Thursday, October 18, 2012
Here it is, middle of another month and time for another set of pictures. Thirteen months into this fitness journey and so many small changes made that have really added up to a lot. I think my regular camera is out unless I want to spend the money to have a special USB cable shipped to me. Haven't decided on that yet. So these are again taken with my smartphone.
17 Oct 2012 @ 172.5 pounds
Side view. this swimsuit is a size 22W. While that worked okay when I started out (somewhere in the 24/26 range, I think), it definitely is roomy.
( I'll get them up on my SparkPage soon, but the BLC#20 International Travel is supposed to stay up through tomorrow. )
Yep, those are thigh-high boots hanging up in the first picture. I went shopping over the weekend. They're nowhere near the holy grail of perfect boots - far from. But I did pick up two pairs. (The other pair is mid-calf and has a thick heel - maybe 1.5 to 2".)
I did a little more shopping than that, in fact. I had need of smaller underoos. Upper half I had to special order, and have taken care of. Bottom half I'm now in "normal" sizes, so I just had to figure out what store to go to and which size to grab. Target's where I've gotten towels and kitchen stuff, so why not. (Amusingly, I remember what store I used to use for similar purchases a couple decades ago - Mervyn's. Looked them up and ... they were owned by Target Corp for a while? Small world.)
Took care of that need and picked up a couple sweaters in mediums. (The very first picture I posted here in a green shirt was an XL bought from Target, definitely a very snug fit.)
I don't actually plan to wear those boots with my blue jeans (jeggings), but did for the pictures so the boots are easier to see.
I did not expect the results of wearing boots, though. Without changing ANYTHING else about what I was wearing, just putting those boots on ... ugh.
First was the guy at the bus stop outside the grocery store. For lack of a better word, he was gushing. I had on headphones and was doing my little mini-dance to myself, so he was complimenting my legs, asking if I liked dancing, was I going dancing, my legs looked strong, blah blah blah. At least he was occupying himself as long as he talked.
Then he stopped for a moment ... and scooted closer on the bench. O_o
More about my legs looking strong. Starting to say I was giving him a free show. Could he touch them and feel how strong they were?
Do I need to buy MACE?!
Thankfully I made some comment about the leg press right after saying "No, absolutely not!" and got his eyes up higher than my waist to talk gym workouts.
I always stand and dance (not like serious dancing - just moving side-to-side kind of thing) like that at bus stops, but usually I'm wearing my running shoes because I walked to the store and they're comfy. I've had people make comments about my legs being strong when they see me walking a lot. This, however, was just over-the-top.
And he was just the first and worst.
On the plus side, I'm not feeling an urge to go back to being "invisible". I just need to figure out a better way of politely accepting a compliment WITHOUT the slightest amount of friendliness being perceived as an invitation.
I am liking how physically capable I'm feeling. My legs ARE strong and that's a very good thing. I like being able to FIND boots that fit and that I like the style of.
I'm getting a little excited by my BMI. I'm only 1.5 away from the "healthy" range (25) and below the "risk factor" level of the overweight range (27.3-27.8). Given that I started out at 37.4 that is notable progress. Even better, I'm only about 10 pounds away from hitting "healthy". SHINY!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
One year ago I did my first ever 5k - Oktoberfest held by the City of Campbell.
It seemed an appropriate choice for a first race. My early years were spent in Campbell. I remember summers in the Book Club at the library, checking out the canning and prune-drying equipment in the basement, walking to school on my own, the local park and pedestrian walkway that went up from the park over the freeway. I remember a jet at Campbell Park, knobs and dials left "working" so we could climb in and play fighter pilot. (One of my brothers had his picture taken and published in the local paper when they were removing it - with a story about how we'd miss it.) I remember the orchards less than a mile away, long gone. I remember the steam boat car wash, still there. (I'll actually have to take a picture of that one of these days.) I remember climbing the trees - both in front of the hosue and in the back yard.
It's like coming home every time I walk out on the Los Gatos Creek Trail or head to Campbell's park or library or just through their downtown.
Anyway ... a year ago, there I was, bright and early with no real idea what to expect from the experience. I didn't have any real concerns about finishing. I'd never stopped walking even when I was trying to gain weight. (It's probably what kept me healthier than otherwise.) Though I hadn't done it more recently, I'd walked 10+ miles non-stop in my younger years, in heels even, and knew it was possible to just keep going long after the body wants to quit.
I picked up my XL t-shirt, put it on and took a quick snapshot with my phone, posted on my blog back then. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4537111 My official chip time last year? 50:52. I was so excited by because I thought I was on a 17 minute per mile pace, more like 52 minutes.
Sadly, this year I didn't have the money for the registration until after it was too late for pre-registration - so no shirt unless I wanted one of last year's XLs. Haha, no. I already donated that a while back because it was too big. I didn't even THINK about taking pictures until I was almost to the train (light rail) station post-race. Oh well. We'll see if I can find any pictures on their website or what the race photographer's shots look like.
Not being pre-registered meant getting there earlier. Awake at 7:00 am, out waiting on a bus at 7:20 am. And waiting. And waiting. And getting nervous while waiting. About 10 minutes late a bus finally shows up. Luckily for me, it got to the transfer point with just enough time for me to jog down to the pass scanner as the train was showing up. WHEW!
Registering went smooth and I put on my chip and bib, made sure to take care of the necessaries, then spent the time walking around the staging area to stay warm and limber. (Speaking of warm, I had on a pair of too large sweats with a drawstring over my shorts. By the time I'd walked around a couple times, those and my jacket were tucked away in my backpack. I was wishing I'd thought to bring my gloves earlier, but stayed in the sun and was comfortable enough.)
Soon enough we were off. I started a lot closer to the front this time than last year and did well with that. Sure, I was passed by some runners, but most serious runners were well out ahead. Last year I remember spending a lot of time getting around people.
I did have a moment of panic, amusingly enough. I brought my watch and started the chrono when I crossed the start line. As I crossed the 1/4-mile marker, I clicked the lap timer and looked. !!! 4:21.81!? I thought I was walking a much better pace than that. I tried to push a little more and it was tough. Bearing in mind I've been managing close to a 14 minute mile lately as my default brisk walk ... going from 3:45 when I'm really pushing to 4:22 had me freaked out. If that was my time for a quarter mile, my race time would have been right around last year's.
Then it dawned on me. We don't start at the line the 1/4-mile marker is based on. We start a good ways back. I didn't even thing to hit the lap timer at the START painted on the ground - only at the line for the 5k. Sure enough, my lap time at the next 1/4-mile point was 3:22.40 and the one after that was 3:26.85. My time as I hit the 5ks sign for 1 mile was 13:37.25.
I started losing track with the lap times at that point because of the disconnection between the mile signs for the 5k and the 1/4 mile markers in either direction along the trail. Also, past the 2-mile point, the trail isn't really marked in 1/4-mile sections. Only the main 2-mile loops is fully marked. But I did feel like I held that pace pretty well.
My finishing time I don't have officially yet. The race clock said 41:30 more or less, but I didn't start right at the front, so my chip time is likely to be a little lower. I hit the lap timer on my watch coming around the last corner (40:32.12), but then was looking at the race clock and didn't stop it until a bit after passing the finish line and slowing down. That gave me 41:34, which also seems to confirm I'm a little below that, but unsure by how much.
No matter what, a very sweet pace of around 13.5 minutes per mile.
Now to make sure I get pre-registered for the Turkey Trot rather than leaving it to the last minute.
*** I had to come back and edit this in.***
Went to do the SparkPeople Web Search for the SparkPoint and the motivational picture said:
WHETHER IT'S A 17-MINUTE MILE OR A 7-MINUTE MILE, IT'S STILL A MILE.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
I've been working in my mind on a practical application from "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". It starts off with a visualization technique - imagining our own funeral and one person from each of four categories speaking of the type of person we were. It hasn't been as easy as I might have hoped, but interestingly enough I'm even learning from the process.
One of the key things that has been rattling its way to the surface of my mind is related to "character traits" (or "personality"). When someone speaks at a funeral, they generally don't wax poetic about physical appearance.
"Ah, Marge, how we'll miss her silky auburn tresses and carefully manicured hands."
No, they speak of the type of person.
"Ah, Marge, she was unfailingly polite and prompt. You could trust any promise she made."
In trying to think of character traits I (or someone else) would use to describe me, I went looking online for lists. There are LOTS of lists because successful writing of fiction requires character creation.
Here's where it got interesting. I have different reactions to different traits. As I consider my response to some of those traits, I've had rather a shift in how I consider them. Some of these traits ... I've had a deep-seated belief they can't be changed. I was "born that way".
I'm lazy. I'm independent. I'm clumsy. I'm responsible. I'm a scrooge. I'm not maternal. I'm disconnected emotionally. I'm optimistic. I'm reliable / dependable. I'm empathetic, but rarely if ever sympathetic. I'm a chatterbox. I say these things - aloud, in writing, in my mind. I've believed them, to greater or lesser degree. And for the LONGEST time, I've believed that personality is somehow unchanging and unchangeable.
Now I'm challenging that. I'm asking myself whether these are truly pre-defined personality traits or whether they have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If I believe I am lazy, I tell myself I'm lazy, I tell others I'm lazy ... and I have invested myself in being lazy to prove myself right. After all, if I say I am lazy and then I work really hard ... I'm a liar.
How much of what I believe about my innate nature is based on a foundation of decision(s), actions, and external reinforcement, built up through interpretation of my own memory, and reinforced by my own ongoing choices to live up to my belief?
Lazy? When I make a choice to get something done, I work HARD at it. I'm very efficient and effective when I want to be. When I realized how much extra work cleaning became if I didn't keep up with it, I swapped to keeping things more clean regularly. Yet I ~STILL~ call myself lazy on occasion. Me. The person who walks from work, from the gym, works out daily .... I call myself lazy.
There has to be something deeper than what I'm looking at. Some of the traits on the list are one I immediately think would be learned from the environment. Trusting or distrustful are traits we can usually trace the origin of in betrayal or loyalty of someone close. Others are more of a range than absolutes at either end. Few people are absolutely and completely honest, even if just as few are intentionally deceptive at all times.
I haven't dug to the bottom of this one yet. I'm literally going through lists of traits and attitudes and so on, paying attention to my thoughts on them. It's quite illuminating. I don't consider myself selfless nor want to be, yet I don't consider selfish the right answer either. I say I'm not maternal, yet I raised 2 of my 3 kids to adulthood. I consider myself emotionally disconnected and yet I've had people call me kind and thoughtful.
The End? The Beginning? Somewhere in between, as usual.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
30. What are you most proud of about your journey towards healthy living during the month of September (and October, since I started after the first of the month )?
Well, I suppose I'm proud that I've completed this blogging challenge - remembering to do this each day. Some of these questions did really make me think about my journey so far and where I would like it to lead in the near future. I'm proud that I didn't just give pat and easy answers.
(It was nice to read through the many others - even if I didn't have time to respond - who have done this blogging challenge as well. The amazing variety always astonishes me. Sometimes we are so so similar, sometimes we are immensely different.)
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
29. There is so much MORE to you than your wellness journey. Please share 10 facts about yourself that aren't related to your weight loss journey, how you eat, or how you exercise.
1) Growing up I was a typical (or not-so-typical?) horse-crazed Jennifer. I had a collection of over 25 model horses, subscribed to a mag on customizing them with "real hair" manes and tails and repositioning, and wrote to penpals from the mag.
2) I'm the oldest of my father's 5 children, and definitely have oldest child traits because he raised us, but in the middle of my mother's 9.
3) I was reading at the age of 3. According to my mother, she taught me letters to keep me busy (because she was caring for my 2.5 year younger sister) and I quickly was asking what everything spelled.
4) I worked on the 49th floor of one of the twin towers for 2-3 months, the only time as an adult that I've lived outside of California. Got to New York mid-heat wave and left mid-first frost.
5) I took violin, swapped to viola as my long arms handled it better, learned piano haphazardly at recess (one teacher would pull it out and play), and wish I'd kept at some instrument - though at least I can read music and play at a simple level.
6) I would love to sky-dive some day, or go up in a balloon, but can't stand the idea of bungee jumping. Obviously, I don't have a notable fear of heights. I'm the sort who loves looking out a glass elevator as the ground drops away.
7) My favorite color is green (*shifty eyes* how did you know?), preferably darker or deeper shades with blue undertones.
8) I can draw reasonably well, but only if I spend hours of undisturbed time at it. (My DDa and the 2.5-year-younger sister are both incredible with quick sketches, while mine are merely passable for getting the idea across in Pictionary / Draw Something.)
9) I can roll my Rs on the front of my tongue (Spanish style), back of my tongue (French style) or do both at the same time (me being a goof-style). I can also whistle blowing out as well as sucking in, go up and down notes enough to do little tunes, and even make a warbling bird-like sound. Oh, and I can say the alphabet backwards almost as fast as I can forwards. Ah, the fun of dorky "talents".
10) I really hate talking on the telephone. Text communication is so much easier. Part of that is a certain tone deafness and tinnitus, so some people are hard to hear clearly. Another part is feeling "trapped" - especially with people who hate to say bye and hang up. Texts I can walk away from and catch up on, but if I miss what someone said, I'm rude and inconsiderate.
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