Friday, October 31, 2008

10.31.08: Halloween Junk In My Trunk

I have to be honest here. Halloween candy scares me so much that I have to hide it in the trunk of my car.

Candy is one of my greatest weaknesses. In year's past Halloween was the beginning of the deluge of overindulgence. This year, as I'm training for a four-mile run on New Year's Day, I'm not going down that path.

I know Halloween candy is wrapped in those cute little individual servings, but as I was chewing one piece of candy, I was unwrapping another. I'd pop one aafter another in my mouth until the jumbo bag was gone. I used to buy candy corn as soon as it started showing up on the shelves in the fall -- but the bag would never last until Halloween. Sometimes I'd be lucky if it would last a day.

So there it is. I fear Halloween, not because of the ghouls that will come to my door, but because of the candy.

So until it's time for the trick-or-treaters to come ringing my doorbell, I'm keeping that junk in my trunk, so it doesn't become junk on my trunk.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10.28.08: Running Comes In Handy

I'm now up to 20 minutes of running on the treadmill (plus some hill walking) and I'm feeling strong. So when it started to downpour during the Halloween Parade around Summit on Saturday, I didn't think twice about double stepping it -- or more like sprinting -- back house.

This running is really coming in handy.

Anna was nominated for cutest costume. Even though we didn't stick around to claim her prize, I think she won.

By the way, I'm working on something big for 2009 -- so stay tuned.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10.22.08: My Martha Stewart Moment

I was an hour and a half early for Martha Stewart's booksigning event yesterday at the Short Hills Mall. Still, I was about 100 people back in line. By the time the signing started (after wild applause when Martha arrived) the line stretched from Williams-Sonoma to beyond Bloomingdale's -- I'd say that's about a quarter mile.

Since Martha Stewart is a fellow Kilimanjaro climber, I wanted to share my story from the October issue of Self magazine with her in hopes of eventually being a guest on her show. But also to have the opportunity to tell her how much I admired her strength and courage as a person.

When I told her I also reached Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro, she asked when I went. As she signed the front page of her new book, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School", I told her I summited a year ago February.

She looked at me, smiled and asked, "Didn't you just love it?"

I did.

I'm so glad that I took the time to see Martha -- this woman I truly admire -- to share my story with her. I believe in taking a chances - enjoying all of life's opportunities -- because you never know what can happen.

By the way, forget all the negative things you hear about Martha. The three times I've seen her -- at two tapings of The Martha Show and at this booksigning -- she was gracious and sweet. And yes, she's just as beautiful (inside and out) in person as she is on television or in her books and magazines. (My pictures didn't turn out great as we weren't allowed to used flash in the store. My flash went off, and I got in trouble with the Williams-Sonoma staff. I'll try to post something tonight.)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10.21.08: Martha Stewart: A Good Thing

marthafoto, originally uploaded by fat woman on the mountain.

Today I’m going to meet fellow Kilimanjaro climber Martha Stewart during her “ Martha Stewart's Cooking School” book signing at the Short Hills Mall.

Martha Stewart had a harrowing Kilimanjaro climb. She shared the details in her business book, “The Martha Rules.” As she neared the summit, her guide started to show severe signs of altitude sickness and had to go down the mountain for his own safety. Martha was faced with a choice, return with her guide or press on alone.

She decided to continue on even though her guide had forgotten to bring food and water for the summit attempt. She ate snow and followed the trail to its pinnacle.

I’ve always admired Martha’s great tenacity, creativity, enterprise and love for all Good Things. As someone who has also reached Uhuru Peak at 19,343 feet, the story of Martha's Kilimanjaro climb just reinforces my great respect for her as a person of great courage and strength.

I’ve been to two Martha Show tapings (which are great fun if you’re ever in the New York City area) but I’ve never had a chance to meet her personally. I feel lucky to have one of the 350 tickets made available for the signing.

It may be a blip of a moment in front of Martha but I hope to get a chance to tell her about my 120-pound weight loss. It would be so much fun to swap mountain climbing adventures.

What I’d really love is to be a guest on The Martha Show in the New Year. We could make a healthy dish together and I could talk about using great adventures to inspire weight loss!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

10.20.08: Running My Own Race

I signed up for the Summit YMCA 5K/2-mile Walk last Saturday. Now, since I just started this running program, I opted to do the 2-mile course.

I had been told that 5K began at 1 p.m. but the 2-mile folks were set to start at 1:10 p.m. So I waited, and of course after getting my 8-month-old daughter Anna ready, I arrived at about 1:12 p.m.

When I showed up I learned everyone had already left about 10 minutes earlier! So just started on the course with a quick, warm-up walk and turned it into a jog.

I had a number affixed to my fleece, but no other runners or walkers around me. I was indeed running my own race. I passed a few walkers, which felt nice. In all, I jogged about 1.5 miles and finished close to last but that will not be my last race. I'm just getting started again.

What felt great was feeling strong. These past few weeks of doing light, short jogs have made me feel stronger and leaner. The scale is finally moving down, after a two-month plateau -- and I am moving forward.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

10.16.08: Keeping Up With the Treadmill

It had been a long time since I ran on the treadmill -- in fact it hasn't been since my Kilimanjaro training nearly two years ago. I did a jog outside the other day, but the treadmill makes you keep going as fast as it's going.

You know how much I love to exercise in the great outdoors, but the treadmill is a great alternative. It allows you to track your speed and progress. It's all right there on the display panel. Plus, you don't have to worry about getting your sneakers wet if it's raining outside.

Today's workout was a challenge but now I feel great. I'm well on my way to that four-mile race on Jan. 1 in Central Park!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10.14.08: Stop Tripping Yourself

I developed a nasty habit on my maternity leave. I'd take a walk and when I was finished, I'd swing by Starbucks, or any other open place where I could find a snack, which almost always topped the amount of calories I just burned during my jaunt.

After Anna was born, I kept doing the same thing.

I was lonely during my maternity leave. Instead of spending my days with some great, and very chatty coworkers, I was home waiting for the next episode of Clean House or Baby Story. My trip to Starbucks was a chance to see familiar people, some even knew my name. (Insert Cheers theme song here).

But the comraderie was momentary. After paying far too much for a decaf coffee drink loaded with calories and a pastry to go along with it, I was back at home feeling lonely again, and worse.

I knew I needed to stop tripping myself. It was defeating any intention of dropping baby weight, and being the healthiest I could be.

To do that, I needed to make sure I fulfilled my needs for company -- and replaced the action.

The first thing I did was remove the means by prohibiting myself from bringing my wallet, or any form of currency on my walks.

Then, I filled the need. I joined a new mother's group, which met each Wednesday. That way I could get out of the house each week. Within a few weeks, we knew each others' stories. Our new job was being a mother -- so in a way, they were coworkers.

How do you trip yourself up? What things do you do that prevent your progress? What can and will you do to change?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10.09.09: Ten minutes today -- four miles on New Year's Day!

I started my new running routine today. In addition to my regular one-hour walk, I added in 10 minutes of running. Well maybe it was a jog.

Either way, I'm following David Kuehl's advice in his book "4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon." Kuehl talks about building a base before taking on an endeavor such as a marathon. In week one, he suggests starting with 10 minutes of running, three times a week.

For now, I'm training for a four-mile run at the stroke of midnight on 2009. I'm building up to something spectacular in 2009 -- perhaps another mountain climb, or yes, maybe even a marathon.

I'm in decent shape. I exercise at least five times a week but running has been off the training log since my Kilimanjaro Climb preparation. So, I'm starting slow, and building strength.

I was strong -- and actually did about 20 minutes of jogging. I felt rusty but I know that if I stick with it, within a few workouts I'll gain speed, ability -- and shed some more baby weight as I prepare for this race.

I feel good after the run -- and glad that I started.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

10.08.08: Hanging On -- Lessons from the Biggest Loser

This week's challenge had the contestents hanging onto a bar, trying to balance their bodies as water, which had made their bodies boyant dropped from the tank. The task grew harder and harder until they were all there, holding themselves up, while their feet stood on a wobbly bar below.

The two women who hung on the longest were really in the zone, with their bodies and mind focused on staying on the bar -- even when they were told they could only hang on with one hand.

Vicky sounded like she was in some kind of trance when she said, "I just want to read a letter from my kids!" When she finished and was allowed to drop into the water below, she started to cry. Later, she said that was all she could think about. It was why she was able to hang on for so long.

Our minds can help us or really get in our way. When you focus on your goal - and keep it in your mind -- eventually, you'll get there.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

10.06.08: Starting My New Year's Resolution Now

My friend Jessica emailed the following invitation to me this weekend:

"Any interest in this year's midnight run in Central Park on December 31? I've always wanted to do it and it seems like a great way to kick off the New Year. It's a four mile race."

This seemed like a great idea to me -- instead of waiting to start my New Year's resolution on Jan. 1, I would use New Year's Day as my target date. This would keep me on track through the holidays -- starting with my most challenging one, Halloween. I could start 2009 -- from the very moment it begins -- on a healthy note.

I have a lot of work to do to make this goal. Truth be told, I haven't done much running since my Kilimanjaro training. (Folks say you shouldn't climb unless you're able to run four miles.) I know I can do it and I'll have lots of support by conquering this goal with Jessica, who has also lost 100 pounds, and my husband Chris who loves to run.

Either way, it will be a great base for whatever my 2009 adventures will be -- whether it's hiking on Global Alliance for Africa's fundraising trek up Mount Kenya, or joining my husband on a marathon.

So, what do you want to do by the time 2009 begins?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

10.02.08: The Road Ahead On My 4th Wedding Anniversary

Today Chris and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary.

This journey of life with Chris by my side has been an incredible and wonderous adventure. We've been around the world, down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and to the roof of Africa.

My favorite place of all is by his side.

Having a partner, someone who is invested in your success, makes the journey that much more enjoyable. That partner doesn't have to be a spouse, it could be a sibling, a parent, a friend, a personal trainer. It's just nice to have someone who will encourage you when you don't feel like going any more, someone who knows how hard you're trying and celebrates all that you are.