Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My body seems to lose weight in steps, not a smooth curve as frequently depicted on the Sparkpeople tracker. I hang out at a particular weight for weeks or months, and then suddenly 5-10 lb just sort of falls off. I then hang out at the "new" weight for a while again. The plateau.
In so many weight loss environments, the plateau is feared, reviled, dreaded, or seen as evidence of failure - failure to eat "perfectly", failure to exercise "enough", and, unfortunately, failure to be a good person.
I have a different interpretation: the plateau is my body's way of adjusting to my new weight, my new shape. Permanently. It's uncomfortable with letting the weight go, so it needs a period of time to adjust, to get comfortable again before more weight will come off.
So now, I love my plateaus. They mean this weight loss is permanent, not something that will bounce right back on. They mean that even if my "average" weight loss is less than 0.5lb/week, it's weight I will never allow back on my body. They mean the changes I'm making are permanent and sustainable.
But mostly plateauing means I'm giving my body the grace and space to adjust, rather than demanding it drop weight in months that it took years to put on. And that's a good thing.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
All kinds of fun.
Bronchitis of some sort made a round through our family - first C, then B, then me, then K. So I spent the first two weeks of September unable to do much more than the bare minimum of required walking. Two weeks without regular intense exercise (fortunately bookended by running dates with my friend, A!).
On the plus side, this happened to overlap with our YMCA's yearly week-long closure. They did some pretty awesome stuff while closed, including getting the necessary staffing for the childcare so I can now drop C and K off for 2 hours instead of 90 minutes.
Now that they're open again, C and K have started swimming lessons, so B and I meet at the Y and lift weights together at least once a week, without fail. We've also started making a point of going up there at least once on the weekends as a family. My pectoral muscles aren't yet thrilled with the regular lifting, but I'm sure they'll come around in time!
I also signed up for a women-only Healthy Lifestyles support group. I'm planning to write a post about it in a couple of weeks when I have a better idea of how it's working. Right now we're supposed to be working on setting a long-term goal. It's challenging. Not because I don't have goals (I do!) but because we have to narrow it down to one thing - either exercise OR nutrition OR stress-related. And it has to be measurable - nothing nebulous like "get healthy" and nothing temporary like "lose X pounds by Y date". And for my own sanity, nothing over which I have little control like lose X pounds. I'm tossing around a couple of idea, from working on changing my hip-to-waist ratio, to aiming for a certain number of scheduled exercise minutes per week, to nutrition-based goals like increasing the number of servings of vegetables I eat per week.
Anyway, still here, still exercising!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Sunday - 4+ miles running with Angela
Monday - 2 mile run on my own
Tuesday - 5.5 mile bike ride (easy ride, a couple of gentle hills, more just getting outside first thing)
Monday: Did 2 complete loads of laundry (wash/dry, fold/put away), made a bunch of phone calls I've been putting off for weeks, played with my kids instead of leaving them to their own devices in the living room, spent the afternoon running errands after naptime instead of lounging around reading (running errands for us means bus rides and lots of walking)
Tuesday: Got some important financial stuff straightened out, started menu planning for next week, spent 45 minutes in the garden harvesting and pruning (onions! garlic! rosemary! tomatoes! kale! a cucumber! 1 lb of carrots! ripped out some horribly aphid-infested overgrown radishes! damn those things get tall...)
...and we're coming back around to the "doy, I just need to get my butt out the door every morning". :-) I've gotten more done in the last two days than I have in the previous two weeks. At least, it feels like that! I don't think it even needs to be a really hefty workout, just something that gets my heart rate up at least once in the half-hour I'm out there. This is a good lesson for the upcoming Seattle winter when getting up gets harder as the sun disappears and we get drenched. At least this year I have good workout gear that won't mind getting wet!
The me-time is helpful, as is the chance to wake myself up before I need to interact with my family.
About the radishes: they never actually made little radishes (the root part), just really tall (4') flowering stalks. The bees loved them, but so did the aphids, which were also trying to take over a few other plants, so out the radishes came. A couple weeks ago I cut my kale all the way back to the ground for the same aphid-related issue. Today I noticed it was coming back! So tonight we had baby kale with dinner. It's really weird-looking kale - all fingery, not ruffled like what you see in the grocery store. Heirloom starts donated by a fellow community gardener, so I'll take what I get! I'm just glad they came back - I hadn't harvested any before the aphids got to them, and I happen to really enjoy kale.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
I have just been in a funk lately. Off and on, not continuous, but I'm getting sick of the mornings when I wake up and just feel like being a slug.
Using exercise as an anti-depressant can be fabulous as long as I have a good routine in place for getting said exercise every day. When my schedule gets thrown off for more than a day or two, then I start running into the problem of "need the exercise to summon the energy to go do the exercise". Kind of like coffee, only with more effort required.
Today was better - I had made an appointment for this morning to go running with a good friend of mine, and I couldn't weasel out of it. 3+ miles of jogging later, and some of the funk was starting to evaporate. DH and I had decided to skip church, since we were out late last night for fun times at a state fair with the kids, but the run had restored some of my equilibrium, so we managed to get all four of us to the Y. The kids got to burn off some energy running around in the kids' area, and DH finally got a start on weight lifting.
He used to be pretty regular about it, but when C was born 5 years ago, it started getting harder for him to get to the gym, and we realized it's been over a year since the last time he lifted weights, and several years since the last time he did it regularly. We made an appointment with each other for Thursdays. I have to take the kids to the Y for their swim lessons, and he will meet us there to do his own workout, then we'll all take the bus home. Since Thursday is our usual leftover night, this should still work with having a healthy dinner, too.
I know the key is to just push forward and make the best decisions I can about my food and exercise at each opportunity, and not dwell on poor decisions I've made in the past (forgive thyself!). Apparently I just need to keep relearning how important exercise is to my mental health by occasionally going without.
I've always depended on outside sources for my routine - schedules externally imposed by college, work, or a child's preschool. I'm preparing to homeschool C in kindergarten. Our school will start the day after Labor Day, and I'm realizing I will be totally responsible for our schedule. I can't depend on someone else holding me accountable for how I spend the hours of my day. As a SAHM, this has always been somewhat true, but becoming completely responsible for my child's education means that I have to be a lot more disciplined about how we spend our days.
Typing that, I wonder if some of my "funk" has been a subconscious rebellion against being responsible to my own schedule? I'm rebelling against the parent/teacher - problem is, that's me! It's hard to talk bad about "the man" when you ARE "the man". Hm.
Growing up is hard. I think especially when to the world you're already "grown up".
Thursday, August 08, 2013
This summer, I'm loving...
- living in Seattle. We seriously have the best summers - sunny, warm (but not hot), bit of a breeze, and NO humidity. Sunrise before 6, so getting up for that morning workout is relatively easy, and people here are so active, it feels natural to go for a walk or bike instead of like I'm the only one in the neighborhood out and about.
- my garden. When we moved here, I thought I was giving up any gardening since we were going from house to apartment. Boy was I wrong! Peas, carrots, beets, cherry tomatoes, a green pepper, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, strawberries (only a couple, but still!), basil, rosemary, scallions, and green garlic. That's what I've harvested so far from our little 100sqft community garden plot! Great produce supplement to the grocery budget, especially when the lettuce was pouring in.
- the Luna Chix. Seriously, if you're a woman and you want to run, swim, or bike, find this group in your city. The group here in Seattle has weekly workouts, and the women are just so supportive, whether you're just starting out on this fitness journey or you're an old pro. I can't make every week's workouts, as they're scattered all over the Seattle area, but I usually make at least one, and sometimes two per month. But just knowing the ladies are doing a swim-bike brick (open water swim, then bike) motivates me to get my own workout in at the Y.
- My Body. I am seriously impressed. I thought I was in good shape in high school - I would run 2 miles every morning and then lift weights a couple of days a week. Now, this is what my week looks like:
Sunday: Run 4.3 miles
Monday: 60-minute spinning class
Tuesday: 45-minute swim
Wednesday: Run 2 miles, 60-minute spinning class
Thursday: rest day
Friday: Run 2 miles, 60-minute spinning class or yoga (depends on how I feel)
Saturday: Bike ride (distance varies) followed by at least a half-hour swim
I weigh 45 pounds more than I did in high school, yet I can physically do more than I could then. I can run farther without injury or exhaustion than I ever could before. I'm considering a half-marathon sometime in the not-to-distant future, something that felt absolutely ludicrous not that long ago. I'm starting to look at running a 5K as a nice little jog, or maybe a "sprint" where I can start looking for beating a particular time instead of just finishing.
Seriously, bod - you ROCK.
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