Monday, January 28, 2013
I've been a vegetarian for almost 17 years (WOW! and my older sister told me it was "just a phase") Recently I was looking through photos of myself in high school (I became a vegetarian when I turned 16) and realized, I was not a slim as I thought I was. I knew I was heavier but I guess time makes you forget things. Anyway, that got me thinking about myself today, at almost 33 years old. I haven't always been the best vegetarian, meaning I often made unhealthy choices like tons of diner grilled cheese, cheese pizza, pasta, et. but I think in the back of my mind I was thinking, "I'm vegetarian so I'm healthy by default." NOT TRUE! And I am realizing that now. So looking at those pictures made me realize, I was surviving off of carbs, carbs, and more carbs. And to some extent I still am now. I love bread and pasta and bread, and...well..bread! I also love baked sweets.
I am not one to shout from the rooftops (or soapbox) about certain diets or lifestyle choices. I've scoffed at low/no carb life style, being uneducated on it. I am getting tired of trying to lose this weight and know I need a "diet" makeover. I've been thinking of watching my carbs and choosing more wisely. As a runner, I know how important carbs are for energy. I am NOT cutting them completely out but i do need an intervention to slow down on them! I am noticing my daughter (age 4 1/2) is also a carb lover. I want her to expand her palate too.
Any other vegetarians out there who have dabbled in a lower carb diet? (and I use the word "diet" meaning eating style) I'm looking for some good reading. I did find some recipes here on Spark http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/browse-resu
Monday, November 12, 2012
Over the course of my running "career"...all 3 years...I understand when people refer to running as their therapist's office. When I run, my mind is free to wonder and think about anything, everything, or nothing at all. When I run, I come home feeling accomplished, proud, refreshed, energized, even if I am tired. I can handle better what the day throws at me.
I've been doing a lot of thinking and I'm tired of my short temper, irritation, worry, stress, etc. I love the way I feel when I run (and so many times I don't want to start but once I'm out the door, I'm feel great!). So.........I'm going to run more! I am also going to look into meditation. I can't just leave a situation and go for a run when things get hairy so I think meditation can help. Anyone else meditate? Any suggestions? Good reading?
Aside from mentally and emotionally feeling better from running, I love the way my body feels, even the bunion pain! Ok, I don't love that but that's a battle scar from running (I think) and KT tape is really helping. My legs look great too. I want to get better and I need to get the rest of my body in line. I am looking to work my body to become a better runner by putting more focus on my core and back, as well as crossing training in the pool. I am running my first half marathon in May and I want to be well-prepared and have it be a great experience. 13.1 miles is longer than I have ever run (my longest run has been 7.5 miles, I average 3 milesa run). I am ready to become a Runner of Steel!
Running is always on my mind. I want to run always, even though I am not a great runner. Running has become a huge part of my life and I owe my life to running.
Monday, August 20, 2012
SparkPeople has been a driving force in me gaining my self confidence and pride which was lost for almot 25 years. with this new sense of myself, I started to run. I joined lots of running groups on Spark and was encouraged to runmy first race...and I did in Nov. 2010. Flash forward 2 years and I am one of finalists in the My First Race essay contest through the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/#!/DSGPM). I may not have ever won a race but I want to win this contest!
Here is my essay...
"Story 5 - Cara's First Race
Having 3 kids in 4 years would be rough on anyone. Physically, mentally, emotionally—I wasn't me anymore. The summer of 2010, I decided that enough was enough. I woke up one morning before work, laced up my shoes and set off to do something I have always dreaded—running. I didn't expect much but I did my best. I was so proud of having run barely over a mile and a half through the hills of Beechview that I was hooked. I ran on and off that summer, never anything more than a mile or so. I saw the 2010 Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving and signed up right away. My knee really started bothering me and I was somewhat sidelined from running. The morning of the race it was cold and pouring down rain and I almost talked myself out of running. Instead, I went into the kitchen, grabbed the biggest garbage bag I could and made myself a rain poncho.
We bundled up the kids and headed to the North Shore. There were so many happy people of all abilities, some in costumes, some quite young, all excited to start. I lined up with the other 3000 Pittsburghers in the rain on Thanksgiving. The gun sounded and we started. I don't remember much of the beginning other than lots of people passing me. I found my groove and was trucking. At the water table. I grabbed a cup, took a sip, and then dropped my cup...all over another runner. She was pretty mad at me but I just said, "It’s not like we're getting any drier!"
As I crossed the Roberto Clemente Bridge and was in the home stretch, I got a burst of energy! I ran as fast as my tired legs could go. Through tears of joy, I blasted through the finish line. I nearly collapsed because of the intense knee pain but I hobbled over to get my photo taken. We went home and I conked out on the couch for the rest of the day. After that race, I was hooked! I am preparing for my first 10K this fall, first 1/2 marathon next May, and hoping for the full marathon within the next 2 years.
I feel running has helped break me out of the doldrums that I was experiencing, and uncovered a new sense of self pride and confidence I never knew I had. Running makes me feel free. Its my "Me" time away from work, from being a mom, from everything. I may not be the best or the fastest, but I do MY best and feel happily accomplished."
My first race was the race that my fellow sparkers encouraged me to run! I would love if anyone would vote for me. I am very close to winning. If anyone has 30 seconds, you just head over to https://www.facebook.com/#!/DSGPM, scroll down to the" Read about Cara's first race..." and hit LIKE. Voting ends this week!
I am so passionate about running now and I have SparkPeople to thank!
Friday, May 18, 2012
For Mother's Day, my kids and husband got me 5 scratch off lottery tickets and lo and behold, I won $50 on one! Everyone kept asking me what I was going to spend my fortune on...new clothes, a massage, toys, going out to eat, etc... I almost didn't even hesitate when I answered, "Weight Watchers". I had been talking to my husband about the idea of doing WW again for the past week.
I first joined the program online after my first son was born almost 7 years ago. I was very successful with my losing (25lbs) until I found out I was pregnant again a few months later! I started WW back up after my second son was born and was again successful in losing around 25 lbs. After that, life became hectic with 2 little ones in the house, I had lost my job when I was 7 months pregnant (and I was the breadwinner of the family), post partum depression was setting in, bills piling up, everything was going wrong. Fast forward 3 years and I had just had my third (and last!) child and that's when I found SparkPeople. I was a member of the site for a year before I actually started using it. I was very successful in my weight loss, losing a total of 45 lbs. in 2 years taking me to today. The thing is, my losing has stalled out for the past year. I hate to even call it a plateau because its been so long. I've changed my workout routine (from Curves to the Y, adding group classes and more running) and eating better foods. Let's just say I am great at maintaining. I am 15lb away from my goal of 150 lb. Its so close but seems so unobtainable now. This past year of hard work and no results has really stung me. My self esteem and confidence has really taken a hit and finally I've realized, I need more and I need help. Enter Weight Watchers.
I am 5 days into the program and I am feeling good. This time around, I am not nearly as hungry as I was in previous attempts at the program (maybe the new PointsPlus program is better for me). I am eating way more vegetables and fruits (and I've been a vegetarian for over 16 years) and I'm trying more things. I just need to get a hang of planning my meals early so I am not left to try to figure out points and what not in the middle of the day with no good options. The program is forcing me to pack my lunch and not snack on the junk here. I went over my points twice this week but I've banked so many activity points that I am still well within the perimeter of the program to still lose. Counting points and figuring them out is a hassle but so is losing weight. A little inconvenience is worth it if it helps me in the end.
So we'll see how things turn out tomorrow for my weigh-in morning. I sneeked a peek this morning and I was down only about a pound but its something and its going in the right direction. (and I'm just coming off of my TOM). My BFF is getting married in mid-June and I am hoping to be much closer to my goal by then. The newness of the program and that event have me fired up to do it!
Then on a side note, I just want to say how much I love running. I may only jog but I am getting better and better each time. I started 2 years ago in the summer and ran my first 5K that Thanksgiving. I signed up for my next 5K the following September and after that I was hooked on racing running! The past winter's warmer weather and lack of any significant snowfall kept me running throughout the entire season, making me run consistently for a full year. Since my first race, I've only run a total of 5 (its hard to come up with $30-some to just run) but I've set my sights higher. Earlier this month, I ran in the 5K that was part of the Pittsburgh Marathon. I've never been to a marathon expo or anything that huge before. The excitement around the whole event was so contagious that even my couch potato husband with a bad back decided to start running and run his first 5K at the end of Sept.! We also set out sights on running the marathon in 2015. That gives us 3 years to build up to it. I am running my first 10K this September and first of 2 half marathons next year. I am stoked! I've been able to get myself into a running groove, allowing for longer, easier runs. This past Wed. I "easily" ran 5 miles and even though I could feel it in my legs when I stopped, I wanted to keep going. My goal is to try to run 2 shorter runs (less than 3 miles) twice a week, one middle run (5-6 mi) and work up to one long run (see how far I can cover in 2 hours).
For the first time in a while, things are starting to look up!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Its been awhile since I was active on Spark. I sign SP praises to everyone struggling and even though who are not. Yet when I find myself lying face down on my bed in only nylons and a bra with tears in my eyes and a husband telling me he thinks I am beautiful, I sit and have a pity party for myself instead of jumping back in the saddle and kicking @ss with Spark again.
Thank you, my dear husband, for listening to me pity myself and feel so down about myself. Even though you don't know how I am feeling or that changing the way I think isn't as easy for me as it may be for him, whatever you did or didn't do really helped. Just 4 1/2 hours ago I was face down crying on my bed but not right now. Right now, I just signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon 5K, my first time running this particular 5K, and I am so stoked. A friend at work is challenging me to break the 30 minute mark on this race and I so want to do it. He challenged me this same thing this past September in a 5K I ran and I missed it by a mere 14 seconds. I was so proud of myself and couldn't wait to tell him. The same is still true. I have 124 days to get ready.
I am also hoping that within those 124 days that I will finally be at my goal weight of 150 lbs. (or dare I say 140?). I have been working toward the 150 mark for almost 2 years and I am tired of working toward it. I want to maintain now! I know I can do that because I've been maintaining the weight I am at for months now! Some may call it a plateau, I call it a maintenance break! LOL I am working at shedding these last 15-25 pounds and I am about to get serious!
I set myself my own version of fast track goals for this week:
1. Walk to work every day. (meaning, don't have hubs drive you in)
2. Pack my lunch every day.
3. Exercise at least 15 minutes every day (and the walk to work doesn't count).
No pop this week.
If I meet my 3 goals for the week, I will reward myself with a fitness magazine. My sister gifted me a subscription to Shape magazine this past year and I find most of it very inspiring. I would like to reward myself with more inspiration.
If I meet my 3 goals AND my bonus goal, I will reward myself with a fitness jump rope I saw at Five Below the other day or a hula hoop. So far, I am 2 for 2!
I am hoping that this is the last leg of my weight loss journey. I want to be done. I am willing to put in the work to get the job done and that's just want I am going to do.
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