Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Yesterday was quite difficult. Nothing new, as a lot of days have felt difficult lately. I wanted to eat and cheat and beat myself up...and I tried not to do that at every turn. The day turned out alright stat-wise, though. I did have some ice cream, but this time I was reasonable about it, only had one 1/2 cup serving and kept my head about me.
Calories Consumed: 2526
Calories Burned: 585
Net Calories: 1941
It's below my BMR (around 2140), which I've been trying to avoid, but I wasn't feeling all that hungry yesterday, just munchy. Munchy does not = hungry. Plus, I don't know if the calories burned calculation is correct, as I don't have the proper strap to use my HRM in the pool.
I decided to avoid the weight room yesterday in favor of the pool. Since I'm getting off early this week, I realized I could make it to the nearby gym location for the scheduled Lap Swim from 4:30-5:30 pm. There were already 3 people in the pool swimming laps when I got there, and one of them not doing a great job of it. He was swimming the line between two lanes instead of sticking to his own lane. I waited to see if he would eventually get a clue, but eventually the on duty lifeguard had to correct him so that I'd have room to swim. I wanted to get about 30 minutes in, and I did get close. About 10 minutes in, though, I was afraid it just wasn't going to happen. I shot for 10 laps, then 16, and finally 20. I probably could have done a few more, but I didn't want to overwork myself and I saw that people were starting to filter into the locker room to change for the water aerobics class that was to follow, so I called it a night after 20 laps in about 25 minutes. I turned to the one guy in the pool that looked like he knew what the hell he was doing and asked, "How long is this pool?" He said it was 20 yards, so I did 400 yards, which isn't too bad. Almost 1/4 of a mile swimming. And the guy next to me remarked on how strong a swimmer I was before I left (and I graciously thanked him, but told him it felt slow today).
The lifeguard on duty, thankfully, made me feel a whole ton better about the whole situation. My first few laps were hell. I simply felt like I could not get a breath. I swim at the lake a lot, and don't have quite as many problems there, so I just figured it was the fact that 4 of us were churning up the water and that was what was causing the difficulty. But the lifeguard looked at me and smiled and said, "It's so cold in there today, it's kinda hard to catch your breath!" Apparently the pool's heater has been out of commission for about 2 weeks. It hasn't mattered too darn much the past couple weeks because it's been quite warm (we're talking 90s) outside, but there was a soft but hard (figure that one out) rain midday and it cooled the day down considerably. I had noticed that the water felt a little colder than it had last Thursday when I took that water aerobics class, but I figured I just wasn't "with it" or something. Turns out it wasn't me...even the aerobics instructor complained in the locker room that it was cold out there.
I did second guess myself a lot throughout. I have a bit of a trouble swimming in front of other people...especially considering the expert swimmer a few lanes over. He was taking a lot more breaks than I was but he could do about 4 laps in the time it took me to do 1. He was strong and fast and had those gorgeous swimmer shoulders. (He was really yum, though. And was the first one to talk to me trying to encourage me to take my lane while wonky swimming guy was trying to hog two. He even got the lifeguard's attention so that she could correct the dude so I could swim.) So I caught myself watching the other people in the pool and I realized that I breathe a whole lot less than they do. While they were breathing every 2 strokes, I only breathe every 4. I tried doing it their way, but it just didn't feel right. It wasn't until I looked at expert swimmer dude and saw he was a 4-stroke breather that I realized I might not be doing it wrong, maybe I just have better lungs or something. In the end, I figured I wasn't trying out for the Olympic swimming team, I was getting a workout and having fun, and I was going to go with what my body felt was right. 4-stroke breaths it is! Now if I could just figure out how those people turn at the end to come back... *lol* I've always wanted to be able to do that. (Of course, considering I had to catch my breath after nearly every lap last night, it wasn't really all that important anyhow...but one day I'd like to do 2 laps without stopping...maybe more.)
So, yeah, Dara Torres and Michael Phelps don't have any worries about me challenging them in a pool, but it is something I enjoy and something I'm quite good at (I suppose), especially given the fact that it took me quite a while to actually LEARN how to swim. *lol*
Even yesterday on my way home I kept thinking about Hot Swimmer Dude's shoulders. They were the most gorgeous things ever! ;) And I realized that I've always had broad and strong shoulders. When I lift, it's the first thing that seems to get strong and firm. I even broke a collarbone on the way into this world because of these broad shoulders of mine. So maybe I was built with swimmer shoulders...maybe I should embrace that. ;)
Anyhow, I can't say my mood is all that considerably improved from the past few weeks/months, but I did have a lot more fun yesterday...and swimming is one thing, like running, where doing it only makes me want to do it more. I think I'll go back Thursday and see if I can get 22 laps in 25 minutes (maybe I'll have hope if they finally get that darn heater working!). I Googled it when I left the gym. 1 mile = 1760 yards which = 88 laps in that pool. So 22 laps would be 1/4 of a mile. We'll go from there and see if I improve over time. I know I've gotten stronger from last year, though. I figured as much at the lake when I was lapping the buoys, but this just proves it. Last summer I was struggling for 10 laps in pools about this size or even smaller...so to do 20 yesterday means I've doubled my stamina. Not too shabby.
I think there might be a new plan coming. I haven't worked it out in my head, but my June plans make me want to fall asleep, and I can't have that or I just won't do it (or I'll be pissed off the entire time I am doing it). So maybe it's time to go back and revamp and work in more swim time and such. Anything to keep me going.
I may have no hopes of losing weight (if you read my blog yesterday you know that whether I eat a little or a lot or in between, I seem to be maintaining this weight whether I want to or not), but I can at least stay excited about staying in shape until the weight is willing to budge, right?
EDIT: Actually, this site says a swimmer's mile is only 1650, not 1760, which means I actually was almost at 1/4 of a mile.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
If we're being completely honest, I don't want to do anything this week. The exhaustion and frustration of feeling like I'm stuck in a neverending loop has certainly done a number on me. I won't talk about it anymore [EDIT: But I can't help myself and eventually start saying it anyhow...] but to say *bangs head on desk repeatedly* and *just wants to go home and curl up and forget I ever had any goals that I'll likely never reach*.
So, anyhow, there's a plan for this week. There's always a plan. Not that it does any good anyhow.
Dinners for the week:
- Homemade pot roast with mashed potatoes
- Catfish and grilled asparagus
- Ground turkey tacos
Not sure what else but I did buy a big bag of frozen chicken breasts, so I'll probably make that into something one night. All out of brown rice, but I'm sure I can figure out some other things to put with it. Have bell peppers, squash and spinach in the fridge. Have salad with tuna pouches for lunches when needed. Also have fresh pineapple and watermelon (though we ate a lot of that at the cookout yesterday) and some apples and bananas.
The plan is to not end up at Kroger one time this week - because even though they called me Sunday to ask if I wanted a Monday shift (I didn't call back), I'm off all week. I do NOT want to show up there this week AT ALL. Either Hubs is picking it up or we'll make whatever we already have work for us.
Workouts planned for the week:
Sunday - Nada
Monday - Swim at the Lake (done! sorta...)
Tuesday - NROLFW B1
Wednesday - C25k W1D2
Thursday - NROLFW A2
Friday - Lap Swim (~30 mins)
Saturday - C25k W1D3
Yesterday I actually got a lot accomplished. Ethan and I got ready pretty quickly (and then had to wait around for Hubs) and headed up to P'burg to go to the Old Navy store. I had a $50 gift cert and needed a black shrug for my dress for this weekend. Also scored another set of black pants for work and a pretty green dress, which I'm wearing today with the shrug. All for free! *big grin* After that, we hit Chick-Fil-A. We usually end up in P'burg on Sundays so we rarely ever get to have CFA, and, yes, I'll admit it, their waffle fries are the real draw. So we each had a yummy sandwich and waffle fries and then headed out to the lake.
The only real issue I ran into at the lake is that I forgot to bring a hair tie. Now when I'm serious about swimming, my hair MUST be up and back. Otherwise, it does what it did yesterday...it strangles me when I try to bring my head up to the side for a breath. *sigh* I did as much as I could. I improvised by swimming with my head out of the water (not as much fun or as much of a workout) and then used some netting from a toy I'd bought Ethan at the dollar store to tie it up - which got me a good lap in before it fell down and I had to readjust it. I tried to do what I could but I'd be surprised if I even got 20 minutes of swimming done yesterday because of that. (And now I want my hair cut more than ever! It's getting out of control!)
We left the lake around 4pm and headed home to shower and change for the BBQ my MIL was hosting. I will freely admit right now that I ate way too much. A hotdog AND a hamburger and a few deviled eggs and some macaroni salad and baked beans. *sigh* I felt like I was back to my old eating habits pre-2010...and that's just stupid. But...part of me also doesn't care any more. I had some ice cream later...after I tried to be good and just have watermelon and pineapple, and after I said, "Thank you, but no" to my youngest who offered to scoop me out some ice cream earlier...I went and had ice cream. And part of me still didn't care.
Was in bed at a decent hour and up on time for work today. So I guess that's good, at least.
Today I just feel off. I can't describe it any better than that. Tired, yes. And feeling like my life is getting quite stale and boring. And I have a big problem with that...and that's probably what's been bugging me most lately.
Prior to this job, I never stayed anywhere longer than 8 months. I've been with this agency for almost 6 years now, but I've held 3 different positions in that time. I spent my probationary 6 months as a receptionist before I moved up to Secretary. And then I started school and had 3 years of juggling. I took a whole semester off work so I could focus on school full-time and my hours changed a lot each semester to accommodate my courseload. But then I graduated from school. And every graduate school I applied to rejected me. And every writing and publishing job gave me a big fat no (well, actually, they just never responded). And so I was stuck here, but at least there was an opening. I moved up to Investigator in February of last year. And now? Now I'm just treading water. And I *hate* that feeling. I don't know why I'm the kind of person who can never just settle down and settle in, but it's almost impossible for me to stop moving. Maybe I'm part shark.
For a while, losing weight and dropping sizes and seeing my body change in front of my eyes was change enough. I got to see progress. I got to try new things. I got excited about doing challenges and being a part of something great. And then everyone was running forward while I got stuck behind with injuries and now it's just really hard and confusing to move forward because I can't figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it...and, most days, I just don't care anymore.
I care about still being fat. Of course I care about that. Probably too much, actually. I hate on my body a lot. Because before I was seeing changes and I started dreaming about what my body might look and feel like when I was smaller. And now, I'm stuck. And I know what this feels like...and it feels like being still fat.
So, yes, I have plans. And I don't want to do a single one of them. But I'll probably force myself to do them because I friggin' hate my body right now and I can't ration out why I'm not progressing much anymore (and any progress I do have is slower than a snail's pace now) and I get bored standing still...and I'm kinda hurt from being so brave for so long.
I've never been one to be able to stand out front of anything for very long. Didn't matter much because I never got any roles in high school because of my weight. Choir performances where I got solos sent me into momentary panic modes, but eventually the performance came and went and it was over and on to the next thing.
When I heard a friend of mine had run a marathon in just under 8 hours, my main reaction (other than WOOHOO!!!!) was, "Can you imagine running for 8 hours straight!? Can you imagine doing ANYTHING for 8 hours straight?!" Yeah, I can't. I hate standing still. (And that, my loves, is why I also hate my part-time job...I do nothing but stand and do the same thing for 8 hours straight.) If I'm home for too long, I want to go somewhere. If I'm out too long, I want to go home. I used to move all the items in my bedroom around about every 6 months or somehow change what it looked like because I got bored of it.
I looked back over my posts. The last time I lost actual pounds somewhat consistently was in November. That means it's been just over 6 months since I really noticed a difference in how I felt, how I moved, how clothes fit, and the numbers I got to see on the scale. I'm bored.
I know it's no excuse...but it's all I can figure.
And I can't quite figure my way out right now either.
I've been trying to fill my time with little things to count down to - like in going to DC again, or like going to an amusement park with the kids where they assure me I WILL fit on the rides and I've promised to try at least once (but I'm completely terrified of it - not because I'll feel humiliated...I can deal with that, I've had that one down for YEARS now, but because I don't want my heart breaking any more when I realize I haven't really gotten anywhere when I thought maybe I had). But none of it is working. And though I know I'm supposed to go and lift tonight, that isn't exciting me at all. It doesn't even feel like circles anymore...it's a dreaded treadmill where I keep walking and I'm going nowhere. And I'm sick and tired of it. And I want off. I need something to change...but I really want to change for the better, not to change just to change. So that's the bit of growing up I've been trying to do lately. Don't just change back to bad habits because you need to change something - keep looking for ways to move forward instead. Been hard. All the doors look locked and barred. No matter how many calories I eat, low, high or in between, I stay about the same weight. No matter what kind of food I eat, I get tired about 3pm. No matter how many times I say that THIS is it, it's really not...it's just another step on the treadmill.
Oh, and my brother's wedding is on Saturday. Though I fit better in my dress now, I've become completely self-conscious about my entire body again. When I was shrinking, I was just getting to love things and then they'd shrink again...but now I've been this way for a while and I don't see it positively anymore...I just see what needs changing. It's not a good headspace to be in.
Nothing new to report.
...that's not necessarily a good thing...
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Nearly one month ago I set out some goals for myself in certain exercises. With one week left in May, though, my time to complete these is dwindling fast! I'll have to really buckle down and get these done...especially considering there's a jar with $6.00 at home waiting for me to whip the boys' butt, and I'm pretty sure they've basically forgotten about our challenge. (Hey, is it ALWAYS my job to remind them? I printed them their own lists and they tossed them on the floor for the dog to chew up! *facepalm*)
So here's where I'm at so far:
Pushups (Modified) - 80/150
Pushups (Regular) - 105/150
Burpees - 90/150
Crunches (Regular) - 165/150
Crunches (Legs Raised) - 35/150
Crunches (BigTinys) - 35/150
Crunches (Reverse) - 65/150
Crunches (Oblique/Side) - 51/150
Mountain Climbers - 3.5/30 minutes
Plank (Regular) - 3/30 minutes
Plank (Modified) - 1/30 minutes
Plank (Modified Side) - 1/30 minutes
I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the planks, but I'm going to do my very best to make this happen sometime between now and May 31st at midnight.
Here's what's left:
70 Modified Pushups
45 Regular Pushups
115 Legs Raised Crunches
85 Reverse Crunches
99 Oblique Crunches
26.5 minutes Mountain Climbers
27 minutes Regular Plank
29 minutes Modified Plank
29 minutes Side Plank (14.5 minutes each side)
This means that my abs and arms are going to be screaming after this week is over. But I'll be darned if I don't finish my goal by wimping out in the last week! I'm going to go against all my better judgement and knock out these exercises little by little each day (I'm usually a stickler for rest days now, but this is for REALS y'all! SIX BUCKS! ;) ).
I've already got my June workouts mapped out and I don't want to take any negative baggage into the new month with me. I want my Goal Met stickers and I want that 6 bucks!
I've spent a lot of time today thinking forward to June (always happens when I start setting down my workouts for the month) and all I can think is - I WANT SOME PROGRESS!
I either want to lose some weight for good OR lose a noticeable bit of body fat OR get down a clothing size. Right now I'm stuck smack dab in between 20s and 22s or 22s and 24s at most stores - and in between sizes SUCKS! So I want some progress, and I'm trying to make plans to make sure that happens.
But I've got to make sure I end May with a bang! At least I know I learned a lot this month - but I'm kinda sick of that being the only victory I'm coming out with lately. So...I bought my own fat % monitor like the one the gym uses. I hope it's the same kind and reads the same (because my scale is supposed to read body fat too but it says I'm still like 56% fat...10% more than the one at the gym! That's a HUGE difference! (but the gym one seems more on track with the old scale at my old gym, so 2 against 1 and I win with the lower body fat %)). I'll take every measurement I can on June first and then I'll have a better idea what's happening to my body right now (because even looking at pictures starts to dull and fade and I stop seeing the changes I know are there).
DROP AND GIVE ME 20!! is all I'll be telling myself for the next few days so I can hit those May goals!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Okay, so I watched Weight of the Nation last night for just a little bit and, boy, was that depressing! Seriously, hearing doctors go on and on about how hard it is to lose weight, how we're all doing it all wrong, and how even after we lose the weight we have a serious point of struggle ahead of us as we are confined to eating 20% less than we would have we never gotten fat in the first place. Yay!! *sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm* I swear at one point I thought, "Are they trying to tell us all to just give up and get used to being fat?!" *sigh* Neither here nor there, really, but it has seriously crushed any delusions I had about what my life might be in the future.
Let's just put it out there - losing weight is hard. Losing 100 pounds is uber hard. Losing 200 is almost impossible without surgical intervention for most people. I started out at 466.6 pounds. My goal weight right now is right around 230 pounds. Yes, I know that sounds high to all of you, but if I maintain my lean body mass from this point on, just maintain it, that will put me around 30% body fat. Getting closer to 20% I'll still be in the 200s. I have very few delusions of getting into that "Onederland" (I really hate that term) most people strive for or even getting to what the BMI charts consider a "healthy weight". If I maintained my lean muscle mass, "healthy weight" according to those charts will put me at about 1% body fat. That's healthy?! Anyhow...I digress. 466.6 to 230 for now. THat's the goal. We'll reevaluate later (my magic head number is around 210, btw). That's 236 pounds, y'all! *falls over* That's not losing a person, that's losing an OBESE person. Seriously. Hard row to hoe.
But just because it's hard, and will be for MY ENTIRE LIFE, does not mean I'm giving up.
It doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I'll have to fight harder to get there.
And I certainly have learned that I have a LOT of fight in me.
So...that show can suck it! *lmao*
Yesterday I ate a little bit over my 2600 goal. I'm not too worried, it's still under my TDEE and I'm just trying to learn what my body needs/wants. Apparently last night it wanted some more fat in the form of a handful of peanuts. I hadn't bargained for that. So what I learned is that I need to incorporate some more healthy fats into my diet so I'm not scrounging around at the end of the night with no calories because I planned the "perfect" day and didn't take my own needs into account. Readjust, reconfigure, and move on with more knowledge.
My "almost perfect" day looked great. And then we had a few minor hiccups (like my sweet husband trying to ease the burden of making dinner off me and making something that didn't exactly fit into my plans for the day...and those nuts). Not sure if his cheeseburgers (at least he made them small) made me want the peanuts more or if I just wanted those damn peanuts.
2 egg whites, 1/2 cup of oats, 2 Tbsp homemade peanut butter, 16oz coffee with creamer (full fat and sugar)
Snack 1 (9:30am)
La Yogurt Raspberry Yogurt cup and 13 Quaker Quakes (Carmel Corn)
Subway 6" Turkey sub on wheat with a bit of light mayo, lettuce, and lots of pickles
Veggie Salad with lots of lettuce, spinach, a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, pickles (yes, pickles in my salad *lol*), and fat free italian dressing - topped with a package of light tuna I had back at work
Snack 2 (5pm)
Carbmaster Vanilla Yogurt, 12 baby carrots, 90 calorie Quaker Oats Granola Bar
Large banana and 2 scoops of Chocolate Peanut Butter whey protein powder in water
2 ground beef hamburgers on buns with cheese, with light mayo, ketchup, lettuce, and pickles
...and then that handful of peanuts
Calories = 2926
Calories Burned in my Workout = 349 (36% fat cal)
Net Calories = 2577
Now my BMR is around 2150. My TDEE (moderate) is around 3300. I was within my ranges, but not quite as comfy there as I thought I'd like to be.
I did Workout 1 of NROLFW last night...sorta.
Warm-up: 5 minutes on the bike at level 12
Squats - 2 sets of 15 reps at 95 lbs
(SS1) Pushups - 2 sets of 15 at 30%ish angle (can't quite make floor pushups yet, so I did this with part of the support of the squat rack - which got me some funny looks, but ah well!)
(SS1) Seated Cable Row - 2 sets of 15 at 60 lbs
(SS2) Step up - 2 sets of 15 - no weight, pretty high step (knee or thigh level), I got to 9 before I needed the bar in front of me for support so I wouldn't fall over
(SS2) Prone Jackknife -- NOT! OMG, I totally tried to do this and did 1 and nearly fell on my face. I don't know if I was using too big of a stability ball (probably) or what but my pride was damaged and I improvised by pulling out some Mountain Climbers instead.
Then cool down with some yoga and stretches and I was DRIPPING sweat, y'all. Had no clue I was working QUITE that hard as I was doing it.
Total Time: 39:22
Avg HR: 122
Max HR: 159
Cal Burn: 349
Fat Cal: 36%
Not too shabby, I suppose.
Want to know what sucks? I want to swim tonight but I don't have the right chest strap for my Polar to take in the water with me, so if I do that I'll be tacking on 30 minutes or so of exercise that it just won't register...which pisses me off because I was going to reach my set goal of 4hr 5min this week for the FIRST TIME since I got it. *sigh* Maybe I'll have to do something else. I just have to ask myself what I want more - laps at the pool or that 30 minutes counted toward my total. Maybe I'll hit the rowing machine or bike first and make my own mini-mini tri session. *lol*
As for today? I'm sore all over. I'm bloated as all get out, but I know it's from muscle recovery and I've promised to give them a bunch of water today and only hit the cardio at a moderate pace.
Tomorrow I'll probably try to finish up my goals for the month. I still have a bunch of planks and mountain climbers to do so it might be an all day spread out thing until I have to work at 4:30pm at the second job. At least I know I can knock out the regular planks for 2 minutes at a time. Wonder if I can hold it any longer than that??
And then Saturday I'm going to try a run again if the foot still feels good. I shared my run with Tanner (my trainer - aka Cute California Trainer Boy (CCTB) or Cute California Trainer Dude (CCTD)) last night and he said, "Well give it today and then try again tomorrow." Boy, he doesn't waste any time, does he? I told him I wouldn't try again until Saturday to make sure there was plenty of heal and stretch time in between and he nodded and said, "That's probably best." He immediately asked me once I told him about it, "Do you have a 5k in mind?" *lol* Of course I do! I always do! I would've loved to have run the Firecracker 2-Miler again this year and best my time from last year (a very poor showing with a ton of negative jeers before I finished and got a bunch of praise and thanks), but I don't think I'll be ready by July 4th to attempt the 2 miles comfortably. (And I was totally there back in December - running 5 miles and thinking 2 miles was just an "easy run"....that's a little sad.) So I'm trying to think a tiny bit further down the road...and I don't know that I'd be ready for this either (but I could walk if I needed to) but the first of August is usually the Debbie Green Memorial 5k - the first race I ever walked and where I met my girl, Hollynn and her wonderful husband! I would love to knock that one out if I could (though the major challenge would be the monster hill in the beginning...haven't tried the foot on hills yet...). If I'm not ready for that...well, we'll have to look into September/October. I'm sure I can find something to shoot for, but I'm not going to injure myself again to do it. Even if I'm just putting in 5 miles running a week every week on my own street with no one to witness it or cheer for me, well, I'll be happy just to be running again for a while.
Today will be a challenge. Woke up late and rushed out the door and am NOT prepared food-wise. I think I can make it work, but it might be a low cal day for me. Gonna shoot for 2400 and try not to fill it with crap food.
As you can see, I've taken a lighter stance on my "clean" eating for the past few days. The only reason for that is that I need to go grocery shopping! *lol* Our supplies are dwindling and it's time to take a trip around the outside aisles and get some fresh fruits and veggies up in here (or at least some frozen ones). I do have my eye on a watermelon and perhaps a pineapple as well. NOM! Hoping to get some good batch cooking time in this weekend or somehow develop a good slow cooker schedule. Got some good chances this week. 1) I'm off Monday. YAY! 2) I work short shifts this week, so even if I hit the gym after work I should be home closer to 6pm, rather than 8pm. Makes making dinner that much easier. 3) The boys are off as of Friday for summer vacation, so they can stay up a little later, so late dinners won't make that big of a difference. Ooh, and I think the strawberry patch near my house might be ready for picking...we'll have to check that out this weekend and see if we can get a crapload of FRESH strawberries we can eat, freeze, and make into homemade jam!
What are your go-to clean eating staples at the grocery store? Right now mine are bell peppers and chicken. If I don't have these two items in my house I feel lost! Oh, and bananas for my post-workout snacks.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I debated not sharing this at all with anyone, because I've gotten a lot of crap about how I shouldn't be running at my weight and that's probably why I got hurt in the first place (it isn't). But I won't deny myself the reminder of what yesterday meant to me.
For the past few weeks my foot has been feeling really good. No real pain in my heel - just a bit of stiffness if I stand for too long (after about 4 hours or so). So I've been toying with the idea of trying to run again...just a little bit...just to test it out. Let me first remark that NEITHER of my doctors have told me not to run. In fact, you can put my PT in that category as well. All of them know the struggles I face with my worn out body - osteoarthritis in my knees, misaligned pelvis, calcified ligament in my neck, and a wonky disk in my back. ALL of them have only managed to say - "Listen to your body and adjust accordingly, as needed." When I last saw my chiropractor (last week) he said, "Well, when you get back to running, just make sure you have good insoles/arch support." And I do. I bought new insoles a couple weeks ago to help with dealing with standing at the new job.
So yesterday, I got this crazy stupid notion that I was going to try to run. Even though I'd slept for 13 hours straight the previous night because I couldn't get up because of a massive headache caused by my ligament pinching the nerve in my neck (at least, chiro says this is most often the cause of my migraines). Even though I couldn't hardly eat 1/2 a bowl of oatmeal that morning for no apparent reason. I felt off...and I honestly had no clue why I felt the need to try to run in such conditions. But something told me to try.
I vowed that if I felt ANY pain in my heel, even a twinge of something, I would stop immediately. Hubs was headed up to his mother's house (she lives about 3/4 of a mile away) and I told him to go ahead and take off with Logan and Ethan and I would meet him there. And then I started C25K W1D1 on my phone, just to see how far I could get through it. 9 runs later, I nearly wept. I had done it. I had completed the entire workout. And I was jazzed! I headed straight out to my FIL's weight bench and did a little lifting and 55 minutes after leaving my house, I had burned 607 calories. And I couldn't contain myself.
I tried not to make a big deal out of it. I was conscious of my foot the entire night. I stretched it and my back through all my PT and chiro stretches and rolled and iced my foot and back for good measure..and then I waited for everything to all apart. I was nervous. I kinda still am. But, so far, only a slight stiffness in my foot this AM that was over after the first few steps to the bathroom. I'll continue to stretch it today, and I have no hopes of even trying to run again until at LEAST Saturday. Once or twice a week is all I will give myself for now. Probably just devoting my Saturdays to runs as I love getting to know these roads once again under new (stronger) legs. And if there's any pain...I'll back off. I'll invest in running shoes before I get serious again. I'm on the lookout now. And before I even think about doing 3-a-week runs, I will make sure I've gone weeks without any pains in my foot from the PF. And I'll probably try to get into the chiro again before I try 3-a-weeks again, just to make sure I'm perfectly aligned (or as best as I can get).
Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I couldn't contain my own joy. I felt all this rush of possibilities come back to me and I realized why I had felt so run down and out of sorts the past few months. I was being held back. I couldn't be who I was.
People can say whatever they want about what my body should or shouldn't be able to handle, but I know it better than anyone...and my doctors come a close second behind me. And none of us doubt my ability if I take all the necessary precautions to adapt myself to my body's limitations (and I don't just mean my weight). I'm a slow runner. I mid-foot-strike. I concentrate more on my body alignment in runs than I do anything else, which, in it's own way, spaces me out and helps me destress, but isn't like the freeing runs of so many that I hear about. I don't have time to think about finances and second jobs and the countless things the kids want to see, do, and own. I can only think about my body in motion as I turn my legs over, being sure not to put too much stress on my hips and knees, not bounding too far off the ground but making slow, steady, deliberate steps over and over again. My heart rate runs a pretty moderate rate throughout my runs and recovers through my walks and I seem to be maintaining my breathing well - all things noticed on my run last night. As well as the strength in my legs built through months of basically nothing but ST, and the newfound flexibility that's greater than ever before because I challenged myself with yoga moves and stretched like it was my damn job!
So as all the possibilities flooded back in my head and I felt my own power returning, I started to realize how much of who I am is built up in the things I've learned to love in the past two years. It's things I somehow knew a very long time ago, but was discouraged from ever trying either for financial reasons or because someone, somewhere told me people my weight just didn't do those things. Because I was told I couldn't be the best at those things, and if you couldn't be the best there was no point in even trying to do them.
As an adult, I reject those notions. There are things I love to do. Things I'm good at, in my own way. I'll never be the best at them, but I've honestly known all along who I was and what I wanted to experience - I was just too afraid to go after it. Not anymore. Last night I heard myself whisper to myself in my own wee lil head, "It's who you are. Don't deny it."
And who am I? Well, you've all seen glimpses, if you've been paying attention.
I'm a dancer. I always wanted to be a ballerina or do hip-hop dance moves. I love silly shows like So You Think You Can Dance (starts Thursday, btw! ;) ), Dance Moms, Dance Moms: Miami, and other things of that sort. I find myself mimicing the moves I see - the extensions and stretches and pretending that I'm about to take my own little stage for my own little version of the Nutcracker (a ballet I saw nearly every single year growing up). I'm not going to be a ballerina. I won't be kickin' hip hop moves on SYTYCD. But you can find me, from time to time, pointing my toes, stretching my leg straight up to my head while reclined on the couch. Sometimes I wonder what I could've been had I been given the chance. My flexibility is almost uncanny, especially for someone of my size...just think of what might have happened had I been given the chance to develop it.
I'm a runner. Sorry for those of you that think me foolish, but it's part of who I am. I've wanted to go fast since I was little. Mom used to say that before my father came home and I put on all this weight, she could never get me to stop moving. I fidget like crazy because I can't sit still and I constantly want to be in motion - as fast as possible...but only if I retain control. I have no need to ride fast in a car - that scares me. Still quite terrified of roller coasters and the like. But running? I control that. And even though I'm quite slow compared to just about every runner I know, there is just something about the wind in my hair and my legs churning under me that gives me a slight thrill. I get a runner's high from running down an aisle at the grocery store. It's not about how far I go, but that I go at my own pace and that I engage the proper muscles while doing it. I used to think I was rebelling by running, but I'm starting to realize I'm just giving in to my own innate desires.
I'm a swimmer. Just like running and stretching/dancing, swimming is something I've loved for as long as I can remember. I'll be honest with you, it took me quite a while to learn to swim. I was terrified of the ocean until the age of 30 because of a bad experience when I was around 6 years old, and lakes weren't much better. My breath still catches in my throat when I drop my legs after a swim and realize I can't touch the ground under me. One of my greatest fears is drowning. But swimming? Freestyle stroke through the water? For some reason it puts me in a zone like no other. Nowhere on land can your body move like that, in all different directions, your hips twisting your legs and torso opposite of each other at times, your arms allowed free range of motion above, below, in front, and behind you. There's just something magical about swimming that I've never quite understood, but simply cannot resist. In high school I bought swimming magazines and attempted to perfect my stroke, and even this weekend I worked on form in the water. It's just like running to me - my mind is so busy with form and function that it can't get bogged down with the other white noise that crowds my every day life. Plus, my breathing ability is a bit uncanny as well, crafted through years of breath control in various choirs, but something I was born with and just learned to develop over time.
These are aspects of who I am, and I have no right to deny myself these aspects of my own true self simply because someone somewhere told me I wouldn't be good enough, or I shouldn't do it because it would be bad for me or look bad or would be embarrassing. I'm 31 years old. I'm married and have two beautiful children. Let's be honest, I'm quite done impressing anyone but possible employers down the road. If someone doesn't like/love me for who I am, then it really isn't my time to attempt to develop that relationship. And some relationships built in childhood, when I was denying and hiding myself, just aren't going to live beyond this year if the people in them can't learn to love and accept the others for who they are now, who they've let themselves become through careful examinations of their own beliefs and values and desires in life.
With this newfound realization and reaffirmation in myself, I'm recommitting myself to my own version of a healthy lifestyle.
I have been consistently maintaining a calorie intake of around 2450-2600 calories - right around where I should be. However, I need to ensure that I'm getting most of that from clean, healthy sources.
I will be working out 4-6 times a week for a total of 3-5 hours per week. I will incorporate cardio in the form of running, rowing, and swimming and will continue to lift heavy at least 2 days a week (probably 3-4) in order to maintain my lean body mass and decrease my body fat.
I will continue to weigh-in and better understand those fluctuations in body weight. Honestly, very rarely does my consistency with my goals not reflect consistency on the scale, except recently, when all the rules changed as my abilities were hampered by injury.
And sometime within the next year I hope to run my first full 5k without stopping once. I don't know if it will be as soon as I want it to be, but I will make it a priority to do it safely without risking further injury. I want to be running for years to come and no 5k is worth risking that.
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