Re-Visiting My Goals for 2014

Square in the middle.  How did that happen??
I really don't make resolutions for the New Year.  I set different goals, and once in awhile I have to re-visit my goals.  Life has many turns and curves that we do not take into consideration when we are planning our method of actions to achieve our goals. Sometimes we need to re adjust to get to where we're going.

I have more or less maintained my 100+ weight loss for a year now, which is a big milestone for me. I still struggle from time to time, but overall I keep myself in the vicinity. 

Second Annual Freeze Out Cancer - My Eighth 5K Race

Finish Line
On December 15th, 2013, I ran my eighth 5K race- The Second Annual Freeze Out Cancer. held at Riverside Park in NYC.

I ran the Freeze Out Cancer race last year, and this year I was honored to have been contacted by the organizers offering sponsorship to Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl as well as three of my readers.

Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl Nominated for Healthline's Best Health Blog of 2013

On Nov. 20, 2013, Healthline.com named Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl among one of the Best Health Blogs of HealthlineLogo.jpg2013.

While Healthline editors made the recommendations, it is up to you to vote Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl as the
best by casting your vote today by clicking HERE

Right now if you visit  Healthline.com  and sort the blogs alphabetically, Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl is on page 10.

Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl Spotlight on Freeze Out Cancer FB Page



It was great to have been spotlight on the Freeze Out Cancer Facebook Page.  I appreciate their wonderful comments.  The organizers were generous to offer three FREE registration entries to the members/readers of Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl .

Remember there is still time to enter to win a FREE registration for the race.
  
GIVEAWAY: We have 3 FREE registration entries for Freeze Out Cancer 5K on December 15, 2013 at Riverside Park,  Manhattan, NY.  You want to run this race?? - check out how to win a FREE registration entry here---> http://tinyurl.com/ndz838r

Freeze Out Cancer 5K - GIVEAWAY

I ran the Freeze Out Cancer 5K last year.  It was my second 5K ever and I did pretty good.

I just registered to do it again this year on Sunday, December 15th, 2013 at Riverside Park, NY

I like running different 5K's, but this one has a special meaning to me, it's close to my heart.  As a cancer survivor it is something I wish we can do -- "FREEZE" cancer forever.

Happy 1st Birthday Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl!!

Happy 1st Birthday Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl
How time fly's!!! It has been a year since Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl was born, and what a year has it been.

I must confess that I didn't want to start a new blog, since I already have a cancer blog (A New Camino) and share a health blog (The Voices of Two Mujeres).  I started writing about my weight loss on my cancer blog, and got many e-mails and messages suggesting to consider splitting the journeys.

AHA 2013 Lifestyle Change Award

This past weekend was amazing for me.  On Sunday, October 6, 2013, I was honored to have been the recipient of the American Heart Association 2013 Lifestyle Change Award.

Thank you to the Jenny Craig Hartsdale Center for nominating me for this honor.

The Lifestyle Change Award is given to individuals who have made a positive impact on their health and quality of life, and influenced or inspired those around them to do the same.

Never thinking that I will win among many other nominees, I got an e-mail on Friday that shocked me. It was from the Regional Director, Westchester & Putnam Counties of the American Heart Association  letting me know I have been selected as the winner of this award.

My BIG Milestones

One year later after I hit my goal weight wearing the same dress
I wanted to share with ALL of you my BIG milestones on this special day.

On July 2011, I made the determination of making a U turn towards health. It wasn't easy -- I had to break bad habits and create new ones. I had to learn to be patient because this doesn't happen overnight. I had to learn to get up when I fell down, and believe me it happened more times that I care to remember. I did it one day at a time.  Step by step we travel far.

Back in the Game - August's 5K

Ready to GO!!
After almost 4 long months of taking care of my hamstring injury and not running, I'm finally back!!!!

I was so happy to get the OK from my trainer to start running again.  I felt strong and ready to get back in the game.  She warned me to start slow, I was NOT going for a new PR - that's for sure.

There were a few factors I encountered in this run:
Besides not been running for almost four months, I had to test and put into play new techniques shown to me by my trainer, and this was my first race in a summer month - all of my other 5K's had been in the winter months. So I wasn't sure how my body was going to react to the warm weather.

We Spin With Our Hoo-Rags

Spin Class
As most of you know I love to workout. So you can imagine how much I sweat during workouts.

Every time I take a Spin class I burn from 400-550 calories.  I always have sweat running down my face. So I decided to try a Hoo-rag to keep my hair off my face and absorb some of the sweat.

I'm Not Saying Good Bye - "My March 5K's Races"

It has been so long since I wrote about my races that I just have to remind everyone about my status. A few months ago, I sustained a hamstring problem due to lack of stretching after my workouts.  It is so important to stretch, so please do so, if you don't already. You will avoid many injuries.

My goal was to do one 5K every month for 2013, and at the same time train for my half marathon in October.  Needles to say this goal has been put on hold.  I have to take care of my problem otherwise I can do further damage.

Maintained My Weight Loss - A Year Anniversary



Instead of writing about my whole year, I decided to let pictures tell my story. I feel proud to have gotten to this point.  It is a big milestone for me, and I will continue with my journey.

A Big Milestone For Me

Thank you ALL for your support and love and for believing in me.

Today, July 9th, 2013, marks a year since that amazing day when I hit my goal weight. The moment still vividly in my mind. It is amazing how time flies especially when you are feeling healthy, and finally liking yourself.

This is a big milestone for me since this is the FIRST time that I have managed to maintain my weight loss this long.  Yo-Yo diets are not unfamiliar to me.  I have loss and gained more weight than I care to remember.

A Final Tribute to My Friend- "My Food Police"-Ronni Waldman


It is with great sadness that I write this post. On March 3, 2013, I received the sad news of a friend passing away. I let some time pass thinking it would be easier for me to write about it then, but honestly no amount of time makes it any easier to write about a personal  loss.

This is a tribute to Ronni Waldman, a special woman in my life.  A woman that with patience, knowledge and care helped me get to a better place, a healthier place to enjoy all my days to come.

My Races Dedication - Part II



You all have to excuse me that I'm a little late posting this, but it has been one of those months. But, we always have to stay positive and I believe that it can only get better now.

As you know I always dedicate my runs to someone in no particular order.  My March races are somewhat bittersweet due to several reasons:

A Journey With Gastric Bypass Surgery

An Interview with friend Jeannette Sena 

Before                    After
Weight loss surgeries are viewed by many as an "easy way" out to lose weight. It is NOT  an "easy way" out. It is an option that you have to explore and evaluate to see if this is the right decision for you.

Some of these surgeries are considered major surgeries with risks factors, and with pros and cons.  Statistics reported show that 1 out 200 people die from gastric bypass surgery complications.

I interviewed one of my friends that was willing to share her journey with one of these surgeries.

My February 5K

 It's FREEZING! but ready to GO!
As you know, one of my goals is to run at least one 5K a month for the year 2013. My February 5K was on 2/2/13 - The NYCRUNS Riverside Park Hot Chocolate 5K at Riverside Park in Manhattan, NY.

I must confess that this race was even more challenging than my January one. Two things factored in:
1. It was colder - It was 11 degrees with the wind chill factor, ran next to the Hudson River, and it was very windy.
2. Lots of hills (4 to be exact)

As a newbie runner, I am learning a lot.  I was amaze at he fact that the weather, hills, and many more things can affect your run and your pace.

My Races Dedication

At the beginning of 2013, I decided that it will be a great idea, since I am doing plenty of virtual and non-virtual races to dedicate each race I run.

I will be dedicating each race to special people in my life that have motivated, inspired, loved me or just plain and simple had made a difference in my life.  Some of the races will also be dedicated to causes that are dear and near to my heart.

Dedications will be in random order, so please DO NOT think that someone or something is more special than other.
**************************
2013 Races

 January

January 1- New Year's Eve Dash 5K
Dedicated To : ME
Call me narcissistic, but I think I'm deserving of this.  Dedicating the first race of the year to myself.  Celebrating my new lifestyle, the new healthy me.  Celebrating what at one point of my life seemed like an unreachable goal. I am healthier, stronger and happier than I have ever been.

January 31 - Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial (Virtual 5K Race)
Dedicated To:  The 20 Angels and the 6 courageous women in CT
I feel the world had a broken heart with this senseless and tragic event.  The little boys and girls that will never experience life, and those courageous women that gave their lives to save many others. May they RIP.

February

February 2 - Riverside Park Hot Chocolate 5K
Dedicated To: Ketsy Santiago 
Ketsy is my trainer and friend. Even though I have known her for only a year, she has become an icon in my new life.  She is my teacher and mentor. Someone who believes in me and is constantly reminding me that "I can do it."  She gives me tough love sometimes, but at the end of the day, she is one of my Guardian Angels in disguise.  Her passion is amazing, it is no wonder that she has funneled some of that passion to me.

February 14 - I Heart Running 5K (Virtual Run)
Dedicated To:  The Love of my Life - My Hubby, Freddie Casa
How apropos to dedicate this race to the love of my life, my hubby of almost 14 years, on the day we celebrate LOVE.  The man that has been a constant to me.  My rock, my strength, my inner conscious.  He has held my hand through my ups and down never making me feel alone. I love him dearly.  I couldn't see my life without him.

February 17 - I Run With Heart 5k (Virtual Run)
Dedicated To:  Rudy Murillo, My brother
Rudy is the other other most important man in my life.  Not only are we bonded by blood but by love and respect of one another.  He has been the most supportive person throughout my whole life.  He has shown me unconditional love, and even though he is my little brother he has always been my protector.  

March

March 10 - Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies 5k.
Dedicated To: Taffy Dabby.
Taffy opened the doors to a place that has become my safe haven and my second home.  She is the Director/Manager of The Whitehall Health Club.
She might be pint size, but her heart is the biggest.  Her passion, dedication, compassion, and caring are just a few of her virtues.  She has the gift of logic, the art of reasoning that makes you realize misunderstandings.  She is plain and simple a little ray of sunshine.

March 16 -  NYCRUNS Riverside Park 5K.
Dedicated To -  Maria Jorge.
Maria came into my life a few years ago becoming like a little sister.  She cheers me on no matter what.  I really appreciate her friendship and most of all the love that she gives to one of the most important person in my life - "My Brother".
Even though we are not related by blood, a bond has been created between us.  You are the little sister that I never got to have.  I'm grateful for your loyalty and love through good and bad times.

*** April, May, June, July 
No runs due to a physical injury


August

 August 21 - NYCRUNS Riverside Park Summer 5K Series.
Dedicate To -  Celtina Murillo
My beautiful mom.  I lost her this year in May and I miss her and think of her every day.  One of the strongest woman I have ever met.  She taught so many things in life, but she did not show me how to live without her.  I know she is in a better place and she is will be looking over us.  She will always live in heart.

*** September, October, November
Getting a little stronger from my physical injury as well as emotionally.


December

December 15 - Second Annual Freeze Out Cancer 5K
Dedicated To - Tamika and Friends, Inc
An organization very dear and near to my heart.  T&F is dedicated to raise awareness about cervical cancer and HPV.  12,000 are diagnosed every year in the USA alone and 4,000 women die from this disease every year.  I ran for me and for those who cannot run.


2014 Races

January
No Races Scheduled

February

February 1 - M-M-Manhattan Hot Chocolate 5K
Dedicated To -  Rudy Anthony Murillo
My nephew.  I missed many of his years while growing up, but he ran this race with me which made so awesome for me. I couldn't believe that the day was here to share an event like this with him.   He has grown to be a good man, and I stand here as a very proud Tia. 

February 13 - Fit Fab & Lean 5K (Virtual Run)
Dedicated To -Ferdinand Casa Sr.
My father-in-law.  A brilliant man in its own right.  I see traits of him in my husband--- gentle yet strong enough to stand in their beliefs.  Happy 86th Birthday Mr. C.  May you have many healthy ones. 

March
No Races Scheduled

April

April 6 - JFK Runway 5K Run
Dedicated To - Lois Molina and Rachel Leyden
This race was dedicated to two awesome mothers, Lois Molina and Rachel Leyden, whose patience, dedication and immense love for their children is more than admirable.  April is Autism Awareness Month, yet they live it every day.  I admire you both.  All my love to you and your beautiful families.

April 27RHM 5K Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies
Dedicated To - Lynn Crimando
Lynn is my Yoga/Meditation instructor.  The amazing Lynn Crimando is an American Viniyoga Therapist and has helped me immensely to get my body into  better shape after my hamstring injury.  So how apropos is this race - Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies.  Thank you so much Lynn for everything. 

May

May 18 - NYPD Memorial 5K Run
Dedicated To - Police Officer Kevin M. Lee
This run was dedicated to my brother in blue Kevin M. Lee  whose end of tour was on Friday, January 27, 2006.  He did what most of us run away from, but his heroic actions will never be forgotten.

June

June 19 - NYC Police Chase 
Dedicated To - The Unknown Elderly Gentleman
I decided that I was going to dedicate  this run to the unknown older gentleman.  I don't know who he is ~ I don't know his name - I don't have to know.  Just seeing him again after 3 years and remembering where we both used to be and what we have accomplished now inspired me to no end.  


 **Click HERE  to read about my experiences on each of the above runs.




If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

NO SURGERY For ME!

Letting the real person within me come out
I lost 113 pounds and 55 inches off my body in 14 months. Hard to believe?? Perhaps - I have a small problem believing it myself. I look back and say~ Wow!!! Did I do that??

So to encounter non-believers when I share my journey, it is normal I guess.  Losing weight is a difficult journey that many endure and sometimes without success. Obesity in this country has become an epidemic. Everyone is looking for that special pill, for that magic potion, for that easy program.

Unfortunately there are NONE.  I was stunned to find out that the weight and exercise industry is a 40 BILLION dollar one. OMG!!!!

Does the SCALE Matters?

Just a number????
I often read and hear statements like "Forget the scale. It's just a number. Focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit."

Even though I agree with the above statement to a certain extend, I think that we cannot just simply disregard the scale all together.

I hated the scale at one point.  For years I did not step on one and I had no idea how much I actually weighed.  I guess I was in denial.

My January's 5K

One of my New Year's goal is to run a 5k every month of 2013.  My January's 5K took place one minute after the clock hit 12am on New Year's Day.

It was the New Year's Eve Dash at the Eisenhower Park, LI, NY.  The temperature was about 27 degrees at the start of the race. Oh yes, it was very cold and very windy. The wind made it feel even colder.

Before the race we watched the ball come down in Times Square on a big TV screen inside the park.  At the strike of midnight, barely having enough time to wish my hubby, my brother and my friend Maria a Happy New Year, we took off.