After the marathon - I finished!

How the sun rises in Pittsburgh. No wait. That's how the sun rises EVERYWHERE!


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You are better than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.

NEF (No Excuses, Finish)

The first quote is what I wrote on my left hand. The second (from my son's HS wrestling coach) went on my right. On my back, on hot pink duct tape, I wrote "I am Kate, and this 26.2 miles is for all of us who were picked last in PE"

Then I set out to run my first marathon.

46 years old. More than 60 pounds overweight. Just started running 7 months ago. Pulled hip flexors right and left. Achilles tendonitis in my right foot. Are you kidding me?

Well guess what? I did it! I am a marathoner! It took me 6:38, but I completed a marathon. I had wonderful help along the way - a SparkFriend who ran with me, completing her first marathon, too; two other Sparkies who came out to see us, provide nutrition, and take photos along the way; and a fourth Sparkbuddy who was out with her band along the route to cheer and entertain us as we ran. Then there were all of the rest of my Sparkfriends, local and long-distance, who cheered and encouraged and supported me on this quest.

And I can honestly say that without all of my SparkFriends, I would NEVER have done this!

So if you are new to SparkPeople and are wondering what this site can do for you, let me tell you - it can do the most important thing of all - it can help you reach your dreams. I am living proof.


Thanks to my friend, RALKINGCHICK, I have found Dr. Judith Beck's The Beck Diet Solution. This book is a godsend and a revelation to me. Beck explains that most of us have been trying to change our eating habits out of ignorance, and that has doomed us to failure. She has set up a 6-week program of baby steps designed to take us, little by little, into a new way of dealing with food.

Her "Diet Solution" does NOT contain her own eating plan guaranteed to peel off the pounds. Instead, she encourages us to find the plan that works for us, then find a back-up in case the one we settle on doesn't work for whatever reason.

Now the fun part - incremental alterations in how we approach food, dieting, lifestyle changes, etc.

So far I am focusing on only eating when I sit down. Think of all the nibbles and tastes and bites that make up each meal preparation each day. Now think about how many calories that means. Calories that we haven't accounted for, or counted.

In addition, I am working on only eating when I eat. No books. No TV. No computer. FOCUS. What am I eating? How does it taste? How do I feel as I eat it?

Each day I will add a new behavior modification or a new step. At the end of the six week process I should have permanently changed the way I deal with food.

I'll keep you posted!


"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is that I had the courage to start." John "the Penguin" Bingham

You know how in your mind you're still 25, can run more than the width of the driveway without dying, and look awesome in those jeans - but then you look in the mirror and realize you are long past 25, and those jeans aren't so hot? Well here I am. And I intend to look and feel like I see myself in my head.

I used to have so much energy. I want that again. I want to be the one to suggest a hike or yard work. I want to feel good about how I look, and like what I see in the mirror. I want to be the kind of person I would like if I met me.

Glory be! Two weeks in a row with weight loss! It is now May 15 and I lost weight again yesterday. I think I am officially out of the 200s forever. I have had to modify my caloric intake since I am really closer to burning 4000 calories per week than 5000. I guess that 5000 week was an anomaly.

But I am making progress. I want everything to improve immediately, and have to keep reminding myself that it took 30+ years to get here, so if it takes two years to get back to total health, I really can't complain.

Baby steps are better than no steps!

In March I started training for the Portland Marathon (October of 2009). I have never been a runner before, even though I participated in Hood to Coast 12 years ago. Somehow, for some odd reason, running resonates with me now. I enjoy it. I can do it. And I am not getting bored with it.

I am scheduled to compete in a 5K on April 25 - I chose this race because it's the closest one I could find to my birthday. This will officially mark a change in me - from sedentary couch potato to runner.

Having never really run before I was a bit nervous about my ability to complete a marathon. Think about it - 26.2 miles! That's quite a long haul. But the day I completed 7 miles was the day I realized that a marathon is definitely within the realm of possibility. No guarantees, but do-able.

I have a training plan (modified the week of 4/20 due to a pulled groin muscle - my first athletic injury!) that will work on my endurance and hopefully get me prepared in time.

Now my focus is on healing and finding a reasonable way to eat. I still don't have that under control, sad to say, and I really need to start losing weight. I know that is part of the reason for my injury - my body wasn't made to carry these extra 70 pounds AND run 20+ miles each week. Something had to give.

For now I will gladly entertain any and all suggestions from those who have succeeded and are or were training like mad - I burn over 5000 calories per week! You would think I could lose weight!

I have said goodbye to setting weight-related goals. That was too much pressure, and too much stress on the scale instead of living a healthy life. I still want to lose weight (note my tracker is still in place!) but I am not going to worry and fret over the scale or tape measure. Weigh-in day is Thursday, but I have given myself permission to skip it when the "fluffy" time of the month is upon me - no sense in adding insult to injury!

Member Since: 4/6/2008

Fitness Minutes: 48,253

My Goals:
My goals:

• Lose 1.5 pounds per week.
• Get from “obese” to “overweight” (#190) so that I can start marathon training.
• Lose all 95 pounds by January 1, 2012.

My Program:
How I will achieve them:

• Consume 7 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
• 7 ounces of protein per day.
• Limit healthy fat to 5 servings per day.
• Only 2 servings of low-fat dairy each day.
• 5 servings for whole grains.
• And, because I am my father’s child and must have my sweet, no more than 150 calories of “treats” per day.
• Minimum of 30 minutes of cardio every day. On non-running days use the rowing machines or the stationary bikes.
• At least 10 different ST machines to be used over the course of a week, 3 sessions per machine.
• Stretch for 10 minutes each day.
• Maintain a positive attitude every day.
• NEF – live it!
• Be flexible and creative when life throws a curveball at me. And it will.

Personal Information:
I live in Gresham, OR and am married to a wonderful man who has been athletic with a corresponding build all his life; consequently he doesn't really understand that "eat less" is not such a helpful piece of advice for someone who has struggled with her weight since she was 16.

Other Information:
It's not about weight loss. Or exercise. Or diet. It's about attitude.

Read More About KEAKMAN - Profile Information moved here. (Updated December 15)

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