Friday, November 30, 2012
Good Morning, everyone!
Today I'm going to start off by reviewing my commitments from yesterday. I need to come up with a catchy name for this task since I'm going to be be doing it every day now!
Yesterday I planned to 1) stick to my 1200 calorie goal and 2) get to the gym for an unspecified amount of time.
Well, in terms of calories I did pretty good. I wound up just shy of 1300 and managed to say NO to the Snicker Bar while my brother and I were picking up snacks for while we played Borderlands. I'm really proud because even when I was walking yesterday afternoon I was trying to talk myself into one. So, YAY!
Not so yay was the fact that I didn't make it to the gym yesterday. I packed my bag, I walked all the way there and realized I didn't have my lock or my headphones. Excuses, I know. So, instead, I went for about a half an hour walk. I would have walked longer but I ran into an old friend from High school. Yeah, he's still hot.
So, yesterday I'll say I did mediocre in keeping up with my commitments. Today, however, I'm off on a bad note. I wanted to go running with a new group through my YMCA called YES - it's the Y's Endurance Sports group. It's for people to pretty much get ready for the triathalon.
I chickened out.
I'm so scared of running with a group.
I'm worried I won't be able to keep up.
I'm worried I'll just be too fat.
I'm super, duper worried that I'll have to walk and embarrass myself.
UGH, this is worse anxiety than running in public used to be!
We'll see how today's calorie goals work out for me. I'm starting on a high note with a packed lunch.
I also have plans to walk with my mom over lunch. Since she has breathing problems we'll probably only go for about half an hour, but it's more for her than for me.
So, tomorrow's commitments. 1200 calories, a run with the Steel City Road Runners, and a promise not to let my anxiety get the best of me!
To get to the point of today's blog title I strongly believe my FitBit is actually hampering my progress. I think it's interesting that it counts my steps and my 'minutes active'; but, I don't think it's accurate in terms of my activity. I also don't like that it pumps up my Sparkpeople fitness minutes. I've never counted my time walking to the bus or from work - but Fitbit does. I've also not really ever considered my laps around the office to get stuff from the copier or from the kitchen as 'exercise' - however, Fitbit does.
I've been the same level of active now that I have been all my life, at the base level. If I went by what Fitbit tells me I'd be creating a 800 - 1000 calorie deficit every day. We all know that isn't true.
So, for the moment, my enjoyment of the Fitbit is conditional. I like that it gives me pretty charts and links up with SP; but, I don't like that what it's telling me feels artificial. I don't like that it wants me to believe I've done 1000 (well, 967) fitness minutes this month when I know I haven't.
What do you guys think, should people be counting their usual every day steps as exercise?
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Like a lot of people (and I mean A LOT) I'm a huge fan of Mr. On2Victory. That guy? Man, if I could just take two ounces of his strength and perseverence I think I'd be able to accomplish so much!
In any event not too long ago he posted a blog (here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5136894 ) about traveling and getting workouts in and all that stuff. However, there was an absolutely inspirational bit I found in it:
"One thing I have learned on this journey is that every time you make and keep a commitment that you make to yourself, you get stronger. If you put it off, excuse yourself from that commitment, you lose something. Do it often enough and you will no longer take yourself seriously and you lose your own self respect."
I've been meaning to blog on this quote for AGES. AGES.
Doesn't it just sum things up? I want you to think of your own journey, about those times you found yourself on a roll. When you felt like you could take down the world and reach all your goals because you just felt so consistent and so strong. Now, think of your low point, think of when you maybe only half-did your work out, or maybe indulged a bit too much. Goodness.
When I think of that quote I think of last week's 5 mile race. I think about that last 3/4 mile when we were all alone with the 5K runners having already finished and the vast majority of those ahead being 'real runners' and already completed the last switchback on the way to our finish line. I'm doing my thing, moving at an 11 minute mile pace, and I come upon some fellow runners. Then those runners start to walk. I start to try and pump myself up, but I can't find anything. I start to bargain. I eventually give in. I eventually walk, too. I wasn't tired. I wasn't beat. I wasn't even sore or hurting. I had just stopped.
The little bit of pride and respect I had could have just leaked from my bones.
The moral of this story is easy to understand: If you say 'okay' too many times to the easy road - well, it becomes so much easier to say 'no' to the hard road. It makes it simple to fall back into old habits.
I'm thinking now of how hard it was to get my momentum back, to continue running after I had walked once. I need to keep that feeling fresh because I don't want to feel that ever again.
So, I want to add something to my blog. I want to start thinking of the commitments I make to myself and I want to start considering why I keep what I do and why I break what I do. So, today, I'm going to focus on yesterday.
Yesterday's commitment was to eat between 1200 and 1300 calories, go to the gym, and to be attentive of my activity as tracked by my Fitbit (speaking of which, I'm totally going to do a blog on why I think my Fitbit is secretly sabotaging me..)
Calories: I did amazingly well in this area. I packed my lunch, ate the dinner I had prepared earlier in the week and stuck to sensible snacks. Yesterday was the posterchild for sticking to the program.
Gym: I allowed myself to skip. I convinced myself it was too late because it was dark. I allowed thoughts of taking a 'day off' to fester.
So, today I can take pride in keeping one commitment: my calories. Now I just need to think of ways to overcome the desire to slack at the gym! I think it's really time to plan out genuine rewards to get me through until 13.1 training starts. Do you guys have any suggestions?
Commitments I make today: Calories between 1200-1300; Gym-bound at 5PM.
Let's do this!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
So, it's a really tumultuous time right now for me. Precarious, if you will. You see, it's the time of change and rest and reallignment.
You see, we just hit the six month mark of our time on the IDEA study. Last night it was time to evaluate our progress to date and to really think about how far we've come and how to get where we ultimately want to go to.
You see, I've spent six months modifying my behaviors and changing the way I view food, exercise and ultimately what I'm capable of.
I can't believe it.
There were three questions we were posed last night and we ranked ourselves from 1 to 10. 1 being poor, 10 being amazing.
1. How well would you say you've been in terms of attending the weekly meetings? 8. I missed one meeting because I just couldn't do it. I did make up meetings for the other two I missed. So, at 24 weeks and three missed meetings.. well, I feel pretty darn amazing.
2. How well have you adhered to your calorie intake goals? 5. I've been the lamest calorie intaker ever. I think I've said it a million times - I've never exactly been one for the 1200 calorie goal. It just FEELS so restrictive. So, I aim for between 1300 and 1500. Sometimes I'm below it, sometimes I'm not. I do know one thing: I lose more weight when I'm closer to 1200, that's for sure.
3. How well would you gauge your exercise minutes? 8.5. I've done pretty well in this department. It's become more difficult for me as time has gone on to meet all of my fitness goals. (300 is A LOT of minutes); but, I have consistently made efforts to get all of my minutes in - even if it's just with a walk. The number of minutes is important because (as they keep reminding us) people who consistently do 250 or more minutes of intentional fitness a week (not just counting their steps, but adding additional intentional steps) tend to avoid the rebounding of their weight.
These questions are important because we now meet once a month from here on out. That's right, the training wheels come off. We don't even have to turn in paper diaries of our food intake anymore. We don't have to do much of anything at all, really.
The six month mark is also the point of maximum adherence to the weight loss program according to research. Whatever our weight loss slope looks like at the moment... well, it's going to continue to look like that. For the last six weeks I've averaged about a half a pound of loss per week according to the study's scales. This week I lost 2 pounds. Two whole fantastic pounds. During a holiday week.
Let that sink in.
I'm feeling revitalized.
I'm feeling hopeful. Suddenly, at 192.4, I feel like I can make it down into the mid-180's for the end of the year. 180's. Insane.
Still, I do have a lot of work to do. The goal weight is on or about 160ish. I'd like to be size 12. Right now I'm a size 14/16 walking around in size 18 pants. Yes, I'm too cheap to go buy new ones.
The big thing I have to work toward is the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It's in May. My training program doesn't start until January 1. The first training run is January 5th. I have essentially a month on my own to do anything but run. Why would I say that? Because I think I'm more than a little burned out on the running thing. So, I'm going to do more gym stuff. I want to do more circuit training. More time with building muscle and strength. The other day I decided I would try and do some of the exercises from our circuits and I was so dismayed to find that pushups eluded me and I didn't have the core strength that I used to.
So, at least I have a new focus!
I just feel like I REALLY have to pay attention for the next four weeks or so until the new training program starts. I also need to get my mojo back - and the best way to do that is to enter a training framework excited and prepared.
All I want for christmas is a personal trainer.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Well, I suppose I should take a couple minutes to update everyone on what's going on out here in cheap, cheap bastard land.
On Thanksgiving I ran my first ever five mile race. I actually walked a little toward the end and that was probably because 1) all of the 5K people turned off and finished (BOO!) and the last 3/4ths of a mile I was surrounded by other people who were clearly struggling. I watched one woman's YouTube video once and her third or fourth piece of race-day advice was to power past people who have slowed down to walk or struggling - she likened them to energy suckers.
I hate to say that I now know I agree.
Mostly it's because seeing other people walk makes me feel like it's not so bad if I walk too. It makes it easier to bargain with myself. It makes it so, so simple to just say "I'll walk to that cone and then run again."
I finished in 1 hour flat - which equates to 12 minute miles. Much slower than I usually go. The trot was busy with lots of other runners and people with strollers and people with dogs. It was congested and at several points it simply bottlenecked. The worst part was that when I finished the recovery bits (i.e. water station, bagels, bananas etc) were all gone! Well, not gone, but put away! WTF. I know that people wanted to be able to get home to their own Thanksgiving, but I wound up with a serious case of sand-brain (or that dry feeling like all of your brain juice has dried up and the prelude to something very much what I imagine a migrane feels like) because I couldn't get anything to drink after the race. I don't think disappointing was the word. So, I'm planning on writing a note to the race organizers, suggesting they plan to have people there until the clocks are actually taken down from the race. If the clock's still running there should be someone there to support the finishing runners, just my opinion.
In other news I met the people from my new running club! I also bought some inspirational gear from them! Runner of steel arm warmers! Going to come in handy during these winter month runs, that's for sure! They're very friendly, in my age group, and EXTREMELY welcoming.
So glad to have found them.
Speaking of the running group they've managed to get Jeff Galloway (You know, that guy who's a famous running coach and founder of the Galloway Method of training.) Lots of people use his stuff for their first 5K and his run-walk method is very well regarded. So, I'm excited to go and see him speak and get to do a training run with him! Unfortunately, it's the same day as the Jingle Bell run, which I had hoped to do. However, the Jingle Bell run was a 5K and I think I'll gain more by doing the 5 miler with Galloway.
Let's see... Calorie watch has been going well. Down to 193 this morning and rapidly closing in on my 180's goal for the end of the year. Very, VERY, excited to see that event. I can't wait to see the number 189 on my scale.
So, I haven't been around much because I feel like a lot of my blogs are repeatitive. "Oh, I'm plateauing!" "Oh, the plateau is over!" "Oh, wait, nevermind!" Lather. Rinse. Repeat. So, I'm struggling to find new and interesting things to write about.
Today's new and interesting thing is that I'm really glad a few of you have learned to love Mod Cloth as much as I do! Just pay attention to the reviews! Seriously, they're usually pretty good.
(Also glad that you guys love the Coach Tour dress as much as I do (Especially you, PomatoJuice.)
So, at 295 minutes this week I'm really proud of myself. I'm going to get a walk in this afternoon just so I can push that number over the edge :)
Alright, time to work! Welcome back from holiday, everyone! Here's the countdown starting until christmas!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Good morning everyone!
Just a relatively quick blog today because I'm still SWAMPED at work.
Had the strangest feeling last night. I turned over, went to scratch my back and came to a realization - there wasn't a roll where there was supposed to be one. This was the most surreal experience I've had in ages. The sort of feeling like "Huh."
It actually gave me pause.
There are bits of my body that I kind of 'check' if you know what I mean. I pinch the fat at my back just below my ribs. I feel the 'dent' in my thigh and the crease at my hips. I run my fingers along beneath my chin.
It sounds kind of creepy to admit to, though.
I mean, those are the places that I notice. The bits of myself where I wish I had less bits.
And I am.
I never thought I'd have less fat anywhere. I mean, it's one thing for my clothes not to fit (something I so desperately want to blame on their wearing out); but, it's another to not be able to physically grab places like I used to.
So, I guess I'm saying that it's finally starting to feel like I'm making progress. Physical progress. Visible progress. Like it or not, though, I still feel like I weigh 230 pounds. I still feel like I'm the size of someone who ought to be wearing a size 20 but squeezes into a size 18. I still feel obese. I still feel too 'big.'
I wonder when that feeling will go away.
So, on today's episode of 'Airing our Insecurities...'
I hope all of you have a fantastic day. If you're having unseasonably warm weather (like I am!) I hope you get to go out and enjoy it!
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