Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Well. That's different.
It's what I saw on Monday morning when I weighed in.
Yesterday morning it was 148.0
This morning it was 149.4
It looks like I might actually solidly be under 150. Wow. Holy Carp.
The lowest I ever got on this most recent journey was 151.0 on March 12 2010 a few months after reaching goal (159.4)
So here I am, 2 years into a bumpy maintenance ride wherin I even regained up to 30 lbs at one point, now staring at new frontiers in the weight department.
(To see a graph of the whole thing, go here: docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=
I haven't seen a number under 150 since I was in my 20s.
And here's the really amazing part. In my 20s when I lost over 100 lbs the first time, the lowest weight I ever saw on a scale was 144. And I'm likely to see it again in the next month or two, because I'm in a weight loss challenge at work, which is adding extra accountability.
There is no danger of losing too much weight, BTW. My "healthy" BMI range is from 121-160 lbs, so I'm at the upper end at the moment. I lift heavy and have approximately 19% body fat. If I can use this contest to get down closer to 17% that would be awesome.
If/when I end up seeing anything below 144 that will be a new all-time low weight ever, for my entire adult life. Even my high school and college years were spent in the 150s and 160s.
So being under 150 is a Very Big Deal for me. It's going to take some adjusting.
I love how I feel - strong, light, unencumbered. I like what I see in the mirror. I want to hang onto it.
But now I have to talk about the other part, the mental game. Because there's a reason I was 149.4 this morning despite being 148 yesterday morning.
I sabotaged myself.
It started with feeling just fine yesterday afternoon, and having about 200 calories left to spare after hitting my 150g of protein for the day. I noticed I was a little low (under 40g) in fiber and made a mistake.
I reached for some sugar free jelly beans. I usually keep them around in case the large amounts of protein need a little help getting through the system. I wasn't having that problem and didn't need them. And now I wish I'd reached for an apple or two, or some grapes, or something like that.
Because I ATE those sugar free jelly beans and not only did I get the uncomfortable gassy bloat associated with them, but before I called it a night I ended up eating about 500 extra calories of almonds and about 100 extra calories of grapes, bringing my daily grand total to about 2300 calories. Which is Too Much. Especially considering I didn't feel well enough to go to spin class due to the bloaty discomfort.
So I shot myself in the foot by eating extra calories and not getting in one of my usual cardio /calorie-burning sessions. Not good.
I've been using my weight and calorie intake to estimate my total calorie expenditure and it's around 2400. (See here for a more detailed explanation of how I do that: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Given the inaccuracies of food measurement I don't like to go over 2000 even on a refeed / trying to maintain. So this was too much.
I hope I've learned something from this:
1) Save the sugar free junk food for when I need its medicinal properties. New low weights do not entitle me to indulge myself with crap.
2) It's OK that I've been under 150 for 3 days. Really. And I don't need to cause the bounce back that usually happens after a new low weight. It'll probably happen by itself. I feel fine. I'm not losing weight too fast. It just happens to be finding its own new set point.
3) I'm not a fraud, being under 150. If I like it here, I can decide to stay here. It can become my new "normal." And I'm the one who gets to decide that. ME.
Sure it'll feel weird at first logging a weight that looks like "14_" every morning just like it is seeing a "6" and occasionally "4" on the pants I'm getting from Salvation Army, but I can get used to it. I actually LIKE it here.
Why don't I feel like I deserve to be here? Just because I've lived my whole life in either the 150s or 160s (or wishing I was there) doesn't mean I can't live the REST of my life, starting NOW in the 140s.
So yeah. Here I am, after keeping off 50% of my body weight for 2+ years, STILL having to work on myself internally.
I AM worth it, dammit.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
The local coal-fired power plant on Cayuga Lake dumps the warm water back into the lake in a way that is super convenient for us white water boaters to play in.
We went there today. That's me, in the orange boat.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
11 months after a rotator cuff injury that took me out of my kayak for 6 months I have tried snowboarding again.
I seem to remember how to turn, which is nice. My form isn't great, but that's not surprising, given that I was a beginner last winter and didn't ride that much, and today was my first day back.
I took it super slow and lightly today - there are too many friends who would rip me a new one if I went out there and hurt myself again! LOL
P.S. That's not MY soundtrack - not my kind of music at all - just what they happened to be playing over the loudspeakers at the time.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Holy Moley, this maintenance thing takes vigilance. And not just vigilance, but DOING SOMETHING about it when you see a problem.
My last night in Costa Rica involved a painful stomach bug and between that and the ensuing weakness and exhaustion from traveling I was laid low the week after returning. Missed two and a half days of work, even.
I tried to get back into my "normal" routine last week, but the eating was spiraling out of control and by Wednesday I knew there was a problem and I wasn't happy about it.
I started trying to take steps to do something about it, but I wasn't as strict as I apparently needed to be, and it wasn't until the scale told me this morning that I'm overweight, that reality really hit me in the face. Hard.
So now I'm back to doing the things I should have done on Wednesday, but with some extra pounds to push off. I will NOT go there again. I will NOT. I. Will. Not.
When I first hit goal I gradually gained back 30. And pushed it back off. And then gained 20. And pushed that back off.
I will NOT continue the trend and gain back 10 and push it off. I'm going to push it off NOW, while I'm still only 6 above my original goal weight and 11 above my new goal weight. This is going to stop, NOW.
So here are the specific things I'm doing.
1) A "Week of Accountability" with CARRIE1948. We've done these before when we've needed to reverse trends. It's kind of like a spark streak with a definite end. We pick a few habits and then tell ourselves we will do them for One Week. Just One Week. Because forever is too long to contemplate, when I'm in this state. My goals for the week?
a) Stay under 1700 calories every day (current target is 1500)
b) Continue with my normal exercise routine
c) Add in the 30min kayaking yoga routine at least three times
2) Follow my new heart rate monitor's recommendations for exercise intensity ranges and times. This means that tomorrow, although I have to help run a kayak pool session, I am going to squeeze in a spin class before I go. So I get more minutes at the "high" cardio zone that the HR monitor is asking for. And I'll be sure to burn calories even if I have to spend a lot of the evening standing in the pool helping people learn to roll.
This is a little odd for me, actually. Because kayaking is WHY I do the spinning (and the weight lifting and watching my food, etc.) But in this case it seems more important to take a half hour away from boating in the pool - or helping others do that and burn off calories to regain the level of fitness I want.
3) I went and entered all my common foods in Lose It in grams. So I can quit estimating what a "large" sweet potato or apple or mango or banana is, and just weigh the dang thing. And I'm back to Very Strict Tracking. No more estimating anything by volume or eye. Something is off with my current calorie burn calculations these past 2 weeks and I suspect it has to do with estimating in my food tracking. I need to figure out what the heck is going on and I can't do that without accurate data.
4) Back on Wednesday when I saw the alarming upward trend happening I signed up for a weight loss challenge at work that begins in March. I wish it started sooner because I am not going to wait to get this junk out of my trunk. I'll just have to pull my 1% per week starting from wherever I'm at, at that point. I wish I hadn't waited until today, even. Because since Wednesday I've already gained 4 lbs. Bah.
So, yeah, it boils down to the two things I figured out way back in 2010:
1) Frequent monitoring
2) Immediate correction
I seem to be getting better about the monitoring. But I need to work on making the correction happen faster.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
As a reward for not desparing and eating everything in sight while recovering from rotator cuff surgery this year (I missed my entire kayaking season which was a terrible blow) I signed up for a one week vacation in Costa Rica, kayaking in January.
The PT and surgeon cleared me for boating in rivers again starting October 1 and I worked hard between then and the trip building back up my strength, agility, and stamina.
The trip was run through a group that are based in North Carolina and primarily run kayak workshops and classes for women:
They typically run several trips every winter somewhere warm. This was advertised as their "advanced" (and only co-ed) trip for the winter. The minimum requirement for participating was having a 70% successful roll in white water. Since I have almost 100% success rolling in white water on both sides, I qualified, although I've only been kayaking for about a year and a half.
Here was their description of how the week would go:
All the details were extremely well taken care of. They'd tell us how things would go and it would happen that way. The food was amazing, the guides competent, knowledgeable, friendly, and likeable. I never felt like a number, although there were TWELVE participants. No wonder so many of their trips sell out. (There is still space on an intermediate trip with this itinerary Feb 11-18 if anyone is interested. You only need a 50% roll for that. And you have to be female. Sorry, guys.)
Here is a zoomed-in picture of Costa Rica, showing where we kayaked each day:
I've got detailed GPS maps and lots more photos uploaded here:
One of the guides took 800+ pictures and they sold us discs of them at the end. Most of these photos are hers.
Just getting out of the Northeast was a challenge - there was snow closing and delaying the airports I was trying to connect in; I ended up having to drive an hour to a different airport just so I could get a flight that changed somewhere outside the stormy area. I didn't end up getting to San Jose until about 10pm and they had to send a couple of guys specially to pick me up; my luggage and gear got lost too and didn't show up until more than 24 hours later.
Here is the view I woke up to at the B&B.
It is up the hill from Turrialba and named La Cascada. It used to be a restaurant so the food was amazing.
The first day we kayaked a couple of short stretches on the nearby Pejibaye River which is named after a particular palm that has fruit. It was easy class II water so they could see what our skills were like.
I borrowed some clothes and gear. It was short sleeved and I forgot to put on sunscreen.
We stopped for lunch at an open air school (it was Sunday so they weren't using it)
The other participants on the trip were a lot of fun too. I hope I get to see them again someday.
That night we had a salsa dancing lesson.
It was really fun until I pulled a muscle in my calf. In the end that injury turned out to be the worst thing that happened to me, even though later in the week I had to swim a class IV rapid because I got stuck upside down next to some rocks where there was no room to roll up. The swim resulted in a few interesting bruises, but my calf is still a little stiff. Darn salsa. More dangerous than kayaking!
The next day we were to go on an overnight trip to the Sarapiqui River. When I got up, my luggage and gear were outside the door. It felt like Christmas to have my Very Own Things. I had no idea I could be so attached to just Things.
This was the first day on the Sarapiqui (7 miles)
That night we stayed in a beautiful lodge with a pool, gardens, wireless, and a bar that served really interesting mixed drinks. www.hotelaraambigua.com Some of us got together and each ordered a different one so we could figure out the best and get that. I was partial to the Samba, the Pina Colada, and especially (and appropriately) the Pura Vida.
Every morning we did yoga, even while away from the B&B.
I got a DVD so I can continue doing it at home: www.amazon.com/Yoga-Kayaking-
The next day two people headed to a technical and challenging class IV section of the Upper Sarapiqui with one of the guides and the rest of us ran the Lower section again (8 miles).
We drove back and stayed at our regular B&B in Turrialba that night and the following day headed out to the top section of the Pacuare River(7 miles).
That was a pretty nice easy day, except for that swim I took in a class IV rapid that kind of scared me and banged me up a little. It was the only swim I took this week; my roll failed because I was in a narrow channel right between some high rocks and there was nowhere to stick the paddle to get up.
The next two days were long. We drove to the put in for the Lower Pacuare and paddled about 6 miles in to a beautiful camp in the jungle.
The organizers were very good about making sure I had lean protein available so I could stay close to my usual food plan.
The camp we stayed at on the Pacuare was cozy and beautiful. Here is my very own tent:
There were little clusters of them.
We hung our gear out but it rained so I think it might have ended up wetter than it was when it came off the river!
We did yoga there, too!
The last day was very long. We got back into our boats and paddled about 11 miles. Some of the rapids were tough. This one has a name translated as "Lost Indian Burial Ground." It didn't claim me. I did not even flip. I did take an easy line, though.
There were deep gorges in places. This was definitely the most beautiful section we paddled all week.
I got tired during 6 straight days of paddling, but I still had strength to do it.
There was one rapid that 5 of us chose to portage instead of run. If I hadn't had that nasty experience on the Top Pacuare I probably would have run it too, but I'd had enough of those shallow river rocks banging into me, so I decided to just take the good day I'd had and not push my luck.
We got a rainbow on the way home.
The last night we had dinner and all exchanged emails and prepared to leave the next morning. The microorganisms of Costa Rica had one more activity planned for me, however. About midnight it started with pretty violent trots. To which was added projectile vomiting (there was a little waste can next to the toilet, fortunately). Followed by about 4-5 hours of excruciating stomach cramps. I have never gotten sick while traveling. And I've never felt cramps like that before. It was so bad I couldn't help groaning and crying out. I tried taking multiple warm showers to help the pain subside. It helped me be a little quieter while a stabbing pang was happening. But eventually I'd end up back in my bed, moaning again. At times I actually just wanted to die. It seemed like it went on forever. Finally around 5am it stopped.
In the morning I somehow got my stuff sort of packed and took some final pictures and rode the bus back to the airport. My flight wasn't until very early the next day so I stayed overnight in a hotel. I'd kind of hoped to sit by the pool and even out my sunburn but I was so wiped out I just slept and slept and slept. Around 7pm I got up and wandered across the street to a Denny's and had chicken soup, hung out with some friends who also stayed a couple of extra days and then went back to bed. The flight the next day was uneventful, and I arrived home to a couple of very happy cats.
It was a good trip, but exhausting. I've never paddled 6 days in a row, before!
Since I'm a novice paddler in years of experience (1.5) I had expected to feel out of place on an "advanced" trip, but among the 12 participants I think I was somewhere in the middle in terms of skill. There were definitely people better than me, and I didn't take a couple of the advanced options offered to us, but only a few actually did, so I was not out of place, after all. Some participants swam several times on what seemed fairly easy rapids compared with things I've run. I needed plenty of combat rolls (on both sides), but fortunately the only swim I had was on a gnarly thing that also claimed a bunch of other people.
And everyone was great, personality-wise. I really enjoyed all of the other participants, as well as the leaders. What a fun group!
Considering that I couldn't even FIT into a boat three years ago, I'm pretty satisfied to be in this kind of shape, now. I'm glad I took the effort to push myself back into shape after the surgery rehab, and I'll take it.
I'm looking forward to improving so next time I go on a trip like this I can style the class IV things rather than swimming, portaging, or turning them down.
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