Thursday, March 7, 2013

sugar. my drug of choice.

With apologies to Shakespeare...

Sugar, thy name is enemy.

Sugar is indeed my enemy.  It has been for a long time.  And I'm finally realizing what it's role is in my life.

Hello, my name is Debbie and I'm addicted to sugar.

I have struggled with my sugar intake for years.  And years.

I have always been a chocolate fanatic...

I have been known to eat jelly beans for breakfast in the spring...

 My ultimate weakness is Cadbury's Easter Creme Eggs.  Oh how I love thee...

The average American consumes almost 80 pounds of sugar each year.  80 POUNDS!  That's 8 ten pound bags.  Eight. Per Person.  Per year.  

And it doesn't help that my husband works for a major candy manufacturer.  And brings all sorts of stuff home with him.

Sugar really is my drug.  I use it to feel good.  I use it when I'm feeling down.  Sad.  Angry.  Tired.  Happy.  Excited.  Stressed.  Bored.  Whatever emotion.  I use it.

And once I have it, I want more.  It gives me a buzz, and then I want another buzz.  It feels good at that moment, but then I crash, and I want another hit.

Just like a drug. 

It turns me into another person.  When I crave it, I lose all sense of self control.  I just want more and more. I forget all the ramifications of it.  I forget the insulin problems.  I forget weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, crashing, liver damage, the shakes, poor skin.  Sugar just takes over and messes with my brain and body.

And then I feel like garbage.  Physically.  And mentally.  Guilty for giving into the drug.  Guilty for not having the control to get it out of my life.

But now, I'm taking back control.  I'm getting it out of my life.  I'm on day 2 of no sugar.  And by no sugar I mean no junk - no sugar on anything.  No candy.  No chocolate.  I know there is sugar in other stuff.  But I'm talking about added sugar.  Sugar by choice.

It's hard.  But it must be done.  I don't want the effects of this drug on my body anymore.  Or on my mind.  I can say no.  And I will.

Does this mean that I won't ever have sugar ever again?  I don't know.  That I won't ever enjoy some chocolate? I don't know.  But right now, I'm not having it in my body.

If I do have it back in my life, I will only do so if I am able to control my consumption.  But like a drug, does having a small amount mean that I will be addicted to it again?  I don't know.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

But for now and the foreseeable future, I'm going to be drug free.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Ode of Love to My Dear Pink Kicks

On this Valentine's Day, it's only fitting to pay tribute to one of my great loves...

My beloved Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s, aka my pink kicks

How do I love thee,
My dear pink kicks?
You've been light as feathers
And heavy as bricks.

You carried me near, far
On good days, and bad.
Up hills, through valleys
When I'm happy, and sad.

You've been there supporting me.
My ankles.  My heels.
My overpronation.
No matter how my arch feels.

You've carried me 'cross starting lines.
Made me run in the rain.
Pushed me to finish,
Even when there was pain.

Together we're one,
My dear kicks and I.
Even at mile 22
When I just want to die.

You've given me strength
You don't let me fail.
Though my feet are not pretty
Ah, lost another toenail.

So as we journey along
Roads and paths together,
You will always be with me,
Now and forever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Run. Sure. The power of a period.

Last week was a bust for exercising.  2 measly miles.  And very slow ones at that. Sometimes its just so hard to get the motivation.  As the saying goes, the hardest step is the one out the door.

I've been thinking for a while about having my own mantra to help keep me motivated.  Many runners have them, and it helps keep them going when the going gets tough.

I've been trying a few out, but none of them were really me.  I did like "suck it up, princess" quite a bit, but I wanted something more.

And this morning, on my first real run in 8 days, it came to me.  And I have my ancestors to thank for it.

My father is from Scotland, and I am very proud of that heritage.  I'm actually descended from James Hogg, one of Scotland's most famous poets.  We are part of Clan Anderson, complete with our own crest and motto.

Clan Anderson Crest

Our Clan motto is Stand Sure, representing the strength and pride of our Scottish heritage.

As I was chugging through my 3 miles this morning, it dawned on me that if I want a mantra that truly represents me, it must come from my heart - and I have always loved our motto. 

So, instead of Stand Sure, why not Run Sure?

And therein lies the power of the period.  Last week, I was... Run. Sure.  You know that sarcastic voice that you say...yeah, sure.  I'm going for a run, yeah, sure. 

But take out that period, and there is a mantra of strength, power and pride.  

Run Sure.  
Run strong. Run with power. Run with pride.

And I found my head got a little higher, my shoulders didn't slump as much and I had a stronger step.  All because I was Running Sure.

And I will continue to Run Sure on my pink miles.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shreddin' It

So on my last post a  couple of weeks ago, I said see you tomorrow!  Well, obviously that didn't happen.  Thanks to a stomach bug, a flu bug and a broken wrist (only the flu bug was me.  The other two were from 2/3 of my obliging sons).  That's enough for me for the first 3 weeks of January thank you very much.

So I was on the Dr. Oz Show!

I answered an open casting call one day on a whim (are you a woman who wants to lose 25 pounds?  Well, yeah!)) and the next day found myself signing up to do a six week diet plan that would be featured on Dr. Oz.  I couldn't say much about it before the show aired because the book hadn't been released yet...but now that it is the Number 1 New York Times best seller, it's time to go public.

Essentially the plan is about diet confusion, like muscle confusion.  I ate 4 meals a day, like soups, protein shakes, chicken, salads, lasagna, even a slice of pizza or two.  And also three snacks a day - nuts, crackers and cheese, fruit, veggies and hummus.  You get the drift.  Plus I was able to have my 2 martinis a week, which is a must for me in any eating plan.  

No martinis, no diet.  No kidding.

Was it hard work?  You better believe it.  Losing weight is hard work.  There's no magic pill.  There's no magic food.  There's no magic at all.  It's hard work, discipline, and exercise.  You'll screw up...and I did plenty of times.  But I would start right back up again and get back on the plan.

And you know what?

It worked.

In six weeks, I lost 3.5 inches off my waist.  And 2 dress sizes. I worked my tail off - literally, because my running clothes started to fall down.  

And I felt awesome!  I felt the best I have ever felt in my life.  And I mean that from the bottom of my heart, in all honestly. 

I've tried plenty of diets, and have never stuck to a single one.  But this one was different.  It was real food.  Food that this busy mother runner of three could make and feel good about.

There is lots more to say about it, but I'd be here writing all day.  So I'm going to blog about it over time.  

There is also lots to say about being on the Dr. Oz Show.  There were six following the Shred Diet as part of the show, and it was not the best experience.  I'll share more about that soon too.  All I can say is that Dr. Oz lost a fan.  In a big way.

Here's my 15 seconds of fame...(the video montage starts at about 2:20, and then I answer a question just after that)  Sorry about the ads.

And for my mother runner friends, if you don't the montage when I'm standing on my treadmill in my pink shirt, you can see the best running books in the world on the shelf behind me to the left...but don't blink!!

I'll write more about it, because I'm starting it all over again.  Got to get rid of a few more pounds. 

And fewer pounds means a faster me, on my pink miles.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello 2013!

2012 turned out to be a pretty good running year!  My blogging skills have been abysmal, but I made real strides towards accomplishing my goals.  Yay!

The big things:

I lost 22 pounds!  I was aiming for 30, but I'm happy with 22.  I'm down 2 dress sizes.  How can I complain about that?

I PR'd in a Half Marathon.  I took a whopping minute off my best Half time.  Hey it's still a PR!

I PR'd BIG TIME on my marathon time!  I took 1h 6 min off my NYC Marathon 2011 time, and PR'd for a marathon by 24 minutes!  Of course I had planned to run NYC in 2012 but that didn't happen thanks to Sandy.  I ran Harrisburg PA instead.  My goal was to finish in under 5 hours, and I made it by 19 seconds.  Whew!  I wold have been crushed if I had missed that goal by just a few seconds.

Some big news of 2012 is that I was selected to be on the Dr. Oz Show (airing today, repeating tomorrow).  I followed the "Shred Revolutionary Diet" for 6 weeks, documenting my progress, and then taped the show with 5 other ladies who had done the same thing.  The diet worked just fine, but the Dr. Oz experience was really lacking.  I'll write about that tomorrow.

I just had to get those 2012 items out of the way so I feel like I can start again tomorrow with a blogging plan.

I have a great feeling about 2013 - it's going to be a great year.  For fitness and fun!

I hope you'll join me on the journey along My Pink Miles!

See you tomorrow...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

13.1 Shades of...


Last weekend I ran the Shades of Death Half Marathon here in New Jersey.  Compared to all other distance races I've run, it was pretty small, just a few hundred people.

But it was awesome!

It was actually run on my local training routes - I run Shades of Death Road all the time.  So it was really nice to race on the roads I know so well.  It was very rural, run through farms and fields and beautiful country roads of Northern New Jersey.  There were very few human spectators, but lots of the furry kind!

My favorite human ones were two senior ladies standing on a corner.  They were there by themselves, and I was the only runner around.  They clapped and waved and I waved back.  They were great!

The furry fans were the best.  I passed a field with a couple of horses - they had their heads over the fence, standing together, watching the runners go by.  Across the street was a small field full of goats, merrily chomping on piles of hay.

A little further down the road there was a dog in a driveway.  It just stood there and watched us go by, with the occasional bark at a runner.

A couple of miles on, there were the dairy farms.  Black and white cows grazing in their pastures.  At this point I choked back a tri-berry GU, followed by a swig of Gatorade.  Which went really well with the fragrance of cow poo.  But I loved it!

As it was a two loop course, I got to run past these sights twice.  On my last loop, with about a mile to go, I passed an open field that suddenly filled with about a dozen horses mounted by red- and black- coated riders accompanied by a pack of hounds - on a fox hunt, I presume.  They came up on the road beside me, and for a quarter of a mile I ran next to horses and hounds.  It was so great!

My goal was to run strong, but not flat out.  New York City was just 3 weeks away, and I wasn't chancing any injuries.  But I finished with a PR!  My fastest half yet!  2:20:18.

The best part?  I got to kiss this guy at the end!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Changing it up. There are other ways of training...

So it's vacation time for the Mills Family!  We are heading to California today for 2 weeks.

(So that's why I'm sitting at my computer instead of packing.  I'm just trying to avoid everything I need to get done by 2 pm this afternoon.)

We are taking the red eye (with 3 kids) tonight to San Francisco to meet up with my parents, who have driven to SF in their RV.  Then we are spending the next two weeks together in their RV.  My parents, their dog, our 3 boys and my husband and I in the RV.  For 2 weeks.

Sounds a little chaotic.  And believe me, it will be.  All that energy in a very enclosed space.  A VERY enclosed space.  But it will also be a heck of a lot of fun.  We did the same thing last year and had a blast touring the Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands and Zion National Parks.

Hiking in Arches National Park, Utah 2011

This year we are visiting San Francisco, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and Los Angeles.

When we started planning this trip, my first thought, believe it or not, was how am I going to keep up with my training schedule!  Forget the fact that we are going to be visiting spectacular National Parks!  Where am I going to run?

Come on Deb, get a grip.

So maybe I won't be keeping up with my training plan exactly.  I won't have my weights or my hula hoop with me.  That doesn't mean I'm going to deteriorate into a wobbly, jiggly mess in two weeks.

Instead, I've planned out miles of hikes.  Up mountains.  Through forests.  Around waterfalls. One hike that I want to do is 14 miles to Clouds Rest in Yosemite.  How great is it that I am fit enough to even consider doing that?  Unfortunately, I don't have anyone who can keep up with me!

Clouds Rest, Yosemite

But I will run across the Golden Gate Bridge.  If there is one thing I want to do in San Francisco, it's that. 

Can't wait to run this beautiful bridge!

So if my running takes a back seat to hiking over these next 2 weeks, so be it.  I can't wait to take in the glorious scenery and fresh mountain air!

So either by running or hiking, I'm still training.

My pink miles will just be more uphill.