Feb 102014

Its late on my first full day here in Cancun and you might wonder why the heck am I blogging? Well, its not like I’m a daily or even weekly blogger anymore, I blog when I’m inspired by something to talk about. Tonight, I am inspired to talk about my progress with The Emily Program and how it has taken a huge chunk of anxiety out of my life. I know I’ve already talked about how much better my anxiety and my eating habits are, but holy cow I can really tell now that I’m on vacation.

When we are in our day to day life at home there are healthy decisions that need to be made all day….what to eat, what to wear, what’s on my schedule today, feed the cats, feed the husband (teehee), hit the showers, scheduled exercise, blah blah blah.

But, here in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort, everything is in slow-mo….hardly any decisions and I can take my time to make them, plus they aren’t that hard…..pina colada or a mojito? Heehee

In the past, I would have really noticed my tendency towards compulsive eating and my anxiety when on vacation. I would have been saying to myself all the time, “Well, I’m on vacation I might as well eat this and this and this and that and that and that……..” which would trigger guilt and anxiety afterwards OR I might have been on the other side, before I learned intuitive eating, and I could on vacation while on a “diet” Oy…that would have sucked, there are so many wonderful foods here…fresh tropical fruits, fun drinks, outstanding traditional style tacos, room service, gourmet restaurants in the hotel etc etc……being on a “diet” would have thrown my darn anxiety off the charts.

But after today, I feel fantastic.  I had more than your average number of adult beverages on the beach today, not that I was counting.  We ate every few hours when we were hungry, a nosh of tacos here, a bit of fruit there, some happy hour veggies and dip, some yummy salad and steak for dinner…..no worries, no woes, just yummy fuel on a magnificent day at the beach.

Small aside…I was finally able to go back to regular exercise after 3 months of physical therapy. I’m happy to say that after 1 month of Megan K’s Fit Body Boot Camp I’m down 3 inches off my body. No diet food, just 3-5 days a week of 30 minute boot camp sessions and intuitive eating with the instruction of my dietitian at the Emily Program (its not a food plan or a diet) 🙂 I know some people progress faster, but this is just perfect for me 🙂



Dec 122011

I ran the Santa Hustle 5K in Chicago along Lake Michigan last Saturday (3rd).  The weather was rainy and windy.  The grassy area with the tents/bag check/treats was muddy and slippery.  The Travel Channel was there filming it, but I’m not sure how much good stuff they got, just cuz everyone was wet and most people were wearing their jackets or something waterproof on top of the Santa technical shirts. Although there definitely was a sea of red hats and white beards (part of the race pack) that everyone was at least trying to wear!   I didn’t bring my phone with me to the race because it was so wet and yucky I was afraid it’d be toast.  My friend Jill brought hers, but kept it zipped up in her pocket for the same reason.

The race started out about 10 minutes late, my guess was that the Travel Channel was getting all prepped to film the beginning of the race.  The crowd was HUGE…when the race did start, I didn’t get to the start clock until well into a minute after the start, but luckily, this was a chip time race. This was the first time I’ve ever run a chip timed race, so that’s pretty cool.

The running path was narrow once we got out of the parking lot….the racers bottlenecked on the muddy/wet/full of potholes lake path. It was either run on the crowded path or run on the sides in the muddy grass…yuck, my shoes were wet within the first mile.

The concept was great…run along for a mile with a bunch of other Santas, then get some holiday  candy! Then run another mile and get some hot chocolate (which I NEVER saw), then towards the end of the race get some Christmas cookies!  They had enough water, candy and cookies for everyone…but yeah, eating something while you’re also trying to run…bad idea…like I said fun concept, not really great for trying to get in a good run. I folded up my cup of M&Ms and saved the for the end, I also shoved a couple Christmas cookies in my pockets for the end.

My race chip time was 45 minutes…that is the most horribly I have ever run a 5K, but on the other hand….crowds, rain, wind, bottlenecks, mud, multiple food/water stops…yeah..unless a runner was up in the front of the whole group and didn’t stop for anything, no one got a good time on this. There were runners, not walkers, but runners still coming in after the 60 minute mark, we could see them from the refreshment/tent area.

Oh, so another perk of this race was an “after party” at Cubby Bear’s by Wrigley Field. It was advertised for all runners, it was part of the original Santa Hustle sign up, even our race #s had a special tag on it to get into the after party, it was racers only.   Well, we got there, well before the party was going to be over…and they RAN OUT OF FOOD!  They said, “sorry folks, once this buffet is empty, there is no more, but feel free to order from our regular menu! Though its not free”  Umm yeah thanks Cubby Bear and Adrenaline Race Management, BAD PLANNING! You really pissed off us racers. I should have gone right back to my hotel, I was already cold, wet and tired!

Alright…so, after getting back to the hotel and taking a hot shower, my friend and I started off the awesome part of our day and night in Chicago…so the trip wasn’t a bust, just the race…I won’t be going back. Even if its not wet/rainy in future years, I don’t expect it to be any more organized than what happened this year.

If you want to see me, here are some pics I ended up in, at the end of the race, oh umm, they posted those reindeer pics with everyone, that has nothing to do with me!

Santa Hustle 5K Pics

What’s next:

The 2011 Resolution Run!  I really slacked after my 5K on Labor Day….I improved from my 1st 5K on Memorial Day to my 2nd one on Labor Day…and then, well…the weather, illness and general running laziness took over.  Not this time!  I’m going to kick some arse at the Resolution Run…to end my 2011 off right! I am doing Couch 2 5K over again, but I’m doing it for the interval timing, with the guy coming on my podcast and telling me when to go fast and when to slow down…I can be accountable for intervals.  I’m doing Couch to 5K with a much faster pace to build up my time. I’m kicking my butt, I’m still slow, but I hope to secure myself at a time that is LESS THAN a 13:30 minute mile by the end of the month….I am trying to do this by running 3x a week…I really hope I can! I want to finish a 5K in less than 38 minutes.

I think I can, I think I can!

Staying on Track Update:

Just a quick update, I’m logging into Daily Mile to log my runs, I’m logging into MyFitnessPal to log my food (I often forget to hit the “Complete my Diary” button), but I’m there logging!  I’m staying on track during the holidays!


I’ve been having to clip my “underthings” on a tighter hook these last couple weeks, so I reached into the back of my unmentionables drawer for a smaller size.  Smaller around, not the cup size…well, it fit perfectly!  YAY! I’m down a chest size, but not a cup size! w0ot w00t!


How are you guys out there doing so far during the holidays? Are you managing the extra temptations?

Any wintery runs coming up?

I’m so happy for an NSV during the holidays, tell me about yours! Any clothing, shopping, #DontEatTheTreat triumphs?

<3 Merbear

Oct 282011





A few have requested Halloween costume photos so here they are!  I am so proud of my costume this year, I’m Inara from Firefly. This is a Cosplay quality costume made by my friend and seamstress, Maggie!

The photo of me in white is my Princess Leia costume from 2010, look at the difference between then and now! Wow! At this rate by next year maybe I can I will wear a slinky costume for the 1st time ever!

The group photos include Corryn as Kaylie and Ryan as Captain Mal also from Firefly.

What a difference a year of hard work makes!

I am totally enjoying Halloween this year for the parties, decorations, costumes and kids coming to the door vs. being worried about candy, I still love it, but it doesn’t nag me anymore!

Do you guys enjoy Halloween? Tell me about it!

<3 Merbear

Oct 272011

This last weekend I road tripped to Chicago with my friends. We left early on Friday and got home late Sunday night.

My vacation eating mentality was so different than it has been ever before! I just automatically look for the best meal and snack options available because it is what I truly want! All the time! Even on vacation! Yaay!

This is not to say I didn’t enjoy a few Chicago specialties, but I definitely didn’t have an “I’ll eat whatever I want, its vacation!” atittude either.

For example at my friend’s Halloween party on Saturday night, there was Italian for dinner. A big catering container of pasta….mmm one of my favs. So I grabbed an empty plate and FILLED it with lots of salad! I then walked away from the food and  sat down to savor the salad. It worked, once the salad was gone I wasn’t drooling over the pasta Amy more, so I grabbed about half a plate worth and that was enough to satisfy my tastebuds and hunger!

Over the course of the weekend we did visit Shake & Steak and Dunkin Donuts once each to enjoy some local fare. Neither of these places are in MN.

Finally, probably my favorite “I beat vacation eating”meal was at Goose Island. I literally looked on the menu for what would sound good. I wasn’t searching for calories, fat, etc….I just was just going for good flavors and what my body was craving. I picked the autumn salad and homemade bread. My friend Corryn exclaimed, “Look at Mer with the healthiest lunch at the table!” I didn’t really plan it that way, I wasn’t just searching out the salad, I literally picked it because pears, nuts, bleu cheese.and a variety of lettuce with a pear vinagrette sounded amazing! It was, yum, go me!

I think my body is finally starting to crave what its supposed to be eating because I’ve been feeding it good food consistently. It works! Your body craves what you give it most!

Woohoo, that is all.

<3 Merbear

Jul 262011

Hey all!  I had a relaxing and fun vacation in Washington state.  Eating is always a challenge on vacations. I did have local favorites and treats here and there, but I also walked all over and I ran 2.6 miles on country roads the 2nd day we were there. It was awesome running on a quiet road, about 60 degrees out with a mist coming down. I definitely was challenged my a slight grade hill on my way back, but that made me even prouder to have done it. I think I’m in love with running outside, now for some cooler weather here in MN and I’m going to do it again soon!

My family stayed in a beautiful beach house in Olympia, WA where we watched the tides come in and out, gazed at stars at night and saw Mt. Rainier during the day.  Ryan and I took two days on our own to venture up to Seattle so I could show him the sights, too.

Here is a little photo diary of my trip 🙂

Enjoying a sugar free Ring Pop!

A fav snack

Fresh clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
@Lowell’s in Pike Place Market

Crab roll @ Lowell’s 
My niece and mom!


Hamma Hamma Oyster Shots

3 men to BBQ salmon?

Huge pancakes, I could only eat one!

A nice harbor in Bremerton

Ryan and I on a ferry

My favorite food

The Experience Music Project
 @Seattle Center

Top of the Space Needle

View of Seattle from the Space Needle

View of Seattle from the ferry

Jul 192011

I have another vacation starting tomorrow, its 5 days, with my family and friends in Washington state.

On my trip a couple weeks ago to Cleveland, I was visiting my boyfriend’s family for the first time, visiting Cleveland for the first time, and attending a wedding.  So a bit of uncomfortableness that could have led to eating, a wedding which usually leads to eating, and touring a city that can lead to “try this speciality and drink this specialty!”  Well guess what, I had some extra food at the family potlucks, I tried a corned beef sandwich at a special deli, I even tried local beer…and well, I had fun, didn’t feel stressed out, put on about 2 lbs and lost it within 1 1/2 weeks of coming back from my trip. 

No harm, no foul? That’s what I’d say!

How is Washington going to be different?

1 – I am the tour guide for my boyfriend, I can pick where we go and also what do you eat in Washington SUSHI AND SEAFOOD! I’ll be in tasty, healthy heaven!

2 – I love everything in Washington, but I also grew up there and have visited every year since we moved away, there is nothing there that I feel the need to stuff in my face, gorge on, drown in, etc

3 – Unlike Minnesota the weather is BEAUTIFUL there right now, yeah it might rain, but so what, rain there is awesome…but its not all day everyday, so I can run outside and be able to breathe fresh oceany air I’m so excited!

4- My family is staying in a vacation home with a full kitchen, we will be grocery shopping for ourselves when we get there, so I don’t even have to pack a bunch of safe foods, my family is a bunch of healthy eaters! YAY! (hehe, my boyfriend may OD on being offered veggies, Hahahahaha!)

5 – No stressful feelings about this vacation cuz there are no new people, my parents rented and put together everything, I just had to get my own rental car and schedule visiting some of MY friends, YAY!

So….this trip should ROCK. It is a vacation I may indulge in a couple local brews on my “treat” day, but I think this is gonna be awesome!

I may check in with some photos while I’m gone and some reports of my eating and exercise!

Coming up Next Week:
I want to buy a HRM, I’d really like one that’ll do GPS…think about the ones you like and be ready to talk me through a purchase! (Oh I also have  Polar discount that I got from Jen – A Priorfatgirl so I will most likely be buying from them

I also won a prize from Kris@KrisGetsHealthy and it has lots of cool stuffs in it! I’ll tell ya’all about that next week, too!

Jul 132011

Yay! I weighed myself this morning and its not an official weigh day yet (Fridays) and I’m back to my pre-vacation weight! w00t!  I still have two days to get to *this weeks* weight loss, so I’m pretty sure I’ll post a loss of new weight..(well new within the last few years, hehe). I’m so glad I can make up for a vacation gain in about a week, that makes me feel more confident going forward about maintaining and vacations.

The app/website I use for food tracking is My Fitness Pal and according to the program’s predictions I will be down another 5 lbs within the next 5 weeks if I keep eating the same, so I’m happy with that! That means in about 9 weeks I should be in a new decade, which makes me feel even better!

As I’ve mentioned before I do the Couch 2 5K program…but I’m actually using the ipod version that was done a few years ago. I do the one from http://www.ullreys.com/robert/Podcasts/ on my ipod. I’m on week 5, which started with three 5 minute runs, then two 8 minute runs, and then Friday or Saturday I will do my first continuous 20 minute run. I’m really nervous.

Does anyone have any tips about this? I think I can make it 10 minutes as I can do 8 and still have a bit of oomph left in my legs, but 8 minutes bumped up to 20….how much should I slow down? Or should I not? Hoo boy, I’m nervous!

Treats treats treats, I like treats!

I would NOT be able to keep on my healthiness journey if I didn’t have treats, I would fail within days, I can go a couple days without a treat, but if I don’t have something sweet, most likely chocoately after a few days I want to eat everything on the planet until I get it!

Yesterday I succumbed to a Snickers bar, but I actually had the calories for it and it was a workout day so I lifted weights and ran on the treadmill shortly after eating it.  I wish I was more prepared though, I bet a Dove dark chocolate square or a mini candy bar would have sufficed, but I didn’t have time to leave my floor at work and I had nothing in my desk! 

What should I keep at my desk? (I don’t have a lot of cravings, so I wouldn’t just mindlessly eat stuff, so don’t worry about that!)

I won the Kris gets healthy birthday contest on her blog, I am gonna get a bunch of sweet stuff, I’ll tell you all about it when I get it from her, I’m sure we’ll just meet up since I’m lucky enough to live in the same town! 🙂 Thanks again Kris!

Jul 112011

I go on vacation for 5 days, I wipe out my 3 lb loss and put on an extra pound by the end of that vacation – setback?

During my vacation I log my food, try to make smart choices, limit my alcohol, and I ran on the treadmill, getting up earlier than anyone else, TWICE – success?

3 days after I get back from vacation, I’m back to one lb down, but not my pre-vacation weight – sucess? setback?

Now, I was thinking my vacation was a “fail” because I gained weight, didn’t even maintain….but look what I did on vacation, I limited my intake of crap, I drank way less than everyone else, and I exercised!! Sounds like a success to me, even if it wasn’t a scale success, yes?

In the past vacation would have been a free for all, and I probably would have come home feeling even more bloated and my clothes probably would feel tight by the end of the trip.  I’m working off my vacation and trying to plan for my next trip next week for how I will keep on track.

I’m thinking that my most recent vacation, while it had a weight gain, it had a lot of learning opportunities and I was pretty successful. I learned that I can be my own advocate, I can ask for what I want and I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.  My friends and my family support me, and voila, so does my new found “family” that I met in Cleveland (aka my boyfriend’s family).

I also learned that its not *THAT* bad to relax a little on vacation, yeah I put on a few lbs, but I’m taking them back off and it could have been worse if I didn’t exercise, and that exercise made me feel good! I wish my vacation wasn’t so close to the beginning of my commitment to myself, but life happens, I just have to learn to roll with it and keep moving forward.

I think going down the line, if I learn something, use that knowledge in the future and be an advocate for myself, I will always be successful!

Okay and lets end this post with my adorable little buddies that I’ve had in my life for about 10 years now and what I’m going to be doing every night for the next 3 weeks, packing!

Isis giving you the “huggy purry” eyes

Shorty, looking for trouble

Tomorrow I want to talk more about Couch to 5k!

Jul 062011

Hi folks!
I went on a roadtrip for 5 days!! Not much time to sit in front of a computer and I’m not super happy with blogging on my phone, but I took a bunch of pictures and so I wanted you all to see what I was up to!

I was able to stick to my Couch to 5K running while I was out of town, two days on the treadmill!  I limited myself to no more than two drinks a day besides on the wedding night, but I only had 3 then water and coffee the rest of the night!  I brought my own food on our driving part of the road trip and while the boys ate McDonalds and some other treats, I had my sandwiches and salads! Yay me!  I did particupate in family meals but they were serve yourself homemade food so I stuck to less carbs. more salad. 

I did indulge in a couple treats not available in MN (a slurpee that I couldn’t even finish, too sweet) and one specificially adored in Clevelend (corned beef sandwich!)…

What did YOU do for 4th of July? Did you stay on your healthy living plan, if you didn’t, did you make a plan to splurge a little (that’s okay, too!)

Cool Monument in Cleveland

Enjoy the pics!


Ryan and I at Great Lakes Brewery
Edmund Fitzgerald and Lake Erie Monster

Cleveland style grilled brat

Cleveland Skyline

Ryan, the groom, and another cousin celebrating!
Famous Cleveland Corned Beef!

Jun 282011

On Thursday evening I’m leaving with my boyfriend and his dad for a 13 hour drive to Cleveland, 3 days there, and a 13 hour drive home.

I’m not nervous about the driving, or even the pit stops/meals when driving, I will be in control, I will still be in the company of familiar people.

I am *SO* nervous about the long weekend in Cleveland! We will be with my boyfriend’s family, who are all super nice people (so I’ve heard), and we will be staying with his grandma.  I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, but I also don’t want to sabotage my healthy lifestyle right when I got in to a new plan and everything!

Maybe its just my anxiety and fear of the unknown, because I asked my boyfriend if we could stop at the grocery store so I can pick up fruits and veggies for his grandma’s house and he said we could. I also asked if people will be offended if I don’t drink and he said they won’t at all, in fact his sister is a couple years sober and so there will be definitely lots of NA options all weekend.

Its going to be hot hot hot in Clevelend and there aren’t any LA Fitness clubs and his grandma/family doesn’t own a treadmill anywhere. So I am worried it’ll be too hot (like 90 and humid hot) to run outside, and I won’t have a place to do my C25K!  If its super hot we may get a hotel room cause his grandma doesn’t have AC and I’m kinda pushing for it, cause then there would be an exercise room with a treadmill, I can control my food by having a stash in the hotel and I can just be more relaxed in the mornings not wondering who else is up/using the bathroom, etc.

I am bringing my workout gear! I am not giving up on being able to workout even before I get there, but I’m still worried.

I think the rest of the aspects of the vacation will rock…speaking of I get to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Brewery, taste a famous sandwich from Schleiman’s…perhaps go on a river cruise. Oh and the main reason we’re going, is a wonderful outdoor wedding in an apple orchard!

Okay I’m done obsessing, it felt good to write it down, I’d love to hear your thoughts.