Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 26: Sunday recap

So it turns out I missed last week completely! Not entirely surprised given my travels, studying, fundraising and costuming! For those of you who care, I had a beautiful time in Atlanta and made friends I know I'll have for life. I've never known a group of people to touch my heart so quickly, especially my hosts. By the end of my trip I was ready to come home but definitely not ready to leave them behind. I'm sure I'll be back, hopefully soon and with Jeff in tow. I don't think we're built for entire weeks apart, we were both quite pathetic by day 4 of 6!

I took quite a few photos but haven't uploaded them yet -- this first one was taken by my friend Jay on lunch day 1 (yes my hair is that pink). The girls I worked with on lunch were AMAZING. By the end of day 1 we were laughing like old friends, and dancing to entertain the walkers for the rest of the weekend. Crewing a 3-day was completely different than walking one, but just as rewarding. I loved every minute of it.

I snapped this picture during the closing ceremony. I've always gotten emotional during closing. But this year, knowing and loving two of the women in the survivor's circle REALLY got to me. I am so glad I was in the perfect position to snap this picture. Allie and Casondra started out just being my teammates and by the end of the weekend became part of my family. Neither of them carried the LOVE flag (Allie carried COURAGE while Sandy was responsible for HOPE) but I am so glad it was behind them. This will be framed in my home for a long long time.

I can't wait for San Diego in a few weeks to get back into that world. I hope that one day I can work for Susan G. Komen, or find something else that brings me half the joy that this does. I'm still $860 short of the minimum to walk in San Diego, by the way. If any of you would like to contribute please feel free to make your donations here. Every donation counts, no matter how small. It will all be a part of one creating a world without breast cancer.

Now, onto me talking about food and working out for a few paragraphs. Like I said, the week I left was busy and not in the working out way. I can't even remember what I ate before leaving, and I do know that while I was in Atlanta I didn't actually eat that well, lol. Tommy and Pam (my gracious hosts) wanted to make sure I got a taste of the south before heading back to California and BOY did I. Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-A, Waffle House and general deliciousness. I will say in my defense that traveling is TIRING and the whole time I was on the actual event was filled with a lot of physical labor. When I pulled on my jeans Monday morning they felt looser (I'd been wearing yoga pants during the event. Walker or not I wasn't going to spend all day in jeans there), so I felt better about that!

This week I was crazy busy, but part of that was going to Zumba not once or twice this week but FIVE times. I went to every class to promote a fundraiser I had on Saturday. My Zumba instructor graciously co-hosted Zumba for Bazoombas, which went well considering it was put together very quickly. I wish there were more people there, but I understand that couldn't always be the case. I won't lie, sometimes it's discouraging to put your heart and soul into something and want it to be HUGE and it's just not. I emailed my local paper and they did a small piece and advertised it in all the Zumba classes for a week, plus Facebook, and it just didn't get the reception I wanted. However I got in five quality Zumba classes when I normally only get one or two, so I guess it's all the same.

This week also brought a couple of non-scale victories - Wednesday night I was driving home from working out and realized that OMG I HAVE AN AB. Just the one, and still buried under some chub but whatever, I have an ab. Then last night before Jeff and I went to bed he said he could really tell that I looked and felt different, especially when he was hugging up on me. Arguably he would be a better judge than anyone since he both sees and touches me more than anyone else. I went to a good friend's baby shower Saturday and thanks to the magic of Facebook the pictures are already up and I am happy to report that my face looks thinner. Thank goodness, I was starting to feel like a basketball head.

The week ahead:

It's the big week! 45 miles total this week including the elusive 18-15! Then after that it's time to taper for San Diego. I am really hoping to hit all of them, especially the 18-15 turn around. I know I'll be tired but I need to do it. I'm supposed to move ahead to No More Trouble Zones this week, but will probably only get there on Friday. I need to double up on the 30-Day Shred a few more times before moving on (I really want to complete the program and I missed quite a few days with my trip). I think I might also throw another Zumba class every week into the mix. It's really changing my entire body, especially my core. My Zumba instructor also does bootcamps, so it's thinking way ahead but I might sign up for one after my feet heal from San Diego. It's worth 4 weeks of hell to see big changes, and I have a dress in mind for New Years Eve that I'd LOVE to make two sizes smaller than I am right now.

I'm HOPING to post mid-week with some goals, but this is also my last extremely hectic week (then I go down to slightly less hectic, then after San Diego I have a degree of calm to look forward to!), so no promises. ;)

Have a great week, readers!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

it's 6:54 AM and we're on our way to the lunch location for day 3. We'll be setting up, serving walkers and dancing here and there (didn't you hear? Lunch crew provides a meal AND a show!).

It is rare for me to feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I get that feeling 3 days at a time when I'm in this world.

My team is made up of incredible men and women who I am now lucky enough to call members of my 3-day family. This is worth the sleeping on an air mattress, the long days, the sore backs, the logistical nightmares. Every negative is replaced by a much bigger positive.

Everything is perfect here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 12: Sunday recap

Holy busy week! To say that the last week was non-stop would be a huge understatement. As far as working out I made 22 of 27 miles. Not bad considering. I missed 2 days of the 30 Day Shred (3 if I don't do it tonight before bed but I am putting 2 here so I get off my ass and workout after writing this and sending a few more important emails). I got in 4 off schedule workouts early in the week, playing tennis and volleyball Monday and Tuesday and then Zumba Monday and Wednesday. I think I am totally addicted to Zumba. It's hilarious because I have approximately 5% rhythm to 95% jumping around like an idiot, but it is SO FUN. Highly recommended! Shake weight continues to be my biggest success, it's so easy to fit in 10 quick minutes and I start feeling the burn a few minutes before the end. I wish I was seeing results already, but I've always found it difficult to see it in myself until I look at two pictures side by side and my face is more oval than round all the sudden.

During the early part of week I ate really well, kept my calories within a good range, even after eating celebratory pizza Wednesday after getting some great news. I am trying really hard to remember that healthy living is a balance. I can't expect to be under on calories and spend hours a day working out EVERY day. It's just not natural or possible. I can only get up and do my best every day. To that end, I'm not saying I ate super well all weekend - I really like having comfort food with Jeff. We ate crappy things, but in moderation. Friday we walked to Olive Garden for lunch and weren't STARVING by dinner time so to avoid overeating late at night we each ate a Lunchable. Yeah, that one. The turkey/cheese/cracker situation. We were at Target before we went to a movie so the Lunchables were a perfect idea. Best food ever? No. But from a calorie standpoint Olive Garden+Lunchables meant a non-complete fail. And as for the movie? GO SEE 50/50. RIGHT NOW. STOP READING. Seriously, it was excellent.

Today was another story, however. I had a 3-Day fundraiser today (Bowling for Boobs!) and Jeff and I were making treat bags late last night. Including brownie bites. OM NOM NOM. I think like 3 fell in my mouth. It was the weirdest thing. And since it was a fundraising day and I am my mother's daughter I was doing 50 things last minute this morning, so time to prepare something to eat? NOPE. We grabbed Chipotle before we went to the bowling alley. Half my calories for the entire day? Gone. And then in the car on the way home I had a couple more brownie bites. Then we threw on an extra 560 calories in the form of Coney Island dogs and tots at Sonic. Yeah, writing this just solidified that I will be doing the 30 Day Shred before I go to bed. And drinking a gallon of water. Overall though I'm really happy with it. Perfect? No. Good? Yes.

We need a new scale, so I'm basing weight loss on how clothing feels right now. I'm guessing I'm hanging around 12 pounds. The jeans that were not coming over my behind now fit, but not as well as I'd like. So I'm really paying attention to my water intake. I know I'm not drinking enough, and I know that I need to get rid of some of the bloat that's happening around my midsection.

The week ahead:

So as you can see, not a lot is going to go down this week. It's still all in the calendar, but Wednesday morning I will be heading to Georgia to crew the Atlanta 3-Day! I am so excited to see a new state and to spend time with my wonderful teammates and pink warriors! I'm getting in some solid working out tomorrow and Tuesday, including Zumba tomorrow night where I'll be talking with my Zumba instructor about an upcoming fundraiser -- Zumba for Bazoombas (yeah, that's happening). Between Atlanta, Halloween, a big personal event early in November and then the San Diego 3-Day, closely followed by the winter holidays I realized I basically have no free time for the next 10 weeks. And I am okay with that.

Have an amazing week, readers! Wish me luck in Atlanta! My next Sunday recap will probably be on Tuesday the 25th, but it will be peppered with photos from what I am sure will be an amazing weekend.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 5: Sunday recap.

Recapping the last week. 3-Day mileage: I was due for 41. LOLNOPE. I hit 25, which was about what I expected this week. Without getting too far into my personal life I split my time about 50/50 with my parents/sister and my boyfriend. This makes for pretty hectic weeks, I kind of never feel like I'm in one place. I'm either packing or cleaning up to leave or unpacking. Honestly it's borderline ridiculous, but for a variety of reasons I'm not ready to 100% live with Jeff. The latter part of this week was particularly hectic and Thursday/Friday/Saturday were non-stop. I got in 22 miles in the early part of the week and 3 when I got back to "my" house tonight. Meaning none all weekend. 

I also doubled up workouts earlier in the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday I did the 30 Day Shred twice so if I do it tonight before bed (questionable) I'll only have skipped one. Overall I am pretty pleased with that. I wish I'd gotten closer to my mileage goal. I usually try to walk when I'm at Jeff's but this weekend it was just out of the question. I even brought my Shake Weight hoping I'd have a few free minutes before we got going in the morning, but it doesn't really work out since I take longer to get ready (I'm high maintenance) so I shower and at least start to blow my hair dry before I wake him up and he STILL winds up sitting around for at least 10 minutes while I finish my makeup. Hell we were so busy that it took two days to get through Project Runway (thank you, Mood), fitting in 4 hours of walking wasn't going to happen. However I did make time this morning to play with Jeff's niece Joy who has recently been christened "my BFF" by her parents.

Can you blame me? Cutest kid of life, right? I also take special pride in her dancing around excitedly to pop punk. Start 'em young.

In complete fail news, I forgot (completely) that I wasn't going to drink beer. What the hell?! First I got a Stella to drown my sorrows in after my Phillies lost Friday night, but wound up being so down about it that I went to bed shortly after we got home from the pizzeria we watched in (it was bad. I cried in public. I have never been as invested in a team as I was in the 2011 Phillies, and I believed in my heart that they would go all the way this year. By all accounts they SHOULD have gone all the way). Then on Saturday at my friend Brian's surprise 30th birthday I had 3 beers. Didn't even think about it until I was halfway through the third. What. The. Heck. Whatever, it was still delicious.

The week ahead:

Only 27 miles! That is so do-able! I bet I will get it done Thursday! Maybe by Wednesday if I really push it. Although I am counting on a couple rounds of Zumba and tennis in the mix as well. So yeah, I'll shoot for 5/day Monday-Thursday and then see if I can convince Jeff to take another "quick 7 mile stroll" with me Saturday. I'm going to continue Shake Weight-ing, and may purchase another one (to leave at Jeff's, plus I believe the newer Shake Weights come with a new/different DVD workout. I am all for different DVD workouts, to keep things interesting and to possibly convince myself to do twice the working out). Midweek I am scheduled to progress to level 2 of the 30 Day Shred, which if I recall correctly had a certain exercise that had my jaw on the floor when I did it last time. Or maybe it wasn't my jaw on the floor so much as one of those exercise you can only do if you're yelling primally. Either way, that should be fun!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why I walk.

I have put off writing this post for years. Literally. I don't relish writing about things I couldn't change, yet still hate. I am emotional to the point of hilarity. I cry over commercials, I cry on the heels of a smile, I cry. Period. It's 12:41 and I've cried twice today (granted for very legitimate reasons, but still). So I don't often dwell on this. But to help people understand, and for posterity's sake, here is the Why I Walk post.

In 1990 I was 7 years old. On March 18, I lost my paternal grandfather after he suffered a massive stroke on his way to the grocery store 18 days earlier. He managed to pull into the parking lot of a restaurant and put the car in park before losing consciousness. I wish I was being overly flowery when I say that my world was turned upside down. I've been blessed with an incredibly vivid memory for certain details and dates in my life. I remember the pain radiating from my mother for those two and a half weeks. The youngest of five, she was incredibly close to both her parents. For over 30 years she's worked in the hospital where both her parents took their last breaths. I remember the sofa my sister and I were sitting on was incredibly hot. I remember that version of my father - barrel chested, thick beard, all of his hair still raven black and not thinning. My eyes kept darting back and forth between Dad of my left and the TV set to the right. His eyes were trained on the TV but he wasn't seeing or hearing it. He was listening to what was going on behind him. I remember seeing the coils of the phone cord stretched from the kitchen around the corner to the dining room, and I remember hearing Mom choke back sobs. I knew. I don't know how I became that little person who knew things, but I spent a lot of time hanging around all my aunts and grandmas being seen and not heard. A kid can pick up a lot of information and cues that way. And being freakishly linked to my mother from the zygomatic stage didn't hurt either. So I knew. I wasn't going to see Papa come walking in the front door again, fedora perched atop his head and pipe in hand. I wasn't going to be swung through the air, one of his hands gripping my wrist and the other on my ankle playing Airplane. I'd never been to a funeral, but a few days later I learned I didn't like it one bit.

Life returned to sort of normal. My sister and I finished our school years (first and second grades). Dad worked. Mom worked (a little - she'd taken six years off completely when we were babies and went back to the hospital part time when I was 6). I still spent most afternoons at Nana and Papa's, only now it was just Nana's. I was incredibly fortunate to live less than five minutes away from both sets of my grandparents. Nana and Papa were my mom's parents. Grandma Betty and Granddad were dad's. I didn't know it at the time, but in 1990 my Grandma Betty was fighting breast cancer for the second time in her life. How do you explain cancer to a 7 year old? How would you have done it 20 years ago? Cancer was still a dirty word, let alone breast cancer. She'd had a double mastectomy that year, something I didn't learn until over 10 years later. I knew my Grandma Betty was sick, and that we couldn't climb all over her, but honestly, both my grandmothers had always been more frail than their husbands. Raising children and grandchildren while your husband goes to work can wear on a woman, even if she is incredibly strong. Visits to Grandma Betty and Granddad's were quieter, more subdued than they'd been in the past. Grown ups spoke in hushed, urgent tones (sidebar, do adults not think little people can pick up on tone? I think being left with the sinking feeling that something is wrong but nobody TELLING you what it is is worse than knowing. But I've always been the person to choose bad news first in an "I have good news and I have bad news" situation).

Sometime that winter, my dad went to Australia on business. He traveled internationally and across the states for a good portion of my formative years. Gone for six months, home for a few days at Christmas and then gone again. My parents were early adopters of the HUGE camcorders. It was the only way Dad got to experience birthdays and other milestones some years. I don't know how long he was supposed to be gone this trip, but assume he was due home for Christmas. In the years of travel he never missed a chance to put together a My Little Pony castle and eat Santa's cookies. I was part of a group performing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at a city council meeting two weeks before Christmas and I was BESIDE myself with excitement. After my star turn Mom dutifully shuttled me to Nana's, then to Grandma Betty and Granddad's so I could show off my fabulous outfit and gap where a tooth had been days earlier.

The visit was short, subdued and honestly I was a little bored. I remember hugging goodbye more clearly than anything else. In hindsight I know it's because I wish instead of hugging quickly I wish I'd held tightly. I wish I'd climbed into her lap and sat quietly while she told me things she was supposed to have decades to share. I wish I'd told her that even though my sister and I weren't allowed to be quite as rambunctious at her house as we were at our other Nana's that I still loved spending time there. And that her grilled cheese sandwich would go down in history as my FAVORITE food, as well as one that nobody else could come close to. I wish I'd had the chance to tell her that the dog she and Granddad owned was a mean little bastard that snapped and snipped at me EVERY chance he got and that I wish they'd gotten a bigger, sillier, more playful dog that would tolerate kids better. I wish I'd had the chance to tell her that the sounds of several large clocks in a small space chiming every hour was something that I'd always associate with her home.

My Grandma Betty died late the next morning. My poor daddy was in Australia when his mom died. He got a flight out the next night, and when he walked through our front door after spending the better part of 24 hours on a plane I saw my father really cry for the first time in my life. Grandma Betty was 58 years old when she died. If she were alive today she would be 79. My mom's parents were older. It didn't hurt less to lose them, but they were both 76 when they passed away, five years apart. Grandma Betty was 58. When Granddad died seven months later of a massive heart attack he was only 60. I feel robbed. I have always felt robbed. It's not unreasonable to think that they could both still be alive and active today, especially my grandma. The advances made in breast cancer treatment in the last 21 years have been remarkable. She could have seen me get my license, go to prom, graduate, could know me as an adult. Could be my confidant. Could commiserate with me when my dad gets to be a little too much to handle (often. Very very often). I had four amazing aunts step into the role of substitute grandmothers with ease and grace, but they were already REAL grandmothers to their own grandkids. Running through a front door shouting "hi, Grandma!" was something I didn't get to do enough.

My Granddad and Grandma Betty

I walk for my Grandmother. I walk because my chances of breast cancer are increased by sharing a bloodline with a woman I barely got to know. I walk because I have faith - in God and in science. I think God took my grandmother out of my life to GIVE me renewed life. Walking in my first 3-Day changed my life from the inside out. I mean it when I literally wouldn't recognize the girl I was before I joined the 3-Day family. And I know that in my life time we're going to find a cure from breast cancer. And all cancers. Being a part of that is the best thing about me. Period. I can't think of a better way to honor the woman I wish I still knew, the beautiful women I've known since then who have bravely and valiantly fought this horrible disease, the men and women fighting right now and that so one day, my daughters will never have to worry about breast cancer, and just wonder why the hell there are so many pictures of their mom with pink hair.

If you would like to make a contribution to my 3-Day walk, please go here. Your donations are tax deductible and many companies offer matching gifts for donations, doubling your contributions. Every dollar counts and is appreciated.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 1.

Welcome to Project: Hot by 30. I'm Kacie. This blog is pretty straight forward. I'm going to be 30 on February 4, 2013. And I'm vain. So I'd like to be hot. By the time I'm 30. So I have 487 days to change my life. I've been overweight since I was 12. I had surgery that knocked me on my ass for a solid six months and a mom that cooks amazing, delicious, decadent food. It was a fatal combination. But I'm not here to bitch and moan about why I'm fat. Not today at least. I expect sometime in the next few months I'll get to that.

I know that I am capable of losing all the weight. Even though I have a lot to lose. Spoiler alert: the number has 3 digits! I'm really dying to waltz into any store in the mall and buy something off the rack. And not pay the fat tax! You guys know about the fat tax, right? That cute cardigan at Target that's only $17.99. Unless you need an XXL. Then it's $19.99. Fatty.

I want to not carry around an extra person when I'm walking in the 3-Day. 60 miles is difficult enough, let alone when you've got all that extra weight on your back (and front, and legs, and feet). And that is something I'm not willing to give up, but as I told my wonderful boyfriend last month "I can't put my body through it again next year if I haven't lost a huge chunk of this weight."

I want to not be "the funny fat girl." Do any of you know how EXHAUSTING it is to have to be funny ALL THE TIME? Because unfunny fat girls are just depressing to the rest of the world. Guess what? Funny fat girls are depressing to themselves a lot of the time. Tears of a clown, baby.

One last fat discrimination anecdote before I move on. The absolute discrimination. I've been passed over for jobs that I was more qualified and more experienced and more talented for. The girl who got the job? A waif. I have no problem with losing out on a job to someone better qualified, but losing out on a job solely because of my size? Oh, that was a blow.

However, I don't intend for this to be a political blog, or a pity party blog. It's not a LiveJournal. So moving on, here is the plan: changing my diet. This should not be a huge issue right now. I'm borderline lactose intolerant, so most of the dairy is already out the window. I'm in training for the 3-Day, so I get up early and walk quite a few days a week. On those days I have a Luna bar for breakfast and usually another for a snack in the mid morning. Then a LeanCuisine for lunch and (my favorite) whatever I want for dinner (within reason. I still stay away from the dairy most nights.) I've temporarily broken up with beer, which I hate. I prefer beer, but vodka tonic is a better option. And they make diet tonic water! Amazing!

The second part of the plan: I have all my workouts scheduled through June 2012. Did I mention that I can be extremely Type A? Because I can. And I don't just want to be thin. I want to be strong. I want to be an athlete again. So to that end, I'm working out. Hard. Go big or go home, right? Here's what this week looks like for me:

Hey, my student loan payment was due yesterday! Whoops. Tomorrow will have to do. The darker pink is my 3-Day training schedule. I am not always able to do the long training walks on the weekend, so I try to add miles during the week and hope for the best. I'll get into the 3-Day lifestyle next week. The training plan also calls for 2 days a week of cross training. The lighter pink is my workout schedule. I have MANY things scheduled between now and June. Yoga, Kettle Bells, Couch to 5K, and more. So today Zumba and Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD more than covered my 45 minutes of cross training. I've also been doing (don't laugh) the Shake Weight workout every day. It's a quick 10 minute workout that DOES make a difference. I'm planning on wearing a wedding dress sometime in the future and I want my arms to look fantastic. 

My amazing friend Bonnie and I have been "playing" for the past few weeks - tennis, volleyball, zumba -- everything that's not a scary workout has been fun with Bonnie. We laugh at how ridiculously bad we are at things (or how the Zumba moves remind us of Ronnie from Jersey Shore), we sweat and burn calories.

I'll be screencapping my week and sharing it with you every Sunday, as well as recapping my previous week's workouts. I do NOT expect to hit every workout, but I will be doing my damnedest. Also I'll be posting before photos next week. Again, because I'm vain. I haven't done my roots in a while and don't have a cute progress photo outfit picked out. Like I said, vain.

So. There we are. 487 days to get down to the goal weight of 170 (yes, 170. I am a rather tall young woman). In the next 487 days I expect to laugh, cry, freak out, get stronger, have weak days, run races - from 5K up to half marathon (then a full marathon in my 30th year!), make a difference and become the best version of me. Feel free to come along for the ride.