Week 34: Recap

This week's weigh-in proved to be another success- 211 lbs. 2 more pounds down! That brings my total weight loss to 27 lbs.

My weight goal for August was to get below 210. When I wrote that number down on August 1 at 217 lbs, I felt it was a bit lofty considering my track record. It's taken me almost 2 years to lose these 27 pounds. 8 pounds in one month seemed nearly impossible. But at 211, I'm only 2 pounds away from being under 210. If I do really well this week, I can totally get there.

And after that, it's a downhill slope to one-derland!

Well, probably more like an uphill slope. But whatever.

This week Alabama experienced a refreshing humidity drop. Feeling the nearness of autumn, I had to get outside. My best friend and I met up at a local park two days in a row. We even got really crazy and got the second day started at 6:30 A.M, when the air still had that October-y crispness. (Gosh, I'm so ready for fall.) We ended up walking for an hour and half the first day and two hours the next day. I always forget how great it is to exercise with a friend; the time just flies by. We maintained a steady pace, but we were able to keep up a conversation that distracted us from our burning calves and sore ankles. Definitely planning to do it again this week.

I came across this video today and found it to be unexpectedly motivating. And uplifting. Powerful, even. So much so that I wanted to share it. So check it out and be inspired to give this week 110%!

It's Official: I've Lost 25 lbs!

I am so thrilled to post this. It's taken a long time. I wanted to quit. But I didn't. I didn't give up. And I've finally reached my first milestone. 25 pounds. Gone!

Now, thank the Lord, the one-hundreds are really starting to look attainable!

These pictures have been a huge motivator and encouragement. They're the visible proof that what I'm doing is actually changing the way I look. Check out the comparison of the 'before' photos from January 1, 2012, alongside the ones from today:

(Click to enlarge...if you dare)

One thing I need to point out is the makeup and hair change. It's a big reason why today's pictures seem like such an improvement. And that brings up a rather sad observation I've made. Since I've been exercising and eating better and watching the weight come off, I find myself actually wanting to fix my hair and put on makeup. Back in January, I didn't even bother. I didn't care. I didn't feel like I was worth it. Nice hair and makeup wouldn't make me pretty; they wouldn't hide the fat.

On a cheerier note, remember that awful picture my aunt took at our family get-together back in January 2011? The one of me at my all-time heaviest weight? Well, folks, take a look at the side-by-side comparison of that photo and one I took today:

I've still got a long way to go, but wow. What a transformation!

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."
 - Barack Obama

Weigh-In: -24 lbs to Date

I lost 2 more pounds this week, which brings me to a total weight loss of 24 pounds! 

I was really hoping to lose 3 pounds this week, just so I could go ahead and round that total up to 25 pounds. Even though it's just a one pound difference, 25 pounds just sounds better. Like more of an accomplishment. But I know that's kinda dumb. I should be proud of how far I've come.

I'll hit 25 pounds next week. Hopefully even surpass it.

I'm definitely noticing more changes in my body. When I did my post-workout tricep stretches this week, I could tell my elbows were significantly smaller. It seems like an odd place to lose, but I'll take it!

OH! And yesterday, as I was getting dressed to go out, I put on a pair of jeans I hadn't worn in a while. Size 18 Old Navy jeans. I discovered I am now able to put them on and take them off without unzipping or unbuttoning them. They are that loose in the waist.

I can't wear them out in public now. They start sliding down after a few steps, making me look like a fool with my pants on the ground.

It's an incredible feeling!

#19- My First 5K: Woodstock 2012

(Me before the race)
Much too early on a ridiculously humid August morning, 1290 people gathered on Woodstock Avenue in Anniston, Alabama, for the 2012 Woodstock 5K. I was one of them.

It was so hot, I felt sweat dripping down my back before I even got in line behind the starting point. But I didn't let it deter me. Old Jennifer would have said, This is insane. It's way too hot out here. I'll never make it. I'll have a heat stroke. There's a good chance she would have talked herself out of it, choosing to find a seat in the shade, pop a squat, and just observe from a comfortable distance, half-heartedly promising to try again when it's cooler outside.

Instead, I went on with enthusiasm. I'd been training in an overheated gym for months. I'd already been to an outdoor training run and tested out the course in mid-July. I was ready.

Excitement filled the air. The other runners and walkers alongside me brimmed with positivity and kick-butt attitudes. When the announcer started the countdown and sounded the air horn, I had this crazy rush of energy that flowed throughout my entire body, propelling me forward at top speed.

Of course, that initial fire fizzled after a few minutes. I am still seventy pounds overweight, after all. I couldn't go as fast as I really wanted to. But I didn't quit. I didn't even think about it. I pushed myself harder than I ever have, forcing myself to run on, tackle the hills, just move forward.

That wild energy rush did at last return when I saw the finish line up ahead. I kicked it up about ten notches. Sprinted forward. Gasping for breath, I flung my jiggly, bumbling girth across the finish line at 46 minutes and 23 seconds. That's an unimpressive time to anyone else, but I was thrilled; I seriously beat my time at the training run, which was 52 minutes 5 seconds. I placed 51 out of 54 in the 20-24 age group (I wasn't last!), and my overall place was 1109 of 1290. Again, not last!

When it was all over, I could have cried. Actually, I'm pretty sure I did cry at some point. I was just so stinking proud of myself. For the first time in a very long time, I actually did something that I, and only I, wanted myself to do. I didn't let any external factors demotivate me. I just pressed on, all the way to the finish line.

(My friend and seasoned runner, Angie, and me after the race, the finish line in the background)
So. Here's a few things I did (right or wrong, I don't know) that I believe helped me prepare for the event.

1) Refrained from exercise the day before.

2) Drank tons of water throughout the day before.

3) Had a light, healthy breakfast (1 banana with peanut butter, 1 cup of orange juice) the morning of.

4) Stretched right before the race.

5) Prayed, asking God for strength and endurance, and thanking Him for the opportunity and the fact that I had been bold enough to seize it.

I think I'm addicted now. I will definitely be running another one of these in the near future.

The Day Before My First 5K

I just went to the race site to pick up my packet. Being a total newbie and all, I wasn't even sure what I was supposed to be picking up. Turns out, it was this stuff:

A really cool Woodstock 5K 2012 shirt, race day bib with safety pins, soy protein bar, lots of coupons for fitness stores and such, and fliers and registration forms for upcoming 5K races in the area.

I'm totes pumped now.

I've been trying to drink even more water than usual today, hoping my body will soak it up and keep me from passing out in the Alabama August heat tomorrow. I'm also planning to go to bed early tonight, though I know how that always goes... Those extra hours of sleep turn into extra hours of staring at my alarm clock with sickly anticipation.

In other news, I'm excited to say that at my last weigh-in, I lost 4 pounds, which brings my total weight loss now to 21 pounds! I went out with some friends last night, and this picture was taken:

It's the first picture that I can actually see the weight loss. I can tell my face is slimming down, and that's quite exciting! It means all that hard work is starting to pay off.

Well, wish me luck tomorrow. I'm going to walk it for the most part, but there might be a few spurts of jogging if I'm feeling crazy. Heaven knows I'm not trying to win. This is something that's waaaaay outside my comfort zone. I've never even attended anything like this, much less participated. I've always been anything but athletic. That's why I want to do it. To say that I did, to prove to myself that I can. To really publicly symbolize the changes I'm making in my life. It may take an hour to move my jiggly, bumbling girth through the course, but that'll just be my own personal time to beat.

Gonna go carb load now.