What is this all about?

I started this blog to keep me accountable in my fitness and clean eating journey. My first post was in March of 2007 and I've been posting ever since. As you will see I've had many highs and lows...but this is all about the journey...not just the destination

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ying Yang Twins and good to be back

I think Im back .
I worked out today for a little over 1 hour and 40 minutes and I’m feeling good. I’m icing my knee right now because I’m sure I overdid it, but I need to overdo it sometimes- just so that I know my limits.   So here is what I did:
30 minutes leg workout  … 3 rotations of leg circuit : Deadlifts,  calf raises, barbell press ups, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls and wide leg squats. Then I did 30 minutes of arms and abs – gravitron, pushups on the ball,  biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs.
Then 40 minutes cardio --- 30 min treadmill 10 min fast walking (4.5-4.7), 10min jogging (at 4.2) and then 10 min walking.  Then 10 min elliptical - @150. 
Then I stretched. And limped out of the gym. 
Not in horrible pain but I will probably be sore tomorrow.  But I’ll suck it up because I feel really good about my workout today. I don’t feel like a slacker and I worked up a good sweat.
All in all – I burned about 960 calories.  My goal for today is a 500 c deficit.  So far so good.
5 of the 6lbs are gone.
I can’t explain it really well . Since I cut back on food but didn’t cut back on chocolate.  I still have mini chocolate bars around from Halloween and I’ve been enjoying a few every day.  I have returned to the 200c lunches (soup) or Lean cuisine , and veggie heavy dinners. I’ve also added a shakes into the mix for breakfast .  I’ve had more water – but not at all on target.  I wish I had a better explanation but I don’t . I’m just taking it .
What does my music say about me.
I’m a little embarrassed to describe the workout music I listen to. I started thinking about that as I noticed people at the gym during my workout. Sometimes while doing my weight workout – I’ll start to people watch and wonder what people are listening to.  I started guessing that the guy in the blue shirt with the skinny legs was probably listening to rolling stones and the woman next to me on the gravitron was probably listening to Fergie.   Then I started wondering what people might think I’m listening to. I bet someone would guess I was listening to Alicia Keys or Jill Scott – maybe Black Eyed Peas.  It is probably not surprising that I listen to a variety of dance mixes (DJ Steveboy of Podrunner being my favorite). I wonder if it is surprising that I listen to Ying Yang Twins, Luke , 50 and Tupac.  I would never listen to this music in the company of anyone else (certainly not my children nor would I want them to listen) but I love working out to it. 

Monday, November 26, 2007

FFF and I miss riding Lemond

So I’ve started to post my FFF plan and I’m excited about it (Especially AprilJ).  I’ll keep updating it as I get closer.   For those of you who will be participating with me - -adjust it for you. So if you already do 30+ in a month – double it. Do whatever works for you – just set the goal and stick it.  If you already get 2+ massages a month – do something else that feels luxurious or that feels good to you.  I’m planning activities that I never do (at least not regularly) .


I’m excited about this week’s workout. I’m adding a little more each day. Today I did 2 miles on the bike and I felt pretty good.  I’m think I’m going to go to spin class on Wed.     Problem is – I have absolutely NO quad strength. Can you believe that significant muscle atrophy starts to happen in about 14 days .  I’m going on 25 days so that means I have nothing.  I’m hopeful that I can make it through the class.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dancing and bouncing....

On the road to recovery.......
What a crazy - up and down type of week. I had 3 really rough days when I thought I might not ever get back to walking or working out normally. And then I've had 2 days like today... on top of the world.

This morning as I was coming back from the store getting the boy's birthday donuts, I realized that I was walking normally. Yes , normal for the first time in 5 weeks. No limp, nothing. This morning I did a short workout on the mini trampoline and it felt pretty good . I even put on a La Tortura and channeled Shakira - and didn't look like I was having a spasm.

I also had a nice dose of reality this week when I met a former college basketball player who had the same surgery as one of the procedures I had. He told me that his recovery took a full 3 months - with aggressive recovery - including daily physical therapy from the college athletic staff. It was helpful to hear this -- instead of "well everyone is different" , my doc's line .

Anyway - enough of all of that . I'm ready to set some goals.....
  • December goal -- Lose 5lbs and travel 20 miles by foot.
  • 20 miles either on treadmill or elliptical or bike.
I'm excited to get back on the road to recovery. My only question in my mind is if I should get the other one done sooner or later. Knowing that it will take 5-6 weeks to feel closer to normal will make it a bit easier next time. I'll make a decision next Friday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What is 2 + 4?

One of the fears I had with getting the surgery was that I would gain weight due to the change in activity level. It has happened to others and of course it could happen to me. This was a healthy fear to have since I would need to work really hard to prevent gaining weight. Having this fear front and center would help me control my eating and maintain healthy habits (sleep, water , etc.)

The first 2 ½ weeks were great. No weight gain – in fact I had maintained my pre surgery weight . Then it started. The first 2 ½ lbs came the 3rd week in – ironically just as I was getting more mobile. Becoming more mobile made me feel like full recovery was in sight and I would eventually get back to my routine. Perhaps that is why I started being less strict with my diet. I’m not sure. First Halloween and the remnants thereof, then the not so healthy family dinners –made out of love, then the dinners out. I’m not exactly sure when it happened , but somewhere between week 3 and now – I returned to pretty reckless habits. I can't remember the last time I meal tracked and I have not been as disciplined about water.

So here I am 4 weeks post surgery, with a weight gain of 6lbs. 6 ½ to be exact. I know what’s coming if I don’t take drastic action. I know what I need to do but I’m in a bit of a cycle right now and unfortunately food has been my best friend this last week. I get excited about what I can do, I’ll push the limits with my range of motion and then I’m grounded for the next few days. I’ve had to go back to taking percoset to help manage my post workout pain. The funny thing is I don’t feel like I am pushing it at all, I feel like I am really being cautious. But what I think is cautious results in major pain the next day. That bums me out and instead of talking about it - I will perhaps eat a bit more than I should. Or have a big cup of tea - with honey instead of Splenda. Or instead of a fat free, sugar free latte, I'll have a full version. I don't like being unhappy or feeling woe is me. After all it could be so much worse and I am grateful. But instead of allowing myself to feel bad, I'll trick myself into feeling fine. I'll soothe myself in the privacy of my silverware or latte.

So what is drastic action – when I still can’t break a sweat yet. Or when I have the holidays upon me. Drastic action is going back and reading “what works for me” , I will not let it be me, or other posts that demonstrate what I’ve done to be successful in this struggle. Drastic action is doing everything in my power to return to the healthy habits that I’ve created -daily meal tracking, 8-10 glasses of water a day, clean eating with a few shakes thrown in . Drastic action is recognizing that it is a journey and I am in control of where I go.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Focus on what I can do

The plan:


Go to gym – workout the parts that are working well -Abs and Arms. Focus not on what I can’t do, Focus on what I can do.


By planning to focus on what works – I felt really good going in. I felt in control and ready for a good workout.


The result:


Not only did I work out the working parts, I got on  the bike – just for fun. Guess what – 10 minutes of full cycling . I almost screamed for joy when my leg completed a full rotation on the bike.  I was sooo happy.


Then – feeling very badaxx , I jumped on the treadmill to see what I could do.  I did a little jogtype walking thing at 3.2 (woo hoo) .


The amazing thing is that at 3 weeks post surgery despite swelling, atrophy, pain etc., running (or whatever I was doing) feels better now than it has for the past 6 months.  I just may get the other leg done after all.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Excuses -- with a limp

As a proud pollyanna (one who always thinks positively - sometimes to my own detriment), it is hard for me to swallow the thought that I might not heal quickly. Or that I might not be able to do 75 mile bike ride in May or a Triathlon in June. It is super hard to accept that I might not be running by Christmas . But as each day passes - and I realize that while I am slowly recovering , I may have accept it.

But I don't plan on taking it lying down.

I have decided to be a bit more aggressive with my recovery- more movement, aggressive PT.
Aggressive strength training on all my parts that ARE working (other leg, arms ,abs). There is no reason why I should not be able to develop killer abdominals. Or why my arms should not be incredibly toned. Or why I should slack off on my eating (of course a few slices of holiday sweet potato pie notwithstanding:)

Back to no excuses!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fewer balls

I was recently at meeting for work discussing recognition and reward -- and how to do it better. During the session we had to ask ourselves what has motivated us over our lives. We had to think about specific situations (work or otherwise) and people that motivated us. Doing this exercise helped me figure out a couple of things about myself and why I am the way I am.

I am motivated by and aspire to be Superwoman.
I am and have always been motivated by people who have achieved excellence in numerous areas of their lives. I always viewed the world as big and opportunities as limitless. I felt that I could and should do everything (and do it well) and always valued that in others. In my view - it is much easier to be really successful at 1 thing than it is to be really successful at multiple things- and therefore that became my goal. When I was in school - I was a great student, president of numerous clubs, involved in many activities outside .. and it felt great. I loved the feeling of "juggling" and keeping all balls in the air. As a result - role models are Superwomen (people like Julianne Malveaux, Gwen Boyd, Susan Taylor, Oprah, etc). who excel at public service, family, leadership, work, home, sports, etc. Further, because of my early exposure and friendship with many of these woman (by virtue of my involvement Delta Sigma Theta and many of my AMAZING friends), I viewed this multi-disciplinary success as truly attainable.

So I know this is problematic and probably the source of my addiction to activity - and my feeling of inadequacy. I was fortunate to have early academic and career success - but never celebrated it because it was not enough. I was fortunate to have early leadership positions in many organizations - but never really celebrated because in my mind it was not enough. I have always had incredibly unrealistic expectations for myself and unfortunately others. As I approach my big birthday and "come into my own" I am coming to terms with the fact that I can't nor do I want to do everything (nor everything exceedingly well). Plus I am just bad at many things. Although I still value the art of the juggle, I need to be ok with the idea of having fewer balls.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A gentle reminder

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.It is not just in some, it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

( Marianne Williamson)

Sometimes people are afraid of your light and it impacts how they react to you. Interpersonal relationships are so often based on how secure people are with themselves than their reaction to us. Sometimes I forget this -- thanks for the reminder Lo

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Swimming - or shall I say walking

After my unsuccessful attempts to go back to sleep after getting up at 3:45am, I decided to go to the gym . My activity of choice : attempt to swim. My doctor has given me clearance to swim - so I figured I'd go for it. The first major milestone was to drive to the gym. This would be my 2nd attempt at driving in over 3 weeks.

All went well with driving - especially since I took the Pacifica. When I got to the pool I was happy that the water was nice and warm. It was just perfect - no one there, calm peaceful water, just perfect. I normally go to the lap pools but of course - for now that is a little ambitious. I got in the water and attempted to just use the kickboard . I enjoyed the buoyancy and immediately felt a big release of pressure on my leg. That was nice. What wasn't so nice was that well, my leg forgot how to kick. It hurt and I had no control over what my leg was doing. After a few minutes of that, I decided to just walk or walk run as best as i could. So that was my swimming for today. One day as I'm completing my 30+ laps in the pool , I am going to remember this day, remember this feeling and smile.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yesterday I cried, Today I cycled

Yesterday was a rough day. Lifting my leg enough to avoid the pain of bumping it on the edge of the shower pan is something I have yet to accomplish. Not doing it yesterday, nearly broke me. As I recovered from the pain, the tears started...and they wouldn't stop. I felt sad that I wasn't recovering as quickly as I thought I would. I was sad that my walking was (and is) still very labored. I was sad that I gained 2 1/2 lbs. I promised myself I would not have a pity party - but yesterday I had to give in. My mopiness lasted most of the day. Last week when I was tempted to be mopey, I decided to go serve someone else. I ended up taking the kids to our local assisted living facility and visiting some of the residents. We've done this before and have come to know a few of the cute little ladies. Anyway - this was not an option yesterday as I was too far gone. I was in pain and angry that I decided to go through with the surgery.

Today- I got up and was able to lift my leg. Something that I have not been able to do post surgery. I was so excited that I decided that I was on a roll -- and that I should be brave and attempt to go to the gym. I got dressed (by myself), walked down to the car and drove to the club (A first!!) . Even if I didn't workout just looking at the equipment and being there would surely feel good. Well not only did I look but I worked out. I cycled for 10 minutes, elliptical for 4min and treadmill for 5 minutes. Ok so I wasn't able to complete 1 full revolution on the bike nor was I able to go faster than 1.5 on the treadmill , but any movement is good movement. I did a nice circuit and gravitron workout. I felt great and I know that each day will be better than the last. I finally feel like full recovery is in sight!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The 2008 Plan: 40 Fit and Fabulous

40th Birthday Celebration plan

So with the help of lots friends and family - I've finally completed the draft of my year long 40th birthday celebration. I'm inviting everyone to the party!

Here is the overview:
Theme: 40, Fit and Fabulous!!

Timeline - Monthly celebratory events beginning January 2008 culminating in December. There will be an official Birthday event in May (my actual birthday) but the celebration will be 1 year long.

Participation - I will invite everyone to participate virtually in most events as I will be celebrating you through my monthly events. Your participation will make me happy and hopefully make you happy as well. Just call your celebration Fit and Fabulous (whatever your age)

Prework - There will be prework in order to take full advantage of the celebration so we need to get crackalackin. Here's the deal: If you haven't done so already, try to complete the following by 12/31/07 . Can't be Fabulous if everything is not in order

1) Physical - if you haven't done so already this year
2) Mammogram - if you are in the age window
3) Flu shot -
4) Eye Exam
5) OBGYN visit
6) Dental check up -

If you are good on all of these things - great! If not let's get going.... Can't be Fit and Fabulous without these things....

Next - You will need to think of a really hard goal that will take you 6 months to get ready for or complete. Something you have been putting off. Write it down now. We will come back to this.

I will publish the schedule and events in a few weeks. Should be fun!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

My first workout

So today I had my first post surgery workout. Today - exactly 2 weeks from the operation. I thought that it would be much sooner than this.... but it is what it is. So here is what I did...
  • 10 minutes on the treadmill at .9
  • Arms - biceps and shoulders
  • Abs

I was thrilled to get dressed in my workout clothes and go to my little gym in the basement. I am SO ready to be better, so I really pushed myself. The walking funny, immobility, pain.. is getting old very fast. I am really trying hard to push myself . I'm just slightly concerned that I don't seem to be progressing in my recovery. I will be starting PT this week so I'm hoping it helps ... In the meantime, I will keep working hard in my quest to get back to normal.

About Me

My photo
West Coast, United States
I am a christian woman, wife, mom to 2 great kids, a member of Delta Sigma Theta, A Jack and Jill mom, sister, daughter . I am also incredibly fit but wasn't always. I am a recovering fat girl - who takes it one day at a time.

Alonda the Triathlete!

Alonda the Triathlete!

The backstory-----How did I become a triathlete...

In February 2006, I went on a ski trip with my new colleagues from work. On the way back, I sat next to a girl named Wendy - a really friendly woman who talked about her experience as a newcomer to Seattle. She told me how her main source of making friends was through her workout buddies. She also mentioned that many of her friends participate in triathlons and that (get this) I should consider doing one too. I thought she might have been delirious from all of the skiing. I assured her that I was not the one. She obviously had mistaken me for someone else. Perhap my heavy coat prevented her from seeing what was underneath (50 lbs of extra weight and lots of evidence of no exercise). She continued with this crazy talk, speaking of how fun it is and how supportive the Danskin Triathlon is. I wanted to be sure that she and I were thinking of the same thing... Triathlon (swim bike run -some huge number of miles -all on the same day right after each other). Yup this was it. I chuckled and told her to have fun.
A few weeks later at the office, she mentioned it again. Now at this time, I had been contemplating joining my company sponsored health club (PROCLUB) and in particular the weight loss program called 20/20. After all, I had really packed on the pounds. I arrived in WA 50lbs overweight and pretty unhappy with myself. I actually started to think that completing triathlon would be a good goal...impossible but a good goal. I decided to go for it. At the same time I also decided to join the weight loss program. My first meeting with my trainer ..Anthony Parker was on 3/14/06. I told him ..in all of my fatness, that I wanted to do a triathlon. He looked at me and said hmmm, ok.
I began this really intense workout and nutrition program and began building my endurance. My first meetings with Anthony consisted of walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then doing stairclimber or eliptical for 15 minutes. Followed by a bit of strength training. I did this 3x a week (between 6am and 7:30) and then worked out on my own 2 other days. I had absolutely no endurance and could not run for more than 1 minute. Over the months, my endurance grew ..slowly at first then more rapidly. I also figured that I needed to improve my swimming skills if I was going to swim for 1/2 a mile. I took a Total Immersion Class.. which teaches swimming efficiency. Let's set the record straight here... I could swim well enough to save myself if I was thrown off of a boat. I was a decent (not great) swimmer. At the start of the class, I could do 1 (that's right ONE) lap and then I started breathing heavy. At that point I new the triathlon was totally out of reach. After all 1/2 mile was equal to 20 laps. I left the 1st day of class feeling scared and dismayed that I was too aggressive. Maybe I should have set my goal for 2007.
The next week's class, I asked the teacher what I needed to do to build my endurance. He said just keep at it, it will come. You know what, it did. Each week I got better and better. 4 weeks later I was able to swim 9 laps. I then started swimming before my workouts with my trainer (a little crazy but hey). My trainer was pretty impressed. I also started biking on the weekends. In fact in May I did a 30 mile bike ride as a part of the Tour De Cure for Diabetes. I really love biking...:)
Ok so I still had not tackled the most difficult part, the running. Not only could I not run but I absolutely hated it. I started adding running to my treadmill work. Anthony suggested intervals. We started with 2min run 2 min walk . I did this for weeks extending the time and the speed. I was up to running at 5.5 and walking at 4.0. Then Anthony said ..let's see if you can run a mile. I thought he was kidding. I did not think I was ready for that. This was May 5th (a day after my birthday). Guess what I did it. And I didn't feel like I was going to die. I was on top of the world. All day I had a little extra spring in my step. I just kept replaying in my head the "goal attained" message on the treadmill. I just could not believe it.
I kept it up, continued working out 5x a week. I took another swim class "Triathlon Swim Training" to help even more. This class was filled with drills and specific swim workouts. I really saw progress. By the end of the class, I was able to swim 28 laps. Now the challenge was to swim in Open Water. That's right. The triathlon was going to be in Lake Washington.
I finally felt like I could really do it. I didn't have a specific time goal , my goal was to finish. The week before the race I was sooo nervous. I was doing mini triathlons with a few really good girls. I kept up with them during the swim but one bike ride was particularly hilly and....they left me in the dust. I felt so bad and really began to rethink whether or not I should do the race. I spoke to one of the girsl about my bike performance , and she said that my bike was holding me back. That day, I decided to retire my 35lb mountain bike for a 19 lb feather light road bike. Boy what a differnce. This was a risky thing to do so close to the race but it worked for me.
The other thing to mention is that I met up with a wonderful group of women called the Soul Sistas. They are a group of African American Women of all ages who participate in triathlons and bike races. They are so awesome.We (the soul sistas) took pictures the day before the race... I'll post when available.
So the day of the race..... Everybody in the house is excited and up. My kids and my nieces - who were visiting from NJ are all up and ready to root me on. I left early so that I could get ready.The goal was to meet me by the swim finish. This was alll pretty tricky because there were 40 waves of swimmers starting every 3 minutes. All I can say about the swim is that it felt much longer than 1/2 a mile. I kept focused and didn't get nervous. I focused on keeping my breathing relaxed. It worked ...and by the way I wasn't the last swimmer in my group YEAHHH. I don't know how it all worked out but as soon as I finished my swim, I saw them. Byron , Tyler, Paris, Ahlia and Ivy were all waiting there for me with the most beautiful handmade signs saying GO MOMMY, Go AUNTIE, I love you. It was so terrific. Once I saw them I was energized.... Now on to the bike.
The bike was the best part of the entire race. I love my bike and I love to fly down the road. The entire 14 miles of the race was closed to traffic. Our longest stretch was on the express lane of one of the largest highways. Imagine flying down a highway with nothing in your way (but other riders on your right). It was so amazing. I was going pretty fast but could have gone faster - but wanted to save my legs for the run.
Now the run... I hate running and I am really bad at it. I am slow and not terribly efficient. After biking hard for 40 minutes, your legs are really worked up. During the after bike run, your legs turn into "bricks". They are heavy and hard to move. If you push through , you can get over the feeling and get into a stride. Well I also felt pains in my knee. So instead of running the entire 3.2 miles I decided to walk run. In the end it was actually fine - but while doing it I was a little disappointed. Danskin is great because there are so many supporters on the way. Cheerleaders who are yelling "go for it" from their back porch. It was just what I needed. In fact I heard Destiny's Child Im a survivor , on my way and that was what I used in my head to keep me going.
So when I realize I am about 1/2 mile from the end, I start getting super excited and very emotional. It is all coming together now -- all the training, the visualization of actually crossing the finish line and my waiting family. I got on my cell phone to cal my husband, just to make sure he was at the finisth line. He cracked up that I called:)
When you come close to the finsih line, there are all these spectators lined up waiting for you. It is so great! I ran through a narrow entry to the wide finish line area. And there they were.. my family (My hubby, kids and neices) - with signs and smiles. When I crossed the finish line, my name was announced and the official put a medal around my neck. Well I just lost it and started crying. I could not believe that I had just completed a triathlon. I was officially a triathlete.