Christie O – Just another Shrinking Jeans weblog


July 6, 2011 by christieo

OK so the scale was nice to me this week but only because I was sick and didn’t (couldn’t) eat anything while illness rampaged our house.
To the tune of 3 pounds. 3 POUNDS! Gah. I’m still up from the allnighter we pulled but that was the last of us so we should be clear. (Coffee in the forecast. Lots of it.)

Tonight will be the first time I get to work out since last Friday as referenced in my last post, 3 Reasons You Should Never Wait to Workout which include the possibilities of hugging the bowl and an unrelated trip to urgent care. I guess it’s sort of been a rough week. Fittingly so, the last meal I had before sickness was a McDonalds value meal. Guess what makes me sick to think about it? Yes, I think it was a sign for me to abolish disgustingness from my diet. And oddly enough, ANYTHING SWEET falls into that category right now too! I can’t even have flavored coffee right now! Isn’t that funny? (No I am not pregnant!)

Bland stuff for me right now until I’m back up to speed but I sort of like this no yucky food thing and I’m definitely in on the Mini Challenge this week of NO FAST FOOD! I’m all about that.

When the husband gets home tonight and after adequate coffee, I’ll be up and out to the gym and then back by 8pm et for the Twitter Party with Girlz N Gear. You’ll come, right????? (Prizes!) Everyone’s invited!

So, how did you do this week? Please say you did better than I did health-wise! No doubt I will have workout envy when I read your posts.

February 23, 2011 by christieo

I didn’t lose much weight for this challenge (if any), I did lose a whopping .5 this week but that’s not the story of this challenge.

From my posts, you’ll probably have read about all my struggles. As excited as I was to start this year off right, I struggled through my choices, my motivation and my willpower. The scale climbed and my motivation waned.

I needed an electric shock collar.

Finally, though, through searching, through friends, through goals, I’m under control. I never knew how difficult it would be to diligently maintain. I’ve always known what it is to get out of control, but I’ve never known the effort it takes to reign it in.

Daily choices that can change minute to minute with whatever life throws at you.

I’m back in the gym, I’m back to my workouts and now, I am not letting food control me. I’m meal planning, I’m snacking healthy and I’m giving myself one day to eat fast food if I am so inclined to have it (Thursdays which are the kids gymnastics day and if we want to do a treat, we do. Tomorrow it falls on a day we take a day trip to see the shuttle launch, so I am giving myself a meal to eat out but bringing really healthy snacks to eat in between: almonds, pretzels, drinks, and cheese sticks. I’m also hitting the gym before we leave.)

For me it all has to be a part of the plan in order to feel like I am in control of my situation. I can’t live minute to minute in regard to health and weight-loss, it just doesn’t work for me.

I’d call the challenge a success because I made it through without gaining any more than I have over the holidays and now that my training kicked up a notch and my nutrition’s in check, I can focus on the next challenge with getting those holiday pounds off. No matter what, I’m still no where near my starting point and am still happy as a clam to be in the 130s. I have to keep that in perspective. I’ve never been in the 130s for this long, ever in my life. And oh, now I can do more than 20 pushups in a row.

February 9, 2011 by christieo

Yesterday I found myself with my face in the fridge and I was spooning out heaping spoonfuls of cheesecake.

It was not one of my prouder moments.

You can say I was trying not to make a lot of noise to wake the kids or that I was trying to minimize the damage by having “just a spoonful” but really I looked like a cheesecake addict getting her fix and the only noise I was trying to reduce was the noise in my own head. But it didn’t work! And by the way, it wasn’t one spoonful. I went in for more and I’m guessing it was more than a nice clean slice would have been by the way it was pulverized when I was done.

I caught myself in the act and threw out that damn cheesecake because honestly I am to the point now where it CANNOT EVEN ENTER MY HOME.

I don’t like myself when I get to the point where I cannot even trust myself or control myself. When I let food overrun my life. And now it’s overrunning all the hours I am putting in at the gym. The same slippery slope I had with food is never going to go away, it’s apparent now and that scares me.

I’m not feeling really good about myself right now. But at least the pantry is clean and the junk is out of the house and hopefully I will have a happier report next week.

January 28, 2011 by christieo

I am making becoming my own CEO a priority in my life. Where I have no answers, I am seeking them. And one by one I am writing down the plan to get there.

Here’s where I have been lost.

  • No willpower with food.
  • Time contraints to work out.

The two main complaints and obvious issues sure to thwart any journey toward healthy living.

Here are my solutions:

No Willpower With Food: On vacation, I went food shopping and we ate in most nights. Although I made healthy choices, I made just as many unhealthy ones and couldn’t wait to get back to my own pantry. I had my husband get the Sunday papers for me while I was gone and when I got back Monday, I sat down for an extensive meal-planning session. I clipped coupons, I went shopping, I restocked my fridge and pantry with the good stuff and I saved over $100 between BOGOs and coupons combined. My receipt was almost as tall as me.

And the guy at the checkout line actually stopped and stretched at one point while scanning in my stack of coupons and then resumed scanning them.

When I meal plan, my entire family eats healthy, my husband has healthy leftovers to bring to work for lunch, no one needs to eat out or do a drive-thru and I have healthy snacks on hand to reduce temptation. I also save a buttload of money. Best of all, I AM IN CHARGE OF MY EATING AND MY LIFE AND MY WEIGHT.

Time Constraints to Work Out: I am not a morning person but I’ve had to get used to the idea of the 5 a.m. workout when I know it won’t happen otherwise and honestly? It’s ok. It’s more than ok! I am showered and all worked out by 7 a.m. and the day is ready for me! I had a difficult time working out on vacation, but I was able to get two runs in. This week, I have gotten to work out every day and I have purchased this awesome planner to write my workouts in.

 That little pocket there holds my food journal and yes, I am writing everything down. Writing things down, as big of a pain as it is, makes me not want to write bad stuff in it. We were going to go out to eat tonight for date night, but instead, we’re going to swim at the gym and eat dinner beforehand just because I don’t want to have to write something down in my food journal that I will regret. (That being said, what do we do afterward? I don’t know.)

I am also getting the children involved in the “being your own CEO.” They are 4 and 3, but I’ve given them simple jobs (put on your clothes, brush your teeth, be kind to others) and they have a chart and they get to put the stars on their charts when they finish their job. IT HAS BEEN AMAZING! THEY ARE SO PROUD OF THEMSELVES AND I’M PROUD OF THEM, IT’S AWESOME! We work together to set the table, they eat more veggies and last night the little one LOVED tilapia (hooray!), things are running smoothly right at this moment (knock on wood.)

More of what I’m doing: I am also reading “Racing Weight” by Matt Fitzgerald which has a great food plan I will follow (loosely) and workout plans for runners, cyclists and/or triathletes that will allow me some fatburning sessions rather than total endurance sessions, so those are the workouts that I am writing in my planner. I am going to the gym and working out with purpose, which I think is a really big thing. Sometimes it’s not enough to just go to the gym, you have to know why you’re there and what you’re doing while you’re there and it all has to fit in the big picture. Sure, just getting exercise is great, but at the point I’m at with the most stubborn pounds not coming off, I need to have a focus.

I also have a personal trainer one day a week and the only way I could afford it was to get a group of my tri buddies together to do a group personal training session and it equals out to about $12 a session for 5 weeks which is totally doable. Our trainer is a very, very sweet Jillian. She combines movements (squats with bicep curls, rowing and balancing, lunges and steppers, crazy pushups, etc etc and intermingles them with cardio bursts. I can’t move my arms and pits today.)

I am working in two strength training sessions per week and doing at least 5 days cardio (spin, ride, swim, run or bricks). I am meeting on Monday to work through my nutrition in more detail with my trainer and refining what I should and should not eat to get the results I’m hoping for. Oh and the goals?

This is the map to the bigger goals of:

  • Being down to 125 (or lower) by April which is when the racing season. I am now at 137.  Last year was my first full season trying triathlons and this season, I want to:
  • Inching my way up the standings in my age group, (i.e. I WANT TO BE FASTER!)
  • Reshaping my hind quarters which have become a more dimply version of myself.
  • Running another marathon.

I feel like Dora. I have a map and my backpack is full of everything I need.

Now, to continue the motivation. That’s a whole ‘nother topic.

January 26, 2011 by christieo

And boy did I need it. The bad news is I am up. The badder news is I don’t remember what my weigh-in was last week, I think it was 136? Or 136.5? Either way, I am at 137.5 this week. GAH!!

I will account for the pound in this way: VACATION. Shoneys buffet, margaritas, mexican, Krystal burgers, chinese food, pizza.

Ya know what the funniest thing about that is? I actually SHUNNED so much more bad food than that. That is only HALF of the bad food I COULDVE eaten and didn’t. How sad is that? I am constantly under a reminder that I cannot eat with reckless abandon without suffering consequences for it. Each time I get bitter and then get over it. So I’m over it.

Moving forward.

On the way home, I read a great article at Cool Running on Facebook about weight-loss while triathlon training and the point of the article was that it’s actually hard to lose weight during triathlon season because you are busy fueling your body for endurance for your optimal race and performance. No wonder I didn’t lose a whole lot of weight last season! It makes total sense! So I read further that it’s best to try to lose weight during the off-season (NOW) so I can optimize my performance during the season (my first race is in april.)

The article says you should eat clean for at least 4 weeks and use the time to work on strength training and intervals, both of which speed up your metabolism (in addition to regular cardio which for me has to be 5 or 6 days of at least 30 minutes. But I can do that.)  Strength training will allow me to burn fat and tone muscle and intervals will rev my system (but that hits two goals too, the other of which is to make me faster which I also want.)

So. That’s what I am going to do. I’m going to try this. I have already 2 days of strength built in (one with a personal trainer at 5 a.m. on Thursdays.)  The article is part of the book “Racing Weight, A 4 Week Weight-Loss Plan for Endurance Athletes” by Matt Fitzgerald. And I just went out and BOUGHT IT.

So for the next four weeks, I’m following it. For longer if I have to. This is my immediate goal. I am working on the full picture goals post of mine, have you seen the January Projects? They’re really inspiring, go check em out, post and link em  up! Writing goals and Be Your Own CEO. And I’m working on being my own CEO too!

I’ve started by writing out my meals and food shopping (I’ve got my pantry back!!!) and by scheduling my workouts in — and GOING. Go do the projects pretty please? They’re so much fun!

Hope you had a great weigh-in!! Can’t believe January’s almost over, I gotta get it into gear here!!!

January 19, 2011 by christieo

I’m down again that little bit I gained post-marathon although I am on vacation this week and I’ve been acting like it’s some sort of free for all with margaritas and tacos and meatballs and beer. My sister is a terrible influence. I have had to go grocery shopping to offset all the terrible habits of my family and as much fun as I’m having, I CAN’T WAIT TO RETURN TO MY OWN PANTRY!!!!!!!!!


The exercise is scattered but I did get out to get a run in and boy was it a wonderful much-needed break and a powerful one at that. Just 30 minutes sometimes is all I need to come back to life and be a better person and I got that. So much awesomeness that I had to write about it.
Anyway, we’re on vacation without my husband so playing single mom on vacation with toddlers who won’t nap or go to bed at the right time so are shredded and inconsolable and who obviously feel so totally out of their element that they’re acting like crazed lunatics has me sort of ragged at times. It’s amazing though how when I got to get that run in cured me! I can go another 10 rounds now! Also, it was the first one since Disney and it was amazing.

Gotta cut it short, hope everyone is having an amazing week! I’ll be back at my own pantry by next weigh-in!

January 12, 2011 by christieo

And we all know what that means!

I’m up again. I know I should be shrinking, but just in case you are ever wondering when you have a race or a long workout that lasts several hours and you have gained weight, it’s not weird. That’s what happens to me and what has happened. Every single time. It’ll be off by tomorrow but it always makes for an unfortunate weigh-in.

So I’m lookin for a nice weight-loss next week, because the marathon coupled with my stellar eating (which really is stellar by the way!) should be a good combo platter for me next week.

We shall see!

If you are wondering how the race went, it went, how do you say, not good. I wrote about it here but today is a new day and I already feel loads better from the way I felt for the past two days. If you have ever wondered what an amazing group the Sisterhood is to be a part of, just stick around and let them help you through your dark moments and share with all your amazing ones. I have never felt such friendship as I do right here. Without the Sisterhood, I’d still be wallowing at this very moment.

But like I said, today is a new day.

And I’m headed out to put my 26.2 sticker on my car.

Plus I got a new pair of sneakers.

And so now I’m ready to run again.

January 5, 2011 by christieo

Good morning to all of you shrinkers!

Happy New Year!!

Last week was a really emotional one, saying goodbye to 2010 and December, really, which was a really rough month for us with the passing of my grandma, but when Saturday came, New Year’s Day, a huge wave of happiness and motivation and inspiration washed over me because Goddammit  JANUARY IS HERE AND THAT MEANS IT’S A NEW DAY AND A NEW YEAR! And I started off the new year with a spin class at 7:30 a.m. with friends.

It was the best New Year’s Day ever.

I can’t wait to post about revisiting my 2010 letter for this week’s project because for me, physically, 2010 was the best, most goal-setting, goal-reaching year this body has ever seen. It is the first year that I dumped the yo-yo and the first year that instead of focusing on weight-loss, I focused on fitness, a complete mind-shift that actually helped me lose weight in the process. No, I did not develop the rock hard body I had hoped, but I have crossed so many finish lines, not just physically, but mentally.

This year I already have my race scheduled planned and paid for, with different goals, goals of being faster and stronger. My life has truly, completely changed and when I think about how different I am from the days of yo-yo dieting and lack of self-confidence and even since January 1, 2010, it overwhelms me.

I am four days away from running my first full marathon with some of the very Sisters here who have inspired me to keep going along the way and just typing that is making me all giddy inside! I realize this post is supposed to about the weigh-in, which is actually not that great of news if we’re being honest here which we are, I have gained a pound actually, but I don’t want to focus on the number, mkay? Today, this year, it’s not about the number. (Well I guess it started out about the number and in some capacity it will always be about the number.)

However, I want it to be about my life.

And right now, life is good. Even with the extra pound.

The next time I weigh in, I will be a marathon finisher!!!!!!!

December 29, 2010 by christieo

It’s a lot of pressure when you’re trying to be healthy and the only one responsible for you is YOU, isn’t it?

No one else is going to do it for you. No one else is going to push you. No one else is going to show you what you got. No one else is going to make choices for you and tell you when it’s time to start looking after you. Well they could, but we won’t listen because we don’t like being told that, we like to decide those things for ourselves.

But. That takes a really long time and in most cases, takes a rock bottom moment. Nope, it’s allll about you. You and you ALONE. And you can do it and feel alone. Or you can do it on your own and feel the power of one.

That’s why I love the name of this challenge. It takes the “loneliness” out of going through this process by yourself and inserts “power” into it.

Because we are way more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. You just have to start. Or restart. Where ever you are in the journey.

This season, I discovered that a person can have rock bottom moments at any level of fitness.

The most common rock bottom is at the beginning of the journey and I had one of those 3 years ago.

And then there are rock bottoms along the way and most certainly a rock bottom after you’re stuck and spinning your wheels in the mud toward the end of the journey where the weight begins to creep back on and slowly you are falling back into old habits and patterns. That can happen at any time and I’m never really ready for it when it happens. It would be nice if the motivation you experience periodically throughout the journey would just be a renewable resource and replenish itself over and over again. But it’s not.

My rock bottom came when there were weeks in a row where I couldn’t make even 5 minutes for a workout, when there was a death in the family and family was coming in from all over and there was just no time to make for myself. And then eventually after this, I had no desire to make time. No desire whatsoever.

5 pounds (at least) later…an angry grumpy mommy with pants too tight and a marathon looming hits yet another rock bottom in the journey.

Of course first you have to get angry (again) that you’re not the person who can eat everything that fits into your face and not exercise without gaining weight. You’ve grappled with this reality for years and dozens of yoyo diets, but it never ceases to make a person angry and bitter that they have family members who can eat bags and bags of consecutive chips and not gain weight but they are not that person. And then you have to eat some more because you’re mad about it. And then after the anger, you have to feel sorry for yourself about it and eat some more and make the situation even worse. Then you eventually take a shower because at this point you decide that you need to at least try to feel better about yourself because you’re putting your whole family through hell because you can’t stop yelling because you feel so disgusting about yourself and you’re projecting your feelings unto others and then you go to the gym and it feels real good and that 30 minutes makes you alive again. It makes you a better person and it reminds you that all is not lost and that you just have to do this again real soon.

And then you do it again and you’re on top of the world again. Or at least you feel like it. And you realize that even though you’ve put on some weight, you’re not as out of shape as you thought because you can still kick a spin class’s ass. And then kicking a spin class’s ass makes you want to do it more and it even gives you the energy to go organize your office and clean out your closet and your bathroom and get on top of your life again in general because when you let the eating and the exercising go, you let everything go, even sometimes the showering. Ick.

So you see, there are ebbs and flows and there aren’t always flows.

But there aren’t always ebbs either, you just have to swim upstream for a little bit to get out of the ebb.

The new year is beginning and I have to find my POWER again, the power of one that has made me conquer my goals in 2010 and the power of one that will help me conquer my goals in 2011.

Because ain’t no one gonna do it for me. And I sure as hell need to keep my sanity and take a shower every once in a while.

My goals for this challenge:

-DO NOT EAT OUT. Cook my food and be prepared with food from the grocery store which means going shopping. -RUN THE DISNEY MARATHON in less than 5 hours! -Continue to work out and eat right and drink lots of water. -Continue with a personal trainer and incorporate more strength training for 5 cardio days, at least 3 strength training.


My goals for the year (races I’ve already signed up for:) -Disney Marathon (Jan ’11) -Escape From Ft. Desoto sprint tri (April ’11) -St. Anthony’s Olympic dist. tri (May ’11) -Morton Plant Mease sprint tri (July ’11) -1/2 Ironman Augusta, GA (Sept. ’11) -Clearwater 5150 Olympic dist. tri (Nov. ’11)

-Turkey Trot 10k Thanksgiving Day (NEW PR!)

So here’s to 2011, sisters! Raise your glasses! May the motivation be upon you! And when it isn’t,  MAY YOU HARNESS THE POWER OF ONE AND FIND IT!

(Or at least come to the sisterhood for help.)

August 25, 2010 by christieo

I am down .5 today to 128 even.

I wish it were more. I’m actually pretty lucky that it is what it is. My head isn’t in the eating game. I know it should be and everything in me says it should be but I gotta take a cold shower and wake myself up or something. I don’t know what it is that I need to hear. I know I would love to weigh 5-10 lbs less. I know it would make me perform better. But in the end, I do these ridiculously long workouts and secretly I know I won’t gain weight because I’m doing them.

And that’s not right.

Yes I’m saying it out loud.

So I don’t know what my deal is, I just hope my teammates don’t hate me. I’m so close to maintenance that I’m almost taking advantage of it in my head. I know the point where I absolutely cannot go above and I don’t go above it. I get close, but I don’t go over. I feel good about myself overall. I’m happy inside with myself. Sometimes I think that if I don’t lose weight, I’m letting myself down because I’m not the best I can be and I’m not *there* yet. And even though I’m smaller than ever, my bmi is still technically 1 point above normal. So that 5-10 pounds would put me at normal. (5 lbs would actually.)

I don’t know what to say. I’m not even sure you could say something to me to change my mentality. I want to, but… there’s always a but.