Saturday, October 18, 2014
Hello hello hello! Miss everyone here very much! I have not been checking in nearly as much, trying to just keep in with life. I miss it for sure but still I am having some issues with balance so I am still not back the way that I want to be. But I did want to do a quick check in and say hello, give an update and see how everyone else has been doing.
Me, I've still been excessively busy and tired, still not getting enough sleep. It is better some days than others. This past week was not one of the better ones - home late several nights and that means too little sleep. This morning I went on my group run and after I got home, I showered and ate, and then I pretty much crashed. I am hoping that the extra bit of rest that I got today will help me feel better.
I've been having issues with my good knee for just over a month now and I am seeing a chiropractor for that. As a result my running has not been as good as I wish it was. I was going to do a 5K tomorrow but opted out of that just to err on the side of caution. I've been doing shorter runs and some of them are really good and some are really bad. Some are fast (for me, I am not a fast runner) and some are terrible - today was a five miler and my pace was ridiculous. The chiropractor has a partner and the other chiropractor saw me the other day. I think that we are going to change our course of action. I have "anteverted hips" and that seems to make things a bit more difficult for me. But they checked my form on their treadmill and said that it is not too bad, and my cadence, though not at 180 where I would like it, was a 168, which they said was very good for a person who has just been running a bit over a year. The other thing is that one of the running coaches from the 10K training has said he will work with me even after the 10K is done...he knows things have been rough and has been so encouraging and helpful. Now I am having some upper thigh issues. I can work through the knee stuff but this thigh pain - not so much. I've been thinking about what I want to do after the 10K is over - want to stay motivated and on track with the running. Have some ideas in mind. There is a running group in my community and some others not far away - I might join them for some group runs, and there is a running team at my work that I belong to and I can do some races with them too. I have a couple of races in mind for November and December. Depending on the progress with my knee will determine if I do half marathon training in January. If I can't do that I might just stick with another round with the 5K/10K group that I am with now - I just don't know yet. If I do the half, I might back down to intervals just to help with the knee issues, although I am better at straight running than I am with running/walking - stopping and starting seems more difficult to me!
Anyway, work continues to be very busy and I am still trying to keep up with a lot of things...wish that I had three weeks to just get things very organized at home - that would help a lot! I am still getting my exercise in most days (sometimes a day gets by here or there) and my eating is still okay - not perfect by any means but okay. I still struggle with thoughts of wanting to eat constantly even when I know that I am not hungry and I need to figure out the cause of that (I think it is boredom) and do something about it. But in general, I am happy, healthy and still working on fitness!
Hope that everyone is doing well, I will continue to check in periodically to catch up! Love and hugs to all!
Friday, September 19, 2014
I haven't been here on SparkPeople much this past week.....mainly just logging my food and checking in with one team. I didn't reply to the wonderful and encouraging comments on my last two blogs...haven't read any articles, just spinning wheels and doing whatever I can do in about five or ten minutes per day. And I feel so bad because I love my friends here and I miss them. But I am struggling. I've been struggling for a long time. Back early in 2013 I realized that I had a problem. I was not getting enough sleep. Every night I was getting about 5 hours, sometimes less. And I am a person who needs around 7.5 hours. This was taking a huge toll on me. So back at that time I did the better sleep challenge. I identified some issues that I was having and made some goals and promises to get to bed earlier. I don't think that I can resolve the issues of frequent waking, but I can at least do my best to get to bed earlier, right? Well, no. After all of this time I am still having a rough time of it. I am too busy, too overextended, trying to do too much, etc. I am STILL getting only about 4 or 5 hours of sleep - 5.5 if I am lucky. I am so tired all of the time that I cannot focus at work and my work is suffering. I am one of those people who are always trying to do too much and I need to streamline. I need to get organized. I need to sleep because my body needs it to recover from exercise - I am not building strength and endurance as fast I ought to be and I wonder if it is because I am not sleeping enough for my body to repair itself. I get so much encouragement from the blogs here, from my Spark Friends, from my teams. So I am not leaving. But I might be here a little less. I don't know yet. I am just trying to find some balance. I want to be able to continue with my running and walking, I want to do yoga, strength training, maybe got to a Zumba or barre class every now and then. I want to do my paper crafts (cardmaking and scrapbooking), I want to read, I want to do my needlework (counted cross stitch). I want to spend time with my husband, my family, my friends. I don't have too many responsibilities at home - I have some help with that, but I need to keep up with the clutter, the laundry and the bills. I have some social media outlets that I like to keep up with. I have some organizing things that I want to do in my home. It all takes so much time. Cooking and food preparation takes time. Grocery shopping! I work and have a longish commute and it seems like by the time I get home and we have dinner and I get ready for the next work day, it is time for bed! No time for any of the fun things that I like to do, let alone for the things that I MUST do. So I don't know, I am just trying to work this out. In the meantime, if you don't see me here, please do not think that I am gone or that I do not care. I DO care. I care so very much. I am just trying to get things under control, find some balance, get some sleep! And with that, I must say good night - I want to try to get at least eight hours in before my group run tomorrow morning! Oh, and I am running in a 5K tomorrow night - if I am able, I will post about that on another blog. Love and hugs to you all!
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Yesterday I was happily surprised when I received some SparkGoodies and some messages congratulating me on my one year maintenance anniversary. I had so much excitement going on that I had completely forgotten that it had been a year! Although this is a huge milestone for me, I am still very much at risk of regain. So I am still working hard on myself, trying to make improvements, eat better, exercise harder.
The likelihood of regaining weight when you reach goal is 80% - 95%.
When you've maintained for 2 years the likelihood of regain drops to 50%.
When you've maintained for 5 years the likelihood of regain drops to 27%!
So for me being just a year into it, I know that I still have a lot of work to do in order to keep it off. In fact, I am a prime example of that having lost/gained many times in my life!
This time I am trying to figure out why I gained after losing. Most of my losses were with Weight Watchers. I would follow the plan to a t - never veering off the course. But I think that I felt deprived. And I would get bored with it. Life would happen and I would just quit doing it. I know that quitting will result in big weight gains, but I would just give in and start eating the junkiest food ever and slowly, the pounds would come on. Last time I gained about 70 pounds. How sad. Now I have lost 90 and kept it off for a year. But I have years to go. How am I going to keep this going? This time I am continuing to look for ways to challenge and motivate myself, especially with fitness. On most of my previous losses, I mostly walked or did no exercise. Sometimes I would do a little strength training, but when I think back on it, I don't think that I was that serious. And eventually I quit. Last time I was doing the treadmill at the Y and I quit going because there was a couple of annoying people there...what a dumb excuse. And at the same time, my eating habits had gotten out of control. This time, I don't want to get bored. I started with walking. When I felt comfortable I started doing some strength training videos here on SP. Then I did 30 Day Shred. I started going to a strength training class. I decided to try running. Eventually I found a running group and that has been very nice. They keep me going! I have to SEEK ways to keep myself motivated. Motivation doesn't just come. Most of us lose that motivation very soon because weight management is HARD! And time consuming! And sometimes boring! It takes time to plan meals, grocery shop, cook and TRACK! Yes, I still track every day. When I tell people that, they seem to believe that I am still trying to lose weight - they seem to have this idea that since I am done losing, I should never have to track again. Oh no, I always explain to them. Now it is even more critical because I am guilty of BIG portions, eating calorie dense foods, and eating lots of junk! Maybe one day I will get to a point where this comes naturally to me, but I am not there yet! But I have to say, one of the most important things that I have right now is my DETERMINATION. I might lose the motivation, but I am going to work very hard to keep the DETERMINATION. It is determination that got me on track to lose the weight, to start running when I had never run a day in my life (even as a child). Determination is having resolve, having willpower, having intent and being purposeful. I find that sometimes things are difficult for me, but even so, I work very hard to make it happen - and that is determination! If we set our minds to it, we can do it! As each of you go through your own weight management journeys, I hope that you each can find your own motivation and determination. And while we are here, let's cheer each other on and give each other encouragement! Let's find inspiration in other's successes! WE CAN DO THIS!
Monday, September 01, 2014
I don't know where to begin! This has been a pretty awesome day for me! First off, today is our wedding anniversary. My husband just rocks my world. Yes, he has his idiosyncrasies, but guess what, so do I, and we both think that we balance each other out quite nicely. We've been together for almost 22 years, and married now for 14 of them. Sometimes we drive each other nuts, but I can say with all honesty that I love this man even more than I did way back in the day!
Next thing, this is my one year maintenance anniversary. Wow! I had TOTALLY forgotten about this until we got home early this afternoon and I had received some very much appreciated sparkgoodies and messages from people. I have a long way to go in maintenance, so much to be learned and so much work to do but I am very happy to have reached this milestone.
And third, today was my first OFFICIAL 5K. Some of you read my blog about the 5K that I did a few weeks ago at work...that one was fun but not an official race, no chips or anything. Today was the race that I have been working toward - training with a No Boundaries Group at a Fleet Feet store. In my last blog I mentioned that I had started running by myself about a year ago. Mostly that was on my treadmill and when I went outside to run I struggled. I could go maybe 20 minutes at most and not very fast either. So when I found out about this group, I decided to give it a try. It's been a challenge because of my work schedule and the fact that it is far from my home, but it has been so worth it! There are people there at all levels - walkers up to runners and in between, all ages, shapes and sizes. There are mentors and running coaches and lots and lots of encouragement! There is NO judgment at all and it is just a very positive group to be in. At first I was the only runner but we ended up with four at the end, and a lot of people who do intervals and walk. The race that we did today was the Franklin Classic and it is a charity race for a hospital that provides assistance for patients who do not have health insurance or whose insurance won't cover their needs. There was a 10K at 7:00 a.m. and the 5K that I did was at 8:30 a.m. I got up at 4:20 a.m. and got ready. I did a lot of dynamic stretching and warming up even before we left home. The drive took us about 55 minutes I guess and we got there just as the 10K was starting. Here is a picture of Lisa (one of the runners), Jason (the running coach who has been with me pretty much the ENTIRE time) and me (on the right - 2886). This is before the race. And let me just say that I could not have done this without Jason...he has been there the whole time reminding me to LOOK UP when we got up a big hill, and pushing me to go FIVE MORE MINUTES! He has given me all kinds of sage advice and given me just enough push to keep me challenged.
And here is a picture of Joy and me. Joy is one of the mentors. She is a CPA too so we have a lot to talk about! She has been right with me on most Saturday morning group runs.
Joy was with me the entire way today. We waited for a minute for the crowd to thin before we took off - but we did still get caught up in all of the people so we had a bit of a slow start - which is not necessarily a bad thing for pacing! It was already 80 degrees at start time and very very humid. We were working up a pretty heavy sweat. 80 degrees isn't too bad for me but I do find that the humidity makes me a lot slower! There was one water station at the halfway point, which we passed up as we had water with us. At one point we saw Jason with Lisa, and then later we saw Stephanie (the other coach) with some of the interval runners. There was one fairly sizable hill at the end but luckily it posed no problems for me - though maybe I did have to push out my breath a time or two at the end of it! There was an occasional breeze that felt so nice and I focused on how good that breeze felt and that kept me going. The end is kind of fuzzy but I know that Joy was kind of pushing me along so that I would speed it up, and I think that Stephanie was there too. We crossed the line and there was my DH Jamie waiting for me! He tried to take pictures at the end but we found out later that they didn't turn out.
I am a pretty slow runner and it was humid out, which definitely slows me down even more, but I have to say that I was quite happy with my time. My average was an 11.00 minute mile and I finished in 34:07.23. Lots of room for improvement there, but for my first race, I will definitely take it! I was 28/96 for my age group. I am still working on my endurance but later when it gets cooler around here, I will start doing some speed work.
We stood at the finish and cheered on many others from our group. Jason and Stephanie gave us "medals" for finishing the program and then we left. Joy, DH and I went for breakfast afterwards, and that was so nice and relaxing! When DH and I got home it was pool time - my reward for a job well done! Tomorrow the 10K training starts.
Here is a photo of Jamie and me before the race. Later I will try to blog more about my first year of maintenance!
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Being here on SparkPeople, I get so much inspiration every day. It is just awe-inspiring to see the successes that people have and the difficulties that are overcome. It makes me realize that I too CAN do it. I CAN. And I WILL. Back last summer I was walking a lot. But I figured out that I wasn't getting as much benefit out of walking as I had been since my cardio health was so greatly improved. So what to do to challenge myself further? I was reading so many blogs here about running. So many people run, all ages, all sizes. One of my friends (not on SP) told me how she started running...she thought she would never be able to run a mile in her life but she set the goal and now she is a runner! Hearing her and reading all of these blogs, wow, that really motivated me! I thought if everyone else can do it, why can't I? Now keep in mind, I probably haven't run a day in my life, not even as a child. In gym class (or phys. ed, or health or whatever you want to call it), I would be the girl sitting it out on the side. I NEVER ran...anywhere. I was more likely to be curled up in a corner reading or off on a visit to the village librarian in my little hometown. I remember in college oh so many years ago, there was a boy that I was quite fond of. I am sure that the feeling was not reciprocated but I thought that I would try to generate some interest...he ran every morning so I decided to be a runner too. It lasted a couple of days. First of all, I wasn't a morning person and getting up to run? Torture. And let's not even discuss the gasping of air. Oh my. In addition, I had badly injured my knee and had minor injuries in both as a child and a young adult, so my excuse was that I couldn't because of my knees.
But now here we are, years and years later. I have lost a lot of weight. I want to be fit. I see all of these younger folks and older folks and skinny folks and heavier folks running. So why can't I? I can, I know I can! So last summer, unbeknownst to most, I started out on my treadmill with an app - it was not a C25K program. I started simpler than that with an app to help me run a mile. And I did it! Then I moved on to a C25K. I found that app to be a bit aggressive so after a while I changed to a different one, which I finished. One day in early spring when it was still cold I tried to take it outside. My goodness, that was rough! My lungs were BURNING! Enough of that! I took it back to the treadmill. Fast forward to warmer weather and I thought it would be fun to do a color run someday, but I hadn't run outside much at all and I decided I needed to get outdoors to run. I did and it was rough. Here it is very hilly and I was not accustomed that terrain. I had a hard time. Basically I would go to a mile or so and then walk. I would start running again but I couldn't seem to push through - I don't think that there is anything wrong with stopping and walking if needed but I realized that maybe I needed a bit of help. At some point I received an E-mail from the local shoe store from which I got fitted for my first pair of running shoes. In the E-mail it described their beginner walk/run program. I went to an information meeting, signed up, and the rest is history! We are on week 10 of 12 and it will culminate with a 5K in September. But I have been running 5K already so I am ready! This program has been absolutely awesome. There is NO judgment - there are all levels of walkers and runners, all sizes and ages. It is about having FUN and being safe and injury free. It is educational but in a friendly non-threatening way. There are two running coaches and there are several mentors. So far I have always had a running coach either with me or very near, and sometimes I have had a mentor with me too. There have been free massages after our runs, there have been free injury screenings, there was a good form class. We've gotten some free stuff (like high quality moisture wicking socks). They help us with our issues and concerns. It has been hard for me because the location is far from my home, and it requires a commitment of twice a week group runs and twice a week individual runs....but I have stuck with it despite a very difficult personal schedule, and it is has been so worth it! I have made wonderful friends and just feel so blessed and happy. I am a VERY slow runner but I RUN. Yes I do! I am also seeing a physical therapist who specializes in helping runners and she is working with me on my knee issues (and weak hips and core). I am making progress and I think that I will be able to run faster as I work through my problems!
So....once a year my office has a 5K. I think that this might have been the 4th year that they have done it. It is interesting because they shut off an entire lane of a very major busy street for us to do this one morning. And today was that morning. I have walked a lot of 5Ks and once even walked a 10 miler. On my weekend walks around the neighborhood I go six or seven miles sometimes. But I have never RUN any race. The 5K we have for work is for charity and it is not an official race...no chips or anything, just FUN. Usually we have around 250 - 300 people in it. Two years ago when I walked in it, I think that I was the LAST one back. I was also 90 pounds heavier two years ago. This year, I RAN. Yes I DID! I RAN! I got to the office at 6:00 a.m. and I was already dressed and ready and had eaten the little snack that I have about an hour or so before every run. I went down to the front of the office building to check things out...not too many people there yet.
It was an awesome morning. We have been lucky to have a mild summer here. Usually it is so hot and humid but not this year - we have had cool days and no humidity! Temperature at race time was about 60. People started to show up.
There was music playing, the police had the road blocked off and the atmosphere was festive. Here is our president giving us a little pep speech.
Here I am with a few of the people who I work with - this is before the race.
I know that I am slower than most other runners so I kind of hung back for just a second to make sure that I didn't get trampled! Then I was off...down the road for half a mile and into the park. Twice around the park, one water station (I didn't need water, I always carry water). Back down the road to the office. I found myself slowing a little in the second mile. I tried to enjoy the breeze and focus on my form...I have a tendency to stick my behind out and I am working on tilting my pelvis in instead! Third mile...I usually slow way down at the end - and this was up a slight incline. But...but...but....I actually went faster and broke the 11 minute mile mark - which is pretty incredibly awesome for me! When we got to the finish line, there was our president and a lot of other people cheering us on! There were snacks to eat and a little bit of time for some good times before we had to get back to work. I moseyed on to the fitness center in our building when my sign-up time for the shower came and got ready for work. We have a business casual dress policy - very rarely can we wear jeans and maybe only a couple of times a year can we wear shorts, but they let those of us who participated in the 5K today wear shorts - COOL! I have to say that two years ago I would NEVER have worn shorts to work. I was too fat, too embarrassed, etc. Today I was happy and proud to be able to wear shorts after the run! I made it, I am thrilled and excited to say! I have to decide if I am going to stick with the training program and do the 10K training...I think that I will!
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