Monday, September 28, 2009

Yay! I'm a loser!

Remember when I said I had big awesome fabulous huge amazing news (embellishing a bit), but then I didn’t share it? Wait no longer!


Holleeeeerrrrrrrrr! Hey-o!! Wahoo!!!
Whoopty whoop!!!!

I’ve been above, below and right on this weight for the last few weeks, but every time it came to my Monday evening weigh-in, I’d weigh 154.8 (three weeks ago), 154.6 (two weeks ago), 154.4 (last week). BUT NOT TODAY!!!! 154, baby!!!!! So I guess technically I’ve lost 65.2 pounds ;)

It felt SO GREAT to finally announce my 65-pound loss at the meeting. (Hello, Monday meeting friends!!! Thanks for the applause and support!) Renee — the best leader on the planet — even gave me a hug instead of the usual high-five! I make every effort to attend my weekly meetings because I truly feel like I’m with my people. We’re there for similar reasons, and we’re all in it together. When others in the group are successful, I’m motivated to keep at it. Just like here in the bloggity blog world.

I had my first guest spot on Prior Fat Girl Jen’s blog 15 pounds ago. Since then, I incorporated regular workouts into my life, played on a softball team and didn’t feel like a fatty, went from size 10/12 to a size 8, became addicted to bloglife and completed my first 5K. It’s only been five months, but it feels like so much longer. I’m making positive strides in my life every day!

As long as I’m going over the past five months, let’s see some progress from the past 16 months, shall we?

April 2008 in Mexico
At my heaviest: 219 pounds. Yikes.

April 2008 in Mexico
This picture DISGUSTS me,
but it REALLY shows how far I’ve come!

July 2008
201 pounds (–18)
Singing karaoke on my birthday last year
October 10, 2008

192 pounds (–27)

Visiting Morgan in Dubuque
January 30, 2009
183 pounds (–36)

Rollerblading for the first time in 15 years
(Never would have done that when I was chubby)
March 2009

173 pounds (–46)
One of Emily’s bridesmaids
April 4, 2009

169 pounds (–50)

Morgan’s bachelorette party
May 23, 2009

163 pounds (–56)

Pose-arming with Jen at Kim’s wedding
July 19, 2009
160 pounds (–59)


154 pounds (–65)

I feel grrrrrrreat! And, if any of you recall, I’ve been planning to buy myself a shiny little gift when I hit this milestone.

A Tiffany Necklace!

I’ve already talked to Emily about hittin’ up Tiffany’s with me, so that’ll be happening very very soon.

I’d better get to bed soon because I’m going for a run in the morning. It’s fun now that I enjoy running, but it sucks having to wake up earlier since I’m not just running a mile or two anymore. Haha oh how my life has changed!

I’ll fill you in on some Oktoberfest goodness in a couple of days :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad/Good News Bears

At the end of my last post I said I had some “pretty awesome news” coming up … but today’s not the day I’m going to share it. I jumped the gun. Sorry for the teaser! Next week, my babies, next week. And thank you all for the congrats on my race!!! I’m still jazzed about it :)

In other news, I have two good things and two bad things to share.

Bad News
It wasn’t too difficult to train for my 5K. I would get up in the morning and run or get my miles in after work. Then, of course, I would shower. I use a washcloth in the shower and everything. What was difficult was noticing a change in my skin. I was getting ZITS!!!! AAAHHHH!!!!!

I’ve had clear skin my entire life. Yea yea I’d get a pimple or two here and there. Nothin’ I couldn’t take care of with a little concealer! But that was in high school and every so often in college — not so much now. At one point I counted seven zits last week! Out of control! Even my emergency zit potion wasn’t doin’ the trick.

This stuff will bleach your towels
if you don’t wash your hands
with water AND soap after applying.

I keep it on hand for the occasional pimple that I NEED to get rid of before an event or something. I’ll put a dab on before bed and wake up with a dried out spot where my zit used to be. It usually gives me a little dry skin in that area for a day or two, but that’s better than a mountain on my face!

However, that was before I was a runner. All I wanted was for it to dry up my face, but it wouldn’t. Maybe I was stressed before race day, but my skin’s been clearing up since Saturday. Phew.

And now that you know that little tidbit about me, on to something else …

Good News
My first SIGG BFF has been found!!!!

As you might recall, I lost it during Elizabeth and Cody’s wedding weekend at the beginning of August. I was crushed but soon moved on and bought another bottle. But apparently Elizabeth’s mom found it! She has it in our hometown (to which I am returning this weekend for Oktoberfest), so I’ll have it back in my hands in no time!

Bad News
The SIGG reunion will be brief :( I am sending her back to the manufacturer.

On September 1, the CEO of SIGG in Switzerland announced an exchange program for people who bought bottles with their old liner. The liners in bottles manufactured since August 2008 are A-OK, but bottles made before that had a different liner that contained a trace amount of BPA. Thorough testing showed that no BPA was leaching from the liner, but I still want a bottle that is completely free of BPA. And if the SIGG peeps are willing to make the swap for me, I’ll take it!

For any of you out there with SIGG bottles, you can check if your liner is the new or old version here, and you can read more about what’s going on here and here.

Good News
I’m heading back to La Crosse, Wisconsin, for Oktoberfest this weekend!!!! It’s pretty much a major holiday. I’m superpumped! I’m hoping that I won’t gain weight over the weekend, though. I’ll be drinking (more than) a few beers and probably eating whatever happens to be around (cheese curds!), BUT with soooo much walking and dancing and activity, I’m hoping to come out even. I did last year, so let’s hope for another great one! Can’t wait to share pictures with you. I’ve decided to post some pictures from last year along with the ones from this year. I checked my records, and I weighed between 192 and 194 last year at this time. That means I’ve lost exactly 40 pounds since then!!! I’m eager to show you the comparison pics!

I’m going to the opening ceremonies with my parents on Friday afternoon. The big event is the Tapping of the Golden Keg. Not kidding!

The Golden KegLook how it sparkles in the sun :)

Ohhhh Oktoberfest. Love it love it. I’ll tell you all about it next week! Until then, Ein Prosit!

Monday, September 21, 2009


I completed my first 5K on Saturday morning! I did it I did it I did it!!!!!

I woke up around 6:30, excitedly hopped out of bed, and jogged upstairs into the living room where my dad was sitting. With a huge smile I exclaimed, “Gooooood morning! I’m ready!”

My parents drove me to the race and hung out with me until the gun went off. My dad found a map of the course, and we noticed the there was a huge hill to go up and down during the last mile. Whatever, I figured, at least it’s toward the end, and maybe I’ll be in my zone by then. Nothin’ I can do about it now! It’s time to run!

My mom captured this gem while I was running by her at the beginning of the race.

Action shot! My hair looks hilarious!

I could feel that I was running a little faster than usual (which you readers so ingeniously told me would happen), but my adrenaline was flowing and I was just pumped to be out there with all the people! But wait a sec … why are we already going uphill? Maybe once we turn the corner we’ll be running flat again. And then I turned the corner only to see another hill up ahead! REAAALLLLYYYY?!

I was still rockin’ it, though. These hills weren’t too big. I was just hitting my groove when I heard someone shout my name behind me. It was my best friend’s sister Gretchen! Yay! It’s always nice to see a friendly face! And then she wasn’t behind me anymore. Haha. She’s a real runner.

So I got up the hill and turned a corner only to find what? You guessed it. Another hill! By now you get the gist of this course. I’m gonna say it was 80% uphill! Maybe it’s an exaggeration, but if not 80% then 70%.

My only goal was to run the entire race without walking. I did not accomplish this goal. Come on! Way too many hills that just kept getting longer and tougher. I figured I could walk faster uphill than I was running anyway, so I was cool with walking uphill at times.

The final hill was a doosie. It was a mountain, actually. I was trying to keep a solid pace, but my calves were burning something fierce. I couldn’t imagine what my entire bod would have felt like if I ran up the entire thing! I kept pushin and pushin, and finally I conquered the hillmountain. And then, like a godsend, we finally got to go downhill!!!! Cue heavenly music!

I was unstoppable down this hill! It felt so amazing to finally just GO. All this uphill business held me back, but I was zooming down this hill. I got a sideache toward the bottom, but not nearly as bad as that first one I got a couple of weeks ago. I focused on my breathing, dug my fingers into my side and ran through the slight pain. There was no way I was stopping now! Push, Amanda!

I spotted the third mile marker a ways up and was like OH MY GOD! I’M ALMOST FINISHED!! The time flew by. I never even really got a chance to get into my music, which is so unlike me. I kept digging into my sideache until I got to the last turn. I SEE THE FINISH LINE!!!! I took off like a jet and gave everything I had until I crossed the finish. That last little part was downhill, and I want to send flowers and candy to whomever came up with that brilliant idea. I felt like a champion cruising like that at the end!


My fastest 5K time yet!!! Even with the hills and walking, I still managed to rock :) I am soooo proud of myself! I went up right up to my mom and said (while panting), “That was SO HARD! The whole fricken thing was uphill!” Oops! I know it’s not really a swear word, but still not something I should be saying to my precious mommy. I guess feeling like a rockstar got the best of me!

Feeling good afterward

I headed over to the swag tent to pick up some goodies.

I walked away with a bag of Paula Red apples, a bottle of strawberry apple cider, a banana, a cookie and the feeling of great accomplishment.

We stopped for this photo op on the way to my parents’ car. Even after running a 5K, I still look like a model! Only kidding ;)

So there it is, folks! I did it. I feel great for having done it. And I will never run that course again! I will, however, do more races. What a rush! Thanks for all the encouragement!!!!!!!!!

I have some pretty awesome news coming up either tomorrow or Wednesday, so stay tuned, kiddos :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


In a word: yes. I am nervous.

I was nervous (and somewhat discouraged) when I realized that I was running a 12-minute mile. But then I read the comments from some of my lovely readers, and I realized that I’m OK. Running at a comfortable speed for me is just fine! I don’t need to be a speed demon!

I went for my last run before the big day this morning. I woke up at 5:15 and was out the door by 5:30. It was still dark out, which was actually really soothing. The sun wasn’t beating down on me. There were hardly any people awake and about. I just concentrated on my music and my workout.

The whole thing was coming pretty easy to me, which is just CRAZY because I never EVER thought I’d enjoy running. The first mile was a good warmup. The second mile was a little bit more difficult but still relatively easy. I don’t even remember the third mile!

I always thought it was nuts when people would say that they enjoyed running because they loved how it freed their mind. Ha! Yea right! There is no way my mind could be free while running. I'm thinking about my breathing, my legs getting tired, wanting to stop at the end of each song on my iPod.

But not this time. Like I said, I don’t really remember the final mile of my run. It was relaxing until the last segment when I really pushed myself to the finish line (aka the intersection where my route begins and ends). What a neat feeling! I got to go with it and not think about a thing! I’m pumped that I’ve incorporated running into my life, and I’m looking forward to my next freeing experience.

I pushed stop on my watch, and I’d completed the three-mile trek in 34 minutes! Almost 2.5 minutes less than my last three-miler! I didn’t want to set a time goal for my first 5K, but I was secretly hoping to finish closer to 30 minutes than 40 minutes. Anything 34:59 and faster would be A-OK with me. And now I know I can do it! So, after this morning’s run, I was no longer nervous.

I was sweaty, tired and happy! Nervousness gone.

Until I found out that the majority of Saturday’s 5K is uphill. COME ON! (To be read like Gob, for all you Arrested Development fans out there.) I figured it would be hilly, but “hilly” should include downhill, don’t you think?? Grrrr. I haven’t really worked on my uphill skills. Nervousness returns.

This uphill business hasn’t been confirmed. Just hearsay at this point, but still, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I know that it’s OK to walk for a moment and get back to running.

I know that the time it takes me to finish doesn’t matter.
But it kinda matters to me.

My running the entire thing was my only concrete goal, and I hate not following through. The time thing doesn’t really bother me anymore, but it’s just like the number on the scale. I WANT to concentrate on how I feel rather than that silly number, but I still care about the number getting lower on the scale (slowly but surely). Just like I care a little bit about my finish time. Now that I know I can conquer the miles in 34-36 minutes, I want to be able to do it again. But running uphill? Eek. I just don’t know.

I recently subscribed to Body + Soul magazine. The last page of this month's issue has 10 Thoughts on Whole Living. Two of the points really hit home with me today.

Every moment of suffering
brings an opportunity
to build resilience.

As I’m running uphill, or just running in general, and I’m feeling like it’s getting too difficult, I need to remember that I am making myself stronger. Mind, body and soul. Every moment is worth it.

Don’t let fear of the unknown
hold you back
from making a change.

Saturday’s race stuff is all very unknown to me, and that’s soooo out of my comfort zone. I like being in control and (over)prepared. I don’t know the course. I don’t even know where to go and when to arrive! (Those last two I can determine in a jiffy, though.) The unknown course has been weighing on my mind for a while now, but this quote kinda put me at ease. I’ve made big changes in my life, and this race is a landmark occasion! I can’t let the unknown hold me back. I need to pay attention to the experience, take pride in my accomplishment, and enjoy the ride :)

This is my last post until the race. I can’t wait to let you all know how much I rocked it! My parents will be waiting for me at the finish line, and I’ll make sure they take lots of sweaty, tomato-faced pics of me. I’m looking forward to snagging my bag of apples afterward, too! There will also be apple cider available upon finishing, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be thirsting for water. But it is Applefest, after all, so maybe I should partake!

Until then, send me good thoughts!!! And thanks again for the motivation :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

don't bug me

FYI My first 5K is Saturday. That’s five days from now. Maybe four or three, depending on when you read this. YIKES! Nervous.

I went for a run yesterday and couldn’t even make it two miles without walking. What?! How discouraging! Usually I can just tell myself to keep going and I do, but this time my legs just stopped running. It was crazy. The sun was really hot yesterday, though. I was a sweaty, panting mess at that point.

It also might be because I decided I should push myself to run a bit faster. Nothin crazy. Just a wee bit faster. Result: Walking before I even hit two miles. Moral: Just run the pace at which I’m comfortable, and I’ll get faster in time. No need to rush.

In case you’re wondering (as I was) just how fast (slow) I run, I’ll fill you in today.

I recently bought a watch at Target. Nothin fancy. Just a $29.99 women's Timex sports watch. I wanted something that can tell time, has a stopwatch, and maybe has a glowy feature (in case of night running now that the days are so short, but don’t even get me started on that). This one has all three! It can also calculate my pulse, but I don’t really care about that right now.

I wore it on my run tonight.
I discovered some terrible news.

THAT’S how long it took me to run three miles. More than 36 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!! Surely this devil watch must be lying!!! But the sad thing is, I'm pretty sure it wasn't. I didn’t feel like I was running that slow! Gah. Frustrated frustrated frustrated. On the plus side, no sideache!

Tonight’s run was brought to you by BUGS.

2 bugs flew into my mouth
2 bugs flew into my eye
1 bug flew up my nose
1 piece of spider web stuck to my face

YUCK. I hate bugs soooo much.

My goal for this weekend’s 5K is to run the entire thing. No walking allowed. If it takes me 36 minutes, fine. I’ll just be ecstatic to have completed something I never would have thought possible. I’m nervous, though, because I think the course will be hilly. La Crescent, Minnesota, is like bluff central. I’ve been running outside, but my route isn’t very hilly. Just one more thing for me to worry about. Great. And even though I'll be totally pumped to just finish the darn thing, I know I'll be bummed that it's not even a couple of minutes faster :( Boo hoo me. Pity party here!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So ... I'm a Cat Lady

I started my day with the usual banana, and I downed one liter of water before 9:30am! I had another liter gone before noon. I’m going for three liters before I leave work. How much water are you going to drink today?? Game on.

I had a huge salad for lunch with my usual accoutrements: cherry tomatoes, black olives, peas, hard-boiled egg pieces (mostly whites), sunflower seeds and some wild rice. I also had a scoop of cous cous salad and cottage cheese. Do you know how protein-packed cottage cheese is? It’s a goodie.

I’m going for a run tonight because I bailed on yesterday morning AND this morning. Come on, Amanda! You’re running a 5K in 10 days!!!! Tonight’s plan is to hit 3.4 miles, which is my farthest distance so far. If I run longer, so be it. Shorter is fine, too. I just want to make it past 3.1 miles. I am soooo slow. (Basically someone could probably walk very quickly next to me.) Since I know I can actually run the distance of a 5K, now I need to work on a speed that’s right for me … and doesn’t put me in last place. I’m competitive, OK?

Alright enough with this food, drink and workout nonsense ;) Onto a much more important topic.


It’s one of my cat’s THIRD birthday today. I got Edwyn when he was only eight weeks old, so I still can’t believe he’s already three! He was my first pet that was all my own. Not my parents’. Not my roommate’s. Mine.

I’m a proud mama, so now it’s time to show him off!

Here’s baby Edwyn with Kari,

one of my besties and former roommate.

He's so tiny! Only eight weeks old.
(Not the greatest pic of Kari, however …)

And here’s the perfect holiday card photo.
This was my cute little fam a couple of years ago.
Me, three-month-old Edwyn, Emily, Kari and Zoey
at the holiday sweater party we hosted.

Some current pictures:


Pretty kitty

Wow! It must be proud animal parent day here in PFG land. Priorfatgirl Jen has been boasting about the new addition to her home, too!

I’ll leave you with one more cat pic.

Here’s Edwyn with Norman, who I got in February.

Norman’s bday is next month. Oh geez. Not another cat-filled blog post!!! You know you love it :)

Until next time!

XO, Amanda, the cat lady
aka another priorfatgirl

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I heart my friends

I had a wonderful Labor Day weekend because I had minimal plans ... including doing whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it. Sound rough? It sure was. I was out by my pool four days in a row. I hung out with some cool peeps. I began and finished a book. (Sookie Stackhouse series anyone? LOVE IT.) I went on two beautiful morning runs. I watched some Dexter (great show). I went to the mall and bought some more cute clothes. And most importantly, I relaxed and caught up on some much-needed shuteye. Yessss! Great weekend.

As long as I’m rambling about what I’ve done lately, let’s zip back to one month ago today. Two of my best friends got hitched! Happy One-Month Anniversary, Liz and Cody!!! I was Liz’s personal attendant, so basically I was just there for whatever she needed … like picking up the cake, bringing an extra razor and hair dryer, helping to maintain a bit of sanity, stuff like that.

Here’s Rachel (bridesmaid), Liz (bridezilla),
Anna (maid of honor) and Me during the rehearsal.
It’s not the best picture of any of us, but I just wanted to show off how pretty we are :) Oh, and I realized that I never got a picture alone with the bride the day before, day of, or day after the wedding! How does that happen? The wedding ceremony and reception were in a small Wisconsin town at an even smaller hotel. It was beautiful. Everything was outside where we could see the river and the bluffs and the wonderfulness. It did happen to be more than 90 degrees and incredibly humid, but it was all worth it because the whole shebang was splendid.

I sang the Beatles’ “In My Life” during the ceremony.

Yea, I was the Wedding Singer :) I was totally nervous, though, because I lost my voice less than a week before the big weekend, but I made sure to keep hydrated and drink tea. Worked like a charm because I sounded like an angel! Well, except for the part when I giggled in the middle. Oops! Not kidding.

My parents were there, too!

Here’s me and my daddio during the reception.

And here’s me and my mom. Cute :)

Here's the thing: I have this pose-arm problem. I do it in nearly EVERY picture I’m in. I need an intervention. But I thought it was the CUTEST THING EVER when my mom threw out the pose arm in this pic with me. Apparently she won’t be leading the intervention.

Here I am with the happy groom!

I am sooooo happy for Cody and Liz! I’ve known Liz since kindergarten, we lived together two years in college, and we STILL like each other. That doesn’t happen with every friendship. Cody and Liz complement each other perfectly, and I would know because I basically lived with both of them those two years in college. They both know probably too much about me, and neither of them are afraid to keep me in check. We all need that in our friends. I never stop laughing when I’m with them. Love these two :)

(Here’s a diet and workout tip for you: Attend a 90+-degree wedding reception with 1 billion percent humidity and dance your little heart out. I was a sweatmonster! I woke up 3 pounds lighter than I was the morning before! Obviously it was due to dehydration and whatnot, but it was crazy to see the number on the scale … until I drank tons of water and ate. Then I was back to normal.)

Alright, now fast forward from one month ago to two days ago — Liz and Cody’s Housewarming Party! We grilled things, people brought dishes to share, and we had a few drinkies. It was great to enjoy the weather and hang outside, but it was bittersweet because we were reminded of how summer is almost over. Here’s some of my eats for the evening:

I ate a few bites of spinach artichoke dip with pita chips. I had about 500 chips with salsa and about 500 chips with guacamole. The guac isn’t pictured but should be. I made it and it rocked! Liz made the salsa with stuff from her CSA and it was soooo good. You can’t buy salsa like that. Fresh and homemade is best.

For my main meal (as if I was still hungry after the 1000 chips and dip), I had a veggie burger with mustard and onions, oven-baked asparagus, and a yummy little rice salad with black beans and broccoli. I’ll need to get that recipe from Liz’s cousin.

And then of course, dessert. Sarah made a chocolate cake with zucchini (also from the CSA). Sarah and I figured it’s good for us because there’s zucchini in it. A “chocolately salad,” she called it. I only had one piece even though it was still warm and soooo yummy.

My beverage of choice for the night was Corona Light with a lime. Also good for me because of the lime, right? I’m pushin’ it, I know. Check out the bonfire in the background. Yay for summer nights :)

Happy housewarming, Liz!
(So can you tell I'd been frequenting the pool? Yikes.)

And now fast forward to the present. Wait! I don’t want to! It might look like I’m doing work at my desk, but I’m really thinking about lounging by my pool again.

Peace, lovelies! And thanks a ton for the sideache advice, those of you who commented on my last post. I'll keeps all those tips in mind during my next run :)