Small Victories

Tuesday night I was writing a post on accomplishments that have nothing to do with the scale.  I usually get a little anxious the day before weigh in and was trying to remind myself that it’s not all about how much weight you lose but also about the small victories you have along the way.  Well… I weighed in yesterday and lost 4.2 pounds this week, which brings my total with Weight Watchers to 21.6 and grand total (from Emily P.’s wedding, which was in August 2010) to almost 40 pounds.  So, that post is being thrown out the window.  Nothing matters except the scale.  Everything else is trivial.  Just Kidding.  Although, I do have to say I’m very proud of myself.  I didn’t really do anything that made me think I wouldn’t lose a lot.  I was just expecting the standard 1-2 pounds.  When I weighed in, my leader, Mary (who is just an extremely positive and helpful person), and I just looked at each other with a very wide eyed surprised look when we saw the number on the scale and then started laughing and it took us awhile to stop.

Now, I’m going to include some before and after – or I suppose, before and during – pictures, mainly because I don’t have an incredibly inspiring video montage on hand.  I do, however, have something to admit.  I HATE before and after pictures.  I hate how the before pictures are usually taken by someone who obviously hates the person being photographed because they’re always taken while said person is in the middle of eating some disgusting looking food or doing something really unappealing.  To me, at least, it suggests that everyone is just a huge, unattractive slob with horrible hygiene before they lose weight.  I think too much emphasis is put on the appearance part of losing weight (though, I admit, I love receiving compliments just as much or more than the next person).  I’m going to stop before I start a long essay on feminism and body image, BUT you get the point.  And, admittedly, I might change my tune when I reach my goal weight, which is still a loooooong ways off.

Emily P.’s Wedding: August 28, 2010

May 30, 2012: 40 pounds later

While I had an incredibly awesome week this week, there have been a lot of weeks when I’ve lost less than a pound, and even a couple where I gained a little bit.  Those weeks it can be extremely frustrating, especially when it feels like you’re doing everything according to plan.  I try to find other things to motivate me.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going to run a 5000 meter (for you Parks and Rec fans) at the end of June and actually am running a 3k a week from Saturday.  (Any “first race” tips would be greatly appreciated!)  I don’t know if I’d really consider those to be small victories, but it’s definitely something else to motivate me.

So, instead of the usual “Things I’ve Learned This Week” list, this week I’m going to do a “Small Victories” List.  You’ll have to forgive me if it turns into “Sally’s Brag List.”  My birthday is in less than a month and usually during Birthday Month my ego doubles in size.  In fact, I was listening to Beyonce after my meeting because I was so pumped up and found myself relating a little too much to her song, “Ego.”  Then, the more I listened to the words, the more I realized it was about Jay Z’s, um, “member” and found I could no longer relate to it.  But, good for you, Beyonce.  Good.  For.  You.

Also, I want to hear about things that keep you motivated and focused when the number on the scale’s not moving as fast as you want it to.

Small Victories

–  using my actual abs instead of neck during crunches in Jazzercise.  I think since I accomplished this, Advil stock has gone down drastically and the poor people at WebMD are worried that the 25-34 year-old female from my zip code who symptom checked neck injuries all the time actually did have a neck tumor and has since passed.

–  in general, just using WebMD less.  Unless it’s after a double Jazzercise followed by a run.  But they don’t really have an option on their symptom checker for “Everything hurts!  I think I’m going to die!”

– Finally being able to fit into a pair of jeans I ordered a couple months ago that were too small, but I swore I would be able to fit into them after a couple weeks of hard work.  (Side note:  I had a pair of the same style and size only in Long that fit perfectly, but the regulars were significantly smaller.  Has anyone else had this problem with Gap jeans?)

– Having to tighten my watch by a hole.

– In the same vein, having an INCREDIBLY attractive tan line where my watch is, despite using SPF 50 sunscreen religiously because I’m just running All.  The.  Time.  Actually, only a half hour, 5 days a week.  But still.  Pretty awesome.  (Annoying PSA time:  Use sunscreen, folks!  If my embarrassingly fair skin can tan after a very limited amount of time in the sun, with a high SPF sunscreen, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it.)

–  Having to add a new hole to a belt.  Those of you more fortunate than I, might consider buying a new belt.

– Knowing an embarrassingly large amount of Pit Bull lyrics from going to Jazzercise so much.  He sure does like to rap about the President..

– Reaching 25 classes in Jazzercise!  Yeah!  (Actually, I think this would be a lot higher, but none of my Lincoln classes counted toward this.)  Also, for all of you Aurora Jazzercisers out there, Emily M. and I are going to Buh-ring It for the partner challenge these next couple months.  You better watch your back!

– Having someone who didn’t know I was trying to lose weight, compliment me.

– Passing Taco Johns and Amigos on my way to Party City (as mentioned before, it IS Birthday Month, I will most likely be going to P.C. – aka Sally’s Heaven on Earth – every week after meetings until June 24th) and opting to get Subway instead.

– In fact, I haven’t had Amigos or really any fast food in almost three months.  Having said that, I’m now reallllly craving Amigos.

– Running 2 miles, without stopping, under 30 minutes (barely).  But hey, waving at someone you THINK is your bff’s boyfriend  (who, I should mention, I’ve known since Kindergarten) very enthusiastically every time you think you see him drive by adds a lot of seconds to your time.

I feel like I could go on for a while, but I’ve probably reached my limit.  I do have to say, though, my biggest accomplishment – so far – happened when I was in Denver visiting my sister.  I think maybe a 1 ½ years ago, my brother, sister-in-law, and I went to Denver to see Greta and took a big walk around this really cool, Stuhr Museum-like park, and I would just get completely winded but then pass it off as being the altitude’s fault.  HOWEVER, Greta and I went back to this park on this trip and we RAN.  We ran A LOT.  We also went to Red Rocks one day, and while – yes – I did get a little out of breath while walking up the steps to the amphitheater, I didn’t have to stop and do the weird half laugh, half cough thing to cover up my heavy breathing.  I can tell crazy awesome things are happening inside of me and that’s, well, crazy awesome.

Running in Denver

My very Awesome sister.

Also, I’m sorry, Mom, for talking about Jay Z’s manly part.  I’d like to say it won’t happen again, but I just don’t know.



Ready to Run… Part II

I had every intention of coming up with a creative title, but it’s 6:45 am on a Saturday, people.

It seems like I’ve been saying this a lot; but really, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted.  I don’t really have a good excuse.  Since school’s out, I’ve pretty much just been chillin’ at the folks’ house.  My daily routine is unbelievably exciting, you guys.  First, I wake up 6:30-7:00, have the same breakfast (blueberry Greek yogurt + ½ serving of Fiber One + ½ serving of granola, a banana, and coffee) every day and watch Morning Joe on MSNBC.  Then, I either do a double in Jazzercise or one Jazzercise followed by running, depending on what day it is.  After that, I shower and catch up on all the TV I missed the night before.  Finally, about an hour or two before my mom’s going to be home, I kick it into gear and start on the list of chores she gave me.  So as you can see, I don’t really have time for blogging.  (Don’t you feel like this could have been a third graders school journal entry? “First, Then, After That, Finally”)

Y’all, I think I’m kind of actually becoming a runner.  I can say this with confidence because I actually went running yesterday.  In the heat.  And the wind.  Running in Nebraska in the summer is just going to be so much fun.  I’m almost finished with Week 5 of my plan.  Today I have to run 15 minutes followed by a minute of walking, followed by 14 minutes of running.  It’s crazy to think that about 5 weeks ago I was worried about switching up from one minute intervals of running to two minutes.  I think every time I had to add another minute I would text Emily M. and be like, “I can’t do this!  How am I supposed to run THREE WHOLE MINUTES at a time???” She’d respond with something along the lines of, “Of course you can.  You’ll be fine.  Don’t worry about it.”  She was usually right, so I stopped texting her with pre run anxiety.

A couple weeks ago, we were in Omaha because my sister-in-law was inducted into her high school’s Athletic Hall-of-Fame for being an incredibly awesome swimmer.  For real, she’s amazing.  I knew she was a great athlete, but didn’t know just HOW great until they started talking about her at the banquet.  We stayed over Friday night, so Saturday morning I was going to go running in Omaha.  I thought I could sneak in a run without my brother noticing (he is a real, actual runner) since he was trying to buy Springsteen tickets, but he realized what I was up to and wanted to come along.  Up until then, the only running partner I had was my iPod.  Y’all (I apologize if this becomes a thing.  I know I’m not southern, I’ve just been watching a lot of Hart of Dixie and GCB.  It will fade.), I didn’t realize how slow I was until I watched Grant running next to me.  I previously had this vision in my head of being all graceful and gazelle-like, and then I saw him almost jogging in place next to me and thought, “Wow.  I have a LOT of work to do.”

Running in Omaha is a lot different Running in Lincoln.  There’s not as much shade on the trails and it’s a lot more hilly.  However, Grant was a great running partner.  I was kind of nervous, since I usually have my music on, that I would be bored or somehow it would be harder.  Those of you who know my brother know that he is a constant source of entertainment, so I really shouldn’t have been worried.  At one point, I thought he was going to get us attacked by a family of geese.  They didn’t attack, but I had a feeling we were going to find out just how fast I could run.  After we finished my workout, I told Grant he could go on running and I could find my way back to their house (I couldn’t, but that’s a whole different story).  When he took off running, I realized – for the second time, how slow I am.  We are running in the A’ror’n Days Fun Run with my sister in June.  My goal is for Greta and I to finish the 5k without Grant lapping us while running the 10k.  And then, of course, to go home and have a delicious breakfast prepared by my mom.

Also on the fun run front, I’m going to be doing the Havelock 3k with some friends.  I’ve been worried about this one, but I’ve been going AT LEAST 2 miles on my runs, and last week I did a 10-minute mile (it hasn’t happened since), so I think I’ll be okay.

As far as Weight Watchers goes, this past week I reached my 15 pound point, which was pretty exciting.  Now that I’ve been attending meetings for over a month, I can kind of see patterns in the way my body loses/gains weight.  I’ll have two weeks of a multiple pound loss followed by two weeks of really small losses/gains or maintaining.  The weeks that I don’t lose much can be frustrating, but I just keep reminding myself that I need to hang in there.  And also that, if I lose weight too fast, I’ll have all that weird extra skin, and really, who needs that?

Lessons learned during The Process, so far:

  1. Having a support group is CRUCIAL.  My family has been amazing.  My sister is doing the Couch-to-5k program, so I’m excited to run with her this weekend when we go to Denver.  My friends have also been awesome.  Emily M. recently banned me from watching old episodes of The Biggest Loser, because we decided that although it’s inspiring, it’s not realistic to lose 15 pounds in a week.  Especially without the help of Bob and Jillian.
  2. Just because YOU’RE listening to your iPod and can’t hear anything, doesn’t mean that people passing you (and trust me, I get passed a lot) can’t hear your bodily functions.  I don’t feel the need to go into too much detail on this one, but if anyone has any tips on what to do when you need to “pass gas” while on the trail, I’m all ears.  3-10-year old Sally would just totally own it.  Present-day Sally, not so much.
  3. I’ve kind of become a grill master, and can make a grilled chicken breast taste gooooood.  This could also be Stockholm Syndrome kicking it.
  4. A good playlist is much more effective when you’re running for longer periods of time.  I was listening to a lot of rap music, then decided that I needed to listen to something more empowering, so I made my Girl Power Running Mix (Yes, that is the real title).  It’s basically music that either inspires me, or pumps me up, by women who I feel are somewhat empowering.  It’s basically the Beyonce show with help from a few others.

Sally’s Girl Power Running Mix

None of Your Business – Salt-n-Pepa

Who Says – Selena Gomez and the Scene

Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

Countdown – Beyonce

Bug a Boo – Destiny’s Child

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen (This is my guilty pleasure song.  I can’t help it.  The words are SO stupid and really don’t make sense, but I love it.)

Hot As Ice – Britney Spears

Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera feat. Lil’ Kim

Fighter – Christina Aguilera

Firework – Katy Perry

Fly – Nicki Minaj & Rihanna

So What – P!nk

What the Hell – Avril Lavigne (I fought with myself over whether or not to put any Avril stuff on here.  I’m all for a woman’s right to choose, but I really didn’t really know if I can consider someone as a role model for female empowerment when they choose to date Brody Jenner.  However, her music makes me run faster, so she stays.)

Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne (This song makes me think of Emily M. having solo dance parties with her iPod in the Fall of 2007.  And then I smile.  A lot.)

Put It In A Love Song (featuring Beyonce) – Alicia Keys

Diva – Beyonce

Independent Women – Destiny’s Child

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

How I Roll – Britney Spears

Beautiful Girls Reply – JoJo  (by this point, I think it’s pretty clear I have no shame.)

Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine

(I Got That) Boom Boom (Feat. Ying Yang Twins) – Britney Spears (any song that starts with “Shout it! We’re gonna go to the club and get crunk with Britney!” gets put on ANY playlist regardless of it’s nature)

I just realized that we’re supposed to leave in a half hour for Denver and I COMPLETELY forgot to put my clothes in the dryer, so I gotta go!  Have a good weekend, y’all!

Also… it was too windy to grill, but I made the BEST vegetables in a foil packet a couple days ago.  Zucchini, squash, mushrooms, peppers, onion, and basil mixed in a big Ziploc bag with olive oil, a bit of salt, and Mrs. Dash.  Soooo good!  Enjoy!