lose weight and I have a question for you. I was hesitant to ask because it’s personal but my friend said you wouldn’t mind:) when you lost all your weight did you have a lot of loose skin? I am so afraid of that! You don’t look like it at all but I was just wondering:) 

I thought this was a GREAT question.  It was something that I’d wondered about before I started to lose my weight.  Would my body bounce back??  I’d carried about 100 extra pounds on my frame for years.  To make matters worse, I’d lost and gained and lost and gained and lost and gained… my skin is probably exhausted at this point.

So, what gives?  Here is the answer I sent over to this lovely reader:

Overall, I’m VERY lucky.  And, I definitely don’t mind the personal question.  I sort of see it as part of the process…  So, I have a few spots that I’m not nuts about, but I’m not giving in to plastic surgery. I’m pretty sure I can tone them up by working out/building muscle.

I carry my weight in my thighs/hips/butt and apparently in my upper arms (geesh). I’m not a huge fan of my left inner thigh now… I think it looks sorta saggy and my triceps are also sort of flappy (if you will).

What I would ultimately suggest is to begin weight training IMMEDIATELY. I hated working out, so I waited until I was about 65-70 lbs gone. Yeah, not the smartest of ideas. I think that is my prob. I definitely try to target the areas now through strength training. I think you can combat it that way or at least minimize as much as possible!

I wrote this response several months ago…

And, I just CAN’T share pictures of my bod that are that detailed.  No need to gross you nice people out… but I’ll tell you about the progress I’ve seen in the past few months.

My Arms:  They’re looking better.  Not great, but better.  The bicep definition is definitely quicker to develop than the tricep area (which will always be a problem, I have a feeling)

Belly:  If I would only do crunches… I know this situation would be a lot better.  Still I’ve lost 15 inches in that area… so I don’t stress on it so much.  One of these days I’ll start working that area.  Yoga works it a little bit, but I could use a little more.

I’ll never have these thighs… and frankly, it’s ok.
(Source)

Thighs:  Holy hannah – - My thighs have been a-changing!  A few fun things… and I share these because it’s REAL, so bear with me.  My thighs used to be VERY full and frankly they’re still thick (and will likely always be.)  But… maybe you should sit down for this…. and let’s keep this between us friends.

They No Longer Rub Together When I Walk

 

I wish I knew exactly when this happened… but I just noticed it last night.  No more swishiness of my slacks rubbing together, no more strange wearing of certain fabrics that couldn’t stand the friction, and I can almost sneak up on people!  That’s my Non-Scale Victory of the month… and one I’m VERY proud of.  Also, that saggy-ish area I reference above – - GONE!

Now, don’t let me confuse you… they still touch, but the constant rubbing together and extra flesh has disappeared.  I still have a lot more leg work to do, but results… we’re seeing results!

I honestly attribute it to my Couch to 5K Training, all the yoga I do, and just walking.  It’s an amazing feeling!!!  It’s also motivating to see results like this and makes me want to tone more… lift more weights and just get the rest of the bod in order.

I love when little things you never thought would happen become a reality.

Just another sweet moment in my little life.  Happy Friday, my dears!

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WOW: Jodi’s Race for Awareness 2012

The 5K….. It happened!  After months and months of preparation and even making it one of my new year’s resolutions, it’s now completely over.  After all this time working up to the race, you might have thought that I spent the night before resting and putting out my clothes so I was all ready to go in the morning.

Do you know me?  Do you even read this blog?

If you do, you KNOW I didn’t do that.  Somehow, I ended up having a delicious Asian dinner with a friend and two glasses of wine!  Two is my maximum on a Friday night after a long week of work.  And two is usually just enough for me to come home and go directly to bed (without collecting $200 dollars.)  I’m a total lightweight, and wine makes me sleepy.

Good news is that I was in bed by about 10pm; the bad news was that I didn’t really have anything ready for the race the next morning… including my mind.

Just the same, when that alarm went off at 5:30am, I popped out of bed and began the process of getting ready.  This race was about achieving a goal.  This race was about my friend Bev.  This race… well, it was scaring the crap out of me.

In fact, I was in a rush to get out the door.  As I was driving down the interstate, I realized that I had forgotten deodorant??  On a day when I was about to run/walk more than 3 miles.  Really?  In my defense, I had waited to put it on last… because our team shirts were black and the last thing I wanted was a crazy white smear.  Little did I know I’d walked out of the house without any deo.  Classic KG.

Thank goodness there was a gas station or two on the way to the park.  At 6:30am, there’s just not many other options, and frankly… you don’t get to choose your scent that early in the morning.  As punishment for the wine indulgence the night before, I got to smell like baby powder on Saturday morning.  Lovely.

Stinky Baby Powder Scented Secret from Conoco

When I got to the park, this was one of the first things I saw…

How gorgeous is City Park in Denver?

What a beautiful serene backdrop for this fantastic walk!  Also, I could see in the distance that there were a LOT of tents that had been put up for the event.  This, I loved.  This is just the 3rd year that Jodi’s Race has been in place, so to see it grow exponentially is exciting.  I can’t wait to see it next year!

I know I’ve mentioned the details before, but I’ll do it again for those of you who are new to NTTC.  Jodi’s Race for Awareness is a 5K Run/Walk that supports the education and elimination of Ovarian Cancer.  For the 2nd year, we walk/run for my friend Bev who won the fight with ovarian cancer last year.

As I got closer to the event registration booths and vendor booths, I quickly found that fabulous Team Bev (or at least those who had assembled under our cool tent.)

Isn't that a great looking team?

Let me brag on Team Bev for just a minute… 

1)  Our team had 38 members.  Yes, you heard me right… THIRTY-EIGHT!  That’s HUGE!

2)  Team Bev raised more than $1400 for Ovarian Cancer education and awareness.

3)  Our fearless team leader Bev was going through chemo last year during the race, but RAN THE ENTIRE thing this year.  How freaking inspiring is that??

Once a sorority girl, always a sorority girl

Now, we spent a little bit of time taking pics and visiting before the race, but very quickly the announcer began to lure us over to the starting line.  And THIS is when I started to get nervous.  I was about to run a race??  Holy crap!

We assembled ourselves near the starting line and waited for the action to begin.  Interestingly, just about everyone that was doing the race was suddenly going to try to run it.  IMPRESSIVE!

Yeah, that's a nervous smile on yours truly

As the race began, I had a lot of energy and was just excited to get things going!  I even suggested we conduct the 5K in a skip… but it didn’t really seem to catch on.  Alas, we started to pound the pavement.

Here we go...

Now, the majority of my training had been indoors via treadmill, so the ground definitely was a change.  Just the same, I ran with Bev and we talked the majority of the time.  We talked about the weather, about how we should do cooler white shirts next year, about how last year walking the 1-mile was about all I had in me… and we talked about my crazy breathing.

I am not a good breather.  I wonder if it’s because I’m a Colorado transplant (although I’ve been here 5 years) that hasn’t quite acclimated.  I also wonder if it’s punishment for smoking for 10 years (even though I’m more than 8 years quit.)  Regardless, all I know… if I’m running, my breathing kicks my butt.

Not too long after we started, I went to a very fast walk.  When I say a very fast walk… Bev and others were running at the same pace.  My little legs were WORKING it.  They were swinging as fast as they could to keep up and to finish this race with pride.

#499 was walking this thing with a vengeance!

After walking and running what seemed like 5K, we arrived at the 1-mile marker.  I seriously can’t even believe how long that 1st mile was.  On the treadmill when I’m watching Khloe and Lamar or Top Chef it seems to go by so much quicker.  Bizarre…

Just the same, we powered through mile 1 and mile 2, and finally reached mile 3.  Did I mention that Bev (of Team Bev fame) didn’t stop running for one minute??  She mentioned to me on the trek that her groin was killing her, but she refused to stop.  Along the race path, her family and friends had spread out to cheer her on (LOVED this) and she didn’t even stop as she gave hugs and received that moral support.

Seriously, she’s definitely a rockstar.  So incredibly impressive

As we turned the corner at mile 2.5, we saw our friend Mel coming back into the race to finish up the run with Bev.  I mentioned Mel a few days ago… she’s training for an ironman, and is one of my favorites!

We agreed that when I got to the 3-mile marker, I would begin running again.  So, that’s exactly what I did… I had a big start, a mediocre middle, and a HUGE finish.  It felt great to finish up the race in a run again.  Running underneath a finish sign is definitely something I hadn’t done since grade school.

In the end, I felt good about it all.  In the end, the race was about friends and about achieving a personal goal.  I’m going to put a check mark next to the box, even if I didn’t end up running the whole thing.  I tried something new that I never thought I could do, and it turns out I have a preference.  I prefer to walk than run.  So, I’m going to walk…

I’m going to walk many more miles.  I’m going to walk fast and I’m still going to spend time on that treadmill.  I may never be a runner, but I’ll never be that girl that chooses the one-mile over the 5K (unless it’s in the 40s and raining.)

Our fabulous and cancer-free captain!

I’m going to walk more 5Ks this year, and I’m going to get out there and walk with my friends next year for this great cause.  Together, we raised $1400 for Ovarian Cancer Awareness, and we honored our friend in a way that means so much.  Overall, I’d say it was a phenomenal day.

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WOW: The 5K Approaches

For the past several months, I have been in training for a 5K.  I even declared I would be running a 5K on my resolutions list for the year… and so far, I’ve kept all of my resolutions!

I had these visions of how cool it would be to be a runner.  Wow… I think of all these other bloggers that run their little hearts out and how much they love it.  I mean, I could love it like that too, right?  I mean, Lynne loves it so much that she can’t wait to begin again.  And, Monica?  She just traveled across the country to run in a relay.  I seriously could go on for days about how many Healthy Living Bloggers are running up a storm.

I also have a ton of real-life friends who love it.  They claim to find it relaxing and freeing.  My friend Natalie loves to kill it on the treadmill; Donna‘s run a half.  I even have a friend training for an Ironman right now.  I mean, Mel is uh-mazing… and she’s totally going to do it.

I’m surrounded by runners!

So, considering all that contact with fast-moving folks, why am I just not into it?

I’m FOUR days away from Jodi’s Race for Awareness… and I don’t feel ready at all.  Mentally or physically.  The biggest issue I have is that I haven’t figured out my breathing.  The crazy part is that my legs are good.  No knee issues, my ankles don’t complain.  My breathing, on the other hand, gets strained really quickly and then I get nervous.  I push as long as I can, but often find myself walking after a period of about 5 minutes.

Knowing my physical limitations, I’m pretty sure that I am going to be doing some walking on Saturday.  In my head, I’m also thinking that I might be HIGHLY motivated by the crowd and inspired by the energy at the park.  I’m hoping that’s the case.  Sincerely hoping that’s the case.

(source)

I’m not very good at failure.  And, I’m HORRIBLE at hearing other people comment on my failure (i.e. “Didn’t you say you were going to run this?  Wasn’t this your idea?”)  Now, I’m going to try EVERYTHING in my person to make sure that I’m successful with this run… but I’m just putting it out there as a warning:  There may be a little walking.

When I think about Jodi’s Race year over year… there’s so much to be excited about.

  • My friend Bev is cancer-free!!!!!
  • I’m down about 25 lbs since the last race.
  • I’m in MUCH better physical shape this year.
  • I would have NEVER even considered running this 5K a year and a half ago.
  • Did I mention my friend Bev is cancer-free??
I had a quick chat with my yoga instructor this morning about the race.  Her suggestion was to do a meditation the morning of the race and the day before as well.  I think I’m going to do one every day leading up to the 5K.  A lot of running is mental, and I want to be in the best mental condition for this challenge.

(Source)

No matter how it goes, I look forward to sharing the details with you guys post-race.

Many of you have offered your tips, your motivation, and your encouragement over time.  Now, I need to just get out there and do it.  If you remember, please send me some happy thoughts on Saturday morning (7am PST)… For every one you send, it’ll be like you’re there with me pushing through this challenge!!

Let’s do this!

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Happy Holiday Weekend

I am soooo looking forward to the holiday weekend.  With my new job, I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d get Memorial Day off due to the nature of our industry, but was incredibly pleased to hear that I would have a THREE-DAY weekend this weekend!

First thing I did was check for flights.

You know me, I like to travel and I thought this might be a great opportunity to go see a new baby that I still haven’t met in Tennessee or to visit Beth, my brother and the kiddos (who live on the other side of the world.)  The airlines definitely knew that this would be a popular weekend for getaways, so it’s no wonder flights were $400+.  Sadly, that meant no trip East for me.

But that’s actually TOTALLY OK!

Keep in mind... Frontier was STILL the cheapest for holiday weekend airfare. What a great Colorado airline!!!

I have been looking forward to this long weekend since Sunday.  Not only does my pool at my complex open, but I only have a few fun things on my schedule for the weekend.  Think hair appointment, think lots of yoga, and spending time with friends.  I’m so excited!  AND… not setting the alarm (except on Saturday so that I can go see Meggan to get my hair done and drink delicious coffee.)

COFFEE:

HOLD UP:  Have I ever told you guys about Dazbog?  Dazbog Coffee is a little piece of Northern Colorado heaven.

Now, we have Dazbog in Denver, but the Dazbog to the north knows how coffee should be made.  And they get it done like none other.  Check out this bad boy…

There really are no words, but I'm going to try...

That’s the should-be-famous blended drink that they call the BRAIN DAMAGE.  Brain Damage is like the best Frappuccino you’ve ever had in your life.  It’s not made with a mix, but with real ingredients… and can be made nonfat and sugar free.  Oh wait, here’s the best part… it’s mocha-fabulous and has GROUND CHOCOLATE COVERED ESPRESSO BEANS IN IT!!!!   PS… they even have sugar-free whipped cream (not that I ever get it, but it’s an option!)

Colorado Readers:  They make Brain Damage at the franchises that are in Loveland and Fort Collins.  RUN (don’t walk) and get yourself one… insane.  My hairdresser is still in Ft. Collins, and I get my hair done often just so I can drink this stuff…

All that coffee talk makes me think of my friend Angela.  She too loooooooves the Brain Damage and was introduced on her first trip to Colorado.  Actually, I think she may have introduced ME!  Ang – you need to come back out so we can go get one soon, ok?  We’ll make the special trip to Fort Collins this time.  It’s worth it. :)

DRESS RETRIEVAL:

Also this weekend, I get to go pic up my bridesmaid’s dress for Angela’s wedding tomorrow.  It had to get altered.  The only guidance Angela offered for dress selection were:  1)  Make it black and 2)  Make it something you’ll wear again.  So… here is what I picked.  Prepare yourself, it’s fabulous!  That’s a vertical bow on the right hip.  Yep, amazing!

I had to have the straps taken up, thus the weird pinched shoulders... that's just pinning.

I found the dress pretty quickly at Nordstroms (thank goodness!)… and it was a FANTASTIC shopping experience.  The girl who helped me was AWESOME and offered an opinion when I needed them.  She even took some pics for me… so nice.  Now, I just need shoes.  Hmmmm…..

RUNNING:

I also have some running planned for the weekend.  Can you believe that my 5K is just a week away??  I honestly can’t either.  Now, I’ve been running a bit over the past few months… but I’m not nearly trained enough.  Just the same, I’m hoping that the momentum of the race and all the other runners will propel me along.  Surely that will work, right??

I sincerely wish I could just do yoga as my training…

MOVIES:

Last piece of plans… I’m going to go see some movies this weekend!  There are so many out that I want to see (Translation:  Ones that have been out for a while that I haven’t gotten to.)  So, I think I’m going to see Hunger Games and The Lucky One (finally!)  Looking forward to both VERY much!

Speaking of movies… Have you seen this preview for The Great Gatsby??  Going to have to see this one, and somehow I’ll need to wait until Christmas to see it??

Oh, that was really random folks… just the same, I’m wishing you all a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable holiday weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend??

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