Saturday, September 18, 2010
I spent yesterday as a slave to the clock. I knew I had a meeting at my son's school at 1pm, but by 11am I was at the gym trying to squeeze in a workout. The trainer girl was there. Actually, I'm not sure if she's a trainer. She might be a physiologist or whatever it is. Either way, she's always helpful and encouraging. After my flub last week of not getting a chance to talk to her, I was hoping I would get a chance again this week.
I started on the elliptical because, as of yet, it's the best bang for my buck as far as calorie burn vs. time spent. I set it to the Weight Loss mode and finished the 33 minute routine and cool-down. I did notice that my pace has increased considerably as it's now around a steady 130 pace (it used to hold around 115 or so). All through my elliptical routine I kept eyeing the reclining ab bench across from me and decided, "I'm going to try THAT today." (I love trying new things at the gym!!)
Once I got done I grabbed a 4lb. medicine ball and headed to the ab bench. Crazy! I'm telling you right now that the bench and I are going to have a love/hate relationship. If you're getting bored with your floor crunches, try a reclining bench like this! Not only does it really push the work on your abs (OMG I totally felt it!), but it also works your hips as you struggle to maintain balance and really fight against gravity here. I usually do 100 floor crunches, but this time I only got 60 in. It was TOUGH! YAY for a challenge!
The whole time I was watching my watch, trying to gauge how much time I had left and I figured I had just enough time to push out a full ST routine on the machines. As I pulled out my record sheet for my ST routine, the trainer girl at the front desk came over and said simply, "So how long did you do?" That's one thing about this gym. They take an interest in their clients. They rejoice with you and help you when there's any issue. I took it as my opportunity to ask her some quick questions. I told her about the reclining ab bench and how much it just about killed me. "Oh, so it was a good challenge for you?" Yep! And that's when I really dove into my discussion. I told her about how I felt it in my hips and how that was a good thing because I was really trying to find machines that would build me stronger hips. I told her that I was trying to run, just a little bit, and that it had given me serious pain in my left hip. I explained that I had been studying the different workouts I could do to really strengthen that hip so it wouldn't cause me pain when I tried to run.
"I love that you said it like that!" she said. (Huh?) "You didn't say, 'So I'm not going to do that anymore.'"
I felt the biggest pride in myself. I told her that giving up was not an option and I felt like she was just as proud of me as I was. She offered to show me the cable machine (using the ankle cuff I can do several workouts for my hips) and told me to make sure I'm doing the two leg machines, which I am.
Do you know what I wish? I wish I had the gym to myself for just one hour. I feel intimidated sometimes to try new things while I'm there, but if I had the time to just fumble through it and try everything out I'd feel much more brave to really get a full-body workout when I'm in there. So, I ask you - how can I find a way to kick out every single person out of the gym?? *lol* I guess that's not reasonable, so I'll just have to get more brave about asking questions. I'll have to try things and fail in front of everyone, and be okay with that. I won't know what I'm capable of until I really push myself, but it's so scary to fail in front of those skinny-minnies!
My eating has been a little off but I'm still in my calorie ranges so I'm not stressing. I did have a little bit of cake last night, the sugar-free kind. And then I proceeded to have serious stomach problems. It sounds strange, but...could I be allergic to something in this cake mix? I lost all color in my face, had serious stomach cramps, and felt all in all AWFUL! Trashing that stuff! EEP! Thankfully I feel better this morning.
So journey on. I'm still learning. I'm still getting through. Yesterday was very stressful. I'm having job issues, house issues, car issues (including accidentally running into a sign at the football field)...it's been a rough few weeks. But I gotta stick to the one thing I know how to do...live healthy.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I don't know what it is about 5 months or 60 pounds or the change in seasons, but something in me snapped last night. After all the support I received here on Spark, I still felt overwhelmed and completely underappreciated...not by Sparkies, but by people in the world around me, people I have to face everyday, people who, I know in my heart, love me no matter what. That evil little monster crept into my head and reminded me of all the bad things I used to tell myself, and I felt completely powerless against him.
My little devil might not be like yours. He tries so many different ways to make me fail so that he can win. Sure, he holds the regular "you're a loser" card in front of my face from time to time, and whenever I'm not strong enough, I believe him. And it extends beyond weight loss and exercise. He sits down and lists the reasons why I'm a loser. They include:
* You went back to school and STILL nobody wants to hire you.
* The people at work don't like you.
* Your job sucks, and it doesn't pay hardly anything.
* No matter how hard you work and how many hours you put in, you're stuck.
* You will NEVER be a competitive athlete.
* You can't even seem to stay on task for a week without slipping up.
* There is NOTHING special about you.
* Everyone around you can run circles around you.
* No matter how hard you try, you will always be inferior.
I rarely have fat-head syndrome either. Instead, my evil demon has tried another interesting method of cheating me out of my fire...it's a type of reverse psychology. Until I see a picture or look in the mirror, I believe that I'm smaller than I actually am. Growing up there were times I didn't understand why I got so much attention for being overweight, because I didn't see myself as that big, even though I really was. I would (and still do) compare myself to other overweight people and tell myself they're bigger than I am, even though I've got them beat by at least 30 pounds. I have skinny-head syndrome and, sometimes, it can be a show stopper. Why would I need to lose weight if my brain is telling me I'm just fine the way I am? I can fit there, I can do that, I'm not THAT big! But the truth is, I am. (Is this just me? I hear all the time about fat-head syndrome, but never the reverse.)
Yesterday those little demons in my head got the best of me, and I called in sick not to my full-time job, but to myself. I lied to myself and told myself I needed a mental health day and rest away from the exercise and healthy eating habits I have held myself to for months. It was not a good night. I spent no less than 4 hours yelling at myself in my head, telling myself I was worthless and not worth the time or energy required, and just having a big, fat pity-party for myself. And, yes, junk food was involved.
But this morning, for some strange reason, I woke up feeling better than I have in a while. Sure, there was a little guilt over last night. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and shook my head at myself asking, "What have you done?" But I took a deep breath and tried to refocus.
This is not easy. None of it. And it doesn't get easy as time progresses. In fact, sometimes it gets harder because the emotional part of it comes up and bites you in the big rear end. And as you're standing there, rubbing your bum, shocked and confused and afraid, you wonder where to go from here. And as I asked myself that very thing this morning, the answer came to me without much effort - time to go back to the basics.
Today is Day 1. Forget yesterday. Forget the past 5 months. Forget it all and move on from here like you're starting this journey anew. Sure, you're in a different place at THIS starting line than you were at the last, but that will just allow you to focus on new things. I guess what I'm saying is, I've decided that this is the next leg of this never-ending journey.
It starts today.
It starts with measuring everything once again.
It starts with religious logging of everything eaten.
It starts with attempting to follow the Spark plan to a T.
It starts with an exercise plan that includes activity every day.
It starts with baby steps that are a smidge bigger than before.
I feel like a toddler who has grown into a young child, a tween, if you will. I'm still working on becoming who I will become, but I have to let that child-like part of me go and learn to grow up. I'm building up my wings. I've learned to walk, now it's time to learn to fly. I need to focus on what is important to the process.
The What the Fall challenge started without me yesterday, but I'm hoping my girls will give me a free pass. I was mourning the loss of my inner child and making it possible for me to move on. Sometimes we have to start again. Sometimes we have to let go in order to move on.
Time to get back to the basics. Today is Day One.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
To all of you. Those who know me well, and those who don't. For everyone who stopped by yesterday to both console and yell at me. I WAS being a negative Nancy, because that's how I felt about the entire thing. I felt dejected. I felt like my body wasn't living up to my expectations for it. And, yes, I know how rediculous it sounds, but I felt like I was moving TOO SLOWLY!
Oh, and for the record - several of you actually made me tear up while I was at my son's football game last night (reading comments on my iPhone when he wasn't on the field). So, uhm, thanks for that. *dripping with sarcasm* ... *totally kidding* ;)
Your comments generally echoed the same general sentiments:
"Yes you can...maybe just not YET."
"Listen to the pain in your body and back off a bit, but don't give up entirely!"
"Just keep chugging along. You'll get there!"
"I've been there...it gets better!"
MENACE79 gave me some specific instructions to write down all the can'ts turned can this year. I hear you. Here you go:
Some can'ts...Now I can:
Walk a mile without breathing heavily.
Stand up from sitting for a while without feeling soreness in the joints.
Walking without constant discomfort.
Walk a 30 minute mile.
Walk a 24 minute mile.
Walk a 20 minute mile.
Walk a 18 minute mile.
Walk a 16 minute mile.
Walk 2 miles straight comfortably, at a steady pace.
Walk 3 miles straight comfortably, at a steady pace.
Climb hills without gasping for air like I'm going to die.
Climb rock walls and the side of cliffs without physcial support.
Hike for a mile in the woods.
Hike for 5.5 hours in the woods, with hills and streams and rock walls and the like.
Walk 4 miles straight, comfortably, at a steady pace.
Walk 5 miles straight, comfortably, at a steady pace.
Walk 6.2 miles.
Compete in a race.
Complete a 5k.
Complete a 5k under 60 minutes.
Complete a 10k.
Walk faster than my youngest son.
Walk in pace with my super-fast husband.
Ride a bike.
Spend weekends being active.
Garden for several hours without giving up and sitting down.
Understand that water refreshes body and soul.
Understand that good food doesn't have to be boring.
Encourage my family to be active.
Seek out ways to exercise, stay active, and compete.
Find the thrill in any athletic competition.
Hit a punching bag without looking like a fool and hurting myself.
Hit a speedbag with a regularly, semi-fast rhythm.
Row 2000m on the rowing machine in under 15 minutes.
Row the same in under 13 minutes.
Stay on the elliptical for longer than 30 minutes.
Stay on the elliptical for 45 minutes.
Complete 1 60-minute Zumba class without serious modifications.
Enjoy an aerobic class.
Feel like I have something to teach other people at the gym.
Batch cook on weekends for a health-full week.
Get my youngest to eat more vegetables.
Get my oldest to eat a ton of new foods, and make him prefer them over the crap.
Get my husband to get out of the house.
Be called a motivator.
Write things that others will want to read.
Provide opinions that will help others succeed.
Run for 60 seconds without hurting or feeling completely out of breath.
Did you see that last one? Yep, I said it. See, in my sea of can't I couldn't even see the clouds above. I couldn't recognize how beautiful the water was or even enjoy the sunlight on my face, because I was so busy feeling like I was drowning. But you all remind me something...I have a choice. Sink or swim. Give up or move on. Only I can decide how to proceed from me, but I have to decide TO proceed. What's that saying about how even if you're on the right path, you won't get anywhere if you're standing still? Very true.
So my cry of desperation yesterday was answered by all of you reminding me of the things I had forgotten. And I felt renewed and envigorated again. I felt ready to try something else. Ready to give way to a new idea, new patterns of thinking, new ways of training. Whether it's expanding upon that first run segment or shortening the run segments altogether. Whether it's going back to walking goals or trying still to accomplish this one thing I have wanted my whole life. Either way, I'll get there...eventually. I've got a few things to try still yet (and I'll let you know how they go), but when I exhaust those ideas, I'll return to what works, add in some hip-specific ST moves to my 3 times a week ST routines, and see what happens 10 pounds, or one month from now.
But I wanted to do one specific thing today. I wanted to thank you all for what you said, what you didn't say, and for slapping me out of it (some of you). A major shout out to:
Thank you all so very much for being the voice in the darkness, telling me that just because we feel pain, doesn't mean we're dying. Sometimes pain is our body's way of reminding us that we're still alive. And as long as we're alive, there will be time to go after dreams, even those lofty ones that take a good long time to reach. As one (or many) of you said so well - One day, one step at a time ...I'll make it there eventually. And then you'll get to read the CAN blog, because I promise there WILL be one! *lol*
To answer a few questions:
- No, I didn't get "fitted" for shoes. Haven't found a place around here that does that. Had to do my own research and determine the kind of shoes I needed. The new shoes feel amazing and I love them! If I do finally find a running store that does fitting, I promise to drop by and make sure my assumptions through online research were correct and, if not, buy new shoes to correct the problem. There is the added bonus that I got a Nike + senor and watch to go with my shoes, so I can now record both my walks and my runs! AWESOME!
- Yes, it's only in one hip. And I do have a few concerns that it might be something actually medical...so if it continues after a while I'll call the doc and get in right away. I don't have these pains while walking long distances, only from running. If I go to the doctor for any other unrelated issue, I'll point this out to her as well. I think I should probably go in sometime soon anyhow just to check in and to get some more heavy-duty ibuprofen! *lol*
- Uhm, yes, you have to understand that I don't RUN even when I run. It's stupid slow. I can seriously walk faster than I can "run." But it's a different feeling altogether...at least to me.
- C25K is a great program, and I've used it in the past...but maybe it's just not right for me right now.
- I have been training on the elliptical and I love that machine for the calories it burns for me! But it's not the same...there's not the same heel to toe action and whenever I try to make it more like running, I nearly fall off the machine! *lol*
- No, I'm not running on the treadmill. One of those things I will not allow myself to do yet. Period. I have no problem running in the gym or in front of people, but I know for a fact that I'm a little over the weight limit on the best treadmill at the gym, so running on it would be a major no-no in my head. I don't want to ruin the experience for everyone else. (That being said, I used to be 30 pounds over the limit, now I'm just 5 pounds over! Soon, my dears, soon...) Also, there is a part that scares me about doing it on the treadmill...the inability to quickly adjust your speed. One thing about the treadmill, you set it to do 20 minute miles and you're doing them unless you push that button...I don't think I have the coordination yet to run on the thing either. Let's just say, I have my reasons and there are plenty of them.
Finally, I have to say that I think the lack of finisher medals for walkers at my last race hit me a little harder than I let myself think it did. During my sob fest to Hubs I heard myself cry out "NOBODY cares about walking!" and an image of that moment, that empty feeling after crossing that finish line popped into my head. It wasn't right on so many levels. Because what all you said is true. I didn't realize I felt so strongly about it, but I felt like I was stripped of all manner and level of respect in that one moment! I felt completely inadequate. I had to defend myself in writing for why "JUST WALKING" should be recognized too. It was disheartening and humiliating, like much of my struggles with dealing with people and my weight have been. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this information, but I just wanted to admit that my subconscious belched this up and I realize now that my negativity toward walking again has come from that place of rejection.
Anyhow, thank you all so much from the bottom of this here old heart. I really do appreciate the support and love!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I hate that word. Like serious anger and venom spews from me when someone says that I can't do something. It's even worse if I'm told that the reason is because of my weight. It's just a "reason" I'm sick and tired of hearing already. I've been fat my entire life, and just about every doctor I've run across has used this one excuse or reason for almost all of my health problems. I swear if I got cancer tomorrow some of my past doctors would tell me that I got it because I'm fat. I don't know why, but I don't want to believe that this one thing can be the cause of everything that has ever been wrong with me throughout my entire life. Couldn't some things just be wrong with me because of my genetic make-up, or some other reason. Maybe one or two could just be a statistical fluke?
Still, I know there are some things that are because of my weight. My pre-diabetic status is because of my weight, my poor eating habits, etc. My poor fitness is because of my weight. And some of the things I can't do in this world is due to my weight (hello, weight restrictions!). So, yes, I accept that. But when I started this journey, I believed that there wasn't anything I couldn't do eventually...with enough work and training. I'd take it slow and eventually work my way to it. I thought it was the same with running, which is why I avoided it until now.
In the past five months I've increased my stamina and fitness level through walking, and I'm honestly in some of the best shape I've been in since high school. So, in my head, following walking an EASY 10k, I thought for sure I could try running...just a little. I had hoped it was time for C25k but I was fine with having to do week 1 for months. I was fine in my head with going very slowly. I had done this program back in 2008 as a way to train for a trip to NYC, where I knew there would be a TON of walking. I did weeks 1 and 2 for a LONG time, and I never got beyond that. So now that I'm in much better shape, I thought I could do at least that again and, hopefully, eventually, get to weeks 3 and 4.
So I tried. And the running part felt great, but in the third running segment I felt this sudden PULL in my hip and OW, OW, OW! I limped the rest of the way home. I've tried another time and walked some even when they told me to run. I was trying to take it slowly. My running was barely even running. So I thought that maybe I had the wrong shoes. And I researched for weeks, selected the right pair for me and they arrived today.
I was nervous today but I tried anyhow. The first running segment felt GREAT! These shoes are CLOUDS, baby! *LOVE* it! But then the second running segment comes around and within seconds of starting I'm feeling a little discomfort in my left hip again. GRR! I was frustrated. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish, but I had to check my posture. I tried leaning forward a little, I tried standing up straight, I tried seriously engaging my core, I tried picking up my legs differently, I tried everything I could think of and some things seemed to work a tiny bit for a second, and then the pain returned. The third segment came and I tried a few more things but the discomfort became real pain and I *had* to stop.
So, I guess that's it. I can't. Am I REALLY TOO FAT TO RUN? When will I be NOT TOO FAT?
I got on the elliptical and set it on the weight loss program, 28 minutes long with a 5 minute cool down after. It was a hard 28 minutes. I went from nearly crying to absolutely angry. I went from pain to feeling a good stretch in my hip. I went from wanting to just jump off the upper level of the gym to just wanting to give up and go home. I finished my workout, did 10 minutes of stretching, really focusing on my hip, and went home completely depressed. I held it together on the way home, but all I could think was that word -- CAN'T. I can't run. I know, I know, not yet. But for right now that still means CAN'T.
I got home and hobbled inside and collapsed into a heap on the couch and just cried. Hubs held me and tried to reassure me that I'm doing everything right, that I'll get there eventually, that all is not lost...but I just kept hearing that word -- CAN'T.
I have no upside to the blog. I haven't come around to a better way of thinking. I'm still tearing up while reading this blog because I feel like a big, fat failure. I can't run. It's all I really want right now and I just can't. And the only reason I can think of for this big CAN'T is my weight. My stomach is too big, and it causes too much pressure on my hip when I run. I don't know what to do to fix it other than wait until my stomach gets much, much smaller...which I constantly fear it never will. I'm scared I'll never get there. I'm not asking to run a marathon...I just want to run for like a half a mile...maybe 2 some day. But I can't work my way up to 1/2 a mile if I can't run AT ALL right now.
Scared. Annoyed. Frustrated. I wish there were a weight limit to running so I had a way to work toward it. But I don't ever know when I'll reach that point. I don't know how to work toward something that is so....out there. Something that is so vague. As for now, I'm just going to cry a "why-is-me" cry because I can't.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thanks to ECLECKTIC1 I realized that this new challenge to stop smoking can be treated much like my new challenge of a healthy lifestyle was treated with Spark. Small steps of habit change. And it all started with logging and asking yourself tough questions about why you wanted to change and what emotions led to overeating, right?
All day I've spent every break asking myself those tough questions...
How does this make me feel?
Why do I feel I need/want it in my life?
What would I do if I weren't doing this?
What are my reasons for quitting?
And a thought occurred to me. Seven days can seem like a long time sometimes. Even 3 days can seem daunting. Three days of being on target, of being "perfect?" That's HARD! I know what you're thinking, 3 days is nothing! But when you're facing big challenges, 3 days can be rough. So I wondered how I managed this Spark thing when I started. I didn't jump on with the intent to lose 60 pounds in 5 months. No way, no how! I jumped in with a thought of, "Let's see what happens for one day."
Certainly it was in the back of my mind that this day could be the start of something big. But I left in there, firmly in the BACK of my mind. Just once. Just one meal. Just one day of being on. See what that feels like. See what happens.
And there was another thing I did that was different...it wasn't about "tomorrow" at all. You know the saying -- The problem with diets is Mondays. We all have those weekends where we say, "I've got to eat everything because Monday I start my diet." We eat our Big Macs and Super Size Fries on Sunday night at 11pm because "This is the last time I can have this!" But with Spark I didn't think that way. Nothing is off limits. I can have a Big Mac if I want to. I can even have some french fries. (Yep, I said it.) So not treating the weekend before like a last hurrah was a huge milestone. I started fresh on day one. I didn't expect perfection, and I didn't achieve it either. I just started logging what I was eating. I noticed I was making healthy choices anyways because I was logging and I didn't want to log a Big Mac and Super Size Fries. I wanted to log healthier options...even if it was a McChicken Sandwich and a Diet Coke instead of a Big Mac meal. Progress is progress right?
So instead of thinking, "If I can just get through those first 3 days..." (I've always heard that when you quit smoking the first 3 days are the most difficult) I'm going to start thinking, "If I can just get through this one time." All it takes is once. So starting right now, I'm going to say no to just ONE smoke break. Just one. I'll see how that feels and then see if I really want to smoke the next time or just say no to one more.
It works with all my goals actually. The idea of being on target all week was scaring me earlier. I'm coming off a weekend of rest...a weekend of doing pretty much nothing in the way of exercise. And what seems most daunting to me all the time is getting up early to get a workout in before work. So I made a decision. Just ONE DAY this week, I will get up early and workout before work. Just once. That's it. Just one day this week I will NOT turn my alarm off and go back to sleep. And every day I put it off, I'll be facing the daunting task of having to start over again tomorrow. Usually I have this attitude of, "If I don't do it now, I'm just going to have to do it later..." and that gets me going, because I want my later to be free of "have to"s.
As for today, I needed to buy something at the store. It's something I always buy name brand of because, well, it's better and it doesn't ever fail me. But I can put up with a little tiny issue when I'll save 3 dollars...that's what I told myself as I was pouting my way to the front with the on-sale generic brand. 3.99 vs. 6.99. I bought the cheap kind. So I can take comfort in knowing that just once today I saved myself 3 dollars. (And, if I want to get really picky, another 5 when I didn't buy the magazine I wanted, and another buck and a half when I passed by the Vitamin Water I wanted.) Take the small hits, make the small sacrifices, and it will add up in the end.
Just this once...
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