Friday, February 04, 2011
This is a photo of me that also appears on my SparkPage and is my FB profile photo. It was taken on my fifth day in London, England. I weighed about 190 lbs in this photo, but I wasn't even thinking of my weight and it is one photo where I don't notice all of the little imperfections or bulges that only you tend to notice in photos of yourself.
I was so happy in the above photo. It was my second trip to Europe, my last day in London before heading to Paris the next day. I had dreamed of visiting London and many other places in Europe for years and after putting off my dreams for a lack of time, a lack of money, and a lack of company able to travel with me I finally made a decision to find a way not to delay and achieve at least one of my dreams. I was going to make it happen. My first trip involved a low cost bus tour visiting Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Instead of quenching my desire to travel, see, and experience the world, it just increased it. And after hearing my fellow tour members talk about London and Paris I just knew I had to go there next.
In 2009 I booked a seat on a bus tour visiting London and Paris which caters primarily to single travellers, all in the 18 to 35 age range. I also added two extra days on in each London and Paris at a reduced rate through the tour company. My first tour experience gave me confidence that I could travel on my own without the safety net of a tour group the entire time, use public transit, eat in good restaurants on my own, and navigate through unfamiliar cities. Thus, my unforgettable trip to London and Paris was born.
The purpose of this challenge blog is to find a photo of yourself where you feel confident and happy in the photo and explain why. So, I think I am so happy and full of confidence in the above photo because I have just had an amazing five days fulfilling one of my passions. I was seeing new places, experiencing new things, and meeting new people. It was a rush! London is an amazing city filled with a great energy, but still has a connection to its past and slow, quiet moments can still be found within it. I was feeling all of that and more.
What I would like to keep from that photo is my sense of adventure and knowing that I can accomplish my dreams. There is always a way, it just may not be the most conventional. And it is always worth it to try new things, visit new places, and meet new people. What is keeping me going right now is planning for my next trip and trying to figure out how to accomplish it. Croatia here I come!
Friday, July 30, 2010
As a part of the DONE Girls' Fun in the Sun Challenge I have decided to train to complete a 10 km run. The decision to participate in this challenge was an easy one for me since I had already decided to attempt this training plan on my own. I needed a new challenge and something to work towards after completing the C25K training program. As a part of my employer's healthy living program they offered all employees the opportunity to participate in one of the Running Room's online training programs free of charge. As a part of this online training program it provided a ten week training program to build up endurance to run a 10K race using the Stanton method of run ten, walk one. However, after completing five weeks of the training program I had to give it a rest due to a knee injury. It was incredibly frustrating and disappointing due to my Type A personality. I wanted to be able to complete the program as planned, perfectly, without delay. Instead I had to rest for a full two weeks without any training, and I was ready to start training again just at the start of the FITS challenge with a new plan.
My knee injury has slowed me down, but I am slowly building up my endurance again. If all goes well, by the end of the FITS challenge I should be able to run 10 km at a steady pace using the Stanton method. This is based on me amending my original Running Room training plan. I now only run at most three times per week and have at least one rest day in between running days. So far my training has been going well. I have managed to fit in all of my planned training sessions, but it has been hard on the weekends. Summer is a busy time, especially on the weekends, and to find the extra time to fit in an hour long run when the heat and humidity isn't too stifling has been hard. There have been both early morning and late evening runs to try to fit them in.
I have found that running in the early morning is definitely harder on me. My run times in the morning have been longer and my motivation definitely isn't as strong. This confirms what I already believed about myself, I am not a morning person. It doesn't help that if I have to run before work, I don't have time and it upsets my stomach to eat right before I leave for my run and my energy reserves are low. So, evenings have been key to successful runs, especially when there is a little bit of a breeze, no bugs, falling temperatures, and I've eaten supper at least one hour before my run to restore my energy reserves.
Since I have approached my revised training program my knees haven't been bothering me as much. This slower, extended training program rather than what was proposed by the Running Room's system is definitely working and my run times are improving too. However, not pushing myself too far too fast and overtraining has been difficult, but I know it is better for me in the long run. Every once and a while my knees will tweak with pain, but I just slow down to a walk until the pain is gone and start paying more attention to my running surface, making sure that I stay on the most even terrain. Tonight I completed a 8 km run for the first time. It was supposed to be a long, slow run. My knees are now a little bit stiff, but there wasn't any pain. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if extending my distance caused any problems. Fingers crossed that there is no additional pain or stiffness and I can continue with my training program as planned.
Monday, March 01, 2010
With each week I have been thinking more and more about my weight loss goal. Like many people I set my weight loss goal when I first signed up for SP in 2007 and had a large amount of weight to lose. I had been overweight for almost all of my life, so I had no idea what weight I would look good at with my current height and build. So, I picked a number. 150 lbs. That was 65 lbs to lose and seemed huge to me, so very far away in the future.
Now that I am 4 lbs away from my goal I've started to re-evaluate my goal. It has taken me over two years, and a bit of back sliding and lack of commitment, but I can see the finish line now. My original goal was achievable. However, I'm starting to see the flaws in my original goal. It still leaves me with an overweight BMI, I still can't manage to fit into regular size 10 jeans, but a size 12 is too big, and there are still some stores where I can't find anything that looks good and fits me properly. I am close to achieving a number on the scale, but I haven't achieved all of my other weight associated goals.
So, here I am re-evaluating my target weight. What is the right number??? Is there ever a right number? How much difference will an extra 5 lbs make. So, I'm thinking I will re-adjust my target weight loss to 145 lbs. It is still achievable in my time frame, before my trip to Scotland & Ireland, and it will put me in the top end of the healthy BMI range. From there who knows. I'll probably re-evaluate again once I hit 149 lbs to see if I want to can lose more. So, here I go . . . . 145 lbs here I come!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
For all intents and purposes I had intended to get in a great workout at the gym today, then work on last year's taxes which I still haven't filed, do some laundry, grocery shop, and clean the house. Instead I have done none of it. The day is wasting away and I don't feel guilty about it. Instead I laid in bed, surfed the net, read some romantic fluff, drank tea, and had breakfast in bed. I then had a nap. So, I basically didn't roll out of bed until almost 3PM. Normally, I don't nap, but today I've just been so tired.
I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. I can't remember the last time I spent so much time laying around and not doing anything of substance. Work has been crazy for the last two months and I've been busy on weekends. It doesn't help that I'm experiencing my TOM, so I think I was just ready to crash. I think I needed today to just relax and decompress. I think next up will be a nice, long bubble bath with the jets going.
So, tomorrow will be back to regularly scheduled programming with a trip to the gym, laundry, and grocery shopping. It all still has to get done, just not today. Today is time for me to rest, recover, and spoil myself.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I just finished writing a long blog about whether or not I should go to the gym this afternoon and feeling guilty about taking rest days. Just to stop all of you who say I should go to the gym I should also mention that I have already gotten in a 20 minute power walk and have completed my calories burned goal for the week.
Just as I was to run my spell check and then post the blog my internet connection went down, my IE stopped responding, and my Outlook locked up. So, my nice blog is lost. I then had to re-boot my computer and I could not establish a network connection. I got an authentication failure notification. This has been happening frequently lately but the IT people seemed to be stumped. My office is located at a satellite site on a construction project. I am the only person from my company, so I can't even check with someone else to see if it is just me. Then all of a sudden my connection will re-establish itself. Today it took rebooting my computer twice and waiting over an hour. To kill time I started to read my Rick Steves' guidebook for Scotland. Nothing like daydreaming about your vacation to pass the time!
At the same time while I waited for my network connection to re-establish itself I felt impotent. I am waiting for information from my architect and mechanical design engineer to respond to questions from a grant administrator for a grant that I applied for and is in the evaluation process. Unfortunately with this grant they only accept electronic communication, so I couldn't even call them to tell them the information was coming. And to give some perspective this grant is valued at somewhere between $700,000 and $1.2 million. So, there are big stakes tied to this grant. Who knew not being able to send or receive email could be so stressful??? Thank goodness it is Friday! I need some time away from here to decompress. Once 5PM roles around, in about 11 minutes, there is nothing I can do about it until Monday morning.
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