Focusing on my WHY

If I don't know why I'm doing this, I won't stick with it.

My Profile

  • Name: Tawanda
  • City: Frederick
  • Region: Maryland
  • Country: United States

My Weight Loss

Height: 177.8cm
Start weight: 296.00lb
Current weight: 225.00lb
Goal weight: 180.00lb
Lost to date: 71.00lb
Remaining: 45.00lb

My Calendar

May '15
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My Photos

Before After

Been entirely too long

Hey, it's been way too long since I've been on this site. This is where it all first blog ever.

I guess when things get out of control and you lose your should always try to get back to the basics. Go back to where you started so you can see how far you've come.

Thank you Kellmerr for coming by and checking in on me...I'll make it a point to check in here a few times a month.

Race Day 2007 - BlueCross BlueShield Half Marathon

I had only about 4 hours of sleep. I couldn’t get to sleep the night before and the morning of I wanted to get there early to be able to park for the race. As excited as I was it quickly became a frustrating morning.

The alarm went off at 4:30 AM and I hit snooze…the second time it went off I was up. My DH stayed up entirely too late the night before (playing PS2, come on) and didn’t want to budge when I first tried to wake him. So I go and get the baby (she’s 2…LOL!) dressed, pack up her diapers, wipes, snacks…you know the usual stuff. Go back into our bedroom and DH is still asleep. So I go and get up my 8 year old and get him dressed and downstairs. Finally, hubby decides to join the land of the living. Okay, so he’s tired right and he’s got this chip on his freaking shoulder like it’s my fault he overslept. He starts yelling about how I should’ve had all this done last night. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of dressing kids the night before…every time I’ve done that they ended up having an “accident.”

So I’m trying to not let his attitude affect my mood. I’m counting to ten, I’m taking deep breaths, and I’m letting the sarcastic comments slide…all to avoid an argument. So at around 6:30 we finally headed out the door to head to Baltimore. DH ran back in the house a few times because we forgot something…have no idea what it was now. It was chilly and dark, but the sky was beautiful…it seemed that the stars shone just for me.  (Did I just write that sappy sentence?) Any who, the GPS mapped our route and we were off. Traffic was surprisingly congested considering it was a Saturday morning…where were these people going? I was supposed to be in the car eating my oatmeal, but with all the butterflies in my stomach there just wasn’t any room for food. The drive seemed forever…it was as if we were only doing 10 miles an hour…when I looked over the cruise control was set at 70 MPH.

Upon arriving at the stadium we were attempting to park in the same lot we did as race packet pickup, but there was so much traffic we decided the further away from the event the better. I called Katie and left her a message to see where they were. I wanted to see Kate and Rachel off on their full marathon, but if you’ve never experienced one of MD’s early freight trains, that didn’t happen. The first train literally took 15 minutes to go by and as soon as we ended over to the exit of the parking lot the gates went down again. By that time we had to find our FIRM friends. Before I could meet up with them we stopped at the bathrooms to allow my 8 year old to go. And then I saw how there was a table set up with people who had not picked up their race packets and boxes of race shirts. So let’s just say that Under Armor large and the large sized shirts I buy are too different kinds of large. When I picked up my shirt and then saw it…it looked like it was for my 8 year old. The shirt was so small that if I tried to put it on I would’ve had to have plastic surgery to remove. So I quickly ran over and exchanged it for an extra large…the lady said they were out and only had 2X available…we both said “even better” at the same time and got a great chuckle out of it.

From there Katie guided me through the city so I could find the “gals” before the 5K started. I briefly said my good lucks and hellos, because I had just ditched DH across the street who was horrible (sorry honey) at maneuvering the stroller. Afterwards, I introduced DH and 2/3 of my children to Lori and Steph. I’m not sure if I told them this or not, but I was explaining to my hubby that he should think twice when he says the people in the infomercial aren’t real. So we followed them to the start of the half, which I’m glad we did because we probably would’ve never found it. I had enough time to warm up and get my mind focused on the task at hand.

Standing in the “pit” is what I called it, the starting line was in the middle of the street and tied off on each side with a plastic rope. It was like herded cattle. This one woman kept saying look at all these people with iPods, yadda yadda this and that. I felt like saying this is my running partner so get over it. But I was in a zone and I wasn’t going to let her annoying remarks get me rattled before the start. I managed to find my hubby on the bridge over the starting point and tried, to no avail, to get his attention. I saw my DS holding my DD near the railing of the bridge and all you mothers out there know how I was feeling. He is very lucky I didn’t take the cell phone with me…LOL!!! So the gun goes off and it took about 5 minutes before I could actually start running because there were so many people. For the first 2 miles, I don’t think I heard a word on my iPod…all I kept repeating to myself is “pace yourself, it’s not a race.” Okay so maybe it was a race, but I had to totally psych myself out.

My plan for the race was to walk at every water/Gatorade station…I read that somewhere online. It sounded good, so I went with it. It definitely forced me to drink more which was a good thing, considering some parts of the race were baking under the sun. There were a couple of other times I took walk breaks too, they were mainly on some of the hills…just the look of them were daunting. There was this one woman…we’ll call her “red-shirt girl” who I had come across and just happened to be running beside her, a little in front or a little behind her at times. She was doing a walk/jog from what I could tell, but every time I would get close to her she would take off running. The first couple of times I didn’t pay any attention to it. But later in the race I noticed it more and more. All I kept thinking was that she was going to pass out from running like that and we still have so much to go. I stopped at a station and then stood in line for the bathroom as red-shirt girl went by, I could feel her staring a hole in me. I kept thinking I’ve got to stay with her, because all in all I was using her for a pacer. When we got to the lake area I saw her again walking, well at least until I came up and then she sprints off again. On the other side of the lake I had to stop and stretch my calves and hams, I felt them getting tight. The view was so beautiful I could have stayed there much longer. There was one last hill (at least that I remember) after the lake and it was smooth sailing from there.

When I saw the sign for mile 12 I got excited…some people really put the after burner on, but I refrained. I actually did quite a bit of walking and jogging during that mile because I was in a lot of pain. My feet were sore, my uterus felt like it could drop out any minute…it hurt like hell when I sneezed. The streets were lined at the end and people were calling out bib numbers and giving praise. Little kids were on the roadside waiting to slap high fives…it was amazing. You almost there, they kept reminding us. It had to be at a point of only about a ½ mile to go, where…you guessed it, I see red-shirt girl. That was my signal to go a little faster, she must’ve saw me out the corner of her eye and tried to take off running, but she had to quickly stop and walk again. Even though it was an unfortunate situation, but I’m so glad I was able to pace myself. The closer I got to the finish the louder the crowd was and the adrenaline is flowing. I was like a kid at Christmas time when I my FIRM friends cheering me on and flashing that sign with my name on it. I wanted to run over and hug them because I had gotten that far. So the finish line is in my sights and I see my DS sitting under a table with a bunch of other kids clapping and cheering. I asked him where’s Daddy and he pointed over his shoulder and you wouldn’t believe who I saw…

…you thought I was gonna said red-shirt girl…didn’t you?!?!? I saw my hubby jumping up and down screaming my name with a big grin on his face who just so happened to be wearing a red shirt. So my finish time was 2:52:38, which was great because I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours. A second under would have been great, so this time was the icing on the top. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sharing in my experience.

Third Race - 5K Recap

So here's my 5K recap that I wrote on my blog:

Checkin in with my 5K completed...and I PR'd!!! Woo hoo! I think I started off too fast, but I really wanted to push myself and I did. The course was a bit hilly, which is expected in my area, and I made sure to accelerate up every hill as not to lose any time. I'm proud of myself bc that's often how I passed people were on the hills. The last mile was the toughest because we were directed onto the horse track (or some kind of track) with loose gravel. My calves were burning coming around that track. And then when I thought I couldn't go anymore I kicked on the "afterburner" and started going faster. The last .1 mile I sprinted as hard as I could and passed one more person that had been in front of me the whole time.

My finish time was 34:09 which is 10:59/mi. I know understand how people can hurl during/after their run. But I'm so satisfied with my run.

Got a bunch of errands to run, but I wanted to give you all the update. Shaved 34 seconds off of my last time...woo hoo!!!

Half Marathon Training Schedule

I just wanted to post my training schedule so you'd all know what I've been up to.  I still do my firm workouts, I squeeze them in between running here's for the rest of the month and August.

1 - REST
2 - tempo run 6 miles, 5 day abs-d1
3 - upper body sculpt; firm hips, thighs & abs
4 - REST
5 - long run 7 miles, bonus stretch, yoga express
6 - bootcamp: maximum cardio burn
7 - easy run 2 miles, ultimate calorie blaster
8 - REST
9 - speedwork 7 miles, 5 day abs-d2
10 - fat burning cardio toning, firm abs-wkt 2
11 - REST
12 - long run 8 miles, power yoga
13 - fat burning sculpting ball, core solutions-classic abs
14 - easy run 2 miles, cardio overdrive
15 - REST
16 - tempo run 6 miles, 5 day abs-d3
17 - hi def sculpt
18 - REST
19 - long run 8 miles, yoga express, bonus stretch
20 - Hard Core Fusion
21 - easy run 4 miles, cardio sculpt blaster
22 - REST
23 - easy run 4 miles, 5 day abs-d4
24 - bust & butt
25 - REST
26 - easy run 4 miles, power yoga
27 - jiggle free arms, jiggle free buns
28 - easy run 2 miles, cardio party
29 - REST
30 - tempo run 7 miles, 5 day abs-d5
31 - easy run 2 miles, tight buns & killer legs

My half marathon is on October 13, so this is my main focus. 

ETA: I've updated my post to reflect this month's current rotation.

Tell Your Story

This is what I was asked to do last night from a good friend and director of the MOMS (Mothers Offering Maternal Support) program.

First, let me say that I was honored to be asked but am mortified by public speaking. Usually I am the type of person that is very external, a kind of what you see is what you get, type of person. But through sharing my story (since beginning & graduating this program) I actually was able to let complete strangers in to my trials and successes.

This may be long, but below are some highlights of what I shared with these young mothers that once were me:

1995 - Got pregnant right out of HS (literally graduated 6/15, found out I was pregnant 6/29), mom kicked me out, stayed with BF at the time (who was doing drugs, other girls, alcohol), had to get out of there so I went back home after 2 months. Found out about the MOMS program and met Norma 8/95 and I found the support I needed to get through my pregnancy.

1996 - Moved out of mom’s house for real when my son was 6 months. Found Crossway Community – a transitional housing program for women and children only

1998 - got married to the BF who was now a reformed knuckle-head and moved out of Crossway into my/our first apartment.

1999 - welcomed second son into the world. Discovered that marriage not that great. DH had been cheating the whole time during our marriage. He had not reformed, had went back to previous lifestyle and I was miserable and depressed.

2000-2002 - DH goes to jail for 18 months because of his lifestyle. I fell apart, I fell back into my old drug addictions and became homeless twice, my longest stay was 8 months. I was there during 9/11 and that made me bond with some of the women there and we are great friends, I still see them often. Got accepted into another transitional housing program and decided I would never be homeless again…EVER! So while in the program I paid off 90% of my bills to fix my credit, started a job with the County via a temp agency that offered all the benefits I needed to care for my boys. Found and read a great book (Financial Peace) that helped me make a plan to pay off my debt.

2003–2005 - Graduated from this program and it was the first time living with no assistance, it was pretty hard. DH is back in our lives and we decide to make a go of it. We went to counseling and worked really hard at getting the trust back. Very hard for me because I can hold a grudge like I need air to breath.

2005 - was very busy...we welcomed our little girl into the world and purchased and moved into our first home. We had a bad case of buyers remorse, but were so glad we made that decision.

2006–2007 - began trying to find the "me" that I was before all the above. Got recommitted to losing weight and exercise. I recommend that you try to find some time in your daily life to take a moment and spend time with yourself. I wish someone would have told me that long ago. My DH is a better man than he was back then...he's responsible and works very hard to take care of me and the kids...most importantly he's been clean and sober for over 7 years. There will always be hard times, but you can get through them...I hope my story proves that, all you need is positive support from programs like this to get where you need to be.

A new quote that I found and is posted by my computer at work, my bedroom wall and my treadmill is:

“The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.”

I was so nervous and teary eyed by the end, I just hope that my story that may seem unimportant inspires one of those young ladies to never ever give up.

If you've read this far...thanks.


I have NEVER been able to do what I did, but I did it and I feel great.

I've been known to have secret rendevous with sweets and I'm not talking candy, well unless it was chocolate. But I am the pastry/bakery QUEEN BEE. It seems like every birthday or every celebration would lead me back to old habits. Eat it, whord it and hide it. But today was different and here's why.

I was on the phone with my dh when I heard him say, "go ahead and eat it (talking to the boys) because SHE doesn't want to see it." Hey, *someone* is finally listening to me. So the...dare I say it...cake is on the table when I get home, not because it was that obvious, but because I was looking for it...I knew it was in there somewhere.

After my usual mad dash to the bathroom, I came back down to confront my worst enemy...chocolate cake.

I was a predator circling its prey fresh after the hunt. I poked and prodded a little. The I tore of its skin (the foil) and lightly swiped it tasting the icing. A sick sense of pleasure came over me when I realized that I wasn't a predator.

I calmly put the skin back over my prey and ever so gently pushed it to the bottom of the garbage.

I am so excited, the "old" me would've had a field day with that, but I've been working way too hard to let that cake defeat me on this day.

Thanks for sharing in this victory with me.

Thank you for the SNAP OUT OF IT posts

I'm so glad to have supporters like you.  I was literally gonna see all my hard work go to waste.  I'm just really happy I didn't do my usual thing and hibernate for a little while.  I've updated my ticker with the new weight as of this morning.  People, seriously...I'm sure that was all water.  I've been drinking 3-4 liters a day and that's what happens.

I've gotten that out of my head and have been staying within my calorie range, which is good.  After I've been doing this a while, I'll then start to make sure all the portions are in the correct range, ie. fat, protein and carbs.

I hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather.  And thanks to the firm I've gone sleeveless today and I must say my arms are lovely.

I am ashamed of myself

I have been doing nothing, but eating lately...and now my ticker is paying the well as me too.  I feel like crap and my clothes are getting tight.

Argh! Nuff said.

I'm the big 3-0 today!

Happy Birthday to me...and Happy Friday to all!

I think it's so neat how EP lists the birthdays for each day on the homepage.

I'll check back a little later...just wanted to put my business out in the street.


Common sense is Rare

 I subscribe to all kinds of fitness and weight loss newsletters.  I recently got this article...8 Ways to Think yourself Thin.  The things mentioned in this article are common sense, nothing scholarly or unattainable.  Yet, when I try to do them they oftentimes seem impossible.  I guess this goes back to one of my previous bloggings about being in denial about my eating habits or simply disassociating my eating from my feelings.  In the end, in order for me to lose the weight I first have to accept wholeheartedly that I am obese and not "big-boned."