Thursday, May 05, 2011
Today is my one year Sparkversary!
I've come a very long way, and I've learned so very much. I started out around 285 lbs - I say around, because I wasn't brave enough to step on the scale when I first started. I may have lost some amount prior to first stepping on the scale.
I'm happy to say that I've released 62 lbs as of this morning.
Some of you who read my previous blog took my words to mean that I wasn't proud of myself, or of my accomplishments. Nothing could be further from the truth!
I RAWK and I RAWWR!
That was taken this morning, before leaving for work. Since I've given myself permission to focus on fitness, I've eaten more, and released almost 2.5 lbs since Saturday. C'mon, it IS my anniversary, so I had to weigh myself to have an official entry! Otherwise, I'm breaking the chains of slavery to the scale (thank you, Gayle) and I'm charging full steam ahead with my fitness endeavors.
Speaking of which.. 413 miles baby!
That's right, 413 total miles, walking, biking, and running combined, since May 5, 2010. The more exciting thing for me, though, is the fact that 220.58 of those miles have been logged since Jan. 1, 2011! More than half my total mileage in just 5 months, mostly running!
All that effort has helped whittle me down to the shape and size I am today.
Again, taken this morning. What you may or may not realize is that I am wearing my husband's old jeans. Size 38 x 32. Yes, the length matters, because remember, I've shrunk an inch or two somehow LOL
It's not necessarily a pretty picture there, with my stomach flap/gut showing so much - I do not show that part of me to anyone at all if I can help it. I LOVE THIS PICTURE! That flap/apron/gut is HUGELY smaller than it used to be. It will continue to shrink.
All of me will continue to shrink. I can see skinny me underneath the layer of fat that is covering my body. I can see a strong sleek thigh, with attached fat and skin. I can see growing muscles and more-defined tendons and veins in my arms and hands and wrists, aside from the extra padding. I have a dimple in my left cheek! My face cheek, yes! It wasn't there before, because my chubby cheeks were too full. Now, it's there, and it's cute! I can see a smaller more shapely torso, carrying the extra weight that is nearly separable - I can lift it, I can push it aside, I can see what I will look like one day without that extra fat and baggage hanging off me. I like what I'm seeing and feeling.
Don't you feel yourself up more often now that you're releasing, toning, getting in shape, getting fit? If not, I highly recommend it! Get a good grope on when you're in the shower. Appreciate your body, and the changes it's going through, thanks to your efforts, mentally and physically.
You guys, I am not quitting. I am not defeated. I am winning! I am charging ahead! I am kicking *ss and not even bothering to take names - I'm too busy running ahead to my next challenge!
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Thank you, Sparkguy. Thank you SP coaches. Thank you Spark friends and family. Thank you for being a part of my efforts to change my life. I am succeeding, and I will not be stopped.
Monday, May 02, 2011
"Ambivalence is experienced as psychologically unpleasant when the positive and negative aspects of a subject are both present in a person's mind at the same time. This state can lead to avoidance or procrastination, or to deliberate attempts to resolve the ambivalence. When the situation does not require a decision to be made, people experience less discomfort even when feeling ambivalent."
Yea, what 'they' said.
I am experiencing the discomfort of ambivalence when it comes to my weight. I'm .. scratch that. I started to type "I'm thrilled with my weight loss to date." That's not entirely true. I am content.. mostly satisfied.. gratified with my weight loss to date. I would not say "thrilled" would be the correct word at all.
I'm edging up on my one year Sparkversary here. This IS NOT that blog, yet. This IS the "it's almost been a year" blog. When I started, my goal was to lose 100 lbs, and it was a reasonable goal. Lose 100 lbs in 52 weeks. Do-able!
Only, life got in the way, as did detours and bad decisions and "screw it" moments and yes.. fish and chips. I've lost 60-63 lbs so far. I was up again on weigh-in day, to 225.4.
That was before I took off with the Tribe and ran 7.5 miles.
Yea, ok, so around mile 6 I started hyperventilating and trying to cry while trying NOT to cry and I couldn't breathe and I sounded like a major wheezer and I had to stop and lean over, hands braced on my knees and suck in as much air as I could and somehow keep it from sounding like a sob or a keening wail.
I freaked out the lady who was running with me. I tried to wave her off, I would have preferred it had she run on without me, but we have a "no man left behind" policy which is GREAT for everyone else, just not ME, please leave me alone with my shame and wheezing and I'll catch up eventually. Carol stayed, though, which was good in the long run because it prompted me to stand upright again, get the waterworks under control, and start walking until I could breathe normally again and finished the last 1.5 miles under my own steam, albeit at a slower pace.
I don't know, maybe it was a physical wall. Maybe I hadn't fueled up properly that morning. Maybe I started out too quickly. Maybe it was a combination of all that and talking with Carol about my frustration with my weight loss, or lack thereof, and wondering if I was insane to be (attempting to do) training for a half marathon.
I busted my *ss last week, working out hard. Giving my best effort. Leaving it on the Zumba floor. Lifting until my muscles quivered, to the point of failure. Running solid miles. Busted. My. *ss. Kept in my calorie range, even if it did trend to the higher end toward the last part of the week - I was HUNGRY from working so hard. I worked, sweated, counted, weighed, and still gained.
Fine. I've lost this much, eventually I will lose the rest. If I start losing my mind over the scale and my weight and how hard I think I'm working only to be walloped with a GAIN instead of a loss? It's not going to work.
My eating is not going off the rails - this IS NOT my public declaration/permission to eat any/everything that comes within a certain radius. This is the definition of my ambivalence - I want to lose more weight, but if I don't, I can't let it defeat me. I'm fit and active. I could be MORE fit and active were I to weigh less. I acknowledge this. I just can't keep getting hung up on it to the point where I'm having a sissy-hissy-tizzy-fit in public.
I think weight loss is going to have to become a secondary by-product of my fitness pursuits. If I lose weight, great. If I don't, fine. I'm taking part in the Bootcamp challenge this month. I'm still going to Zumba and the gym. I'm still going to run. I'm still going to keep working.
That's what this IS - it's my public declaration that I'm not driving myself mad to lose weight now. I'm getting more fit and active and healthy. I feel like I'm bailing on my 10-week challenge team. I'm not quitting - I'm just allowing myself to stop going batsh*t crazy over it. Micro-focusing hasn't gotten me anywhere but emotionally upset and out of balance. Time to reign it in and get my act together.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
"Forget will-power; it's about WANT-power. How badly do you want it."
- George Comalli
I posted the above a week or so ago as a status. I referred to it again today. And now, here I am yet one more time.
I want it. I want it really badly. Like, a lot. LOT. But.. what is 'it' exactly? What am I working on, driving toward, striving for?
I've been tired lately. The last two weeks or so I've felt sapped of energy. I'm still mostly sticking to my fitness routines - Zumba and ST, and running. I'm mostly sticking to my nutrition plan, determined to stick to the lower end of my range - which plummetted to the lowest range in a year's time when I reset my weight-loss goal. My goal used to be to go from 285 to 165. Now it's to go from 225 to 170. Ok.
When I get tired, I tend to lose my goofy side and settle into an over-analytical state, picking apart every little thing. It is tedious. I'm beginning to recognize when I'm doing it, and I know I need to stop or change the process - and get more sleep!
So what do I want, really?
I want to lose weight.
You've lost weight.
I want to release even more weight.
How much more?
Down to 170.
Why not 165? That'll put you in the healthy BMI category.
Because 170 sounds more reasonable for some reason.
Ok, so you want to be a slacker and only get down to 170.
How are you going to get there?
Fitness and nutrition!
Then why did you skip running Thursday night and go out to dinner instead?
Because sometimes, there will be fish and chips.
I've been more consistent since then though.
Yes. You've been better about what you're eating. Good.
I want to figure out how to fit Kettlebells into the mix again.
Just do it.
Thank you, Nike. Care to tell me when?
What about on Sunday?
That's a rest day. Supposed to be, anyway.
How badly do you want it?
Point taken. Maybe I can do a session after I finish my Tues/Thur runs.
Ok. Kettlebell this evening after the run.
I want to run.
You already run.
Yes, but I want to run better.
I would really like to not be last again. Ever.
Sorry, no guarantee there.
You didn't go to track practice Tuesday.
I have a reason.
I was last, every lap, that first practice. I was the slowest person on that track last week. The workout increased (logically so) for this week and I knew I'd be last, again. Every time. I was last on Saturday, for the "easy" 3 mile trail run. I'm not as brave or determined as I seemed last week. I'm tired, and my ego is a bit more fragile this week than last.
I want to run, and I am.
I'm running a 13 min/mile more consistently. That's a big improvement over 16 m/m.
I'm concentrating on my form - but if I continue to run like a girl, well then that's alright. I AM a girl, I can run like one.
I still enjoy running. Even after the trail run whooped up on me big-time, when it was over, I thought I'd like to do it again. It's like childbirth maybe? You forget about the agony that you endured during the event, and somehow figure on doing it again another time would be a good idea. Nuts. Completely nuts.
I'm looking forward to running with the Tribe on Saturday. 7.5 miles, my longest distance yet, starting at OMSI and heading out Springwater Trail and back.
I'm not going to be a elite runner. I'm going to continue to be a recreational runner, and do it because I enjoy it. If it starts making me feel worse about myself, then it will no longer benefit me to do it.
I'm not in competition with anyone else but myself.
I'm running because I can.
I'm running because I want to.
I'm running because I had always secretly wanted to but never thought I could.
So if I don't go to track practice again (and I might, once I get over this grumpy, vulnerable patch) that's ok. It doesn't make me less. It makes me old and tired, and done and showered and eating dinner before they even START the workout.
I want it. A lot. I am willing to work for it. I have to find that balance, that point where I'm doing enough to continue to meet my goals, even exceeding and improving my efforts, but not so much that I wear myself out, physically or emotionally.
Time to get some rest and get my goof back. I prefer that attitude much more!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
If you would have told me a year ago.. two years ago.. that I'd be reporting on my very first track practice, at age 43.. I'd have told you you were on crack!
Aaron, the leader of the Tribe (Portland Galloway Group) is also a member of the Run Portland Competitive and Ambassador Team .
He sent out his message about the additional practice being held at the Lincoln High School track, and the link to Run Portland, so we'd all have the info we needed. I checked out the link, and that's when I sorta went 'uhhhhhhhhhh...'.
My inner lil brown duck went self-conscious and flipped out with "You've lost your mind, you're going to track practice with REAL runners, not just people who chug along to lose a few pounds, REAL runners who run, really RUN, and you're going to put yourself out in front of these people, really?????"
I shushed the duck with a simple "yes I am" and that was that. Mostly. The duck kept quacking in the back of my mind the whole way there, and through the first 30 minutes or so. Bill, good man that he is, went with me - we took Max (commuter train) so we wouldn't have to worry about parking, and then he sat patiently in the stands as we did our thing.
There were 6 Galloway folks, in addition to Aaron, at the track - in addition to tons of other people. Fortunately, one of the gals is in my 30/30 pace group, so while I was the slowest person there, I wasn't completely alone.
Yes Karen, we did crazy drills, active warm-up stuff LOL Butt kicks, high knee running, some sideways hoppy skippy move among others. It was good, and it was funny and fun. One day I'm going to come to grips with the fact that doing something "less" or half-*ssed doesn't mean I'm not going to look goofy or awkward. If anything, it accentuates the goof-factor! I'm trying to learn that in Zumba, too - don't just sorta do something to try and avoid looking funky. Just do it, do it with your whole heart, and goofy funky be d*mned!
Anyway, we did the active warm up, then did an easy jog around the track. Keep in mind, it's been a while since I've run any distance without walk breaks. The last continuous run I've done was a half mile, and that was very very slow LOL So the "easy jog" with these gazelle-like people had me huffing and puffing in no time, but I made it, and didn't fall too far behind. One lap is shy of a quarter mile, in case you're wondering. A whole mile is 1609 meters, or 4 laps around the track, plus a smidge.
Of course, then the real running started LOL All the while, the C&A team was gathering and starting their own active warm-up, and we had middle-school kids having their track practice as well, so there were lots of people around. Aaron explained the 'rules of the road' for track - the faster person coming up on your heels has the right-of-way. They'll let you know they're there by yelling 'left' or 'lane one' or 'track' something to let you know to get out of the way.
In the midst of lap 2 or 3 for us, Holly and I heard a female voice shout 'left' as she came up behind us. We shifted to the right, only to end up in front of another gal running behind us. We shouted our apologies and kept going, and stuck to lanes 2 and 3 after that.
Sometimes, they don't say anything at all. We were still on the same lap, running (or doing our version of it anyway) when there was the sound of multiple footfalls coming up quick. This is all happening in instants, and the next thing I know, we are engulfed in a swarm of C&A runners. Like a pack of a 10-12 runners just flowed around us, and past us. I gasped out a 'holy crap' and heard a chuckle as they kept on going. Now, these amazing people really were just jogging and warming up. They weren't out'n'out running. And they still left me way behind, panting and going at it LOL It was intimidating at first, but then it took on an ocean-like quality - being out in the vast wide-open, only to be buzzed by a school of fast-swimming fish, bright and colorful and exotic, who barely notice you're a blip in their midst, before they're gone back into the depths again.
Or something like that.
So we ran our laps.. supposedly at 5K pace. I explained to Aaron that I only have one speed or pace - GO - and I'd try to increase that a bit to get the most out of the workout. I did run faster, I felt, than I do on our long runs, walk breaks included, so I was mostly pleased with that. We were to run 4 to 8 laps, with a recovery period that took about the same amount of time as the run did. I ran 4, and the rest of the gang did a 5th lap, then we did a slow jog to cooldown, once again walk breaks included.
All in all, it was good. About half-way through - around the time the swarm overtook us, I forgot mostly about being self-conscious and just watched and listened and learned and tried. I was proud of myself for getting out there with the REAL runners and doing my thing, and not tripping anyone else up, nor myself LOL It was good. It really was, and I'll for-sure attend these track practices each Tuesday with the Tribe.
The only downer of the whole experience was a bit of an after-action report from Bill. Remember, he sat in the stands watching as we did our workout. He offered his observations, after he asked if he could, and I said yes, although I couldn't guarantee we'd still be married when he was done!
It appeared to him that I swing my arms/hands side to side, rather than forward and back, in what you could call a regular running motion. I try to keep my hands loosely curled, to avoid tension in my arms and shoulders, but guess I never realized I had a side-swing going on. It feels like they're pumping forward and back, so I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm doing to work on my form.
The other thing he said has settled in to niggle away at my confidence. He said it doesn't look like I'm running, but that I'm walking at a faster pace, then slower pace. I haven't seen myself run, so I can't dispute what he's said. It FEELs like I'm running. I know it's slow, and I'm good with that. I know I don't have the same kind of wide stride other runners have. I sorta shuffle along, my feet not going too far off the ground, but it is a run - to me anyway. Maybe it's not really? Before he said anything, like weeks before, I wondered if I could ask Aaron about form and maybe get a few pointers/tips/hints on how to improve mine. Apparently, I need more improvement than I initially thought.
So there you have it! A 98% positive report/review of Track Practice, ending on a paranoid note LOL I'll keep on doing my odd-looking run, and keep going to practice. All I can do is improve, right?
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