Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy! At Last!

I've gotten so busy with my new life that I forgot to share! I'm in a new place (literally and figuratively) with so much going on. I finally found myself and I'm happy to say I really do like this new girl I've gotten to know. I have the most amazing friends and family. The support I get from them has played such an important role in getting me here, the exact place in my life I need to be. To each of them, I will always be grateful. While I am still a few pounds (15) from my goal, I have learned to balance my life with fun and hard work.

For those who don't know, I am now divorced and living on my own in Midtown Memphis. There were lots of tears and dark days. But with help, I was able to see through it all and found this amazing girl I lost and forgot. I've learned, experienced and tried (with some successes and some fails) so many new things and found the confidence I needed to get here.

The biggest news since January...I completed my first full triathlon (the Dragonfly) in June and I couldn't be more proud of myself. It was a half mile swim, 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile road/trail run. The 8 weeks I trained for it was more of a mental challenge for me (Would I be last? Would I even finish? Can I live with myself if I quit?) then the physical training. I almost gave up because I just couldn't bare the thought I would be the last one to cross that line. But those supporters of mine kept telling me "so what if you come in last, at least you did it!" Those are some wise folks. One the day of the race I was so nervous. So much to do and so much to remember. Once I got to the start line all I told myself was "I just gotta finish, that's it." Wouldn't you know it, I had the time of my life. The only muscles that hurt that day were the ones on my face from smiling the whole time. I actually had fun and no longer worried about being last. So I'm on a training path from here on out. I have a few more triathlons and half marathons on my horizon over the next 6 months. This time last year, I never would have considered myself a runner or a triathlete or even just an athlete. I feel and look the the best I ever have since high school and I couldn't be happier. And in case you were wondering...I finished number 263 out of 287. I was 7th out of 9 in my division/group. And I beat a bunch of boys!!! I WASN'T LAST!!

Monday, January 16, 2012


For anyone that has struggled with their weight most of their life, you know what "one"derland means. Well, I finally made it back to "one"derland this month. It's been about 10 years since I saw a 1 at the beginning of my weight.

I wanted to get under 200 pounds before January 1st but realized that some things in life are worth indulging in like good times with great friends. And yes, it usually involved good food. But because of all the hard work I've done, I have finally found the balance I needed to have a healthier relationship with food. I don't deprive and go without, I try to moderate it and still enjoy myself. It just might mean an extra mile on the road or an extra workout in the day. Either way, I am comfortable with my choices thru the lessons and healthy habits I have learned and practice.

Having said all that, I am extraordinarily proud of myself that I still stuck to my same goal with a little time modification. I finally got under 200 pounds before my birthday (in two weeks) and I'm still losing. With a little over 50 pounds lost, I know it will never be found on me again. This puts me at half way to my goal weight.

So thanks to all of you, and a few new friends I have found along the way, you help to make this journey of mine more enjoyable, obtainable, and positive.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello! Have You Met My Friend, Gayle?

I have been working my butt off... Literally! I started a journey to a healthier lifestyle and weight loss back in July but got distracted and derailed, a lot! But by mid/late fall I found my groove and have been so on top of it that I am actually losing weight during the holidays!!
That's right friends...I am down a total of 41.5 pounds and I am feeling pretty freaking awesome! And to think, this is only half way to my goal. I mentioned before I want to be under 200 pounds before the new year and I have 8 pounds and a little less than 2 weeks to get there. AND I WILL GET THERE!!
I also signed up for my third half marathon. This time I plan to run all 13 miles and hope to finish somewhere between 2 hours 30 minutes - 2 hours 45 minutes. And in January, I will sign up for my first sprint distance triathlon as part of the Memphis in May festivities.

I am so incredibly proud of myself. A lot of things have happened since the fall. While not all of it has been good, it did force me to find myself. And I love who I am and have become. Every path is laid before us and we are meant to travel them for whatever reasons...good or bad. And each path takes us to a place we were meant to go. My journey hasn't been easy but I am grateful I found the courage to start it.

I am so proud of myself for sticking with my goals and working hard to achieve them. And I have to thank all of you for the encouragement every step of the way.

There is a quote I found and want to share...

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Well, two and a half months is certainly a long time. Lots of things have happened some bad and some good. So, I'm only gonna talk about the good. Late October I got back on track with my healthy habits. I started logging my consumed foods, kept portions in check, got back on my exercise routine in and out of the gym. From July-September I lost about 14lbs. Since the first week of November til now I have lost another 23lbs bringing my total loss to 37lbs.

I am feeling so much better about myself and can finally see the results of my hard work. I also got back on my half marathon training (only did 4 weeks of hard core training and cross training when it should have been 12 weeks) and completed my second half marathon yesterday. My first one was in December 2009 and it took me 3 hours and 24 minutes to do all 13.1 miles. This year, I wanted to make sure my time was better with the hope of going under 3 hours. But since I flaked out on half my training, I bettered my time but missed going under. This year's time was 3 hours 4 minutes. Shaved off 20 minutes. So I signed up to do another half marathon in March. Now that I found my inner jogger (not quite feeling like a runner yet), I plan to stick my training schedule that starts next week. I will get under 3 hours!

I have set a few goals awhile back, like wanting to lose at least 100lbs in a year. I also wanted to set a smaller goal for now. I want to be under 200lbs before the new year starts. So I have 12.5lbs to go in 4 weeks. I believe I will make it. And I have to say it feels really good to have that self confidence back and to believe in myself. To get me in the right mind set of a new year, new me....I made a dramatic change by cutting off about 10" of hair. Yep! Went back to short...really short. I love it and I think I'm ready for the next phase of my life to start!

I really appreciate all of you that take the time to follow my boring little blog that is clearly all about me, but I really get so much motivation from your responses that allow me to keep going when fear stands in my way. Thanks for that extra push to get past it and on my way to a better healthier me. And one day, I hope I have inspired someone else to do the same.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Gayle Got Her Groove Back

I am officially on the right path to making all my skinny dreams come true!!

I really struggled last week with trying to start my half marathon training with running but pulled out a proud moment when I was able to complete a local event at the end of the week that had me running again. This week is a continuation of feeling that sense of accomplishment. I'm still doing run/walk intervals with an increase in run time. My overall average pace is getting lower and I truly feel for the first time since starting that not only is the half marathon doable, I know I will be able to achieve the goals I want to set. First Goal: Finish under 3 hours (2009 St. Jude Half Marathon time was 3 hours, 24 minutes). Second Goal: Maintain run/walk intervals of 10 minute run/2 minute walk thru the entire half marathon. Third Goal: To have an average pace of 12 minute or less miles throughout the race. Fourth Goal: To look HOT doing it all!! =)

I'm working diligently on the looking hot thing, too. I've been coming to terms with a lot of issues I have with food (even have an unofficial "food therapist") and sticking to my daily caloric intake. So far to date, I have lost 16.5 pounds with 9 pounds lost in the last 2 weeks. They (every "expert" I've read about or heard or seen) say that the major key to success in weight loss is to write down every single thing you eat..."If you bite it, write it!" So I started using my phone to do that and everything else. There is a great app called Lose It and I really like it. I hate that its a pain in the butt to have to document every little thing but the app is friendly enough and has a huge data base that it really is easy to do. It's a whole lot better than having to hand write everything!! Another app I use everyday is MapMyFitness. It's great for my walks, runs, and bike rides. And both of these apps report to FaceBook all my accomplishments so I get that extra boost from all my adoring fans!! (love you, mean it!)

So, with week 2 of half marathon training down in the books and a total of 16.5 pounds gone, I finally look forward to all the improvements and achievements with running and weight loss over the next 10 weeks. And I'll be looking for said adoring fans when the long runs start getting longer than 4 miles...oh wait, that's next week!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Miss Me?


Been awhile, I know! Got lots to say but I'll try to keep it short.

I fell off the wagon....somewhat. I stayed on track for the most part for my diet but the exercising was on the long slow track. But here it is the beginning of my half marathon training and I'm just trying to get thru each week.

Completed my first full week of training and ended up losing 6 lbs!! Yeah me!! I did gain a bit of the original first 10lbs I lost but I got myself together. I've been doing some cross-training with my aunt using a great Kettle Bell workout 3 times a week and as soon as we can mesh our schedules together again, we will be adding some kickboxing and wavebag work. I'm still riding my bike with friends and ride was 21 miles which is the farthest I have ridden. Quite proud, thank you!

Michael joined a gym and I will eventually join with him so I can use the pool to add to my cross-training. I'm afraid I'm gonna lose my riding buddies as the weather gets cooler and wetter. At least the pool is inside. I'm also thinking of setting some loftier goals of completing a sprint distance triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) next summer. I did a "super sprint" which is half of the sprint so time to move up in the ranks.

I was struggling with the running portion of the program this past week. For some reason I just could not run my 10 minute intervals without feeling like my lungs were going to collapse or explode. So I went back to basics...way back! I walked my first two scheduled runs of 2.5 miles and 3.5 miles and tried to get a better walking pace. Feeling a little more confident, I chose to complete a local 4 mile race doing 3 minute run with 2 minute walk intervals. This week, I'm moving it up to 4/2 and hopefully build each week.

So...there ya have it. I'm sure you don't care but this is where I like to brag on myself for making an effort to better my health and meet some arbitrary goals to anybody willing to read! Hopefully, some day, someone will read this and find a little inspiration and get up and move. This fat girl did!! And I'm proud she did it!

Til next time...and a little bit skinner me...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's The Little Things

Since I started blogging again about my life improvements, its been about the small changes. Well, its the little things that seem to matter most.

Each week for the last month, I've made a point to change something about my food habits whether it's eating, shopping, and/or moving more. This week, I'm trying to cut back on the breads. I'll be adding pure grains for breakfasts during the week next week but overall, I've kicked out the "white stuff" such as bread, crackers, and chips (lemme tell ya, this is a BIGGIE!). I'm also making a point to have more fruits and veggies...I'm up to 3-4 servings a day of each of the recommended 5 each. Not too bad.

Each change I make, as well as staying on top of the new habits, contributes a bit to my overall weight journey. I have friends or co-workers saying "I know you're on a diet, but...". I feel I have to keep explaining that I'm not on a diet, I'm just making better overall choices. I still eat chocolate (still working on the moderation part!), I still have soda (while it's Diet Coke, I've cut back to 1 every week or two), I still love and will continue to eat out with friends AND I am not counting calories. My food choices right now created a cut in my daily caloric intake just because I'm eating less sugary foods and smaller amounts.

I've also been making a point to pack a breakfast and lunch for work to help avoid the over eating issues. The main thing I have noticed is I'm not starving in between meals as much as I thought I would which is making the new habits easier to maintain.

Now, let's see what the next month brings!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Make-Over Week

Oh, how I wish it was me that got a long over due make-over. But alas, it wasn't. It was my fridge. Yep. Out with the old and moldy and in with the edible goods.

Today, I spent an hour grocery shopping the perimeter of the store while only going into the middle aisles for a few staples. I cursed at myself for not having coupons but then was grateful because that would have added another hour to my trip. Besides, they don't have many coupons for the non-processed meats, fruits, and vegetables. So leaving ever so proudly that I managed to stay away from all the snack foods, I loaded up and carted home my healthy foods. (Yes, I wish I had a nice piece of chocolate right now!)

I then spent the next 3 hours prepping, preparing, and cooking meals and snacks for the next two weeks. Apparently, I felt I had nothing better to do with my Sunday afternoon. (The plus side...the tv never came on and I wasn't mindlessly eating.) I remembered from my Weight Watcher days how important it is to spend the time putting together everything in advance so all I have to do is grab and go. And with walking out the door at 5:30 in the morning, that's about all I'm capable of. So all my fruits and veggies are cleaned, cut, and bagged and ready to pack. I even pre-made some protein based quickies to have through out the day. I cooked and re-froze chicken pieces to have for lunches and dinners as well as pre-measuring all my other meat products and making a batch of tuna salad.

With the exception of Michael's lunch stuff, I have managed to stay away from processed prepackaged foods and I'm quite proud of myself. With having no sugary snacks in the house, I can feel comfortable knowing that my mindless eating will at least be healthy eating!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Checking In

So my past week has had more ups and downs then the hills I will be facing in the half marathon.

It started with the passing of our sweetest and oldest girl, Nakita. She was nearly 16 years old when she left us. She became a part of our lives at about a year old and she was a rescued strayed. She was also the first pet Michael and I had gotten together just before we got married. To lose her was losing a piece of our hearts. She lived longer than either of us expected and we knew the day would come but it doesn't make the heart break easier.

I promised myself I would start my adapted version of a "Couch To 5k" program last Monday. But I started coming up with reasons why I should start Tuesday...which led to Wednesday...which led to, well it led nowhere. So I'm already getting myself behind. But I did stick to a few changes I was determined to make. I've cut back on my portion sizes during meals. I'm trying to be more aware of what I'm eating and making better choices then I have in the past (note I said trying...not all choices were the best when comfort foods have a way of entering the picture). I also discovered this week that I'm not an emotional eater. I eat/graze mindlessly when not occupied by something busy. If I sit and watch tv, I eat. If I putter around the house or blog on the computer, I don't eat. This bit of info is good to know and to remind myself of some detrimental patterns to avoid. I am also working on not being a closet eater. This would require a trip to the couch so I will just leave it at that!

The good news is I've lost another 3lbs. Considering the only exercise I did for 7 days was last week's bike ride, I'm happy with that. So I shifted my mentality of exercising for this week. I went for another bike ride yesterday and I went for a walk today. I love that feeling of completion but I can't help but whine about the start. So I have recruited folks to help me. I have a friend/coworker that has recently joined our local YMCA, I plan to do the same. There are 2 locations convenient for me. During the week on 2 days, her and I will go to the gym to work out. The other 3 days I will spend doing walk/run intervals with a friend to prepare for the 5k in September (my goal is to run the entire 5k under 36 minutes) and then the half marathon in December (my goal is to finish it under 3 hours~last time I did it in 3:24). On the weekends I also have a buddy system. Saturday will continue to be long bike rides with friends and family and Sunday will be long walks with my aunts that I hope to turn into long runs soon. Dang, I'm tired just typing all that activity! =)

I know I cannot take this journey alone and I have the greatest friends and family that want me to succeed and are willing to help me accomplish my goals. I just hope they still love me when I'm cussing 'em out. You may have noticed, I put a ticker at the top of my blog. Check back from time to time to see me work my way to the end and beyond.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Off To A Good Start!

Today was our "long" bike ride with our BFFs Dwayne and Patrick. Dwayne just got his bike last week and already logging the serious miles. Our first trip out was rough on me with the heat and the fact that my behind is usually sedentary on a couch. We did about 5 miles and called it a day. Dwayne called around dinner time Thursday and wanted to get out and enjoy the cool breeze that created a break in the hot weather we've been having. We did another 6 miles that evening but wanted to do a little more but the sun was going down. So we made a plan to have a longer ride set up for today.

A little over 15 miles later...! It was a wonderful 3 1/2 hour morning. We explored in and around Shelby Farms and the Wolf River. We took paved paths and we did some trail riding. Stopped for breakfast and found some more places to ride. We're already talking about going again....but I think I need to let my butt rest a few days, that saddle sure does get uncomfortab
le after awhile.

I mad
e a self observation today: I had more fun doing an exercise I don't like simply because I was with friends. While I know I got a great workout, I never felt like I was "working". That's what will keep me on this path to a healthier lifestyle. I even made good choices today at Chick-Fil-A by ordering a bowl of fruit and having chocolate milk. Drank lots of water (but that's no surprise to those who know me). AND...I even lost 5lbs in a week!!! Time for that reward....hmmmm....I'm thinking a pedicure is in my near future!
Next up is to start getting ready for a 5k in September. My plan is to walk/run 3 days a week and still hook up with my boys for weekend rides.