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.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Alright, ladies and gents. My body is still sore from all the workouts I've handed it the past few days. For this reason, I do NOT want to push it for a HM in just a month's time. The most I've ever walked is 7 miles, really...and to basically double that in 4 weeks? It just doesn't sound like a good idea...especially since I'm back on the running wagon again. Plus, I think it will be MORE hilarious NEXT year when I RUN the Flying Pig HM. Yep. I said it. Next year. If all goes well, I should be more than ready to RUN the half marathon in May in Cinci. That sounds VERY good to me. So, yes. Plans can change. New plan? Coming Right Up!
First of all, I'm going to keep working the C25k program. I'll take it as slow as I need to, but I have high hopes of making it to week 5 this time around. While I'm doing that, I have a doctor's appointment Friday to get a referral for either an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist, or both. I'd love to get fitted with a knee brace and to make sure I have all I need to be a successful runner from here on out.
So I got this crazy idea this morning. A crazy, brilliant idea!
April 23rd is the Distance for Diabetes 5k here in Charleston.
April 30th is the Beer Mug 5k/10k in Hilliard, OH.
May 7th is the Capital City Quarter/Half Marathon in Columbus, OH.
Does that sound crazy wonderful to you?
Saturday 1 - 5k
Saturday 2 - 10k
Saturday 3 - Quarter Marathon
And the 8th of May? Yes. That's Mother's Day and I will be asking Hubs tonight for the BEST. GIFT. EVER. A spa package at the local day spa in town. Now, I realize that the flaw in my plan is that they are closed on Sundays (would have been great to get my massage and such on Sunday after the QM), but I can just tack it on to the end.
Saturday 4 - Spa day? Yes, please!
Now, this is the plan in a perfect world. And things could get flawed. I can tell you right now that I will dial the spa FOR HIM if I have to because I want this more than anything - and they have affordable min-packages that include a massage, so I'd be good with that. (Dream day? Massage, facial, manicure...but I won't be picky about it.)
I haven't researched quite enough to find good races for May and June, so I may refocus then and go into swimming mode. (I admitted to Hubs the other night that doing a Tri is my ultimate goal one day....to be fit enough to complete 3 different athletic events in one day, back to back? That sounds like a winner to me! I'm no where near ready for it yet...but that doesn't mean I can't start on some training.)
June is also hiking month. Ever since our 5.5 hour hike last year at Old Man's Cave, I vowed to return the next year and try it again, just to see how much my body had changed. So June will be the month for that trip and I'm SO looking forward to it. This time the goal is to NOT get lost and to go from OMC to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave and back again.
July? Well, there's the Beerathlon in OH that I've teased Hubs that we should invite our old buddies to. We had a group that used to all get together and hang out. Now we're basically coupled off, those of us who have survived...and most of us are in some way concerned with health/fitness activities and eating right. So I'm going to pitch it to them here soon. W&K, A&D, and Hubs and I. Let's ALL OF US walk or run the Beerathlon, which ends at BW3s where we'll consume mass quantities of crap-for-us food with the knowledge that we worked it off first (yea, right! I'm talking about 3 vegetarians and 2 health food nuts...we do all drink beer, though... ;) ). I think it'd be a blast just to say we did it. We could get some sort of matching gimicky outfits. More than ever this year I realize that I don't JUST want a race challenge - I want a race to be FUN!
Of course August will be the Debbie Green Memorial. I promised myself I would return the next year to (hopefully) RUN the 5k I first walked.
And, no, I didn't abandon HM goals. All of this will put me in great shape with plenty of training time to do the Emerald City HM in September...placing me as far away from Charleston as I care to get, and away from the memories that just about broke my son's heart (and mine in return) last year at the 10k there. It's my kick in the face to them. I will NOT compete in that race again until they fix what they broke. Done and done. For me, that's redemption.
So, yes. It's crazy. But I think it just might work. Hubs will HATE those 3 weekends in a row, but I have to let him know it's all for a reason. I need this. I need to get my race spirit back and reclaim everything that is good about races. PRs and fundraising for great charities and the fun of it all and a giddy, motivational atmosphere. That was what I got out of my first 5k and the last 2 as well of 2010. And I MUST reclaim that. Part of that started this month at the 7k, when I got swept away with joy at the end realizing I had PRed, but I made a promise that day to do every race for SOME reason. A GOOD reason. It had to mean something to me other than distance. It had to fit into MY plans and MY path and what I wanted out of a race. I love PRs. I love pretty medals. And I love knowing that my money goes to a good cause. I love racing with friends and sharing that spirit with them at the finish line when it's all over. Time to leave all the past "woe is me"s behind.
That being said, I'm scared. I'm scared I won't follow through. I'm scared my body won't hold out. But if I have learned anything so far this year, it is to face what you fear head on.
"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
So, without further ado...
Race Schedule 2011
* 4/23/11 - Distance for Diabetes 5k - Charleston, WV
* 4/30/11 - Beer Mug 10k - Hilliard, OH
* 5/7/11 - Capital City Quarter-Marathon - Columbus, OH
* 7/17/11 - Beerathlon 5k - Columbus, OH
* 8/6/11 - Debbie Green Memorial 5k - Wheeling, WV
* 9/4/11 - Emerald City HM - Dublin, OH
P.S. ....I can't WAIT to run today! *lol*
EDIT: P.P.S. I signed up for a Zumba Master's class on Friday night. I'll be working out WITH my Zumba Instructor instead of behind her. :)
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