Vacation Recap – Rome – Day 2


Day 2 Folks!

These guys were allllllll over Italy.  Just floating there.  Jason and I think there was a magnet at work here, because he didn’t float anywhere else.  What a boring job though.  No one was giving him money so much as weird looks.  I took a picture.

So today was the tour of the Colosseum!

That ish is big.  I mean you think it’s big anyways, because of the name, but man.  Up close, it’s daunting.

Our Tour Guide, David, was hilarious and perfect.  He explained that in Italy they reuse everything.  So the building itself isn’t crumbling so much as it was pilfered way back to build things like Saint Peter’s Basilica.  The metal was removed from the stone as well as parts of the wall once the actual building was no longer in use.

David then went on to explain the history of the Colosseum.  Apparently, they just gave tickets away.  There was no charge.  So normal people could come and sit in the nose bleed sections to watch the gruesome horror that was these battles.

Speaking of battles…

There were over 5,000 people and animals slaughtered in this ruin back in the day.  The Romans were more barbaric than I thought possible.  They would put two things in the arena together without letting either know who they would be fighting.

For example (This is not confirmed by history, just things I’m making up)

  • Bear vs. Zebra
  • Lion vs. Prisoner
  • Zebra vs. Prisoner (I kind of would like to see this… I mean did they just stare at each other)
  • Tiger vs. Bear
  • Prisoner vs. Gladiator

and so on.  TALK ABOUT HUNGER GAMES GUYS.  That was all I was thinking throughout the tour was how in the movie they shoot up by this pod elevator and then have to fight to the death.  Well that is kind of like here, without the training.

This was all for the amusement of the leaders and the people of Rome.  Fun times.

THE STAIRS.  OMG.  Of all the things to be thankful for not living back then, I think the one that got me the most was stairs.  Holy hamstrings.

Refurbishing because they care.

We then ventured into more Ancient Rome…

Our Elusive Tour Guide From the Back

And what would this post be without some food pictures!

Hmmmm I guess we just drank that day.  So there are pictures of Jason and wine.  Two of my very favorite things.

Sadly tomorrow we leave Rome and depart for Florence… I promise you’ll love it as much as we did!

Vacation Recap – ROME Day 1/2 and 1


So I decided that I should do some recaps, because i like talking about myself and the things I do.

We got to Rome, Italy Friday (May 16) at around 10 pm.  We got to our hotel (The Hearth Hotel in Rome… Can’t Recommend This Place Enough!) and after dropping off our bags we walked to the closest open restaurant.

Francisco I. (sadly I can’t find the website).

So good.  Especially after being delayed forever and then not eating on the plane and being exhausted.  It was good to put food in our bellies, and it didn’t hurt that it was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had.

We went to sleep rather quickly and woke to find the Vatican bustling.

Yes, that is the Vatican, right outside our window.  YES THAT IS THE LINE TO GET IN.

Because Jason is uber smart, he booked a skip the line tour of the Vatican and it’s grounds so we didn’t have to wait!

This is behind glass because some psycho tried to throw a hammer at it.

Our Awesome Tour Guide Valentina!

I would have taken pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, but because it is a holy sacred place, no photographs are allowed.  A Japanese company came recently to restore the ceiling by meticulously cleaning and repainting portions to bring it back to it’s original (or as much as it can be) state.

Here is a picture that doesn’t do it justice at all:

The Vatican only took like half the day, so we set out to see other things…

The Pantheon

A Pretend Roman Guard

Something Important? Jason? What was this?

We then decided to walk around a bit, find food, and go about our day.  We met this guy…

He was kind of broken up that we wouldn’t stay and chat…

We were then swindled.  This always freaking happens.  We were walking through a court yard, this guy gave me roses, and then told Jason to give him money.  I tried to give them back and it didn’t work.  Then another guy came up did the same thing, and then took more money.  We spent 30 Euros on crappy roses.

After this lesson, anyone who approached me got a “NO.  GO AWAY.”  Jason would laugh because I went from nice American to “YOU’RE NOT TAKING MORE MONEY FROM ME.”

This lasted the rest of the trip…

We had an amazing dinner from the Restaurant down the street (Crap… what was the name… I suck at this).

Gnocchi and Clams for Jason

Gnocchi and Ricotta with Black Truffle for Me

Braised Veal Cheek for Jason (Apparently the best cut of meat he has ever had)

The Best Meatballs I have Ever Had

Wine soaked sweet cake with whipped cream and custard

Of Course Coffee

Two very happy diners…

We went back to the hotel, tucked ourselves in and went to sleep happily.

Tomorrow we go to the Colosseum!

Props Where Props Are Due


I had another great day yesterday.  I tracked everything, I worked out a lot, and I went to bed without folding and getting a snack.  I need to up my water though, because that is still a hard task.  Which is odd.  I used to be able to guzzle down like 200 oz no problem.  Gotta get back in that habit.

The red circles are exercise

The red circles are exercise

That was yesterday’s read out from FitBit.  I love this little gadget.  I really do.  It makes me feel awesome to see the steps and the calories burned (that’s overall even while I’m sitting, so don’t get too excited) and how many miles I’ve traveled.  It will be awesome to see the read out after the marathon. :-)

Grades were finally posted to PatriotWeb for this semester, and while I knew I had received A’s in both classes, I wanted to be sure.

grades

And now I am.

Go Me.

Today’s Plan (Which is tracked already!)

  • B: 2 eggs, 3 strips of bacon, iced coffee w/ fat free half and half
  • S: Banana
  • L: Turkey Salami and Cheddar wrap, pop corners, apple, yogurt, snapple
  • S: water
  • D: Baked chicken and a baked potato cooked with EVOO
  • Activity: I’m supposed to run 3.1 miles.  I am going to attempt to make myself do this outside.  Please send me messages at like 3:30 pm EST and tell me to run outside.  (Twitter or Facebook will do)

I can’t believe a week from today I will be traveling to Italy with Jason.  It’s so weird, so surreal, and so abrupt.  We planned this and booked it like 6 weeks ago – and I ignorantly was like “I can totally lose 30 pounds by then” – HAH.  I’m aiming to look better by my birthday.

Last thought:

brooke birmingham sbs watermark

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you know who this gorgeous woman is.  Her name is Brooke and she has become famous overnight for standing up to Shape Magazine for their ill treatment of her story.  After losing 172 pounds, this woman should be celebrated, not told to cover up.

Read more about her at one of the many outlets that have picked up her story:

Defeating the Scale Tuesday – Week 9


  • Starting Weight: 190.8 pounds
  • Current Weight: 13.6
  • Week Difference: + 1.4
  • Total Difference: +2.6
  • Emotion: Meh

Not really defeating the scale, am I?  I just got my paper tracker and my FitBit zip so I am using those now.  I am so pissed at myself.  SO PISSED.  How.  Did.   I.  Let.  Myself.  Get.  Back.  Here.

Oh I know how:

  1. I didn’t track honestly.  I would track Breakfast and lunch and possibly snacks and then say eff it by the end of the day.  Then I would eat what I want and act like it was no big deal, when really, the pain of it was festering.
  2. I dropped my activity level.  A few years ago when training for the Half Marathon I was running about 30 – 35 miles a week.  I could eat a bit more liberally.  But, since I have pretty much abandoned the training (For the past 4 or so halfs and pretty much every other race) I haven’t been able to continue keeping the weight at bay.
  3. I let myself comfort myself with Food.  Bad day? FOOD.  Crappy Week? FOOD.  Great day? FOOD.  Awesome week? FOOD.  Oh and let’s not forget the bored eating.
  4. Alcohol has become a staple that it never was before.  I used to laugh when people told me that when they started Weight Watchers and cut back their alcohol, they lost a ton of weight.  I used to think “I don’t drink that much.”  Well that’s changed.  I drink too much, too often.  I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck most weekends.
  5. My desire seems to be gone.

I want to lose weight, but that doesn’t mean I am ready to lose weight.  Which blows.  I’m trying to push myself in that direction because I am tired of the way I look, the way I feel, and how low I see myself.

Today, after seeing the read out on the scale, I forced myself to wear heels, nice pants, and a new top I bought.  I forced myself to look nice, in hopes that the confidence boost in my nice clothes would help.

It’s a new day, it’s a new week.  I will conquer it.

Goodbye April/May Goals


This month has not been kind.  I have made some pretty poor choices and they kicked me in the butt.  I am attempting to make May the exact opposite and work towards a better me.  I think that the trip to Italy in a few weeks will aide in this, or it will make it worse if I come back 20 pounds heavier (That’s not the goal).

I felt pretty good about myself this week so far (well Monday and Tuesday at least).  I did Yoga Inferno via Jillian Michaels on Monday and my abs are still screaming.  Well, my abs that are underneath my pooch and stomach flab, they are screaming.  The fat is just like “I look weird when you do planks”.

30 Days of Weight Loss Humor, Day 6 - "DEATH to CARBS!"

Yesterday I ran on the dreadmill and managed to eek out 3 miles.  I figured that after not running for a week I’d be fresh and good to go – hah.  That never happens.

I’m still bummed about the Nike Half Marathon.  Like really bummed.  If I think about it long enough I actually tear up a bit.  I hate that my stupidity made that happen.

But on to the good things this month:

  • I am blessed with a great group at school for our final project.  It has gone swimmingly.
  • The big milestone meeting at work went well – in my mind – and everyone seemed to exit the room at least with a hint that we are on the right track.  Plus my slides were almost perfect.  No complaints from management for the most part.
  • I hung out with a friend from work (Forcing friendship!) in order to break out of my constant shell of just watching Netflix (although, there is nothing wrong with that).
  • I ran a 10 miler on the 6th that although wasn’t my best time, was a great route and I had so much fun.
  • I’m finishing up 1 of 2 classes today for my masters – and my last in class session for this program.  It’s scary to think that I will have a higher education degree soon.  The idea of a PhD is getting closer and closer.
  • We found and decided on getting another dog who will be coming home this weekend!  I’ll post pictures!

I am attempting to focus on the positive, and while that will be an interesting change of pace… I think it’s doable.

May Goals

  • Exercise in some way shape or form 5 days a week (Italy time will consist of walking everywhere… so that shouldn’t be hard.  Debating on buying a fitbit to measure all that)
  • Be more aware of what I am eating and make better choices (it’s hard to measure this, yes, but I think just staying within my points will be sufficient)
  • Lose Weight (Not a particular number, but I will weigh myself tomorrow, and will aim to be less than that come May 31)
  • Be more positive at work (Hah.  I think my coworkers will think I am on drugs, but oh well)
  • Run the Mother’s Day 4-Miler and may be not PR but do your best.

Defeating the Scale Tuesday – Week 7


  • Starting Weight: 190.8 pounds
  • Current Weight: 193.0
  • Week Difference: +1.6
  • Total Difference: +2.0
  • Emotion: Over it

I just, I can’t.  I can’t keep doing this.  I can’t keep letting myself down.  It has no explanation or excuse except I didn’t do it.  This isn’t because my body holds on to weight, or that I am bloated, or that it’s muscle over fat.

It’s that I just didn’t do it.

The scale number has come and gone, and I am just irking up closer to my weight when I started this whole thing 6 years ago.

I never really cared enough in high school to try and lose weight.  I figured that it wouldn’t happen because I wasn’t born that way, I wasn’t athletic, and well sitting in a parking lot eating taco bell and doing other destructive things to my body isn’t conducive to weight loss.

So what’s the plan?

I don’t have one.

The Before and After Weight loss Photos or Pictures by xyngitoff weight loss by vi vi90daychallengeI have no excuse.  “I can’t do it” is not true.  I can, and have before.  I am 20 pounds (TWENTY) pounds heavier than my lowest adult weight.  That was May 25, 2012.

I look back at that and think “GOD I WAS SO FAT”.

It’s depressing.

June 2012 – Not fat

I can’t fit into those pants now.  That shirt barely stays down because my stomach makes it roll up.

I would never wear something sleeveless now.

March 2012 – Not fat

April 2014 – May be not fat, but sure as heck not happy, not where I want to be

I think it’s a weird balance to strike.  I think that we will always seek improvement of ourselves, which is fine, but there needs to be a point of contentment or at least acceptance.

It’s no shocker that I am in therapy, and something she said last night was a real ‘A-ha’ moment, that I have to say people have told me before, but not as bluntly.

“You think you are the Queen of F***** Up.  Well I have news for you.  I’ve seen A LOT worse.  You aren’t even in the top 50%.  In comparison, you are not even bad.  You just think you are because you do nothing but compare yourself.  You compare yourself to the coworkers you have, the woman you see on the street, Kate Middleton, etc.  But what you don’t realize is NONE OF THEM are 100% happy.  If they say they are 100% happy with themselves and every aspect of their lives all the time, they are lying.  We all have insecurities, and we all have low points.  So yes, you might have more than some people, but you are still here.  You can change, but first you need to stop feeling so sorry for yourself and grow a pair.”

Harsh? May be.  What I needed?  I think so.

So on to another week.

 

 

Defeating the Scale Tuesday – Week 5 – Is It Failure?


  • Starting Weight: 190.8 pounds
  • Current Weight: 192.2
  • Week Difference: +0.8
  • Total Difference: +1.2
  • Emotion: So what happened was…

It’s not failure if you continue to try, but, what if you stop trying?

I ran 19.3 miles last week including my 10 mile race.  I was eating everything I wanted.  I figured that my running would cancel it all out – like I always do.  I drank some extra water, ate some more fruit, and then made too many trips to the cafe, too many excuses that I could eat more than the serving size, and only tracked what I felt comfortable tracking.

We went to the brewery this weekend, and while I composed myself and didn’t drink to excess, I could have only gone one day.  I could have taken better care of myself.  I could have.  I would have.  I should have.

Could’a, Would’a, Should’a.  But didn’t.

I look at all the women and men who are successful and I wonder what is different with me.  It’s not my metabolism, it’s not the exercise.  It’s the motivation.

It’s the belief that I am worth it enough to not let food control me.  To not turn to food or drinks to silence the demons in my head.

Being bipolar shouldn’t matter with regards to my weight loss, but it does.  While I am working with a doctor to get my meds straight and on the right levels, I am self medicating for what they aren’t doing.  I’m restless, and bored, so I eat.  I find a new recipe so I bake, and then of course I have to try it, which then turns into half of whatever I made.  I like trying new beers – something I never really liked (I used to hate beer) because my husband and dad like doing it, and it was a way to enjoy time with them.  Kind of like Baseball – never was a fan, until I saw my dad was.

I am not blaming anyone for my actions in any regard.  I now enjoy baseball (A lot) and I enjoy beer (too much).

Jason mentioned yesterday that he felt this was getting out of hand – mostly for the money aspect – it ain’t cheap.  I agreed.

My world seems to teeter on the edge of being completely out of control, and being  completely numb.  Being diagnosed Bipolar was not a shock to me, but at the same time, it never felt real.  I look back at high school with every stupid thing I did as a way to stop the pain.

Now, that I am not part of that lifestyle anymore, I’ve been using food.  I did so well, losing 40 pounds and being in the best shape of my life a few years ago.  Somehow without realizing what was happening, it started to come back.  I’m up 20 pounds from where I was 2 years ago, and that is so sad.  I can’t believe I thought I was fat then.  I look at those pictures and think “Man.  I was freaking hot.”

So now what?

I’m not sure.  I could say I’m going to be better this week, and I will make the effort.  I could say “I’m not sure.”  Or I could do nothing and let my actions speak for themselves.

 

Race Recap: Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler


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Oh 4:30 am came quickly on Sunday.  We got up got ready and left for the Metro.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such an awesome man who will willingly wake up early for me so I can go run random distances.

We show up at the start area with a good amount of time so I head to the port-o potties and wait fro 20 minutes to use the most disgusting bathroom ever.  I’ve been in many a port-o potty before but this was horrid.

I walked over to my corral (green) and lined up inside.  Kissed Jason goodbye and then lost him in the crowd.  Once the race began I felt pretty good.  I ran through the first 5 miles with ease ( 15 st wrapping around the traffic circle at 23rd and crossing the memorial bridge.  We wrapped around the traffic circle at the memorial bride and headed down Rock Creek Parkway before turning around at F street and looping back down Ohio Drive before jumping back and then crossing Independence avenue.)

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I lost my speed and endurance at this point so I slowed and walked a lot.  We headed down East Basin Drive picking up Ohio Drive again to go allllll the way down through Haines Point (West Potomac Park) and then wrapping back around.  We hit of East Basin Drive again before running up Raoul Wallenberg road to the finish.

While the course wasn’t very hilly, because of my lack of outdoor runs it felt long.  I felt weak.  I know that before the Nike Women’s Half at the end of the month, I need to get my butt in gear.

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Great medal, nice course, kind of want to do it again next year.

Place Name Bib Age Div Place Gender Place 5 Mile Split 10k Split Clock Time Net Time Pace Hometown
14887 BETHANY BURROUGHS 17254 29 2256 8317 56:08 1:09:46 2:15:22 1:54:29 11:26.8 MANASSAS, VA

 

Learning From Mistakes


“Failure is not something that you are, it’s something that you do.”  – I can’t remember who wrote this and google isn’t helping.

What a concept.  What a truth.

I am not a failure for my mistakes.  I have failed in the past.  The point is, what I learned from it.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

I do this too.

So I fail at things and I am insane.

I can work with that.

Step 1 – What’s not Working?

I can’t have ice cream, chips, crackers, cookies, 100 calorie packs, etc in the house without overeating, and overeating hard.  Except every week at the grocery store, these items make it into my cart.  WHY?  because I am a glutton for punishment?  Because I don’t actually want to lose weight?  because I don’t have control?

That is all B.S.

I do have control.  I am a strong person who doesn’t need that cupcake, that milkshake, that frap from starbucks, the box of cereal, the 1/2 gallon of ice cream, or that 4th beer.

Okay sometimes I need the 4th beer.

I can’t keep eating the way I’ve been eating and expect things to change.

Step 2 – Removing the Problems

It’s easy to say “I won’t buy that stuff” but when I am at work with a cafe downstairs, a candy jar on my bosses desk, and people constantly bringing in delicious homemade items, it’s hard to stay accountable.

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So how do I do this?  Plan plan plan.  Bring snacks with me to work that are healthy – fruit, veggies, protein bars, chug water, lots of water.  STAY OUT OF THE WORK KITCHEN.  I don’t even put my lunch there, so why am I constantly venturing back there?  IN HOPE SOMEONE HAS DROPPED FOOD.

I’m like a dog really.

Step 3- You will slip up, so don’t beat yourself up

When I do slip up, which will happen, I can’t beat myself up about it, and I sure as heck can’t throw in the towel and say “I’ll start again tomorrow” I’m starting now.  Today I pack my breakfast, snacks, and lunch all up for me to bring to work.  I have confidently walked past the candy jar 3 times and not even looked at it (Okay I looked once).

I saw the scary number on the scale, and I thought that would shove me in the right direction, but instead I just got comfortable with it.  I got used to seeing the number on the scale and stopped letting it bother me.  Instead I would just blame myself and state that I am too weak to lose weight, and it will never happen.

That needs to stop.  Yes, it’s my fault, but those bad decisions don’t define me.  I need to grow up.

Step 4 – Stop Chasing My Tail

I just run.  All I do is run.  All I do is run and run and run.  At first I was like “BOOM LOSING WEIGHT!” then I was like “Man I am hungry ALL THE TIME.”  Then I was like “Oh I can eat whatever the heck I want because I ran X miles today!  BRING ON THE SHEET CAKE!”

Oh that doesn’t work, does it?

So I was running like a crazy person, eating like a crazy person, and then running more to burn off the food, which would then make me eat more.

Hello Plateau.

I pretty much went between the same 5 pounds for the past 6 months.  Well how am I going to fix this?  I’m running 3 races in the next 6 weeks, and running a bunch in the fall – INCLUDING A MARATHON.

easy peasy.  I’m adding in other workouts.  I’ve started my DVD collection again.  Dusted off some Bob Harper, some Jillian Michaels, some Firm DVDs, and I am getting to it.  I plan one rotating them so I don’t get bored or too used to one over the other.  I have the Biggest Loser Bootcamp which I talked about before (that kicked my butt).  I have the Firm Strength Training DVD (which always kicks my butt).  I also just got Jillian Michaels Kickbox Fast Fix – while I know it will not be a fast transition from flab to fab, I like the motivation it gives.

Step 5 – Rinse and Repeat

I will have good days, and bad days.  Heck, I might have GREAT days.  I might also have HORRIBLE days.  That is life.  So instead of dwelling on the horrible days, and the problems, I’ll hold on to the good days.  I’ll use those as motivation.  I’ll keep going with those.

 

Today:

B: 2 eggs, 3 strips of bacon, coffee, and a banana

S: Orange

L: Wrap with turkey, provolone, onion and grain mustard; yogurt; diced pears; carrots

S: Quest Nutrition Bar

D: Where ever I go it will be a salad with protein

Activity: 4 mile run & 20 push ups

Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD (I heart you Bob Harper)


I didn’t want to run last night, and the idea of just strength training from a book made me bored, so I looked through my stack of Workout DVDs.  Not wanting to be yelled at (Ahem, Jillian), I opted for the Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD with Bob Harper.  I really enjoy these DVDs because they have people who haven’t completed their weight loss journeys, and also have people who are maintaining.  It’s more realistic and less intimidating.

There are 3 workouts (20, 15, and 10 minutes in length) plus a 5 minute warm up and cool down.  I opted for the 20 minute and 15 minute workout with the warm up and cool down to give myself a 45 minute workout.  I had never actually used this DVD (weird) so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

You do everything in this workout and you are screaming at the end.

I had to stop a lot during the second workout, my arms were screaming and I was only using 8 pound weights.  This DVD made me feel WEAK.  Which is good.  It has some cardio intervals, but the emphasis is on body weight and strength strength training.  I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to doing it again.  I plan on this being my workout twice a week along with running 3 times a week.

Menu:

  • Breakfast – 2 eggs, bacon, coffee, and half and half (6p+)
  • Snack – Orange (0p+)
  • Lunch – Flatout wrap, turkey, provolone, mustard and onion (7p+), yogurt (3p+), Carrots (0p+), Diced Pears in juice (2p+)
  • Snack – Before Class Banana and apple (0p+), during class Coffee (3P+) and Quest Bar (5P+)
  • Dinner – Black Bean Avocado Salad (Black beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, corn, romaine lettuce) (7p+)

No activity today because I have class this evening.  I can’t believe after this week, I’ll have 5 weeks left in the semester.  Lordy lou.  It went by quick!

I’m also looking forward to not taking classes this summer.  I am, however, trying to figure out how I can go about getting some certificates with regards to my Masters.  I know Jason is reading this watching his money fly away thinking of it… Especially since I am looking at PhD programs too….. Sorry hunny!

I hope you all have a blessed day!  I’m gearing up for races in April, and scared to death about running another half marathon so close to the one I just did.  I guess that’s good for marathon training right?

xoxoxox