11 Weeks Of Training

crossing finish line 2015

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. Can’t wait to do the same for my first 10K…and yes, I am still awesome!

Over the last year I’ve tried training for a 10k with no luck. It’s just hard for me to train without an actual deadline. Well now I have one – September 10. That’s when I run 6.2 miles along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon for the George Washington Patriot Run.

While I don’t want to injure myself, I am going to push myself a little with my training schedule.  My thinking is my body can handle it since I’m not asking it to do something it hasn’t done before (just more distance and time).

Which means rain or shine, I have to run 3 times a week. It also means adding some non-impact cardio twice a week. My gym is testing a 30-minute speed cycling class this quarter. I might as well give it a go.

My current strength training, walking and yoga sessions provide a nice cross training.

But first thing up? Replacing gear. I’m heading out this morning to replace my running shoes.

I think I’ll also re-watch From Fat to Finish Line this weekend.  My training kicks off on Sunday and I’d like to go into it as excited as possible.

Celebrating The Good News


Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphoto.net and Praisaneng.

Every 3 months I have to go in for a check up to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned. Nearly a year post surgery and I just got the latest lab work back: All clear.

My oncologist told me I’ve got another year of this “aggressive” testing. Then for the next 2 years I get checked just twice a year. Then the 5th (and final year) I’m tested just once. If all is clear after that, then I’ve officially kicked cancer’s sorry ass.

So how do I celebrate the good news?

I’m lifting weights today. And if the weather holds, a bike ride. Finally I’ll cap the day by grilling a burger to top my tasty, big-ass salad.

Fasting Fest This Weekend

frozen custard

This is what freaking out over your first radiation treatment leads to!

I planned to do a 5-day fast this week but chickened out at the last minute. Tuesday was my first radiation treatment and I was a bit too freaked out to try fasting. So I opted for some frozen custard instead.

Peanut Butter Brownie & Chocolate, to be specific.

A glorious LARGE one, to be even more specific.

Yes, I needed comfort food (told you I freaked out). No shame in that.

Thankfully, the freak out was for naught. The painless treatment lasted a total of 5 minutes. As for side effects, the only thing I experienced was some major fatigue. I did some serious napping for two days. Of course, I’m assuming it was the radiation. It could have been a carb coma from the big ass frozen custard. Read More

Preventing Pelvic Collapse By Building Muscle

Pelvic floor muscle

With my hysterectomy, I have too much room down there and organs can start shifting, causing major problems. Good news there is an exercise to prevent that from happening.

While waiting for my doctor to give me the OK for becoming more active, I’m doing a lot of research on any changes to my workout and diet routines following a hysterectomy. I’m officially in menopause now. That means muscle and bone loss are two key challenges heading into my golden years.

Well lo and behold I’ve discovered that I’m at risk for a Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Read More

Weekly Weigh-In: Self Sabotage!

april 10 weigh in

I’m up 2 pounds from the last time I posted a weigh-in. Eating out is the culprit. But I’m back in the kitchen with abandon.

Holy crap! I haven’t posted a weigh-in since Feb. 29. Truth be told I’m working on a big project that’s consuming a lot of my time. I can’t say anything now but hopefully by this summer I’ll have good news to share.

After reading those awesome books by Steven Pressfield, I’m determined not to let my weigh-ins slide anymore. So weekly posts are back.

My Feb. 29 weigh in had me at 182.5 lbs, but by the time April 2 rolled around I was back to 187.5. With some changes this week, I dropped 3 pounds and now weigh 184.5.

So I’m trapped in a weird super moon bounce of my own making. Just bobbing up and down 5 pounds. What the heck is going on, Dot?

Self sabotage, that’s what! Grrrrrr!!!!!
Read More

Microwave Experiment Update


A relic of our fat past. My 2 week test of life without a microwave is now well into its 3rd month.

Back in December, while trying to make more counter space in my tiny kitchen, I packed up my microwave and lugged it to the basement. The plan was to try going without it for two weeks. A simple test to see how much I really rely on it. Well here we are, nearly half way through March and that microwave is still in the basement.

Do I miss it?


Microwaving zaps food of its flavor…but hey it’s more convenient, right?  But if it is more convenient does that mean you’re eating more than you need?

I know our food consumption dropped without it, especially for my husband. It’s too easy to grab something out of the fridge, nuke it, and chow down.

The hubby told me he now thinks about whether he’s really hungry before snacking on leftovers. Why? Eating leftovers now means pre-heating the oven, getting out an oven-safe dish, and waiting  for the food to warm up.

Sure it’s not as convenient as zapping the food, but is it really that much of an inconvenience? I don’t know if there are any scientific studies on this, but I wonder if  households with heavily-used microwaves are more overweight than those households that go without. Something to consider when you think about all the microwavable “foods” are sold as a way to lose weight.

Because that convenience is gone, my husband now has time to think about whether he really is hungry or just bored. That’s a good thing.

I think it is safe to say our love affair with the microwave is over.

Why Everyone Should Ignore BMI As A Health Marker

tape measure fork

A new study shows that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is truly crap! More than 54 million Americans classified as overweight or obese are actually healthy. Yet millions of thin people are wrongly labeled as healthy. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and Mister GC.

A new, major study was just released that actually tested the accuracy of BMI against a range of cardiometabolic health markers. Thanks to our government’s reliance on BMI, more than 54 million Americans classified as either overweight or obese by BMI standards are in fact healthy.

This is huge, as our friends in Washington are looking to use BMI to increase healthcare costs even higher.

My BMI Number Vs. My Doctor
According to my doctor, I’m perfectly healthy. In fact, at my last physical, he didn’t see a need for me to lose more weight. I weighed 185 pounds and he felt any additional pounds I wanted to shed were purely for vanity. As far as he was concerned, my health numbers were awesome.

Why the clean bill of health when I weighed 185? My blood pressure was low but normal for more than a year. My triglycerides were low as was my fasting insulin level. And my HDL rose while my LDL dropped. My waist was clearly smaller than my hips, a physical telltale sign that I was no longer a candidate for heart attack or diabetes. Plus, in just over 3 years I’d dropped 145 pounds and kept it off. Woohoo!

But despite the good news, the federal government and my health insurance don’t share this opinion about my hard work to get healthy. You see, my Body Mass Index (BMI) is slightly under 30. But “normal” BMI is between 18.5 and 25. So I am considered overweight and not healthy because of this number.

But how can that be? My health numbers tell me one thing, yet my health insurance carrier and the federal government say another. Read More

Resetting My Goals: Shooting For Optimal Health

new life

Since I’ve lost 140 lbs. and my doctor told me I was healthy, I needed a new health goal to set my sights on in my march to lose another 30 lbs. My upcoming IVF treatments were key in coming up with this new goal. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and mrpuen.

Despite my procrastinating, I came up with my new health goal fairly quickly the other day. I’m totally committed to optimizing my health to improve my chances of a successful IVF treatment and pregnancy.

Seems sensible. Although I’m not sure what “optimal health” really means.

I spent some quality time researching the definition of optimal health. But there really isn’t one. Because we are all so different, the optimal weight, nutrient levels, BMI, muscle mass, athletic performance, etc. isn’t the same for any one person.

Defining Health
I stumbled across an interesting article over at Paleo Leap on defining optimal health. Basically the article confirmed what I thought. You can’t define it. There are so many variables — weight, BMI, muscle mass, athletic performance, sleep, etc.

As a starting point, the article included a working definition of health I liked:

Health is the mental and physical energy, vitality, and resilience to live joyfully in your own body and face the challenges of your life.

Okay…so how does one live like that all the time? Read More

Parkour: The Ultimate Workout

Parkour! Maybe I should add

Parkour! Maybe I should add “become a ninja master” on my healthy bucket list. Well I have a long way to go after my first parkour class. But I loved it and am going back for more.

I guess July was the month to try new things. I did my first mud run last weekend and a week before I tried parkour…and I loved it!

When I was younger I was very athletic. I played baseball, football (with my brothers), volleyball and basketball. But once I hit high school I stopped playing sports. My friends changed and none of them were into sports so I just followed their lead. Probably my biggest regret from that time.

So needless to say over the last 30 or so years as I packed on the pounds and embraced my sedentary lifestyle, my coordination and athleticism went to hell. Read More

Eating Right & Exercise Paid Off This Weekend

We took on a big project this weekend -- ripping out our old sod.  There was a clear difference in between me and the husband's fitness levels.

We took on a big project this weekend — ripping out our old sod. There was a clear difference between me and the husband’s fitness levels.

Last weekend the hubby and I spent quality time together ripping apart our backyard. Thanks to our dogs, half of our lawn died. The other half succumbed to  crabgrass. It was time for some old fashion, back-breaking DIY work — digging up the old sod and reseeding the lawn.

Initially my plan was simply to replace the brown spots with grass seed and deal with the crabgrass in the fall. It seemed manageable.

Well that wasn’t good enough for the hubby. Nope. He wanted to reseed the entire backyard.

“Since you’re more fit and healthy, it would be a snap for us,” he assured me.

Within 15 minutes of starting this expanded DIY project, I realized that “us” meant “me.”

All That Healthy Living Paid Off
It was an ambitious project. One that wasn’t possible 3 years ago. There was no way I could do that much physical labor (at project’s end we moved more than 2,000 pounds of sod!). Back then I was too heavy to do much of anything without being in pain or getting winded after a couple of minutes.

Now I’m like that annoying Energizer Bunny.  I’ve got the energy, strength and stamina to keep going and going, regardless of the activity.

My hubby's favorite workout location.

My hubby’s favorite workout location. Raising that foot-rest is his own 2-second, full body workout.

On the other hand, my husband has strength but cardio isn’t his strong suit. You see he hasn’t worked out in more than a year. The bulk of his exercise happens as he pushes back into his La-Z-Boy to raise the foot rest.

From the get-go, my husband had a difficult time with the work. Five minutes into the project, he needed a break. Within minutes of him starting back up, I could hear his very labored breathing.

Truth is I got a little annoyed with him. My worrying about him slowed me down.  So I did the only thing I could do — I forced him into a long “timeout” (a.k.a., sitting in his La-Z-Boy with a fan pointed at him).

At that point, I took over. I was a machine – stopping only for water, a light lunch, and the drives to the county dump. Amazed, the hubby grudgingly admitted I put him to shame by doing 90% of the work.

Lessons Learned
I’m a lot stronger and tougher than I realized. When my husband suggested doing the yard I thought he was nuts. I knew how much work it would take. But once I started, my doubts were gone.

I think if I only focused on losing weight and ignored building strength, no way I’d agree to take on this project. Heck, I’d probably hire someone to do it for us.

So, I chosen my path wisely.

As for my husband, well…he asked that I slap him the next time he suggested a DIY project.