Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Yesterday was a different sort of day. I don't have a reason for it, I just felt more in control. I think sometimes we just have to "get through" the rough patches in order to come back to the realization that we're stronger than we ever imagined. For the past few weeks I've been giving into my excuses and letting them run me out of the gym, onto the couch, and back to the stove for a second helping. I resisted what I could and stayed out of complete danger zones whenever possible. But my stomach sure let me know when I was making a fool out of myself with my rebellion. Even my body has been protesting - a hurt finger, a cut on my tongue (no clue), and hives yesterday in one spot on my chest.
But yesterday, like I said, was a different sort of day, in that I didn't give in to every excuse I had to give myself. At lunch, I thought about just sitting here at my desk reading a book. But I didn't. I got up and went outside for a walk. It was a short walk, under a mile (I didn't change clothes and was starting to sweat...it's not QUITE as cool out there as I thought) and only 15 minutes, but it felt good to move my feet midday like that again.
The lull between when everyone else leaves at 4:30pm and when the 4-10ers get to leave at 6pm was unusually quiet yesterday since half of the 4-10ers were out leaving just 3 of us (and two all the way on the other side of the office). It was the longest hour and a half here at work! Still, at 5:45pm, I took the time to get my gym clothes on and lace up my running shoes. I wasn't sure what my gym routine would look like completely, but I did write up some sort of mini-plan on my notepad.
Cardio - 20-30 minutes
Core Work on Reclining Bench - 4 types of crunches, 15 reps each
Push-ups and Planks
Try cable machine for hip flex exercise
Cardio - 15-20 minutes
Full ST on machines
Full Stretch - 10-15 minutes
This is what a typical exercise gym routine looks like for me. It's like circuit training, and it keeps me from getting too bored on one machine. I've stopped telling myself WHERE to get my cardio, and have started simply saying - Do something! Anything!! So with this plan in mind, and the realization that it could quickly slip through my fingers like it has so much in the past few weeks, I went to the gym anyways.
I figured I'd do the elliptical. It's easy. The treadmill has been frustrating me lately anyhow because, well, I'm not too sure why. I guess too many hours spent on the stupid thing for training squeeking out 4 miles here, 3 miles there, 3 times a week. Got VERY boring! I got to hate the stupid dreadmill. But when I got upstairs I walked right past my elliptical and put my waterbottle into the hole on the treadmill, claiming it as mine, calling it out, setting up a duel. With headphones in, my playlist shuffling its heart out, and my waterbottle good and cold (and half-full), I started for just a slow walk. Surprises of surprises, 3.0 has become ...mundane. I find myself nearly tripping as my body tried to go faster than the speed I had set for it. So I upped it to 3.2 and found that much more to my liking, but still pretty easy. After a 5 minute warm-up, I saw my hand moving back to the speed up arrow, and I jumped the machine to a 3.7 and found myself walking at a challenging, but doable, 16 minute mile pace. One minute, I told myself, just 60 seconds. It was just a moment, a thought in my head, and I realized that what I wanted that night was a C2F5k program. So I set it up in my head. Enough with the planning and thinking, this is on the go work! Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of tinkering with a workout. 20 minutes later and fully exhausted, I settled into a cool down and thought, "That's good. That'll be just fine."
I stretched coming off the machine and looked over at the ab reclining bench thinking, "Oh no!" And then I took a deep breath, filled my water bottle again, and trudged over to the other side of the gym. I picked up the 6 lb. medicine ball (pretty blue!), having to walk right past the bodybuilding couple. (Intimidation x10!) They smiled and said hello, and I returned the same. And then I carried my stuff to the ab reclining bench and began. And it all hurt (in a good way) and I kept thinking, "No, that's enough. That's good for now. It's better than nothing, right?" And then I kept going. All 60 done. 4 sets (different types of crunches) of 15 reps later, I'm wiping down the bench and heading over to return the medicine ball.
I didn't want to do my planks either. But I did. I didn't want to follow it with my push-ups. Still, I did. And I really didn't want to look like a fool trying to figure out the cable machine (I was so scared of the humiliation if the ankle cuff didn't fit my ankle!!). I did it anyways. I went over to that machine, I got my bearings, I did the best I could and I felt better after having accomplished a little tiny something I've never done before.
I thought I was done after that. I really did. But I'd been carrying those silly handwrap boxing gloves around with me all night, so I really SHOULD use them. I ended up there for 15 minutes...and nearly made a new friend. (She was a shy girl, young, likely a few years younger than me, and I don't know that I've seen her there before...maybe once. She heard me in the boxing room as she was walking the track and she slipped in behind me while I was on the speedbag. She kicks REALLY high! *jealous!!* But I could tell she wanted to feel that speedbag. I made sure to switch on and off in case she wanted to jump in, but she waited until I left and then I hear one pop, and another, followed by the sound of the speedbag bouncing off the hook it hangs from...I wanted to help, but she'd already switched back to the punching bag and we both seem to be on the shy side. I left it alone. Maybe next time one of us will be more brave. We shared smiles last night, nothing more.)
When boxing was done, I filled the water bottle again and headed downstairs. I didn't want to do the weight machines...but I did. All of them. And I challenged myself to up the weight on a few and the reps on a few others. I felt the workout already and all that was left was a final stretch. And suddenly I catch myself walking over to a bench in the weight lifter area, right next to bodybuilding couple, and I sit down on the edge and proceed to do tricep dips. What the crap? I then found a quiet corner and stretched it out. And I walked back to the locker room with my head held high and my muscles already a little sore. Felt good. Felt VERY good.
I went home. I helped take out the trash (I never do MORE after I get home from a workout!). I heated up some Jambalaya and ate it up. And then I opened my mail and cried a little bit.
"Enclosed you will find a medal for you and your son. A 10K is an amazing accomplishment no matter if you run or walk or any combination. I was heartbroken when I read about not giving walkers a medal. I know it won't erase the memories of that day, but focus on the feeling you had crossing that finish line." ~ Clare
Thank you so much, Clare! You had both of us smiling from ear to ear!! (Ethan kept saying, "I've got TWO now!! *lol*) This medal is even more special than any I could have gotten from the race organizers. it's from a fellow Sparkie. It's from one of my girls. One of the people who has watched me struggle, who knows what I deal with emotionally and physically on a daily and weekly basis, and who even has watched me fall, doubt myself, and then, bruised and battered, get back up again. Words can't express how thankfull we are to you for your kindness and generosity!
Yesterday was a different sort of day. Crazy stuff happened. I could have stressed over every little thing. But I didn't. Instead I found myself doing what I knew best - challenging myself. I found myself acting like the new-old me (does that make sense?). Excuses came the WHOLE TIME! The entire day I found excuses to eat what I wanted, do what I wanted, not do what I didn't want. And all I could think was, "What's that, Lucy? Another football for me to kick?" I wasn't falling for the same stupid lines. Not this time. Not again. I wasn't letting that inner doubter win. I was going to do what I knew was right whether it "hurt" or not. And this morning I woke up ready to continue the streak.
I didn't want to get out of bed. But I did. I didn't want to slave over the stove just for a healthy omelet breakfast. But I did. I'm hoping I can keep this going for another 4 months and keep the streak alive. I have new goals in mind, and new Sparkers to meet! I have family to see at holiday events soon, and I want jaws to drop to the floor! I want the need for industrial forklift companies on speeddial to pick up said jaws from the floor. I want the "Wow!" comments to keep rolling. I want to catch someone out of the corner of my eye looking me up and down. I want them to ask me how. I want to hear that they are proud. I can't wait to see them, and I can't wait to say - Well, no...the whole college thing is not helping me one bit. I still don't have a better job. I'm still making the same crappy income. I haven't written much and haven't published anything. I didn't get into any of the graduate schools I applied to. But I've done THIS to change my life for the better. And it's working! It's something I can manage. And I have NOTHING to be ashamed of!
"I'm always sore! I'm sick of being sore!"
"I want to just spend time with my family."
"I just don't want to!"
"Haven't I earned a rest? A break?"
"One won't hurt, right?"
"A little is better than nothing, right?"
What's that, Lucy? Another football for me to kick? I know this storyline and it always ends with me, sad, lonely, betrayed and depressed on my arse on the ground. I ain't falling for it this time!
Monday, September 20, 2010
I've been noticing lately that there's something different about the way I walk. Five months ago, walking was difficult, to say the least. Now it's no surprise that walking has become easier (my breathing and distance especially) but even a walk to the bathroom has changed.
Faster - First of all, my walk speed has increased, even if it's just walking down the hall to check my mailbox and see if I've gotten any work yet. (Seriously, two days with NOTHING is starting to get to me!) Even grocery shopping with the Hubs has become more enjoyable. My husband has always walked super fast, and keeping up with him at any time was a challenge. I always used to tell him to stop running and he'd turn to me, laugh, and say, "This is just my normal pace." A few months ago he turned to me as we were walking into the grocery store, stopped, and said, "You're keeping up with me!" *lol*
Head Up - Okay, we all hear about how your confidence is boosted by living a more healthy lifestyle, but really I never expected to be walking with my head held high at 350 pounds! There are days when this changes, when I feel not so great and start comparing myself to the hot ladies around me, but those days are becoming few and far between. I'm more confident now. My head is up. I smile and say hello to people. And for those of you keeping track, I rarely get that "STOP LOOKING AT MY STOMACH" feeling anymore. I don't know if people just don't see it as much, or if I'm distracting them with my winning personality and charming hello, or if I'm just not as affected by it as I once was.
Pain Killers - Walking used to hurt. I work as a secretary, which means WAY TOO MUCH time on my rump. So when I'd get up after hours of sitting, I'd feel a lot of stiffness and pain in my hips, knees, legs, and back. I still have painful days, but those are usually following a difficult workout the day before, and that pain, I feel, is totally justified. I get up now from my desk and walk down the hall without the killer pain I used to have in my joints. It makes me feel almost normal. And getting out of the car after an hour commute? Not really all that creaky anymore!
Can't Stop - I fidget a lot more now. I can't stand to sit at my desk for long periods of time. I used to avoid going to my mailbox, the bathroom, anywhere. I'd wait until it was absolutely necessary for me to do so. But lately, I make special trips just as an excuse to move. I don't want to sit here all day! There are times when I stand at my desk and type because I just want to be on my feet. There are times when I'll walk around my cubicle and clean just because I need a reason to be moving around again. And parking in the parking lot is hilarious, because every week I seem to get further and further from the front door. I used to park a few spots from the front door. Now I don't mind if I have to park halfway down the parking lot. That little walk into the office in the morning makes me feel like my day is starting a little better. It gives me time to get the blood flowing after an hour drive to work.
So how has your walk changed? Do you strut? Have you found it easier to move? Sometimes we think in terms of big things. 100 pounds lost...marathons....lofty goals that keep us going, sure. But I think it's also important to notice the little things that have changed for us. I like my new walk. My feet and legs and whole body feel much stronger. And I know with each step I take I'm taking myself into the next phase of my life.
Strut your stuff today!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 355.8
This Week: 352.2
SP Total Loss: 64
Total Loss: 114.4
Quote of the Day:
“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
This week was crazy. I'm still not sure how I lost nearly 4 pounds, but I'll take it. I skipped my workout yesterday because my legs were super sore, and I know it's from that reclining ab bench at the gym. I love that I've found something that really challenges my body like that! Yesterday I saw 349 on the scale, but I knew it would go up a bit today. TOM has hit and my weight likes to juggle like this. Still, it was so exciting to see that number, and I'm hoping that within the next two weeks I can see it again and again and move down from that!
Last night I got hit with another reason to lose. I met my friend Sarah four years ago at the job I'm in now. She trained me in my position and later moved on. This summer she headed off to the west coast (Seattle) with her boyfriend and I was so afraid we would lose touch completely. We've done a pretty good job keeping touch, though. Through Facebook, ironically. Last night I got a message from her that she set her wedding date and wants me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. *GULP*
The first thing I did was cry. I have this self-esteem issue with my friends getting married. In the past I've felt like my friends don't want me to be in their weddings because of my weight, which is why the only weddings I've been in are my mother's second marriage and my sister's. So for my friend who is now so far away and who has only been a friend for about 4 years ask me to be in her wedding just filled my heart.
After I got over the emotional part of it all, the math began. *lol* How little could I possibly be for this wedding? Thankfully, the date is FAR off. She told me as soon as they picked the date because she wanted to give me a heads-up (it's in Utah, which means I've got to get some money together so I can get us all down there). July 17, 2011. So I start doing the math and I'm thinking I might be able to be around 250 when I get there if I keep a steady pace and have a few push weeks here or there. I know 250 still sounds big, but for me...I haven't been that small since high school. Plus, with the way my body is changing already (I've already got collarbone poppage at 350 pounds, for crying out loud!) I have hopes that I can get my body into a shape that looks good on me.
So, there it is. Another reason for me to keep going, keep losing, keep learning how to be healthy. Plus, there's the added bonus of a trip, which means VACATION! in some regards! *lol* PLUS, the place in Utah we're going I've been told is in between 4 national parks. Can you say hiking!?! WOOT!
Weight Goal for next week: 350
(Let's face it...I'd love for it to be 349.9 or lower! *lol*)
* Measure everything!
* Record/track everything!
* Find some time to make dinners. (I didn't get my batch cooking in this weekend so I'm going to have to improvise this week. I have the stuff for dinners, so I have to find time to make them. Maybe tonight I can get 2 meals made, and then eat night make dinner for the next night or something...always staying a step ahead.)
* Sunday - 2-3 mile walk
* Monday - 1-2 miles treadmill or elliptical, abs on reclining bench, full ST, push-ups, planks, cable machine for hips
* Tuesday - Zumba
* Wednesday - 2-3 miles treadmill or elliptical, ST, rowing
* Thursday - Zumba
* Friday - 3-4 miles treadmill or elliptical, ST, boxing
* Saturday - C25k attempt 4 with modifications
Ultimate fitness goal - Calorie burn of 3000-4000
* Write at least 1 page a day for 4 work days.
* Use extra time for writing articles.
* Look for and apply to at least 2-5 jobs.
* Make sure all forms are in for Weight Management program through insurance company.
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.
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