Everything you ever needed to know

Friday, December 4, 2015

Goodbye Thyroid, I never liked you anyway

Just a quick pop in to give an update. I may write more later but it was all pretty straight forward.

Thyroid surgery went very well yesterday (Thursday). I only stayed in recovery for 4 hours and was able to come home. I didn't feel too great last night, massive headache and nausea, but this morning it's just the soreness of my throat (from being intubated during surgery) and the soreness of the incision site. It will be a few days before we get any pathology reports but since the surgery didn't have any complications my hopes are that the nodules are all still benign (I had biopsies a couple years ago when the nodules were first found). As for now I'm trying to get by with regular tylenol rather than the hydro condone since I think that makes me more whoozy than actually helps me with pain. The issues last night was probably an anesthesia hangover.

One funny addition is that I had my last assessment and workout with my trainer on Wednesday so besides a sore neck I also have really sore thighs and glutes.  It probably helps to spread the pain out a little so I don't concentrate on my neck. :)

I'm on restrictions for two weeks. So just walking and trying to stay good about diet will be in my plans until I'm cleared again. Which right now, since I'm still pretty tired, sounds just delightful.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Like a record baby, right round, round round

You know, not enough recording artists wear eye patches anymore...

I went back to spin today - it was the first time in a few weeks. And there was a sub who seemed to push us harder but really, I think it was just me. I started feeling tired and whoozy after the first few minutes. For the first time in a long time I had to stop and leave the class for a few minutes or else I would have ran the risk of passing out.

This cardio exhaustion has gotten annoying.

I didn't end up getting exercise in over the weekend - this should not come as a surprise. But my weight stayed steady (I mean steady after the initial gain that I've had over the last couple of weeks). I had already eaten this morning when I weighed myself but I came in at 197.8 so the overall damage is about 3 lbs from my lowest weigh in.

I think nerves, regarding the upcoming surgery, are playing themselves out in bingeing. Cookies were the culprit yesterday. I don't have any specific diet plans for my recovery period because I don't know what I'll feel like eating. It's all unknown territory for the next couple of weeks.

I'll post again on Wednesday after my final personal trainer assessment.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Post Turkey

I survived the holiday itself without gaining anything but we'll see how the extended holiday weekend ends up...

  • Tuesday: 2 miles jogging, 275 calorie burn on the elliptical
  • Wednesday: 2 miles jogging, then personal trainer session (who ended up making me do more running)
  • Thursday: 4.11 miles of intervals
  • Friday: 3.06 miles walking and Ultimate Sculpt video
So far, nothing for Saturday but I still have a few hours before I call it a day. The rec center is closed all weekend and it's been on and off rainy today and supposed to be flat out rainy tomorrow. So exercising will depend on videos here at home.

I'll have my last trainer session on Monday or Wednesday next week. But that session will be more of a final assessment than a training session. I really need a few more good workouts before I'm laid up for a few days (surgery on the 3rd). I hope my recovery is smooth enough to at least start walking within a couple of days. I'm ok with waiting on the other stuff.

Otherwise, here's my plan to stay fit through the Christmas season....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekly Results (or the last two weeks...)

Hello again. This will be short and depressing...

As mentioned in the last post I didn't do much last week. Here are my mighty two workouts:

  • Friday: Personal Trainer
  • Saturday: 5 miles (intervals)
I really did mean to get out again on Sunday but it didn't happen. I did however manage to bake cookies, cinnamon rolls, and fresh bread.

Because carbs.

On the bright side, the 5 miles on Saturday was brilliant. I wasn't fast or anything but it felt great. I got to enjoy the last bit of warmer weather before this recent cold spell hit.

Another week is ahead of me though and everyday is a choice. The unfortunate part is that all the group classes have been cancelled for this week so my workouts are solely dependent on me. I haven't proven to be the most reliable in the past couple of weeks...

Weight gain: back up to 198'ish today. This was less than what I was expecting but still not great. No way I'll reach any of my mini-goals before my surgery but it is what it is.

I hope to still get some good exercise in over the next 10 days. After that the blog will get quiet for a little while. I'll post about the thyroid stuff as it's always good to have a summary of how it went. But as my exercise will be limited to walking for a little bit the blog will take a little pre-holiday break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why I signed up for a personal trainer

Monday: it's windy outside. I don't want to work out.
Tuesday: hmmm, I should work out but I won't
Wednesday: so tired after less than 5 hours of sleep, not going to work out
Thursday: Must work out! Oh didn't shave legs - can't wear this outfit. Didn't work out.
Friday: Meet with personal trainer = no excuses left

So back to the grindstone today. Shaky arms already. She really likes inverted rows. But it was a good workout and what I needed to get me off my duff and back in the gym.

I've gained weight over the past couple of weeks. I'll see if I can shape up over the weekend and report back in on Monday.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

On the bus

I'm still around. I have a half finished post from last week that I'll eventually get around to putting up.

I spent the first half of this week traveling around the great state of Tennessee (and southern Kentucky) promoting my university. I had brilliant plans to run along the river walk in Memphis and hit the hotel gyms early each morning. Because I am a dedicated and disciplined kind of person!

Instead I checked out the top of the Bass Pro shop/temple and ate BBQ.

I did get one gym workout in but it didn't come anywhere close to burning off the extra calories that come from attending these events.

Met with my trainer today and chuckled when she once again said I would eventually be able to do a pull-up. Aaaah to be 20 and optimistic still...

I still hope to get some run/walks or maybe even a hike in while in AZ. One great thing that has come from the slow down in weight loss is the realization that I'll eventually get there (meaning any goals for weight loss or fitness gains) as long as I keep moving forward.

And if a delicious slice of pecan pie slows me down so be it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Shaky arms

So this is a week late, whatever...

Forget the stanky leg, I have shaky arms.

Another torturous (yet amazing) session with my trainer. I was completely wiped out at the end of the session. I could barely make it through the last set of exercises and then my whole body was in a nervous shiver kind of mode as I took a shower and got dressed back in work clothes. There were parts I didn't like.

Such as the three sets of exercises on this #$%^ing piece of equipment:

We did the knees up like the picture above, then straight legs up, and then bicycles (20 seconds of each, repeat 3 times). I absolutely could not do the straight leg one. Whatever specific ab muscle that one requires does not exist in my body.

But there were other parts I did like such as the squat press machine (or whatever it's technically called):

I had a couple of issues with vertigo during the workout - leftover side effects from the cold of last week. But I just gave myself a moment to stabilize if I moved my head around or went from standing to lying down.

Anyway, my original plan was to get a 2-3 mile run in on Saturday but I think my legs will need an off day tomorrow. I might just do the elliptical and swim instead. (Turns out I did get the 3 miles in - my legs are awesome!)

Weight is just stable this week but I'm also indulging in Halloween candy. Evil, wonderful holiday. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

But there are no jump squats in spin class...

Spin was cancelled today so I did a boot-camp style class. I was happy it was only 30 minutes long. We would run a lap and then do leg exercises such as squats, lunges, wall sits, and jump squats. The jump squats were the worst. Going back to running a lap after that felt like a brick workout. The leg muscles were not into running. But I got another mile in to add to my monthly mileage goal. So far this week I'm up to 5 miles, my goal for week one is 10 miles so halfway there!

I also decided to switch Turbo Kick with Abs and Tone for Tuesday. I figured I needed the weights portion more than cardio. I just added running for 15 minutes before hand and elliptical for 10 minutes afterwards. Then I discovered that I missed a call from my son's school that he wasn't feeling well because I had stuck my phone in the locker while I was working out. Stupid cold germs.

Finally, I have a new obsession. Wasabi peas in my salad. So good! I made the fatal error of shopping immediately after working out on Monday afternoon so there were lots of yummy snack items thrown into the cart. But this one isn't too terribly bad for you - lots of sodium but otherwise ok.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Preparing for turkey

Aaah November, the dreary month. It's grey and gross out there right now. Though they say we should see some sun later today.

We've been hit with the cold germs in my household this week. I'm feeling a bit under the weather but I'm still well enough to keep up with the exercise and such. I got a 3 mile run in yesterday along with some weights (focused on arms only). Today will be Turbo Kick.

I'm now down to my few weeks before my thyroid surgery so I spent some time yesterday wondering if I should have any specific goals for this month beyond: "keep working out and hope to lose weight". Whatever goal I pick though has to be flexible enough that I can still complete it along with a good amount of travel that I have planned for the next couple of weeks.

I saw on one running blog they were doing a mileage goal - get x amount of miles done before Thanksgiving. I kind of liked that one but didn't want anything too rigid or that required too much mileage in a week since I'm not doing a lot of running right now. But I think I could get to 50 miles for the entire month (that's 10-12 miles a week) so that's my goal for the moment. And I will set it up for myself that the mileage is from walking or running. I should still be able to get runs in while I'm out for work and personal travel. I'll have hotel gyms for my work travel and will be in Arizona for my personal travel so I assume I'll have decent outside weather for walk/runs while I'm there.

Right now my calorie counter says that if I run a flat mile at a 11 min pace I would burn 157 calories. So that multiplied by 50 miles equals 7,580. According to this article I could consume 4500 calories for Thanksgiving dinner so I should be good with surviving the holiday feasting. :)

I had originally planned on doing a Turkey Trot type of race (4 miles) on Thanksgiving morning but I didn't sign up early so now the fee for the race is $40 which to me is a bit much even if it is for a good cause.

In all seriousness though, I would really love to be done with mini-goal #4 (I think it was #4) and have 20% of my original body weight lost before my surgery. I need to be at 189 for this goal. I had some movement on the scale this morning - got rid of the weekend bloat - and was at 194 even. I think 5 pounds is possible for the month if I can keep on track. If I can be in the 180's before my surgery than I'll be very happy even though I didn't make my original hopes for goal weight. That original plan was unrealistic anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekly Recap (10/26-11/1)


  • Monday: Spin
  • Tuesday: Mile run and elliptical
  • Wednesday: Spin and half a Zumba class (it was our Zumba-ween party)
  • Thursday: Turbo Kick
  • Friday: Personal Trainer
  • Saturday: House cleaning and Trick or Treating
  • Sunday: Rest

Mostly good, I think. Not completely on track which is why no weight came off but I didn't feel guilty about anything either so I think that's good.

Weight - went up and back all week; up half a pound this morning from my lowest weight last week, 197'ish.

This week:
I need to get back on track for weights. I was fine on cardio last week but only got one day of weights in (my personal trainer day). While I count TurboKick as cardio and strength training I need to set aside the time for weights as well. For my days where I just list "cardio" it means I'll be at the gym and will probably either run or do the elliptical - I'll see where the spirit leads me.
  • Monday: Cardio and Weights
  • Tuesday: Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday: Spin
  • Thursday: Cardio and Weights
  • Friday: Personal Trainer
  • Saturday: Cardio and Weights
  • Sunday: Rest

Friday, October 30, 2015

Deep Thoughts

  • I have solid plans for Friday night which include margaritas, chips, and salsa. 
  • No weight will be lost this week.
  • Already sore from today's workout with the personal trainer.
  • Saturday will be my rest day.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Like a Sir

They put up some pictures from the Run for Your Life 5k. These aren't copyrighted or for sale so I feel free to share them here.

This was the first one I saw - me at the starting line (pink shirt, neon yellow visor). The first thing I thought was that my face reminded me of this meme.

That guy in the blue hat in front of me taunted me for the entire run. He was doing a run/walk thing and I had finally caught up and passed him but he beat me at the end - by a lot. See, I'm way in the background....

Here I am right before the 1 mile marker. The first mile was the hardest. I should probably warm up more before 5k's but I can never convince myself to spend the energy doing a warm up run.

The lady in the yellowish shirt and leggings also stuck by me for most of the run. I had just passed her at the point of the picture above and managed to stay in front but not by much.

Anyway, this week is going well. The candy dish is winning a bit more but nothing ridiculous. And the exercise is going well.

But will she survive the weekend? Only the shadow knows...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekly Results (10/19-10/25)


  • Monday: Spin
  • Tuesday: short run and short work out video
  • Wednesday: 3 mile run/walk
  • Thursday: Personal trainer
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Zumba
  • Sunday: 5k (which I almost forgot about even though it was just yesterday...)
Beautiful until the Friday BBQ. Downhill for the rest of Friday and Saturday. Not great but "ok" on Sunday.

Starting again today.

Weight Loss:
Haven't checked the weekend's potential gains but as mentioned before I was down last week. Got to 196.6 as of Friday morning.

Total Loss: 40.4 lbs in 20 weeks. 31.6 lbs to go for final goal weight.

I never talked about my next mini-goal after it took me more than 2 months to accomplish the last one. Mini-goal #4 is to lose 16 more lbs which would bring me to 183. My original goal date for this was October 31st. Aaah I was so naive and optimistic. Let's now just say I hope I get there before my thyroid surgery (Dec. 3rd) but if not I'll be happy with whatever I can lose between now and then. November is going to be challenging for me to stay on track with some things that I have coming up but I will do my best.

This week's schedule:

  • Monday: Spin
  • Tuesday: Run and weights
  • Wednesday: Zumba
  • Thursday: TurboKick
  • Friday: Personal Trainer
  • Saturday: Videos - probably a cardio and my strength one
  • Sunday: Rest day

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Run for Your Life 5k

So my initial hope for this race was to get done in under 33 minutes. But I didn't put the running time into my training. Then when I did,I couldn't do much more than 5 minutes at a time before wanting to crash. I've had issues this past week with my heart rate accelerating quickly and it's annoying.

Anyway, I went to the race today with no real hopes beyond hoping to be faster than the 37 minutes that I had for the last 5k.

It was supposed to be rainy but thankfully it was just overcast and chilly for the whole race. I first wondered if I should have worn long sleeves instead of capris and a t-shirt (it was in the 50's). But I knew I would warm up once I got going so I didn't worry too much about that. In fact, once I was 2 miles in I wished I had worn a tank top and shorts. Of course I was freezing at the end once my shirt was all sweaty and I was too lazy to walk to my car to get my jacket.

I ran for about 3 minutes before I felt out of breath. I thought it was a bad sign but I just tried to slow down and get through it. The initial rush of people passing me was over about half a mile in and then I started catching up to others who had started off too fast. I stayed about dead middle for the whole race (there were a good number of walkers). I made it to mile one at about 10:25.

Mile two was more closer to an 11 minute mile and then I took a one minute walking break. I had one more 1 minute walking break before mile three and actually made it to mile 3 before the 33 minute mark so that wasn't too bad. 

Then I thought I had the burst of energy to get through the last .12 mile but started to feel almost woozy about half way through that. I just kept on trucking and finished. 

So it wasn't as good as I initially hoped but much better than I expected. I didn't win any door prizes but did get some decent give aways.

All the same I think I'm cutting my runs down to two miles from here until January.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Here piggy piggy

Well, this morning (Friday) I was down to 196.6 which means I've passed the 40 lbs lost mark.

Then this afternoon we had BBQ and wings from Slick Pig.

40 pounds regained. No regrets.

Pay off

Motivation is helped when you actually see your actions pay off.

Thursday morning's weigh in: 197.6

This is actually how I look in Zumba...
After my personal training session I weighed myself again on the gym scale and it was 198.6 (fully clothed and with shoes on). So this puts me in a better mental place than where I was last week. However, just the day before (Wednesday) I looked at an uncooperative scale and said out loud, "weight loss is stupid." So I try to remember that it's not all about the number.

The meal plan is going well. I'm going to save the flank steak (which turned into flat iron steak once I compared prices) since I have loads of leftovers in the fridge that need to be eaten. So far, so good on the candy front but it hasn't been easy.

I did an interval run on Wednesday. I used the C210K app and went back to week 5 day 1 - 5 minutes running and 3 minutes walking (repeat 3 times). The 5 minutes about killed me. I don't know what is up with my running endurance right now. But I'm not going to dwell on it - if I'm slow then so be it.

Got my stitches out which was a relief and at first the thumb was looking good but by the evening the skin flap was flapping so I'll still be in a bandage for several more days. Stupid vegetable slicer...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"The Race with a Drinking Problem"

A friend put this on my radar the other day and I think it would be fun to do it:

The Wicked Wine Run 5k/1k - April 30th, 2016

According to their website they set it up as a regular 5k trail run with wine at the end and/or then a 1k walk around 4 wine tasting stations. The cost to do both is $45 if you register before Jan. 20th. Obviously this would be like any other fun run in that it wouldn't be for the "time" but rather a social event.

But I like wine and I like fun runs that don't involve mud or colored powder being hurled at you so I think this will go on the 2016 race list. Even if I do have to call it a "race".

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clearance pants failure

I had this morning off from work (typed on Tuesday) since I had to take the kids to the dentist. I tried to make good use of some extra time to get a run in before that appointment. It's been pretty chilly here in the mornings and I was looking to wear my running pants rather than capris. I found a pair of pants I got off a clearance rack a few months ago. They were an XL which means they fit my thighs fine but were way too big on my waist - the joy of being pear shaped.

I remembered that I had issues with these falling off my hips the couple of times I wore them previously but thought I could get through a run. Nope. Flashing people all over my neighborhood. Hope they liked my pink granny panties.

So with stopping to pull up my pants every 5 steps and just not feeling very energetic overall I didn't get much of a run in. I ended up doing 1.8 miles in 27 minutes. Awesome sauce! (she types sarcastically) This bodes well for Sunday's 5k.

I just didn't have it in me this morning. Of course I made it easier on myself by saying I could get in extra cardio at the end of the day - but that won't actually happen. I then tried to get in some strength training with a video workout but only had time for about 1/2 of it and really struggled through that half. Still - at least I did get exercise in today and if I stay on track with my planned calories it will be ok.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On my grocery list

I've slacked a bit in meal planning which always leads to bad dietary choices. There isn't a magic formula for losing weight but it does take some planning.

I spent some time Monday morning making a meal plan and grocery list. While I haven't done the data on each day it should keep me in the 1200-1500 calorie range. Monday, for example, is around 1250-1300. The bottom row is for snacks - I usually have a morning and afternoon snack and when I'm at work it's always the same: Celery and Hummus and Cottage Cheese. I love, love, LOVE the celery and hummus. It's a highlight of my morning. Yes, I am that sad and pathetic..

The lamb/pita/hummus dish on Monday is leftovers from Sunday's dinner. Overall it's a pretty healthy dish since the lamb was done in the crockpot with crushed tomatoes, chick peas, eggplant, onions, and spices. I meant to put potatoes in it but forgot. It would have been better if I seared the lamb before putting it in the crock pot but I didn't have time for that on Sunday morning when I made it.

I picked up some pitas that I used to get all the time during our time in Connecticut. I plan to get more because they are great on the calorie/carb/fiber scale.

Now it's just a matter of avoiding the candy drawers/bowls in our office.

Monday, October 19, 2015

"I do not need a donut" - repeat often, as needed.

Willpower, willpower - were art thou willpower?

This has been a very long morning already and I'm only 1.5 hours into work. I've decided I have to go cold turkey for a couple weeks again with the sugar stuff. There is no middle ground right now apparently.

I only had two exercise days last week. Two. And I have to push myself to do it this week. I'm really scared of this current place of feeling so blasé about the whole thing. This is where I could fall off the wagon.

So exercise plans for this week:

  • Monday - Spin
  • Tuesday - Personal Trainer or morning run and video (plans are still being finalized)
  • Wednesday -TBD
  • Thursday - Personal Trainer or TurboKick (plans are still being finalized)
  • Friday - Spin
  • Saturday - Zumba
  • Sunday - Run for Your Life 5k
I will do something on Wednesday but I'm not sure what I'll be able to fit in. It might just be a video at home that night.  My lunch will be taken that day as I go to get the stitches out of Frankenthumb. I'll be glad to be done with those though I think I'll still need to cover it for another week or so.

Diet wise - no more candy or cookies or extra carbs for the week. Sigh - diets are boring.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My skirt weighs 0.8 pounds

Three(ish) months ago I had my annual physical with my doctor (required by insurance but something that I would have done anyway). I talked about it here.

At that appointment I weighed in at 223, which was 14 pounds lighter than I had been a month earlier so while not thrilled with that weight I was happy with what I had achieved so far.

Because I lost weight so rapidly in those first couple of months I had really hoped to be in the 180's by the time I saw him again for an accountability appointment regarding my weight loss (my suggestion to schedule it). I didn't anticipate getting stuck in the low 200's for so long.

As I already posted, I had made it under 200 last week but with less exercise this week and a crappy diet I've crept up a pound or two again so today I weighed in at 202 something but they recorded 201 (they take off a pound or so for clothes/shoes). I did however, weigh myself in two different outfits this morning and picked the lighter skirt of the two... Vanity - ugh.

So in my head I'm like: "Crap! Still in the 200's. I'm a failure!!!"

My doctor is far more positive. He was like: "WOW! 22 pounds in 3 months that's fantastic!" Whatever BMI scale he uses puts me in the 29 range so I'm still out of the obese category which in the end is what I was aiming for. I'm really trying to keep my head in the same positive space that he's in but it's a struggle.

Because I'm really struggling with finding motivation right now. Not so much with exercise - even though this week I've been not as enthused about exercising and barely made it to my personal trainer session today - I'm not really worried about that, I'm just in a "everything is blah" hormonal place this week. I know myself well enough to not judge my whole future on how I feel in a bad hormonal place.

But I am back to mindless eating of crap and sugar and I know while I'm doing it that it's not accomplishing what I think it will accomplish but I can't make myself stop. It's probably also hormone related so I hope to snap out of it within the next few days.

It will be beautiful this weekend so I'm going to get some outdoor runs in - even if they turn into run/walks. And I have to decide if I'm going to do a costume for the 5k next weekend. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bubba-Gump Pumpkin Spice

Nothing too exciting to blog about - just random thoughts...

Such as:

  • I don't recommend eating a Spicy Black Bean Gardenburger right before working out. Gastric unpleasantness will abound.
  • If you've taken several days off of exercising you probably shouldn't jump into using 10-lb hand weights while doing the exercise mentioned above.
  • Use the time while you're collapsed on the floor, wondering if you're going to hurl because of that stupid black bean burger, to remind yourself that you do actually like to exercise.
  • I'm thankful for wi-fi coverage that allows me to stream a video while using the elliptical which is otherwise mind-numbingly boring.
  • It's hard to put on a bra, put on deodorant, and shave when only one of your thumbs is functional (especially when  it's the thumb on your dominant hand).
  • I'm completely addicted to Pumpkin Spice creamer. And it's not diet friendly - but I don't care.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Obligatory Weekly Results

Another good few days during the weekdays but crashing on the weekend. I haven't even weighed myself yet for this week as I know I'm probably right back at 200 or 201.


Here's what I did:
  • Monday: 1 mile run and Spin
  • Tuesday: Personal Trainer
  • Wednesday: Spin and Zumba
  • Thursday: TurboKick
  • Friday: 4 mile run/walk, weights, and spin
  • Saturday: No "exercise" but a lot of yard work that burned calories.
  • Sunday: Nothing.
My body was done on Saturday - I had planned to do Zumba that morning but I had several different physical indicators that I needed a rest day. I had tried to run a 5k distance outside on Friday but only got a mile in because my legs were just exhausted. The first mile was done in about 10:20 though.  The rest of it was walk/run.

Sunday night I tried to slice off the tip of my thumb while using my mandoline (vegetable slicer). It required a trip to the ER and 4 stitches.

I approve of this coffee.
It could have been worse and now I call it "Frankenthumb" and chase my children around saying that Frankenthumb wants to eat their brains. 

Besides the traumatic thumb injury and dealing with the insurance aftermath of a hit and run (on one of our parked cars) I enjoyed a couple days off of work and am now ready to tackle yet another week. 

Tentative Schedule
  • Monday - I was lazy and took another rest day. Thumb recovery and all that...
  • Tuesday - I'll try to get a walk in, no promises...
  • Wednesday - Spin
  • Thursday - TurboKick
  • Friday - Personal Trainer
  • Saturday - Zumba
  • Sunday - Run, weights, and swim

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Merely overweight

The 199 on the scale has been a long time in coming. I haven't been under 200 since late 2011. I remember being in the 190's when I did the triathlon in September 2011 and I know I crept up on the scale after that but I don't know when exactly I passed the 200 mark. I do remember that I was above 210 by February of 2012.

Back in 2006 when I first got under 200 - really for the first time since I was 17 or 18 - I swore I would never let it get back over 200 again. Of course I had a second child in 2007 and hung on to that baby weight for a while but it did go down once I started exercising again. From 2012 to 2014 there just wasn't any regular exercising going on at all.

The key for me is exercising. Diet is important, of course, but I can maintain my weight or at least keep the gains minimal if I'm also exercising. And the thing is, I'm strong. I might not be able to keep up for long with a high intensity cardio or a fast run but I am strong. I can do higher weights than my trainer right now and I can definitely keep up with any of my peers in the exercise classes that I take.

So often I feel my inadequacy rather than my strengths. So today is a day to remember my strengths.

199 brings me to a new category on the BMI scale - overweight instead of obese. I know BMI can be argued against because it doesn't factor in our different body types and muscle percentage. I use it just as one of my tools in measuring my overall health. But the fact is that this type of scale is used and being "obese" even if I don't look like it or am exercising regularly still counts against me on my health insurance and every other type of assessment tool.

For my height I would have to be 168 before being in the "normal weight" category. It is an eventual goal but I think once I get into the 180's my focus will be on body fat percentages rather than weight. I don't plan on going crazy with muscle building but I do like defined arms, legs, and abs and my clothes size flatters my vanity more than the weight on the scale.

Last week I had the chance to do some shopping. I had been waiting to shop because I didn't want to buy useless in-between sizes. But I really needed some more shirts for work as everything was feeling too big and flowy - that's what I wanted 6 months ago but no longer. I had a couple hours to kill with no one waiting on me so I took my time to explore all the sections of Macy's and to try on several different items. I found a dress I really loved in a size 10 and it fit - probably didn't look as good as it will after another 10-15 lbs are lost but it did fit. All the other size 12's fit and I even got a medium shirt. I ended up not getting the dress because I couldn't justify the need/cost for it when there were several other items I would wear on a weekly basis for work but it was fun to shop and try on clothes.

Also, remember a few weeks ago when I said I tried on my size 12 jeans and while they could be buttoned they weren't comfortable? They now feel great.

So even though the scale progress has been slow over the past few weeks there is progress being made. And I'm happy with where I'm at in this moment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

At last

Here's a pleasant surprise from this morning... One-derland!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An extra coffee type of week

While the stress and amount of work I deal with has gone down this week I'm still trying to recover on the energy side. Yesterday (Monday) was a bit like trying to crawl through molasses - or at least how I imagine something like that would be (having never actually crawled through molasses).

I remembered my vitamins (also lacking in my diet recently) and got some extra coffee. The first student I met with probably thought I was losing my mind, or an idiot, because it was so hard to focus on what she was saying and what I needed to say back to her. It got better as the day went on but it was still just a low energy day.

Still I made it to exercise during lunch. I got there a few minutes before spin class began so I jumped on the treadmill for a quick run. I was able to get a mile done with 3/4 of it at a 10:00 min/pace and the last 1/4 at a 8:34 min/pace. With the wee bit of walking at the beginning just as the treadmill came up to speed I got the mile done in less than 10 minutes which was nice. I didn't feel too awful doing it - definitely tired at the end but not dying. Spin made me want to die afterwards as she was in love with seated climbs for that session (and I got a weird bike that was either too light or too heavy on the resistance).

Diet was on track. I had a couple of indulgences but they were ok in the overall scheme - sure better choices could be made but it's all about balance right? Or at least that's what people say. Weight came down a little just from one day of being good so I should be back to where I was before the weekend binge pretty soon.

Couple of other changes, I'll end up meeting with my personal trainer today (Tuesday) so TurboKick is moved to Thursday. And my rest day will be changed to Sunday as the gym will be closed for the weekend. I only have 2.5 weeks until that 5k I signed up for so I want to get a couple of outside runs but for now a better time is definitely possible.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Man Overboard! Or just the Weekly Recap

It wasn't a stellar end to the week but I started off pretty well. Last week was the last of my current "super stressful, incredibly busy, please just shoot me now" weeks of this semester. Once I got to Saturday afternoon my body just shut down on me. So I ended up with a couple of extra rest days and too much eating on the weekend but I don't care - sometimes you just have to say "I'll try again tomorrow because I just want to stay in my bed today."


  • Monday: Spin
  • Tuesday: I was going to walk but it was really rainy. This was an active day though so it's not really a rest day but it's not quite enough to track as actual exercise.
  • Wednesday: Hotel gym elliptical, mile run, and weights
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer workout - weights and abs. I did a little cardio on my own as warm up.
  • Friday: Elliptical
  • Saturday/Sunday: Extra rest days. 
Diet/Weight Loss Results
No weight loss for my Monday weigh-in but that was because I ate too much on Sunday and actually had a weight gain. But as of Saturday morning I was still at 200.6. The extra I ate on Sunday should even itself out over the week as I get back on track. Overall my diet wasn't great this past week because of all the travel and catered meals I had. But I didn't overdo it until the weekend when I was just too tired to care. I also started getting sick which along with the stress and exhaustion put its toll on my body and motivation.

A Brand New Week
But the good news is that last weekend is all in the past now and I shall "let it go" as my favorite Disney philosopher states. My trainer wants to see my food log so that should help me get over my snacking indulgences and rationalizations. My doctor weighs me in next week (this was part of my accountability measures) and I really want to be under 200 so my chart no longer says obese. So I have some definite, definable goals. Here is my plan for now but I already know that my Thursday session needs to be rescheduled so that will probably mean an adjustment to one of the other days listed. But for now...
  • Monday: Spin
  • Tuesday: TurboKick
  • Wednesday: Rest?
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer
  • Friday: long outside run and weights
  • Saturday: Zumba
  • Sunday: Elliptical/Weights/Swim

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On the bus

Just a quick post before I get on a bus (ugh) for a couple hours to head even deeper south.

I did well yesterday so I was hoping for a loss on the scale this morning and I got one - down to 200.8. This officially puts me past the halfway mark! 36.2 lbs lost with 35.8 lbs to go.

My final weight goal is my dream weight so it will take me a while to get there, if ever - the most I've lost before is about 10 lbs heavier than that.

I really want to get to one-derland this week so I'll do my best to make good food choices though with traveling it won't be easy.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Results, or Monday Check In, or whatever I'm going to end up calling this...

It's been the kind of week where I can't be bothered to go back and see what "number" week it is anymore so I'll just change it to a weekly check-in. Maybe I'll still celebrate monthly anniversaries. We'll see - it's not like I've lost much in the past month.


  • Monday: Was supposed to go to spin but it was cancelled so I went to a boot-camp type of class. I've been avoiding boot camp classes since they normally include things like burpees and mountain climbers. The class itself wasn't bad (there were none of the afore mentioned exercises) but it killed my hamstrings and they were sore for the next 3 days.
  • Tuesday: TurboKick class. Fun, was easier mentally to get through since I knew what to expect, but it didn't really help the hamstring situation. It also added quad soreness as well.
  • Wednesday: Spin and some arm weights
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer day. We focused mostly on weights. All the exercises were the same from the previous week but I either went up in weight or reps (or both). I was able to hold the wall squat for longer. We didn't have time for the cardio intervals - ah shucks...
  • Friday: Rest day. Now my arms were killing me - especially my right shoulder.
  • Saturday: About a 5k run (inside track). My splits were 10:54, 10:47, and 10:42. I went 20 laps which might not quite be a 5k but it is longer than 3 miles. My total time was right at 33 minutes. I felt pretty good for this run - now I just need to do it outside. I also did some weights - lighter on the arm weights but I needed something to work out my arms. And about 30 minutes of swimming laps.
  • Sunday: I was going to get a walk in before the Harry Potter birthday party madness but that didn't happen. I figured I burned at least 1000 calories which all the running around I did that day though so it was not a rest day - just hard to track without a FitBit type of device.
During the Sorting ceremony. I was Trelawney.
Why bother even including this category? 

Weight Check:
I started the week at 202, went up to 203.8, and finished at 201.8. A loss is a loss.

This week:
This is a weird week for planning anything. I travel for two full days so some of this is just what I hope to get done.
  • Monday: Spin class
  • Tuesday: Walk
  • Wednesday: whatever I can fit in at the hotel gym
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer day
  • Friday: Probably a run and some weights
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Run, weights, and swim

Friday, September 25, 2015

Then there's this...

I forgot, I did so something moderately exciting this week. I signed up for another 5k for a month from now.

I accepted but hated my last 5k time (37'ish minutes) because I know I can go much faster than that - even when I'm not in the best shape. So this is a chance to redeem myself a bit.

Whereas with the Doughboy Challenge I didn't set up any concrete time goals I do have some for this one. I want 11 min/mile averages (or faster). I might be able to get closer to a 10:30-10:45 average based on my recent runs. However, my recent runs have been kept shorter - most around 2-2.5 miles so I first need to see if I can keep up the pace for a longer run.

So, I'll add more running back into my weekly workouts. I'll start off this Saturday by doing a timed treadmill run for 3 miles. I'll keep the first 2 miles at 11 m/m and then try to up the speed for the last mile. If I find that I'm able to do this fairly easily then I'll push my time goals up a bit. But I also need to be running outside too to make sure I can do it on the real road. But late October should give us lovely weather - as long as the rain stays away.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The stomach wants what it wants...

Selena got it wrong - it's not the heart but the stomach.

I really want Panda Express for lunch. Students keep getting it and bringing it into my building and the smell is killing me.

So I thought today, "well I could save my salad for my dinner and have a heavier lunch" (which is probably better anyways). Surely there's something that will be ok for me to eat there...

Nope. Ok, sure if I got a side of vegetables and the beef and broccoli which isn't too bad but I want the carbs and starchiness of the chow mien or rice. And the fried spicy goodness of the Beijing Beef. Those two combined are almost 1000 calories, 48g of fat, and 111g carbs. Ugh.

Boring salad it is...

As for the rest of this week, once again I'm doing great with exercise but still snacking too much. I haven't lost any more weight yet so I won't get to 1-derland this week (unless there's a weekend miracle - which won't happen because we'll have a b-day party with cake, candy, and yummy food).  Oh well, at least I'm staying active.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 15 Results

I can't remember what week I'm on anymore... I have to look back at the previous post.

Great week - very happy with everything. Only one fun meme to post today as I don't have time to search for them.


  • Monday: Elliptical and Ult. Sculpt video
  • Tuesday: Abs and Tone and Elliptical/Run
  • Wednesday: Spin
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer workout
  • Friday: 44 min run 
  • Saturday: Zumba (Saturday mornings are way more peppier than Wednesday nights)
  • Sunday: Rest day - didn't do anything, it was great

Meh. I'm kind of tracking. As mentioned before I'm still higher on the carbs and sugar intake than I should be but since it's a stressful time I'm not beating myself up about it. I ate more over the weekend because I just kept feeling like I need to snack on things.

Have I already used this one?
Even with the snacking I didn't put anything back on this weekend.
  • Weekly Weight Loss: 5.2 lb. (202)
  • Overall Weight Loss: 37 lb.
  • Mini-Goal #3: 8 lbs out of 11
I'm comfortable in my size 12 clothes right now. I'm able to pull out older skirts and slacks that I haven't worn in quite a while. When I look in the mirror I go back and forth between liking what I see and focusing on the parts that still are round and flabby. I really try not to because I know there's a disconnect there - that the parts I don't like will always seem worse than they may really be in reality. And even as I lose more weight that I'll always have a muffin top so I might as well accept it. That's what happens after two large babies and a lifetime of being overweight - I'll have saggy skin there. But there is LESS there so in the end it's still a good thing.

Week 16 Schedule:
Here's what I have planned for now. I would be thrilled to get under 200 this week but we'll just have to see what my body does and how I do with snacking impulses. It's another crazy week (I have a couple more before things calm down again) so I can't make any guarantees.
  • Monday: Spin and Ult Sculpt video
  • Tuesday: Turbo Kick (if it's not cancelled)
  • Wednesday: Spin or something else
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer workout
  • Friday: Rest day (my schedule is way busy)
  • Saturday: Something at the rec center - probably a mix of run/weights/swim
  • Sunday: Walk

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hell to the yeah

First, this week is almost over. Thank God.

Exercise has been great this week. Even though there have been times where I wanted to curl up and die (just a little).

I met with my personal trainer for our first workout on Thursday. We did a little bit of a warm up and then moved to the weight room. We started off with bicep curls (15 reps)- no biggie. Then instead of taking a break between sets she moved me over to wall squats (30-36 seconds). Those wall squats were the first thing to make me want to die a little. I've done loads of squats in the last several weeks but nothing that low or for holding that long. There were four sets of these.

Then we did tricep pulls and glute presses - triceps were more difficult than the glutes but it was at this point that my stomach was telling me that eating a salad an hour earlier wasn't the best idea. I survived but it wasn't fun.

Then there were shoulder presses and rows. Then a hellish cardio run - 6.0 incline with jogging intervals. The jogs weren't fast but they were awful at that incline. My heart jumped up to the 170 range and I really wasn't feeling that salad. I wanted to quit or lower the incline through 80% of it. But I stuck it out and didn't barf - I think that qualifies as success. We ended with ab work that focused on the lower abs - which is what I want but good god...

Anyway, I was worn out. I still had to give a presentation at work afterwards. I used a bar stool to sit and present. But as I told the trainer: I may grimace, grunt, and complain but this is all good stuff. It's pushing me to do things that I don't push myself to do on my own workouts. Like there is no way I'll ever set the treadmill to a 6.0 on my own - it's just not going to happen.

As mentioned earlier this week, I'm trying to keep the eating under control but I'm failing on the sugar end. Most of it is because I'm exhausted this week and sugar is the comfort food. However, things must be balancing out because I'm still losing weight this week.

This morning I was another 2 pounds down! I'm now right at 202.0.

That's 35 pounds lost. One more pound to be at my half-way point. And 3 more pounds to get to the next BMI range (which is mini-goal #3 I believe, maybe it's #4 - who knows, doesn't matter).

I'm exhausted but life is good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In spite of...

In spite of a heavier carb day because there ended up being a Sister Schubert roll and some chocolate chips in my diet before the night ended the scale went down some more at this morning's check-in.

I'm back to, and slightly below, the low weight of a couple weeks ago = 204.2. I'm almost to my half way point.

I also took measurements and I've trimmed up in a few areas. My body fat % is continuing to drop as well.

All. Great. Things.

And all good reminders that being militant and strict about your diet and exercise plan might give you quicker results but that life style will never be maintained over the long run. Life and candy happens but there can also be balance. It's not a failure if I keep moving forward.

I may not lose anymore this week but I'm happy with what I saw this morning. And my body is super sore from the boot camp type of class yesterday - so in spite of my grumblings it was also a good thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

10 Things I Hate About Bootcamp

  1. Walking lunges
  2. Mountain climbers
  3. High Knees
  4. Planks
  5. Any other jumping exercises
  6. Repeat the last 5 (because that's what he made us do!)
Today (Tuesday) was supposed to be Turbo Kick but it got cancelled so I went to Abs and Tone instead. Since that class is only 30 minutes I try to add some cardio before and after. So I got 20 minutes of the elliptical first and then happily bounced into class.

But we had a substitute. And he turned Abs and Tone into Bootcamp. I gave him my "mom look" a couple of times.

To be honest the only thing I really hated were the mountain climbers (which we had to do twice). But good Lord are my legs sore. I did my toning video that has a lot of squats and lunges in it last night so my legs weren't ready for anymore of those exercises today. 

I tried to run another 10 minute mile after the class but I only got about 5 minutes in. I switched to intervals after that to finish up the mile. I went as fast as a 8.0 (7:30 mile) but that wasn't even for a full minute and as slow as walking at a 3.0.

The scale has floated back down to 205 which was lovely to see after 2.5 weeks of it hovering between 207 and 209. It's still about 1/2 a pound higher than my low weight 3 weeks ago but we're getting there. I'm really trying to be better with my diet this week but am seeing how allowing yourself even a couple of small indulgences here and there add the carbs up pretty quickly.

I have my Doctor's office weight check in about 5 weeks. This was just something I set up to help me with accountability. I had hoped to already be under 200 lbs at this point so I'm readjusting my expectations. By that appointment, at a minimum, I want to be 199 which puts me in the regular "overweight" BMI category for my height. Anything beyond that would be lovely but we'll just have to see how it goes. I'm not going to get close to goal weight by December. Things are just going to go slower now. And that's fine - as long as I'm making progress I'm ok with losing weight slowly (at least the rational part of me is ok with that). I even told the trainer that I'd rather work on losing inches and building muscle rather than losing weight. I know some of it goes hand in hand but if I can fit into my clothes better that's more gratifying than a number on a scale. Still it would be nice to be losing at least a pound a week.

Until next time...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 14 Results

It's my busy time of year at work so I'll have less posts over the next 3-4 weeks. While I'm not as "on-track" as I have been I'm still moving forward.
  • Monday: 30 minute interval runs "speed-work" on treadmill and weights
  • Tuesday: 1.5 mile run, 30 min elliptical, 10 min/mile run
  • Wednesday: Zumba
  • Thursday: mini-work - some cardio and weights (assessment with the trainer)
  • Friday: rest day
  • Saturday: 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minute/mile run, weights
  • Sunday: 3.5 mile walk
I haven't been good at tracking this past week so I don't know my estimated burn versus calorie intake. My diet still isn't on track but it wasn't as out of control as week 13. I didn't gain any additional pounds this past week and I think I finally resettled after the carb-fest. Weigh-in this morning was 207.6. So up 3 pounds from a couple of weeks ago but nothing to freak out over.

Here's what I hope to do for week 15 but it will probably have to be adjusted if I can't get to the Tuesday/Wednesday classes. Or I may adjust after getting feedback from the trainer on Thursday.
  • Monday: elliptical and weights
  • Tuesday: Turbo Kick
  • Wednesday: Spin
  • Thursday: trainer session
  • Friday: speedwork and weights
  • Saturday: walk/rest
  • Sunday: run or elliptical, weights, and swim

Friday, September 11, 2015

Quick Recap

Met with the trainer. I liked her. This meeting was just the initial assessment so I have yet to get a work out with her. I anticipate it will be a love/hate relationship once we get going. But here's a recap...

  1. She doesn't like Burpees or Mountain Climbers either.  She doesn't see the point of them. She said, "you can do squats and push-ups - you don't have to combine the two and look like an idiot while doing so" (italics are my emphasis). I almost asked her to marry me.
  2. She got a big smile on her face when she realized I did indeed have a base level of fitness. She's excited that we can do more things.
  3. I've asked her to teach me how to properly use the free weights and bar weights. I want to play with the big boys and get away from the machines when I can.
  4. Number two should make me scared but as long as the evil exercises aren't going to pop up I'm am indeed up for anything.
  5. I can leg bench press 200 lbs. I'm pretty awesome.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Imaginary Conversations

Meeting my trainer for the first time this afternoon. When signing up I wrote that I had no preference for having a girl or guy trainer - I ended up with a girl. Some gals might feel more comfortable training with another girl but my first thought is, "crap - she's going to kill me". My experience is that you can get away with less whining with a girl trainer, guys are easier to manipulate.

But here's how I imagine our conversation going this afternoon:

Trainer: "So what do you hope to accomplish during our sessions?"
Me: "I want to push myself and get stronger. I'm up for anything except burpees and mountain climbers. If you can just eliminate those exercises from your repertoire we'll get along just fine."

Believe me, there are plenty of other exercises that I hate but I'm willing to do if it accomplishes a goal. Planks are high on that list along with any other exercises that involves jumping. But those burpees and mountain climbers make me want to die inside.

In other random ramblings, last night was my last Wednesday Zumba night for a while. She started off with this song as her warm up:

Kind of a different song for Zumba but I really enjoyed it because I had an instant flash back to 2005 when I listened to this song while being this much pregnant:

My son was born in late September so this song got me through those agonizing last 3-4 weeks. Now 10 years later I'm up to my ears in planning a Harry Potter themed birthday party. The things you do for your kids... I'm also going to a Girl Scout meeting with my daughter who is VERY EAGER to try it out - that also makes me want to die inside (because of all the things they'll require me to commit and volunteer to).

And finally, while this week is completely crazy there's always this:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Running Goals

I mentioned before that I was actually taking on a little speed work in my weekly workouts. Nothing specific or scientific - like fartleks (he he) but more like flexible tempo runs.

I just pick a speed on the treadmill and go for a while, then slow down when I need to, then pick it back up again. And when I'm done, I'm done.

Like Phoebe, I'm trying to keep the joy in running.

I almost went to a boot camp class on Tuesday afternoon but I wasn't able to get out of my office early enough. Instead I started off on the indoor track thinking I would go 2-3 miles at my normal pace. I did the first mile around 10:25 (this pace seems to be a new normal now as I've done this fairly consistently over the past couple of weeks). But I'm worn out after that first mile so I took a walking break and then picked it up again. I only got halfway through the second mile when I felt tired and bored of the track. I dropped down to a quick walking break that turned into, "well I'm done with this" after about 10 seconds. I, however, wasn't done with cardio though so I switched over to the ellipticals for a while.

Ellipticals aren't that much more exciting but I got through my goal of a 400 calorie burn (took about 30 minutes). I still felt like I had enough energy to try another 10 minute mile before I was done. Also, I felt a bit guilty over the amount of mini donuts I had eaten that day and figured burning another 100+ calories wouldn't be a bad thing.

And so I switched over to the treadmill punched the 6.0 setting and off I went. The first few minutes were fine. At 5 minutes I felt done but I kept telling myself, "just 1 minute more". Then I was at 9 minutes and it was silly to give up. I'm sure the people next to me thought I was going to die at any second as my breathing was really labored. I couldn't quite hear how loud it was over my headphones but I'm sure it was bad.

But the point was that I survived and I pushed my workout longer by adapting. If I had stuck it out on the inside track I could have ran another 5 minutes to finish up that second mile and then I would have felt done for the day. Instead I got another 40 minutes worth of cardio in while still pushing myself beyond my comfort levels.

My fastest 5k (2010) had a pace of 9:14/mile. The fastest mile (by itself) that I ever ran was just under 8 minutes (seems crazy to me now as just running 1 minute at a 8:34 pace is agony). My first 5k (2009) was a pace of 10:01/mile. In early 2009 I wasn't in that much better of shape than I am now so getting back to this pace at my current fitness level is attainable.

And that's my current running goal - to get back to running a 10 min pace without it feeling like death after only 1 mile. I have no interest in pushing beyond a 5k distance right now. I'll re-evaluate after another month but going slow for a longer distance does not currently thrill me at all. This is kind of funny because in the past I would have always chosen distance over speed.

Over the next couple of weeks I won't be able to go to as many classes as I have been enjoying due to scheduling conflicts so I'll spend more time looking at running short distances. I'll just keep mixing it up so it stays interesting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 13 Results

I'm running behind and slightly off the wagon. Exercise is decent - diet is bad. But here's a quick recap of last week's exercise if nothing else. I still haven't heard from the personal trainer so no updates on that yet.

  • Monday - spin
  • Tuesday - went to Turbo Kick but it was cancelled so I got about 25 minutes worth of elliptical and the Abs and Tone class.  I managed to overwork a back muscle from that class.
  • Wednesday - Zumba
  • Thursday - Quick run, 2 miles plus warm up/cool down walk
  • Friday - Elliptical for 35 minutes, Run - 1 mile at a 10:00 pace.
  • Saturday - I thought the rec center was closed for the weekend (turns out it wasn't) and it was too hot (for me) to run outside. I kept meaning to do something else but never got around to it so I eventually just called it my "rest" day.
  • Sunday - Forgot that I signed up to donate platelets. No exercise again due to cautionary restrictions.
Friday's run was kind of fun. I wanted to see if I could do a whole 10 minutes at a 6.0 (or 10 min pace) on the treadmill. The last two minutes were pretty painful but I got it done. Since I don't have enough time for longer runs I'm trying to up the intensity in my shorter runs. My theory is that I'll eventually get quicker over the longer runs as well if I keep this up.

I did exercise on Monday and had another good run that involved speed work. I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill and would work my way up to a 7.0 (8:30 pace) for one minute at a time. I probably did that 4-5 times. There were several minutes at a 10:00 min pace (6.0) and several at a 12:00 min pace (5.0), and a couple walking breaks. During the last 10 minutes it was harder to keep up the higher speeds. There was also an awkward, "is he trying to flirt with me and if so, why?" encounter. Seriously, the guy was staring at me the whole time I was on the treadmill doing speed work (which is not my most attractive look - red faced feeling like I'm going to puke), then he talked to me after, and seemed to follow me around a bit. He didn't strike me as a weirdo but it was weird for me. I don't normally have weird gym encounters so it was a novel and confusing experience. 

And the diet. Oh so bad. There is no diet right now. I'll get back on track but my mom is visiting and there are a lot of goodies to eat.

So not surprisingly, I have gained weight. It might be one pound or three pounds it keeps swinging back and forth. My primary goal right now is to just keep exercising and to try some moderation.