Thursday, April 07, 2011
Last night I sent a desperate plea out to my girls, letting them know they had my full permission to kick my butt into gear. Of course, they responded beautifully - reminding me that I am worthy, that the sucky parts are made up by the end result, and that "powerful" can be achieved in many ways so I shouldn't limit myself.
"I only run on days when I'm feeling powerful about it." ABETTERCHERYL told me. She challenged me to NOT run...to do ANYTHING else and remind myself of the power of other forms of exercise. In my head I made a plan to do a cardio circuit at the gym. 10-15 minutes of each: bike, box, row - with ST moves thrown in along the way. It was a good plan...and then I stepped outside.
The temperature yesterday hovered around 60-80 all day. It was beautiful and sunny and PERFECT weather to be outside. Soon the idea popped into my head -- TENNIS! I would grab my racket and the Hubs and get some much needed tennis time in. That was the plan. And it seems that the mode of operation around here is that plans change - constantly! I went to the dentist first, cried in their chair when I realized what years of neglecting the dentist (I *hate* going to the dentist. HATE HATE HATE!) had led me to (I have to go to a surgeon and get many of my back teeth removed because there's no longer a way to save most of them without dropping a couple thousand bucks...the only thing I could think to say through my tears was, "Well, I guess that'll be a good diet plan. No more chewing for me..."). Let's face it. I was depressed. And hungry because my entire day was thrown off with the dentist visit.
I wanted to go to Bob Evans for a fresh salad and a slice of pumpkin or banana nut bread.
My family wanted buffet.
I wanted to go to the park and play tennis.
Hubs wanted to walk instead.
All I did all day was cave. I could feel the weakness seeping out of me. I tried to be light about it. I said that walking was good. I told myself not to turn on my C25k program - if I wanted to run, I would. I did a few running spurts and it felt like failure every time - but I kept trying. I would give anything to have week 1 back. I would give anything to feel alright again.
Finally, I broke. My right foot was rubbing and I was about a half a mile away from forming a blister. I bursted out with an emotional, "I suck! This sucks. I hate this. All I wanted to do was play tennis and now we're walking and I feel like a failure because I can't even do that right. Pathetic!" Hubs reigned me in pretty quickly and we walked back to the car to grab our rackets and play tennis.
Too bad my knee still hurt from the walk/run I had done. (I've noticed this week that my knee feels loose after a run...think this might be a big part of the hip problem.) My knee hurt, and instead of going back to the car and putting on my knee brace, I just tried to deal with it. 30 minutes later and I wasn't feeling any better about myself. I had somehow made it through a half@ssed version of an hour workout, but I didn't feel any better about myself.
As we drove home, I kept thinking of all the things I could eat my feelings away with. I forced my mouth shut as we drove past Dairy Queen. I walked in and quickly out of the gas station where I bought some water. I tried not to look around too much. Tried to ignore every inclination to let ED win again. And then I went home, sat down, and ate another piece of birthday cake.
And then I ate some of the leftover Chinese food.
I'm not winning here. Not even close.
I'm grasping so hard at finding my footing again, but I keep falling over and over again.
And my body is bruised and broken, and that's part of it.
So what am I going to do to get a handle on this? Whatever I have been doing hasn't been working. This is the biggest "failure" week I've had in about a year. I'm not bouncing back so quickly and I'm struggling to simply stay in the game.
So...what's the problem? Write it out, Esther.
1) I had ONE WEEK of blissful, pain-free running. And as much as I tried not to hope too much that my problems were solved, I fell victim to that hope again...and was disappointed in the second week. ONE WEEK. I feel pathetic and useless.
2) I haven't been eating on plan, and I'm back to eating at home, stuffing my face away from people and swallowing my guilt every time someone says, "Oh my! You look great! What are you doing?" What am I doing? Well, right now I'm in the process of self-destructing and losing all the positive progress I made this past year. What are YOU doing?
3) My clothes either don't fit right or don't fit how I want them to. It's frustrating as hell to realize half my clothes are too big and the other half is too small. I'm sick of fat rolls and pudge and belly aprons - especially when I spend 100x more time in the gym than many of my skinny peers. It's hard to work so hard and then go out with them and realize YOU look the least fit. I could probably box their socks off. I likely have more stamina than they can dream of right now. But when other people see us, they see the two skinny, seemingly FIT girls and ME. I feel undervalued as a person.
4) I'm back to the place where signing up for races feels stupid because I feel like I'll either run some of it and be in extreme pain after, or have to walk and struggle while the walkers around me look like they're out for a morning stroll.
5) I spend more time alone now than I ever have before. Hours at the gym - most of them alone. I pay for Hubs' membership every month, but I can only count on him being there once or twice a week - and he's usually hurrying me on to get home so he can play video games. Is it too much to ask to have time with him AND time at the gym? I don't get to see my kids but for about 30 minutes in the morning and an hour at night. And the weekends (even 3-day weekends) don't seem to making up for that because I'm always trying to get something done or going somewhere - many times without them. I haven't seen my mother for months (save for a few hours last month on my way to MN). My ONE friend who lives anywhere nearby is BUSY and many of the other friends I have dropped me for whatever reason. I have friends in cyber land who have defriended me and left me alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. I've NEVER been good at handling being alone.
These past few days I wake up with a "this is the day!" outlook, and by lunchtime I'm thinking, "FML!"
I hurt ALL OVER.
I'm not seeing results.
And I feel like I'm drowning.
Trust me, I'm trying to pull myself out. Part of me feels like the biggest failure in the world for admitting to you, once again, that I haven't figured out the secret to getting myself over this hump. I HATE letting people down but, more than anything, I hate letting myself down. I don't like to be the person who whines "this sucks!" because I've always been taught to just suck it up. I was told I cried too much, felt too much, talked too much. I was supposed to be a different person - a person who could handle anything, a person who didn't complain or argue, a person who just simply did what they were told or what they should without people having to take time out of their busy lives, burdened by me, to TELL ME what was required and/or needed.
I tried being that person...and now I'm exhausted.
It's not all doom and gloom.
I started thinking yesterday that maybe C25k isn't for me. *shrug* Maybe I need to start out just running once or twice a week on my terms. (Of course, this makes me feel like a LOSER because everyone I know who has started C25k has either completed it or stopped from being lazy, not from being UNABLE to complete it.)
I cannot wait for summer. I want to effin' swim! (Of course, now I'm afraid my knee will pop out in the water and I'll have another dream crushed.)
Do you see them? Do you see the negative monsters eating my head?
I have no positive light right now that cannot be diminished by a negative shadow.
And I'm extremely sorry that this post isn't one of those great "Let's GO!" motivational blogs that I've been reading lately...but I NEED this to be about me. (And my girls have been teaching me that I have to ASK for what I NEED or I'll never get it.)
Tonight is dinner with probably the skinniest friend I've ever had. I met her almost 5 years ago and we were super close. Me, AM and Sarah - the Three Musketeers. Charlie's Angels. We have bonds, baby! Just try and break 'em! Sarah moved away last July and I miss her terribly. She's coming home for a visit this week and I'll be seeing her in mere hours...and all I can think of is -- "I should've lost MORE weight by now. She's not going to be all that impressed by this pittance." Sad, right? *sigh*
What I NEED to remember is that my friend loves me for who I am. She knew me when I was over 400 pounds and she called me beautiful even then. She fought for me. She's always supported me even to saying, "You are stronger and more motivated than I am." She has come to ME for fitness advice and has NEVER devalued me because of my weight. She even asked me to be in her wedding before she knew I lost ANY weight. She left in July and I was just under 400 then - and, still, she asked ME to be one of only 2 women to stand next to her in those pictures she will have and cherish forever. She doesn't CARE how big or small I am. She has always loved me for more. We have a kinship that goes beyond how crazy the three of us look standing next to each other - Sarah: the blond skinny bombshell, Anne Marie: the tiny but strong Lebanese church girl, and Esther: the rocker, rebel, overweight, strong-headed redhead.
Tomorrow I'm headed to the doctor to find out if she can sort out the hip/knee trouble and see if I can get a referral to a good ortho specialist who can give me the tools I need to one day run. And all I can think is ...what if they say YOU CANNOT RUN. I might just collapse on the floor in a heap crying. I might wait until I'm out at the car. I don't know what I'm going to do...but I'm TERRIFIED! Part of me wants Hubs there for support - the other part doesn't want him there when they tell him how pathetic I am. GRRR!
Let's just put it this way - this week has been a wash. I'm still up from the 323 I showed on Saturday, but down from the 327 I had Sunday after THE BIG BINGE. I'm trying to fight against my ED every single day. Most days, it wins. But it doesn't ALWAYS win. I'm still fighting. Every choice I make has been a fight, and I'm still fighting...and that's the ONLY plan I have for this week. DO NOT STOP FIGHTING. Yes, I may cave now and again. But with each decision I make I have another chance to FIGHT.
As for my blogs. I had been avoiding writing them because I didn't think you needed to hear this crap right now.
BUT... (thanks again, girls, for the lesson in asking for what you need)
I NEED your support right now more than ever.
I NEED to be reminded that while some friends have abandoned me, other have not.
I NEED your forgiveness.
I NEED your sympathy.
And I NEED you to remind me why we're doing this, why I'm here, and to kick my arse if it seems like it will help.
More than anything...
I NEED to blog it out of me.
This may be a triple-blogging day. And none of the blogs may make a bit of sense. But I have decided that hiding isn't doing me much good. I'm going to blog until it hurts, bleeds, and then scabs over so I can start to heal. This is me, showing you the hidden wounds, and attempting to expose the hurts for what they are. Now I just need to find the surgical tool that will cut the pain out of me and the salve that will help the healing process begin. It's going to be a bumpy ride. Follow along if you want, but I can understand if you have your own issues to deal with, or if reading my nonsense will pull you down further. I can understand if you don't want to read the doom-and-gloom right now. But if you can stick it out with me...just a little bit longer. I promise I'll be worth it.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
I spent yesterday trying not to think. I put my food in my tracker and tried to just be okay with being in range (which I was, but on the high end). I didn't think about going to the gym - I just went. I didn't think about my ST - I just did it...all the time anxious about my upcoming run.
While my head is not where it should be, not where it was for the longest time, I'm realizing something. I used to have these "down days" every week. No lie. If I go back and look at my blogs, I can see that once a week, I would get down and think about how "hard" everything was. It's been a slow process pulling myself out of this, but I can honestly say that I haven't had a bad down day since that fateful weekend last month where my emotions got the better of me. So, yes, it's been a month. What's more, I have no doubt that some of this unhappiness is being fueled by that dreaded TOM I was supposed to stop having, as well as hardships over my running troubles and the like. Call it progress, or what you will, but at least it's something good to hold onto right now.
Also - why is it that lately, whenever I'm feeling down, that's the moment people start noticing my weight loss? I was approached by a woman at the gym last night who admitted to me that her and her friend had been "stalking" me...watching me. Her friend, who was still upstairs on a machine, had told the girl that she needed to be more positive about running. She looked down and saw my BondiBand that says, "I Run" and told the girl she needed to be positive like that. So the girl came down and asked me where I got it, and admitted that what she had told her friend she really wanted was a Nike shirt that said, "Running Sucks!" *lol* We chatted, I told her about BondiBands (all the while scoffing...I had put this one on in the hopes of de-cursing it...I had bought it a couple weeks into my last attempt at C25k, as a gift to myself for my dedication to learning to run...and then I got injured and had to stop running altogether. I admitedly hated this BondiBand, but I was trying last night to reassign my attitude to something more positive...)
After I had given her all the information she needed to get her own (I told her that I thought they had one that said, "I Love Running. I Hate Running. I Love Running. I Hate Running."), she turned to me and said, "So how much weight HAVE you lost?" I told her around 96 (secretly telling myself that my stupid gains this weekend have me over that...) pounds since April. She motioned to her friend, who was STILL upstairs on the machine. Her friend yelled down how great that was and the girl next to me told me that the same friend up there had lost 90 pounds. She said they noticed me come in tonight and that maybe it was because they'd switched their hours and hadn't seen me in a couple weeks, but they had REALLY noticed when I came in last night.
Let me ask you...how does someone who's feeling in the crapper about a recent weight gain deal with the right words at the wrong time?
I thanked her and shut my mouth. I realized they were encouraging me on my journey. I admitted that I was THIS close to that 100 pounds lost mark and I really wanted it and that was all I would say in any semi-negative regard. I was NOT going to diminish HER compliment with MY negative thoughts. That wasn't fair to her. She had taken the chance and the time (probably hoping I wouldn't be offended) to come up and ask me how I was doing, to tell me that they had noticed the loss, and to encourage me to continue. I wouldn't dare think of turning that around to something negative! (Look, Ma! I CAN Change!!)
The rest of the night didn't go as well. My ST was all a little off. I felt weak and flabby. My stomach was still upset, but I soldiered on through - working my way to what I really wanted -- my run. The gym was hot last night (it hit 85 degrees here yesterday and I don't think they were prepared for that...it's back to 40 again this morning) and I was sweating like a pig and trying not to die of heat exhaustion -- all this meant that I was slow in my ST, and not really into it. I went through the motions, did the bare minimum, and then headed upstairs for my run.
That, too, did not go well. The length of the runs don't feel bad...I just felt off. I kept coughing due to the heat and humidity in the gym. It was hard to get a good breath. I was dodging other people (which I hate). And my feet and legs and such just didn't feel as good as they had last week. And then, in the fifth running segment, I felt that all too familiar tug in my hip. It wasn't a bad pull, just a reminder that this whole thing hasn't been solved (unless it means I'm so fat that I have to buy new inserts every 5 miles!). I'm glad I have my appointment on Friday with the doctor because something must be done. I can't let go of my dream of running a 5k someday. I simply don't know how to let that dream go. I am a runner at heart, even if my body doesn't quite understand how to deal with that.
I did notice that after my run my knee was sore and loose. That seems like a major indication to me that the hip/knee are connected in this problem. I'm thinking the solution might be a solid knee brace and some really GOOD ortho inserts for my shoes. I may also make another go at a running store fitting, now that I just discovered that one opened up here in Charleston on December 29th of last year. (How did I NOT hear about this?!) Maybe they have a suggestion for better inserts. Maybe the shoes are all wrong. Maybe they've run out of miles (but I seriously doubt that). I hate to put so much money into this, but the thrill of running outweighs my money concerns. I NEED that feeling back. (Yes, running has become my drug...so what?! ;) )
My hip hurt most of the night. Try as I might to stretch it out, the only way I was able to fall asleep was with an ice pack on my hip. My right foot still hurts as well, right around the outside arch area - the same area I actually broke back in HS when I was jumping up and down and my knee popped out, landing me on the wrong side of my foot.
I'm torn between the thought that I should stop running altogether before it gets worse and trying to work through it. Last night I had this thought....
I either need to get rid of the pain, or learn to get used to it.
I would LOVE to go with the first one here, but it may be a factor of the second. Right now, I'm on a sort of rest day. I'm going to try to get some Yoga in during lunch because I need my evening free. My youngest son is celebrating his birthday today, so I have promised him a special dinner. What did he pick? Tacos! (Thank goodness he doesn't mind reduced-fat sour cream, ground chicken instead of ground beef, and whole wheat tortillas! ;) ) So I have a dinner to make tonight extra special. And I really want to spend some time with him, so - no Zumba. (Probably good with the hip the way it is.) Plus, I just learned last night that my oldest son's basketball team is doing an awards ceremony at the bowling alley tonight. It starts at 5:30pm and I don't get off work until 6:00pm (putting me there about 7pm, when it's ending). I think this is one of those times that I have to take off the time and just get over spending my annual leave on it. So what if we don't get a family vacation this year? We'll have to make the most of every weekend instead.
So...I'm not doing so well with the "happy" feelings lately. I'll admit that freely. But instead of thinking over them and letting them ruin my life, I'm back to grit - back to just doing.
Today - Yoga and getting off early to spend time with the boy
Tomorrow - ST and an attempt at C25k W2D2 - if I can't complete it, I will walk at least 2 miles
Thursday - A walk or yoga at lunch again, as my friend comes in and we're going out for dinner
Friday - C25k attempt W2D3, ST
Saturday - OFF (maybe some ice skating)
The plan isn't changing...I am. I'm setting up the stairs so I can get over this wall without a serious injury and making the most of what I have available to me. Most of all....
Don't Think. Just Do.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Grit - noun - firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger
(according to merriam-webster.com)
This is all I'm hoping for right now. Just true, plain grit.
I was so super excited to write my blog on April 1st. I felt like I had grown so much as a person in the first three month of 2011 that I had plenty to celebrate. This was all going great until I took Spark measurements and realized...I actually gained about 1/2 an inch in my arms and lost no inches in my hips, waist, thigh, calf or neck. And with one fail swoop of disappointment, I fell apart.
Yep, I have times like that. Everything could be going right, and then one thing goes wrong and I fall apart all over myself. I cried for an hour or two. I ranted to my AB girls and they tried to pull me back up, but I couldn't help the defeated feeling from rising within me. I even considered giving up. And then I wiped the tears away, got dressed, and went grocery shopping and stopped at the new sports store in town. Walking out with a new Nike+ sensor, a new Nike sports bra, and some compression shorts, I went straight home ignoring the "defeatest" spirit in me.
I got home, put groceries away, and put on my running clothes. I stepped outside and started a journey along the side street by my house. I set the C25k W1D3 program and told myself to ignore everything else and just do. (I hadn't bought Nike gear for nothing...) After 4 pretty serious hills (especially "the big one" in the middle) and about 32 minutes, I completed week 1 slower than I would have in the gym, but in a better mood. I couldn't do the gym. My mind wouldn't allow me to go there. So instead, I forced it outside into the rather chilly and very windy air to take on some hills and prove to myself that I am better, faster, and stronger than I once was. (Mission accomplished.)
Later that night, I drove to Charleston and met up with my Zumba instructor and two other girls from my home gym and we began a Zumba Masters Night Class. They gave us light up necklaces, turned down the lights, and introduced us to Diane Felkenes who teaches Zumba from a chair due to serious knee and foot injuries that have caused her to have troubles walking. I ate up the atmosphere. I ate up the spirit in the Zumba-centered fitness facility. I seriously ate up the springy and almost slippery floor that allowed me to do all the jumping and foot twisting that I can't really do at my own gym due to knee problems. We started early, unable to stand still while waiting. And instead of ending the class an hour later, we ran over ....40 minutes over. Nearly 2 hours of Zumba later, and I went home in serious pain and soaked in sweat.
And then there was Saturday. The day before weigh-in. I always try to be super good before a weigh-in because my body can seriously fluctuate for so many different reasons...and somehow I've come to hang all my hopes on a one-day weigh in. It doesn't matter that I woke up that morning to 319 on the scale, be good or suffer. I wasn't good. The family and I headed to Parkersburg. We went to Old Navy first, where I found a super cute pink running shirt with holes in the sleeves for my thumbs and a reflective strip on the back. I felt pretty good. Hubs had been saying for days that I felt smaller when he put his arms around me, but that voice kept winning out, telling him, "It's an illusion, I'm actually FATTER than before." Part of me knew it wasn't true...but the other part was stronger. That morning I got up and took a bra band measurement, since I had noticed my bras fitting differently. I lost 2 inches in that regard, so now I knew where my 5.5 pounds had come from. But I was still lost and not feeling myself.
After our shopping trip, we headed over to the mall where we were met with one of the longest lines for the movies that we had seen. We had gone to see Source Code, and I knew from the number of kids in line that we weren't in much danger of it being sold out...these kids were here to see Hop. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and I knew I was in trouble when I started eating SUPER fast in order to get in line and get our tickets in time. Somehow, we still decided that we just HAD to have popcorn in the movie too, and my fast eating of lunch had not allowed me the time to recognize how full I was...so I overate on popcorn too. Two hours later, I felt supremely sick to my stomach. And I still managed to finish out the night with TWO servings of Tator Tot Casserole, a slice of pizza and nearly an entire bag of Crazy Bread.
Sunday, all day, my stomach was a mess. But a poor weigh-in that morning (323) made my brain shut down and my inner ED take over. I didn't feel in control...and I didn't care anymore. Two slices of pizza, two pieces of crazy bread I hadn't eaten the day before, two bowls of Life Cinnamon cereal, a huge glass of soy chocolate milk, and for dinner? Chinese take out. Lots of it. I had lost my mind...and my stomach was paying for it. By ten o'clock I pulled my tired, worn out, "failure feeling" self down the hall and into bed. I wanted to give up on what I was now calling "the lost weekend." It won. My ED won. My failure-feeling self won. I hadn't been strong enough. And as I tossed and turned I asked myself why I had given up. My only reply? I hadn't given up...I had given in. And tomorrow I would go back to what I knew and stop making everything so complicated.
Last night, before I went to bed, Hubs hopped on the scale. His stupid skinny, I can eat anything butt weighed in at 183. Stupidly, I hopped on after him. I told him I was going to weigh 400 pounds again. It was almost that bad to my self-esteem. 330 pounds. In one night I had undone 2 months of work. I could hear Hubs calling after me, "But it's not POSSIBLE to gain 10 pounds in one day!" And I told him, simply, "With my body, it's completely possible. If I'm not perfect, I get results like that."
I've asked myself what's happened to me. I was on such a high before. I felt strong and empowered. I felt like I was becoming a new person. For crying out loud, I had lost almost 100 pounds in one year. But no matter what my accomplishments, I still have those voices inside that argue that it's taking too long and that I'll never get there.
I HATE my body right now.
Wait, stop. Don't try to tell me I'm crazy and I'm doing so great. Let me get this out.
You know those books where you have a body, torso and legs separated? You can turn the pages and match up different heads with different torsos with different legs and have a crazy looking person. Do you remember those?
I feel like one of those.
The head is looking quite good.
The torso - not bad at all. I'm finally starting to enjoy it.
The bottom half? HATE.
My head was one of the first things to start getting better. I mean, I've always been a "pretty face" fat girl, so that was to be expected, right?
The torso came next. Sure, my arms are flabby, but I also have muscle definition in them too. Sure, I still have back fat rolls and a huge stomach instead of flat abs, but I've been able to notice a difference. I went from a 4x top to now wearing a lot of XL tops, 18/20s in some things. Size 26/28 to an 18/20 in a year.
My bottom half? It hasn't seemed to have budged for forever. I can wear some 24s, yes, but I'm still mostly in 26s. I started at 32s, so, yes, this is a change in the right direction...but I still have people staring at my stomach. I still have that huge stomach apron that covers the top parts of my legs. That's all people notice when they see me. I yelled at Hubs the other day because I thought he was staring at it. I've become so self conscious about my bottom half that I like to pretend it doesn't exist. I dont' feel the least bit sexy past my waist, and it's killing my self-esteem. It's probably the biggest reason why I like to shop for tops and HATE HATE HATE shopping for pants.
I walk past a mirror and I have one of two reactions. If the mirror is only a half mirror and I see the top half, I think, "Dayum! I look GOOD!" If the mirror is full length, however, all that happens in my head is a deep sadness followed by a simple, "I suck."
I know I have to have patience. I know if I keep working that it will catch up. I know all of that. But I'm heartbroken over it. And that's why I need to focus solely on having GRIT.
The weekend is past. I made a lot of mistakes. It could have been worse. (Yes, I'm being completely honest...I sat for about 5 hours in the middle of the day not moving, telling myself if I got up I would find something to eat, reminding myself that my stomach was in so much pain that I could NOT eat anything else, period. It COULD have been worse.)
Today is Monday. The first full week in April. And I already have a plan, so I'm just going to go with it. I'm going back to eating my everyday work-week meals and throw in great healthy dinners, like grilled salmon tonight. And I'm still going to weigh-in every day, but I'm only giving myself a minute to dwell on the number before I move on, let it go, and get back to the process of living. I cannot let that scale or measuring tape rule my life. I have to live for me.
Workouts for this week:
Monday - C25k W2D1, ST (W2D1 of program)
Tuesday - Walk or yoga at lunch, need the night off (Ethan's Bday)
Wednesday - C25k W2D2, ST (W2D2)
Thursday - Walk or yoga at lunch, need the night off (Friend Visiting from West Coast)
Friday - C25k W2D3 (hopefully outside), ST (W2D3)
Saturday - Rest -- ETHAN'S SPECIAL DAY
Also need to do this week:
* Call CT to schedule April appointment for boxing.
* Dr. Apt. on Friday -- DO NOT FORGET!
* Call Ethan's friend's parents to confirm pick up place and time for Saturday
The hardship - Hating my body
The danger - Giving up
Having Grit is Absolutely Necessary Right Now.
I'm not thinking right now. I'm just doing. I'm putting up a brick wall in my mind against all the negative excuses, like the fact that my body ALWAYS hurts now...ALWAYS...and like being tired ALL THE TIME...and having ZERO time to clean at home, which is sorely needed. This morning I weighed in at 327 (just in case you figured all that weight would melt away in the night...it won't. It will take me several days to get my body back down to 320...maybe even weeks).
Don't think, Esther.
Just do. Go. Be.
And for the record, I did NOT have a bad week last week. I finished week 1 of C25k with no serious pain while running (though I think I tweaked my right foot on a hill Friday). I got nearly all of my workouts in. And I burned about 5k calories or more, with about 2k of them on Friday. (Another reason for the gain, I might add.) I did not have a bad week. I have no clue why I fell apart, but I'm moving on. (Maybe TOM is coming on...I have been rather cranky and none of my usual motivational things are working right now.)
Friday, April 01, 2011
First, let's start with a March recap, shall we? Actually, I have one better for you. Remember at the beginning of the year when I told you I broke up my goals into 4 3-month segments? Guess what? We are a quarter of the way through 2011. (Shocking, I know! Just remember there's only 3/4 of the year yet to hit your yearly goals. Sobering thought...)
So here's my recap of how my first "Quarter" went.
1. Log 90 miles
Now I said I could do this on the elliptical, rowing machine, walking, running, biking - whatever. Problem was...I wasn't always the best at logging. From what I can figure out, though, these are my monthly estimates.
January - 26 miles
February - 12 miles
March - 29 miles
Total: 67/90 miles
So, no, I didn't hit my goal. But you know what? I'm gonna log killer miles in the upcoming months as long as my running holds out. Remember, I was not running (and super depressed about it) for all of January and February and MOST of March. I'll be finishing up week ONE of C25k today, and I'm logging, on average, over 2 miles with each run. Plus...well, I got some really good plans for the upcoming months as far as walking/running/biking are concerned.
What I learned from this goal: Don't let what you CAN'T do, stop you from doing what you CAN.
I couldn't run. Got it. I still could have logged miles walking, on the elliptical, rowing, and on the stationary bike in the gym (though I HATE that thing!). I lost focus because I got hurt running and felt like an utter failure. It wasn't until a week or two ago that I said, "Screw this! I AM a runner. I'm just a runner who can't run right now." I told myself to stop throwing that ridiculous pity party and get on with it. Funny...as soon as I did that I found the secret to being able to run pain free. *lol* Life is funny that way...always trying to teach the lesson FIRST. And you have to learn it fully to get your prize. Yesterday I got a card in the mail reminding me that Paula (MEZZOANGEL) bought me a gift subscription to Runner's World magazine and I'm (im)patiently awaiting my first issue.
2. Lose 20 pounds
Oh, I thought I was SO clever with this goal. My estimate was -2 pounds per week would equal -24 pounds...and I thought I was giving myself some wiggle room for mistake weeks. HA! Monthly totals follow...
January: -0 pounds
February: -5 pounds
March: -5.5 pounds
Total: -10.5 pounds.
A little over HALF of my goal is what I got. January was SO difficult for me and I'm not sure I remember why. February was a little better. And by March...I had recommitted and got my stride back. I could sit here and lament those extra 9.5 pounds I didn't lose. I could do what I usually do and remind myself how I "wasted" those 3 months. But I'm not doing it. I learned SO much in those three months that I wouldn't trade those lessons for those 9.5 pounds. There, I said it. I WOULDN'T TRADE! Those lessons are going to carry me through the next 10.5 pounds...and the 10.5 after that. I earned those lessons. And I earned those 10.5 pounds lost. I'm happy for myself.
What I learned with this goal:
It's not always about numbers on the scale.
What a HUGE lesson to learn so early!
3. Complete C25k Program
This one made me sad for SO long. The last time I was able to run pain-free was in December in Washington D.C. Since that time I was plagued with hip pain and other pains and heart pain more than anything. I have the heart of a runner. I WANT to run nearly every day. And letting go of that took me months. When I finally came to terms with it, like I said, I got my stride back. Wednesday's run (W1D2) was pure magic. I overran a running segment on accident and almost didn't realize it. And when I finished, I wanted to do it all over again immediately! I can't say that it will always be like that...but it felt good to feel like a runner (however slow) once again. I'm back! And this one is going BACK on my list. I will complete C25k. And as soon as I'm done? Well....there's a plan to start a 14 week HM training program. Yep, I just said that. Of course, that's if everything holds out and I progress like a dream. If I don't, I've learned to readjust.
(I just realized I overslept and completely forgot about my Dr.'s appointment this morning. *smacks forehead* I've rescheduled for next Friday. OOPS! Funny, all I've been able to think about is getting out for my run... *lol*)
4. Finish 2 Races
I got one done - the Get Lucky 7k. And I cannot tell you what this one race meant to me. I thought about scrambling to find another race before the month of March was out, but then I decided it was best to just wait for training runs and the like, to get my confidence back. I've already got 5 planned for the rest of the year, and I might go filling in some more holes later. We shall see.
5. Complete 30 Day Shred
In February, I changed this goal to completing the 8-week freetrainers.com strength training/lifting program. I missed days here and there, but I did NOT quit. In fact, I got back on this week and scheduled another 8-week program.
What I learned from this goal: I LOVE heavy lifting
I'll have to post a pic later of the guns I've got now. *big grin*
6. Finish "Winning After Losing"
Nope, didn't do it. And I thought about feeling bad about it, but I don't. Some of these lessons need time to sink in. I have to read them, adapt them to my life, and work them out in my head until I realize what I need to take from them. I'm keeping it with me, reading a lesson here and there and learning as I go. It's not about speed, it's about the learning.
7. Read 3 Books (including 1 for research)
TOTALLY did that one! WOOT! :)
8. Do 1-Minute Plank
HA! GOAL MET, SUCKERS! *snickers* I can now do a minute and a half plank. *SO proud!*
9. Log 3,900 Fitness Minutes
Alright, look, I did all my totals, but now I'm being told that Spark sets a cap on fitness minutes each day. Monthly totals according to Spark and my estimates...
January - 1620
February - 630
March - 1253
But now I think Spark lies. Hell, I spent nearly one entire day in March working out (Get Lucky 7k day) and that whole weekend was jam packed with fitness minutes. I'm either going to have to rework this goal, or start keeping track better on my own. I may have hit it, or not, but at least I got pretty close.
10. Attend 20 Zumba classes
Major fail. This is the only one I'm sad about. I did like 6-8 classes in 3 months. It was a lot of hip pain problems, some depression, working that 2nd job on Thursday nights, and a whole mess of other things that attributed to that. In order to not dwell, I'm focusing on starting April WITH Zumba. That's right. Tonight I'm doing a Masters Class WITH my regular Zumba instructor....at 9pm! (I don't much care for that part...esp. considering it's in Charleston, so I won't be home until like midnight or later...but whatever.)
11. Fit into size 24 jeans
Yep. Most days I do. I float between 24s and 26s right now depending on store, material, brand, style, etc. But I am getting smaller...and that makes me happy!
Alright, this one is pissing me off. If anything I think I gained about an inch. *cries* I don't get it. Where is all my effort going? Where'd those 5.5 pounds come from? *sigh*
Okay, so what's up for April?
I will NOT be an April Fool! I have goals.
- Get to (and hopefully under) 316.2 pounds!
- Keep C25k going
- Eat clean as much as possible
- Work toward 2 minute plank and 1 minute side and modified planks
- Get to being able to do 15 regular pushups
- Crunch more! (I want inches lost!!)
I don't have my calendar in front of me, so I'll have to share all of that tomorrow, but it involves:
* ST (might change this a little, but will do it still...want inches lost!)
* long distance walks
* and a boxing lesson
Note: I was SO happy to write this blog until I realized my inches are going NOWHERE. Seriously? I'm nowhere near where I should be. I need some friggin' progress in inches, even if it's just 1/4 of an inch. NOT happy about this.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
First, I'm going to get my serious question out, because it's been getting to me. It's probably more a combination of questions, but it all centers around one idea -- "Your Ideal Weight".
Okay, let's face it, I'm far from ANYONE'S ideal weight for me. I know that. But I also know that I've been on this path for almost 8 years and I've lost almost 150 pounds in that time. I also know that I've been reading about (and have had forced down my throat) fad diets, healthy living, healthy eating, and diet and exercise for nearly my entire life. So, yeah, take it as you will, but this is just my 2 cents. (And remind me of this when I finally get there.)
Part 1 - Fad Diets
Okay, so I've stumbled upon a lot of blogs through my time here about different diet plans people are on. And it makes me sad. Why, you ask. Why should I be sad if people have found a way that helps them lose weight? Why should I negate their efforts just because they've found some sort of system that fits with their way of thinking and helps them achieve their goals? I should be happy for them, right!? *sigh*
I've been on those diets. I've done diet pills and Weight Watchers and all kinds of "try this and slim down" diet techniques since about the age of 8. Yes, I said EIGHT. My entire family was obese and they, lovingly?, didn't want me repeating the habits. So, yes, I did weight watchers. I bought into the diet pills and fads for a long time. And, yes, they do work. And I'll tell you why.
Limiting carb diet - also decreases your calories since carbs (at least the ones we really like to NOM) tend to be calorie dense
Weight Watchers - you may not realize this, but THEY are counting your calories for you...again, it limits your calorie intake
Slimfast, Jenny Craig, Nutrasystem, etc. All of them LIMIT calorie intakes. Some of them even 'trick' you into thinking it's easier than actually counting the calories yourself. *shrug* Maybe it is - but it's just a different tool to reach the same general effect.
And what do they get out of it? For their tricky, sneaky ways of making you limit your calorie intake (something you can do all on your own, mind you), they get your money. And LOTS of it. The diet industry is making a KILLING out there by tricking people into doing what they could do themselves. The problem is, when the money well runs dry, they leave you on your own, scrambling to figure out what you should already know. If you had realized you were counting calories and limiting your caloric intake the entire time, and if you had found some way to do that on your own without some sneaky method that made it seem easy, you wouldn't be so lost by the end.
And, no, I'm not insulting your intelligence. If you use one of these programs and are able to figure out how to live without dropping them money for the rest of your life using their rules, than I fully support that. But I've seen too many people fall into the yo-yo swing when they stop these programs and gain all the weight back and plus some. I did.
Part 2 - Extreme Fad Diets
Okay, so now we have the extreme diets. Way back, my mom was actually prescribed "black beauty" or Speed by her physician to aid in weight loss. No lie. She said it was great in getting her to keep her house spotless. I've been in this loop too long to ignore what's been happening. Now we have HCG (that's pregnant woman's pee, btw...approved by the FDA for fertility treatments, not for a dietary aid) and I'm sure there are others that I've simply chosen to ignore.
Along with HCG, and some other diets like this, are EXTREME calorie limiting. We're talking 500-1000 calories a day. Breakfasts that consists of coffee only. A small slice of grilled chicken and some veggies for lunch and then a shake for dinner. (Slimfast anyone?) Do you know why they work? They limit your calorie intake. (BAM! There it is again!)
Part 3 - Figuring It Out on Your Own
I cannot BEGIN to tell you how important this is. Again, I am now 30 years old and have been fed nothing but diet nonsense since the age of eight. NONE of it worked and I continued to gain the weight. Things that did work, failed once I stopped doing them and I would gain more weight and more on top of that! With each pregnancy, I gained weight because I thought it was my license to eat whatever I wanted. (In fairness, actually I *lost* weight in my first pregnancy. 45 pounds in the first trimester. NOT because I was watching what I ate, but because my BABY was regulating the types of food I was consuming...and that boy LOVED him some salads and vegetables!) The point was, no matter what I was told, I KEPT gaining weight.
To this day only one thing actually sticks with me. I went to the program once and in it we learned about how much space fat takes up compared to muscle. We learned how to cook healthy. How to make healthy food choices. How to have fun exercising. I think I was 12 or something? If the program had been geared a little more toward my intelligence (it was a little too "baby" for my maturity) I have no doubt I would have learned a ton...but even the small time I spent there (about 3 hours) I learned more than I learned from YEARS on Weight Watchers and the like.
Part 4 - What Works?
Okay, so I know you're asking me what the point of all this is, and I'm coming to it. First of all, let's discuss what works, shall we? What did all of those diets have in common? What do anorexia and bulemia share with those diets? CALORIE RESTRICTION.
That's right. I said it.
Limit the calories you consume.
But there is a RIGHT way, and a wrong way to do that. I know you're shocked that I lumped Weight Watchers and doctor's supervised HCG diets together with anorexia and bulemia, but they all share the same major theme -- limit caloric intake = lose weight. DUH! That being said, anorexia, bulemia, and, yes, I have to believe even doctor's supervised diets that ask you to limit your calories to a DANGEROUS 500 calories a day (that's less than some anorexics eat!) are harmful to your body's systems. Many of you would not argue with me on that.
What might cause an argument, is my belief that diets like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are dangerous to your mind. It's just another trick to keep you putting your hard earned money in the hands of more than likely well-meaning, but also quite wealthy business people. It's true. Our society is always LOOKING for the easy way out, and I'm not saying these diet systems are BAD, just that they've found a way to "help" those consumers out who don't believe that they can figure this out on their own.
I've been more than encouraged lately by some shifts in the diet industry on that end. And one thing they've ALWAYS had right is maintaining a support group system for dieters. (One of the reasons I find Spark to be practically PERFECT in every regard.)
I'll stop ranting about Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers in a moment, but I just want people to recognize that they are doing the exact same thing you can be doing on your own. And I know you're asking, "How is Spark any different?" Well, because while Spark gives you step-by-step guides and calorie trackers and fitness trackers and the like, tools to help you succeed...they spend a lot of time also trying to educate you so when you walk away from Spark one day (if ever!) you will still be armed with all the tools you need to succeed.
Finally...one last thing.
Part 5 - Ideal Body Weight
Many of the people that I see going to extreme measures - extreme calorie limiting, extreme workout regimens are actually quite thin...quite close, in fact, to their originally set "goal weight." And I encourage persistence absolutely. But I need you to make me a promise. I need you to one day decide that the scale will not be the judge of who you should be and what you should look like. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm so far away and I don't understand, but I hear people sometimes with this number stuck in their heads. They seem completely healthy (and are!) and yet, the number on the scale doesn't match the number in their head, so they stoop to extreme measures to get there. A few things I've always wanted to tell you...
1) Love yourself for exactly who you are.
2) Do not stoop to harming yourself to fit into anyone's idea of what you should weigh.
3) NO ONE knows what you weigh unless you tell them, so stop focusing SO MUCH on that stupid number!
4) It takes TIME. I once read that it can take TWO YEARS for skin to "snap back" where it was before. (Doesn't sound like what we think of when we say "snap back" does it?) Maybe it takes time to develop muscle definition and lose those last little inches of belly fat.
5) Do NOT forget strength training. And by that I mean - try heavy lifting. If you've tried everything else you have nothing to lose right? And, no ladies, you will not get all buff like those guys you see on TV.
There is a female bodybuilder at my gym and I cannot tell you how much MORE she has to do to compete with the bigger guys at my gym (none of which have bodybuilder physiques). It's SUPER tough to be a female body builder because you're fighting what the female body is supposed to look like in its natural state. Women are supposed to have a little roundness...our bodies protect our fat because we're built for baby producing. (Okay, stop feminists...I'm just talking "let's go back to caveman days and think" and not "all women should get in the kitchen and have a bunch of babies" nonsense. And if I'm wrong, I will admit it with the right amount of proof to back it up...these are just theories and thoughts I've developed over 20 years of being fed everything in the book about diet, wellness, fitness and exercise and had to wade through to make my own sense of it and find success.)
So maybe...yes, I'm going to say it...you've been at 150 pounds for the past six months despite your dedication to diet and exercise because your body needs to, wants to, is built to be there. MAYBE. (Of course, there IS such a thing as a plateau, and my doctor always says, "Just keep doing what you're doing and the results will have to come eventually...your body just needs to do the adjusting.")
In short (I should have told you to skip down here first, right?):
1) There is no diet weight loss pill that is safe, effective, and longterm that I know of.
2) Everything those diet companies do for you, you can do on your own and empower yourself.
3) Lower calories in + More calories burned = Weight loss.
4) Sometimes it just takes time.
5) Love yourself and your body at EVERY stage and have patience with it. It deserves at least that much from you!
6) Eating under 1200 calories for a woman (and more for a man) is UNSAFE. Ask a scientist.
7) Keep your money in your pocket and join Spark.
8) Don't believe everything you hear, read, or are told by TV or doctors or TV doctors.
9) Arm yourself with KNOWLEDGE!
10) Finally, don't forget the heavy lifting.
Let's make some strong, empowered, powerful women, mmmkay? If we're creating ourselves - why not make ourselves that?
EDIT: I realize there is no question in this "Serious Question" blog. *lol* It's just something I've been questioning myself with. Take it or leave it.
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