Anybody Out There?

Is there anyone still out there?  Apparently there are still a few of you out there lurking, looking for me.  Yes I am still here.  Lurking, living, surviving… I can’t really recall anything I have written… and I am guessing if you read in google reader you don’t recall the last thing I wrote! So here is a stream of thought from my mind to your eyeballs!  

For those of you that have seen me during this holiday season, I thank you.  You saw me through one of the very darkest times of year for me.  You will hear me say over and over again I don’t do well at holidays.  Too many years of being told “Way to go, you just ruined X.”  X being whatever holiday it was, be it Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even Easter a few times. 

I can recall a few happy traditions from the holidays.  I sat in the mall at Rosedale this year waiting for my dear friend Jenn, sipping coffee and chatting on twitter about holiday traditions and remembered about getting a clementine in my stocking every year.  I still take part in the clementine, or orange in my stocking tradition, even if I don’t get myself a stocking.  You will always find a bag of clementines in my fridge this time of year.  You will also find some cherry chapstick, or Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. This year I bought a chocolate mint flavored one!  MmM! It is like girl scout cookies without all the guilt! 

I trudged through Thanksgiving, taking my own food.  As many of you know I planned to do this for a long time.  After my food poisoning bout it was definitely a safer route knowing what my tummy would tolerate. I was not however prepared to feel the way that I did at dinner.  I felt as though I was being scrutinized for my decisions.  I felt (feeling words here, I am allowed to feel) that bringing my own food was not welcomed but i need to do what I need because not taking my own needs into consideration is what got me into trouble in the first place) I did take food to share, and people very much enjoyed my green beans with caramelized red pearl onions and balsamic vinegar.  They were certainly no traditional green bean casserole but they were a nice change of pace from the normal heavy sides that go with dinner.

The trip east to visit my parents… There are no words to describe how bad some points of this trip were.  I will leave it at that.  There were however some amazing highlights!  I got to see my Aunts from my mom’s side of the family which was awesome!  Even better was the day (the entire day!!) that I got to spend with my Aunt Paulette!  Ever since I was a tyke she and I had a special bond.  As I have gotten older we haven’t been able to spend as much time together.  She is a busy woman with an amazing career and I have been living a crazy life at one point 100+ miles away and now in another state. 

We spent a while chatting and catching up, then lunch in the mountains, and shopping and dinner.  It was amazing.  Spending time with her made me realize that while there is so much bad in my life from that whole area, there is some good that I can look back and find.  Shopping trips after christmas were always with Paulette.  I look forward to planning many trips back, to match with her schedule so that we can work on our bond together. 

Back here in the real world, Christmas was fast approaching.  Cookies were being baked… probably close to 30-dozen or more came out of my oven this year.  Food is love where I come from.  Or more specifically, this is how I can show my appreciation for people.  I took cookies to co-workers and friends.  I tried to stay busy.  I shopped, and wrapped, and prayed for no snow.  I did my job, and busied myself with lots of outings with friends. 

I tried to ignore the fact that Christmas is a holiday.  I try to treat it as if it were any other day.  I bought my Christmas ham as soon as they went on sale.  In Minnesota we are a Turkey on Christmas house, I grew up as a ham on Christmas person… so this year it was both.  A Turkey and a Ham on Christmas… with lots of leftovers frozen off. 

My December calendar looked much like my July.  Packed to the gills with gatherings of friends.  Avoidance of feelings perhaps.  Sushi or coffee, or walks around the mall.  Movies or outings any reason at all.  Any excuse not to feel the feelings that surround the holiday. Not to feel the hurt that is in those wounds that sit there.

A few days before Christmas an angel was sent to remind me that the holidays aren’t so bad.  I was in Target when a friend spotted me near the entrance.  He once again invited me over for Christmas.  December 24th.  I had to work my normal 4p-4a shift.  I respectfully declined, I needed my sleep.  We walked and talked for the better part of an hour.  I was reminded of how important it is to be with people who care about you, and how important this person truly is in my life.  I dropped my purchases off at home and spent the next few hours with him doing some last-minute shopping around St Paul.  Christmas eve morning, he called again to invite me to dinner, and I said okay.

So December 24th I went to dinner, with my family, the family you get to pick.  The family I choose, the ones that matter, the ones that warm my heart and lift my spirits.  The family that seems to always know the right thing to say, even when they are booger and fart jokes.  I went off to work filled with love. The rest of the weekend I rode on the high I was given by my friends that lifted my spirits.

The New Year is nearly upon us now. That means new things for me!  Did you know I will be starting a new position at my job?  That’s right! On January 2 I will be starting at 8:00am.  Day Shift?! Normal Hours?! I will have to do things like Pack a Lunch, Schedule Workouts, Sleep Normal Hours.  Oh My Goodness! 

I think this is actually the piece of the puzzle I have been looking for.  I kept trying to get a piece to click, one piece of the puzzle needed to slide into place for me to get my life to slide onto the tracks to move faster in the right direction.  Guess what folks, the bullet train is about to head off on the fast track! 

I am excited and nervous about my job.  It is with the same company, doing relatively the same job, but with more responsibility etc.  So it is definitely a positive thing.  Plus no more Zombie-Kris at the PriorFatGirl events!  Plus… Weekends Off!  It will take some getting used to as everyone at work adjusts to getting the scheduling worked out, but this shall be exciting.

That’s all for now… work duties call!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Off To The Races!
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This morning I will be taking part in my first annual Thanksgiving 5k.  I will be making this a reoccurring part of my future holiday plans.  I feel that it is important to start these traditions as part of my healthy life.  I love that I get to spend my morning with my friends since I don’t get to spend the dinner portion of my night with them.

I just wanted to take a moment to say Thank You to everyone that stops by my blog, thank you for your support along my journey!  Thank you for being here with me.  I am so thankful to have such a great support system with my friends here in blog-world and on twitter and Facebook.  I am also so blessed to have such an amazing community here in Minnesota.  Without Jen over at www.priorfatgirl.com I dont think that I would have such a far reaching support system.

I am also thankful for the #f2fpack, they were there with me, through my first 5k all those months ago.  We all have our ups and downs and we keep trucking on through our journeys!

I am also thankful for the Charities Challenge and Gary Westlund in particular for being so amazing and supportive of those of us trying to make exercise a part of our lives.  If you are in the Twin Cities (or are coming into town) this is an AMAZING group to do a race with and I highly encourage you to.  They celebrate everyone finishing, because there are those of us for whom finishing really is a victory alone!

I am thankful this year that I continue to make the choice to keep being healthy in the face of negativity and criticism.  I am strong in my convictions and that I have found my voice.

I am most thankful that I am finally regaining my life and health.

I hope everyone has a spectacular day whether it is spent with family or friends, whether you eat a Turkey or Tofurky (yum!)! remember today isn’t about the food, it is about giving thanks for how blessed your life is.

Weekend in a Flash

So as I posted Sauturday I went to the #PFGMeetup! It was *awesome*  I am so blessed to live so close to so many amazing people.  Even before the meeting got started my day started out phenominally because a few of the ladies and I went out to breakfast!  I parked 2 blocks away from the diner close to the coffee shop figuring that the walk would do me some good to get my blood flowing that early in the morning.  As I walked up to the diner I thought about a time in my life when I would never have even contemplated parking even half a block away from where I needed to go let alone intentionally parking 2 blocks away!  I smiled as the sun beamed down on me and I walked up the sidewalk in that crisp morning air.

As we sat looking over the menu at the Uptown Diner in Minneapolis, things like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough pancakes and Kamakazie French Toast looked awesome… however we are all members of the #fat2fitpack not the fit2fatpack so all those options were removed from the table.  (Truth be told, if anyone actually wanted those things it wold have been okay, but really do you want that sitting in your gut all morning? No!)  I ended up with an egg white scramble with veggies in it, and a side of fresh fruit.  It was really good, I topped it with sriracha and franks red hot, because I am a hot sauce junkie!  I just love it on eggs, and well most everything.  A few other things that ended up on the table included hearty oatmeal, and an egg white florentine omelet.

The five of us had smaller side conversations, and bigger group conversations, it was super low key and awesome to be surrounded by amazing healthy people.  My wish for the future of the weightloss and blogging community is that people find eachother the way that Jen, a priorfat girl has helped to bring the people here in the city together, and also the way the #f2fpack has brought people together as well.

The actual #PFGMeetup had an awesome turnout!  I saw people who truly looked like they had been through a reinvention from last month.  It is amazing when you see someone that has grabbed onto the zest for life and is embracing the changes.  We talked about all kinds of things, from how to handle the holiday meal, (Thanksgiving in particular, but the tips, tricks, and trends carry through all eating holidays) to upcoming races.  W had large group discussions and smaller group mingling.

I talked about all the cooking I have done recently in preperation for staying on track for Thanksgiving.  I brough along one of my desserts, a tried and true successful crustless pumpkin pie that I have made the last few years.  It went over well.  It is in the Hungry Girl Recipe book as Wayne’s Punpkin Smash but I will share it here with you incase you tried it and would like to make it for your holiday feast!
Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:
One 15-oz. can Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
One 12-oz. can Evaporated Fat-free Milk
1/2 cup fat-free Liquid Egg Substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Place mixture in a baking dish (8″ X 8″ works well but you can cook it in a pie plate) sprayed lightly with nonstick spray, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. (It will remain a little soft, like pie filling.)

Once ready to serve (hot or cold), cut into 9 pieces. MAKES 9 SERVINGS (Store leftovers in the fridge)

After the meetup technically ended (noon-ish) Kat, Runa, Amanda & I chatted outside the coffee shop for a while.  Eventually Kat, Runa and I decided to take the chat to a lunch meeting, and headed off for lunch at Punch Pizza.  I don’t usually do pizza, so this was an awesome treat for me!  I savored every bite and enjoyed the conversation.  I finally parted with my Meetup company for the day around 5pm.  It had been a long day.  I didn’t want it to end.  The conversations always seem to just flow and the hours dissapear when I am with these people.  It rocks!

Sunday was less exciting, much sleep was had, my knee felt like someone inflated a balloon inside of it.  I am unsure what is up with that, the rest of me is in qite a bit of pain as well.  My #c25k run did not happen.  I have learned to respect my body and not push when these things start happening.  In doing so I figured out I have been edging into a flare for a few days.  I haven’t had one in a while… atleast not one like this.  My body is swollen, physically.  my joints (ankles in particular) are seperating.  I did go workout Monday morning in the pool.  I am afraid to stop moving.  I worry if I stop I will never start again.

My friends have been amazing at reaching out to me to find out if I need anything.  The support from everyone has been better than anything else.  Knowing I am not alone, and not being able to forget that helps a lot.  I am not throwing a pity party over this.  I am throwing an #itGetsBetter party so to speak.  I am resting, and pushing myself to move even though it hurts.  I am tracking my food, and doing what I need to to stay on track.

No one said this was going to be easy.  So this week… we take it one day at a time, and see what I can accomplish.

Now a few photos from my weekend…

veggieCurry

Vegetarian Curry

CoconutWaterVeggieCurry

Sobe Coconut water *thumbs up!*

BreakfastCrew

Breakfast Club... but Better!

PFGmeetupgroup1

#PFGMeetup Discussion

KrisandMel

Kris and Mel being... weird

KrisandJen

Me, Future Priorfatgirl and Jen, a PriorFatGirl

(Last photo, of Jen and I was taken by Jen, and is her property! But I totally stole it to put up here cuz we are mega-cute!)

The Words Get In The Way

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

So how many of us have stuck our foot in our mouths on more than one occasion in our lives?  Said something to someone only to realize that it didn’t come out the way you intended, or it was misunderstood.  The english language is difficult, I can only imagine the same things happens all over the world in every language.  to err is human and we all make mistakes.

Lately I have found that I am struggling more than I have before to simply string words together in a way to ensure I am not going to offend someone on their own blogs.  I have friendships offline with several of the commenters on my blog.  We have done coffee or dinner, or even just shared our personal stories in a room full of people.

I read others thoughts and stories on their blogs, and it is indeed like peeking into their diary!  Opening up your life to strangers and friends alike letting them share in your successes and failures, your struggles and worries is so difficult at times.  So where my issue lies is knowing when to hold them up and when to push them forward.

With my friends, those who I see regularly, or converse with at least fairly often I can get a good sence of their limits and just how far I can push without being *that* person.  In my mind I picture a child on a swing set, and I am the person behind them willing to help get them started, and willing to give them that push to help keep them going when it gets tough and you are tired.  I want to help them keep going! How do I learn to do this with those that I do not yet know so well?  How do I learn to balance the support with the push.

Time and again I have heard things from people who when they have “given up” or nearly given up that I come along at just the right time with the right thing to say.  That little push, nudge or reminder is just the right thing.  I enjoy that, that I can do… where I struggle is when I see someone who is perpetually rehashing the same issues over and over again and not forming a plan to overcome them.  I know I can’t fix the worlds problems, but I want to try, I want to show people the door! I neer know whether I should keep telling them, oh keep trying you’ll get it, it will be okay, or put on my suck it up princess hat and kick them in the ass!

It is a tough road to walk.  Words can be like tiny knives cutting someone down, or cutting away the ropes that bind them to their old habits and setting them free.  So as I sit with windows open in my browser unsure of what to say, I am reminded by friends that perhaps when you can’t find the words, letting someone know that you are there is just enough.

So my dear friends… I am still out there… reading and searching for the right words to build you up, and make you strong.

#c25k Cult

So for those that have followed my blog for a while you remember the launch of the pack, we tag on twitter as #f2fpack now, back in the day we were the #priorfatpack.  We did a 5k together back on Memorial Day… it was a long time ago.

Prior to memorial day I had started to train with a #c25k app on my iPod to get ready for the 5k run.  I pushed so hard to try to get ready for that run and my body just wasn’t having any parts of it.  I went back to training again after that 5k and pushed for the Fathers Day 5k… and again my body rejected my advances.  Every time I pushed to try to move past week 3 my body was shutting down.

On this journey I have learned many things.  One of which is I don’t quit things anymore.  So once again I started pushing myself through the #c25k starting again with week 3.  Guess what?  I have been making progress!  Not only have I made it through week 3, I passed through week 4 and I am working the week 5 program right now!  Thursday morning will be my first “no walk” day.  20 minutes are on tap.  It would be a lie if I said I am not scared of that run.  I mean, the though of twenty minutes of running is terrifying!  I guess I just need to make sure I have some good music loaded up and that I don’t watch the clock.  I think that has been the biggest positive thing lately, not watching the clock as I run my intervals.  That and remembering to puff on my albuterol before I go to the gym, without that stuff I am in trouble.

I hadn’t really looked ahead in the #c25k program to see what was coming up so finding out I had a 20 minute run this week came as a bit of a shock!  Up until now most of the weeks had been the same intervals over and over again… for well weeks at a time… I redid week three so many times… SO MANY times.  There is nothing wrong with repeating weeks is what I am told.  There is no set rules for how this works.

At this point I have given myself over to the program.  It almost feels a bit like a cult.  I don’t ask why things are the way they are, I accept the program the way it is.  I know that there are reasons why I have a 20 minute run Thursday and then Sunday’s run will be intervals again.  Why ask why?  When I tweeted about the run and mildly questioning the run I did hear that many training programs have longer workouts one day and then it backs off the next.  I also was told that this is the turning point of the program… this is where you find out that you can run.  Well I figured that out last week when I ran my mile!

I have an upcoming 5k on the books, it isn’t the big Thanksgiving 5k through downtown Minneapolis I am planning to do the Charities Challenge Thanksgiving Day Giving Thanks 5k. I really am torn because I want to do both races.  I really would love to spend the morning with my friends downtown because I have never done a race there, however I know there are like 10,000 people signed up for that race and we won’t be sticking together, and I wouldn’t want to.  I never want to hold anyone back.  The CC group is just amazing, they celebrate everyone crossing the finish line because it is a goal just to finish for some of us.  I am so thankful for them this year so it is only appropriate that I spend Thanksgiving with them.

I will likely join CC for the Christmas and New Year run’s as well.  Nothing set in stone, finances will be a determining factor as will the weather and my overall health by then.  I am excited to be moving forward with my jogging though.  I am happy to be an actual athlete, or stating to feel like one.  Slowly, one step at a time I am changeing, creating my new self from the lump of clay I was given.

A Year in Blogging

So I will make this short…

Today is the One Year Anniversary of my blog.

It is time to put on my big girl pants and keep working towards my goal. Wait… what was that? You want to see those big girl pants? Okay!

Keep working hard, being amazing and good things will happen! Remember that “The difference between where you are and where you want to be is your commitment to getting there.” ~Michael Clapier

Did The Orange Monster Get You Yet?

Gossamer and Bugs Bunny in Hair-Raising Hare.

Monster On Your Back

So You made it through the last week at your office, resisting the brownies topped with candycorns. You avoided those mello-creme pumpkins right, because what exactly is that stuff?Did you run the Monster dash Saturday morning? 5k, Half-marathon, marathon? If you did I want you to give yourself a big high-5! I wished that any of the costumed 5k events in the twin cities had been on a Saturday this year because I would have loved to come out to do one of them. Sadly my job didn’t allow for switching around this weekend to get my run on. Did Saturday night prove to be harder? Did you party with friends and have a beer or two and then a slice of pizza? How about those tiny candy bars? Chips, popcorn, pretzels? I hope you managed to avoid those tricks!

So Sunday is upon us right? We are almost through this blasted sugar fueled holiday weekend right? What are you doing today to keep yourself from breaking into that candy for the trick-or-treaters. Are you refraining from buying candy at all? Have you waited until the last moment and are picking it up on the way home from work tomorrow? Are you going to be that one house on the block that gives our raisins? By the way, I loved your house as a kid! (Although I hear that sets you up to get egged which I don’t understand). I live in an apartment building, and since I moved here in 2005 not a single soul has knocked on my door. I have candy in the house, I almost always have candy in the house. Luckily I am not super into chocolate, it isn’t one of my trigger foods. I have had the same bag of Milky Way Simply Caramel bars for a while. They are about 100 calories a piece. I don’t have to feel guilty having a piece here or there as long as I am tracking what I eat.I also find it helpful to keep a copy of Hungry Girl’s Halloween candy guide 2011 around this time of year just incase I decide to indulge in a piece or two and know what I am in for. It isn’t a comprehensive list, and let’s be honest we aren’t really shoving that much candy into our mouths are we because we know just how long it takes to work off 100 calories in the gym! Remember once those kids are done ringing your doorbell on Monday night it is time to get rid of that candy if it truly is a temptation for you! There are a lot of options that don’t include making yourself a dumpster. You can cover the candy in dishsoap if you have to if that is the only way to keep you from eating it. There is also the ever popular take it to work which only increases the temptation to eat it there. You can also look around in your area for places to donate it! Locally there is a dentist buying kids candy for $1.00/pound, you can donate your candy there. Many homeless shelters, and women’s shelters will take that candy too, some schools might even take it. Another option is to donate it to our military. I know over the years I have sent countless bags of leftover candy that I collected to our troops overseas. Some is consumed but it is often distributed to people in the areas they are in to help form better relationships. Not a bad way to get rid of something you don’t really want around right?So I hope you all continue to be strong through the remainder of the kickoff of the “eating holidays” I make my return to the gym today for Week5 Day1 of #c25k today… first run since my 1mile victory. I am scared but not terrified. Should be an awesome thing to keep seeing my improvement.

Happy Halloween!
Tigger2011