Monthly Archives: January 2013

Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 12


the start

Just a typical Sunday morning in Quincy…

Kathleen’s final week of being an “official” rockstar, but we all know she is going to continue being a rockstar on her own…

I couldn’t think of a better way to kickoff my final week as a “rockstar” than with my first race of the new year. After my triumphant season ending on Thanksgiving morning, I was definitely a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do as well again. But at the same time I was really, really excited to get back out there. I had signed up for this 5K back in December on a whim simply because I missed having a race to look forward to. Another “who AM I?!” moment for sure.

As we started out that cold, cold morning the butterflies in my stomach quickly morphed into “let’s do this” mode. After mile 1 my trusty Nike+ app confirmed that I had a pretty good pace going, and I was feeling confident. Confident that is, until I encountered Hill #1… followed quickly by the even worse Hill #2. As much as I tried to keep a pretty good pace on them, I was pretty sure that it had slowed me down and I tried desperately to regain my speed. As I approached the finish line and the time clock finally came into my view my first thought was “I can’t read the clock right…. did I lose a contact?!”  Because I didn’t just do well, I didn’t even do great, I OWNED that race! I blew my PR so far out of the water that it’s going to have a hard time finding it’s way back. My time? 27:50!! My pace? UNDER 9 minute miles! (And yes, 8:59 TOTALLY counts as under 9 minutes) For a girl who was struggling this summer to run 12 minute miles, this is an accomplishment beyond words. I must have checked my results 10 to 15 times that day because I couldn’t believe it had actually happened. Go ahead and click the link if you don’t believe me 🙂

the finish

Glad this picture exists as proof there were no wings on Kathleen’s shoes that day

I know that several times throughout this bog I’ve referred to an event as “the best day ever” but that’s kind of the trend of this journey- having all of these amazing new experiences that are better than the last and give me that “Aha!” moment. I get now why people wake up in the dark and head out for a run. I understand why they schedule their social lives around races, and how they have a never ending supply of safety pins. It’s addicting, it’s fun, and it gives me one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. It’s what makes me excited for the future, and keeps pushing me to surpass my goals. While I didn’t exactly make any new year’s “resolutions” I’ve decided that in 2013 I want to run at least one race a month. Last summer I began what I called my “Fitness Bucket List” of races to look forward to once I, you know, “became a runner.” It’s pretty awesome to know that I’m actually planning on checking them off my list this year.

Still on the high from my victorious run I headed into my last one on one session with Alicia feeling incredibly bittersweet. The experiences (both good and bad) that I have written about in the past 12 weeks have changed me in ways I never saw coming. I’m so happy that I was able to push past my fears and put myself out there. Once the band-aid was off I was able to see that I shouldn’t be embarrassed of my past, but proud of my drive and determination to change. But even with all of these great successes a part of me is still sad that it’s ending, and even a little scared to officially be “on my own.” This is it- now it’s my turn to take what I’ve been given and run with it (hahahah, get it?) because I’m certainly not done yet. I used to have this ideal body shape and weight in my head that would be the indicator that I was “done.” And now? I’m not sure that I even know what done looks like. I want my fitness and health to be something that I’m constantly re-assessing and trying to improve. Because really, why put a limit on the goals you set when blowing past them feels that good?

photo-8On the very last day of my last rockstar week I went shopping. (I totally blame Alicia/my shrinking waistline for my compulsive shopping problem lately. But in my defense- I need clothes!) I walked out with a cute new dress, size… SMALL. I know that it’s just a tag, and that a size is not the end-all be-all of weight loss, but hear me out: The last time I used the word “small” and “clothing” in the same sentence was most likely in reference to my clothes being TOO small to fit on my body. So give me this moment

and let me soak it in. Because while the inside of the dress may just say “small” the outside says so much more… happy, confident, and proud as can be 🙂

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: The chart is gone.. it’s been real.
# of days I logged my meals: 2
# of times I ate chicken: 2
# of “real” pushups: Would you believe me if I told you that they are my favorite part of a workout? Because they kind of are!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 11


Last week Kathleen was approaching a big milestone of 50 pounds lost in 2012. Check in with her during week 11 to find out if she did it…

When we left off in my dramatic journey, I was anxiously awaiting my next weigh in to see if I had done the unthinkable- lost 50 lbs in 2012. And on New Year’s Eve day with my fingers crossed, my breath held, and as-little-clothes-as-I-could-wear-without-making-Alicia-feel-uncomfortable, I climbed on the scale.

british_old-banknote-50-pounds-sterling-obverse

Did Kathleen lose 50 pounds???
(Get it?! It’s a 50 pound note)

 

IS THE SUSPENSE KILLING YOU YET?!?!?!

Unfortunately, I regret to tell you that I did NOT lose 50 pounds.

I LOST FIFTY TWO!!!! I was ecstatic, bubbling with excitement, and may have used it as an excuse as to why I couldn’t do a plank correctly at least three times during my session. The greatest screenwriters in Hollywood couldn’t have written a better ending to my year.

With this fantastic news practically jumping from my lips, I went off to celebrate an unforgettable year of change, and to ring in what I hope to be an even better one. My fiancee and I escaped to the mountains, and spent New Year’s Day snowboarding. I have been learning how to snowboard pretty much since we started dating and while I’ve slowly gotten better over time, I knew that my weight played a large part in my lack of ability. I was always EXHAUSTED after just one run down the mountain, I’d wake up the next morning unable to roll out of bed, and getting back up after falling? It wasn’t a pretty sight.

in action

This snowboarding season is getting two thumbs up!

Needless to say, I was curious to see what my skills would be like this year. I mean you’ve got to figure… 52 less pounds of weight MUST equal out to a better snowboarder, right?! It was a beautiful morning as we headed up the ski lift. As I strapped on my board and got ready to head down the mountain I thought to myself, “This is 2013. This is what healthy feels like” And as I made my way down the mountain I couldn’t help but BEAM from under my helmet. My suspicions were correct. It turns out weighing less does indeed make you a better snowboarder! Not only was I making it down the mountain without being out of breath, but the fact that I am so active was making me confident in trying to work on new skills. If you’ve ever tried to get up from a fall on a snowboard, you know that it’s really just a burpee. And as we all know, I’m pretty experienced in that department.

mountain

The gorgeous view from the top of Gunstock

I spent a good part of my time on the mountain that day really thinking about all that I had experienced in the past year (Because let’s face it- what better place is there to have a life epiphany than on top of a mountain?!) Besides the obvious big slices of getting engaged and starting a new career there is this huge chunk of incredible new experiences. And to make that even more impressive- so many of them have happened in just the last eleven weeks. Prior to this journey, I was struggling with modified push ups. Now I can’t remember the last time I even did one. Eleven weeks ago if someone had asked me to run 2 “and a nugget” miles after bootcamp I would have rolled my eyes. These days, it’s just my Saturday routine. (Oh, and I don’t eye roll either. At least that Alicia knows of anyways). Eleven weeks ago I thought I’d never find a way to let eating healthy and enjoying my life coexist. And now, we all live happily ever after (well, for the most part).

While most people are out there this week making resolutions to get healthy and make changes, I’d have to say I am one of the few who is resolving to just keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve found my groove, I’ve got my goals, and I’m determined to make this year even more incredible than the last.

photo-7

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: My chart is officially collecting dust in the corner of the studio.
# of days I logged my meals: zero…oops?
# of times I ate chicken: 3
# of “real” pushups: I did 10 in a row this week… pretty impressive if I do say so myself!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 10


scale

Coming in to the final few weeks and Kathleen is on the edge of big milestone…

I hope you like drama, because I’m about to set one dramatic scene for you. There is just one measly pound (0.8 if you want to get into details) standing between me and a glorious “50 Pounds Lost” award. Conveniently there is only one week left in 2012, meaning that if I were to lose said pound this week- I would be able to say that I lost 50 pounds in 2012 (Can I tell you how much that statement literally makes me DROOL with excitement?). Normally I would say that this seems pretty doable except that it’s Christmas and let’s face it, who wants to be all calorie conscious during the holidays? (The answer? A girl who wants to lose 50 pounds this year, that’s who). Oh and want to throw more fuel on the fire? I also started a new job this week. Which means that my workout and eating schedule has been completely thrown off from its normal routine. Let’s just throw every obstacle in Kathleen’s path why don’t we?

But with that wonderful number lurking in the back of my mind I took this week by the neck and held tight to my goals. While Tuesday morning is usually my “rest” day- I woke up early Christmas morning and thought “Why not get in a quick run?” Since I was unsure of what the rest of the week would look like with my new schedule, I wanted to front load myself as much as possible. With some new running gear on (apparently Santa has been paying attention to my new hobbies this year!), I headed out into the snow and had one of the greatest runs I’ve ever experienced.  A new Christmas tradition? I sure hope so.

Running in style, thanks to Santa

Running in style, thanks to Santa

While I didn’t deprive myself over the next few days, I certainly didn’t eat to the point of disaster either. Because I know this isn’t a one time deal. It’s not like next Christmas I’ll say “Fill me up! I’m skinny and can eat whatever I want!” This isn’t a year of dieting that will eventually come to an end- its a lifestyle and I’ve worked long and hard to get it this way. I now believe that there doesn’t need to be an extreme of restriction or of over indulgence- just simply a nice balance.

Image-1With that being said- I stuck as closely to my plan as possible for the rest of the week. I hit up an evening bootcamp when I couldn’t make it in the morning. Since I was unsure of the refrigerator/microwave situation at my new job, I packed flexible lunches and lots of snacks that didn’t involve a lot of prep. And when our first real “snowfall” of the year happened, I anxiously watched for the plows to clear some paths so that I could get back out there running (in my brand new sneakers, which are beautiful, by the way).  

I’m not going to get down on myself if I get on the scale on New Year’s Eve and it’s not the number I want to see because I know it’s just that- a number. The real success lies within the skills and habits I’ve acquired this year. No matter what, I know that I worked my butt off in 2012, and will continue to do so in 2013. But that doesn’t mean I’m not crossing my fingers and toes for the glorious 50 next week 🙂

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: The date isn’t even on my “behavior modification chart”… Guess it’s time to frame it to remember days gone by?
# of days I logged my meals: 2…ugh, Christmas!
# of times I ate chicken:
1
# of “real” pushups:
still going strong!

 

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 9


holiday_buffet

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

The holidays are a hard time for all of us to stay on track. Check in with Kathleen as she tackles Christmas with her new lifestyle…

Twas the week before Christmas (at least when I wrote this it was)… and yup, the Christmas season has arrived in full force. Work parties, family events, get togethers with friends… It feels like everywhere I turned this week there were dark corners of decisions just waiting to be made. Whose great idea was it to grant me “Rockstar” status during the holidays again?

I know that I am probably starting to sound like a broken record- but I just can’t stop comparing the Kathleen who is sitting here typing this to the Kathleen from a year ago. The differences – both physically and mentally – seem almost unreal. The Kathleen from a year ago felt trapped in her own body. Her idea of exercise consistented of walking from the office to the train station. She made excuses. She consumed without thinking. She was in downtown denial.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Since that Kathleen has (quite literally!) disappeared, it’s been a completely different ball game this year. I’ve been pre=gaming parties with healthy lunches and dinners so that I don’t feel overwhelmed by temptation. I’ve

learned some delicious recipes so that I can bring an appetizer that I feel good about eating. But I’ve also allowed myself to relax a little and enjoy without feeling so rigid. (Dare I say that combo equals… “A Healthy Balance“?!) And since working out now ranks up there with eating, sleeping and breathing- I’ve faithfully stayed true to my weekly schedule of bootcamp, personal training and running. I’m starting to feel like I might actually have a grip on this.

Bad picture quality, but you get the idea :)

Bad picture quality, but you get the idea 🙂

The greatest “early Christmas present” I got this year? Walking into my fiance’s company holiday party and having his coworkers ask if he called off his engagement… because they didn’t recognize the girl that he was with. Now THAT is what reminds me that this is all so incredibly, absolutely, and positively worth it.

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: There is a big fat blank spot on the chart for the second week in a row… yeah!

Can you see what that says?!?! Yup, ZERO eye rolls!

Can you see what that says?!?! Yup, ZERO eye rolls!

# of days I logged my meals: 4… must stay on track!
# of times I ate chicken: 3
# of real pushups: I’m up to 5 good, solid pushups in a row. Remember when I couldn’t even do one?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 8


tomorrow-is-a-new-dayTwo thirds of the way there and Kathleen is still going strong. This week she wraps up with Maisie for nutrition and realizes that life isn’t always perfect and according to plan. What do you do when your plan gets derailed?

I can’t believe that I’m heading into the last 4 weeks of this program. In some ways I feel like it’s gone by so quickly, but then I think about how much I’ve accomplished and changed in the last 8 weeks and it kind of blows my mind. It was measurement week again and I’ll admit, I was more excited than hesitant this time around than at week 4. Alicia always does this awkward laugh during my measurements which makes me a little nervous — but really she’s laughing because neither of us can really believe the numbers. Since I started with AHB I’ve lost a total of THIRTY inches from my body. I can’t even begin to grasp the concept of that! My other exciting news is that I am only 2.5 lbs from the big 5-0! While I know I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, for some reason that number really stands out in my head. I’m so excited for it. Guess what kids… this stuff really works!

photo-1

Most amazing breakfast… EVER

This week was my last nutrition meeting with Maisie. Since I have yet to hold anything back here, I’ll admit that when I began I was hesitant about this half of the deal. To me it felt like this was just going to be a constant check up on what I was/wasn’t eating, and I wasn’t sure what more she could possibly teach me. I think what Maisie and I accomplished is not what I expected, but definitely what I needed. Together we attacked my food boredom problem head on, taking it meal by meal and coming up wiht new things to try. Some were kind of a flop (yep, still not completely on board the oatmeal train) but some were a welcome addition to my repetoire (greek yogurt + pear + almonds + honey = most amazing breakfast combo ever). I’m also happy to report that I have kept up with my plan of trying one new food a week. In the last few weeks my taste buds have bravely tried haddock, persimmons, crab cake, lentils and tofu. I have to say none of them were terrible – thus proving that it’s good to try new things (Sorry Mom, I know you spent my entire childhood trying to teach me this).

For those of us who have no idea what a persimmon is

I think that the most important thing that came out of my time with Maisie is the understanding that not every day is going to be perfect. I had created this idea in my head that every single meal had to be regimented, counted and according to “plan” and when it didn’t go this way, I felt like a failure. I would kick myself over little things: half a cupcake to celebrate my fiancee’s birthday, a dinner out where My Fitness Pal couldn’t handle the amount of chips and guacamole I had consumed. I would wake up extra early in the morning for a run in fear that the number on the scale would double. Maisie helped me finally understand that life happens and that part of life is stopping to enjoy it; whether it be a cupcake or dinner with friends. It doesn’t mean I’m going to completely backslide and lose all of my healthy habits, and I’m certainly not going to gain 10 pounds overnight. Every day isn’t going to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow isn’t another chance to wake up and get back on track. weight_-cartoon_scale

I feel like it’s probably a pretty common fear for anyone who’s lost a significant amount of weight: “What if I mess up? What if I gain it all back?” What Maisie knew all along, and what I know now is that I’ve worked too hard for something like this to happen. My new outlook on life, food, and fitness is something that I will never take for granted. I am a completely different person than I was 9 months ago- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: You’re not even going to believe this…. I walked away with a CLEAN SLATE this week!! ZERO!
# of days I logged my meals: 
6 (again, not every meal- but something every day)
# of times I ate chicken: 
2
# of “real” pushups: 
SOOOOO many!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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