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Posted on Jan 5, 2012 in Dear Diary, Races | 30 comments

The Plan

Making the New Year’s Resolution (or any resolution, or goal, or intention, or insert-synonym-here) is the first step. Making a plan to actually follow through with said resolution is the second step. Actually following through with that plan? That’s the hard part.

As you’ve seen, I’ve really been trying to get my eating back into gear over the past few days. Calorie counting is back in full force, along with primarily home-cooked and brought-from-home meals. We are all aware, however, that eating is only half the battle. Unfortunately, it’s time for me to face the music with that other pesky part of this weight loss game:

Excitement?

Exercise. (DUM DUM DUM)

I have barely broken a sweat since the Hot Chocolate 15K at the beginning of December, and it’s time to change that. I’ve admitted many times that I really can’t get myself to exercise without some sort of strong motivator, namely races. So! Here is my official announcement of my big racing plans for the foreseeable future!

I will be running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 1st, something that has been on my list of fitness goals since I started this blog. Can you believe it?! After the 9.3 miles (allegedly) of the 15K, this shouldn’t be too crazy, but again, I haven’t run in a month soooo, I’m going to need to build my stamina back up like WHOA.

What’s more, my goal is not going to be simply to finish this time (what was that about maintaining realistic goals? Ha!) No, this race is actually just going to be a precursor to something even greater, if you can imagine…

I will be joining some incredible, superfast bloggers in a relay for the Massachusetts Reach the Beach race on May 18 – 19! I’ve never done a relay race before, let alone one of this magnitude (200 miles in 36 hours, essentially!) and I am a turtle compared to amazing ladies like Tina, Anne, Theodora, Ashley, and Monica (among others!) who will also be on the team. There will (hopefully) be 12 members on our team, and we will rotate throughout the day and night (!), each running a total of 3 legs. Each stretch can be anywhere from 3 – 7 miles (I’m gunning for the shorter ones, obviously).

This is why my training plan for both the Cherry Blossom and this race will not only include stamina and endurance training, but actual speed training. SAY WHAAAT??! I know. It won’t be anything crazy or completely unrealistic, but I will be trying to hold my own. It’ll just be too embarrassing for me to drag down an entire team of awesome runners and bloggers by being slow. Nothing motivates me like the potential for humiliation! As dictated by the race rules, the team average needs to be 10 min/mile or less. I figure that since a bunch of my teammates will probably be running 8 – 9 minute miles, if I can weasel myself down to around or under 11 minutes per mile, it should still balance out. And hopefully nobody will hate me for it. I’ll be trying really hard guys, I promise! 🙂

RAWR
EVERYBODY GETS THIS RED AND SWEATY OKAY SHADDUP.

So there you have it. Two BIG milestones to meet and BIG motivators for me. As part of my training, I’d like to participate in some smaller races, primarily 5Ks, to help encourage the running-without-stopping and running faster, as well as to make training more fun (I hate running but I love races!) Anyone know of any local 5Ks coming up in the next couple of months? I’m eyeing the Love the Run You’re with 5K in Arlington on February 12th (I’ve heard good things about Pacers events!) but am open to recommendations!

What am I doing here?

I should make it clear that I do NOT intend to allow myself to fall into the trap I did when I was “training” for the 15K. Namely, the “I just ran 7 miles, I can eat whatever I want!” trap. This is why I’m going to rely on you guys to help me realize when I’m starting to make those rationalizations. Yes, my caloric intake will probably not be limited to 1500 calories on days when I’ve had a long run, but neither does it allow me to consume all those calories in the form of cupcakes and french fries. So say we all.

What’s your plan for making your resolution stick?

PS: As of today, my new monthly column in the Falls Church News-Press is out! Check out the first edition of Fit in Falls Church today!

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Posted on Jan 2, 2012 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins | 36 comments

Resolute

It’s that time again, friends. January. 2012. A New Year.

I’m sure I don’t need to spend a lot of time detailing what my New Year’s resolution is. If you can’t guess, you have never read this blog before: I am going to reach my goal weight this year, simple as that.

For the past few months, I’ve put my weight loss on the backburner. I justified it as needing a break from a full year of calorie counting and berating myself when I didn’t lose. I said that what with Daxter’s accident, my breakup, and general hum-drummery, I needed to take some time off. While both of things are true, the real issue was somewhere along the way, my motivation waned. I was feeling quite content walking around my life 60 lbs lighter, and didn’t think I needed to keep trying so hard. Unfortunately, as it turned out, my time off was a little more “free” than I had intended.

Christmas Eve FettucineBrickwork
IMG_3627Christmas Plate

My last official weigh-in was on October 26th, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back because I was so frustrated with my weight gain. I weighed in that day at 188.3 lbs. Ashamed though I am to admit it, this morning I weighed in at 198.4 lbs this morning. I’ve gained back 10 pounds in the past 2 1/2 months.

It’s not the end of the world. I am, of course, disappointed in myself for backsliding, but I’m trying very hard to stay positive. I’m still 50 lbs down in the grand scheme of things, and I had a rockin’ time doing it, after all! In this same timeframe I completed a 15K race, created some bangin’ new recipes, and had a truly wonderful Christmas with my family. I know I could pull out a list of “excuses” to help soften the blow to my ego: the holidays and the parties and the cookies and… well, you get the idea. But that’s not the point of today. The point of today is to acknowledge my weight gain, stop ignoring it, stop running from it, and do something about it. After all, it’s still New Year’s. So here I am, on the second day of 2012, strengthening my resolve:

I will reach my goal weight of ~165 pounds by August 2012.

I will do it the right way, just as I have done so far.

I will not sacrifice my love of food or my wonderful life to do so, as I haven’t had to so far.

I will make this year the year.

Take a Bow!

So go on, tell me: what’s your New Year’s resolution?

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Posted on Jan 2, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 1 comment

hello [2011] goodbye [2010]

Happy New Year from Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!

Happy New Year!

I spent a nice, fairly low-key New Year with family and friends, and it was just perfect. We spent our evening in Falls Church, which is evidently now going as “The Little City”:

Falls Church or Bust!

The night started off with my family (minus Ben, plus Steve) getting our grub on at Pilin, a local Thai restaurant. We had a chicken satay to share amongst the table, and then I had a Tom Ka Gai – lemongrass and coconut milk soup with chicken and veggies:

Tom Yum Gai

My main course? What else:

Pad Thai Shrimp

A perfect shrimp Pad Thai. Not too greasy, not too heavy, but perfectly satisfying and yum-o. My favorite thing to get when dining a la Thai is actually panang curry, but I *tried* to be good and not get something totally creamy and coconut-y (veeeery high in fat, but allegedly it’s the good kind of fat!)

After dinner, we traipsed the 20 feet from the restaurant to watch Ben and his band, Judo Chop, in action!

Judo Chop!
Rock out with your...

They headlined the night’s festivities and were awesome (and it was such a riot to see the band’s teenage groupies screaming in the front row, talking about how in love with my brother they are, hahaha!)

We ended the night at Ireland’s Four Provinces, a local Irish Pub (duh) and favorite haunt, with a champagne toast and some new year paraphernalia.

Bubbly
Surprise!

I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year celebration, and kicked off 2011 well! After reading through all 62 unread items on my Google Reader prior to posting this, I decided that I’d contribute to the apparent blogosphere trend of saying what my goals for 2011 are. I’m only going to concentrate on the two biggies here, since I’m not a huge fan of the whole New Year Resolution thing (talk about setting yourself up for failure!) but here are the main points:

1. Continue on my weight-loss journey and lose an additional 30 – 40 pounds. I’ve already lost 40 pounds off of my original weight of 246 (huzzah!), so now it’s time to really crank it into gear and finish this thing!

Originally, I was pretty set on a “goal weight” number: 165, plucked fairly arbitrarily out of my idea of what would be appropriate for me. My new goal isn’t necessarily going to be centered around an exact number. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on being healthy while being able to stay happy. Whether that ends up being 160 or 175, I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

2. Continue working towards my fitness goals and run an 8k and a 10k race before the end of the year. I completed my very first 5k race this past Thanksgiving, and would also like to run another 5k with a much better time. I finished in about 41 minutes without stopping the first, time, and bare minimum I’d like to finish in 39 minutes or under next time around.

Happy 2011, everyone! 2010 was great, and I made some very important life decisions that have put me in a much better place now as compared to last January, so here’s to hoping that I keep up that trend! What are some of your resolutions/goals for the new year? I’d love to hear about ’em!

Happy Powell New Year!

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