I cannot believe how much has changed in the last week … really last 10 days. It was just 10 days ago that I went off to Weight Watchers training to become a WW Leader … or rather a “baby” Leader. The training would finish up the first half of the full training to be a WW Leader.
It sort of seems a lifetime ago that I stepped in to the Hotel on Thursday, March 22 – not really knowing what those three days of training would bring … or more importantly, the people it would bring in to my life.
I will not go into detail of what the training entailed since that is personal information, but I can say that I learned during that time that I am a heck of a lot stronger than I think I am. I learned that I need to trust my instincts. I learned that it is okay to ask for help. But, most of all, I learned that it was my destiny to be a WW Leader. I 100% believe that.
All of the twists and turns of life has led me to this point. This is where I am meant to be.
But, beyond the amazing experience and amount of knowledge I got during the training, I made some amazing friends. There were 18 people in my training. I was in complete awe and amazement at what all of these people had accomplished with Weight Watchers. It made me appreciate even more how the program works differently for everyone. Everyone tweaks the program to work for them. Between the 18 of us, we got rid of 1,067.6 lbs. Can you even imagine that much weight?
At one point, I tried to look around and envision what the group would look like it we were all back at our starting weights.
It was awesome to meet all these other people that understood where I was coming from and wanted to pay forward all the knowledge that we have gotten during our own weight loss journeys.
We shared laughs, we shared tears, we shared hugs, we shared wine, we shared beer, we shared recipes, we shared exercise routines, but most of all we shared a piece of ourselves with 17 other strangers that bonded us together for life.
Even got to go for a nice 5 mile run on Friday morning (Day Two), which really helped mellow me out. I needed those endorphins. I even learned that my fellow WW Leader-in-training Melinda will be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half in August so I will get to reconnect with her then – if not beforehand.
Once, I was done and found out I had passed the training. It seemed as if something switched on in my head. I felt so at peace and excited for what was going to come ahead. The pressure (completely put on myself) was lifted. I had passed and finally could call myself a WW Leader … okay, a WW “baby” Leader, but I was one step further to reaching my latest goal.
After leaving the hotel on Saturday, I came home completely drained and basically just laid low for the remainder of the day. But the entire time, I had a smile plastered on my face that has yet to come off.
I met with my Leader Coach Heather (who is amazing AND puts up with my bajillion questions/worries) on Tuesday to go over the rest of the game plan. She quickly let me know that it would be my time to step in front of a real live meeting that Thursday. Yes, you read that right – about 48 hours after that point in time – I would be in front of a meeting … and I would be talking Fiber! Again, you read that right – what a “fun” topic to start with.
Thankfully I have a great Coach and amazing WW friends on Twitter and Facebook that they all talked me off a ledge and let me know I would be fine. I quickly went home to start prepping. I would have to do an intro about myself and about half the meeting (so roughly 15 min). Okay, I thought – I can do this.
So I freaked the whole time leading up to Thursday night, as I do. I had my notes with me. I was ready to give it my all.
Thankfully on Thursday when I got to the WW center, they were busy so I was able to distract myself by actually weighing people in and signing up new members.
But, finally I heard Heather start the meeting and I just tried to remember to breathe… one of my BLS buddies (Sara Beth) told me there are only two things you need to do everyday – 1) breathe in & 2) breathe out. Yup, I was repeating that to myself over and over again.
I got up there and just was myself. Thankfully they got my jokes and enjoyed the activity I had lined up for the discussion on Fiber. Once, I got done singing my little Fiber stanza I had for my close I was feeling good. Heather ended the meeting and I waited for the verdict.
While, I was waiting. The members had such nice things to say about my first time at the front of the meeting and I was especially touched when an elderly gentleman came up to me and said he really “enjoyed my presentation.” Oh it melted my heart.
I met with Heather and she confirmed that the meeting went as well as I thought it had. Phew! So after that I was 3/4 of the way to being a full-fledged WW Leader. Next up? Running an entire WW meeting, which will be happening this Thursday (April 5). So if you are a WW member in the Cambridge, MA area at 5:30 on Thursday, you are more than welcome to come on in and participate and smile a lot.
I really think getting that first time in front of the group under my belt has helped put a lot of my nerves at ease. Plus, it was wicked fun! It just increased my desire to get up there and lead my own WW meetings.
So for now I work on channeling my nervousness into fuel into confidence into one kick a$$ meeting!
It seems like too long since I last did a Truth Tuesday post … last week I weighed in at home, but didn’t do my official Weight Watchers weigh-in. I was determined this week to take off what I had gained. According to the home scale it was about 3 lbs of a gain (155.2 then 158.6 over a two week span). So last Monday I had recommitted to getting on plan … that lasted three days before I went to Weight Watchers Leader training on Thursday. So Thursday, Friday, Saturday I tried to keep my eating in check, but I definitely did some stress eating. But, I also upped my activity all week long – even managing a 5.5 mile run on Wednesday and a 5 mile run on Friday morning. Woo!
And that activity must’ve worked since this morning on the home scale I was down 4.2 lbs (158.6 to 154.4). Sah-weet!
So I headed in to Weight Watchers to get back on track with the official Truth Tuesday weigh-ins. Last time I was there (March 6) I was 155 (RIGHT at my goal weight) and today … 154.6! Down 0.4 lbs. I will take it peeps. That is some good maintaining over the last three hectic weeks…
Today: Loss 0.4
Starting Weight: 217.4
Today’s Weight: 154.6
Total Lost: 62.8
I am definitely happy with the results and proud to say today marks Day Three of being back on plan! I got back on track as soon as I woke up on Sunday, feeling refreshed and ready to reclaim control over my eating habits.
Another big relief is the lack of knee pain I have felt this week, which started with my 5k on Sunday, March 18. Including that race, I have run 13.6 painfree miles and hit up three Spin classes without knee problem. I am really hoping the injury, which plagued me since Hawaii in November is behind me.
I will tell you all that getting back to the basics of measuring, weighing, tracking and listening to my body signals has helped me handle the last couple weeks. I have been “back on plan” for six of the last nine days. Yay! I am pretty darn proud of that!
I also need to keep the booze in control. I can see when I have a little too much beer or wine the promiscuous eating comes out in full force, which leads to a bad next day – a mini domino effect. So I need to really show some self control with that and not slip in to old bad habits! Plus, I just hate how I feel when I go a little too far on the booze. I’m not 21 any more…
Who else tackled the scale on Truth Tuesday today?
I feel as if the lyrics to Pink’s song “F*ckin’ Perfect” were written for me. I know I have mentioned it before, but I think each time I hear them it just resonates with me even more. The parts that really get me are:
“Pretty, pretty please
Don’t you ever, ever feel
Like your less than F*ckin’ perfect.
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You’re f*ckin’ perfect to me.
You’re so mean,
When you talk about yourself, You are wrong.
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead.”
The second stanza in particular was me to a T. For so long, I was my own worst critic. I honestly am not sure what has switched inside my head, but all of a sudden over the last month I am FINALLY taking some PRIDE in what I have accomplished. I can’t tell you what made the trigger go off, but it did.
Now, I am not saying I love everything about myself or am 100% confident in who I am, but it is coming leaps and bounds from where it was before.
Maybe taking that leap of faith back in January to move back to Boston and pursue a new career did more for my psyche than I thought possible.
But, as I thought about how on January 28, 2011, I went under the knife for major back surgery, and how much has changed since that moment…
* I took the wife’s advice and started this blog … one year blog-aversary is May 26, 2012.
* I proceeded to rekindle my love of running – completing 14 races from June through December of that year – including a half marathon less than 8 months after surgery.
* I hit my original goal weight that I set on November 2, 2009 (Day One of Weight Watchers).
* The wife and I took a vacation together that was longer than three days. We finally got to go on that Hawaiin honeymoon we wanted … where I proceeded to wear a bathing suit … IN PUBLIC!
* I was featured in a magazine article about my weight loss journey.
* I hit the NEW goal weight that I set after hitting the first goal weight.
* We made the biggest decision of our life together to date and picked up and moved back to the East Coast.
* I was able to raise over $3,600 for the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Foundation, while recording a PR in the F^3 Lake Half Marathon … the day before setting off for Boston.
* I was honored to be chosen to work for Weight Watchers as a receptionist and continue to pay forward everything they had given me.
* I hit LIFETIME status with Weight Watchers, which meant I hit my goal weight and maintained it for 6 weeks. Woo! I even got to live out my fantasy of having a Biggest Loser type moment by throwing confetti in the air!
* I was able to compete again in the Ras na hEireann 5k, which was the first road race I ever completed … cutting off almost 14 minutes from my time (38:21 to 24:33)! This meant I ran my first ever SUB 8 min/mile pace.
* After starting the #plankaday program with a 45 second plank, I managed to hold a plank for 4 solid minutes on St. Patrick’s Day!
* I was chosen to attend BLS (Basic Leader Skills) for Weight Watchers and passed, which makes me a “baby” Leader!
* This blog’s Facebook page hit 1,000 likes and I completed my promise of planking for 1,000 seconds.
Wow, I cannot believe all of that awesome stuff has taken place in the last 14 months. After writing that out, how can I not be completely proud of myself. I have accomplished so much and have followed my heart in ways I could’ve never imagined.
Growing up I had zero confidence in myself, through this journey on Weight Watchers I have found a sense of outgoing confidence I never thought possible. Are there times (like this past weekend) when it fails me, sure, but deep down I still know that “I am STRONGER than I think I am!” Sometimes, I just need to repeat that to myself a few hundred times to get it to restick.
Because this journey has taught me that it is okay to be me because I am freakin’ awesome! Each day I become a little more comfortable in my own skin because I have sooo much to be proud of.
So if you are ever having a down day, just know: you are freakin’ perfect to me!!
I really cannot believe how awesome this week has been! I am feeling truly blessed…
Well the amazing week was capped off with this blog’s Facebook page hitting 1,000 likes! Wow! What a cool thing to have happen. Well I had made the pledge that when it hit 1,000 likes that I would plank for 1,000 seconds … and today it finally happened!
Thanks to my videographer (and wife) here is my first ever video post. I hope you enjoy
I have heard the above phrase uttered countless times by people who are seeing their friends drop massive amounts of weight and starting to look thin/skinny compared to their old bodies … I have gotten this comment a handful of times as well.
I wish I could get it to stop. Even though the person probably doesn’t mean harm by it – although some probably are – it isn’t a phrase I like to hear thrown around.
Why you might ask?
Well if you are new to the blog, I battled – and still battle today – eating disorders. I wrote a post about it back in June 2011 with more detail, but basically I either survived on nothing but crackers for months and I just “upchucked” anything that went into my stomach the rest of the time. Not healthy. Not healthy in the least. But I was losing weight. At the time my lowest was 180, but I wasn’t in a good place. But, no one knew, how I was really losing weight. I just kept hearing “you are looking great” or “keep up whatever you are doing.” Well, in my twisted mind that meant keep on being completely unhealthy.
But, with the help of friends, I slowly overcame that mentality. And now I am happy to be a HEALTHY 155 lbs.
I still have to battle that little voice each day. While I was off plan the last two weeks and overeating, my immediate thought was to hit the bathroom and get rid of the problem or maybe I will just not eat my points tomorrow and it will all balance out.
Then I remembered … that is NOT healthy. Weight Watchers has helped to teach me that each day is a new day, each meal is a new meal. I do not have to punish myself if I “slip up” one day, one week or one month. I just take my time to work it out and get back on plan.
Continuing to keep those thoughts in my head, kept me from slipping back into those bad habits recently…
So when someone tells me I am “looking anorexic” I take complete hurt in that. I mean not everyone knew/knows I had an eating disorder, but that is another reason why you shouldn’t make an offhand comment like that. YOU don’t know what that person has been through in their life that they aren’t sharing.
I beg of people today! Please be mindful of the comments you make to your friends who are embarking on a weightloss journey. I would love to hear people say “You are looking strong,” “You are looking lean,” or “You are looking healthy.” Rather than going to “You are looking skinny.”
Because for me … this whole journey has been about getting to a healthy place in my life – a healthier relationship with food – a healthier spot inside and out.
So I ask people out there to please take a quick moment to think before you tell a friend “You Look Anorexic.”
So after a ton of knee pain at the F^3 Lake Half on January 28, I scaled my running back during the month of February. It was actually the first month I didn’t run a road race since back surgery recovery (so May 2011). But, I had signed up for the Ras na hEireann as soon as we decided we were moving back to Boston officially. Why you might ask? Well, it was actually the first road race I ever did (March 2005) and I wanted to show myself how much I had improved in those seven years of losing weight/exercising/running.
Also exciting about this race is it would mark the wife’s first race in Boston and my cousin Jen’s first road race ever. Yay! I love new runners!!
I honestly didn’t know what to expect on race day since my knee was sore every time I attempted a run since the Half (twice), but I knew I would try my hardest to beat my first time in this race … 38:21. Going in to the day my new PR was set on New Year’s Day 2012 with 25:27.
I actually decided to dress up for this run…
I think it was only the second time I had run in shorts – I usually hate them – but I think this time was different since I had my running pants on underneath.
The race didn’t start til 11am, which I am not a big fan of. Mainly because I never eat at the right times. I just can’t get the timing down. I like the races where you just get up and run then I eat after. But, anyway, the weather was amazing – sunny and not really cloud in the sky. Pretty uncharacteristic for Boston in March.
As I mentioned before, I haven’t run this race since March 2005, but the course was thankfully pretty similar so I had a gauge of how far I was at each turn. Also this race was in Somerville, MA (my hometown) so I was pretty familiar with where we were.
I was surprised, and happy, to see pace marker corrals before the Start Line. Since I wasn’t sure how I would be running, I parked myself in between the 8 and 9 minute mile. Since my cousin was hitting about 9 and a half minute miles, I had her start up with me. It is always easier to be passed than bob and weave to get ahead of the large crowd (there were over 4,000 participants).
Per usual, I couldn’t hear a darn thing they were saying, but all of a sudden heard the gun. We were far enough back that we could do the little jog-walk-jog-walk dance we all do until we hit the actual Start Line. I had both of us start our Runkeeper/Nike as soon as we crossed the line … and we were off. Yes, I left my cousin almost as soon as I crossed the Start Line. Hey! I saw an opening in the crowd so I had to take it.
It was so nice to be running through the old neighborhoods that I know so well, but have been away from for the past five years. There were bagpipers along the first street, which added some entertainment.
As I was nearing the first 5 minute marker on my Runkeeper, the little voice let me know I was at a 8:07 pace. Sweet, that would be a PR. Awesome! So I kept plugging along…
With each reminder and mile marker, I was realizing I wasn’t feeling any knee pain. I kept expecting it to kick in. There was a little tenderness at the downhill parts, but I expected that.
As I hit Mile One, my Runkeeper told me I was at a 7:57 pace (or something like that). I think I yelled a nice four letter profanity in shock! I have NEVER run a sub 8 minute/mile. Then I started thinking my Runkeeper must’ve been thrown off by the houses or something. But the mileage was spot on. Usually if it gets wacky it is the mileage that is thrown off, which will throw off the pace. But nope, mileage was spot on.
So as I hit Mile Two, I realized I had zero knee pain, I was slightly thirsty since the sun was REALLY beating down on us, I was going to hit a PR AND I quite possibly was going to have a sub 8 minute/mile pace. OH I think that threw me into a new gear and I hauled booty during that final mile. I kept thinking about how cool it would be to cut 14 minutes off my first race time.
I took the final turn and could see the finish line just down the street. I hit the 3 mile mark and then I saw my dad and my cousin’s boyfriend Nick ready to take pics. So I got myself to the correct side of the street and threw my hands up as I was running (yes, working it for the camera).
Crossing the Finish Line felt AMAZING. More amazing than many of my other races for sure. I was SOOOO proud of myself. Never ever in a million years did I think I would ever run that fast.
I ended up posting a PR of 24:33, which translated to 7:54 minute/mile pace. I might’ve JUST snuck under the 8 min/mile, but I will freakin’ take it.
I was eighth out of 115 in my division and 751st overall out of 4,367…
It was like a dream!! I amazed myself with what I accomplished. I cut off almost 14 minutes from my first 5k time – at the same race – so surreal. I did cut off 54 seconds from my latest PR, which had been set on New Year’s Day.
Jen did a freakin’ awesome job in her first 5k, finishing in 29:07, and Tori rounded out the group with a time of 36:09.
You know four things I love: running, PRs, medals and beer!
This was the best race I could’ve done as my first “welcome back to Boston” run! It is one I will for sure continue to run for years to come…
This past weekend made me wicked happy to be back in Boston!!
I got to celebrate a friend’s birthday – yay Kim!
I am watching my BFF Sarah get bigger by the day with a lil baby girl!
Laney has upgraded on Day 21 to Cone minus bandages … Progress!
I was thinking this morning as I walked in to the Weight Watchers meeting I was about to observe that when people see me now (outside of a WW setting) – they just see me as the person standing in front of them: a healthy, confident, outgoing, sort of slim person, who enjoys going to the gym, Spinning and running.
They have absolutely no idea how far I have come to be the person I have today. They have no concept of the “old me.”
This just hit me this morning – yes I am a tad slow on the uptake okay – you would think I would’ve realized this grand concept a long time ago.
But, I think I am just so immersed in my own journey, chatting with so many of the same friends and family that saw me at the beginning that I forget when a new person meets me on the street – I just look like me. To them, there is no “old me” or “new me”! It is just a crazy concept to me.
It is like starting with a clean slate, yet for some reason I have been finding the need to explain to people that I haven’t always looked like this. I want to share how far I have come. I want to tell them how I still struggle to overcome not one but two eating disorders on a daily basis, but I do it. I want to thrust that darn “before” picture in their face and show them how far I have come.
Why do I feel the need? Why can’t I just embrace the new me fully?
Well, there is still a lot of emotional baggage I need to work through I think. The same thing that many people who take on this roller coaster we call “weight loss” need to do. It isn’t something that happens overnight.
I mean, it is super easy when I am at work for people to understand and appreciate what I have done to be where I am now. But when I just ran to the grocery store, the person ringing me up probably just thought I really like fruit. Whereas, I want to share with her my life story. Unnecessary.
But, I think for me. I want to explain myself to people. I think it stems from when I was really overweight and I would look at the skinny girls at the gym and just be envious. I would look at them and think “Why Can’t I Be Naturally Skinny?” But you know what? I don’t know where they have come from. They might be in the same boat I was once in. They might’ve started out at my weight or heavier.
Why was I so quick to pass judgement on them and snark “Why Don’t You Just Eat A Hamburger?” to the size 0 woman on the treadmill. I was obviously in the mindset where I thought every skinny person was naturally that way and I projected my unhappiness on to them.
But, then on that fateful November 2, 2009 – I took my life into my own hands. Over the course of this journey, I have learned to look at people MUCH differently.
It’s funny. I now look at every person walking down the street and wonder what their story is. I am not as quick to judge the other people at the gym because you know what – I don’t want them judging me. I am turning my snarky comments into positive ones: “Wow, that person is running so fast on the treadmill – that is awesome.”
I don’t know other people’s journeys to where they got the place they are in their life. I am happy seeing people as people and learning about where they want to go. I love hearing about what you have all accomplished. This social media is a great forum to share our highs and our lows.
So when you are out and about today, take the time to change one snarky comment you might make about someone into a positive one … because you don’t know how hard they have worked to be where they are…
The Conehead managed to free herself from the bandages while I was at work so the wife & I got to play vet and put her back together…
When I started the plankaday challenge in August 2011, I did 45 seconds and today…