2012 Turkey Trot – My First 10k

April and I about a mile in.

Hello! Yes, blog friends, I have FINALLY received the card reader I complained about not having several times this week. Which means… PICTURES! VOILA! (Did you know that word is “Wah-lah!” For the longest time I just wrote wahlah. Had no idea it was Voila. Anyways, random is me.) So! All week I had been pumping myself up to do the third annual Petaluma Turkey Trot. Sure, I’d need to wake up earlier than I do for work, and sure, it’d be 44 degrees when we started, and sure, a large portion of the trail was up a steep, rocky hill. But, SURE, I could do it!

I arrived in Petaluma the night before and my sister and I spent the night awake and giggling like we have too many times. Finally, we knocked out around 1:45 AM, and I awoke the next morning to the blaring alarm clock set 14 minutes too fast (I guess delinquency runs in the family). My sister had an ailment that could have prevented her from going, but I’ll let her tell you all about that tomorrow. (She’s a trooper! Go April!) We got dressed, got in the car, and were on our way!

We showed up at the park at 8:38, where everyone was supposed to be meeting at 8:30. There were no turkey trotters in sight. Plenty of cars, but no people. Had we missed the turkey trot? Indeed we had! But, since we are super hardcore and were determined to come home with the glow of pre-feast fitness victory, we relied on our pal Melody’s trusty sense of navigation (and her phone) and created our own route. We were initially going to do the 5k track, but as we got going, catching up and BSing about life, the Sonoma Aroma filled our lungs and we were filled with motivation and inspiration, fueled by perspiration. We trudged forward, stopping to check out cows and compare manicures.

Reached the top of Helen Putnam Park without going into cardiac arrest. YAY!

Right before this picture was taken, I was sitting on a bench, breathing heavily, half wondering if I had overdone it on the huge, steep hill leading up to the nature trail called Helen Putnam Park. I had pushed myself forward, but it was a long, steep climb and all of a sudden I felt really out of breath and could tell I was having a pollen reaction, combined with hauling 50 extra pounds up a huge hill. (Long story short – when you have crazy allergies like I do, if you suddenly take in a lot of pollen or an inhalant, your body gets a little… fuzzy feeling. This can happen even with allergy meds ,and it sucks – it’s kind of like feeling super super tired all of a sudden yet panicky at the same time. It’s a big fat fail.) I sat on the bench, feeling frustrated and wondering why this all had to be so damn hard. Hadn’t I just said I was feeling more in shape? I said this aloud to my friend Melody (who has lost 70 pounds – SUPER STAR! She’s amazing!) – and she provided even more weight loss wisdom. “It’s hard, but you have to push through it. Just keep going. Just. keep. going.” She enunciated the last three words, and I realized, she’s right. Everything I’ve ever done that’s been worth doing has been HARD. Victory and success doesn’t come without major perseverance. I got off the bench… and I kept going.

The beautiful Petaluma, California

The rest of the trail was awesome, as we got on top of these hills which then took us through a beautiful wooded area, dappled with morning light and gently rolling fog. Once I made it past that hill, the rest of the hike was gravy. We were jolly and laughing the whole way down, proud that we had done something so good for ourselves on a day that’s usually good for the soul but bad for the arteries. By the time we got back to where we started, we had clocked 6.9 miles – just over a 10k, and according to MyFitnessPal, a 910 calorie burn. I think I need to make this a new Thanksgiving day tradition, because it made the rest of the day feel so rewarding. I felt great after my workout and I’m proud to say now that I can walk a 10k.

April, Melody and I after our Turkey Trot.

Have you or would you ever participate in a “turkey trot”?

A post by April – Starting Again – Getting Back on the Weight Loss Train

Hi everybody! I have some exciting news. You know how this blog is called the DOUBLE Chin Diary? Well – it’s not just double because of the amount of rolls under your chin, it’s double because now there are two bloggers at the Double Chin Diary! Please give a warm welcome to my older sister April. Here’s some things you should know about April – April is 29 years old, an animal lover, a major environmentalist in that she spends her free time picking trash up off the beach (seriously saintly), loves working with kids, and she travels to all kinds of cool places all the time. April will be stopping by every now and then to chronicle her journey towards losing 30 pounds by the time she turns 30 in April. (That’s a lot of Aprils!) I’m looking forward to seeing how our stories match – and how they differ. Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Here I am on my 29th birthday – celebrating with yummy food.

Seven years ago I managed to lose 50 pounds with the amazing and classic style of eating right and working out more. It was irritatingly hard the first few months that I struggled through workouts and eating whole grains and it wasn’t until I had a break down on the scale that I finally started to see a change. The change surely wasn’t on the scale since I was in tears, the change was within myself.

A friend that I had met at the gym consoled me as I cried about my disappointment in myself and questioned why I wasn’t losing weight yet. My friend then stepped on the scale and showed me how she weighed almost exactly the same as me. Being the same height as myself too, her simple action made me A LOT better about myself. I had never thought of my friend as a fat woman so seeing that we weighed the same meant that surely my body couldn’t be THAT horrible.

I decided that I would just work harder on the exercise and keep at it. I even managed to get a job working at the small women-only circuit training gym. After that initial break down on the scale, my weight started to creep off pound by pound. I would go down two pounds one week then gain back a pound in the next. That pattern continued for a solid four months until I had lost fifty pounds. I hit a plateau and it seemed like no matter what I did to lose weight, no matter how much I worked out or how wonderfully light I ate; the weight just wasn’t leaving.

I managed to keep the weight off for a few years until I started to go back to my old ways of eating fast food, drinking soda, and working out MUCH less. As it tends to happen, that kind of behavior only resulted in me packing on the pounds until one day I noticed I was a mere 11 pounds from the heaviest I had been before I ever lost any weight at all.

That is where I am today.

I feel disappointed in myself for letting my weight come back but I have hope in knowing that I did it once before and now I’ll just have to do it again.

I’m starting small and cutting back on my sugar intake. I’ll give up my precious Taco Bell again that has been my treat of the summer. I’ve begun taking walks and hikes again. I have even been pretty routine about my doing my weighted hula hoop. It will take some time and a lot of effort but I know that eventually I’ll get back on the road I need to be on.

How do you deal with getting back on the “weight-loss train” when you’ve been off it for so long?

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey everybody! How was your weekend? Mine was good! My sister was in town with her friend Christian, and we had a nice relaxing weekend full of gardening, good eats and hanging around having good conversations. We started it off with some funfetti cake with homemade buttercream frosting… and then we went to our favorite Cajun place for some soul food. I had fried chicken, but only made it through one piece before my stomach warned me to stop! (Again – remember that whole healthy eating and then junk food thing? Crazy!)

Practicing Cake Decorating with the Star Tip!

And then the next day, we all had dinner at Stonefire Grill, where I got this delicious grilled salad with artichoke hearts, avocado and tri-tip.

Grilled salad from Stonefire Grill

After dinner, we saw Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. This was a quirky little film with lots of typical Anderson-esque eccentricness. It’s worth seeing if you’re into sort of campy, kitschy films. After the movie we couldn’t pass up a treat at Yogurtland, where I got toasted coconut frozen yogurt topped with strawberries – my favorite!

Happy Sisters after Frozen Yogurt

Today we lazed around for a bit until April and Christian headed back up the coast to Northern California. I love having visitors! I didn’t do terrible this weekend with my food, but I definitely went over my calorie count on Saturday and Friday night. I’m going to guess I’ll be up a bit on the scale tomorrow, but I know the damage isn’t irreparable. To make this liveable, I have to keep in mind that it’s going to happen from time to time, especially if I am going to opt for fried chicken over a dry grilled pork chop at a Cajun restaurant (Can you blame me?). Try as I might to be a perfectionist at other areas in my life, I’m willing to take the weight loss path a little bit slower and a little bit less perfect to still enjoy eating.

However…. enjoying eating can definitely still happen with amazing, yummy, HEALTHY food.. like our dinner tonight! A grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, Israeli cous cous, and a variety of grilled vegetables. Holy deliciousness – check this out – and for only 400 calories! Yum, Yum, Yum!!!!

Delicious and healthy 400 calorie dinner

How was your weekend? What did you eat?

PS: Want a chance to win this awesome tote bag packed with some of my favorite things? “Like” the Double Chin Diary on Facebook to help us reach 150 fans – and then we’ll host a drawing!

Bacon and Egg Tote Bag!

Slimmin’ with Simmons

My sister’s visit to Los Angeles meant many things – but among the most important was that we exercise with Richard Simmons! Richard offers classes to the public for $12 at his Beverly Hills Slimmons Studio. The theme on Saturday was MoTown, and as we grooved to “I heard it through the grape vine” and “Twist and Shout”, Richard proved to be his usual enigmatic self and flitted around in his spangled, sequined top.

Richard, Me and April - We're homies!

After a couple of weeks of not exercising slacking off, I was ready for the worst. And while prancing around for an hour and a half was not the EASIEST thing, it was fun, and at the end my body was painfully sore but grateful for a good workout.

Halfway through the class my sister got called out to dance in the circle with Richard! It was fun to see her getting her groove on with Simmons and his famous ‘fro.

One thing I love about Richard Simmons is that he BELIEVES what he’s teaching. While he’s screaming his dirty jokes and simultaneous words of praise, you know he’s doing it for you. He’s not doing it for the paycheck, he’s not doing it for his ego. He’s doing it because he genuinely cares about your health and wants you to be the best you can be. I did my normal boxing class last night, and while it was a good workout, it was just nowhere near as FUN as class with Richard is. Exercise that’s fun is so much more easy to do! If only I could go twice a week!

What do you think – if you came to Los Angeles, would you want to sweat with Richard Simmons?

Cutting the Cheese

I was born amongst the skyscraping cornfields of the Midwest – veritable home to all-beef hot dogs, a giant silver bean, lots and lots of lakes, chainsmoking and some of the best cheese in all the land, thanks to the charismatic cows of Wisconsin.

My sister recently visited Wisconsin on her way to see my Grandma who lives in Minnesota, and she bought several varieties of cheese – cheddar, colby, colby jack, and monterey jack. (I didn’t know there was a type actually called Colby!) Instead of ravenously devouring them bite by bite as I would have done, holed off into the airplane bathroom gnawing on a hunk of Jack, she diligently held onto it in preparation for her first annual “Cheese Off”. (Just kidding about the airplane bathroom – as if I’d bring anything edible in there! YUCK!)

You Californians know that California has a thing about cheese, too. While our state can’t tout football fans who actually wear wedges on their heads, we do have “happy cows” who bear toothy, cud-eating grins as they make magical milk which will later be turned into cheese. (Somebody speculated that they were “happy cows” because instead of eating grass, they eat GRASS. You know, the kind of grass that makes you crave cookie dough.) But, being the good old-fashioned corn-fed Midwestern girl that my sister is, she decided to let the taste buds decide who would claim victory as the CHEESE KING.

She cut all of the cheese into little chunks on separate plates, and my family, in-laws and best friend were all instructed to taste them one after the other (Cal Colby VS Wisconsin Colby) and vote. She marked our results down on a whiteboard, and at the end, WISCONSIN was named the Cheese King (but not by much)!

Now – several people have cried foul about the way the test was conducted, as my husband says the California Cheddar was “Cheap cheddar, not representative of California”, and the purchase of this “cheap cheddar” could have been “a subconcious attempt to sway voters to the Midwest.” I personally wondered if the Wisconsin cheese was not as fresh as the California cheese, given that it had traveled eight hours by plane and lived in the fridge for awhile, which may have explained its meager win.

Cheese off Hostess flashes a Cheesy Grin

Apparently when my sister purchased the Wisconsin cheese, she explained what she intended to do with it to the store clerk. The clerk, no doubt a genius in my mind, had only this to say in the response: “Why does California want the best cheese, too? They have the best everything. So let us have the best cheese, damnit! You have it all!”

We’re letting you have it, Wisconsin. Your cheese wins.