15 Thing Friday: Weight Watchers Edition

I am stealing the idea of 15 Thing Friday again because there is so darn much I need to catch up on because my blogging skills have been tragic.

1.  I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning and for the first time in nearly a month, I actually lost weight.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I, Jessica, lost weight this week.  Surprisingly, if you follow the program and do what you are supposed to do (plan meals, track, and exercise), it works.  I worked really hard this week, tracked every day, and got a lot more activity in, and it paid off.  I am thrilled because if I had seen another gain on that scale, I would have lost it.

2.  In an attempt to keep the Weight Watchers motivation going this week, I rediscovered something that first got me motivated to join Weight Watchers back in 2010.  A girl named Jess created a YouTube channel called "trulyjess" and posted weekly weigh-in videos that you can find here.  I loved her videos and watched every single one of them when I was first starting Weight Watchers.  I thought she was incredibly inspiring, and every time I watch her videos, I think about creating my own weekly weigh-in videos to help keep myself accountable and inspire others.  And then I remember that I have no technological savvy and that I would probably throw my computer out the window after spending three hours trying to edit a two minute video for YouTube.  I even spent a good thirty minutes trying to research how people film their vlogs (do you use a camcorder?  do you use your iPhone?  do you use iMovie?  and how do you use iMovie?!!!) and ended up trying to read a bunch of articles that didn't make sense to me.

3.  But enough about Weight Watchers... let's talk about Weight Watchers.  I have to have a place to discuss all of these things because Jamie does not want to hear about the details of my weight loss and I really shouldn't tell him anyway because you know... let's keep some mystery in this relationship.  In case you are reading this specific post and having some weight loss trouble of your own, here are a few things that worked for me this week.  The first thing that worked was pretending I was back in kindergarten.  I bought little star stickers from Target and I am using them as a reward for working out. I put one on my calendar each day that I exercise, and underneath the sticker, I write what I did.  And just like those little star stickers motivated me to do well on my homework, they motivate me to get in my exercise.  If you think I'm kidding...

... I'm not.  I really am that excited about tiny stars on my calendar.

4.  On top of just getting the activity in, I tried to vary my activity this week.  I still haven't been out for a run since the Princess Half Marathon, but I am cutting myself some slack on running right now.  I was so burnt out on running after the marathon that I consider it a miracle that I even made it through the Princess.  And while that was a great experience and an awesome run, I think I needed a mental break from running.  I'm starting to actually want to run again, instead of feeling like I have to, which I think is a good sign, but I'm not pushing it.  I want to be a in tip-top happy running shape for the Disneyland Half Marathon in the fall, and if that means taking a break from running now, fine.  So I'm trying new things and incorporating new activity into my routine.  I've started going to Body Jam on Thursday mornings at the gym - SO MUCH FUN!  I am in love with Body Jam.  I've also started following the Tone It Up girls and using their weekly workout schedules.  They are not kidding around.  And have you seen those girls?!  If doing those workouts is what it takes to look like that in a bikini, sign me up.  Far better than my current bikini body.

Coincidentally, this is probably how everyone in Body Jam sees me.

5.  I also worked on drinking more water this week.  I am trying to cut soda out completely - I never used to drink soda in Colorado, but here in Florida, I swear it knows me by name and tries to seduce me.  Same with sweet tea.  I love sweet tea, and it is everywhere here.  But I am trying to keep water with me at all times, and finish at least one big Starbucks tumbler full of water before I leave for work every morning.

I don't know why I look possessed.  Believe it or not, this was the best of 7 different takes.  I am shocked that no one has called on me to model as I am clearly so photogenic.

6.  I am slowly realizing I need to watch myself when it comes to weight loss related spending.  I see the cost of Weight Watchers itself as completely necessary because it is what helped me lose 35 pounds before, when nothing had ever worked like that for me.  Yes, I know the program, and yes, if you want to get technical, I used to teach this program.  I should have no problem following it on my own.  But the meetings are what really make a difference for me, so it's worth the $40 a week that I spend to get all the materials, the Weekly, the eTools, and the meetings.  I will pay for everything from Weight Watchers because it's worth it.  If they sold this cat, I'd buy it.

But that being said, while Weight Watchers is a good solid investment, I do not need to drain my bank account to lose weight.  For example...

7.  Just because I am exercising more does not mean that I need to purchase the entire online stock on Lululemon tops and capris.

8.  Just because I've started following Tone It Up, am using and enjoying their workouts, and really want to look like those girls in a swimsuit does not mean that I need to purchase their Beach Babe DVD, their Perfect Fit Protein powder, their own line of bikinis, and their Nutrition Plan all in one day.  But let's face it, I probably will buy all of those things, because LOOK AT THEM.

9.  And now that I have a Weight Watchers ActiveLink and a FitBit, I really do not need a new heart rate monitor.  But I want one.  Of course I want one.  It wouldn't be a normal day for me if I didn't at least think about spending gobs of money on something unnecessary, but entertaining.

10.  Okay... I'll stop talking about Weight Watchers and weight loss and trying to look good in a bikini and spending all of my money.  Mostly because I'm running out of interesting things to say on those topics and all I can think about is taking a nap.  Today is my day off (read: today is the day that I sit around and avoid cleaning), but since I've been working a lot of morning shifts, I've started taking an afternoon nap most days.  When I'm not feeling like a lazy bum for doing it, I have to admit that it is easily one of the best things ever.

11.  Totally unrelated to weight loss, avoiding cleaning, or the nap I'm still thinking about... I am obsessed with this video.  That man is amazing.  I really hope he does more of them because I want to know what happened to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty!

12.  Also... this...

12.  And this.

13.  Okay... how does Cely always come up with 15 things?!  

Maybe it's because she is not ego-centric and her 15 things aren't just about her.  Mine are.  Apparently I think I'm super interesting.


15.  Okay.  Time to get off my couch and exercise.  Tonight I am trying Zumba at the gym.  I have a really bad feeling it's going to be a lot of this:


Being a grown-up is overrated.

I promised in my last post that I would do a catch up post to explain where I've been for a month, and I promise it is coming.  But I am forcing myself to be somewhat productive before I can escape to the beautiful land of wasting time on the Internet.  I desperately need to clean my apartment, and I also need to work on a meal plan for the coming week because as it turns out, my current method of just eating whatever happens to fall into my lap isn't working out so well for me.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning and it was sufficiently horrifying.  I know this is shocking, but it turns out that not tracking, not exercising for several days, and eating things like chicken nuggets, McDoubles, french fries, and cookies DOES NOT help you lose weight.  I was amazed.  So I had a nice wake-up call this morning and realized that I need to stop fooling around and get down to business.  This means that for a while, this blog might take a different turn and be a little more focused on weight loss than running.  Especially since I haven't gone for a run since the Princess Half Marathon.  Welp.

I will be back later for a proper blogging experience.  I just really wanted to waste a little bit more time before I had to be a responsible adult and clean my apartment.  


A very belated Princess Half Marathon recap!

It's been a very busy few weeks and I know I haven't been blogging.  That is something that I will be actively working on in March, so expect to see me popping up a whole lot more.  For example, right after this recap, I plan on making another big post about the new and exciting things happening in my life that kept me from blogging :)

But first - a recap of Disney's 2013 Princess Half Marathon!

If you read my last post, you may have realized that I was a little bit terrified to run this race.  I took it very easy before the half marathon, and decided not to do any big long runs prior to it.  I figured that if I had made it through several long runs that went well past the 13.1 mile mark, as well as making it through the marathon in January, I could do one or two medium length runs before the Princess and be totally fine.  So that's what I did.  I took it easy, and ended up only doing one 7-miler the day after Valentine's Day, about a week and a half before the half marathon.  It ended up being a fantastic run, one of those life changing runs where you don't want to stop at 7 miles, you want to keep going forever.  I got to pet a gorgeous calico cat that was randomly in the grass, listened to awesome new music on my iPod, and saw a beautiful sunset.  I couldn't have asked for a better run to get my spirits back up in time for the race.

That was my gorgeous view near the end of the 7-miler.

Before I knew it, the expo was up and running and you all know that I can't miss a reason to spend money on sparkly things, so I went as soon as I could.  I ended up buying a sparkly skirt to wear for the race, which was SO FUN and I will absolutely be doing that again.  I also bought a few shirts from Raw Threads because I love pretty much everything they make (I wore their Rapunzel shirt for the race itself, but I'll get there) and I couldn't resist buying the new Princess Half Marathon Dooney and Bourke bag as seen here.  I got the tote bag and the wristlet.  I have a serious problem with wristlets, and even though the Dooney and Bourke bags are pricey, I do get a Cast Member discount on them and I love them so much that they are worth it.

I tried to relax as much as possible before the race itself, but I ended up not being able to sleep much the night before.  Thank goodness that I'd gotten a solid night of sleep on Friday night because Saturday night, I was wired for some reason.  I got Chinese food with Jamie for dinner on Saturday, which I think will be a new pre-race tradition - we had Chinese food the night before the full marathon too, and I think it's a perfect mix of salt and carbs for me.  Plus, I just really like Chinese food.

Sunday morning I got up early and had an egg and some toast, which seems to work well for me as a pre-race breakfast (read: I've done it twice and it hasn't killed me yet, so I'll keep it).  I got dressed in my Rapunzel outfit - with the Princess Half Marathon, you pick your favorite princess when you register and your bib is the same color that your princess wears.  So my bib was purple for Rapunzel (love her) and said "Princess Jessica."  I have to say that this is by far one of my favorite parts about this race - everybody played into the princess theme.  There were volunteers handing me water and telling me it was "special princess water" and every five seconds someone was calling you a princess.  Normally I'm not big on the whole "I'm a princess!" thing, but it was really fun.  After I got dressed and ate breakfast, I gathered all my gear up and drove myself over to Epcot.

One of the reasons that I signed up for this race in the first place was because several friends of mine were doing this as their very first half marathon.  I met up with them and we all started in the same corral together.  Obviously this meant it was time for pictures, since it was 5 am and we'd all gotten about 4 hours of sleep.

Stephanie and Vicky before the race, both first time half marathoners!

Renee, Sarah, and Vicky - Renee was also doing her first half marathon, Sarah was a seasoned pro.

Yours truly!  Look at my eyes and see how awake I am.

As you can see from the picture, I kind of went overboard on the sparkly things.  I have a sparkly skirt, a sparkly headband, and sparkly cuffs that I got at the expo from the lovely ladies at Team Sparkle.  You know what I learned about going overboard on sparkly things for a race?  THAT I SHOULD DO IT ALL THE TIME.  Next time I might try to coordinate better, but I am getting all dolled up for every race now.  It was just too fun.

I took my ClifShot about 20 minutes before our corral was set to start, and got ready to go.  When we started, Vicky, Renee, and Sarah took off.  I think when I told them "don't try to stick with me, I am slow" they thought I was kidding.  It wasn't until I started jogging along at probably a 15:00 minute per mile pace right off the bat that they realized how slow I really was.  I told them to go ahead and that I would see them at the finish line.  But Stephanie stuck with me, and we realized that we were pretty much running at the same pace.  Cue feeling really stupid for not doing a single training run together.  I wasn't expecting to be running the race with someone else because truth be told, aside from a couple short runs that I dragged David on with me a long time ago, I have never run with another person.  I had my iPod all prepped with brand new music to get me through a very slow half-marathon, but it became pretty clear that Stephanie and I could stick together the whole race.  I put my iPod away and just talked with her the whole time and honestly, it was fantastic.  Time flew by.  We went very slowly, but since it was my first long run since the marathon and her first half marathon ever, it was okay.  Neither of us was going for a record breaking time.  Mostly we just had a great time.  I kept her going when she was struggling, and she kept me going when I started to hit a wall.  I honestly don't think we would have had as good a time by ourselves.  It was one of my favorite races ever and I am so glad that I got to share the experience of her first half marathon with her.

I also really enjoyed the course that this race took.  One of the issues that I had with the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon was that I didn't really care for the course.  For the marathon, it was the speedway that really got to me, and for Wine & Dine it was... well, everything, because that was just not my race.  The course for the Princess Half Marathon was great!  Not only did we get to go into Magic Kingdom, but we really got to run through the park, which was so fun.

Right before we ran (read: walked slowly) through the castle!  We saw one of the runners being proposed to right after we went through :)

All in all, even though it was a very slow race for me (my final official time was 3:17:59, which was still faster than my time for Wine & Dine, 3:20:24), it was fantastic.  We also stopped for several pictures, so I knew my time wasn't going to be impressive and I was completely okay with that.  I honestly enjoyed the whole thing, and for the first time, felt like the Run Disney slogan of "every mile is magic" was true.  Of course there were tough spots - it's a half marathon for heaven's sake, it's not going to be a joy ride the whole time.  But the weather was great, not too hot and wonderfully cloudy, the course was fun, and it was honestly really nice to run with someone!  So thanks Stephanie!

The medal is gorgeous and I will post close up pictures of it soon, but there's one more person I have to give a shout out to on this recap and that is my amazing boyfriend.  Not only was Jamie waiting at the finish line for me, he was waiting at the finish line with TWO CHOCOLATE DONUTS.  I love that man more than I can even explain.