Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking out the junk.

A new study found that junk food is just as addictive as heroin. Of course it is. Duh! The sense of euphoria that people who are addictive to food get from eating things that are high in fat, calories and sugar could be likened to that of a drug addict who has just gotten his or her next fix. How do I know? Because I'm addicted to food. I have been for a long time. Only in the last year or so have I realized that it's more about the quality of food, rather than the quantity. I'm just as happy eating brown rice with tofu and veggies as I am eating pizza. I'm just left with less guilt about making terrible decisions when I choose the first. Food is fuel. That will be the motto for the rest of my existence.

Please read this article:

Think about it next time you want to eat the french fries or cheeseburger or whatever junk food is your favorite.

For another good read, please check out Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. As someone who loves food, he wants people to understand how much the quality of our food is affecting the people in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I decided that one way to push myself is to create a challenge. So, for the month of April... I am challenging all of you and myself to 1000 minutes of exercise. Yes. You can do it. I have done it before. It can happen. Don't worry, I am sure many of you will surpass that goal. My plan is to do a minimum of 1000 minutes of exercise. This can be anything. Walking, spinning, hiking, yoga, basically anything that gets you moving. Let's do this!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A fire under my ass....

That's what yesterday has done. It's lit a fire under my ass like never before. I spent 9 hours in line for the Biggest Loser Casting Call. First let me tell you about the process. I arrived at the convention center at 7:15am. It was a little later than I had planned on arriving, but this girl needs her coffee in the morning. The line was huge already. Literally and figuratively. I ended up being number 869th in line. Wow! And then we waited. And we waited. My sister came to keep me company and with the caffeine reinforcements. I talked to the people around me. Nice guy Jeremy who drove down from Moses Lake, Washington. The crazy girl who swore more than me and told me way TMI about herself. The man who broke my heart. He was from Hillsboro, is in his 40's, unemployed and living with his mother. He weighs 536 lbs. and is on oxygen. The sadness and desperation he conveyed in everything he said made me sad. Back to the process... so we waited. And we waited. Once we made it inside the building, they handed each of us a one page application asking our basic information and a handfull of questions. Then we waited some more. Finally after 9+ hours in line it was our turn. They broke us into groups of 15. Each group got 5 minutes in the room with one of the casting people. They asked us each the same questions. Name, occupation, how much weight we wanted to lose, which trainer we would choose and also what we hoped to take home from the ranch. We each answered and then it was over.

Now for my observations and what I really learned and took home from the audition. First, I was one of the smallest people there. Seriously. A few of my friends have told me that I am not really that big (even though I feel that big sometimes), now I understand. I understand that I really am nothing like any of the people who were in line. Nothing like them. I am smaller. I am stronger, both mentally and physically. I am athletic. I also realized that I never want to be like any of them. Ever. Looking around I noticed that so many of those people have already given up on themselves and on life. They view Biggest Loser as their last resort. Well, I don't. I've been doing this on my own and I will continue to push myself harder each and every day. There were people in line who had brought boxes of donuts, eating fast food and smoking. I wanted to scream. "THIS IS WHY YOU'RE FAT!! You want this show to change your life, but you really just need to take control and do it for yourself anyway." I say that yesterday lit a fire under my ass, because it did. More than ever, I want to help other people. I want to show them that it can be done on your own. I want to help other people get healthy. Stop relying on the easy things in life. Life wasn't meant to be easy. It was meant to be a challenge.

My sister told me that as I was going into the audition room, a very large man was looking at me and shaking his head. Then he said, "It really pisses me off that some people are here when they don't even need to be." Maybe I didn't really belong there in his eyes, but in mine... it was exactly where I needed to be. It was exactly what I needed to see. It was the fire being lit under my ass.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I took a night off. It was much needed. Two nights in a row of hard interval sets in spin class and my legs are wiped. I thought about going and lifting weights, but just felt like taking the night off was the right thing to do. I made spinach and artichoke chicken with garlic bread for dinner and drank some Murrayhill Vineyards Red Wine. I watched my daughter do the wii boxing. I relaxed! It felt so good and I woke up this morning feeling better than ever. My hip seems to be healing nicely. There is only irritation when I lift my leg repetitively. I'm planning on trying an easy 1 or 2 mile run this weekend to test it out. The Beaver Freezer Sprint Triathlon is next weekend and I feel ready for it. Cardio-wise I have this one in the bag! It's just that darn run portion that worries me a little. This weekend should boost the old LeeAnn confidence.

I have a busy weekend planned. It's a dear friend's birthday celebration and I have a fun, one of a kind, specially crafted, just for her gift to finish. Celebrate with her in grand style. A short run. And last but not least... the Biggest Loser Casting Auditions! Aaaahhh. Actually, I get nervous about it sometimes, but other times I am so excited about it. I want this so bad. I just hate that I get only 2 minutes to convey to the casting duo just how awesomesauce I am. The question they seem to want answered is: What makes me unique? So, I've been surveying... and the general consensus seems to be that I am fearless, blunt, driven, full of joy and love to laugh more than most people. I am still brainstorming what I want to say, but I think I have a pretty good idea. My friend Jess suggested that I do an interpretive dance. Haha. Somehow I just don't think I can convey all I need/want to in a 2 minute interpretive dance. Just saying.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I didn't go to swim this morning. I slept instead. To be perfectly honest, I am mostly ok with it. I needed sleep. I spent 2 hours on roller skates picking 5 year olds off the rink floor yesterday. Who knew chaperoning a kindergarten class to skate world would be so exhausting (I know you sense my sarcasm). After skating round and round and round, I hit the gym too. I did a nice 20 minute interval walk/run on the treadmill. It's nice that my hip seems to be healing. I think that I will start the running outside though instead of the treadmill. The treadmill seems to really bother it after 10 minutes, but I can chase 5 year olds around the park and have no issues. Anyway, after the intervals I took spin class. We did interval sets and I really thought I was going to puke about 30 minutes in. Normally during spin class I burn around 6 or 7 calories a minute (according to my lovely bodybugg). Last night I glanced down and saw 9.7. Aaaahhh. No wonder I was dumping sweat. No wonder I was huffing and puffing. It was HARD. You know what, I loved every minute of it. Tonight she says we're doing hill sets. Oh fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So here's the deal. I won a scholarship to be on a Master's Swim Team. It was almost a month ago that I was awarded the scholarship. How many times have I gone to practice? None. Zero. Zilch. It's because I am nervous about it. I don't know why. There's really no reason at all for me to feel this way. I have tried to go. I chicken out. I've even gone so far as to pack my bag for the morning with all of my clothes and swim gear, literally leaving the only thing to do is get up and go. I've skipped it. I am the queen of excuses. I am the queen of something. Practice is every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning at 5am. Tomorrow is Wednesday. Tomorrow I suck it up and go.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Last night I spent 30 minutes with the man at the gym. I bribed him with food. I think I am getting the winning end of the deal, but his stomach may beg to differ. Food for training. I bring the man food. He trains me. Deal. Last night we ended up doing legs. Leg press, one legged squats, step-ups and a heavy weighted lunge/row circuit. Then I did cardio for 40 minutes.

I'm sore. My glutes and quads are speaking to me. They are telling me things like, 'hey, thanks for remembering us' and 'thanks for doing a heavy weight lunge and row circuit, we needed it.' I'll admit that I actually like being sore. Not the painful sore you get from overuse, but the sore when you know you've done just the right number of lunge/squat/step-ups/whatever to start building the muscles. I like muscles. I like working towards getting them. I like the idea that muscles are evidence. That's one of my favorite quotes. "Muscles are evidence." It's on my bedroom wall at home above my dresser. I look at that quote all the time. It's true. Muscles represent hard work and time and sacrifice. What's not to love about muscles? Don't get me wrong, I realize that as with anything too much of a good thing is not necessarily better. I don't want to be a body builder, but I do want the fitness. I want my muscles to be strong, to push me towards my goals, to be efficient, to be toned and lean and burning calories the way that bodies are made to. I like muscles.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I went to spinning last night. I have been missing it so much. I wanted to see how much of the fitness I've lost by being injured. Funny thing, I don't think I lost much. In fact, I was pushing myself really hard and barely burned 400 calories in class. My legs felt strong. My posture was great. I upped the resistance. The only time I really had an issue was during speed intervals. Those seem to bother my hip flexor injury a lot, so I used a higher resistance and slowed my legs a bit. I'd love to be 100%, but I know that it still will be a while before I am completely healed. I am thinking about going to see a sports injury therapist. There is one fairly close to my house and I think after almost a month, it's time to seek professional help. Last night I was really having a hard time breathing towards the end of class. Pretty sure I have allergies now. I think it might also be time to start carrying my inhaler with me to the gym. Breathing is kinda important.

Tonight I have a training session at the gym. Arms and abs. My favorite. NOT!

On another note, my weight is back up to 252. I am not going to change the little ticker because it's not going to be over 250 for long. I feel like I am back in the game again. Refocused on several goals. First, to be under 200. It's a long way off... but it's doable. Second, I would like to be able to pass the ORPAT test. It's the Oregon Physical Abilities Test. All police and corrections officers in Oregon must be able to pass it. Now it's one of my goals. I will pass that damn test!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reframed or whatever...

I've been injured over 3 weeks now. I either have a cold or allergies or some messed up combination of both. I've been having issues at work. Basically, I am functioning at half of my normal self. After I posted yesterday, I had a little chat with a smarty. She reminded me that if I don't think I'm special or worth more, no one else will either. She's right. I deserve the best of what's around. I am just as special as the next person (if not a little more..haha). I just lack the self confidence to come out and say it. So here I am. Saying it. I AM SPECIAL DAMMIT!

I can't pinpoint the one thing that sucked all my self confidence, because it wasn't just one thing. The combination of being told by someone that I wasn't important enough to make time for. Being told that I am a terrible friend by someone else. Being looked at like I don't belong in a store. Being stared at as I sweat my ass off on the treadmill. Basically letting all of the outside influences take hold. Well, I've had it. I worked my ass off to get to where I am now. I am a good friend who'd be there in a heartbeat if someone needed me. I belong in the gym. If I'm not important enough for some people to make time for, it's their loss. Basically, I am awesome.

I decided I am going to the auditions. I am going to sparkle and shine and show them that I am the best choice for the next season.

I deserve to be on the BL. I deserve to show the world what I'm made of. I am going to lose the weight (with or without Bob and Jillian). I am going to be an Ironman.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Biggest. Loser. Tryouts.

The Biggest Loser is holding an open casting call for the next season here in Portland. I am really torn as to whether to go. My sister and a few friends have told me that I should audition. But, I just don't know. I don't think my 'story' is any more special or deserving than others.

I have enough self-doubt to last a lifetime. I hate critisism. I hate games. But, I love the idea of being able to focus on me and my weight all day every day. I know that I can push myself harder than most people. I have no "off" switch. I'm competitive. I watch the contestants whine and complain about not being able to do something and get mad. They can do it, they just don't want to. I'm not a fan of the game play on the show. My favorite contestant won my heart because she always relied on herself and never ever gave up. I want to be like that.

I'll post more about this later, but would love any and all opinions.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snowman or snowcone?

When life gives you snow, my mom advised to make a snowman. Right now, I'd settle for a yellow snowcone. Life is coming at me fast and even though I know things will work out, as they always do, it's still easy to use it as an excuse to eat.

Last week was emotional and filled with stress and no matter how I tried to reframe my thinking, I was negative and I ate. I ate pizza. I drank an entire bottle of wine. I made meatloaf and ate a whole lot of it. It wasn't just any meatloaf, it was my special bacon, mushroom and swiss meatloaf. Yum. Not healthy. I ate chips and guacamole. I ate cornnuts. Have you ever looked at a package of cornnuts and wondered what exactly some of those ingredients are? Oy. But here's the deal. Yes, last week I stifled my emotions with food. I ate instead of cried. I'm ok with it. In the grand scheme of things, it was one week. Now I move on. Forward.

I ended my week of old habits last night at HH with a good friend. We talked about life. We talked some shit. She reminded me of why I can't let last week keep me down. She's right. This morning I started my day with some oatmeal and strawberries. Cup of coffee in hand. I have training tonight and will go to spin class (still listening to my body and not pushing my hip). I meet with the crazy lady about possible earning a little teeny tiny bit of extra $$.

Today I make a snowman.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Conversations with myself

I wonder if it's normal to have conversations with yourself? An entire conversation... where you talk to yourself in that back and forth way only a real conversation happens.

When there is a lot on my mind, I find myself doing this. It doesn't even have to be about something deep, just a way to process whatever thoughts are in my head. There's a commercial for NCIS where Abby the lab tech is moving her hands above her head and when someone else starts talking to her she replies, "shhhh... I'm rearranging my thoughts." That's sort of how I feel about talking myself through everything that's in my head right now. For the last few days my brains have been mashed or swirled together into a nasty goo which did not allow me to even put complete thoughts together. After a terrible nights sleep, today is surprisingly much better. My thoughts have been reorganized in a neat little package and placed on their appropriate shelves. I have a new, more positive outlook on things. I am ready to rock.

Ready to rock. Oh, but I'm still injured. I've been taking it easy, doing exactly what the good doctor told me to do. Slowly, I am feeling better. I know that this will be the hardest time. The time when my hip feels pretty ok, but not 100%. The time when I am itching to get back to training. Tonight I continue my take it easy plan. Maybe 20 minutes on the eliptical and 20 minutes on the bike. Maybe some light weights. NO running. NO stairs. Stop when it starts hurting. Oy, did I mention this sucks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back on track...

The thing I struggle with most is eating. I admit it. I like food. I like the way it tastes. I like cooking. I like cooking for other people. I use it as comfort. I, like many other overweight people, have used and abused food for most of my life. It's always been there for me. When I am happy, I celebrate with food. When I am sad, it comforts me. When I am bored, it occupies my time. When I am lonely, it's always been there. Always.

But, my relationship with food is changing. The more motivated and focused I am to Ironman, the more I have started looking at food as fuel. Sure, I still have those times where all I want to do is stuff my face with a plate of nachos or some homemade lasagna. But, those times are becoming fewer and fewer. I eat when I am hungry. This might seem like such a simple thing, but for anyone who has struggled like me, it's not. I have started listening to my body. It tells me when I need to eat and usually what I need to eat. I very rarely eat salty things. But sometimes my body says, 'give me the salt' and I have started obeying.

It seems to be paying off. I am down 3.4 lbs. this week. Yay! I hardly worked out last week due to my injury, so this weight loss is the result of following the plan, drinking lots of water and still doing what I can to move (like swimming). 3.4 down, 48.6 to go.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend fun...

I had a great time this weekend, although friday was a really rough day. I got some more bad news and finally all of the emotions that I had been feeling during the week came out as tears. I cried the entire way home from work, composed myself for about 2 minutes and cried when I picked up Amaya. Luckily I have the sweetest girl ever and she gave me a giant hug and then told me she was gonna take extra care of me this weekend. Awwww. When I got home, I decided that I really needed to clear my head and seeing how I'm still injured I thought a swim would be great.

I dug out a swim workout from the end of TNT season last year. I figured that if I pushed myself really hard, then I wouldn't have time to think about everything else going on in my life. Boy, was I right. I started with a 200 warm-up. Then I did 6 X 50 sprints with :15 second rest. Followed that by 100 with :15 rest. 200, :20 rest. 300, :30 rest. 50 easy. Repeat that set again. 6 X 50 drills. 100 cool down. It felt good. My head was clear. My arms were tired. It was exactly what I needed to start the weekend.

Saturday morning I met my friend at the gym. We did 10 minutes bike, 20 eliptical and then I did 10 or so minutes of weights. My hip is still giving me trouble, so I am trying to take it extra easy and really listen to my body. Spent the rest of the day with Amaya playing and painting water color pictures and watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Super cute movie and Amaya loved it. After that, I picked up my sister and we went to dinner to get her pumped up for the inaugural bull ride. We drove to Duke's (a country bar) and Tina began downing the liquid courage. Once she was ready, she hopped up on the bull and rode like an NFR champion. After a few more people had gone, I decided that I would join the ranks of the brave and have a go at the bull. It was actually fun and I'd even go as far to say that I would do it again. Who knew that I would ever have the confidence to do something like that. Sober even!

Sunday I picked up the house a little and took Amaya to the ballet. We went to see Midsummer's Night Dream. It was amazing, although it didn't end so well. About halfway through the second act, there was a power outage and the entire block was out. They ended up cancelling the rest of the performance due to safety issues. It was sad, but Amaya and I still had a great time. We went home and I decided that I would make some lasagna. It's a bribe really. I want to trade home-cooked meals for personal training. I think it's pretty fair. I even offered to clean someone's house. We'll see if it pans out.