Saturday, July 30, 2011

Product Review - Nike Zoom Structure Running Shoes

First off, let me  just say that the following review was in no way sanctioned or asked for by Nike.  Everything I've got so say comes from my very own brain and they're all my very own words (some even made up!)  I paid for these shoes with my own money, though I wouldn't thumb my nose if Nike wanted to throw any other free stuff my way.

That being said.....for some reason several weeks ago, I got the itch to do more than walk.  So I went to the park one morning where we have a really nice 1.5 mile walking trail.  I thought I'd walk some/jog some.  what a wonderful idea!   Until I got such severe crazy-blisters on my toes that I could barely walk back to my vehicle.  It was ridiculous. 

I reached out to my Facebook and Twitter crews and the advice I got was pretty unanimous - I needed new shoes.  Not only were mine ill-fitting, but apparently running shoes and walking shoes are totally different.  Who knew. (Obviously not me).

So for a few days I thought about whether I really wanted to get into this running thing.  And in the back of my mind I knew I did.  So I went to a semi-local store and talked at length with the sales associate about running shoes and the troubles I had been having.  She recommended a few different things to me, but these are the ones I fell in love with.

They're called the Nike Zoom Structure running shoe and let me tell you.  When I put these babies on, it's like walking on my own personal cute little gray and purple clouds.  I have NEVER worn any kind of shoe more comfortable than this one.  When the time came to try them out for actually "wogging" (what I'm doing these days - a hybrid of walking and jogging), I couldn't have been happier with them.  They have a large toe box and I got zero blisters of any kind.  My feet did not hurt.  My shins did not hurt.  They are exceptionally comfortable.

Beware sizing, however.  My shoes are normally a size 9.5 - but my running shoes are a size 11.  I'm sure this would vary from brand to brand, but I was told to make sure you have a thumb's width of room between the shoe and your big toe.  This is fabulous for me as I hate the feeling of having my toes trapped in a shoe.  All I'm saying is make sure you try several sizes before you settle on one.  

The price tag seemed pretty average comparatively to other brands offering the same kinds of features.  In the store I bought them, they retailed for $95.00.  I don't know about you but I can be pretty frugal when it comes to things like shoes.  I though that a very large sum for a pair of shoes.  Luckily my husband has the right attitude about them and brought me around too - they're an investement.

I have zero complaints about this shoe.  I have been using them about three weeks now and each wear is more pleasant than the last.  I highly recommend this style of shoe for beginners (like myself) who need a little more room in the toe.  These shoes are EASILY the most comfortable athletic shoe I've ever worn.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So Full Of Optimism I Might Burst

I'm riding that high, ya'll.  Maybe it's because I did a double workout today and although my knees are bitching a little about it tonight, I have felt wonderful ALL DAY LONG.

Truth is, since changing my weigh in days to Saturdays, I have felt refreshed and not so restricted. I usually like to get a workout in before I weigh in, so it encourages me to get that Saturday morning workout in that I might not get in otherwise.  It also allows me to not feel so restricted if we happen to be at an "event."  Weekends are the time our family lets it's collective hair down.  We have people over, we go visit people, we head out on adventures. 

And I'll be totally honest with you.  I don't think I'll ever be that "food is fuel" girl.  Food is part of who I am.  For a good many years I've let it dictate who I am, but now it's just a part.  Food is such a social experience and I want to be able to enjoy it for the rest of my life.  However, now I'm becoming more and more in control of it instead of the other way around.

So, since I've changed my weigh in day, I am a little more lax on Saturdays and I've still been losing at a good rate. More importantly, I am gaining confidence.  My husband took a picture on his cell last night - and seriously, this kid cracks me up - she's using 2 pieces of bread to do her "SpongeBob" impression.    But the thing that really struck me after I got done laughing is that the chick standing behind my daughter?  That's ME.  Those are my *TAN* shoulders.  Do you know how long it's been since I've had a tan on my shoulders?  And seriously, I didn't realize my back and shoulders look good.  Thankfully Lilly's hiding my batwings, but seirously.  I've got the confidence to wear tank tops out in public now and I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT MY WHOLE ADULT LIFE. 

This journey isn't about racing to the finish line because truthfully there is no finish line.  It's about finding that works for you and running with it.  It's about finding ways to be comfortable in your own skin. 

I can't say I'll never binge again because I'm fairly certain I will at some point.  But it's times like this, folks, that I completely realize that I am going to get where I want to be, no matter how long it takes. 

I am gaining much more than I'm losing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Am Not Those People, And That's Ok

I read a lot of blogs.  As a mother of 2 with two full time jobs (in home child care and our internet business) and a household to run, I don't always have time to comment on each one.  But I do read a lot - There are many, many in my Google reader.

When I first got into the blog world, I constantly compared myself to the other bloggers that I read.  I would think, "oh my gosh....she's lost X amount of weight in X amount of months."  Or I would fall into the trap of thinking, "He's worked out for 2 hours each day for 6 days out of the week - I'm never going to be able (or want) to do that - I'll fail!"

The truth is, I'm not those people.  And that's ok.  I am really doing my best to eliminate the word "only" when it comes to weight loss. I find myself saying, "I've *only* lost 35 pounds."  Only?  What the hell?  That's more than my almost three-year-old daughter weighs!  THAT'S A WHOLE CHILD.

This isn't a race.  I'm not in a position in my life to do Biggest Loser-style 6 hour workouts.  I have children and a family to take care of.  I have other commitments.  But 35 pounds in 7 months?  I'll take that.  I don't mind not being exactly like all those wonderful people I read about in the blog world.  They are a fantastic inspiration to me and I'll be thankful to all of them for years to come because they're the reason I was brave enough to get off the couch and DO something for myself.  But - this isn't a race.  I know I'll get to where I need to be.  This time - I KNOW I WILL.  I may not get there as fast as others but I'm sure as hell enjoying the ride. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Will NOT Buy Fat Lady Clothes Again

I've gone on at length about my new-found love affair with clothes shopping.  Have you ever noticed that in the Women's Plus section of most department stores and even places like WalMart and Target that the style of clothing that you can choose from is mostly "Old Fat Lady" style?  As if just because we're big we have the desire to dress like we're 85 and fat.  I'm not knocking 85 year old fat women here.  Truly I'm not.  I just don't want to dress like them.

For years I've longed to dress in cute clothes but I mostly bought t-shirts because A) they're easier to shop for and B) I felt I didn't deserve to look nice and feminine.  Again, nothing wrong with wearing a t-shirt but it doesn't exactly make me look pretty.

Yesterday I was browsing at Goodwill for some new shirts and/or capris to have in my new smaller sizes and to wear on my upcoming cruise.  I some shirts in my new size (1X) but they were all that old fat lady style, and do you know what I said to myself? "Never again will I settle on clothes I don't like just because of my size."  Despite the fact that I'm very frugal when it comes to clothes shopping, I'm not going to settle anymore.  If it doesn't make me feel pretty, I'm not going to buy it, period. 

I *DO* deserve to wear clothes I like, and that are flattering to me.  I do deserve to wear anything that I choose (even sleeveless shirts!) that I like.  What a wonderful feeling!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Enjoying Summer.....For The First Time!!

I've always been the girl that's said, "UGH!  I *HATE* summer!"  and I've always meant it.  I hated sweating, the heat, that stupid big yellow ball in the sky.  I'd say, "Give me a gloomy rainy afternoon ANY day!"  I meant that too.

Do you know why?

Mostly it's because on dark and gloomy afternoons, you don't have to do anything.  It's perfectly acceptable to sit inside on the couch and watch movies or lose yourself in a book.  Getting uninterrupted time to read a book is sort of like gold in this house.  It's certainly at a premium, that's for sure.  On dark, gloomy, rainy afternoons there's no guilt for shutting yourself inside and not moving yourself.  You don't feel bad for telling the kids, "Sorry - we're not going to play outside today" because there's a real reason.  You don't have to say the real reason which is, "Mommy doesn't want to get up."  "Mommy doesn't feel like it."

I'd always avoid summer by saying I preferred being inside in the air conditioning (not a total lie).  The truth, though, is much more lazy - I didn't want to DO anything.  I didn't want to sweat.  I didn't want to go outside and garden.  I didn't want to go for walks.  I didn't want to do a damn thing and I certainly didn't want to wear shorts, or tank tops or anything that called more attention to my weight.

But this year.....this year has been different.

I have been outside more this summer more than any other summer in recent memory.  We've gone outside to play.  I signed my daughter up for swimming lessons.  We booked a summer cruise.  We've done some gardening.  And you want to know what else?  I've even been wearing a tank top to the pool while the girls have their lessons.  I've got the sunburn to prove it (I'm not used to the sun!).  The other day I went for a walk/jog in 94 degree weather and felt FANTASTIC.  And you know what?  I feel so freaking good.  I feel so liberated.  I feel like summer is becoming one of my favorite seasons (look out, Autumn!!) 

Hey Summer - I love your guts!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bring Your Own Crazy Friday (again, on an actual Friday!)

My friend Joanna at Diary of A Mad Fat Woman turned me on to BYOC, or Bring Your Own Crazy, which Drazil over at It's Just Me, Drazil & Shaniqua hosts each Friday.  I thought I'd throw in again this week!


1. If you were asked to symbolize yourself as an animal – which animal would you be?

I have never really liked this question. The only animal I identify with is a human.  I'm not much of a pet person.  It's not that I don't have compassion for animals - I do.  I just don't want them living with me.  The zoo is nice (if it's a good zoo) but I'm just not into being all close to animals and stuff.  I wonder what that says about my personality.

2. Did you ever play an organized sport – with coaches, rules and scoring? Tell us about it.

No.  Never.  I was far too ashamed of myself to put myself out there in any kind of organized sport.  Too afraid I'd fail.  My father would have loved it if I were in track or any other sport for that matter.  But I always thought I was too fat to even try. 

3. When did you start shaving your legs?

4th grade.  How old are you in 4th grade?  9ish I guess.  I thinkI'm not blessed with light body hair or body hair that doesn't grow very fast or body hair that is thin.  I had enough other body image things going on.  I'm glad my mother let me when she did.

4. When you’re in a crabby – pissy – want to stab everyone you see kind of mood – what do you do to get out of it or do you revel in it?

I try to remember my blessings.  But if I'm crabby or pissy I usually stew a bit and then get over it. 

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blogland and in real life.

Blogland - sparse at best.  Summer is so busy for me with daycare and my own kids.  I've got 6 girls here all day and my only moment to sit still is when the younger 3 nap.  And naptime is usually when I do my housework.  So if you see me hanging round the internet in the early afternoon, chances are I'm putting of housework.

In real life, I had some emotional issues creep up that led me down the path to the pantry.  So stupid, but I worked through them and woke up this morning with fresh eyes.  All there is to do is get back at it because I refuse to roll over and quit.  Rolling over and quitting is for suckas.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'd Like Your Opinions - Regarding Changing Weigh In Day

I've been mulling over the idea of changing my weigh in day.  Currently I'm a "Monday."  I'm considering changing to be a "Saturday."

Look, kids, it's summer time.  With that comes get-togethers, cookouts, family trips, weddings, blah blah blah.  And as it stands now I feel the need to keep tracking and stay on plan on the weekends, which is GOOD.  The NOT GOOD part is that if I do deviate from the plan I feel incredibly horrible.  I feel like I've undone a week's worth of work. Sometimes that can derail me for an entire week and sometimes I stay the course. 

The point is, whether I admit it or not, on the day of my weigh in I do usually get a little more liberal with my choices.  Good move?  Probably not.  I don't go over my points that often, and I very rarely use my weekly stash of points, but I do relax a little.  And I guess what I'm saying is, if I'm going to relax a little, I'd kind of rather have that be on a Saturday.

My concern is, will I let that balloon into a whole weekend of not giving a shit?  I don't plan to go hog-nuts on Saturdays by any stretch of the imagination.  But I also don't want to worry myself sick over choosing to have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner or even going out to eat. 

What do you think?  HONESTLY.  Have any of you done this before?  What day of the week do you weigh in?  Do you think this is just a ploy for my mind to say, "It's weekend time.  Where's the f-ing food?"    I'm really curious as to what you all think. 


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Two Small Days, One Big Revelation

Recently my blogging buddy Mary at A Small Loss talked about the difference between overeating and a binge being her intent.  If the intent is self-harm, it's a binge (paraphrasing here, with my apologies to Mary).  I agree with this, even if I don't recognize it while it's happening.  When I binge, I'm not trying to quell hunger.  I'm trying to fill some emotional need by stuffing myself so full I wish I could just slit my stomach open and have all fall out (nobody said the visual would be pretty). 

I've had this sentiment in my head for several days.  And most of this week, on-track-wise, has been stellar.  I tracked, I drank gallons of water, I made smart choices, I had some killer workouts.  I felt so in control and that is a wonderfully liberating feeling.

When I binge, it's not about WHAT food I'm eating.  It wouldn't matter if my house was stocked with only fruits and vegetables.  If I was going to binge I'd binge on those.  The fact that they're fruits and vegetables wouldn't change the fact that a binge is a binge.  It's not the FOOD'S FAULT.  It's my brain that makes the decisions.  YES, I love baked goods.  YES, I love ice cream.  YES, I love pasta.  But a true binge isn't going to discriminate.

It's not about the food we binge on, people.  That homemade ice cream sandwich I ate today?  I can't blame it for any of the other food choices I made today.  No, I didn't binge.  But I could have.  Before a binge I get a shaky and panicky feeling, but today I didn't get that way.

I did overeat this weekend.  I did.  But the point is that I didn't binge.  Was the overeating smart?  In the grand scheme of things, it was a couple of days where I cut loose a little.  I'm not going to sit here and be all "get back on the horse" because we all know that's what I have to do.  I made conscious choices all weekend long.  I allowed myself to have a beer with my husband during lunch.  I enjoyed a few cookies with my children.  I taught my 2 year old that we can make nachos with turkey (which fascinated her and led her to the decision that she wants "a turkey" for her birthday).  I shared a snack with my girls during Family Movie Day.  I enjoyed life but didn't use that as an excuse to binge.

So, while I thought earlier that the score was Weekend - 1, Colleen - 0....I've rethought that rationale.  Despite what the scale might say in the morning, I think that the real score was a tie. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and to all of my American friends - have a happy and safe Independence Day tomorrow!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Love / Hate Relationship With Chocolate

Yesterday I ate a nominal amount of chocolate.  I didn't binge, I was in control and I tracked it.  Should have been scored in the "win" column, right?  Well...yes and now.  I discovered something.

Since being mindful of what I'm eating, I haven't really eaten much chocolate.  Holidays like Easter have put a damper on that statement, but by and large I've stayed away from it because chocolate is the type of thing that if I start eating it, even in a controlled manner, I won't stop.  So in order to save myself the trouble and heartache, I just stay away from it.

But yesterday we made chocolate covered frozen bananas, and I ate one.  It was tasty (except, ironically, for the "banana" part of it) and overall I was pleased with the planning and execution of such a treat. 

Until afterward.

After, I felt bloated despite the fact that I hadn't overeaten at all through the day.  I wanted MORE chocolate, despite the fact I felt like crap.  I didn't eat it but instead payed attention to how I was feeling.  I felt fat and bloated and hopeless.  I felt like if I stepped on the scale it would read "262" again.  Within several hours the feeling passed and I was feeling more like myself again but the message was clear.....chocolate is just chocolate and the fact is that eating it makes me feel like crap.  It's not something I even remotely have the desire to eat now.  And that's not such a bad thing.
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