All in a Day’s Work

Today’s blog is mostly for fun… and for anyone who wants a peek into my life. Although my life really isn’t all that interesting but I hope you enjoy this post anyway.

Friday’s day:

9:00am I woke up for the day and immediately hopped into the shower, oversleeping by over an hour. Truth be told, I needed that extra time!
9:45 I made coffee and had my usual toast with PB & banana on top for breakfast, along with a cup of coffee.
10:00 I got to work, planning a webinar and the New Year product timeline. I hope to have a webinar up for New Year’s tips by December 2nd, but I will keep you all updated with that!
10:15 Second cup of coffee to keep me fueled while I continued working.
12:00 Time to get ready for the gym.
1:00 Workout time! 21 minutes on the elliptical. A few minutes in the locker room to get bundled up for the cold and back out the door I went. I walked about a quarter of a mile to Target.
2:00 Shopping! I went there looking for some legal pads, but of course I left with some felt tip pens as well… I needed more colors, it makes writing more fun to have colored felt tip pens!
2:15 I walked across the parking lot to sit at McDonald’s. I had tucked my free fruit & yogurt parfait game piece into my wallet before leaving the house for this very reason, I was starving and a bit tired after all that exercise and shopping! So I got that and a grilled chicken patty by itself. It was fun to sit down and eat, all by myself. It feels like I’m constantly surrounded by people at home and it was a good breather.
3:00 My parents and I headed to Walmart after that. Boy was it a madhouse at the stores today! I guess because it was Friday, there was a snowstorm set to hit us that night, and being so close to Thanksgiving. It felt like Christmas!
4:00 We left Walmart and headed home. It took a little while to get home with a stop to get gas and also to get the mail.
4:40 Back to work: notes for blog posts, working on product notes, and notes for a client.
6:30 At this point, I ate half of my dinner.
7:00 Coaching client meeting
9:00 Finished the second half of my dinner.
10:30 Final evening routine: taking the dog out, making sure everything is put away, etc.
12:30 Everyone else is finally in bed and I have the living room to myself! Party time! No, not really but time to catch up on my shows that I miss throughout the week which is pretty much the same thing!
3:00am Time to get ready for bed so I don’t pass out tomorrow. I have always been a nightowl and whenever I can, I stay up to get time to myself as well as catching up on my shows. I don’t get a whole lot of chances to do that throughout the week, only on my nights off.

~Bonnie~

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My Half Marathon Training Plan

A couple days ago I got the okay from a doctor to start running again, slowly and listening to my feet. I’m not fully convinced my feet are completely ready but there’s only one way to find out, right?

Some preliminary information on my half marathon is located at this blog post: Tinker Bell Half Marathon where I posted pictures of some gear I would like to bring with me and/or wear. The half marathon is at the beginning of May. I was inspired by a friend who did this year’s Tinker Bell Half and also seeing a runDisney race on an Extreme Weight Loss episode shortly after starting my weight loss journey. I did an web search right away, where I found the Tinker Bell race and instantly fell in love. However, if it weren’t for my friend (let’s call her A), I would never have dreamt of doing a half marathon! I’m so thankful for her inspiration because it opened up so many avenues and possibilities for me that I never would have dreamed possible for myself.

half marathon training plan

My plan is to start by following Jeff Galloway’s beginner’s training plan from Beginners Plan. It starts with 5 second running and 55 seconds walking for a run/walk program, however I might start at 15 seconds. I will try the 5 seconds first, and then move up faster than is in the plan he has there. The eight week program would only get me to running 15 seconds at once and I think even with my feet issue I can get up to running 60-90 seconds minimum by the end of week eight if I’m careful.

That will take me to the end of December, at which point I hope to start the half marathon training just to make sure I have enough time worked in for my personal needs. It will be the first plan (for runners and walkers) on this page: Half Marathon Training. If I start from wherever I left off with the eight week beginner’s training, working at my own pace and needs, then I can work my way up in the seventeen weeks with that.

The week before the half marathon I know I need to do some kind of tapering to prepare. I’m really not sure how to go about this, and unless I’m missing something I can’t find specific information about it on Jeff Galloway’s website. After some preliminary searches on other running websites, it seems like this is a topic that’s based on personal needs/preference so I’m going to do more research on this and find what works best for me.

I just find some more detailed information here: Top Tips for a Successful Taper from the Chicago Half Marathon website. It says two weeks is good before a half and describes exactly what the tapering means. Now looking back on the Jeff Galloway plan, I will already be doing this tapering method with his training plan. So if I follow the half marathon training plan from Jeff Galloway’s website, and the tapering tips from the Chicago Half Marathon website, then I should be golden! (Anyone with experience with tapering for a long race that would care to chime in, suggestions are welcome!)

Now with my feet still being an ongoing issue, I know I might not be able to run the full half marathon, or even run as much as I would like to. However, as long as I am moving fast enough for the race guidelines, which is 16 minutes or less per mile average, I will be fine. This means if I can average a 15 minute mile or faster with walking breaks then I won’t be pulled out, and I have no doubt that I can at least do that. Some people can walk at that fast of a pace, surely with some walking breaks I can “run” at that pace. I have to keep reminding myself of this part because sometimes I wonder if I will get pulled out for moving too slowly due to my feet or other factors.

So there you have it, my training plan now that I have the okay from a medical professional. I do believe I still need to see a podiatrist to make sure everything is truly okay, but that can wait for now. I know I have supportive shoes that fit my feet well, which are the Brooks Ravenna 5’s and if I really listen to my feet, resting when needed and training on days my feet feel better, I will do well.

I’m excited to finally embark on this training stage after four months of foot pain and being in limbo so to speak. It’s finally happening! I hope it goes well!

~Bonnie~

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

As some of you know or have read, I am signed up for a half marathon in May, which is the Tinker Bell Half at Disneyland. I really can’t wait for it! I have yet to start training or even running again due to my foot issue but really need to start by the beginning of the year at the latest so hopefully I will get that settled by then. I have had great improvements with my feet and can live a more normal and active life again, but running is a risk at this point. Hopefully next week I can get some real answers!

A couple weeks ago my mom scored me a shirt from Goodwill:

Tinker Bell shirt

And boy was I excited to discover that sitting on my bed! I had been wanting to look online and find a Tinker Bell shirt for the race to at least dream about for now, and hadn’t gotten around to it… so it made me even happier! The sleeves are also purple which is my favorite color. The best thing is that it’s probably a size down from where I currently am so will further motivate me to lose more weight before the race. I’m not setting a number for that but hope to lose another 20 minimum, however I know I can do 30 if I keep averaging more than five pounds a month.

sleep shorts

I already had these Tink sleep shorts, I don’t even remember where I got them, but they were probably a Christmas present from my mom quite a few years ago as they are Christmas colored. They are probably too big for me now lol, but I will be bringing them with me anyway to sleep in as long as I’m sure they won’t fall off.

From a trip to Disneyland in 2009, I have this cap that I’ve been wearing for my walks:

Tinker Bell hat

I love this hat, because I love Tinker Bell. And now it will be perfect as a hat for the race as well!

Last but certainly not least as far as the Tinker Bell items go, I rediscovered this in a jewelry box last week:

Tink necklace

A necklace! I don’t remember when or where I got this either, but I love that I found it now! It looks like it needs to be cleaned but I’m pretty certain it’s not real and I don’t know how to clean it without ruining it. I’m not a big jewelry wearer but have been desiring to wear necklaces and bracelets lately so it was definitely a pleasant surprise on that level as well.

Now I also have plenty of general Disney stuff, but will only be sharing a picture of two more:

Mickey Mouse

This ring is too small to go on my ring finger, but I hope that changes by the time I go or I will just wear it on my pinky finger lol. The “B” is for my name, Bonnie of course. I don’t remember where I got this either, probably on a trip to Disneyland at some point.

#Disneyland key ring

My beloved Disneyland keychain. I recently rediscovered this too and am glad to have it. I think I got it in 2009 when I went as well. Now looking at the picture, I realize this is also a Tinker Bell item haha, she’s flying over the castle. I didn’t realize that!

So there you have it, things I will absolutely be taking with me when I go for the half marathon! It makes me even more excited for my trip to have all of these items, only one truly new but the rest feel new in a sense because I had lost all but the hat for a few years.

~Bonnie~

What Causes us to be Overweight?

I wholeheartedly believe that media and society’s pressure on us are a big part of why so many people are overweight, but obviously that’s not the whole reason and I’m not going to address that here. Neither am I going to address the scientific causes either.

What I want to address is the deep reasons, the ones that stick with us no matter where we go, no matter what we do. They’re always there at the back of our mind… Emotions! We all know these pesky feelings we experience can drive us to food for comfort, or lead us to eating more than we should. The good news is there is a way to make progress in not allowing them to control us. I’m not a psychologist, but read on to find out what I have found to work for me.

stressed out

  • Stress: This is a big one! We deal with so much in our daily lives that we feel stressed and overwhelmed.
  • Sadness: We all feel it to some degree, on a regular basis.
  • Loneliness: Even those of us who don’t want a lot of face-to-face human interaction crave some level of companionship!
  • Hopelessness: Sometimes we feel that no matter what we do, we can’t do anything right or make any progress.
  • Anger: I know I’ve sometimes felt so angry, that once that anger dissipated, I felt so hungry I could eat the whole house.
  • Guilt: Feeling guilty can lead us to food or drink to drown that guilt.
  • Fear: We can sometimes find food soothing when we’re afraid as well.

Sometimes we feel so taken over by these feelings that we want to do anything to escape them… including turning to food in a misguided attempt to release ourselves from the feeling. We might feel reprieve but it is always temporary. Food does not solve our problems. Food cannot make us feel better long-term. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and an even harder lesson to follow through with by changing our self-soothing methods.

WHY

Here I would like to share with you why I am overweight, or at least part of the reason why since there are almost always multiple layers. The story goes like this… at age five, my mom and father got a divorce. Apparently I was pretty attached to him, although I don’t really remember him too much beyond a memory here and there. I was always on the smaller side before that but shortly after we left him and moved a few states away, I started gaining weight. I spent the rest of my childhood pleasantly “chubby.” Once I hit the puberty years, probably around age eleven and after yet another move, I started gaining more weight and faster. By the time I was twelve I weighed in at 180 pounds.

I didn’t think much of my weight beyond the fact that I was bigger than most of my peers… that is until I entered junior high. There I began to be a bit self-conscious of my weight and looks in general. The summer between junior high and high school, my stepdad had a stroke which caused all kinds of upheaval in our lives. We had to move and adjust, individually and as a family. That coupled with the drastic change of schooling, and I gained more weight. I ended up switching to a home school program with a friend when she brought it up, and that was the best decision for me. About a year and a half after his stroke, my mom lost 90% of her hearing and for a while couldn’t get any hearing aids. As anyone could imagine, this was another adjustment and tough on all of us.

At sixteen, when my mom and I joined a gym, I weighed 270 pounds. We went for a year and I lost 35 pounds without changing my diet. I found my love of exercise at that gym. Then we moved further away from that gym and I could no longer go when the year contract was over. I walked a lot after that but slowly gained the weight back as well as a little extra. A few years after that I started a weight loss journey all on my own at 289. That time I lost 76 pounds. This journey ended within eight months due to being in the hospital and having surgery to remove my gallbladder, then losing my first apartment and moving across the country. Once again, I gained all the weight back and then some.

Add in a few half-hearted attempts to lose weight in between… and a lot of stress here and there, as is the way with life, and by the time I started my current (and final!) weight loss journey, I was tipping the scales at 309 pounds. I didn’t start out thinking I wanted to lose 100+ pounds, but after I saw the weight on the scales and started learning about myself and weight loss even more than I already knew, I was in it for the long-haul. Here I am 16 months later, 120 pounds lighter than when I began and at a weight I haven’t seen since the beginning of my teens, and I still have mental and emotional issues I’m chipping away at on a regular basis. I know it will be a continuous process for me, and I might always desire to turn to food for comfort from these emotions, but I will not give in or give up.

Me before I started to now! A work in progress but have come so far already!
Me before I started to now! A work in progress but have come so far already!

You can do it for yourself too! Don’t let those emotions stand in your way. I know it’s easier said than done, but there is a way to retrain your brain to find other things to comfort you. Some of the ways I do this for myself: take a walk, call my sister and vent to her or talk things through, get a workout in, listen to my favorite or upbeat music, watch funny/entertaining shows, read some good books, or write it out. There are so many other ways as well! Find a way that makes you feel good, but that also helps you overcome those bad feelings. Work through them, don’t shy away from them. Sometimes we need a breather though and taking a break to give your mind a chance to neutralize can help tremendously in allowing you to think more clearly and find a solution.

~Bonnie~

Sharing Sunday- My First Race Experience

Beautiful trees on the trail.
Beautiful trees on the trail.

In preparation for the half marathon I’m registered for in May 2016, I wanted to do a 5K race in August and a 10K race in November. So first I signed up for a 5K race near me happening on August 15th. Originally I had signed up for the run, but as the race rapidly grew closer, the minor foot issue I had going on wasn’t healing like I thought it would. This meant that I had to switch over to the 2 mile walk at the race event instead.

Understandably, I was horribly disappointed. In fact, for the few days leading up to the race I almost decided to just forget it altogether. It had been a rough and busy week for me and I was so tired, which in turn made it easier to feel down about not being able to actually run the 5K.

However, the side of me that desperately wanted to see what a race was all about eventually won out and I went! I’m super thankful that my realistic side convinced me to go! Upon arriving, first I checked in at the registration table and collected my race gear: a race bib with my number on it, a shirt with the race name on it, and my race packet with some goodies in it. I was so proud of the tee shirt that I put it on over the tee shirt I wore there right away. Then one of the registration ladies helped me pin the bib to it.

Me all ready to walk!
Me all ready to walk!

There I was, all set to go and full of excitement and nerves! Once it was time, I started out slow. I was warming up and also a bit cautious, unsure how races played out. They had told us that there would be volunteers directing us along the way so I looked out for them. Soon I was in the zone and fully enjoying the experience. I never walk fast but amazingly, even walking on a trail which I was nowhere used to, I managed to keep a good pace of 19 minutes per mile for the 1.75 mile walk. That is my fastest walking pace and I was ecstatic to have done that after not walking outside much in the previous two months.

Tranquil stream flowing under a bridge on the trail, so pretty I had to take a picture!
Tranquil stream flowing under a bridge on the trail, so pretty I had to take a picture!

My first race experience was a far cry from what I thought and always imagined it would be, but it was very pleasant and enjoyable. It really left a positive imprint on my mind and I can’t wait for more in my future. I’m hoping next year I will be able to do the actual 5K run for this race. The possibilities truly are endless. All you have to do is dream, plan, and believe in yourself! Have you ever thought about signing up for a walk or a run? Go for it! Enjoy every step of training and completing it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it certainly is rewarding!

~Bonnie~

Sharing Sunday- More About Me

  
Hi, some of you have read my weight loss story that I posted last Sunday, but I didn’t delve into a whole lot about myself as a person in that post. So here I will tell you a bit about myself. My name is Bonnie and I live in Indiana but am a Californian through and through.

I am a 26-year-old full-time aunt (and a general caregiver to others), and I have recently embarked on pursuing my writing career. It has always been an interest and strong passion of mine… and at the present, I’m working on writing a book about my weight loss journey and hope to have it published in some form or another in a year, but also am aware that it might take longer. I have been working on other writing projects as well, one of which is actually this blog and I have really been enjoying it so far. Sometime in the next year I will be getting cerfification to become a health coach. I’m excited for that as my career because I want to help as many people as I can to live healthy, high quality lives. I’ve experienced firsthand how hard it is to start, and continue, a health journey. So my dream is to help guide individuals to do just that, to arm them with information and encouragement and to be a sounding board as well.

Besides babysitting my brothers two sons full-time, who are 4 and 3, I am the proud aunt of three nephews and two nieces through my sister. They are older, ranging in age from 15 to 10. Now if you do the math, you will realize I’ve been at this aunt thing since I was eleven years old. It has really helped shape me as a person. Being an aunt is something I will always cherish and be proud of. That’s not to say that babysitting my nephews and being around them almost 24-7 isn’t challengin, but it is also endlessly rewarding as well. I can’t get enough of those random cuddles and other moments of love that are so beautiful and sweet. Who can resist the innocent and unconditional love that children give?

Last but certainly not least, I am a Christian. It is relatively new to me, in fact less than three months, even though I grew up in the Church of Christ. It took losing weight and finding myself, as well as a vacation back home to California to find my faith. I’m still trying to figure out what this means for me, but am very committed to doing just that by studying. My parents’ church family, also one I attended for a few years as a child, has become my church family. It is full of warm and genuine people and I feel blessed to be a part of it.

  
~Bonnie~

My Weight Loss Journey, 120lbs Gone Forever

Before 5/31/14 to now 10/12/15! 120+ pounds gone!
Before 5/31/14 to now 10/12/15!           120+ pounds gone!

Hi everyone, my name is Bonnie and I have created this blog to encourage and inspire others. Here is my story of losing weight, I hope you enjoy reading it. Sorry it’s a bit long but it’s been a long (and rewarding) journey so far.

When I originally started my journey back at the end of May 2014, my intention was just to take a lot of walks and decrease my portion sizes at dinner to lose ten pounds over the summer. However, once I got on the scale and saw how much I weighed, I was shocked. The scale was reading back to me 309 pounds! I immediately signed up on sparkpeople.com because that website had helped me lose weight in the past. I ended up jumping in with both feet, cutting calories in a reasonable way and logging everything I ate as well as taking walks and increasing the time and distance slowly. My mentality right away was that this had to be the last time and I was determined to lose this weight once and for all.

The reasons I want to lose weight right now first started with a vacation I took to my hometown in California in March of last year. I took planes to and from there, and had to ask for seatbelt extenders both ways. It was mortifying. I hadn’t realized how big I was before that. I knew I was overweight, obviously, but never in a million years would I have thought I weighed over three hundred pounds! More embarrassing than the seatbelt extenders was being too big for the seats themselves, I felt like I was invading my neighbors’ spaces and tried to make myself smaller, which was very uncomfortable to say the least. Another reason I wanted to lose is the BIG reason… I want to be a mother someday in the near future and in order to be the best mother I can be, I need to be healthy, happy, and active so I can keep up with them and have experiences that they will remember. I want to be able to be active with my future husband and my children, separately and together, and to take many adventures together!

Some personal obstacles I have pushed through are mainly joint, rib, neck, and back pain. It is suspected I have Hypermobility Syndrome which isn’t commonly known about but I recently found out that more tests need to be run for this. I also started this journey without a gym membership. Due to living with my parents and my brother and his two young sons in a small two bedroom house, I have no privacy as I sleep in the living room. However, I did exercise videos as much as I could such as Leslie Sansone’s walking videos or walking videos off of On Demand in addition to my walking outside. I would use my brother and the boys’ bedroom whenever they were gone or try to get up before dawn to get my videos in. This was especially hard in the winter when there was not much chance of getting outside to walk but I pushed on. I also have depression and anxiety issues which I deal with on a regular basis and only recently was able to get some help through therapy and medication. I’m not ashamed to admit that even working on these issues by myself was too much for me and asking for help was necessary.

Spark People allows me to use the tools and support provided by the other members and also blog almost every day as therapy. Encouraging and supporting other people on the website is good for them as well as me, and I do as much as I can of that. All the support I receive through my friends on there, as well as my mom and other family members, keeps me going. Sometimes my family isn’t so supportive but most of the time they are. I still get the comments like “what would one [insert food item here], hurt?” I have to do what’s right for me and I take comfort in that because in the end, I am responsible and the only one in control of my own choices. I have to keep myself motivated and accountable. The way I do that is through self-talk and pep talks, repeating mantras such as “just do it” and “keep moving forward.” My personal favorite of mine is “just do your best” because that’s all we can expect of ourselves. I constantly remind myself WHY I’m losing this weight.

In the past few months, I have been inspired to do a half marathon and have already registered for it for May 2016. I have had a foot issue setting me back lately but it seems to be clearing up FINALLY and I will be running again soon. I am so excited to do this half marathon, as well as other races I’ve also looked into. It will be a fun experience. Challenging, true, but fun and exciting.

As of mid-October, I have lost 121 pounds. In August, I entered what we call “onederland,” which basically means getting into the ONE hundreds, and now weigh in at 198. It was SO exciting and I had dreamed of that moment from the time I started. It’s so weird because I haven’t weighed under 200 pounds since I was 13-14 years old, and am now 27. And through all of my challenges, both momentary and ongoing challenges, I have this DRIVE to keep moving forward. I am not stopping until I get to my goal of 140-155 pounds. And even when I hit that goal, I will start another journey: maintenance. Right now I am taking it one step at a time and just focusing on the here and now while looking to the future at the same time. It helps me to stay centered when I do that.

I want to finish this story by saying that YOU all have it in you to start or continue your own weight loss or health journeys. Believe in yourselves and do your best. Start small and work your way up.

~Bonnie~