The Happiest 5k On The Planet

I have never really considered myself a runner. In high school, we had to run in gym class every 3rd day and I truly dreaded it. I wasn’t in the best shape in high school. Mix that with my lack of popularity and it was just another way for others to make fun.
When I was finishing up my masters, I visited GWU in DC during the cherry blossom season. I fell in love with the city and knew it was the right place for me. In December of ’09, I decided to start training for their annual Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I was so nervous to run but I had a ton of people there supporting me and I did it. I ran the whole thing! I have to admit, running races are kind of addictive 🙂

I haven’t done much running lately BUT, I decided it was time to get back on the saddle and I am really looking forward to November 17th, 2013. A good friend and I will be running a hip new race called The Color Run! I knew this was a run I wanted to do once I saw a picture of him after he ran it last year. 

I guess I should take a second to explain his title. Tim, aka husband #2, is life long friends with Rob. They grew up together, played soccer, got into trouble, helped each other survive high school and remained close throughout college and after. Tim was the best man in our wedding and even came on our honeymoon (we invited anyone that wanted to come). He got his nickname on our honeymoon actually. He is the one that dances with me at weddings and bars. He also checked in on me when Rob was deployed last year. 
The Color Run, also known as The Happiest 5k On The Planet, made its debut in January 2012. It has become one of the hippest new races almost doubling in number of races and participates this year. 
One of the things I love most about The Color Run is that it is an event for anyone. It’s main goal is to promotes HAPPY, HEALTHY, INDIVIDUALS of all running levels, ages and fitness levels. There are no winners or race times. It’s all about the FUN! I mean, how could you not have fun getting sprayed with colored cornstarch 😉 
This is the perfect even for a group of friends or family to spend some quality time together, getting dirty, and having a blast. While you’re getting all dolled up, the proceeds from the race go to a local charity in each city. 
Still don’t believe it’s a good time? Check this out! 


Yeah, I thought that would help you see it my way 😉

Enter the promo code COLOR5OFF to get $5 off your online registration. Don’t wait though, these races are selling out FAST! You can also get an additional $5 off if you register with a group of 4 or more.

I Love My Body {Week 2 Challenge}

A really good friend and fellow mommy blogger, Jen, over at All Four Love came to visit this weekend. While taking a trip to one of my favorite thrift stores, I told her about this new adventure. She was my sounding board for awhile and helped me decide on the structure of the next few challenges and topics I wanted to focus on.

I want to take a different approach this time to my weight loss. Simply “winging it” isn’t possible at my age and my current lifestyle of being a stay-at-home-mom. I need to have a structure beyond my weight loss program. I realized that only makes sense that my next focus is on accountability. This is something I need to have and it needs to be effective. I have figured out several easy ways to help me stay accountable and I am going to see how they work this week.

My first form of accountability is already in place, all of you. Knowing that you are reading these challenges each week and waiting for my follow up lights a fire inside me, which is great! I want to be able to report good news. However, I am not perfect. I don’t know anyone who is perfect during a drastic weight loss journey. Even though I want to report good news each week, I know that obstacles I run into will make me stronger and may help others out down the line.

I also really believe that having accountability weighing in is a MUST. This is where things like Weight Watchers, DietBet and Last Loser Standing competitions among friends or co-workers can be extremely helpful.

I will be talking more about Weight Watchers throughout this entire journey because it is my weight loss plan of choice. For this purposes of this challenge, Weight Watchers is going to be important to keeping me accountable each week. In the past, knowing I am getting on the scale at a certain time each week has helped me make smarter choices. As a stay-at-home mom, I don’t have the ability to commit to attending meetings to weigh-in so I am doing the eTools and tracking my weight on there. It is not as effective but still makes a difference. 

DietBet, is from what I can tell, fairly new. It’s a great way to motivate because money is at stake! Bets which starts at the beginning of each month. You can find one to join, start a public one of your own or a private one and invite friends, family or coworkers. The admins of the specific bet decide the buy in. The two I have done so far were $10 but there are some for $50 or $100. There are tons of bets each month so you can choose which one is right for you. You are given a word and have to send a picture of yourself on the scale in airport attire and then a picture of your feet on the scale with the word. You have a month to lose 4% of your weight. At the end, you take another picture with a different word to confirm and you split the pot with the winners.

Weigh In for my January DietBet

Last Loser Standing competitions have been going on for awhile now. They are pretty popular in offices and among family members. I recently got involved with two on Facebook. Similar to dietbet, you are give a word each week and you must take a picture of your feet on the scale with the word in the picture. These are fun ways to stay accountable and if there is a great prize for the winner, maybe the exact motivation you need!

A weigh in for one of the LLS challenges

This week I challenge you to invent or find at least one way to help keep you accountable during your weight loss journey. Are you up for it?!? I can’t wait to hear what you have come up with on Saturday! 

I Love My Body {Week 1 Reflection}

We have company coming this weekend so I decided to write this post on Friday. It’s kind of ironic because this day is so bitter sweet for me. It was February 15, 2006 when I decided I didn’t want to be a fat girl anymore. This day is sweet because I worked hard over the next 2 years even through a move from CA to PA and completing a graduate program, I managed to go from 181.6 – 140 pounds. It’s bitter because I am now 203 pounds.

This week had it’s ups and downs but I think I am in a really great place. At the beginning of the week, I challenged myself (and all of you) with trying to change the way I felt and the things I said to my body every time I looked in the mirror. I’m no expert but this seemed like a good place to start this journey. It’s not just about what you put in your mouth or exercise you get. It’s just as much a mental commitment as it is a physical one. Maybe that is where I have been going wrong up until now. I was counting on food and exercise to do all of the work.

As corny as it maybe, I needed to tell myself that I was beautiful and that I loved my body everyday this week. I needed to tell myself this so I stopped blaming my body and started blaming myself. It was hard the first few days but, by the time this morning rolled around, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I wasn’t mad at my body anymore. Now I am not claiming any immaculate miracle here. I am sure there will be a time, or two, or ten, where I find myself with those thoughts over the course of this journey. But for the moment, the blame is where it needs to be.

Today, I celebrated. Not only did I take a shower AND wash my hair (yes honey, you heard me right) but I also styled my hair and put makeup on before P woke up for the day. It was amazing how much better I felt about myself. I won’t have time to do this most mornings but I think I found the first change I want to make. Maybe by getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning so I can wash my face, putting on some mascara and actual clothes, it will help me make better choices throughout the day. It’s tough staying at home because it feels natural to stay in sweats with your hair in a ponytail. Trouble is, that was the outfit I was usually in for lazy weekends vegging out and snacking all day.

So here I am folks. Mary. A 29 year old stay at home mother to Parker and wife to Rob. A shy but outgoing, creative and caring woman. I am also a fat girl. But that is okay because I love my body and I am going to start making changes. One day, my insides will match my outsides. You will see my beautiful smile any day of the week because I will finally love myself as much as others love me.

How did you all do this week? Was it easy to look in the mirror? Was it hard? I would love to hear about your week and how you are doing! Join in the link up party below or leave a comment!

Other posts you maybe interested in:
My weight loss history up to the New Year (2013) 
I Love My Body {New Link Up Challenge}

I Love My Body… {New Link Up Challenge}

I wrote this in my journal on Thursday and after reading it, realized I wanted to share it with all of you…

Today is the day I get to the gym and usually stretch outside the aerobics room for about 15 minutes before class starts. Now-a-days, that kind of alone time is rare. This morning, I decided to drop P off 15 minutes earlier and go into the fitness center for a little bit before my aerobics class. As I walked up to the aerobics room, I heard the instructor finishing her cool down by asking her students to repeat the following, “I love myself”, “I love my body”. 

Normally I would be sitting on the floor with my head phones on and would have missed this chant. I can’t help but think I was meant to hear it. I love myself, I love my body… I love my body… I love my body… Do I though?

At least once a day I find myself looking in the mirror and not only thinking, but saying out loud, I hate my body. The truth is, my body hasn’t done anything wrong. In fact, I should be saying, I love my body. My body sacrifices for me every day. My body created the most beautiful little boy in the whole world. My body held strong through 11 hours of labor and then stayed strong while the Dr.performed a c-section. My body worked hard and healed quicker than the Dr expected so that I could bond with my son. My body keeps up with the abuse I give it hardly ever complaining.

It’s time I start focusing the blame where it belongs, on me. So body, will you give me a second chance? I can’t promise perfection only that I will try harder and think before I do or say something that might be hurtful to you. I will try to not stare at you in the mirror and look in disgust and say I hate you. The truth is, I love you body. I am so grateful for everything you have done for me and it’s time I start acting like it.

To help me stay accountable and help achieve my goals, I have decided to put together a new link up challenge called, I LOVE MY BODY. The idea is that you can’t expect your body to change, if you don’t first love yourself and treat your body right.

Here are the lovely challenge details. 

I thought about different ways to run this and although it is a little more work, I feel like there needs to be two separate parts to this challenge  One day for the topic and challenge announcement and a separate day for reflection. To me, it’s important to take one week at a time and I need to give proper thought and reflection to one week before I start another.

So…

Each Sunday, I will post about the weeks topic and challenge. The theme will always have something to do with weight loss, eating healthy or treating your body right.

There are two ways you can except the challenge:

1. Comment on the challenge post letting me know you are accepting the challenge. Writing it down makes it official. This is a great option for those of you who don’t have a blog.

2. Write a quick post and add the I LOVE MY BODY button. Your readers will see you have accepted the challenge and are going to want to hear how you did!

On Saturday, we will reflect on how we did that week. What was easy and what was hard. Did you succeed? If not, what held you back. I will host a link up party where you can link up your own reflections and visit your neighbors posts to offer congratulations, words of encouragement and continued support.

There are two ways to reflect on the week:

1. Journal about it throughout the week and write how you did in a comment on my reflection post. This will allow other reads to offer congratulations, words of encouragement and continued support. 

2. Write a reflection post on how the week was for you, share the I Love My Body button and link up to the party.

So, what do you say? Are you willing to accept this challenge? Are you ready to focus on yourself, even when life gets in the way? Then share this challenge on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media  avenues you have. We ALL deserve to be happy and healthy and together WE can help each other take the steps to change!

If you are, then let’s get started RIGHT NOW!!! 

We all need to start fresh sometimes with a new focus. This week’s theme is the very purpose of this link up, loving your body. You need to love and respect your body for any kind of change to happen.

So, the challenge this week is to look in the mirror each day and say, “I love my body, I respect my body”. Even though it maybe hard, take a picture of yourself. If you are really brave, plan to share it in your reflection. Take some time to also write down what your body has done for you. Have you even run a race, participated in a sport, had a job where you were constantly on your feet?

On Saturday I will share what my week was link and host the link up party where you can share your post and stop in to see how others did!


If you accept this challenge, let me know! Change starts now!  



130’s by 30

While I am serious about all of the goals I have for 2013, this particular goal is #1 on my list. I don’t want to get too much into a pity party here but I am so tired of being unhappy… Looking back at the last 6 months of pictures taken with P, I am hardly in any of them :/ The thought of one day P looking at pictures and having little to none with his Mommy brings tears to my eyes. I need to do this for myself, for my husband and for my baby.  I have done this before. I can do it again. 
My goal is to reach the 130’s by the time I am 30. This will be fairly difficult as that means I need to lose roughly 67-77 lbs to achieve this in my 6 short months. I started getting my act together at the end of November through my FB Moms group and lost 4.4 lbs so far. I have also joined a few competitions. Between those, my ability to go to the gym 5-6 days a week (thanks to the amazing gym nursery) and WW ETools online, I have NO excuse to make it.

I came up with some of the following tools to help me along the way. I took an old picture frame and dressed it up a little with scrapbook paper. I write the word on the frame glass with a white board marker each week (more on that below). Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to use pebbles to represent every .2 ponds I needed to lose. I started with doing 1 pebble for every pound but it didn’t seem like very many and I know how hard it can be to even lose .2 ponds some weeks. I also used two pieces of poster board to keep track of my progress for each competition. Visuals ALWAYS help me :). And since we have a guest bathroom that is usually not being used, I have turned it into my little weight loss area. Again, visuals and convenience are always better!

Two of the competitions are Last Loser standing challenges. The goal, lose or maintain every week. A gain means you are out. The last person still losing is the winner. Pretty simple and straight forward but what an impact. I actually lost weight over Christmas and New Years but didn’t deprive myself of anything thanks to Weight Watchers! Each week we are given a word and need to snap a photo of the word and our feet on the scale showing our current weight.

The third started tomorrow and I am super excited about it. I am not sure how new/old it is but it’s called DietBet. You can start your own challenge with 2+ people or join an existing open one. Each challenge host decides on a bet your must make in order to join and the goal. Anyone who reaches that goal, splits the pot. The one I am participating in was a $10 bet and the post, last time I checked, was up to $1,040. All I have to do is lose 4% of my body weight in January. If I achieve this, I will at least get my money back! 
I decided to also take a trip down memory lane to find a little inspiration and hopefully a ton of motivation. In a nut shell, here is my weight loss journey over the last 16 years…
In February 2006 I was out in California and decided it was time to start taking care of myself and loose some weight. I knew I wanted to loose weight the smart way and the best and only choice was Weight Watchers. They were affordable, effective and just the right amount of support. One February 14, 2006 I weighed in at 181.6 lbs, the highest I had ever been. I jumped right in and lost 5 lbs my first week and continued to do so. The meetings were unbelievable. I often joked but in all seriousness, WW meetings are really like AA for eaters. There is support beyond words even if someone doesn’t share. We all got to the same place on different paths. The journey before didn’t matter, the journey we were currently on is what counted.

That June I moved back to the East Coast and started Graduate School. It was very easy to stay on the plan and in June 2007 I had reach within 10 lbs of my weight range and applied to become a receptionist with WW. My final days in grad school, the formal and graduation were amazing. Not only because I had completed a Masters degree but also because I looked and felt amazing. The last weight I remember was about 141 lbs.

The next few years were rough. I slowly began to gain the weight back. I “married and divorced” WW more times than I can count. I would show up to a meeting maybe continue for a week or two and then stop. I met an amazing man and was married in April 2011. I was engaged for 15 months and tried so many times to lose weight. It got so close to the wedding that I became desperate and found a rapid, medical program which got me to 160 lbs. I don’t regret it because it got me to an okay place for my wedding but I wish I could have been at 140 and done it myself.


After the wedding I swore I would get back on track. Again, I “married and divorced” WW from April until September when I decided I had had enough. So, I weighed in on September 29, 2011 at 186, cried a little and decided I NEEDED to make a change. Rob and I want to start having kids and the doctor said I was too heavy and unhealthy. Here is a picture of me at my Sister’s Law School graduation in May 2011.

Much to our surprise, on October 21st, about 3 weeks after I started back up, we found out we were pregnant. I spent the next 9 months growing our beautiful baby boy in my tummy. I ate pretty healthy but indulged when I wanted. Looking back, what a mistake… I maintained my weight for over half my pregnancy but I didn’t exercise and issues swelling made the last 6-8 weeks really rough.