Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I'm not going to lie, the last six days for me have been terrible; however, there was absolutely no reason for them to be that way. In fact; I MADE them that way.
In my last blog I mentioned that I had a magic three pounds show up for no reason. I think, maybe, they're still here.
I am absolutely, positively, PETRIFIED to step on the scale. In the past I've always been able to own my weight. I've been able to fess up to what I've accomplished and to understand that any lack of progress is directly proportional to the work I did not put in. I saw a meme the other day and it sums my opinion up nicely: Don't be upset with the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do.
But this week? This week has been an anomoly. Well, more than anomoly.
I had been going into the week STRONG. I ran five miles in beautiful weather and felt great about it. I spent two consecutive days at the gym and KILLED the elliptical. On top of that, my calorie intake never surged beyond 1300. Sure, the scale ahd stalled; but, it wasn't so bad. Happily, I sat at 186.4.
And then it happened.
My scale, against logic and science went up three pounds. My 186 turned into 189.
This, friends, is the moment where a certain cliche comes to mind: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
I, in short, have not reacted well.
I haven't worn my BodyMedia armband since Friday. I haven't tracked since then, either. I decided, actively, that I just didn't want to deal with it anymore. I decided I would eat a cup of icecream for breakfast. I decided I would allow the old ritual of mindless eating and video games to enter my life again. I decided I would do absolutely nothing. NOTHING.
Here I sit on Tuesday looking at what I've done and wondering why I let myself do it.
I did it because it was easy. It was easier than kicking my ass out the door and going for a run on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. It was easier to take my anger and frustration out on myself than to use it as a motivator. There is something very simple about setting yourself up to fail - because it is active and it's something you choose.
So, here I am now. I have to look at my behavior and the feelings that caused it and I have to do something about it. Why? Because that is not the person that I want to be. So, I'm going for my run today. I'm going to go hang out with the real runners this evening and soak up all their athelticism, positivity and grace. I'm going to read all kinds of blogs here on Spark and put my head back on straight.
I'm going to remind myself of one simple, evident truth:
This journey is not just about the scale.
It can never be just about the scale.
I'm going to focus, knuckle down and use all of the determination I have to make amends for my little stumble.
Back to work. I have a half-marathon to run in three months.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
It's been quite an up and down kind of week here. Following my size-14 victory on Sunday and triumphant 5 mile finish on Saturday and Monday I've been kicking the CRAP out of my goals. I've been well within my calorie ranges each day this week in spite of yesterday being 'food day' at work. More importantly, I have shut the voice up inside of my head that tells me that I don't have time to exercise. I've gone to the gym both Tuesday night and Wednesday night after work and got it done. More importantly, I'm feeling pretty darn good. I feel energized, focused, and dare I say healthy.
The downs this week? Well, eating an entire box of Skinny Cow Fudge bars and calling it dinner.. Then there was the whole fear of the treadmill thing. You see, with it being so darn cold here I Can't get my miles in outside. No way! So, I decided in true stubborn fashion that I'd just conquer my fear: I'd run on a treadmill. Now, I don't know what it is that completely terrifies me about the treadmill - but I can think of a few things that are moderately scary. First, I like running outside because, frankly, I run really funny. I'm uncoordinated. Chances are that if someone sees me running it's only for a little while and then I'm gone. No big deal. On a treadmill? I'm there for everyone to gawk at. Second, and still in line with the uncoordinated theme, I am genuinely concerned that I will lose my balance and fall off. Yeah, I think it's a strange blend of social anxiety and fear of physical harm that keep me from running on those little rubber rolling mats.
Finally, the coup de grāce this morning was an extra 2lbs magically appearing.
Now, before everyone reminds me of what I wrote yesterday I will remind myself: It's not about what the scale says from day to day - it's about trends.
But my goodness, 2 pounds?
Trust the Training. I have to trust that I'm doing everything I can to make my body healthier and stronger. Usually I read this phrase in relationship to people who are preparing for races - trust that the training plan has taken you far enough. Trust that days of rest are necessary. Trust. I'm going to trust the training.
What I had originally wanted to write about today was a conversation I had with a coworker. She asked me a very pointed question: What do you feel has made you successful?
I'll admit it, I feel like I've been very successful and will continue to be that way. I currently wear the same size pants I did in high school (though, I think from what I read pants sizes have gotten a bit bigger since 1999) and I'm doing things I never would have dreamed I could have.
So, how'd I get here?
First thing I'm sure of: Wanting to be thin is not going to be enough for me to change my lifestyle habits. If it was that simple, I wouldn't weigh what I did or do now.
Second thing I'm sure of: Going public is the best thing you can do. It's not about the 'humiliation.' No, I believe if I felt 'humiliated' to say what I weighed then I wouldn't like myself enough to do the work that needed to be done. No, going public has unleashed such a wave of support from both close and distant friends alike. I don't even think I can adequately articulate just how much -love- has come my way by being open about my journey
Third thing I'm sure of: Without having a goal that is not weight or size related I never would be where I am. If this whole thing had been about watching the scale move or my clothes loosen up I would have given up three months ago when the scale stopped moving and my clothes fit just fine. What was my goal? To run the Pittsburgh Great Race 5K. I signed up. I paid. I committed. Now I can't stop looking to do more.
Fourth thing I'm sure of: When you find what works for you, whatever it is, ask yourself if it is something you can and will do for the rest of your life. If it's not? Well, then it doesn't work for you.
A week or so ago I posted a very unflattering race photo as proof of what I look like after I conquer a hill. Well, now I have video proof of how much the girl ahead of me should have feared for her life. Start watching at clock-time 1:01 (video time around 26:00 or so..)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Good Morning Sparklers!
From the look of my Friend Feed today a lot of us are deailing with similar issues. First, let's face it - for most of us it's flipping COLD! Here in Pittsburgh it was 7 degrees when I woke up and projected only to rise to about 11 - in spite of blue skies and sunshine!
Yes, dear friends, winter has arrived.
Winter makes a lot of things hard.
First, it's hard to motivate yourself to spend more time outside when the environment isn't pleasant. Second the cold simply takes a lot of options away. I have no problem running in 20-30 degree temps; but. single digits? Ugh.
The other unforeseen outcome of cold weather is that the gym gets ridiculously overcrowded. I'm talking when I went after work yesterday there wasn't an open treadmill, eliptical or bike. RIDICULOUS. I mean, I appreciate that other people want to get their workouts in, too; but, man, that was CRAZY. I'm quite certain today is going to be no different.
I have a few very simple tips if you're struggling to deal with cold weather - and I invite you to share some of your own in the comments below!
1. Be realistic: How cold is too cold? I believe this is an individual question and a fine line. For some, too cold is when their fingers start off numb during a run; for others it's frostbite weather.
2. Plan. There are two types of planning. There is the planning that goes into making certain that your apparel is appropriate for the weather and there is planning to get activity in another way. ALWAYS have a backup plan, even if you feel you have the right clothes. Why? Because you may plan to run five miles, do one and turn around and go home! So, think of things that you could do instead of your outdoor walk or run. Consider joinng a gym (or finding one that allows you to purchase guest day passes); look at what you have available indoors (like stairs in an office for example); and perhaps consider a new activity such as fitness DVDs. There are lots of ways to stay active when the weather's cold, don't let some low temps steal your motivation!
3. Going back to apparel there are plenty of guides on what to wear online. Read them. Believe them.
4. Do not walk outside in the morning to 'test' the air temperature. You will only convince yourself it's too cold. Get used to knowing temperature by number, not feel.
The other things I've been reading about is Frozen scales. Man, my scale isn't exactly frozen; but, if I took the number on it's face day by day I'd think it was. Truth is that daily my weight doesn't move much, and it shouldn't. Today, for example, I'm up four tenths (.4) of a pound. Still, that pushed my scale from 186.4 to 187. It's really easy to get fixated on that number. However, what I'm interested in are trends. I look at my weekly weight average that way I can get a true feel for what's going on rather than have to face the cruelty of sodium's vengence.
In more personal news today is food day at work. I have consumed two pieces of pepperoni roll and copius amounts of fruit. Here's hoping they balance out.
Plan is to be at the gym by 5 today. Gotta work off all the noms!
Stay warm, Sparklers!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Well, guys, it's been an amazing last couple of days here in Pittsburgh PA.
First, yesterday I did something all of you know I hate to do: I went shopping. For clothes.
Now, it's easy to think I hate shopping because finding things that fit for my body type can be difficult. Sure, I'm pretty certain that influences my feelings on the subject; but, deep, deep down I hate shopping because I always have an -idea- of what I want and I can never find it. Now, since I sew people seem to think that shouldn't be a problem; but, there is a HUGE difference between sewing a costume and sewing something that you would wear in real life. (AKA not for a couple hours.)
Yesterday, though, I actually had a joyous experience shopping. It wasn't because I found what I was looking for (I settled. I got a dress, a sweater, and a belt. The dress I love. The sweater I'm pretty 'meh' about and the belt was necessary); but, because I did my first ever happy dance in a dressing room.
Ladies and Gentlemen I am officially the same size I was in high school. Size 14. Never in my wildest dreams a year ago would I have fit into a size 14. I just wanted to fit into a 16 comfortably. I just wanted to get away from that ever looming need to shop in the 'plus size' store. Don't get me wrong, I love that there is fashionable clothing in those stores; but, the fact that I had to go there to buy jeans? Or tights? Or slacks? It was humiliating. I think I spent the last couple years squeezing into a size 18 and looking like a sausage so as to avoid it.
I literally, no joke, did a happy dance inside the dressing room.
Then I took a photo, right there, and posted it to my Facebook. The caption? "Hello size 14, it's been 14 years since I last saw you." Now, if you're anything like me you have 200-something 'friends' on Facebook. They're people you've assembled from various segments of your life. People from High School, Family, acquantences from groups. Hell, some of the people I'm 'friends' with on Facebook I've known forever. Others I've only met a couple of times. So, the idea that a whopping 35 of them could 'like' that photo? Astounding. It's validating.
I can tell you this: None of them like it more than me.
As to the title of my blog the last recorded time I have myself weighing 216 is July 10, 2012. At that point I was just beginnning my journey. I remember how difficult it was to run three minutes at a time. I remember when running a mile was elusive.
Never in a million years would I have thought I could do what I'm doing now or be where I am. The thought alone is humbling. I really, really used to think "As long as I'm under 200 I can be happy." All I know is my thoughts have changed, because I know how good I feel now and how much better I will feel when I reach my goal weight. I also never want to forget how absolutely, positively HARD it was at that weight. It was hard to feel good about myself. It was hard to think that I could ever not be that weight. It was terrible and terrifying to go out and run in public. It was absolutely impossible to think that I would ever be much healthier than I was right then.
When I had club last week I spent about a half an hour in the fitness room prior to group, enteraining myself on the recumbant bike and catching up with one of the other girls in the study. We were talking and one of the things that hit me is that I still very much feel like I weigh 230 pounds. I still move in a way that I'm trying to diminish and squeeze myself places where I'm not exactly 'squeezing' anymore.
At 186 pounds and a size 14, I still feel enormous. I can't help but wonder when and if this feeling of being 'too big' will go away. I suppose that it doesn't help that I'm involved in running which is populated by naturally lithe people. It's okay, I like them and they're nice enough to let me tag around with them ;-)
I guess my question is: At what point does your perceived body image change?
Today I'm getting my three miles in on the treadmill. It's too cold to go outside and run today, that's for sure. Yeah it's 6 degrees out there - with windchill they said it's something like -8. Yeah, I'll risk public humiliation if it means that I won't suffer frostbite.
This is me wishing each and every one of you the same celebration I had in the dressing room yesterday - even if it's in some small way. Take joy in your victories because you've earned them!
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