Accomplishments

In my last post, I spoke of something that had changed since I was a child — I feel a little guilty about taking Christmas presents.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about that and I realized that something else has changed also.

I can no longer eat holiday food for days on end without a noticable food/sugar/over indulgence hangover.

As a kid and as an overweight adult, I was capable of eating and eating and eating. Sweets, rich food and all of the things that only come around during the holidays stood no chance around me. Despite the obscene amount of sweets that were presented to me as gifts or as items just left around the house or office, I would manage to eat through them all by New Year’s Day.

No joke.

That’s a lot of sugar consumption for 7 days….

Those days, are no more.

I have been feeling like I’ve been dying of a sugar overdose for days. I admit, despite being pretty “holiday’d out”, I still have been having a few cookies or pieces of candy a day. I was feeling pretty lousy about my lack of self-control, until I realized how far I’ve come.

A couple of weeks ago, I made this post, in which I showed half of the batch of Peppermint Mocha Fudge that I bid on during Tina’s bake sale fundraiser. I said that I had plans on freezing my half for later, as there were too many treats hanging about.

If this were 2006, I wouldn’t have frozen that fudge. I might’ve told you I was going to, out of embarrassment at the thought of you all thinking I was a fatty for eating it, but more than likely, I would’ve sat in my room eating it until I was sick.

But it isn’t 2006.

It’s 2010, and my half of the batch of fudge is safely in the freezer. I froze it with a few squares per Ziploc baggie, so that when I am ready to enjoy it again, I can just take out a small portion to enjoy. I did leave a few pieces on the counter to enjoy now. I still haven’t finished them all.

The day before that post I had made another post about all of the sweets that I was surrounded with.

In 2006, all of those TJ’s candy packages would’ve been long emptied and discarded. The Melty Kisses and most of those kit kats would’ve been gone too. The kitkats and Melty Kisses probably wouldn’t have made it to that photo shoot even.

But it isn’t 2006.

In 2010, I did eat a few more pieces of TJ’s candy, but all three of those partially eaten bags of candy are still in my desk drawer at work. There’s been so much food around, I haven’t been the least bit tempted to go back to them since that post. The Melty Kisses that I claimed wouldn’t make it to Christmas are still here. I didn’t eat another one after taking those pictures. I think I may’ve eaten ONE kitkat, but I think it was from the previous batch Maya had brought back in June.

That’s right. In 2006, there wouldn’t have been any kitkats from June to eat in December.

When I ran the Christmas Classic 5K on the 19th (recap is coming…waiting for my official time….it’s still not posted!! Grr!), they gave us Double Rainbow ice cream after the race and there were 4 See’s Truffles in our goodie bags.

If it were 2006, I would’ve eaten the ice cream AND all four truffles on the walk back home from the 5K.

Who am I kidding?  I wouldn’t have been RUNNING a 5K in 2006. Period!

9 days later and I still haven’t eaten the candy.

In addition, my Mom gave me a box of See’s in my Christmas stocking, as she always does. That would’ve easily been half gone by this point if it were 2006.

My See’s box is still in its plastic wrapping. The Swiss Miss and Kashi Cookies are unopened too.

So what does that all mean?

I’ve spent an amazing amount of time this year beating myself up because I put on 15+ pounds. Because there were some moments where I overindulged. A few times where I even ate an entire box of cookies or an entire pint of ice cream in one day. By myself. Are any of those things good? Of course not! But it’s life. Sometimes we do those things that are not good for us.

And after we’ve done them, it’s time to move on and look at the bigger picture.

I have come a long way, and while there still are bumps in the road, I feel good about all of the changes that have stuck.

Another fact:

In 2006, I would’ve been too ashamed to write this post. To tell you all about how I used to binge behind closed doors on chocolate and snacks.

Not in 2010. I’m not willing to waste one ounce of shame this holiday season on what has already been done. I suggest you not waste any either.

What changes have you made that have stuck?

Today I ran my second ever race, The Komen San Francisco Race for the Cure 5K.

Yesterday I scoped out Justin Herman Plaza on my way home from work. They had started setting up:

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I wish the t-shirt line had been that short when I had been in it…

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Or that the port-o-potties had been this pristine when I had visited them….

Race Day:

I woke up with the worst headache known to mankind (drama queen is me). My stomach also really hurt. Somehow, I managed to pull myself out of bed, force a half a cup of coffee down with a slice of whole wheat toast smeared with Barney Butter and topped with half a banana. Then I donned my new pair of kicks and headed downtown. The very first thing I managed to do when getting on the bus was slam my ankle into a hard metal thing. Score.

This is what Justin Herman Plaza looked like this morning:

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Nice outfits!

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I felt pretty happy.

(and yes, I know, I need to get my eyebrows waxed…yikes!)

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I was a real runner. With a chip and real running shoes….

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…and a bib (that is hidden by some random freebie keychain necklace thing)!

When it came time, I moved to the starting line:

Then I ran. I struggled at points, but I kept going, non-stop, the entire 3.1 miles. I finished with a chip time of 32:36…a new PR! I ran my first 5K in 33:17 three weeks ago. Yay for improvement!

Afterwards, I looked like this:

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(yeah, yeah. ok. The “bib” picture was “after” too…but I had to check my camera in at the sweats check, so I don’t have a good before picture with the bib…)

I got some swag, since this was a sponsored race:

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Then I went home.

Cossette, the cat, she participated in “Sleep in for the Cure”, so she was exactly where I had left her 3 hours before:

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Oops. Woke her up…

Anyone else run a race this weekend, or have one coming up?

I’ve been postponing making a first entry in this blog, as the decision of what to say first was weighing heavily on my brain. I went through tons of ideas and just couldn’t pick out where to begin. Luckily for me (and hopefully you!), something happened yesterday that ended all of the useless planning.

I ran my first race!

Now in the blogging world, that may not seem like such a big accomplishment. But it is. Let me explain.

I used to be overweight. I’m about 5’6″ and at my heaviest, I weighed about 232 lbs (though my doctor told me after I had already accepted this as my start weight that I had actually weighed closer to 240 lbs at a previous visit…). As you can imagine, I was really unhappy. All of my pictures looked a lot like this:

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Now as you can see, this girl to the left is smiling. Heck, she even is giving the thumbs up sign. But she isn’t happy and it shows. I literally felt trapped in this body. I always felt tired and sick, though at the time, I had no idea why. You see, I had always been this way. My whole family is this way. Overweight, unhappy and lost.

I won’t get into the weight loss story here, as that is a post in itself. The fact of the matter is that this girl to my left had a saying: “Alexa doesn’t run.” I really used to say that. My co-worker is a very serious, competitive runner. He does crazy things like run the Boston Marathon. He was always encouraging me to give it a try and I would just say with a very serious face, “Alexa doesn’t run.”

You see, running and I have had it out for each other for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I wasn’t capable of running in the relay races because I would have coughing attacks. They may have even been psychosomatic, as I got teased relentlessly for being slow. I was always the last picked for teams in gym and in middle school, the thing I despised about P.E. the most was the dreaded mile run. I think I only passed it ONCE. In 6th grade. With a D- time. Eventually I gave up even trying to run the thing and I would simply walk the 2.5 times around the block that the mile comprised. Most of the time, the gym teacher would say something like, “Oh jeez. We don’t have time to wait for you if you’re not going to even bother to try. Just sit down.”

Hey, works for me. Now instead of having to run around the block, I only had to walk around it once! Score for the fat kid!

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Anyway, since those youthful days of shame and teasing, I have changed. About 3 years ago I started on the path of cleaning up my lifestyle and I lost somewhere in the ballpark of 90lbs. I’ve put maybe 15lbs back on over the last year, but I’ve maintained most of the loss and I certainly didn’t give up on the healthy lifestyle. Though I have had lapses, I’ve still tried to keep myself active. I walk 3+ miles to work when I can. Last year, I learned how to swim (yes, you read correctly, at 27 years old, I didn’t know how to swim…and I live in a coastal area…). I have a gym membership. I hike. But running? Eh….no.

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I tried to like running. I went back to my old middle school and made myself run around the block. Sort of battling old demons, you know? Nope. Still hated it. I tried to get into it on the treadmill several times, but I just couldn’t make myself finish C25K. I hated the treadmill. How boring. A couple of months ago, however, I decided to try something. I had a theory. Maybe I didn’t need to face old demons or run in place for 30 minutes. Maybe I needed a whole new experience. So I put on my running shoes and took off for “The Panhandle”, a stretch of park in San Francisco that, well, looks like the handle of a pan. I tried to jog it. It was painful. I had to stop a lot….but you know, I didn’t hate it. Over the next few weeks, I kept trying and I got better.

Hey, maybe this running thing isn’t so bad.

I’ve been doing this run for a while now and I’ve gotten myself up to a 2.5-3 mile course. Only problem is that I still have to take walking breaks. These breaks really slow my pace down and they sort of made me think that I was no where near ready to run a race. But all around me, people in the blog would run races. My co-worker runs races. Maybe I could run a race. I ended up picking a really small 5K to try — The Marina Green 5K. It is put on by a local running club, Dolphin South End Runners. They put on a race almost every week that is low key and cheap (read: $5 for a non-member!).

I went back and forth about whether or not I would show up. I had been feeling pretty sick on Saturday and I got NO sleep the night before the race, thanks to my cat Cosette (Cosie, for short!) finding a moth in my apartment to hunt all night. Cosie, I love you, but you are too darned loud!

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In the end, I decided to go. Though it is my normal tendency to not tell anyone about my goals in case I fail (yeah, I know, unhealthy…), I actually had told several people about my intent to run this race, so I really didn’t want to let anyone down. Most of all, I didn’t want to let myself down. After all, there was nothing to lose…no matter what my time ended up being, it would still end up being my PR, right?!

So I decided to do this thang!

Breakfast: One slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and 1/2 banana. 1 cup of coffee (not pictured)

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Observing the crowd:

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Nervous…I am going to run a race?! What?!

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Finished!

170 out of 205 runners; 33:17 total; 10:44 pace

(and I ran the WHOLE thing! No walking breaks, baby!)

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The moral of this story?

Alexa DOES run!