Sunday, July 17, 2011
...apparently my mind thinks I can eat enough for 2. *sigh* Yeah, yesterday had its good and bad parts.
I blogged. That felt good. I felt better about the week after I put it all down and reflected on how well I got thorough the challenges I faced.
And then I suited up and headed to the gym for a run. And I made it through. And when there were 8 minutes left of my run and I could hear myself counting down minutes, I made myself imagine hitting and breaking through the wall. I don't know that it will ever be "easy" but it certainly was an easy run for me. I felt good. I didn't even NOTICE the time until about 15 minutes in. Again, much more than I could've said just a month ago.
And after my run, I headed home, showered, changed, and put on my face to head to Charleston to meet AM to shop for shoes for the wedding. And I found some. And while I had some negative moments of hating my feet (they're getting less plump, but it seems I will always deal with high arches and that hinders my shoe choices. And I'll always have this bump on my foot, which a doctor once told me was a calcium deposit. And, it seems, I will always think my size 11 feet are big and ugly (though I do like them much better now). Still, I found my shoes. What I didn't find was Born to Run at the bookstore. BOO! (I was going to read it on my LONG flight from Chicago to Las Vegas on Wednesday.)
And before we shopped, we lunched at Panera, where I was a good girl and ate healthy and really enjoyed it (it was my first meal of the day, which may have not been the best idea I've ever had...). And I drank water. But there was a moment after lunch when I felt a little out of sorts, and I can't describe it any better than that. I actually walked right into a parked car in the parking lot. Something was off...
But after shopping, I headed home. Hubs had called me when I was at the bookstore asking where I was, which always means he's missing me (because he can go DAYS without calling me no problem, but I had only been gone a couple hours and he was ringing me up. ....ooh, I feel so British now with the "ringing me" thing!).
And when I got home I was already exhausted, yes...but I had more on my plate. I ate 1/2 of the cinnamon crunch bagel I had bought at Panera (because I'd heard such good things about it) with honey walnut cream cheese while I watched Rango with the little one. (Verdict? A little too sweet for my taste...at least the top half was. I'm funny when it comes to stuff like this. I can sit and eat an entire big bag of chocolate covered pretzels, but then a cinnamon crunch bagel does me in? And half at that! AND - Rango was cute. Nothing really to go all crazy over with the "SEE THIS" recommendations, but it was cute. Hubs laughed a LOT, and he only watched the first half.)
Then I headed to the grocery store, but not before taking my youngest out to dinner wherever he wanted. He chose the Chinese buffet. *face/palm* And as much as you try to be good at a Chinese buffet, well, the sodium is enough (especially after the week I had!) to do me in. It didn't feel good...and it felt like a bad day because my morning run felt like an entire lifetime ago.
Grocery shopping went well. About $210 worth of groceries for $86. And I got some frozen grilled/cooked fish that I can just cook up real quick when I need something healthy fast. (As much as I hate relying upon quick "health" meals like this and Lean Cuisines, I'm realizing that I need to have them on hand for those days when I just can't muster standing at the stove for an hour cooking something healthy from scratch.)
And when I got home, we put the groceries away and I sat down to rest. And then I ate a 3 Musketeers bar (which we got for free thanks to sales and coupons...but free cost doesn't mean it doesn't cost me in calories). And later, I decided I needed comfort food, which amounted to a bowl of tomato soup with, not one, but two grilled cheese sandwiches, with not one, but two pieces of cheese on each one. *face/palm*
By the time evening had rolled around, I had crammed so much into my day that I didn't even really remember the morning except as you do the day before. You know when you think, "Man, my run yesterday was great! Can't wait to have another one like that?" I kept having those moments, except it hadn't happened the day before, it was all crammed into the same day.
Not to mention that my oldest son (11) went to a "birthday party" yesterday. He was dropped off around 3pm and around 9 he called to say he'd call at 10pm....and then he didn't call. So we had a bunch of drama last night wherein we picked him up (basically dragged him out and more than likely embarrassed him... *GOOD!*) around 11pm and had a LONG discussion about the rules of our house and reminder that he's 11, not 18, and he has to follow the rules. It was stressful, and it meant me not getting to bed until about 3am, and even then falling asleep on the couch, and then having the most horrible nightmares wherein my youngest was in danger each and every time. GRRR!
So, yes, yesterday was a high-calorie day. Way high. Too high for me to even want to think about mentioning right now. (Did I mention I drank 2 glasses of regular Pepsi, and that even with all the sodium I've consumed lately, somehow I managed to not drink ANY water after my shopping trip? *sigh*) So I woke up this morning tired, sluggish, and still sore from my run (sore in my abs, of all places...my form was pretty stellar yesterday and I felt all bouncy, but it required me to stabilize my core, something I've been working on lately to overcome my back issues. I must say, my back wasn't totally screaming at me after my run, so it seems to be helping.) I knew I could either feel guilty about yesterday and the 2 pound gain on the scale and the bloating and swelling from sodium overload and dehydration, or I could forgive myself and move on.
So, what did I do?
Well, yesterday was my cheat day. Today I'm back at it. About to down a full glass of water and remind myself it's only the first one of very many today. I hate the bloat feeling and I want it gone! (And I remember when I used to feel this way every single day...so knowing that I can control it is a powerful thing for me.)
Forgiveness. Letting go. And living in the moment. I just hope today isn't quite as long. As much as I like my weekends and want to get the most out of them, yesterday exhausted me! Today a friend has scheduled a "swim party"...and I don't want to go, but the kids do. I'd rather go to the lake because I'd feel more like it was MY weekend. This friend is a coworker, and when I see coworkers too much on the weekend, it makes me feel like the work week is TOO LONG! *lol* So we'll see what I can get away with getting out of for the sake of me (I still need to do a ton of laundry and start packing for Vegas!) and then I'm going to find something *I* want to do and do it. I think it might be some game time with the boys tonight.
I think what I might NEED though, is some me time. And that sounds horribly selfish to me right now because I haven't seen much of the boys lately as either they or I have been off doing things. But even though I was out of town 3 of 6 days this week...and 2 more of those days I was in Charleston, and even though I wasn't home much this week, I spent almost the entire week doing, or thinking about, work and/or training. So, yeah, I've done a lot this week for others...for the past few weeks actually...and I just feel like I need some me time, all me. A nice hot bath maybe. Maybe even a nap. I don't know what shape it will take, but somehow I have to pencil it in for myself in place of:
The swim party I promised my friend I would go to to celebrate her birthday.
The time on Kinect Adventures/Sports I promised my youngest I'd do with him.
The laundry I need to get done for my trip to my friend's wedding.
The dinner(s?) I need to batch cook this evening for dinners and lunches this week.
And the episode of True Blood Hubs will expect me to be ready to watch with him at 10pm (is it 10?).
It sounds stupid when I say it like that. These are not bad things. I enjoy all of these things (well, not laundry, but the reason I'm doing it, yes). But they aren't FOR ME. It's the difference between my to do list activities and my down time activities. I feel like I don't have a choice in the matter of the things on my list, because they NEED to be done. And I want to do something for me.
...I just hope I can give myself that, instead of resorting to my back-up to do list of things that always seem to need to be done but I never get around to doing, or things that probably should get done today if I have the time. Like walking the dog. I've been sucking at that lately. Or mowing the grass or doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom. All these things should get done, but how do I balance the responsibilities of what needs to be done with what my mental state needs? Here's to hoping I figure that out today...somehow.
And, dag nab it, here's to drinking LOTS of water, doing something active today, cooking healthy meals, and eating ON TARGET!
And, speaking of things I must do...my training schedule for the next week or so, including my Vegas/Utah Wedding weekend, which presents it's own challenges:
**SUN - 30m cardio of any sort
**MON - W7D3 C25k
**TUE - Zumba!
**WED - W8D1 C25k (I HOPE! Going to be in Vegas, and the hotel gym costs 20 bucks a day, so if I do this I have to get brave enough to run on the strip...eek!)
**THR - 60 minutes cardio (Which, let's face it, will probably involve walking and dancing because it's bachelorette party day in Vegas.)
**FRI - W8D2 C25k (This should be easier to complete, since I'll be in Utah. What will be the issue is finding some time to do it in between driving from Vegas to Utah and the Rehearsal that evening...)
**SAT - 60 min cardio OR Rest day (Okay, let's face it, if I do cardio, it will likely be dancing as it's wedding day for my friend. I have something else I MUST concentrate on and I want to have fun, so I may just take the day "off" in terms of getting cardio in. If I do, I'll call it a rest day and be fine with that because on the next day, we have a plan....)
**SUN - 60 min cardio (Which shouldn't be a problem AT ALL, and we'll likely do more than that as we plan to do some hiking in the beautiful canyons in Utah. I want to hike and take pictures and forget about workouts and just make it the most enjoyable day of pure activity ever. Who knows when or if I'll ever get to Utah again? I must admit, it's never been on my Top 25 or 100 or even 125 places to visit...Oops! ;) )
**MON - W8D3 C25k (Which shouldn't be a problem as my flight gets back in around 3pm so I'll have some time in the evening and I think the run will help with any plane swelling I might get. I'd even have time for a nap before my run to refresh myself! :))
Saturday, July 16, 2011
So, yeah, this week was super hard. More than I expected, but I found my way through somehow.
Monday - work, with a training stuck in the middle, followed by W7D1 of C25k. I'm feeling stronger as a runner. I'm feeling more like a runner every day. I know I'll still have bad days, bad runs, but it's fun to get through one fully and then realize that I couldn't do this just a month ago. I remember when I started back, and thinking "This is going to KILL me!" and knowing I've powered through and built up this amazing stamina that a girl of 300+ pounds shouldn't likely have makes me feel accomplished each and every time I finish a run and can say, "I did it!"
Tuesday - Training out of town. I tried to be on my best behavior, and, for the most part, I think I did pretty well. I stuck in workouts where I could. Sitting forever killed my butt, but it was just another reminder that I don't have quite as much cushioning there anymore which means I'm still getting smaller and stronger and closer to my goals. I have to say that the elliptical at the hotel's gym was super difficult. The stride was super long and it put me in not the best position...which is part of the reason I think I got some back pain (that and all the sitting). But I covered the timer with a towel and watched the US girls soccer team kick Brazil's butt and generally busted my way through it.
I felt nervous in training. Me, just lil 'ole me who doesn't have the opportunity right now to pursue anything like law school (which I would love to do) in a room full of lawyers. I felt like I hadn't earned my seat. But after powering through a workout, I changed my tune. I deserved every bit of being there. I am strong, and have worked my way up the ranks at my job into a position which allows me to remind myself, "I have a badge from the state. I do enforcement of the law too. That is just as important as what THEY do." I went to bed feeling more sure of myself, and I carried that with me the rest of the week.
And when this little tiny teeny-bopper walked in the gym, she smiled at me. And when I left the hot tub (that, again, was NOT hot! *lol*) she wanted to chat with me. I had this sense that she looked up to me. That she didn't see me as that old fat lady. She joked and laughed about the hot tub with me, and I saw this look on her like, "You are awesome!" even though she didn't say anything of the sort to me.
Wednesday - I woke up and tried to run. And, yes, I didn't make it through my run, stopping after about 20 minutes (15 of that running), because of back pain. I didn't want to put myself out of the game, so I stopped to save myself. And I tried not to think, "You couldn't do it." I reminded myself again how far I've come, and reminded myself that there would be more runs, more chances to prove myself to myself. I headed up to my room drenched in sweat, so I couldn't say I hadn't worked hard. And when I stripped down to get in the shower and saw myself in the mirror out of the corner of my eye, I saw the shrinking me. I didn't see HUGE girl, I saw the girl that is getting smaller, the girl that was looking more like she's always wanted to look. I still want this belly GONE like NOW, but I see improvements in that direction.
At training, I was still a bit nervous, but I grew into myself a bit that day. In a room full of attorneys, I had intelligent conversations and held my own. I argued my way out of doing something that I didn't feel was necessary for the purposes of what I do. I played a part in the role play, one of only 4 in my group, and I got compliments from the attorneys in the room. When I left that day, I felt like we had formed some bond of some sort, however tenuous and short-lived. We had shared something, and I think they realized that I could hold my own in the room, something I realized as well. And I realized that they were just people, and that we all had our parts to do in the legal/justice system of our state. They have bar identification numbers, but I still have my badge.
I left that day tired, exhausted, but full of thoughts of how I can further my career. I know that this field can be a lifelong career, but I don't want to stay just where I am now forever. I want to learn more, grow, and become the best at what I do...and then I want to do more. I'm still young, I've got time to move on and become a great cog in this most important wheel of government. When I finally went home, I fought with Hubs. Partly out of frustration, partly out of exhaustion, but it felt good to know that we've come far enough in our relationship that this fight would not lead to all-out war. We argue, we make up. We've come so far! And a lot of that I credit to me knowing my worth in the relationship, so he doesn't have to waste so much of his time reminding me. (Which he still does on a nearly daily basis anyhow.)
Thursday - It was back to work. One day this week when I'd actually get to handle some of my caseload. I tried my hardest, but you can't always make people you want to talk to have the time to talk to you that moment. I had to move things around, reschedule, and make plans to talk next week, but I knew I was moving on my cases, and making things happen. I also spent a fair amount of time with a co-worker, asking them to lead me through things, training me in things that seem to come naturally to them now and they forget that since I'm still learning, I simply do not know all that's required of me. I asked questions, got answers, and felt a little more sure of myself in my role.
And then I went straight home. I cooked the dinner I planned out almost a week ago, had enough time for about 2 bites and then headed out to the gym for Zumba class. And she worked us...HARD! (My abs STILL hurt today!) And I was sore, and tired, and in a little bit of discomfort with my back, but I pushed through...and I could tell my classmates could see the strain on my face, but I powered through it. And as I'm jumping from one place to another, I could hear that voice in my head say, "Look how far you've come!" I never used to be able to keep up so well. I still have room for improvement, but I have gone from a girl that couldn't even TURN due to knee problems, to the runner girl (as my Zumba instructor calls me) that can jump around and kick her leg high and has even been the example from time to time. It felt good and when it ended, the line dancing instructor turned around (he takes our class in from time to time since it follows his own) and said, "Well, you survived!" and I knew that was the important thing. I went home with pride (and then finally finished my dinner! *lol*)
And then I went to see a midnight showing of Harry Potter, and ate too much popcorn and some peanut M&Ms, but that's neither here nor there. *lol* What I noticed is how easily I fit in the seats, how good I move around now, how I don't get out of breath walking around because I could technically run the route from the bathroom to the theatre and to the concession stand and back no problem. I noticed that no one noticed me. Okay, one person gave me one of those old familiar looks, but only one. The rest just passed by me without a second thought, and it felt good to feel normal.
Friday - With only about 4 hours of sleep, I drove myself and two coworkers 2 hours away to yet another training session. And, yes, I got a sausage mcmuffin on the way. I never get them anymore, and as I ate it, I remembered the old days of eating one every morning and I felt okay with myself. Sure, it didn't fit in with my goals of the day, but it still shows me that I'm doing better than I used to do. I had one. It could fit calorie wise if I let it, and I knew that. And as we headed out on our drive, I didn't let myself talk dirty to myself.
At training, somehow, I met myself there. That sounds odd, but I kept surprising myself. The first surprise was walking right up to two guys we didn't know and asking if there was room at their table for us. They said there was. And I didn't pick just anyone, I picked the best looking dude in the room. *lol* And, yes, I flirted quite innocently. And I believe he flirted back, also innocently. There was nothing sneaky about it, just innocent flirting, with little tidbits about husbands and wives and kids throughout the day as well. I remember being this girl once, the girl who didn't think "I'm too fat, they won't like me" and just flirted away. I can't help it...and if my mother is any indication, I'll never change. I cannot tell you how many waiters she has flirted with (and continues to!) in my lifetime! *lol* And it felt good to not feel so out of place, to feel more normal.
And later in the day, I networked like a bad@ss. I worked the room. I let people know who I was. I let my expertise shine. And then I received one of the best compliments I have ever gotten from one of my supervisors, who gave that compliment in front of the Commissioners I work with/for. As he told them I was one of the most versatile employees on staff, and he touted me up to them, I felt pride and recognition. And I thanked him and thanked them all and felt better about my situation than I have in a long time. He's not one to easily give compliments, so earning one unexpectedly felt so amazing...and I rode that high the rest of the day.
And, yes, I went out with Hubs last night and ate a little too much at dinner. And, yes, I skipped my workout because I knew my body needed it. But I woke up today feeling better about myself. And the scale knows that I'm working my way through the challenges as well. Last night I was so swollen from the week of salt and sitting that I physically hurt. And this morning, I got 318.4 again...which means I'm still on target to lose weight this week if I keep working hard. But, somehow and for some reason, that number doesn't mean so much to me today. What means the most is knowing that I faced a week of challenges that could undue the efforts of the best of us. I faced a week of things not being in my control, and I worked through them. I maintained my weight and my focus all week, and it was a trying week, to say the least. So what means the most is waking up with the pride of knowing I can continue to do this.
It doesn't get easier, you just get better.
And, baby, I'm getting better every day at facing life's little challenges and not just making it through, but striving.
I'm not where I want to be yet, but I get closer each and every day.
That knowledge is worth more than any pounds lost according to Mr. Scale.
#$*@ it! Just GO!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I woke up on Tuesday morning and weighed myself like I always do. For some strange reason, the scale decided to say I weighed 314 pounds, which I pretty much resigned myself to believing was due to some malfunction with the scale. But I was hopeful. Maybe if I could just stick to my guns I could pull out a great loss this week. Too bad my guns ran out of ammo.
One of the major challenges looking me in the face right now is work training. My schedule is all screwy. I had to leave the house at 6am, instead of 7am, in order to meet up with two coworkers and head to Flatwoods, WV for a 2-day training session.
On Tuesday I started my day with 1/2 a bagel and coffee like usual. Lunch was provided and I didn't think it was too bad - chicken and vegetables with a side of rice, salad, a roll, and then dessert, which for me was a few bites of icing off a chocolate cake. For dinner, we went fancy and went to Cafe Cimino in Sutton, WV. I know I ate too much between the amuse bouche of gnocchi, then some focaccia bread, a Caesar salad (which anchovies on it! EWWW!), and some pan-seared salmon with a potato/zucchini side with some steamed vegetables. I tried to be good, but I left slightly overfull. (I didn't finish everything, though, like I would have in the past.)
As far as exercise...we followed dinner with a trip to Sutton dam, where my coworkers looked at the scenery while I walked around, trying to move a bit. And when I got back to the hotel, I changed and hopped on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes before heading to the "hot" tub (that was not hot at all). It was a long day, but I felt I had done well.
Wednesday morning started with a run I couldn't finish. My back and hip started hurting, so I had to stop after my 5 minute warm-up and about 15 minutes running. I stretched, showered, changed, and packed up to leave before heading downstairs to breakfast. Breakfast? Scrambled eggs, potatoes, and 2 (I am ashamed to say) biscuits. They had the most amazing homemade jams and I went a little nutty. Lunch was provided again, but it was beans and cornbread (YUK!). Instead, I had a very little bit of potatoes (leftover from breakfast, I assume), a bigger salad, and then somehow managed to finish an entire piece of french silk pie. *face/palm* The conference then provided an after lunch snack of fruit (YAY! FINALLY!) and I chowed down on some pineapple (the day before the options were less inviting and i ended up with a small handful of goldfish crackers) and a couple strawberries. Where I really screwed up, though, was when I got home and Hubs and I somehow ended up at the place I call "The Sushi Buffet" wherein I had sushi, fried rice, mei fun (with rice vermicelli and vegetables), and a couple of bites of sweet and sour chicken without the sauce.
And by the time i got home, I was awake for about 15 minutes before just basically passing out in the living room. I was exhausted. Training zapped me physically and mentally. And, joy of all joys, I get to do it again tomorrow! *rolls eyes*
The truth is, I didn't think I did that bad. I didn't go crazy. I made some good choices. I didn't get the pasta with white sauce for dinner, I got salmon with steamed vegetables. I didn't have waffles for breakfast, or donuts or bagels with tons of peanut butter and/or cream cheese. I probably drank a little too much coffee trying to stay awake, I couldn't control any of the salt content of any of the dishes, and sitting for basically 9 hours with only the hour lunch break and 2 15 minute breaks a day was very difficult on my body (I've gotten into the habit at work of getting up every hour and just moving around a bit, even if it's just standing next to my computer instead of sitting there).
And the result of all this? 318.4. *face/palm* Life is hard...but somehow I've got to make it through this month. I've got 3 more training sessions ahead of me, and I have to learn how to be smart about the food choices available to me. I've got to keep up on my exercise even when I'm away. Because no matter what life (or work) throws at me, I'm still working toward this goal of trying so desperately to move forward in my weight loss. It's no surprise that I don't really like giving up control...but I've got to learn what exactly it is I CAN control, and how to make that happen.
I guess I learned a little more the past two days than the training session itself taught me...now I've got to put those lessons to use.
I'll also admit that the surprising 314 followed by the not-so-exciting 318.4 has hurt a bit emotionally. I'm trying to put it behind me though. I just have to keep going. I wanted that 314 so badly. I wanted to bust through this plateau with the biggest bat you've ever seen, but it didn't exactly work out that way. I guess I'll just keep inching along. As long as the scale continues to move in the right direction, I'm going to make myself be okay with the VERY slow pace with which it is moving.
Here's to learning....whether you want to or not!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
So, yes, I took a few days off. Not off from trying to create a healthy lifestyle or trying to lose weight, but off from trying to be the fantabulous Sparker I had been trying to be.
On Wednesday I posted a blog that was raw and honest and from the heart. I didn't say that I was giving up, just that the race experience I had broke my will and spirit a little bit. Sometimes when we do what we think will be good for us, it backfires. The race was difficult, but I did it. I still cling to that small feeling of accomplishment. And even in my final line I stated that even though I wasn't sure of my reasonings anymore, I was going to continue. And continue I have...and will.
And, no, I'm not going to stop racing because one douche decided to try to make me feel bad about my accomplishment, or because Negative Nancy Esther won out over Positive Warrior Esther in my mind that day and the days that followed. I'm not going to quit just because I jumped the gun and entered a race I wasn't mentally or physically ready for yet. I made it a goal to run a 5k one day, and run one I will. Each day I train I get closer to that goal - proof in my accomplishments in the last few days that I've taken "off".
And, yes, I have been unhappy for a while now. That's because a plateau can knock you right on your bum and beat you up and kick you when you're down. And I reached a plateau, I think, for two basic reasons. 1) It was time for one. 2) When I hit the plateau, I didn't jump over the edge or take to the sky, instead I walked along the edge, slipping now and again on rocks, regaining my footing and walking some more, constantly trying to find a bridge across the chasm.
It's been hard going. And, yes, sometimes life isn't hard. But each person has a right to fess up and admit that they get sad, discouraged, and overwhelmed sometimes.
Truth? I get overwhelmed and discouraged and sad sometimes.
Truth? That does not make me a bad person or less motivating or less successful.
Everybody hurts sometimes.
I could've walked over, logged into Spark, wrote some BS positive "I DID IT!" blog about completing one of the toughest (and shortest) races I've ever done and you all would have believed me, congratulated me, and said those famous words - "keep it up!" Yes, those words kill me sometimes. Because it can be daunting and overwhelming. Finding someone to motivate me that has lost more than 150 pounds without surgery is nearly impossible. Yes, there are some, but they are so few and far between that finding them is like finding the last 3 items in those damn hidden picture games. GRRR...where the eff is the spear? WTF?
This isn't my first time at the rodeo. You see my Spark progress all the time, all the progress I've made since April of last year is documented here in blogs and in my little ticker. But what you didn't get the pleasure of experiencing was the first 100 I lost. And how I struggled then as well with the last 20 pounds, fighting so hard it was like pulling teeth. And I recognize that I've reached that same point again in this journey, so I'm trying to find new ways of fighting. Being honest about my struggle with it is one way I'm continuing to challenge the outcome that I experienced last time, wherein I fought tooth and nail for the last 20 pounds, dropped them, and then with exhaustion and being completely overwhelmed, gave up and gained back those 20 with 30 more with it. I don't want the same fate this time, so I'm struggling to figure out a way around it.
The mind is a strange beast. Yes, I know what's right for me. And, yes, I alone can make those healthy choices. But sometimes I sit there after the "I don't care" mental monster has won and I've binged and I want to cry for myself, for what I know to be true, for the choice I didn't make. Yes, I hold the power, but sometimes the lights go out and I'm left fending for myself in the dark. There is truth in that. Sadness, yes, but also strong truth.
August Wilson said:
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”
And how about Alex Karras?
“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more 'manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
Before I will ever have any hopes of overcoming this and moving on, I must confront it, acknowledge it, and accept it. You cannot change what you deny. If I lied and said I was fine and not struggling, then I would have no reason to fight harder to overcome the struggles I'm facing.
And, no, in the grand scheme of things my struggles are no more difficult than yours. I recognize that. What I hope you recognize, however, is that to me, these struggles are much harder - because they are mine. I don't have to face your struggles. I have to face mine. And sometimes, however vain and horrible it may make me, telling myself that if I accomplish this thing that must be SO MUCH more difficult for me than your struggles are for you brings out my competitive side and makes my fight stronger. I need that.
So while you see a girl struggling who has lost "almost" 100 pounds (another word I hate...I'm using nearly now...it sounds more like a goal and less like a failure I've had in reaching it) I'm recognizing that I have actually lost NEARLY 150 pounds and have been fighting for the better part of 6 years. So telling me to accept that it might go slow is like telling an elephant not to forget. It has been slow, and I am still going.
Why am I doing this?
Well, right now I think only in terms of "because I should" because I know that to be true. For my health and my life, I should do this.
But I know too that there are other reasons, more concrete ones.
Yes, I'm doing it for my children as well. I know you aren't supposed to say that, but I don't give two craps about that, because it's true. I want them to never have to go through the trials I went through by being overweight. I want them to recognize that they hold the power in their hands to become the people they want to be. I want them to value a healthy lifestyle instead of seeing it as a pipe dream and "just not who I am".
Yes, I'm doing this for my husband. Or, more accurately, for our relationship. Because being a stronger individual in a relationship actually enhances the strength of the coupledom, I've learned. And also for better and more fun bedroom activities. And for doing more fun things together. And for more pictures of us that I will be proud of and want to hang up in my house and post for all to see. I want the focus to be on what we've done together, not on hiding myself and feeling embarrassed.
And, yes, I'm doing it for all the vain reasons as well. To be able to turn down hot guys that approach me with a smile and a showing of my wedding ring. To say, "thanks, but I'm taken." To wear the clothes I've always wanted to wear without being overly concerned about hiding the parts of me that I'm not proud of.
I'm doing it to get rid of this stomach.
And to make my legs something that will look good in a skirt or dress.
And to make my arms able to fit into items that were made for them. (Like the armband I bought for my phone yesterday that still does not fit me.)
But mostly I'm doing this for my freedom. Years ago I decided that I would not wait until I was skinny to do the things I wanted to do. I wasn't going to hide or fade into the background anymore. And as much as that helped me to become more confident and stronger as a person, I am still limited by the world. Weight restrictions keep me from doing things - both things I want to do and things I don't ever care to do.
So, what did I do in the past few days when I was "off"?
- I ate mostly healthy.
- Even when I didn't eat healthy, I stayed at or under my ranges.
- Yes, I said UNDER my ranges. The first day out, I seriously restricted myself. And I know that's not what you're SUPPOSED to do, but I needed to. I don't know why, but I needed to. I gave up my snacks and ate bird-like as much as possible. And I ignored hunger pains. And I counted everything. And I said no to everything I could. Because if I shoot for UNDER my ranges, then I won't go over if I slip. And even though I need to learn how to not slip, for right now all I can manage is to leave room for slips.
- I continued to work out, and pushed myself harder than I have in a long time.
On Wednesday, I attempted Week 6 Day 3 again, since I didn't run the full 25 minutes in the race. And I still didn't make it. I warmed up for 5 minutes, then jogged for 15 minutes, then had to take a 3 minute walking break before getting back to jogging another 10 minutes. And it was a HARD day. And I did it on the treadmill, which is more difficult for me right now because it requires me to maintain a steady singular pace. But when I was done I knew I had run a total of 25 minutes, and I set out to try it again on Friday.
And Thursday, I went to the gym even though I was expected at home and even though everyone was waiting for me. Instead of giving up my entire 60 minute cardio workout, I shortened my workout to about 30 minutes, including my stretches. About 8 minutes on the rowing machine, another 15 on the elliptical, and then lots of stretching as I felt like I pulled a butt muscle on the right side.
And on Friday, when I was supposed to run again, I wasn't feeling it. So I took the night off, because I needed that. And my leg muscles screamed while I was sitting watching movies with the fam and I knew I made the right choice. And I told myself that the only way I could have this night off is if I promised to make up my training run the next day.
And yesterday when I woke up, I let my tummy settle before heading out, and I finally bested Week 6 Day 3 - running the full 25 minutes without stopping. And most of it felt right because I had given myself the extra time I needed to make it happen. And I followed my run with a 25 minute, 1 mile "recovery walk" while walking the dog.
And on all those days, save one, I ate within my calorie ranges, even if it wasn't all healthy. I'm finding my way back on the track I laid for myself, even if the going is tough and right now I'm crawling on my hands and knees. And the scale has been kind to me for my efforts and I know now that if I just keep chipping away at this iceberg, I'll eventually break through.
The truth is, the path isn't easy.
The truth is, it isn't easy for anyone.
The truth is, however, that my journey is more important to me than anyone else's because it's mine, and because the outcome affects me more.
And the truth is that I hope to always keep going, but I know that I will likely struggle with this battle my entire life. I don't know why I got dealt the cards I was dealt. I could analyze how I got to where I was and am, but what's the use? We must play the cards we're dealt. The trick is trying to figure out how to make our $hitty hand work to our advantage.
But the truth is also that it will continue to be hard. And I will get discouraged as I feel "passed by" by people around me who don't have as much weight to lose as I have, or who have lost less but look better than I might ever have a hope of looking. (Let's face it, I will have loose skin and stretch marks that will follow me my entire life.) I will get overwhelmed by my schedule, and by the unexpected that pops up (like a month full of training and a altered work schedule that I must learn to work around).
When I came to the SP stage, it wasn't because I thought "This is THE TIME I'm going to do this." That's the truth. I showed up with a realistic outlook of, "Well, let's get back on the wagon and see what happens." Over time I've gained a love for working out and eating healthy food. I've had so many accomplishments that may seem so little to everyone else, but are so huge to me, that sometimes I worry that my "luck has run out" or will run out before the end. But I've got to keep trying to make my own luck. And I won't belittle you by telling you I will always be the go-getter "I CAN DO THIS" person that sometimes pops up in my blogs. Because I am multi-faceted. Because I have those moments, days, weeks, and months, but I also have months wherein I feel lost and abandoned and alone and like nothing I do will ever be good enough.
That is the truth of who I am. And that will be the truth of my journey. Being "skinny" will never change that. I am who I am, and while I can try to bolster the parts of me that I like, and that other people enjoy, the other parts will remain. And they have their purpose, because knowing that life isn't fair and being realistic helps me get over the trials and tribulations. That part helps me see both sides of the story and recognize that sometimes it really sucks to be me. And knowing that it sucks sometimes, helps me relish even more in the parts that don't suck.
So that's my truth. And I'm taking it with me as I continue to fight for what I know I can do if I just push forward.
"Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
Give me a bat!
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
What's been going on with me? Well, a lot and not a lot at the same time. I'm going to warn you right up front that I don't have a happy, motivating "YAY! I DID IT!" race report blog for you. What I do have is the truth. The full broken-hearted, will-breaking truth. And maybe this mood has something to do with fact that my scale gave me back a 320.2 this morning, which = no change. And maybe it has to do with the fact that my eating has been crap for 2 days. We're talking me eating double what I probably should if I ever want to think about losing weight again. But most of it is due to the big pieces of goo that were once my heart and my will and my determination, which right now I'm simply trying not to trample any more and trying to figure out how to put it back together into some recognizable form. I wish I had the happy race report for you, but don't.
I wish I could tell you that my nervous jitters went away after the gun went off, but they didn't. As I got hit and pushed from all sides, all the while trying not to scold my son who insisted on starting near the front of the pack. I knew what would happen but I gave in to his childish spirit and his determination to succeed.
I wish I could tell you that it didn't bother me that I was last from the start gun until the finish, but I can't. It hurt. This is the first and only time I have ever come in dead last in a race. I should've known better, racing in something so small. But someone had told me they were walking the race. I figured there would be walkers there. Instead, I was surrounded by 20 year old track stars, high school athletes, young girls that were in better shape than I could ever dream of being in, muscly guys with no shirts who were tanned beyond belief from, I assume, hours spent training. I knew from the minute we started and the race pack left me so far behind that I was out of my league. And I don't want to tell you that I wish I had quit right then and there, but that's the truth. I should've quit. I should've saved my heart all the heartache it was about to endure.
I wish I could tell you that my positive self-talker kicked in, but she didn't. She took a hike the minute she realized that we were just shooting for a "not horribly awful last place" finish. She wanted nothing to do with me. She couldn't help me anymore and I was alone out there...literally and mentally.
I wish I could tell you that watching my son so far ahead of me helped spur me on, but it didn't. I wish I had just let him run alone. I wish I had paid for anyone else but me to run this race.
I wish I could tell you that people were nice, but those that were were so few and far between. Throughout the first mile I heard a small splatter of claps, but they were mixed with laughter and hushed words between couples and friends and I suddenly felt like I had woken up in that dream where you go to school completely naked. I wanted to cry and hide and quit.
I wish I could tell you that the jeers and actual heckling didn't hurt me, but it did. When some smart@ss kid from the high school band laughed and pointed and said in a condescending tone, "Ooh, I hope she wins!" followed by another laugh, my heart broke again...and again. I was in the seventh circle of hell and I wanted to die. Not only did I feel like I was dying from starting too fast and pushing too hard just to keep up with the pack, but sheer embarrassment made me want to crawl into a hole and curl up and die.
And I wish I could tell you that yelling across the road at the little basturd (yes, I'm making a new word out of two because he deserves this much), "Let's see YOU get out here and do it!" made me feel better, but it didn't. I kept wondering if there was anywhere along the route where I could simply disappear and no one would notice. (There wasn't.)
I wish I could tell you that I was finally able to block it all out and just run my run, but I wasn't. The entire two miles was torture. I had to pee, I was getting overheated, and I was pushing too hard. Which meant that even though I didn't want to, after about a mile and a quarter, I had to take a walking break. And I hated every minute of walking in front of those people because it felt like they were winning something. It felt like giving in and quitting without the actual relief of not having to continue.
I wish I could tell you that the kindness of the race buggy giving me water and giving me encouraging words made me feel better, more powerful, more encouraged, but it didn't. It made me feel under scrutiny. It made the embarrassment worse. I kept thinking to myself, "They just want me off this g'dmn road so they can start the effin' parade already!"
I wish I could tell you that running all out into the finish line with a cheering crowd felt great, but it didn't. By that point it felt like a pity clap. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure that's what it was. Poor pathetic fat girl trying to run 2 miles. Laughable, yet somehow commendable for the attempt. I hated it. HATED.
I wish I could tell you that the hug at the end from the girl in my yoga class cheered me up...or the old lady sitting on her walker seat talking about how I "was to be commended" made me proud...or that the guy who came up to tell me nice job and share a story about how 2 years ago he was over 300 pounds and started doing races gave me encouragement, but...Well, actually, that part was kinda good...
What wasn't good was Hubs' severely insensitive comment about how "It must suck to be last" which he followed up with a joke about how everyone was saying they wish I'd effin hurry up so the parade could start.
When I think back on this race I only think one thing...."Why did I do it?" I wasn't ready. Not mentally, not physically. Yes, I finished, but it hurt beyond belief. And the exhaustion that finally caught up to me yesterday sent me reeling over the experience. And the fact that I couldn't control my eating enough in two days to lose any weight from the experience, and the fact that I still hurt down to my very bones all leads me to want to cry and hide and wish I hadn't ever had this stupid crazy idea that a fat girl could or even should run. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Maybe I should've said no this year. But I can't take it back...all I can try to do is heal.
As for what else is new? I'm so friggin' scheduled that I will likely not have another chance to redeem my broken heart in a race for at least a month.
July 11th - work training
July 12-13th - work training out of town
July 15 - work training out of tw
July 20-25 - Vegas/Utah for wedding
July 26-28 - work training
July 31-August 5 - work training out of town
And the race I wanted to do is in Wheeling on August 6th, and I've been fighting all year to get back there and now I don't even know if I'll be able to, or if I want to. It's pretty likely that I'll be giving up the Beerathlon 5k on the 16th and the Ohio State Fair 5k on the 31st. And I wonder now what I'm working so hard for if not for a race? It's certainly not to lose weight. Lord and every Sparkie knows I haven't done crap to speak of in that department for months beyond doing a kick@ss impression of a friggin' yo-yo.
Yes, I'm frustrated. And, no, don't sit here and say that I'm building effin' muscle and my measurements are probably shrinking. They're not. In fact, if you want the whole truth, my calves have gotten bigger along with my waist. I'm not losing ANYTHING. And, yes, I know it's because my eating is out of control. I've become that bitter girl on a diet who is frustrate because she isn't SUPPOSED to have an effin' donut so she resists and resists and then eats 12 out of spite. THIS is the root of my problem. I am well aware of that.
So as to what will happen from here? Probably more of the same. I start every morning with the singular hope that I will eat on target...and then sometime, either at 3pm or 5:30pm or 7pm, whenever, it all falls apart and I binge and I hate myself for it and thoughts of becoming bulimic re-emerge (yes, fat girls can be bulimic too!) and I have to choose whether to fight one eating disorder or the other. So far I haven't purged, hence the pain in my body from killer workouts and ZERO loss on the scale.
Okay, I'm done griping. Here's some stupid pictures from one of the worst days of my life.
Yeah..people walked in front of me because I wasn't really doing much of anything important at the time...
Bloated and swollen and completely exhausted. I wanted to just go home but had to stand through a parade that easily lasted an hour.
And, for the record, my Nike+ sets my pace at 15'01, but I forgot to turn it off after and it says I did 2.2 miles and I now KNOW it's off/wrong and needs calibrated...but it told me I was averaging a 13-14.5 min/mi the whole time, which is fast for what I was doing in training, even if it is wrong.
FML. Adventures of this FitFat girl continue...though I have no clue why anymore...
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