Friday, August 31, 2012

Run, Run, as fast as you can...

Usually in a blog post I try to find the best pictures to post. I'll take several at different angles of my cookies and decide which one is the best... This blog post I did the exact opposite and it was a little difficult. You see... I was trying to find a picture of myself that would show me at my heaviest, because I wanted to illustrate for you the changes I've made. I recently had a discussion with a group of cookiers about weight and how being a cookier can affect that (usually for the worse) and it made me remember the changes I made years ago and how easy it is to lapse back to how I was.


I'm not saying I was hideous, but looking at this picture is kind of hard and posting it is even harder because I feel like a different person now. It was even hard to FIND a picture of me because of the fact that I did not like to see pictures of myself. I would rationalize and say, "that is a bad picture of me... I don't really look like that." Camera avoidance was key for me.

My problem back then wasn't cookies. Actually cookies, ice cream, having babies and expecting the weight to magically go away was the problem, but I wasn't making cookies back then, so they weren't the main attraction.



The good thing about these pictures is that I bear little resemblance to them now and they are a great motivator for keeping the weight off. I don't have a specific date that all the extra weight I was carrying around magically dropped off, but it was roughly this time of year 8 years ago that I became a lot more comfortable with myself and my weight. It is my 8th weightaversary!

Now for the age old question: How did I do it?
and now it's time for the age old answer: I ate less and I exercised.

My exercise of choice was running. It didn't start out that way. It started out as me frustrated and suddenly ready to get healthy and a double jogger stroller that fatefully fell into my possession. It needed some help from duct tape, but it rolled. I strapped my two girls in the stroller, pulled on my dusty sneakers and started walking. It quickly turned into a daily routine because the girls enjoyed it so much. I started walking to the grocery store, the library, and the post office instead of driving. When we went downhill the girls would yell, "Faster Mommy!" Such good little coaches! I listened and started running down the hills because they got such a thrill out of it.

 

Pretty quickly I found myself running the whole route and pretty quickly my jeans were literally falling off. A beneficial side effect from running was that I was more aware of how I was fueling my body and a realization that I was using way more fuel than I needed. It felt so good to have energy, to not worry about "if I looked fat in this" and not feel the need to rationalize how bad I looked in pictures.

my kids cheering me on at my first 10K
After losing all the weight and running that first double jogger into the ground, I found out I was expecting our third little munchkin. I ran until it got uncomfortable and when it came time to deliver my largest baby (9 1/2 lbs), it was the easiest labor imaginable! (Entire labor and delivery was under 1 hour!) which I credit hugely to running.

Yes, this is my running uniform :D I HAVE to have my Superman hat when I run!
So, that's my running journey... but what does that have to do with cookies?
Well, since starting cookies, some weight has been creeping back on. It's not all from eating cookies, but I am a real stickler for quality control and because I'm so devoted to my craft I simply MUST test several one cookie through all the stages: raw cookie dough, a freshly baked one, and a frosted one... it HAS to be done and sure, I could pass that tedious job to someone else, but my palette is very discerning. I can't trust that to just anybody!

A plain and simple fact about decorated cookies is that they are time consuming and for me, they consume the late night hours when the kids go to sleep. After pulling a cookie all-nighter, the last thing I want to do is wake up and go running. Staying up late also affects the metabolism so cookie-ying is definitely a perfect storm of weight gain potential. In short I have been slacking!

The first purpose of this post is feeling the need to be accountable. I'm writing this because I see that I need to make some changes if I want to continue in my healthier lifestyle. Genetically speaking, my body wants to be fluffy! Hopefully posting this can help me get back on track and since it's taken me a couple of days to write this, I am proud to say I have laced up my sneaks and hit the road both days. {it's already helping me!}

The second purpose of posting this long-winded story/goal setting post is that I really hope it helps someone feel motivated to make healthy changes in their life. If someone told me 8 years ago that I would be a "runner" I would have laughed at them. Now I can't drive by someone running without getting "runner's envy" which is the thought: I want to go for a run right now too! If I can do it, anybody can.

I understand that not everyone can run or will love it, but I have seen the benefits in my life and would LOVE LOVE LOVE if my friends (cookiers and non-cookiers alike) would join me in getting active 30 minutes a day. While I'm not setting a weight goal this time, I am setting a goal of getting my butt moving for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

So, who's with me? Pick your poison exercise and git r done for 30 minutes a day! Set a reward or an event that you are looking forward to. It can be as simple as "I want to look amazing for Halloween" to "I'm going to knock em dead at my high school reunion."

My big reward??? Feeling confident at CookieCon in November!
I am doing this. Are you?

* Added 9/3: Because of the enthusiastic response to the fitness challenge, a group has been formed on Facebook to help everyone stay motivated, share their triumphs and struggles, and just plain feel the support of others who are ready to get moving. We're doing this together! XOXO

Join the Sugar Army here! To post your progress and cheer on others.

To read a great motivating post from Cristin of Cristin's Cookies go here!



 

55 comments:

  1. Love this post too..Not just your cookies:)

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  2. I wouldn't have guessed that is even you in the top photos. I've always been in pretty good shape, but Oct-April (my cookie baking season) is tough. I've even figured out that I can eat a cookie or 2 or 5 and it won't show up on the scale for 2-3 days...meanwhile I've had 4 or 5 more and then it's just bad. Way to get rid of the weight. Nothing tastes as good as thin/fit feels!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes that cookie is worth it and so you eat it, but nothing tastes as good as fit feels. Love it

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  3. Oh Liz what a PERFECT post! I soooo need to get my butt in gear! I love that you opened yourself up and were so honest with the world. I appreciate that in you. I'm not nearly as brave and confident as you and instead I hide behind bigger clothes than the size I prefer I would be fitting into! I don't eat too many cookies, but my sweet tooth gets out of control and especially the staying up laaate and sitting on my biggg tush for too many hours a day is really making me expand and slowing me down. I'm actually the biggest that I've EVER been! So I'm going to join you on your crusade. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm there with you girl. You've inspired me to get more active and hopefully to eat better too. Since Nick left for college, I've been all off schedule. I need to figure out a routine that will work and stick with it and MAKE it happen. Thanks again for opening up and being my inspiration! And you're BEAUTIFUL Liz!

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    1. Cristin, you are an inspiration to me! Instead of a run the other day I went on a bike ride with my girls and I thought of you. We had a blast and I was sore the next day! :D. The staying up late is always a killer. I know we can do this <3 and it's awesome to know we're doing this together

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  4. Awesome post doll! What an amazing journey and so brave of you to share with us. I was a runner for many yeas too and used running to escape from many things, but mostly to relieve stress. It's amazing when you find something that truly makes you feel like you, even if it's a new you or a better you or a you that you never knew you had :D
    I was really worried that I would get all sorts of chubby after the accident, but ironically I've lost 11lbs now. I am sure most of that is muscle loss and building it back will be a difficult journey. But so worth it! Being healthy and happy is the most important gift you can give to the people you care about! xoxo

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    1. Xoxo. You're healing so well Samantha and you're going to come back better than ever!

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  5. I had NO idea about your major accomplishment Liz! What an excellent post and what an awesome journey! The cookies are tough to be sure but I know we can continue to do what we love and find a "balance in all things." You, dear Liz, are a rock star! And that last photo....THE best!

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    1. There is never going to be an extra 30 minutes laying around at the end of the day to workout. It's MAKING it happen and you are so good at that. You have discipline like no other Anita! You rock my socks!

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  6. Thanks for sharing the other side of Arty Magoo. Being a Cookier is time consuming. It is so easy to skip the exercise or not make proper meals when your kitchen table is covered in cookies and you are elbow deep into RI. Healthy feels so much better than fluffy. Count me in. (Carroll's Cookies n Crumbs)

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    1. YAY Donna! It's so awesome knowing I'm sweating with others. Let's do this thing :D

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  7. You are a rock star in every possible way. This is such a fantastic motivating post! I'm totally going to join you in your 30 minute challenge. I'll be honest though, until they make a triple stroller...we're probably just going to end up with crazy dance parties at my house.

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    1. You know what's crazy? There are triple joggers! I was debating getting one, but I realized the span of time it would really be useful was too short to spend $500 dollars on and I pushed the double jogger and wore my littlest. Now THAT was a workout! Crazy dance party sounds WAAAAAY more fun for everyone. :D. Video please!

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  8. Oh my goodness, you definitely did yourself a favour, not just your look but mostly your health. Congratulations, well done!!!!

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  9. Well you are inspiration indeed! I would so be there with you if I hadn't cracked a rib. When I'm healthy again I'm getting on this train!

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    1. OY! Karen! Ouch. I can't imagine how that must hurt. Hope you heal fast and you're up and running again soon! Xoxo

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  10. Right there with you and planning just this sort of post when there are after pic!!! Go you, roomie!

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    1. Sa-weeeet! We'll have to throw a sweatin' with the oldies party in our room at CookieCon! :D.

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  11. I want to sweat to the oldies with you all! Callye inspired and encouraged me to start "MOVING" everyday! I am with you all and thanks for posting this! I needed it!!

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    1. YES! Do you know how good it feels knowing I have a workout date tomorrow with so many amazing cookie friends?!

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  12. Liz, thanks for being so inspirational in every way. I used to walk at least an hour everyday with my dog but since he passed I just stopped. I think after reading this, its time for me to get out and walking again.
    By the way, I also think you're a beautiful person in any 'shape' you are, it really does come though even just in photos, even if you wear a potato sack I reckon your beauty will still shine though :0)

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    1. I'm so sorry about little Lincoln! He sounded like such a sweet soul mate Evon.

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  13. I love the personal side of my cookie icons. I have struggles, but I am approaching meno...and I REFUSE to be one of those people who blame my hormones. So I am a dedicated exerciser. I am amazed at how good it makes me feel, and hope to be feeling great for SLC too!

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    1. So many people told me if I didn't lose the baby weight between kids then it was impossible. It feels so good to tell people it IS possible doesn't it? Good for you for proving the norm wrong. CookieCon or bust!

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  14. What a wonderful post, Liz! Every time I see pictures of you I think to myself, "Wow - she's beautiful AND she makes amazing cookies!" I never would have known that was you in those beginning photos. HUGE CONGRATS TO YOU!!! For me life has seemed to get in the way of regular exercise lately and I really see a difference. Not so much in my weight or body, but in how I feel mentally and how I deal with stress and my family. Not good. Thank you for putting this goal out for all of us. I'm excited to get back into the groove and on those mornings when I really don't want to do it, I'll feel better knowing that you and all my amazing cookie friends are doing it, too! :)

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    1. I KNOW! It's amazing how good I feel when I get it done. I always think, "why did I stop working out again??". I sleep better, feel better, eat better, and doing it knowing we're in this together... Even BETTER!

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    2. Exactly!! "Why did I ever stop doing this???" This morning I didn't want to go to the gym but I thought of you and your challenge and it was just the motivation I needed. Thanks again for helping us all get our butt's in gear! :)

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  15. You look like a really pretty girl in ALL the pictures of this post. Congratulations for being able to make this change for a better and healthier life.

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  16. After reading Cristin's blog this morning, I landed here. Thanks to you both for the motivating posts. You have inspired me - I'm in!

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    1. YEAH! I feel like we are creating a sugar army :D.

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  17. Just saw this post after reading Cristin's post. I am with you... wanting to feel good and confident at CookieCon! My weight was really up two years ago when my mom died and then it sort off fell away as the stress did. BUT ... then I started this cookie hobby last November and the weight is back up. Not necessarily from eating them but more from the time spent on them when I have free time instead of exercising. I have been back on my treadmill this last week so I will commit to this with you and we will celebrate with a toast of some low calorie drink in November! :) Thanks for helping me be accountable to myself! And yes, I am run/walking and I have figured out all my other false starts failed because I was starting out too fast. I slowed my pace and doubled my running time! Thanks for putting this out there. You are amazing!

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  18. I thought I typed a reply but it's not here so I will try again! :)

    So, thank you for sharing your story with us! After reading Cristin's blog post and this one, I'm in. My weight was really up two years ago then fell away after life got much less stressful ... but now it is creeping back up. I started this cookie hobby last Nov and like you, it's not that I eat so many of them, it's more the time I spend doing them instead of anything else as soon as I have a free minute or two.

    I've been back on my treadmill this week run/walking and discovered all the other false starts I've had with running programs were because I was starting at much too fast of a pace. So, I slowed the pace way down and have doubled my stretches of running already. So yeah, this is good. I, too, want to feel good for CookieCon, so I will join you on this challenge and we'll celebrate by toasting some yummy low-calorie drink in November! Thanks for the reminder to be accountable to ME for my health! :) You're amazing!!!

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    1. Cheers! To sweat and sugar. May they find harmony and balance in our lives :D

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  19. Dana @ Sweet Butter BloomsSeptember 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Came here from Cristin's Cookies via Cookie Bliss. This is a fantastic idea! How long can I say 'I *just* had baby #4'? The baby is almost 18 months! I've been slacking off this summer with the kids home but it's time for new beginnings and renewed commitment! Doing a Dirty Girl run this weekend has helped keep me motivated a little though. My advice is do what you enjoy for exercise! Dance, swim, ride horses, bike, run, weights, it's all good! This challenge is great inspiration :)

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  20. You are such an inspiration in so many ways! I started back at the gym 3-4 days a week at the beginning of the summer and feel better than I have since I had my 2 1/2 year old. But those late night cookie decorating marathons really do wreak havoc and the actual weight loss is going so-o-o-o-o slowly!!! I accept your challenge- I'm going to try to add another day (f not at the gym, maybe one of Georganne's dance parties- The Wiggles are great for that!) and I'll try to add an extra 10 minutes to the time that I am there. My goal- to buy some new, and smaller, clothes to wear to Disney World (the same week as Cookie Con).
    Thank you for posting this!

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    1. Disney World?! Where are your priorities woman. :D. Another super good home workout is a jump rope. I can't believe I used to do that for fun as a kid!

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  21. Oh, sweet friend. I love you more now, than ever. I'm ready to put my running shoes back on and drop the excuses at the curb! If lbs. go with it, great. If I just get healthy again, great! I love you, Sis! Consider me your running partner. MUAH!

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    1. MUAH! Will you give me a swift kick in the butt when I need it? :D

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  22. Wow! You're great, thanks for sharing this with us :-)

    Hugs,

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  23. Love the post! I'm an on again...off again runner/triathlete...who can't stop eating my own cookies and swiping frosting while I decorate my cake. I just signed myself up for Beach Body...and also just made a 4 week challenge for myself, but will also join you in this...you are not in this alone…I’ll be running with you miles away. .

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  24. Do you know what? I needed this. That simple. After losing weight last summer, (I was a runner just like you, our stories are pretty similar), I went trough a very hard relationship, and life started to get harder. So, I didn't run anymore, I didn't go to the gym, and as a baker I am, I started to gain the weight back again. Now, I've been the whole summer (and more) trying to start over again, because I felt prettier back then, and I was HAPPY, but the truth is I didn't find the strength to do it. You've helped me to start again with this inspirational post, so I'm absolutely joining it with you! My reward: being prettier (and healthier) by the fisrt of December.
    Thank you so much for everything, I really mean it. <3
    And now... let's go for a run!:D

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  25. Monica (sugarchicsweet@gmail.com)September 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Liz, I would like to thank you for your story and your honesty. For a long time now I believe I've been in denile of my "creeping" size. I am a cookier and a caker-baker, who like you has a very picky and discerning palette. I've told myself that with my baking habit/hobby/job comes the occupational hazard of gaining weight. I've even had well-meaning friends tell me it's "my job" to gain weight because I needed to keep the quality of my cookies and cakes tasting the best. You have inspired me and I am so grateful. I am going to try for the upteenth time to exercise and get healthier. :-)

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  26. I love this blog...I have been doing too much cookie quality control, that I have definitely gained a few rolls lol...it's hard to make the time to excercise, specially with my two monsters, but i know I have to get back in track with my goddess body...I used to be more healthier before I had my first monster, and ever since then it has been hard to eat healthy and exercise. I can do it :) and 30 min. a day won't kill me..I hope lol :)

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  27. I think it is (you are) wonderful for realizing that you needed to make improvements for your health and emotional well-being. By taking those first steps (behind that stroller) and encouraging yourself you literally ran all the way to a fitter, healthier and happier you. By writing this post and sharing your story you are inspiring and encouraging others to realize that they too can make a difference in themselves that will see changes they might never have thought possible. Good for you on all counts and continued success with this new goal of exercising in some way, every day for 30 minutes a day. You've really started something wonderful here for a lot of people.

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  28. loved this post. I'M IN! I too run, a fell runner here in the UK. Once you get started it's as addictive as cookies! Always run wherever I am in the world - so will be running my way round SLC in November so if anyone wants to join me.... in between cookieing of course!

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  29. What a great post. I too am a runner and unlike a lot of people I don't have a weight problem. I get the opposite, criticized for being thin. Well, HELLO people, I exercise! I lift weights and I run. This consumes about an hour of my day 5 days a week. You can't be magically thin like you said. It takes work. I'm proud of you for adopting a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying your gorgeous cookies :)

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  30. Liz, 2 years ago I lost 70 lbs. in 6 months, even became a health coach for the company,....then I quit, and quit,...you know where this is going,... I have gained half of it back. I have struggled with my weight all of my life, especially after having kids, hitting midlife hormones, and thyroid disease. Oh, and I love to bake! I would love to join the group! I will meet you at Cookie Con, sooooon!Congrats to you !!!
    Nancy aka SnowflakeLady

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  31. Love, love, love seeing all these great comments, I've been inspired by YOU, Liz as well as these other great ladies!!
    Since having baby Lydia, the pounds have not come off as easy as my other kids. So I have started (slow) jogging on the tread and elliptical. I'm not fast by any means but I'm MOVING! I've seen results already and am determined to keep it up, I still need an extra kick in the pants some times, which this blog did for me today. Thanks Liz for being the awesome you! Love you Sis!

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  32. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your honesty and willingness to be open and vulnerable are wonderful and inspirational. This is exactly what I needed!

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