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Four Month Progress Pictures ~ 10 lbs Gone!

At the beginning of February my family started a challenge. It ran from February to April and although I didn't come out on top, I did see a 6lb loss and lots of inches gone. Even with this proof in the numbers, I didn't quite see it myself. So this weekend I set myself up to take some progress pictures and I was happy to see the side by sides.

In the past 4 months I've lost a total of 10lbs and lots of inches. When you are looking at yourself everyday, it's easy to miss the little changes. This is why I take the pictures. They may not be flattering or pretty but they give me a sense of accomplishment.

 

My clothes are fitting looser and my pace is faster. Lots of little gains all over. And just the past month I've started following the IIFYM eating plan where you focus on your macros and make sure you hit your protein, carb, and fat numbers daily. I've seen huge improvements in my waist, tummy, and my overall health since starting.

   

Now to see some more progress and to keep reminding myself that this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. It won't happen over night. It's a long process!

Six Months Along

Thanksgiving last year fell on my birthday. As with most birthdays, I asked for very little. I didn't want a party or a lot of hoopla. No gifts were necessary and as little fanfare as possible was greatly appreciated. I'm not a fan the attention and having my birthday land on a day when I know I'll see a lot of people makes me queasy.

I just want to be left to celebrate quietly and with the ones I love. The one thing I did ask for was a morning to myself. The Brea Runners were meeting up before all the feasting began to enjoy a quiet run along a trail in my city. I slipped into my running shoes, taped up my heel, and headed out for a run without knowing that it would lead to my return to racing.

I didn't plan to run the whole way, just wanted to do a quick jaunt out 2 miles and back 2 miles using a walk/run interval. I remember it being chilly and a promise of coffee and hot chocolate at the finish pushed me through the way too early hour and the brisk air that Thanksgiving morning. I remember getting frustrated, reminiscing about the bygone days of being able to run full out without pain. I remember fear and worry that I would get injured again and that I was doing too much too soon.

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I finished, happy to have made it back to my car in one piece, and promised to myself to start making it back to running with the group more regularly. Then I headed home for a shower.

That was six months ago. Six months ago I did 4.1 miles on that trail in 58:33. It was slow going with an average pace of 14 minutes but I finished it. And I knew that, with that run completed, I could continue to slowly rebuild my base and gain back my strength.

That was six months ago. And Tuesday night I got the chance to revisit that ol' trail and set a new benchmark for myself. The stats are pretty clear. I ran a mile further with an average pace that was 2 minutes faster and it only took me 4 more minutes even with that added mile. My speed has increased, my endurance has improved, and I have the stats to prove it!

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To say I'm proud of my accomplishments and my progress would be an understatement. This was a huge moment. In this moment I realized that my hard work was paying off and that I was getting strong, faster, and better even if I couldn't always see it. Even if a run felt bad or it seemed like my progress was stalling, I have proof that I'm better than I was six months ago.

And in another six months, I'll be even better as long as I keep pushing myself to always go further and get there faster.

Running With A Purpose

Someone Must Pay

Someone was too lazy to get up and check their popcorn. Now the whole office stinks.

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The New Mrs!

This Saturday I married my long-time best friend. We met as kids in Sunday school and grew up together. Around high school we parted ways and had no contact for 15 years. Through the wonders of the internet and Facebook, we reconnected and became good friends as adults. Then we decided to try out that thing people call dating and after 2 years he popped the question in November.

After LOTS of planning over the last seven months, it was finally our wedding day and it was wonderful!! Better than I could have ever imagined. I can't wait for our pictures to come back. Here are a few from the weekend.

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My sister and good friend, my bridesmaids. We had a small wedding party and that was perfect for us.

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My bouquet was stunning with roses, green dangly things, hydrangeas, and peacock feathers.

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Mr. and Mrs.!!!!

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Someone signed our guest book in character as Lady Stark from Game of Thrones. Classic!!!

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My husband checking out the view from our balcony. It's so cool and weird and new to call him that!

 

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We stayed out at Dana Point in a great little inn that was personal and wonderful. We hope to go back as an anniversary trip each year. We were over the harbor and could watch people paddle boarding and we could check out the tall ships below. It was awesome!

We're still in recovery from the weekend. Everyone was SOOOO tired but it was very very worth it!!!

Yay!!! We're married!!!!

May Progress Report

Starting in April, after months of no loss on the scale, I decided to take pictures and focus on how my body looked and felt rather than the numbers. Here are the pictures I took from April 1st, May 1st and, June 1st.

 

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Tummy is looking small and my sides look slimmer.

Lots of change from the side. My arms look smoother.

 

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More changes. The side views shows so much!
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And the last. These back pictures really show changes around my waist, my back and my hips. Just shrinking away. And my weigh-in after two months showed me down 5 lbs from the start of April but up a pound from May. Go figure....

The process of taking progress pictures is really humbling and also uplifting. When you don't see the changes in the mirror, it can be defeating. But these pictures show a while different story.

Wedding is in 5 days!

Mid-May Progress

Looking at these makes me feel like the incredible shrinking woman. The scale isn't budging but the pictures have proof that something is changing.

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I'll follow up at the end of May and then I'll have two months worth of pictures to show my progression.

 

Down to 24 days till our wedding!

April Progress Report

For the month of April, I buckled down and made some goals. First I wanted to see 6 lbs gone. Also I wanted to stick to logging and firmly stick to a workout plan.

Out of the three things I wanted to accomplish, I did pretty well. I'm down 4 lbs, I completed 24 out of 30 logs, and I'm pretty satisfied with my 25 out of 30 days of exercise.

While I would have loved 2 more pounds to be gone, my pictures tell another story. I can see SOOO much progress that those 2 little pounds don't even bother me. 

Now to see the evidence!

 

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And there you have it! Lots of improvement! I see it mainly around my midsection and my back. So much smoother and smaller!

I'm not sure yet what I'm doing for May but I have 31 days for the pictures on the right to become my before pictures! And I plan to keep up the workout routine in the morning before work and I will continue to log 6 out of 7 days a week. By the end of May I'd love to see another 4 lbs gone and to see myself shrink just a bit more.

 

YAY!

Mid-Way Progress

So it turns out that blogging at home on my Mac is near impossible. It does not like the HTML program here. Which means my daily goal of blogging my food and meals and whatnot is no longer as much an option. Coming back to work on Monday and then writing three days worth of stuff is annoying.

Anywho. It's mid-April and I'm in the midst of a cleanse by Sambazon. 

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Do I love it? No. Do I hate it? No. It's a nice break from the daily grind of coffee/breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner. Just a little digestion break although I'm still eating foods, just no meat.

I miss meat...

My real reason for posting is to show my progress pictures I took yesterday. This is a perfect month with 30 days, making the 15th the exact middle of the month. Ok here it goes. It ain't pretty but it's progress.

 

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Front and center. I can see a little around my rib cage and my face. Small changes.

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Not much changing on the side view though I wish my little tunny bulge would go!

 

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Same on this side.

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Now I do see a lot here, I look smoother and smaller around the upper rib cage. I'm not completely happy but not completely down about it because I do see change. I just wish I could see more.

15 more days!

Man Down!

Day 5 and I'm hurt. Not emotionally or anything sappy like that. No, for real, I'm injured.

I went out for my Thursday run with the group and around 3.5 miles I had to walk and finish off with limp. I'm super pissed that I can't run tomorrow. I was planning to up my mileage and now I'm down and out for a bit while my heel heals.

Grrrrr....

But I've logged and stuck to my challenges for 4 straight days now. I'm pretty happy with my diligence and my progress so far. I started this week at 196 lbs and saw 192 lbs.

I have been as low as 189 lbs so I feel that the numbers shifting right now is just water weight. I'm working to get to my base number of 190 lbs. When I get there, then I'll start to really see a difference. But I'm still happy to see lower numbers.

Picture time!!!

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We are out of breakfast burritos to so I had to make breakfast. Love me some egg whites with crumbled sausages. I added a little cheese and salsa for flavor. When I was shopping this week and picking up salsa I made sure to read the labels and find a salsa that didn't have any added sugar. It was harder than I thought! But this La Victoria was great and without sugar added in.

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I changed up my snacks again and added a nice trail mix of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt chips.I bought bags of these trail mixes when they were on sale and the guys didn't like them. I was bummed because I was hoping it'd be a slam dunk at home. So they are now in my snack drawer at work. More for me!

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Sorry, no lunch picture. I kinda ated it all. I took my chicken breast and instead of reheating it, I left it cold and shredded it over my salad. I took the left over cheese from breakfast and sprinkled that on top. Delicious!

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I did some shopping yesterday to refill my empty snack drawer. I allowed myself some dark chocolate treats. These were very tasty and totally satisfied my sweet tooth.

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After work I suited up for my 5 mile Thursday run with my group. I was really really looking forward to it since I had been off for over a week. But I had a nagging ache in my right heel that I hoped would ease up as I ran.

I've been testing out different types of energy supplements for my running and last night I tried these. They were not the best tasting things but I found that they gave me a boost but didn't make me shaky. I liked them but I may need to find another flavor. Chocolate cherry just isn't so yummy.

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My run was going really well until my heel pain just took over and I couldn't push through it any more. We walked most of the way home and I was super pissed. I don't WANT to be injured! I'm blaming my new shoes and I'll be heading to the running store tonight to have it checked out. Three years of running and never a problem with heel pain then I buy new shoes and BAM! Heel pain.

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I came home tired and upset and sweaty to find my love had brought home dinner and a treat: HUMMUS! This time he got the raw garlic and cayenne hummus which has a major kick. WOAH! So good!

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Dinner was grilled steaks, green beans and a wonderful basmati rice salad that was sweet without being too sweet. It was TOTALLY worth the pain of running/walking with a bum heel!

So now to work through the aches in my heels and get better without losing my motivation. I can overcome this and as long as I log my food, keep myself accountable and maybe focus on arms and abs the next few days, I'll be good as new and back on the road again soon.

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Routine and Change

This April I've realized is an experiment. A test to find a balance between sticking to a routine and changing things up here and there so that things don't get boring and I don't lose focus. It's a tough balance to find for me since I tend to be so very letter of the law.

Yesterday I logged my food, did an interval routine at home and drank my water. I stuck to my planned routine but was able to mix things up just enough to not feel stale. 

And now for PICTURES!!!

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 First snack was a clementine orange and some nuts. Love prepackaged snack baggies! And having Emerald snack packs are great because they keep well in my desk drawer and come in a few different flavors. I usually have the cocoa and cinnamon flavored ones but I'm all out! Time for a shopping trip!

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My second snack of the day was my same old garlic hummus (which is sadly all gone now) but I changed up the veggies to tomatoes and cucumbers. Just as tasty and filling.

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Had some low energy levels so I added some energy supplement to my water to give me a little boost. I drink two of these bottles a day bringing me up to 3 liters. The packet of energy boost says to add to 16 oz but I think it'd be too sweet so I just filled the whole thing up and add it to that. It seems to defuse the sweetness but still gives enough flavor to the water.

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I made my own interval workout at home for my sister and I to do before dinner. I could have added a fourth workout and will next time. I'll also cut down on the minute rest between rounds. Oh and I need a bigger kettlebell. My 15 lb blue one just isn't heavy enough any more.

NSV? I'll take it!

 

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Been trying out different energy gels and supplements to use while running my longer distances. So far I'm up to 7 miles on Saturday but we're talking of upping it to 8 miles. YIKES! These are tasty and work well. I have to be careful because they can make me jittery if I take it on a mostly empty stomach.

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And dinner was baked salmon with roasted potatoes and zucchini with squash.The salmon was a bit over flavored but still flaky and juicy. There were a few fillets left over so I have my lunch protein all ready for me tomorrow!

I was pretty happy with my day. I logged everything and changed up a few meals here and there but was able to stick to the main idea: be accountable and log it! Make it a routine. I was also good with my after dinner "dessert". We poured some wine and I had maybe a 1/2 a glass.

But the biggest challenge was saying "No Thanks!" to some M & Ms. I'm doing so well I didn't want to spoil it by eating a trigger food. Chocolate is a food I really can't have when I'm tired or cranky because those moods lead to overeating. I'll start with a single serving and next thing you know, the whole bag is gone and I'm stuffed. So I just stayed away from them all together.

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The last bit of my April transformation is to work on my sleep. I NEED MORE! But unfortunately this hasn't quite worked out yet. I'm still feeling tired and I know I need to be more persistent with an earlier bed time. 

But last night my sister and my friend both came over to help me stuff wedding invites. Without them I would still be stuffing envelopes and I really appreciate their banter and help. It got done (ALL OF IT!) and now I just need to address and mail the suckers. But that meant I wasn't in bed until 10:30.

Hopefully I can get more rest tonight. I have a run planned while the boys all get their tuxes fitted.

Until tomorrow!

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