Monthly Archives: February 2013

Celebrating a new milestone.

strongmindstrongermusclesI can remember the details of each weight loss milestone very well. I have the kind of memory that can tell you what I wore on my first date with my fiancee so this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.

I remember the first time I timidly stepped on the scale, petrified that it would be the same number that I had finally faced during my consultation with A Healthy Balance. I remember shrieking that I had in fact, lost a whopping 9 pounds. I remember standing in front of the mirror and thinking “Why yes, I do in fact look 9 pounds skinner!” – if only I knew what was in store for me.

9 pounds down and already feeling on top of the world.

9 pounds down and already feeling on top of the world.

I remember 25. I remember being so determined to reach that benchmark by the end of my 12 week class. And I remember the Saturday morning that I held my breath and crossed my fingers. I remember the goofy grin on my face, so proud of myself that I had actually accomplished something. I remember going for a “run” afterwards (which, let’s be honest- was mostly a lot of walking back then)  and feeling on top of the world. 25 was half way to 50, but that still seemed so far to go.

30 happened right before I went on a two week vacation to California and I was incredibly nervous to leave my eating and workout routine on the other side of the country. But it was there that running and I truly made a connection, and I actually came home weighting 1 pound less than I had been before I left… SUCCESS!


Trip to California. Determined to not lose my grip on 30 and push onto 40, despite being on vacation mode.

I remember that 40 happened a lot slower than the others, and that pissed me off. Every pound was like an obnoxious tug-of-war game. But 40 showed me that it’s not always easy, and that there are other ways to measure success than just a number on the scale. 40 taught me patience, self acceptance, and determination.

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I can’t remember the last time I bought a dress that I felt “good” in – until now.

50 happened on New Year’s Eve, therefore accomplishing my goal of losing 50 pounds in 2012. If 25 felt good, 50 felt AMAZING. Unstoppable. Bad Ass.  50 left a smile on my face for quite some time.

Celebrating 50 on New Year's Eve.

Celebrating the big 5-0 with some snowboarding and of course, my hot pants.

And then this week- 60 happened. It came as most of the other milestones did: quietly, a sudden “Oh hey look at that!” But 60 feels very different from the rest.

60 feels so skinny. 60 feels so healthy.

60 feels so close to a body that I would be very content with living in for the rest of my life.

You can see 60 in my legs that can now run several miles and in my arms that have definition.

60 is a body that swims and runs, that pushes itself and that does things that seem outrageous.

60 makes me happy to get dressed in the morning, and it doesn’t make me anxious to go clothes shopping. It makes me smile when I pass a mirror and think “I did that.”

60 makes me confident, it makes me happy, it makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt. And it gives me the strength to keep on going because honestly- why stop at 60?



A day to show love…. to yourself.

The plan was to write a post about Valentine’s Day. How you don’t need a a 7 course dinner, decadent dessert, or boxes of chocolates to tell someone that you love them. That you can show your love through quinoa and kale and clean eating and exercise. That was the plan… and then February 14th came around. And I went against what I was going to write about.

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The evil empire … also known as death by chocolate.

It was an overall crappy week. One of the ones where you feel like no matter what you do- it’s just not good enough. My burpees were weak, I struggled in my triathlon swim class, and my runs were slow. It was the first full week of my new workout schedule and I was exhausted. I could blame it on any one of these factors but when it comes down to it- my head just wasn’t in the game. I was annoyed with myself, with sweating, with getting up early. So needless to say that when Valentine’s evening came around and my fiancee greeted me with my favorite desserts, I didn’t think twice before diving in with a spoon. I felt disgusting after… but clearly not disgusted enough to keep me from having another bite alongside my oatmeal the next morning… REALLY KATHLEEN?!

As much as I’ve learned to allow myself to indulge once in a while, it was the icing on the cake (quite literally) to what I felt like was a disappointing week. I wasn’t surprised when the scale was a little higher than I wanted it to be, but I was certainly annoyed. This isn’t me, this isn’t what I do. And while I wasn’t feeling too great about my running the past few days, I was looking forward to my race at the end of the week as a potential saving grace. Unfortunately, typical New England decided to chuck a few more inches of snow at us- with some 40 mile-per-hour winds thrown in for good measure. Race – cancelled. I was disappointed and annoyed, but chalked it up to a higher power telling me that it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m sure that if I hadn’t done as well as my last race it would have deepened the funk I was already in.

snow storm running!

Ready to brave the elements!

With my cute little race outfit sitting in the corner (YES- I have “outfits” and I pick them out the night before- judge away) I felt stir-crazy and alone with my thoughts. That is until two friends who are training for the marathon asked me if I wanted to join them for part of their run (To which I said, “I’ll join you for the whole 15 miles!” … JUST kidding). I layered up with gloves, thermal shirts and my ski goggles and happily trekked through the snow behind them. They are the kind of people who live for running, who put their heart into every step, and are a large part of the reason I’ve caught the bug. As I cautiously ran through the slush I felt alive, rejuvenated. It didn’t matter how fast I was running, or how far- all that mattered was that I was doing what makes me happy.

My favorite Alex & Ani bracelet to remind me that slow and steady is what's gonna win this race of mine.

My favorite Alex & Ani bracelet to remind me that slow and steady is what’s gonna win this race of mine.

I’m still writing about Valentine’s Day. But I’m telling you that it’s okay if you celebrated with chocolate. It doesn’t make you a bad person- it makes you human. Instead of being disappointed with myself for my choice- I am celebrating the 364 days of choices that I’ve made since LAST February 14th. I made life changes. I became healthy. I lost over 50 pounds. I became a runner. I showed myself that I can do things that I never thought were possible. My Valentine’s Day was about celebrating a long, happy, and healthy life with the man that I love. I show myself love every day with quinoa and kale, and sometimes chocolate and french fries. With half assed burpees, strong pushups, and runs that are sometimes long and euphoric, but often times short and frustrating. I love myself every day for the changes I’ve made- and the future that lies ahead for me.

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day 🙂


Running in a winter wonderland?

For anyone who DOESN’T live in the New England area (or resides under a rock), we kind of got some snow this weekend. And by kind of, I mean – we got absolutely buried. For all the years that I’ve had to listen to people talk about “The Blizzard of ’78” I can now say that I survived the epic “Nemo”. Yipee.

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Running on the beach with a negative wind chill? Something I don’t really need to do again, thanks.

For the most part, my first winter of “being a runner” in New England has been pretty uneventful. A few slushy days, an inch of snow here or there, and that one dreadful night where I decided to run in negative degree weather with a DIY neck warmer. So needless to say that when the rumors of FEET of snow began- I began to freak out.

As the first snowflakes fell I threw on my running gear and headed out to the streets in fear that I may never see pavement again (Also because if you’ve ever run in the snow before, you know it’s one of the coolest feelings).

Is it spring yet?

Is it spring yet?

Unfortunately for once, the weathermen were straight on. My weekend was spent shoveling my car out from under 30 inches of snow and spending almost 30 hours without power.  In a desperate attempt to save my fridge of healthy food, my greek yogurts became frozen yogurt on the back porch, Saturday’s bootcamp  was cancelled and I didn’t get a run in ALL weekend. By Sunday afternoon I was literally twitching from lack of exercise- I can’t remember the last time I went two days in a row without some kind of workout. I’ve developed such a routine that I paralyze with fear at the thought of it going out of whack. There’s still this small part of my brain that thinks that one missed workout will have a snowball effect, and that I’ll be back where I started a year ago. I know it sounds pathetic, but I have to remind myself that a few days off isn’t going to spiral into a downfall, or make me gain 5 pounds back.

Deep down I know all this because honestly, I would miss it too much. I keep waiting for the day that “this all” becomes a chore, but at this point- I’m pretty sure that’s never going to happen. Last week I went snowboarding, swimming AND running. Never in my life have I been such an active person and honestly, I’ve never been happier. I feel like there’s this amazing world that I’ve been missing out on for so long, and now I want to do everything possible to catch up. Every week seems to bring a new experience or something different to try and for once in my life I’m not letting the “what ifs” hold me back- I’m just taking a deep breath and doing it. 🙂

Diving in… literally.

Ever since my trainer put the words “you” and “triathlon” in the same sentence I feel like it crosses my mind at least once a day. I think about it, I talk about it, I read about it, and I think about it some more. I tell myself “Are you INSANE? What makes you think you can actually do this?“. Then I tell myself “You realize that you will be the epitome of a bad ass after this, right?” It’s a raging war inside my head. So needless to say I was both excited and nervous to actually take the first step in my training… a triathlon swim class.

Training really began with the search for a swim suit. Why do athletic bathing suits have to be THE most unattractive combination of nylon and spandex ever? I totally thought that my first bathing suit experience 50 pounds lighter would be a little more enjoyable than this. But after realizing that function trumps flattery in this scenario I left the sporting goods store with a suit, goggles and a swim cap… bring it, swim class!


Well, this is a look I’ll have to get used to…

The countdown to class was like a ticking bomb in my nervous system. I had to force myself to finish my dinner before I headed to the pool. (Wait- isn’t the #1 rule that you are supposed to wait an hour after eating to swim? I’m already setting myself up for failure!). Sure I can”swim”- If you mean casually float around a pool or play a competitive game of Marco Polo. But laps back and forth? Not my thing.

By some magic twist of fate, my triathlon/swim class buddy (who has been there- done that when it comes to triathlons) and I were directed to the wrong pool, therefore missing our first class. I of course, took this as a sign from the swim gods that I had another night free from the water. Swim buddy however, suggested we take advantage of the pool’s free swim time and get in a few laps. Damn.

I timidly jumped into the pool, put on my googles (No swim cap yet, one thing at a time here)…and pushed off. I was shocked when I made it to the other side of the pool. (Have I mentioned yet that the triathlon swim is like EIGHTEEN laps in the pool?) It certainly wasn’t graceful, and I was gasping for air as I grabbed onto the wall- but I did it.

This is my first night of "swim class" in a nutshell.

This gives you a mental image of how my first night went.

As we went back and forth it took all of my strength and concentration to not freak out and sink when my feet couldn’t touch anymore. (And is it even physically possible to sweat while you’re swimming? Because I’m pretty sure I was.) But with each lap I chalked up a small victory point for Kathleen. This is learning to run, the aquatic version. In my mind I was back on the pathway at the beach, 50 pounds heavier, priding myself on running two light poles without stopping. It was hard, it took a lot of work, but the pride I felt when I collapsed into bed later that night sparked a little glimmer of hope within me. If this is anything like running, I know that with a few weeks or months of practice will make a lap in the pool seem like a piece of cake.

Here’s hoping.

My first apartment.

Ahhhhhh. My first post on my very own blog. It’s kind of like that feeling when you move out of your parents house and into your first apartment: the smell of fresh paint, brand new pots and pans, and a very clean, but very empty fridge. Suddenly it feels incredibly real that the future really is in your hands – and that life is what you make of it.

Yep, this is that feeling.


My life has changed drastically in the last 10 months. I am a completely different person- if someone had told me a year ago that I’d be running road races, eating to fuel my body instead of satisfying it, and craving workouts I never would have believed them. And yet, here I am- doing it all. In less than a year there have been several new chapters in my life- but I’m particularly excited about this one. This time- I am on my own. It’s time to take what I’ve been given and run with it. This is my chance to show everyone that I can set crazy goals, and I can push myself to achieve them. I can’t wait to see what I’m made of 🙂