On my way to losing a marathon!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh COME ON!


Okay, I don't get this whole body fat calculation thing.  It's starting to tick me off.  I just calculated up using my current measurements, and apparently, though I have a BMI of 23.76 (definitely within the healthy range of 19-25), I have a body fat percentage of like, 31.9%, which is a measly little .1% away from being OBESE.  There's that word again.  I cannot fo-reakin figure this one out.  According to this stupid calculator thing, my body fat percentage HAS NOT DECREASED in my last 20 pounds lost.  According to this thing, for me to get in the HEALTHY weight range, I have to weigh 125 or less, and the athletic weight range has me needing to weigh in between 114 and 120, which according to my BMI would bring me down to the underweight category.  Just awesome.

So I went and, through my boiling frustration, found a different body fat calculator.  This one said I've got 27.9% body fat by the Navy's calculator, and 31.33% according to the YMCA.  It also notes that if you carry more of your weight on your stomach, (as those of us who have born children tend to do) it may err high. So okay, it might not be THAT bad.  But still.  How much weight do I need to lose to make this stupid thing happy?!?  I want to get one of those electrical pulsy devices we used in aerobics class in college.  That thing said I had 16-17% body fat when I weighed in the mid 130s.  Maybe it was wrong, but it sure as heck improved my self esteem.

But just so everyone knows, I am NOT trying to weigh 114.  I don't personally feel that that would be a healthy goal for me.  These body fat guys are not taking into account how wicked muscular I am.  And I'm only half joking on this one, medical and weight-trainer type professionals have repeatedly informed me that I'm stone cold buff, beneath my sizable layer of insulation, of course.

My anniversary, the big numero 5, is exactly 8 weeks away. (Yep.  My brain just jumped tracks.  That's how I roll.)  I think it's reasonable to believe I could lose 10-16 additional pounds by then.  I wish I had an additional couple of weeks, because I'd love to be under 130 by our lil' trip.  Unfortunately I've never had the willpower to effectively starve myself to skinny, so I doubt that's achievable.  I've lost 44 pounds so far.  I'd be thrilled to drop another 20.  Of course for my "small frame" (nope, no one's buying that) I'd probably still be considered anorexic, but I may very well be officially done checking my body fat percentage.  Because it's a mean dirty liar.  I'm certain I was obese 40 pounds ago, I'm not freakin obese today.  Psh.  Body fat calculator.  You're obese.  Obese, and stupid.  See? Didn't feel so good did it?? Maybe you should watch your mouth next time. Stupid body fat calculator.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's the eye of the tiger it's the thrill of the fight...

Whew.  Just got home, and showered and dressed.  I did not run 10 miles this morning.  I ran 11.2.  That's right.  3.2 miles ON TOP OF my best run so far.  About 3-4 miles in, I felt something sharp sticking in to my second to big toe, so right about mile 5 I decided to stop and pull it out.  (so yes, I stopped for less than 1 minute in the middle of this run.  I still think my run counts.)  But when I get my shoe off I realize it's not a sharp thing.  It's a blister.  And it hurts.  So for about 8 miles of the run, I ran while twisting and curling my toes to try to find a position where it didn't feel like my foot was on fire.

Anyway, this now makes it official:  I am now signing up to run a 1/2 marathon!  The run is for the morning of April 30th, and will take place at Mooney Grove Park.  Apparently it's a flat and relatively easy run, so not too bad for my first race :-)  I may VERY well be the last person to finish, by like, an hour, but that's fine with me.  I'm not running against them, I'm running against me.  So one month from today, and here goes nothin!

And real quick, I wanna talk about running as a method of exercise.  It's incredible.  It's seriously the best thing I've ever done.  Here's a bunch a reasons:

1) It's a separate but complementary goal.  I'm not running to lose weight, I'm running to get good at running.  Weight loss becomes the gravy, not the only goal in your life.
2) It's an awesome all over work out.  You burn a ton of calories, and can feel it EVERYwhere.  I get done and my legs, butt, abs, and even my arms are sore, which means they've all been working for 2 hours.
3) 2 HOURS!  I get bored with exercise, but when I run, I tune into one of my favorite podcasts (for my absolute favorites, check out Pillagecast, Grace EV free sermons, and Dave Ramsey's daily podcasts) and hit the road.  I get to listen to interesting stuff, let my mind wander off, and watch the scenery change as I go.  2 hours go by without me noticing.
4) My gym is my neighborhood.  Membership is free.
5) YOU FEEL AWESOME ABOUT YOURSELF.  There's something about running that is more freeing and more empowering than any other work out. Plus, "I just ran a 5k" means more to your average friend or family member than, "I just did a Tae Bo video".  Sorry Billy Blanks. Didn't mean to pick on you.
6)  Just weighed in when I got home. 147.2.  Going for an intense run works the body and keeps bumping me down past any plateau I'm having trouble with.

So sorry for gushing so much, but I can't help it. I'm in love :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good Morning! Didja miss me?

Hiya!!
And yes, if you're curious, that is Bill Lumbergh on my coffee cup. And if you're not curious, then go watch Office Space immediately. Awesome movie. I find ways to reference it in just about every context. It's philosophically very important. Trust me, I'm a doctor. Nope, wait. Trust me anyway.

Wow, 4 whole days without a post, what have you been DOING with your lives, my dear dear few and faithful readers? Sitting by your computers, anxiously awaiting new content, I'm sure, but I hope one or two other things as well. Kidding, of course. I'm not quite narcissistic enough to think anyone noticed I've missed a few days. Nearly that narcissistic, for certain. I mean, for gosh sakes I write a blog that's 90-something precent about how I LOOK, but still. Even I have my limits.

So why have I been absent for so long? 8 days of this, mostly:

This also explains why I look like something that should be dragged out back and shot. Why, you may be asking, do I continually insist on posting the worlds ugliest pictures of myself on this thing? Well... I don't know. If you live in my real life, you get to see my dress up and wear makeup and high heels. If you live in my blog life you get to hear how fat I am and see what it looks like when I sneeze. Oh man. Someone just came to the door. Apparently if you're a Jehovah's Witness, you also get to see me looking like road kill. Ah well. At least I got to practice my Spanish for a few minutes. Buen oportunidad. Buena oportunidad? Esto es por que necesito practicar. Pero estoy divagando.

So sick me means no running. And probably gaining back lots of weight. Somehow being sick never stops me from eating, just exercising. Eh, actually, not so bad. Just weighed in for the first time in a few days (no running makes weighing myself extra-frightening) and it was 150.6.
Not my best, but again, really not as bad as I'd expected. Whew.

Right now I feel like it's about time to get to the main point of the post, and aparently I'm at a total loss. So instead of getting to a point, we'll just sum up. For today: I'm sick. No exercise. Jehovah's Witnesses. Ugly face. Not too fat. Bad Spanish. Office Space. If you list it, it all flows together, right? RIGHT? ::Fail-face::

But before you go and do, well, whatever you choose to spend your day doing, I'll leave you with a picture of my supergreat daughter, who is also sick, but somehow manages to continue looking happy and adorable. Ah youth.
That second one is a somersault. My baby is sooo talented. And they are sooo dumb! Blazing Saddles. Look that up too. In fact, look that one up first. It'll rock your face off.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How to cook and stuff

Last night, well, for a significant portion of yesterday, I made a split pea soup and two loaves of french bread. Easy, no? No. However, my experience has gained me a great deal of insight into the wonderful world of cooking, and I thought I'd share some of that with you.

1) Prep things before you start. Seriously. This is basic stuff. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT YOU MESSY TARD-FACE.
2) The yeast stuff stinks. Pretty bad. Let it "soak" somewhere outside of a 3 yard radius from your face, or the stink may discourage you from baking any actual bread. How something that stinky goes into something that comes out tasting in any way edible is beyond me.
3) Kneed bread on a lightly floured surface. Wax paper might seem like a good idea. It's not. The dough just gets stuck and you wind up spending your whole time trying to peel your elastic-y sticky (still somewhat stinky) mess off of your "lightly floured" wax paper. Dough is sticky. This point is vital here. Just use a clean counter or something. What do real bakers use? Heck if I know. Here's my surface, and my super super mess:
4) Also, take off your freakin wedding ring before you start baking bread. See point 3 again for further explanation.
5) Again, make sure you get everything you're going to need out before you start. It's no fun covering your wax paper dispenser (which shouldn't have been used in the first place, see again point 3) in sticky gooey dough mess. If you don't follow this point, everything you own is now covered in a sticky gooey mess. Congratulations.
6) Only cook something so tasking when someone is watching your kid, so that you don't assume she's sitting nicely watching her favorite cartoon when she is ACTUALLY destroying your living room, leaking through her diaper and trying to choke herself with the lid of the cinnamon jar. (No worries, everyone survived, and pants were washed.)
7) Wear an apron. This is NOT a good look for you, and no one needs to feel as affraid as you did when you saw yourself in the mirror like this.
8) Chopping vegetables: Celery is easier than the other vegetables. If you're ever chopping in public, choose the celery, delegate the rest. This way you look marginally more competent than you would otherwise. Oh, and celery will never make you look like Tammy Faye Baker in the middle of a TBN fundraiser.
9) Being lame at chopping vegetables is irrelevant for Pea Soup. After 90 minutes of simmering, you're gonna dump it all in the blender anyway. So chop it as ugly as it needs to be, and dump it in the pot. Your family WILL NOT KNOW that you chop like a retarded kangaroo instead of like a teppanyaki chef.
10) Don't sweat it if your bread looks like this:
It doesn't taste worse just because it's ugly. Oh, but when it says to re-cover it at this point, DON'T. Or at least, don't use paper towels. Because then you'll spend an extra 20 minutes picking disintegrated paper towel out of your dough. Again, see point 3.
11) Check it out! You made it to the oven. Now go pick the cheerio bits out of the carpet which your daughter dumped there while you weren't paying vigilant attention, and give the kid a bath. She's a mess and she needs some attention.
12) Waiting is hard!
13) Soup is basically pretty easy. Chop. Saute. Simmer. Blend. Serve. Follow the basic directions and even you can make a soup that your husband (who apparently hates pea soup, but chose NOT to divulge that before you began this 3 hour cooking journey) will enjoy it, and say it "tastes more like Indian curry".
14) Bread, on the other hand, is a fickle, temperamental mistress that will make you question all of your life choices and your capabilities as a human. If you find yourself sprinkling Holy water on your loaves and cursing the demons which must have taken up residence within, don't worry. At the very least, you're not alone.
Above are the almost decent looking loaf and it's super ugly sister. If they look like this, stick them back in the oven for a few minutes. They're not done yet. Also, slice it up before other people see them. Sliced bread just looks like sliced bread. None will be the wiser.
15) You know this one. You are not a cook. And you are super slow at just about everything you do. A recipe that is supposed to take 2 hours WILL inevitably take you three and a half. Plan accordingly.
And last but not least:
16) Next time you head to the grocery store for yeast packets and bread flour, pay more attention to the lovely display at the bakery. You know the one. Perfect, symmetrical loaves of fresh baked French Bread, on sale today for 98 cents. And if you'd like, bring it home, warm it up on a baking sheet and sprinkle some flour around. Su-freakin-fficient.

Happy cooking y'all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There's good stories and there's gooder stories

This is about a gooder story.

I've read through the Bible before. A few times, actually, but I feel like they all deserve an asterisk. My first time was in high school, starting during one of my summer mission trips. I started with Psalms and the New Testament, and then went back and read starting in Genesis. But I believe I quit very near the end of the Old Testament, and missed the last few minor prophets, at least while reading sequentially.

The second time started in college. Shane and I set out to read through the Bible "in a year", together but separately. That took about 4 years. Maybe 5. It was bad.

Then shortly before Madelyn was born, we decided to go through it together, which entailed Shane reading aloud to me before bed every night. We were doing great until the baby was born. Since "bed time" back then meant I would be spending the next 3-6 hours walking through the house like a zombie, we had a hard time scheduling our evenings back then. Just the same, we eventually started back up again, and finished the whole Bible in about 16-17 months. Significant improvement.

Starting January first, we began reading through the Bible again, in the "together but separate" manner we'd done before. This time, though, using youversion.com to track progress. I cannot promote this site enough. Thanks to youversion, I have the NASB on my ipod. If and when I get a few days behind, I know exactly what I need to read to catch up. There are also about a million different reading plans, so you're not simply reading Genesis through Revelation over and over. Currently, we're going through the Bible chronologically.

I'm constantly amazed by how much I'm learning on my 4th read through of this book. Reading the Bible this last couple of times has caused me to question God and the stories I grew up with more than ever. Who is this God? What does this story sound like if you didn't grow up hearing it over and over again?

The Bible has an internal continuity to it that I could never have learned to appreciate if I didn't have the chance to be "in the Word" as they say. There is an incredible richness, an attention to every detail that makes me increasingly convinced that this is, at the very least, the most incredible piece of literature ever written. Reading in Numbers and Deuteronomy have enhanced my understanding and appreciate for Jesus Christ, born THOUSANDS of years after those books were penned.

I've also developed a greater understanding of and appreciation for the STORY of the Bible. Not stories, not the short bits and pieces tales, but the Meta-narrative that carries from the creation of the universe to the spreading of the Word throughout the world. There are characters in here, characters that suffer, and grow, who experience pain and joy and sorrow and anger. I find myself actually getting wrapped up in their moments, feeling their emotions, and being gripped by stories that, well, I thought I already knew. Some how, and I don't know how, maybe it's my age, or my attention span, but I've picked up so much more on this read through already than I've ever noticed before.

I guess my point here is that a good story doesn't grow old or stale. It stands the test of time. Steel magnolias can make me tear up, no matter how many times I've watched it. I've read The Giver at least 3 times, and loved every minute of it. And the Bible is not just a good story. It's an incredible story. It's rich and deep and layered, and despite being written by numerous authors over thousands of years, has a continuity that Hollywood should be panting over.

And as it's high time the baby goes down for her morning nap, I'd better go. Have a blog-worthy day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ugh. Oh, and, yaaaay....

This morning I thought I had discovered something new, and was about to get my whole "running hangover" idea copyrighted when I realized, it's not from running. I'm just getting sick. Less cool, and definitely less copyrightable. So ugh.

Bright side though, what running DID give me was a new weigh-in low: 149.4! That's right kiddos, I am officially the lightest I have been in OVER 5 YEARS. I am the skinniest wife Shane has ever had (at least, that I'm aware of). I weigh closer to 100 than 200. Super-woot!

You may notice a lower number of exclamation marks than usual from me (In that normally I've got like a 50 mark minimum per post.) I'm not unexcited, just have lots of pressure on my head and face. I'm also quite certain that most days in the next week, I will NOT be under 150. There's been a real rocking back up against a bottom weight till you finally push through. And I'm not saying this to sound pessimistic, but just in the same way that having setbacks allows a person five minutes to wallow in frustratedness, meeting a benchmark allows five minutes of celebration. Either way, it's time to keep on, keepin on.

So woo hoo! I'm under 150, and over 40 pounds down from my high!

Hope you're all having a benchmark-meeting type'a day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

8 miles. Eat that Eminem.

Some more awesomeness about running: You can get better without feeling like you're working harder. It seems these days that EVEN WHEN NOT INTENDING IT, I run a little faster every time I go. This means that during my 8 mile run today (pretty stinking excited about saying that, I might have to tell you a few more times) I also ran my fastest single mile, in 10 minutes and 1 second. My big goal had been to run a 5k on April 23rd, and to do so in under 30 minutes, which means an average pace of probably 9min 50sec per mile. Ish. I don't feel like doing math.

But today, I ran 8 miles. Had you heard? Yep. I ran 8 miles. So I'm thinking of a new goal. On April 30, I may want to try and run a half marathon. 13 miles. I have a month to train and add 5 more miles to my best run. Doable? I may be deluded, but I seriously think it may be. Heck, I've gone from a 3 mile best to an 8 mile best in the past month, so why not?

I know this was not one of the recommendations I was given by you, my dear and faithful readers, and to some degree, that makes it all the more appealing. Like, you're all gettin up in my grill, sayin "Nooo Ashley! It can't be done! Stay home!!!" And for all of you up in my grill, well, I wanna shove it in your faces. I want to get super aggressive and TOTALLY show you up. Yeeees, I know none of you are ACTUALLY trying to punk me out on this one. But let's pretend. It helps me get motivated.

So there you have it. Mostly I just wanted to find another way to tell people that I ran 8 miles. Oh, I'm sorry, did I forget to mention that I ran 8 miles? Yep. That. just. happened. And hey, it's my blog. I can blather on about whatever I want. HA.

Chubby Girl out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NOT skipping church

Due to a YOU HAVE TO GET HERE NOW!!! phone call from the hubs (currently at church), followed 5 minutes later by a YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET HERE NOW!! phone call, Maddie pants and I are ready to go with about 20 minutes to kill. So I'm interneting. Not skipping church. Promise.

I haven't been exercising much this week. I haven't broken my lent commitment, but I haven't been eating well either. I have instead become the third and final member of my family to learn to love saltine crackers. Mmmmm crackery.

I want to run, and I want to do some yard work, but now it's raining, and I also enjoy spending all weekend on my tuckus. So you can see, conflicting interests.

Today is just going to be one of those days that requires a little extra something (Say, shot of adrenaline, straight to the heart?) to get me motivated. So first coffee, then church, then... patootie loads of productivity. I'll work out the details later.

Oh, and below are a couple of pictures of me and the hubs dominating at bowling. It's just what we do. Besides, you can't see our scores, so you don't know. .... oops.





Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vacation Dayz- Cuz itz alwayz cooler with a zzzzzzzz

Thanks to my awesome cousin Tawnya, a wife, mother of 2, esthetician, and occasional blogger at nomorequitemornings.blogspot.com (there's your plug m' dear, now go write some more!), it seems our anniversary-stravaganza plans are falling into place. Looks like we'll be heading to a gorgeous little B&B on the Central Coast.

To sweeten the deal even more, we've discovered that our hotel is less than 20 miles away from, the famed, the incredible: Bigfoot Discovery Museum. That's right. No better way to top off our romantic anniversary trip than blurry snap shots and conspiracy tales given by toothless hillbillies. I. Am. In. Husband has enthusiastically agreed to this, and with that, the itinerary begins to take shape. One teaser display from the Bigfoot Museum? Training in spotting the difference between a REAL bigfood and a guy in a bigfoot costume. One tell-tale sign: Small buttocks. "Mr. Bigfoot, would you please turn around, I need to check out your badonkadonk. You know. For science."

Just in case any of you are wondering about the how tos and where fors of spotting a bigfoot, here ya go:


Friday, March 18, 2011

That's it. I quit.

So I exhibited the exact amount of self control I had set out to. I refused to step on the scale all week, "waiting till Friday", as I had set out to. But apparently that's the ONLY self control I exhibited, because I weighed in at 152.8. Might as well be 5 million. That's probably not true. I don't want to weigh a million. But a week ago, I got myself down to 150.8, and was really hoping to be another pound or two down. UUUUUUUUUUUghmgoshImsofatImsofatImsofat.

Eh hem.

Okay, so another unfortunate finding of the week: I've been intending to run my first 5k race in April. Now, I find out out that, as the race is the day before Easter, it semi-conflicts with our choir dress rehearsal that same morning. The race starts at 8, practice starts at 10. There's a good 25 minute drive between the two. I can't be responsible for giving our music director an aneurysm, so I will NOT be late to or miss practice. So as I see it, I'm left with the following 4 options:

1) Do the race, finish and rush home to change and go. It can possibly be done. I will NOT look good at the practice. Home is along the way, so maybe at least I don't need to smell so bad.

2) Forget this race, but instead go balls out and sign up for the half-marathon which is taking place 1 week later. Start training like a mega-fiend.

3) Skip the last spring runs, and keep training for Visalia's Fall running series. Hope to not fall down dead during summertime runs.

4) Forget the running, accept life as a chubby lady. Take more naps.

Thoughts? What sounds the best to you all? I'm going to need boatloads of encouragement to do anything besides number 4, so if you have an opinion, shout it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Traded Obsessions

Wow, that sounds like something which would share the cover of a dime store novel with a half naked Fabio. I find that disturbing. Or not... trashy novels do get LOTS of readers...

Anyway, as I've been complaining lately, I've given up some choice obsessions of mine lately. But instead of simply moving on from my obsessing, it seems I've simply redirected my attentions. The new victim of all of my attentions: 5th anniversary planning. We have a gift card that would really take the edge off of a 3 day trip to a bed and breakfast somewhere. But should we go away? Should we stay home and use our anniversary fund toward nice dinners and loads of activities? Somewhere out there is the perfect mix of low price, nice accommodations, and funtivities that will result in the optimal anniversary experience. There has to be. It's science. Or... something.

Now, this is not to say I'm personally difficult to satisfy. When I think about making a vacation out of staying home, I'm incredibly excited. When I think about getting out of town for a few days, I'm incredibly excited. So it's not about good. It's not even about great. It's about best. No, let's be honest. It's about obsession. It's about my crazy.

If there's an up side to this, it's that one way or another, whether we're in Visalia or Santa Barbara or Carmel, we are GOING to have an awesome time. Our first time doing anything like this in 2 years is going to be awesome sauce.

Of course, the down side is that I'll get very little else accomplished today. Or probably tomorrow. And I still reallyreally want to go weigh myself. Ugh. On that topic, here's hoping that this week has paid off, because honestly, if I weigh in under 150, I may do a backflip and scream and cheer and wake the neighborhood with me celebrationing. And if I weigh in over 150, I may sink into the deepest depths of despair from whence there is no return, no joy, and no hope. Why do I think that it'll moooost likely be the latter? Or that, in defiance of my overly emotional responses, will be EXACTLY 150? Just for the record, exactly 150 counts more like over 150. I want to see the middle number be a 4. Which means it's time to work out now, bye bye!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AAAAAAAAAH!!!!

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I WEIGH AND IT'S DRIVING ME INSANE!!! What if I've gained some weight in the past few days?? What if I've lost weight, and I don't know it?! What if I'm just stuck and not doing enough to help?? Or worse, what if I THINK I'm losing weight and really I'VE PUT BACK ON 5 POUNDS?!?!? BAAAH!!

::ehem::

Sorry about that. I've screwed my head back on and everything's okay. Go on about your days. Nothing to see here. Keep ooon keepin on.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm obsessed. It's definitely not okay.

People who know me, specifically those who have spent any significant time living with me for any length of time, are probably already aware of the fact that I have a sick habit of fixating. On, well, most anything. Typically this doesn't cause me too many problems, in fact, on the bright side, it can mean I have a weirdly good memory about certain things. Of course, if you spent hoursandhoursandhours processing every detail of a certain event, your memory would seem good too. I don't live my life. I study it. I analyze it. I break it down and tear it to pieces to find meaning and purpose in the most mundane of interactions. HOnestly, I think this habit is a little bit "female", and a lot-bit sick.

Lately, I've introduced a number of new potential fixation points into my life. My running distance. And speed. Our budget. How many people have viewed this blog. And of course, the big kahuna (HA!): my weight. Specifically, that last one. I'm not just checking my weight every day. I'm checking it like, 100 times a day. Morning. Later in the morning. Before working out. After working out. Before dinner. Before bed. Because apparently, it just wouldn't be alright for me to fixate at a normal level. I do fixating like a champ. Like a creepy, obsessed, champ.

So no more. I'm cutting 2 things out of my daily life: No more daily weigh ins, (once a week should be just fine) and no more checking blogger stats. I didn't start this thing to become super duper popular. I did it as accountability for myself, encouragement for others, and, hopefully, entertainment for someone. It's quite possible that giving up these two things will be more difficult than giving up sweets has been, but my mind really needs a little freeing, and my husband needs to hear me talk about something BESIDES my weight for once.

There you have it folks, my next step on the road to self improvement. I'll probably tell y'all what I'm weighing again, once I actually have that information. (I'm thinking Friday mornings, so we'll see how that goes) Hopefully those things you hear about boiling pots are true, and I'll get to see some scale movement by Friday! In the mean time, Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Running is hard.

But also, fwickin awesome. I've been a bit discouraged about being, quite possibly, the slowest runner (or the fastest walker) on the face of the planet. When I started up a few weeks ago, my average speed was over 11 minutes per mile. And no, I never stopped in the middle to take a nap. I was just that slow.

Currently, I'm still running as fast and as hard as I can, and I'm still well over a 10 minute mile. (Last two 5k runs were done at an average of 10'17" per mile) I have a tendency to look at my husband who, though he hasn't really run much at all since high school, can still run circles around me, and my sister-in-law who runs frequently, and has a pace of like, 3 milliseconds per mile. It's simply incredible. But also, these facts feel disheartening. I've been really feeling my running limits lately. I'd come to the conclusion that I may develop the ability to run far, but that I'd never be able to run fast.

I mentioned my far-not-fast thought to my mom the other day, and she scoffed me a bit. "Seriously Ashley, a few months ago would you have ever thought you could do what you're doing now? So what makes you think you won't do even better??"

So last night, I really sat down and perused my run data. 22 days ago, I ran a 5k with an average pace of 11'38" per mile, and said I felt like death. This past Friday, (only 19 days since starting out) I ran a 10k at an average pace of 10'54" per mile. 2 weeks ago I was killing myself to get below 10'30", and my Sat/Sun 5k's this week were run at around 10'17".

So I guess what I'm saying is that, in a mere 3 weeks, I've got over a minute off my run time. And my goal pace (about 9'45") for the actual 5k race I intend to run in late April, is something I'm occasionally reaching AND surpassing for short bursts while I run. (Not too long ago, my "run real fast now" moments weren't even getting down anywhere near 10'00".)

Improvement frequently feels impossible. There was a time that I never thought I'd be able to get down to my current weight, and now, well, I have no intention of stopping here. So I'm also going to keep running, because the farther I go, the more I'm able to leave Chubby Girl behind. That's right Chubby Girl, eat my dust. ;-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Clip-mania!!

I've decided that I really want to get into this couponing thing. Yes, it's true, I'm easily moved to do whatever TLC tells me to do. This is also why I've lost 40 pounds, reunited with my long lost midget stepson, and got my heroin addiction under control.

But I've got TV and now in person friends telling me that grocery stores pay THEM to buy various products. I've just got to get in on this. No, I don't intend to build an Apocalypse-watcher style storehouse of boxes of cereal and cans of meatless chili. But man, if I can get someone to give me a few boxes of Cheerios for free, I'll take em.

*Bleep bleep* Public service announcement time: I really love coffee. I super duper lovey love face my morning cup of coffee. I don't drink much, typically I make myself one cup, and don't finish it before it has a chance to get cold. But for the past, well, since the fall, through winter to now, I've been drinking at least my half-mug of coffee every day. IT IS AWESOME. Part of this is because it staves off hunger when my breakfast bar won't hold me till lunch. But also because, well, it makes my morning get at least 2 points of extra happiness. It is a bit of a struggle making the baby wait an extra minute for her Oatmeal while I get my brew on, as she stands at my feet and calls out "Muh, muh, fwooooood!!" (The "muh"s are the noise she associates with tapping her fingers to her chin in the sign for eat). But despite the trials associated therein, I really do love that cup of coffee. It wakes me up and relaxes me all at the same time, and apparently, there's a good chance I've become addicted. I have NO idea how I'm going to handle it if I get pregnant again some day. Yikes-amoley.

AND I'M BACK. On one hand I've been avoiding this move (toward becoming a Clipper), simply because I don't appreciate the false-deal encouragement to buy a brand name item with a coupon that's somehow STILL more expensive than the store brand stuff. This has honestly been my experience with coupons so far. But on the other hand, I'm a big fan of the deal, and my budget always has room for free stuff, and frequently has room for cheap stuff.

So my next chore for today is to head to Walmart and buy some printer ink. I hear you yelling that paying for ink alone will cost more than I'll probably save despite my couponiest shopping attempts, but chill. I need ink by Monday anyway. Then I'll be headed to Target, who allows you to combine 1 store coupon with 1 manufacturer coupon. And because I've about memorized the prices of all of my regular Winco purchases, I should have no problem figuring out if I'm getting a real deal.

So that's it for now folks, hope your Saturdays are all as adventure-filled as mine!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Best. Week. Ever.

Sunday morning, I weighed in high. Definitely worse than it had been, somewhere in the upper 150's. I realized I was headed in a bad direction, even though I'd been working out okay, my diet was including a lot more cookies, brownies, and chips in it than ANYone's diet should include. So I made a Monday morning commitment to give it all up, to set aside my favorites and just deal with the cravings. Because food is fuel, not something to sacrifice yourself too, right?

Well it seems this was one of my top 5 decisions ever, (Christ, husband, baby, college, and then this one, but not NECESSARILY in that order), because now I've lost like, a buncha weight. This morning's weigh in: 151.6 Husband's weigh in this morning? 152.2.

You read that right. For the first time IN OUR MARRIED LIVES, I can actually (at least, technically) say, that I weigh LESS than my husband. ::Sounds trumpet, throws confetti, and dances a traditional Irish jig around the living room:: I am NO LONGER "that skinny guy's chubby wife" (no, I've never heard myself referred to like that, except in my head. Every day. For 4 years.)

So there you have it. Wikid party happening at the Miller house today. Oh, and husband-man, if you're reading this, just as a heads up I'm going to be requiring a LOT more piggy back rides now. HEE YA!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How I lost weight, the EASY way!!

So a lot of people have been asking about how I've lost all this weight lately, and I've got something to tell you: Losing weight, is hard. Back breaking exercise? Who's got the time?! Dieting?? Give me a break!! All the sweating, stretching, calorie counting and denial, and all you want to do is shout, I GIVE UP!

But guess what folks, if you find yourself in that place, tired of working out, frustrated with throwing out all of your favorite foods, then have I got the PLAN for YOU!!

With my state of the art, patented program, you can get all the benefits of weight loss with NONE OF THE HASTLE!!!

So what is this miracle plan, you ask? My program is called Sucking In Cheeks! Sucking In Cheeks combines the science of molecular thinimication with the ancient Chinese practice of facial binding.


Sucking In Cheeks can bring you from THIS:

to THIS in 1 second OR LESS!!!

Sound to good to be true, you say? Well, don't take my word for it, use the weight loss method that has been a Hollywood secret for YEARS!!



For only 3 easy payments of $19.95, you can get my ENTIRE suck in cheeks method, complete with training video AND super sour lemon drops, shipped right to your home! No hastle, no fuss, just perfectly shaped features that will make you look amazing.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Call in the next hour, and I'll throw in Grow Giant Eyesocks as part of the package! Anyone ever told you that your eyes look squinty, tiny, and sad? Well, along with the Suck In Cheeks program, you can grow giant, lucious, even bulbous eyeballs that will make all of your friends wonder: Has She had WORK done?!??

Call now, Operators are standing by.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heeeeeck yeah baby!!

Day 1 of the sweets-fast complete. This morning's weigh in: 153.8. For those of you who HAVEN'T been keeping a running total of my weight (geez, what's wrong with you guys??) That means a total of 37.2 pounds lost, and my new weight loss low! Seriously, this 40 days of hard-ness may not be as difficult as originally anticipated.

In celebration, I read the "self disclosure" post from November. It was really kind of neat to read through that story and remember what it felt like, being around 190 and thinking there was no hope for me. That experience is still so fresh for me, I still tend to feel envious of people weighing in the 160s or 170s. I completely forget that I weigh less than that now!

Another thing I noticed from that blog was that, from my weight at that time (164) I wanted to lose an additional 20-30 pounds. If you'd ask me what I want to lose now, I'd say, another 20-30 pounds. If you're curious, NO, that goal will not last until infinity. I know my healthy weight range is 118 to 155, and my goal is to be circa 130. The reason my goal gets lower as my weight gets lower though, is that my confidence gets bigger. When I started this, going from 191 to the 150s sounded like a huge and possibly insurmountable goal. Now that it's happened, getting back into the 120s or 130s seems completely achievable. Basically, I'm now in a wonderful and terrible place: I'm much happier where I am, but I still know that I can do much better.

I've got a couple of exciting goals coming up in the next few pounds, and they are as follows: At 151, I will have lost a total of 40 pounds. At 149, I will be lower than my wedding weight (of 150) and officially the skinniest wife I've ever been. I will also be closer to 100 than 200. Not sure if I've said that before, but that is a really big deal to me.

So there ya go, happy day today! Hope you're all having an awesome time, punching your personal goals in the proverbial faces!

Monday, March 7, 2011

40 days of hard-ness.

I've made a decision this morning, which will probably on its own become the most difficult aspect of my journey so far. I've decided to give up my trigger foods for lent. So from today (2 days before Ash Wednesday, I know I know) until the day BEFORE Easter, there will be no: Cookies. Brownies. Chips. Candy. Ice Cream (though this one I don't eat anymore anyway, I'm just not going to give myself an out). Cake. Or cupcakes. Pie.

I think that about covers it. I realize many of you may think I'm over spiritualizing weight loss here, or under spiritualizing a sacred event. I've thought about it, I've prayed about it, and I disagree on both counts. This past 7 months has always been more about my relationship with God than anything else. I'm also giving up something unnecessary that at times, I can value more than my health, my weight, and in some ways, my relationship with God. And shoot for me, there's not much more I could do to suffer with Christ. :-)

So this is another accountability post, get ready for a blog-load of whining in the next few days as my super-ultra pouty self comes out to play!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

So fresh and so clean clean

So there you have it, faithful readers, beloved friends, and those with absolutely nothing better to do at the moment. I have, at least for the time being, updated the blog! If you're curious, yes, that's a picture of me pretending to run in the background, than I then superimposed over a cartoon sky. I've decided not to change the title for now, so basically this has all been cosmetic. But there it is, the new look and feel of the blog that *hopefully* more accurately reflects the content.

Side note: I ran 5k yesterday and the day before, but also, I ate too much. Feeling sleepy now, guess I'll have to try harder tomorrow. I'm considering increasing my skillz by picking a set time, say, 40 minutes per run, and seeing how much I can accomplish in that time.

Other side note: I saw someone a the store yesterday I hadn't seen since the summer. He looked at me with surprise and used, "You've been losing weight!! I didn't recognize you for a minute!" as a greeting. On one hand, it's nice to know the work is having such a strong effect. On the other, that comment made me feel a little bit sad for chubby-Ash. I'd really gotten so big as to be unrecognizable? This may confirm my suspicion that I'd become a true, authentic, bona fide "Fat Person". Ouch.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Extreme makeover, blog edition!

Anyone who's checked this blog in the past day or two may have noticed the hyper-changey nature of things. While on one hand I'm not so interested in switching things up, (I feel like sameness makes you comfortable), it's also time to come to an admission. I never, ever freaking talk about knitting on this thing. Somewhere between starting this blog and writing my first 3 posts I realized something. I don't want to talk about knitting, and I don't think you want to read about it. Apparently, while I enjoy working with yarn, I don't that I look forward to talking about my wicked sweet purling skills at the end of the day.

Instead, this blog has veered off spinning-yarn road and careened down weight-loss alley... or some more clever metaphor. I'm not UNhappy with this, I feel like the blog has been my own accountability, and on other days, a nice venue for whining, and I know that it has been an encouraging for others of you traveling down this road... alley.... metaphor. So, while I intend to keep my chub-blogging, I can't really keep the old blog name and stylings. There ya have it then, time for an extreeeeeeeme MAKEOVER!!!

So first, I'm sorry if this place is a chaotic mess here for a while. The blog is an adolescent girl, just blossoming into her womanhood. Sorry if that means she's got a crooked rack for a while. It happens to the best of us.

Second: I want help. We need a new name for this weight loss journey blog. Ideas? Suggestions? Here's my mental spitball to get your suggestions rolling: Finding my Feet. Scales are for Sucks. Achieving Awesome, and a super nice tush. The Chubby Blog. Yeah, I don't know. Obviously I need some assistance. Suggestions. Guidance. Life-counseling. Shoot, whatever I can, I'll take!

So go for it, faithful readers! Spit your creative juices all over me! What name can we come up with this weekend that will, say, make this blog entirely irresistible to all potential readers? No pressure. Go.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Grumble Post

Losing weight is hard.  No.  Sorry, that's a lie.  Losing weight is annoying.  Losing weight is frustrating.  And very, very unpleasant.  Not the actual experience of weighing less, of course, but the stupid, restrictive manner of living required by those who want to shed pounds.  Some days it's really not that baffling to me that I went so long without heading down this path.  Because it bites.  That's why. Grumble.

This morning, I'm not starving or anything, but before dinner, I'm allowed to eat 2 Slimfast meal bars.  Seriously??? Come on.  That's just depressing.  I am (quite obviously) a person who likes her food.  Food can be an exciting thing to look forward to.  It's comforting and happy-making.  Except, nope.  Not any more. Grumble.

Now, it seems, I'm actually ruined to a lot of the bad foods I would normally gravitate toward.  Last night, I shared 2 Taco Bell chicken soft tacos with Madelyn (late night, need to go shopping, blah blah).  Each taco has about 230 calories,  So, as Maddie Pants got some, I'm thinking I'm eating no more than 400 calories, and it's not a huge diet buster.  This was true.  What I didn't anticipate was the 4 hour long stomachache I had to deal with later, followed by the severe headache I woke up with at 7am.  I was just about to try and coin the phrase "Taco Bell Hangover", but Urban Dictionary already knows about it.  Wretched pretend food, ruining my life.  But to take the blame away from this particular establishment, it should also be stated that 2 weeks ago I went to Jack in the Box for lunch when family was over, and suffered the entire rest of the day.  Grumble.

So conclusion?  Dieting has made me completely and entirely unable to consume the "food" I used to eat on a nearly daily basis.  (Yep.  I ate fast food aaaaall the time.  I had a weight problem.  Some things shouldn't be surprising at this point.)  I feel like this is probably, definitely, a good thing, but it still seems odd.  Why does doing good things for your body mean it becomes weaker and more pansy-ish in response to the occasional unhealthy food?  If someone has a good answer to this one, I'd just love to hear.  

Last grumble of the grumble post:  I don't like restricting my eating.  I don't like having to exercise.  I don't like TacoBellHangover.  Grumble grumble grumble.

Grumbling out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Popeye calves and hip bones

These are things I have now.  Or at least, am developing now.  During my workout yesterday I wore shorts, and thus, really noticed my own gams for the first time in quite a while.  As a side note, jimminies, I really need to shave.  I'm not one to say, "take the winter off" from that particular task, but I have taken the week off, and I'm already sasquatching out.  Yikes.

But hairy is not the point.  The point is muscles.  Who woulda guessed, I know, but apparently I've got some.  I gotta say I was a little freaked out when I first noticed.  Apparently, while the rest of my body is shrinking, my calves are growing (not sure how I feel about this) and reshaping (which is freaking fantabulous).  You know that indent below the knee, above the major calf muscle?  Well I do.  Because I have one now.  My calves are getting so ripped that without even flexing, some muscle definition can be seen.  Not gonna lie, it's pretty intense.

Okay, so there's a CHANCE that my fears of looking like I "just ate me spinach" are a liiiiittle premature.  On top of which, looking overly muscular is a problem I could really handle right about now.  Because, really, if I'm going to have a hefty calf diameter, shouldn't it be because I'm so crazy crazy buff?  That's what I thought.

Guess I forgot to mention this... but also, I'm finally starting to see some hip bones emerge too.  Thems are my favorites :-)
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