Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: The Year of Kristin

I have decided that 2014 will be my year.  My year to focus on me, and my little family of 4.  My year to make me happy, and healthy.  I will focus on what makes me happy, and make an effort to be happy every day.  I will focus on what's important in my life, and make those things a bigger part of my daily life.  I will simplify my life and teach myself and my children that we don't need things to be happy. 

I'm done with excuses from myself and others.  I'm done with people and things that drag me down.  I'm the only one that can control my attitude and outlook on life.  I've learned that I can't rely on others for my own happiness.  I'm done wasting time and energy on others that repeatedly bring me down.  I need positive energy in my life.

I'm ready to feel good about myself again, to feel happy, to be a better wife, mother, and friend.  I'm ready for a brighter, fuller life.

2014 will be my year. 


Saturday, March 23, 2013

So Many Victories!

If you've come here to find updates on the girls, it's not happening in this post.  This one's all about me, and there's lots of pictures. It's been a long time in between blog posts, but I've had a whirlwind of victories lately, so I decided it's time for a post!  

First up, I realized that I have lost 100 pounds since I first started trying to lose weight back in 2008! 100 pounds!!  A few months after Kara was born I reached my highest weight ever, I was miserable, and decided it was time for a change.  I lost about 80 pounds, and maintained that until I got pregnant with Macy.  While I was pregnant with Macy I gained 51 pounds, and felt like I was starting the weight loss journey all over again after she was born.  I only lost 18 pounds between the time Macy was born and when she was 6 weeks old - I've since lost all 51 pounds that I had gained with her, along with another 30 pounds!  All together, I'm down over 100 pounds since 2008 - that's pretty incredible if you ask me - more pics of my whole journey at the end of this post!

Next victory, I ran my first half marathon!!!  Yes, I ran a half marathon.  After I had Macy I started running again in March of 2012.  It was a very slow start after taking almost a year off to get back into running!  I ran about 5 5ks in the past year, and was wanting to challenge myself a bit more, thought I'd go for a 10k, but got talked into running a half marathon.  I tried following a half marathon training plan, but I didn't really stick to it too much, I got sick in January and took 3 weeks off from running!  I was trying to run a few times during the week and then do a long run on the weekends, my long runs varied from 5 miles to 9.5 miles, and I was really starting to enjoy them - yes, even with the freeeeeeeeeezing cold temps, ice, freezing rain, snow, puddles, I was really enjoying my running time on the weekend. As the date of the half marathon started to get closer, I started freaking out, I'd get super nauseous  just thinking about running 13.1 miles. I was starting to dread it!  My last few training runs were at an average pace of about 11:30/mile, when I had been down to about 10:30/mile, so I was scared that it was going to take me forever.  I had decided that I wanted to finish under 2 hours and 30 mins, but wasn't sure if that was going to be an attainable goal with my crappy training runs I had been having.

Here I am waiting in line for the port-a-potty before the race :)  It was cold!

I had decided that I was going to run the half solo.  I seemed to do better on my training runs when I was by myself - I could go my own pace, I could get lost in my music and just focus on the running, so that's what I did.  I honestly don't remember most of the details of the half marathon.  I remember seeing all the mile markers, and as I would approach each one I'd think "ok, you've got to at least run to mile X" I'd get past the mile marker, feel good, and keep on going.  The course was out and back, so around 6.6 miles we turned around - at that point I was still running without any walk breaks (other than water stops), my time was about 1 hour and 8 minutes, so I knew I could make my 2 hour and 30 min goal if I kept up my pace.  The course sucked cause it seemed like there were constant hills - I managed them all up until about mile 7, at that point, I'd run up as much of the hills as I could, and then stop to take walk breaks as needed.  Most walk breaks were under a minute, as every time that I stopped I realized that it hurt so much more to walk than it did to run, so I just kept on going.  I think it was around mile 9 or 9.5 that I realized how bad my body hurt - my hips were killing me, my knees were killing me, but I just pushed through it and kept on going, because, really, I had no other choice but to keep on going.  Mile 10-11 was the hardest for me.  I was at a breaking point and I wanted to be done so bad.  Once I got to mile 11 I just kept telling myself "only 2 more miles, only 2 more miles" and I was trying to imagine 2 miles of the route that I run at work all the time and tried to convince myself that 2 more miles was nothing.  Once I hit the 13 mile marker I just about burst into tears - I'm not sure if it was cause I was so proud of myself for being so close to finishing my first half marathon, cause my body hurt so bad, or cause I was on the verge of death.  At the same time I also got this huge burst of energy and hauled ass for the last 10th of a mile - there were 3 people ahead of me and I decided that I had to cross the finish line ahead of them, and I did. 

My official time for my first half marathon was 2 hours, 20 minutes, and 5 seconds - 10 minutes faster than I had hoped to finish, and an average pace of 10:42/mile!!  The fact that I was able to maintain that pace for 13.1 miles totally blows my mind, but the fact that I can say that I'm a half marathoner blows my mind even more!!!!  The girl, who at one point, had well over 100 pounds to lose had finished a half marathon. Totally blows my mind.  I'm SO proud of myself and my friends that ran it too - there were quite a few of us who did this as our first half marathon - way to go, friends! 


Runkeeper Report:

Here's Kathy and I after the race!

Ya gotta stretch....

My medal and race bib that I will cherish forever!

Other things to note:  I joined a diet bet online - it's basically an online weight loss game to lose weight - you throw in $20 (or whatever the bet is) and you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your body weight.  I was kind of reluctant to join cause I've basically been on a plateau since November, and I didn't want to lose my $20 bet!  But then I thought that it might be just the motivation that I needed to get back on track, and start shedding the pounds again, and the fact that I could potentially be at my goal weight by the time I turn 30, so I decided to accept the challenge!  I'm just over 3 weeks into the challenge and I have lost about 10#, which is over my 4%, so now I need to make sure to keep it off until the 28th so I can get some of that money that's on the line! 

With the weight that I have lost on the diet bet, I am now at a "normal" weight on the BMI charts, NORMAL? ME? Yes!!! I have never, ever, in my entire life been considered a normal weight!  I really don't care for the BMI charts since they don't take body fat % into account, but one of my goals that I had set for myself was to have a normal BMI, and I honestly never thought I'd get there. I'm going to be 30 in 2 weeks, and I am at the lowest weight I have been at since about 15.

Another non-scale victory - I had to get my driver's license renewed in April of last year.  I did what most (all) women do and put the weight that I had hoped to be at on my license instead of my actual weight - I mean, everyone does that, right?  So, the weight that I put on there was probably about 40# less than I really weighed at that time, but you also have to remember that I had just had a baby, so I was still carrying lots of the baby weight ;) Anyway, I am now 35 pounds LESS than the weight listed on my driver's license - I'm tempted to go get it updated, otherwise I have to wait another 3 years for the next renewal.

I've been sporadically taking measurements over the last year.  I happened to come across  my measurements I had recorded in March of 2012, it was only a hip and waist  measurement, but I compared those two numbers to my current numbers.... I've lost over 10 inches from my hips and over 8 from my waist! Now is one of those moments that I had wished I would have taken all my measurements back in March of 2012.

One of my favorites - I bought a new dress.  The sizing of the dress was not S-M-L, but actual sizes, so I grabbed a 10 and a 12 to try on, tried on the 10 first and it was too big, ended up buying a size 8!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the horrible, blurry pic in my dirty mirror... 

Here's where this post gets very pic heavy - pictures from my whole journey.  This is where I am going to come now when I'm having a bad day, or feel fat.  It's really hard for me to look at some of these pics, and to try to figure out how I ever let myself get so out of control.  All I can say is that I'm happy I finally decided to improve my life and live healthier! I'm still not comfortable with my current weight - I think cause it's still new to me.  I honestly had more self esteem after I lost weight after I had Kara, and the lowest weight I ever got was about 185 - seeing this pics now compared to how I am today, I can really see a difference from then to now - it's never been so apparent to me before!

January 2008 - just a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant with Kara. 

 January 2009 - my highest weight, and my lowest point.

May 2009

About 50# lost after having Kara

October 2009

May 2010 - I felt REALLY good at this point, and this is what I had hoped to get back to after Macy... I've gotten WAY past this now!

June 2010

December 2010

March 2011

August 2011 (pregnant)

October 2011 (pregnant)

December 2011 

April 2012

May 2012

August 2012 

December 2012

March 2013

aaaaaannnnnnndddddd yesterday.... I might have bought a pair of hot pink skinny jeans to celebrate being in the 150's, cause I NEVER EVER thought I'd get there.  My ass looks pretty good in them, huh?

At this point I want to continue running and find a second half marathon to run, but probably not until fall.  I also want to work on toning up a bit for my sister's wedding this summer! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Results Are In!

I survived my 8 week strength training program and the final results are in! The fact that I am getting pretty close to my goal weight and the pounds are coming off slower and slower, I am very happy with these results!

Starting Weight: 175.3
Ending Weight: 168.1
Total Loss: 7.2 pounds

Starting Body Fat %: 28.6%
Ending Body Fat %: 25.1%
Total Loss: 3.5%

Starting Fat Mass: 50.1 pounds
Ending Fat Mass: 42.1 pounds
Total Loss: 8 pounds

Starting Fat Free Mass: 125.2 pounds
Ending Fat Free Mass: 125.9 pounds
Total Gain: 0.7 pounds (this one it's good to have a gain)

Strength Results:

Starting Pushups: 25
Ending Pushups: 35

Starting Curlup: 15
Ending Curlup: 25

Starting Chest Press: 117# (one time max)
Ending Chest Press: 124# (one time max)

Starting Leg Press: 350# (one time max)
Ending Leg Press: 404# (I maxed out the weight on the machine, so rather than a 1x max, the trainer had me do as many reps as I could at the max weight - I did 6 reps!)

Starting Flexibility: 27cm
Ending Flexability: 31.5cm

I'm pretty much in the 90th percentile for females of my age for all the strength results - pretty excited about that!  For body fat % I am in the 'moderately lean' category, which is defined as: Fat level is generally acceptable for good health - next goal is to drop another 3.1% body fat and I will be in the 'lean' category!!  Doesn't that sound pretty excellent?

Now to keep moving in the right direction....I'm running the Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving and thanks to some pretty amazing/inspiring friends of mine I am going to register for my first half marathon on 3/16/13. AHHH!!!  The furthest I have EVER ran before was 4.3 miles, so I have a long way to go to get to 13.1 miles.  Luckily I have 122 days to prepare myself.  I plan on following the Hal Higdon Novice Half-Marathon training plan.  A typical week on this training plan includes 3-4 days of running, 1-2 days of cross training, 1-2 day of strength and stretching and 1 rest day... so that should keep me pretty busy for the next 12 weeks!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! To all of my crazy friends who have inspired me, motivated me, pressured me, etc... I couldn't keep going without you guys!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Non-Scale Victories

I think it's time I take my weight-loss focus away from pounds and start focusing on non-scale victories, inches lost, goals accomplished, etc...  I am 15 pounds away from what my ultimate goal was back in February when I started this journey, and the pounds are coming off slower and slower these days.  Granted my beer consumption has gone up these days, but I'm sure that has no affect on my weight loss ;)  I am one of those people that weighs myself daily - I know some people are 100% against this, but it totally keeps me in check!  I only take my loss from Monday - Monday as my 'official weigh-ins' but I like to see where I am at each day.  I know weight can fluctuate a huge amount from day to day, so I try not to get too discouraged when the scale creeps up a couple of pounds.  I feel like I have been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds over and over and over for the past 6-8 weeks, but I go back and look at my weigh-in chart (I track my weight everyday in an app on my phone called 'Simple Weigh-in') I realize that I have lost about 8 pounds in the last 2 months.  This is just another reason that I like to track my weight daily, I love having all the data, seeing the graphs, seeing the progress I've made.

While I try not to get discouraged with what the scale says, I would be lying to you if I said I didn't get discouraged with what the scale says.  I know that there is so much more to this than what the number on the scale says.  Back in September when I did the BodPod I found out that my body fat percentage was 28.6%, which is in the 'moderately lean' category - which was a GIANT shock to me!!  I can only imagine that that number has improved during this class - I can't wait to see what my percentage is after 8 weeks of the class, maybe that will be motivation to keep up strength training on my own.

During the last 6 weeks that I have been doing my strength training class through work I have only lost about 4 pounds, but I know that the inches are falling off!  I wore a newer pair of jeans today that have fit me pretty snug in the past, but they are falling off of me today!  They feel huge in the waist, thighs and butt - that's pretty concrete evidence that I'm losing inches!  And while I LOVE that my newer jeans are falling off of me, I can't afford to keep buying new clothes!  Maybe I need to switch my whole wardrobe to spandex? Yeah? That would be pretty awesome, right? And if everything I wore were spandex I'm sure that I would get more than a couple of months use out of them.. seems pretty genius to me.

With all of that said, here are some things that I am going to try to shift my focus on:

Inches lost - I know that I have some measurements from back in April - I am going to compare my current data with these old measurements and see how many inches I have lost and then continue tracking.

Strength - I am going to start tracking how many push-ups and crunches I can do, as well as try to do a plank a day and time myself and keep a log of it.

Running - my running has improved SO MUCH in the past 6 or 7 weeks.  I have been very consistent with running 3-4 times a week, and I can totally tell that it's paying off!  My average pace has gone from 12:30/mile to right around 10:00/mile - that's a huge improvement!  Current goal is to be able to run a full 5k without walking - this has been a goal of mine for, well, I don't know, 3 years... haha, time to get this one crossed off the list!  The next 5k is the Turkey Day 5k - exactly one month from today.  If I can keep up on my training, I've got this!

Clothes - seeing how differently my clothes fit from week to week is a huge motivator!  Granted I hate losing a favorite pair of jeans, but if that means I can buy a new pair in a smaller size, so be it!

Weight - while I am going to try to not focus on this number... I have it in the back of my mind that I am 12 pounds away from a "normal" weight by BMI standards.  I know that BMI is not really the most accurate thing to go by, but that fact that I am this close to being NORMAL is huge to me - I have never, ever, ever been in a "normal" weight range - so this will be a huge accomplishment for me!

This is where I am going to put my focus - expect lots of charts and graphs from me in the future...they're coming!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back At It...

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again - I NEED TO START BLOGGING MORE!!

I need to use this as a place to keep you updated on what is going on in Kara and Macy's life.  Ok, I'll be honest - I use it as my scrapbook/baby book/memory log for the girls, so I need to keep it updated so that in 10 years I can remember the first food Macy ate, her first words, when she took her first steps, how Kara's first day of preschool went, when Kara lost her first tooth.  Am I the only parent out there that doesn't have scrapbooks or memory books for my kids? Please say no so that I don't feel like such a horrible parent!! :)

Let's start with the girls - Kara has started going to preschool at Sonshine Preschool at Rose of Sharon Lutheran church.  We are lucky enough that our daycare provider will drive Kara to and from preschool.  If we didn't have that option, Kara wouldn't be going!  I don't know how any working parents can work around preschool and half-day kindergarten schedules, it's ridiculous! Anyway, she is absolutely loving preschool and is learning so much!  Pretty soon she will be smarter than Joe and I combined.  They are starting the year off by learning colors and in the next week or two they will start learning numbers, and then move on to learning letters.  They practice writing their names everyday and Kara can now write her name all by herself, granted the letters aren't in the correct order, but she's getting there! :)

Kara also had a birthday back in August that we haven't talked about yet.  In true Kara fashion, she wanted a Lightning McQueen (the red car from the movie Cars) birthday party, and the only thing she asked for was a Lightning McQueen Power Wheel.  Let's just say that she got what she wanted!

Macy is our happy little chunker!  She started crawling just after 7 months and quickly learned how to pull herself up onto everything.  We have to constantly keep an eye on her to prevent her from eating everything off the floor or hurting herself!  She is quite a handful at times!  She has started waving, blowing kisses, clapping and giving high fives in the last month or so.  I still cannot believe that she will be 1 in just 2 months!!  She says bye-bye, momma, dadda, tries to say clap - I'm still waiting for her first real word, Kara's was pinetree - I'm hoping Macy has a good first word like that!  She has taken a few steps in the last week and I think she will be walking very soon, and then we are really in trouble!  She also has this new obsession with licking things, particularly the floors, but she'll lick pretty much anything.  At her 9 month appt she weighed in at 20 pounds 6 ounces and was 28.5 inches - she's about the same size at 9 months as Kara was at 1 year!  She's got 2 cute lil teeth so far, but with the way she's been acting lately I'm guessing that a few more are working their way through.

Joe and I ran (I'm using the term ran VERY loosely here) Joe's first 5k on July 15th.  We did The Color Run - they throw this powdered color on you at each kilometer and by the end you are covered in color, it was a great time!  The running part was not so great.  It was about 98 degrees out that morning, I felt super dehydrated and just couldn't run.  Every time we reached one of the color stations things came to a complete halt.  Overall I think our time was about 41 minutes, but that's not important, all that matters is that we had fun! 

A shot from afar of one of the color throws that happened every 15 minutes at the finish line.

Do you love the hand print I left on Joe's back?

Most of the crew - Me, Joe, Meghan, Emily and Christina - not pictured Roger, Riana, Megan and Ian

After our first, and hopefully not last, 5k together

Back in June when I last blogged, I was at 38.4 pounds lost - since then I have lost another 17.6 pounds for a total loss of 56 pounds, total of 73 since Macy was born!!  The last 6 weeks or so I have been fluctuating up and down the same 5 pounds.  Which I mostly blame on my beer consumption on the weekends :)  

Here's what 73 pounds lost in less than 10 months looks like - and trust me, if I can do it you can too!

I just finished week 4 of an 8 week group strength training class that is offered through work.  If I go to at least 13 of the 16 classes I get fully reimbursed.  Here is the structure of the class:

First 20-25 minutes is a circuit of 12 exercises.  8 of the exercises are weight machines - chest press, shoulder press, tricep extensions, lat pulldown, leg press, leg curl, bicep curls and calf raises - the other 4 in the circuit are considered 'the line' these are cardio exercises that change up every week, but have included things like burpees, jumping squats, jump onto a bosu, things like that...

The next 15 minutes we do different exercises each week, which include - planks, up and down planks, planks on a bosu, push ups, crunches, squats with shoulder press, supermans, and all sorts of core work, but I don't know what those exercises are called.

Then the last 5 minutes we do stretches and use foam rollers to roll out our tight, sore muscles.

I am really enjoying this class, and I will be so sad when it's over!  Another cool thing about this class is we did a pre-fitness assessment and bod pod assessment and will get to do them again at the end of the 8 weeks to measure our progress.  The fitness assessment includes doing as many push ups and crunches as you can, one time maximum leg press, one time maximum chest press and a flexibility test.  The bod pod uses air displacement to accurately measure muscle mass vs. fat mass - it was pretty cool!  My body fat was measured at 28.6% which is in the 'moderately lean' category - this totally blew me away!!  I for sure thought I would be in the 'excess fat' category!  I'm super excited to do it again at the end of the 8 weeks and see how much progress I have made!

Things I'm happy about with my weight loss:

  • I weigh 20 pounds less than I did BEFORE I was pregnant with Macy (and remember that I gained 51 pounds while pregnant and she is not even 10 months old)
  • The weight on my driver's license is more than 20 pounds higher than my current weight!!
  • I'm 10 pounds less than the lowest weight I ever got after I had Kara (and I was only at that weight for about 1 week!)
  • I wear a size smaller pants than I did before I got pregnant with Macy - since February I have gone from a size 20 to a size 11!
  • I feel like I am finally making progress with running
Speaking of running - I ran two other 5ks since my last post - the Big Gay Race to support Minnesota United For All Families - VOTE NO!!! - and the MMRF 5k to support Joe's aunt who has Multiple Myleoma.  Both of these 5ks were in the same weekend, and both were PRs for me.  The Big Gay Race I finished in about 35:30 and the MMRF 5k was just over 33 mins!  Wooohoo!!  I track all my running on dailymile and runkeeper - be my friend if you are on either of those sites!

Alright, I must go to bed now.  Thanks for reading, I promise to update more frequently :)