Monday, March 18, 2013

Wanna bet???

I love finding a new challenge and any type of new motivation!  I need it!  The trick to losing weight successfully really is accountability and support.  Too many things out there try to sabotage the road to health, and it often seems that the world is out to get me.  Or at least America is.  Also Germany, because when I lived there for six months I gained about 30 pounds or so.  But my Germany days are long gone, and only America has access to me at the moment.  And America is full of high fructose corn syrup and fatty foods.  I don't ingest a lot of that stuff, so I have pretty much conquered the battle against that aspect, but America also has giant portions, which are not as easy for me to avoid or fight.  I need an officer from the portion control police to accompany me everywhere I go.  What?  The portion control police don't exist?  Oh yeah... because this is America, where bigger portions lead to bigger people, which leads to bigger health costs and bigger paychecks for the health industry!  Ooh!  I call conspiracy!

I defy this general lack of concern for health in America, although sometimes my defiance looks like compliance.  What???  I like food.  I have a weakness for deliciousness.  Self control is something I struggle with, and sometimes I do really well while other times I go all out in an epic fail.  Surrounding myself with people who support me and are willing to smack the jelly beans out of my hands are completely necessary and appreciated.  I cannot do this alone.  Yes, I'm doing it for myself, but I can't do it BY myself.

So imagine how excited I was last Tuesday night at church when my friend Krystin told me about DietBet, which is a website dedicated to weight loss games.  She told me specifically to join the one hosted by The Biggest Loser season 11 winners Hannah and Olivia, where the buy-in is $25.  Tons of people are joining because the hosts are celebrities, and the game starts today!!!  The challenge on all DietBet games is to lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks.  Completely doable, with a realistic amount of effort!  At the end of the 4 weeks, everyone who lost 4% splits the pot.  Right now, the pot for this game is over $51,000!!!  So you can bet that I'll be busting my butt to not only hold onto my $25 that I put in for this game, but to take part in splitting other players' $25s that they will lose by not hitting the 4%!

We had to submit a photo as part of the weigh-in.  They don't post it anywhere, but here is mine:

I feel like I look pretty small compared to my old self, but also I look lumpy.  I mentioned this to my friend Erin, and she suggested that I do a body wrap.  Those tend to be expensive, so she sent me a link to a DIY home body wrap.  I'm curious... does anybody know much about that, and if home wraps would work?  The idea of becoming somewhat of a human burrito is interesting, if not completely appealing.  I'm up for whatever, though.

Will running rid my body of lumps?  I'm running another 5k in May (the COLOR RUN!!!!!) so I am doing more running to be more prepared for this one than I was for my first one.  I also need to increase my water intake.  I haven't been drinking nearly enough lately.  It's hard to remember to drink a lot when the weather is cool!

Time to go to the gym and kick off this DietBet challenge!  My abs aren't sore today, and I can't let THAT happen!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The k in 5k stands for Katie. Obviously.

Well, I did it.  I turned 32, and I ran in my first 5k.  And suddenly I have no idea what I was so freaked out about for so long!  While I didn't run the whole time, I am proud of the amount that I was able to run, and I even more proud given the circumstances: one busted heel and a less-than-ideal shoe situation.  Let me explain.

First of all, I was so lucky to have four friends run with me in the Natasha Watley 5k, and they made the morning so much fun! 

After not seeing each other since childhood, my friend Bethany and I reconnected on Facebook and have been following each other's journeys to get in shape.  She decided to come run with me on my birthday, which is also her sister's birthday (and my sister's birthday too), and it was great to conquer this looming 5k together when it had seemed to mock us both.  When you haven't done one before, the idea can be quite intimidating!  My friend Sullia and her husband Ken were there, which was great because Sullia and I met in a weight loss competition club on Facebook last year and have become really close since then.  We challenge and encourage each other, and to have her there meant a lot to me.  This was also Sullia's first 5k.  Next, my incredible and crazy friend Rebecca came, and not only did she run along with me and cheer me on, but she brought her camera and documented the whole thing!  The pictures I have here are hers, except for the group shot.  She did a lot of filming too, and when she gets the video edited to her liking, perhaps she will let me share it here!

The race started at 8:30, and I arrived at the site at about 7:40.  I parked close to the start and finish line, but I had to go across the street to check in, and pick up my tshirt and goodie bag.  I walked over to get the stuff, and on my way back, my right heel was really hurting, to the point that I started limping.  My shoes are a bit tight, but I have been wearing them to the gym, so I didn't think it would be an issue.  Boy was I ever wrong!  I met up with Rebecca at her car, which was parked just a few spaces away from mine, and took my shoes off.  Not only had a giant inch-wide blister formed at the back of my heel, but it had already popped and the epidermis was pulled down, exposing raw red new flesh. I couldn't believe it!  I keep a first aid kit in my car, so I limped over and covered it with ointment and a large bandaid.  Bandaids tend to be rebellious when you put a shoe over them, and they always fall off, so Rebecca pulled some tape out of her car and we taped the bandaid onto my foot so it wouldn't go anywhere.

I put my shoe back on, but it was excruciating, and I couldn't walk, let alone run three miles in that condition.  Someone suggested that I push the heel of the shoe down and step on it, but these shoes are still too new and rigid.  I did, however, have some Croc-material Skechers in my car, and squashing those heels was easy.  Looking back now, I wish I had just thought to cut the backs off of the Skechers, because I never wear them.  I didn't, though.  I didn't have time to think of it, because the race started as we were trying to figure out the best solution for my foot. 

Bethany, Rebecca and I started with the end of the crowd, while Ken and Sullia were delayed by about four minutes.  It was amazing they were there on time at all, since daylight savings time happened that morning, and Ken's phone didn't automatically reset while Sullia's did, but her alarm was on silent.  Despite these mishaps, Ken and Sullia caught up to us not too far after the first mile marker, and we all stayed together from them on.  Going in, I didn't know how that was gonna work, since we're all at different running levels.  I am by far the slowest, and I didn't expect my friends to keep my pace, but they did, and that made it a million times better for me.

We alternated running and walking, and the longest running stretch was at the beginning, where I estimate that we ran for about a quarter of a mile before walking.  I found that my squashed shoes worked really well when I was running, but as soon as I started walking, they didn't want to stay on my feet.  It was getting pretty annoying so just after the second mile, I decided to finish without the shoes. 

I was surprised that nobody said anything to me about my feet, but seeing this picture now, I see that maybe someone WANTED to ask.  This girl is totally checking out my feet as I run by. Haha!

I should have taken a picture of the socks at the end of the race.  They both had big holes on the soles, and were completely brown on the bottom.  We joked around about needing a sharpie so that we could all sign the socks as a momento.  This is probably what we're talking about in this picture, where I look especially beautiful... Thanks for that shot, Rebecca.  Haha

We came in at 46 minutes and about 15 seconds, so that sets my goal for the next race: less than 46:15!  Sullia and I will be doing a Color Run in May, and I hope Bethany and Rebecca join us for that one too!

I am officially a runner!  Not a good one yet, but you have to start somewhere!  I came up with a brilliant running plan that I'm working out with my friend Jen who lives in Seattle, and as soon as we get it going, I will share details.  It is super exciting and I can't wait to see if it's feasible!

As an endnote: A special shout out to my friend Regina for walking a 5k on her own that same day since she lives in Northern California and couldn't join me in this race.  Thank you for always supporting and encouraging me!  You are an incredible woman and a wonderful friend!