This week has been CRAZY, AMAZING, unexpected, AWESOME, exciting, EXCEPTIONAL! My weight loss story was picked up by a few media sources throughout the city. I have included the links below. I just wanted to take this time to share these great links but also to THANK everyone. Seriously everyone has been so kind and supportive. My heart is bursting with love from the city of Cleveland to my family and friends. So seriously THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart thank you all!
The training for my 1/2 marathon continues!! Here is an update on my recent training adventures. You might notice one thing I either missed a day or couldn’t count to 10 either way I hope you enjoy the training posts! Only a few short days!!!!
I realize I have been terrible, terrible, terrible about posting on my blog! I have done tons of updating on Facebook, but realize some of you might not be able to see that! So I thought I would do a post to update everyone on how my training was going for the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon.
I recently decided to put together mini picture collages, with a brief blurb about the day and my training progress. I decided to start this 30 days out from the Cleveland 1/2, this way I could document my training 30 days- until the actual event. Here is where I currently am at….
How exciting! My official blog post for the Cleveland ½ Marathon. WOW, just typing those words sends shivers down my spine. You see never in a million years would I have envisioned myself a runner, better yet someone that has a goal of completing a ½ marathon….that’s 13.1 MILES, am I insane? You might wonder why I am making such a big deal out of this; well you see 2 years ago I weighed over 300lbs (I would tell you the exact amount, but I don’t’ think I am quite comfortable sharing that amount with a group of strangers, I am close to that point but not there yet).
Well, it’s been almost two years since I started this journey and I’d like to yell from the roof tops, I JAMIE JOHNSTON WILL BE RUNNING THE CLEVELAND ½ MARATHON!! Yep, I am so very excited and seriously feel ready to take it on. Now many have asked me how I have trained for this and what has got me to the point where I feel on can take on this venture. Here’s my best explanation as to how I got here.
Two years ago I was sitting down with my husband for dinner, I discussed with him how unhappy I was with myself and the weight I was at. I told him that Weight Watchers was starting a program at my work and that I would like to join. My husband was very supportive and said he loved me no matter what I decided and that he had my back if I decided to join. So I did, I joined Weight Watchers April 26th of 2011. Part of Weight Watchers program encourages you to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. I remember thinking, DANG a whole 30 minutes?!?! What could I possibly do for 30 minutes that I will somewhat enjoy and that I won’t feel like dying???
I started walking, very slowly walking. Our subdivision became my training arena. Every night after work I would put my shoes on and walk laps around our neighborhood. I remember the first week I started; I remember feeling like the whole neighborhood was watching. I felt like I could see them staring out their windows or gossiping as I passed them in their driveways. I tried to ignore their stares (or ignore my mind that thought they were staring) and press on. Slowly one lap became two, then three and so on. I then calculated how far one lap around the subdivision was, it was exactly 0.70 so about 3/4ths of a mile.
After a couple months of walking I decided I needed some type of goal, a number of miles I would like to reach. After some thinking and planning I decided to sign up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. You see my Mother is a breast cancer survivor, so I thought I would surprise her by walking in her honor and also decided to fundraise in her honor for the foundation (also as a surprise to my mom). It was nice to have a goal, now I figured I needed to walk the subdivision about 5 times as it’d be a bit over the 3 mile mark.
I trained and I conquered walking my first 5k! I was also able to surprise my mother with my fundraising (through the help and support of friends and family I raised over $1,500) but I was able to tell her I was walking a 5k for her. Heck this women kicked cancer’s a$$ why couldn’t I walk a little over 3 miles! I remember the rush of emotions I felt as I crossed the finish line. I Jamie Johnston walked over 3 miles without stopping.
While I walked my first 5k I remember thinking, wow how awesome would it be to be able to run this thing. I played with the idea in my head as I walked, but remember thinking well just walking this 5k is a challenge for me how in the world would I run it? I then set a goal to run the Susan G. Komen race next year, which gave me a year to train and prepare.
After walking the 5k I continued my nightly walks, trying to get a bit faster each lap around my suburban training arena. Then came winter, there was no WAY I could continue walking outside come on it’s too dang cold (even though I am from WI, I just couldn’t do it). That year for Christmas my family got my husband and I a membership to our local recreation center. Starting mid-January my training arena now became the basement of our Recreation Center.
Nightly I walked on the treadmill, each night trying my best to reach a little over the 3 mile mark. I would also try to increase my pace. Then it happened ¼ mile by ¼ mile I started running. I remember how excited I was the first time I ran a whole mile on the treadmill without walking (or dying). Slowly I added a little more run to my run to walk ratio. Come April I was nearly running the whole 3 miles on the treadmill, occasionally stopping for a drink of water or giving in to my mind that couldn’t believe I was doing this and toyed with me saying I wasn’t capable.
Toward the end of April my husband and I visited my family in Wisconsin for Easter. I remember feeling excited to visit them, but nervous as I had made so much progress running on the treadmill at the recreation center. You see my parents live in the middle of nowhere; the nearest recreation center is probably about 30 minutes from their house. It was during this trip that I decided to face the great outdoors and run outside! Every day I would get out there and run the first time stopping every so often as I think I was more nervous than anything. My Nikeplus app was helpful keeping track of my distance. Towards the end of this mini vacation I was running the whole 3 miles at a slow pace, but heck I was running outside!!
Upon our return home I decided to continue running outside. I ventured out of our subdivision and created my own 3 mile course, which includes a nice size hill I like to refer to has hillzilla. You see hillzilla really kicked my butt at first, at times I had to give in and walk up the hill. However, I can now happily say hillzilla hasn’t won the war!
This past summer I took on my first 5k as a runner. The Akron Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was my first ever official 5k that I ran!! I remember crossing the finish line with tears in my eyes, I still get teary thinking of this. I Jamie Johnston RAN the 5k I walked a little under a year ago. I didn’t do too bad pace wise either, I think I averaged a little over 10 minutes a mile.
After running my first 5k I developed a love for races. There was just something about a group of people running together. A friend of mine asked me to run in another 5k with her in September, the Dash for Dad’s (this would be her first 5k as a runner). I was on the fence due to some work obligations the night before the race, so I continued to run my 5k course in hopes of joining her in September. The night before the Dash for Dad’s I decided I would join my friend. I couldn’t let her run in her first race without me! I ran in this 5k and actually did AMAZINGLY well. I actually medaled in my age group!!!! I managed to run an average pace of about 8:28 a mile, now I know I medaled due to the small group of people that competed but HECK I have a medal from a race!!
After completing the dash for Dad’s I decided to slowly start to increase my mileage. Little by little I reached 5 miles, then 6, I remember almost being in tears when I reached 7. Wow, this was actually fun, something I enjoyed! I then decided I needed to set a new goal for myself. 5k’s were fun, but I really love a challenge! It was then that I decided I would like to run a ½ marathon, yes 13.1 miles I want to take it on!! I decided I would register for the Cleveland ½ marathon on my 30th birthday in February.
I remember telling my husband my plan; his thoughts were well you have finished every other goal you have set for yourself. If you think you can run a ½ marathon you’ll do it (this was around October). Since then I have started my training, running outside as much as possible. I even purchased winter running gear as I discovered running outside is 10 TIMES better than the treadmill at the Rec Center. However, during some of my training sessions at the rec I have met some amazing running friends, KC and Jess. Turns out these two ladies are also training for the Cleveland ½. They invited me to join them on Fridays, every Friday is a new adventure some Fridays we run intervals and other Friday’s we are sprinting. It really has changed my mundane treadmill runs into something I actually enjoy. I have also found that interval training has helped me increase my pace! I enjoy my Friday tredmill runs and am thankful for the help these ladies have provided me; I really look forward to seeing them at the recreation center and appreciate more than I can communicate in this post their help and continued support.
Also through talking with my running friends I decided to register for the ½ marathon earlier than my birthday. Many have told me the ½ is known to sell out and I also thought it would be nice to take advantage of the early bird discount. So on 1/1/13 I started off the New Year by registering for my first ever ½ marathon!!
My training has been going well. During the week I run approximately 6 miles a day either outdoors or on the treadmill. I complete my training in the morning as I like to get it done right away. I have invested in a headlight and reflective gear to make sure I am visible to drivers. I have also used running cleats as I continued my training during our Christmas break to Wisconsin (burrrr those were some cold runs). On the weekends I try to complete one long run, my longest run was this past weekend completing 10.6 miles with a 9:28min pace ( I am trying hard to get a little over 9min miles on race day).
So yes, I Jamie Johnston a person that once weighed over 300lbs will be running the Cleveland ½ Marathon on May 19th!! If I can take on this journey and get to this point ANYONE can. If you are in the middle of your training and think this isn’t possible THINK AGAIN. If you are considering signing up for any race either 5k or more DO IT, you won’t regret it. Have goals and challenge yourself, you will be amazed at what your body can do!!
Lastly throughout my running journey I have continued to watch what I eat and have maintained my membership in Weight Watchers. Attending meetings every Tuesday through our at work program. I am proud to report that through Weight Watchers and running I have lost 162.8 pounds! I still have the love and support from all my friends and family and my husband has continued to have my back. My husband has helped me through every step of this journey, believing in me even at times when I didn’t believe in myself.
I took forward to seeing you all Sunday May 19th as we run the city of Cleveland and I Jamie Johnston will complete my first ½ marathon!!!
It’s hard to believe it is already January! The holidays sure flew by. Dana and I have been VERY busy over the past couple months, as many know we tend to travel during the holidays. For the Thanksgiving Holiday we traveled to Mankato, MN to visit Dana’s family. We had an amazing time seeing everyone AND I FINALLY WENT TO THE MALL OF AMERICA! I MAY NEVER BE THE SAME!! The mall is truly amazing, so amazing that we only made it to the 2nd floor (after about 7 hours there we were shopped out). Below are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving Vacation.
For the Christmas/New Year’s holiday we made our way to Wisconsin to visit my family. It was a nice two weeks spent with family and friends. Christmas Eve was a blast at my grandparents. It was nice to catch up with family we hadn’t seen in awhile.
Also during this time at home I was able to spend time with my cousin Rena!! We had a great time working on plans for her upcoming wedding (it’s taking place June 22nd). We toured the amazing reception site and I had the opportunity to try on some AMAZING Matron of Honor dresses…
I can’t even begin to express how exciting it was to try on all these dresses. For once in my life I was not ashamed of my size, nor did I feel too self-conscious. I honestly felt like there wasn’t a dress in the place I couldn’t try. Usually I would have been nervous as heck, just hoping something would fit me….that sure wasn’t the case. This was an amazing feeling!
During the holidays I have been sure to keep up with my exercise routine. While in MN I lucked out and was able to use a walking/running trail that went right in front of Dana’s family’s home! This sucker went for miles!! There was no excuse for me not to get up and get on the pavement everyday, which I did!!
For the duration of my time at home in WI, I also was sure to get out and run! I didn’t really have nice paved roads and actually had to invest in some running cleats that went over my shoes, you see it was a bit snow covered and where my parents live the plows kinda stink. I didn’t use the iced roads as an excuse, used it as a time to get adventurous!
To start the year on a positive note I decided to do something CRAZY. Well, ok maybe not that crazy as I have been talking about it…BUT I signed up for the Cleveland ½ marathon!!!!! I was going to wait until my 30th Birthday to do so, but have heard from many of people that it sells out fast. So in order to get the early bird discount and to ensure that I have a spot I SIGNED UP!!! I also signed up on 1/13, so how fitting that I signed up to run 13.1 on 1/13 (clever I know ) So it’s official, on May 19th I WILL be running in my first ever ½ marathon!! I am nervous and excited. I have already started to train, well actually I never really stopped running since this summer so I continue to train =)
I think I am addicted. Wait, I don’t think…. I KNOW I AM ADDICTED What am I addicted to….RUNNING. Yep, that’s right I am going to yell it out LOUD here on my blog, I LOVE TO RUN. Who seriously would have guessed this? I wouldn’t have guessed this 160lbs ago. I usually would put my nose up at runners and say some snarky comments like, that person is crazy who seriously would WANT to run. Well, Jamie it’s 160lbs later and you enjoy running!
Why do I enjoy running? Here are a few reasons…
- I feel free, at times I almost feel like I am floating (crazy I know)
- I get more and more impressed on what my body can do, I am up to 7 miles now
- Running clears my head, no better way to fix a bad day and no better way to start your day
- When I run in the morning (I usually hit the pavement around 5:30am) I feel like I am the only one out on the road, like the world is mine to take on
- Every time I run I feel I get better at it I feel faster, stronger, and have never been more in tune with my body
- Lastly, I love running gear yes I think I look kinda cute in my running gear, which really helps my self-confidence
About 3 weeks ago I participated in my 2nd official 5k. My friend Stephanie decided she wanted to run in a 5k, and did an awesome job training for it! So a group of us decided to join her inaugural 5k. I was on the fence on if I would be able to join. I had a late night work event the night before. However, I decided I couldn’t let Stephanie run her first 5k without being there!!
Stephanie had the awesome idea of running in Tutu’s. We honestly were the hit of the race. As you can tell they were super cute!
We all did a great job running the race. We decided we would all keep our own pace. I finished a bit before Stephanie, but didn’t let her cross the finish line alone. I went back and joined her (as did the other ladies) for the finish of her first 5k.
While running this race I felt amazing. I felt like everything in the world was right. My clothes fit right, my headphones were somewhat on the verge of breaking (but that didn’t stop my stride). At this point I had been use to running about 5 miles a day, so I decided to give this 5k everything I had. Well it paid off!! I ended up finishing 2nd in my age division and had a personal best pace and finishing time, averaging 8:39/mile!
That’s right folks this girl that would have laughed at the thought of even walking a 5k 160lbs ago, ran a 5k and got a medal…
Thanks for sharing in my excitement! I love running AND have to give a shout out to my friend Stephanie, as she ROCKED her first 5k =) Also a special thank you to Kristin and Katie who ran this 5k along with us. These girls are also amazing, and are a GREAT support network.
Have a great day everyone,
Get out and hit the pavement…..walk, run, skip… just get out there =)
I LOVE cupcakes!!!!!! I really love any type of cake, but there is something about a cupcake, it’s just so cute and really never disappoints.
I adapted this recipe from www.skinnytaste.com if you haven’t checked this site out do so ASAP. There are tons of great things to try!!
I ended up combining two of the recipes to create what I believe to be “The Perfect “skinny” Pumpkin Cupcake” yea that’s right the title of this badboy has the words skinny, cupcake, and pumpkin (yep I just blew your mind).
* 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix
* 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
* 1 can 100% pure pumpkin
* 1.4 oz sugar free, fat free, instant cheesecake pudding
* 1/2 cup water
Pumpkin Frosting Ingredients:
* 1 container fat free cool whip
* 1.4 oz instant pumpkin pudding (this is a seasonal item, if not found I would use a vanilla pudding mix (can be sugar free, fat free) and would add pumpkin pie spice to taste)
* 1 cup Skim Milk
Directions for Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers. (Recipe makes 24 cupcakes)
Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl.
Add pumpkin puree, pudding mix and water, mix about 2 minutes.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Directions for Pumpkin Frosting:
Combine milk and pudding mix into a bowl and beat for two minutes with a wire whisk set pudding mixture in the refrigerator for 5 mins.
Take the mixture out of the refrigerator and fold the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture until its nice a smooth.
Frost cupcakes when cupcakes are completely cool.
This recipe makes 24 cupcakes and are 3 ww points plus each.
These cupcakes should be kept in the fridge due to the frosting components.
It’s hard to believe that Fall is almost behind us. Is it seriously almost November? I sure love Fall, the changing of the trees, the crisp fall air, and the start of football season! I found this Fall I was craving Fall comfort food (yumm), but I wanted to combat these cravings with things I enjoyed but a bit lighter. One thing I have been craving is apple crisp or apple pie. There is nothing like a cool Fall day and a nice warm appley (this is a word right?) goodness. So I created this concoction, I am not really sure what to name it so I guess it’s the Skinny Apple Pie Crisp Ala Mode….yea that makes sense =)
* 1 large apple ( I prefer honey crisp but really any apple will work)
* 2 Tablespoons Fat Free Cool Whip (I like mine frozen, it’s more ice cream like)
* Cinnamon (add as much or as little as you’d like)
* 2 Tablespoons Splenda (also add more if you’d like)
* ½ Sheet cinnamon graham crackers (you can add more of this, but this will add calories/ww points)
* 6 Sprays of I can’t Believe it’s not Butter
Skin, core, and cube your apple
Put apple cubes it in a bowl with a couple sprays of light spray butter, splenda, and cinnamon (mix so the sugar and cinnamon cover all the apple pieces).
Microwave for about 3 min, depending on the size of your cubes you may need to microwave longer (be careful this gets hot fast!)
Once apple has been microwaved to your desired doneness (yes I am using this as a word too) top it off with the frozen fat free cool whip and some crumbled graham cracker.
Trust me, you won’t miss the apple pie or the apple crisp with this recipe. Depending on the graham crackers used this recipe is only 1 WW point. ENJOY!!
Putting my hands out, ok ok please slap my hands! I have been a terrible TERRIBLE blogger. I have been so busy, which really isn’t an excuse….so I apologize!!
Where to start….
Well, first off my Mom was recently here to visit for 10 days. It was so very nice to spend some time with her!! She came to see us, but also came to participate in the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure. My mom and husband have never participated in a 5k and decided to walk it with me, how awesome is that?! They both did great walking the 5k. I was truly honored to have my mother (a breast cancer survivor) and my husband (most amazing person in my life) by my side. Here are a few pictures from the day…
Work has also been CRAZY!! Our Department is going through some restructuring. It has had its ups and downs however; I am pleased to report that my title has changed. Yes, I am now an Assistant Dean. I still can’t believe it…pinch me am I dreaming???
On top of all these great things I reached my 150lbs lost milestone. Seriously 150lbs, I still can’t believe it. I still don’t recognize myself at times when I look in the mirror, which I guess is alright. I am still getting use to my new self and looking in the mirror!
So I guess you can see why I have been a terrible blogger!! Life has been CRAZY! Thanks to those that continue to check in, I really do appreciate it.
My goal is to blog more this fall/winter, as summer seems to be my busy time. I might pick a day of the week to do some updates as I have some amazing fall/winter recipes that I am dying to share and other updates!
Please continue to check in, I promise to update!
First off HELLO!!! Sorry I seem to be on hiatus this summer. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to update, I have just been busy enjoying sweet sweet summertime. Can you believe it’s August already?!?! Seriously where did July go? It went by way too fast!
July was an AMAZING month for many different reasons. The month kicked off with our 2nd wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 2 years. I think time flies when you are having fun; yes I really believe that saying. Many say marriage is challenging, I am not saying it’s a walk in the park but honestly I am still waiting for the challenge. Every day I get to be with my Best Friend, someone that loves me conditionally and I him. I don’t think it gets much better than that.
For our anniversary we decided to postpone our dinner until we were on vacation. We ended up going to the same restaurant my grandparents (who have since past) would go to every Friday. We also were able to sit at the same table they use to sit at. This was a really special moment!
After dinner we went to the park where our ceremony took place 2 short years ago. We walked around and took some pictures together. It was great to have this opportunity.
We had the privilege of being able to take a 2 week vacation this year. The first two days were spent visiting my home town (parts described above with anniversary dinner); also during these two days we were able to watch my hometown’s fireworks. They were amazing!!
For the remainder of our vacation we were in Northern Wisconsin at my parent’s cottage. Our vacation consisted of fishing, swimming, eating, sleeping, fishing,swimming… You get the point =) It was an AMAZING vacation. It was some well needed time away from Ohio. It also was a blast spending this time with Dana and my parents.
While on vacation my best friend also visited. It has been way too long since we had seen each other. It was nice being able to spend some time together.
I am pretty sure Emma also enjoyed vacation! The majority of our vacation Emma could be found in the water. No lie, Emma was in the water within 5 minutes of our arrival.
After vacation we were able to checkout some cute little chocolate chunks! That’s right, Emma is going to be a puppy sister. Dana and I decided to get another dog. Reese Pup (new puppy’s name) should be able to come home around August 17th.
WHOOHOOAAAA July was busy, that’s right all these great things happened in July. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE… this past weekend I completed a huge milestone! READY???? I ran my first 5k. That’s right folks I ran, and I ran hard. I was able to complete the race right around 10:17 a mile. I accomplished both goals I had set for myself 1) Running the whole race 2) averaging under 11/mile.
I honestly still can’t believe I ran a 5k. One year ago if you would have told me I’d be running a 5k well, I probably would have called you a liar and maybe even kicked you (ok maybe not the kick).
So there you have it, the reason for my blog hiatus. I hope August is just as amazing as July was, but let’s face it July, July is a hard month to top.