Throwback Thursday – Thanksgiving Edition

In one week it will be Thanksgiving!

Kris and I are still planning to do our Turkey Trot, and I think I’m going to go out tonight and get some supplies to make these turkey hats. I was going to just buy some at Target, but they seem to have run out. The good thing is that I think I can make these with nothing but construction paper and cardboard, and they should fit over our winter hats, which we will need because mother nature hates me and there is supposed to be a high of 43 in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day. My only concern is getting these into my luggage without smooshing them for my travels!

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of stuck fitness-wise. I’ve been hovering at the upper end of my normal weight range all semester, which I’ve whined about before, but that doesn’t mean it has become less frustrating. If I really think about why I’ve been stuck lately, it is probably because I’ve been pretty much in hardcore training mode all semester and I’ve made a lot of big changes. I’ve run two races, started bike commuting, and went straight from half-marathon training to weight training while maintaining 15-20 miles per week of running. I’m probably stuck because I haven’t had much of a break! Looking back also really helps me to remember that I’m not a complete failure at weight-loss maintenance, though, so I thought that with the holiday coming up, I’d look back at the last few Thanksgivings in order to remind myself of that.

Thanksgiving 2010 – my first year of grad school, and before I started losing weight (actually before I reached my highest weight, I think):

Sorry that pictures that I post of you are almost always unflattering, Kris 😦 I promise he doesn’t normally run around with his eyes closed! To be fair, this is a particularly bad picture of me as well – my hair is super frizzy! I think we had just woken up.

One year later – Thanksgiving 2011, about 6 months after I started losing weight:

See! Much better picture of us both. And an especially good picture of Belle! For a real fun comparison, I am wearing this same sweatshirt in my high weight photo on the progress pics page.

One year ago – Thanksgiving 2012. This is also the first year that Kris and I had our own Thanksgiving due to me having to work at Target on Black Friday. Note that I do not really look any different than I do now (which reassures me quite a bit). I also know that I have made huge fitness progress. Today I ran an “easy” 5K in 27 minutes; last November, the only 2 5K runs that I logged on Runkeeper were over 34 minutes each!


We made cornish hens, green beans, and sweet potatoes. And pie, but for some reason that isn’t pictured?



Our awesome table ready for us to eat!


Throwback Thursday

Before I get into the meet of the post, I have to say…I HATE rest days before races! I think the problem is that I’ve been working out SO MUCH that I feel relatively lazy. Think about it: for the last month, I’ve been running 30 miles per week (ok, so “only” like 29 3/4 some weeks) and bike commuting 3-4 times per week (except the week my bike was immobilized). This week, I’ve run 6 miles and bike commuted twice. I was going to bike commute today, but it is rainy, so I can’t. If it clears up I’ll take the dog for a long walk or something. I also plan to get in about 30 minutes of light, non-running activity tomorrow to keep my legs from being stiff for the half marathon.

I don’t think I’ve ever officially done a “Throwback Thursday” before but I was looking through some old pictures yesterday and I came across two that I just could not keep myself from talking about.

Picture #1: June 1, 2011

Now, I’ve shown before pictures before, so what is important is not necessarily what I look like in this picture – it is the context of this picture. If you go look at my “progress pics” page, you will not see this one on there. This is because I had not found it before and had to scrounge around to try to find full body lifestyle type pictures to include with my official “before” photo, and I hadn’t really done very well at it. That is, until I came across this picture, which is basically like the perfect before picture once you know the story behind it.

In this picture, I am standing in my parents’ garage wearing my old girl scout badges – my mom just took it because I was being silly. We were in the process of going through a bunch of my old things. Over the last few years, I had been operating under the assumption that because I was “barely” plus-sized (I am wearing one of Kris’s mens XL shirts and size 20 shorts in this photo) I could get back into straight sizes “in a few weeks if I tried,” and at this point in time I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I was going to be plus-sized for the rest of my life. This day was a major turning point on that front, as I “got rid of” most of my “skinny clothes” (about size 10-12) since I was “never going to be that skinny again.” I say “got rid of” because they somehow magically reappeared whenever I got near those sizes again. Thanks, mom (I still don’t want them, because they are from my weird emo phase).

A few days after this picture was taken, though, I went to the doctor. This was where I had my official 240 pound weigh in. That didn’t bother me as much as the other things the doctor said, though. This was the third appointment in a row where the doctor pointed out my high blood pressure, and she called a day or two afterwards to tell me that I had high cholesterol as well. I wasn’t worried so much about being heavy as being healthy, so I started researching on the internet to see what I could do to help with my high blood pressure and cholesterol. A mere two weeks after this photo was taken, I joined MyFitnessPal as a way to keep track of my diet and exercise. By the end of the summer,I was back into a size 14 or 16, letting me safely shop at most clothing stores again. Oh, and if you are wondering, my blood pressure and cholesterol are totally fine, now. My new doctor was actually confused when I wanted him to check my cholesterol and fasting glucose levels!

Picture #2: October 16, 2012

Now, this picture seems to be an entirely unexceptional mirror-selfie taken with a potato at first glance. But in reality, it is MUCH more exciting than that. You see, this picture was taken right before I wore size 4 pants out in public for the first time. Additionally, if you look at the date, this picture means that this week marks the milestone of me maintaining at least my size for entire year, as there has never been a point during this year at which I could not wear these pants (and I am, in fact, wearing them today)!! During this last year, my weight has gone up and down a bit -from as low as 121 to as “high” as 132, but I have been able to get through the year without going back to some of the slightly larger clothes I have kept around (I have at least 5-6 pairs of size 6 and 8 pants laying around, mostly because they were so new I didn’t want to get rid of them).

I’ve felt really down on myself for my maintenance progress lately, as I’ve been hovering in the upper end of my acceptable weight range, even though I know it is an artifact of actually eating enough while I train for this half marathon. Last time I trained for a half, I got down to my aforementioned low weight (keep in mind that at 5’5″, 117 lbs is considered underweight, and I was nearly there) and lost my period for months on end; I should be rejoicing that I was able to manage my health better this time. Instead, all I see is days of eating like a teenage boy (because I am typically biking 6-8 miles and running 3-6 every day, so that makes sense). So today is a great reminder of how far I have come and what I have accomplished – a whole year of staying the same size is really quite the achievement in the weight loss maintenance world, where we know there is something like a 90% chance of us regaining all the weight and more. I accept that I won’t stay a 120-something pound size 4 forever, ESPECIALLY after I have children, but every year that I maintain that I am fighting the statistic. Side note: as a person who in practice does statistics for a living (even if I am technically a political scientist) I would REALLY like to get a hold of that data….