Sunday, September 28, 2014
Reading MJREIMERS blog “A Few Pounds [sic] Heavier”
has struck a chord in me.
In June of this year I began my transition to maintenance. At that time, 144 pounds seemed to be a healthy, maintainable goal for me. After all I thought, "I am a menopausal woman with a hypothyroid. It stands to reason that I cannot expect to weigh what I did decades ago when I had a fully functioning thyroid with menopause still decades away." Well, that was not to be.
My weight continues to drop as I increase my calories. I think part of what has made establishing a sideways trend more difficult is the fact that I began training to run in June. I also found it difficult to increase my calories too quickly and was initially fearful of doing so because my doctor had significantly reduced my thyroid dosage which in the past lead to weight gain. Weight gain has not followed the reduction in thyroid dosage and follow up exams indicate that my thyroid is functioning within normal ranges again.
Upon completing my first maintenance challenge I dropped my goal (center) weight to 133 pounds. To the best of my recollection this was a stable weight for me in my late teens and into my early 30s. For the past month my 7-day weight average has run below 133 pounds.
This is actually somewhat scary territory for me. In my early 20s I was ordered by my medical doctor to quit playing racquet ball until I gained 15 pounds. I do not want to go there again. I do not want to be directed by my doctor to quit running until I gain X pounds.
Following MJREIMERS blog I posted the following: “Thanks for your blog. Establishing a healthy and maintainable weight is important to me.
I have yet to establish a sideways trend. Keep hoping that it is about to emerge. But just when I think I have it, my weight drops more. I continue to boost calories and am doing my best to notice how I am feeling...Am I fatigued? Feeling sluggish? Not as alert? Feeling weak? The answer to those questions remains "no."
However, I find myself doubting my ability to accurately answer those questions. I am hearing an awful lot of "You need to eat more!" "You're wasting away!" "You need to quit running!" "You're exercising too much!" and the list goes on...
For the past 3 weeks I've averaged in excess of 1800 calories per day and am running about 9 miles per week (+/- 1 mile). “
What contributes to my doubt is the fact that I was definitely underweight in my early 20s and I did not feel sluggish, fatigued, weak, etc. So, my question to myself is “How can you possibly expect to be able to accurately determine a healthy, maintainable weight for yourself?” I’ve wondered if it might be prudent to ask my medical doctor what she thinks would be a healthy weight for me.
I know that I weighed less than I do now when I was married at 26 years of age. However, until my journey began in June 2013 I did not routinely step on the scale. In fact, our home did not have a scale in it for decades. So, how accurate is my recollection of the 133 pounds being a stable weight for myself?
I do know that I have not been one to “fib” about my weight on my driver’s license. I’ll have to go see if I can dig out some of those old licenses. They could support or challenge my recollections. That would be useful information. In the meantime I continue to do the best I can to establish that ever evasive sideways trend.
Thanks again MJREIMERS for sharing your experience. I appreciate you!
UPDATE: I dug out those ol' driver's licenses and ... 130 lbs listed in the 1980s & 1990s, 170 lbs listed in 2000. As a teenager ... 115 lbs and 3 inches shorter. So, I gained 40 lbs in the 1990s and another 40+ lbs between 2000 & 2013.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Saturday, a fellow team member, MOBYCARP of At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance blogged about "Becoming A Runner … "
Based on the thoughts shared by him and his sisters, ALICIA363 “Dreams of Quitting” … www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
and ONEKIDSMOM “Before I became a runner “… www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5787561 , I guess one could say that Labor Day’s running of my first 5k saw the birth of a new runner.
June 2013 marked the beginning of what continues to be a very transformative period in my life. At that time I could not climb a flight of stairs without being winded. I committed to regular walking at that time. By November 2013 a desire to run was beginning to stir. I had been a high jumper, long jumper and hurdler in high school. In my late teens or early 20s I remember running recreationally with one of my sisters. My best recollections say we were able to run 6 miles at a time and did so several times a week. Neither of us ever ran a race. I do not recall this running period lasting for long. I do remember enjoying it.
My fitness buddy and I would wait until June of this year to begin training to run. Both of us felt that it would be better for us to wait until we were carrying less weight before we began training to run. So, this June, we began run/walk interval training. Our training began with intervals of run 1 minute/walk 4 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to eventual intervals of run 2 minutes/walk 1 minute. Following the completion of that plan, we moved to the next plan that began with intervals of run 3 minutes/walk 2 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds with the plan culminating in a goal of running continually for 30 minutes or completing a 5k-Fun Run.
Prior to our Labor Day Race, the longest period of time that I had run continuously was 21 minutes. I had come close to completing a 5k in 31:30 with intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds. My goal on race day was to run the entire race in less than 35 minutes, ideally in less than 32 minutes. If I needed to use run/walk intervals, I would use them.
Well, I shocked myself on race day. I ran the entire race. At 54 years of age, I ran my first 5k in 29:29.503 at a pace of 09:30 minutes/mile. I remember running past the clock at the finish line and seeing that I appeared to be finishing the race in less than 30 minutes. I felt both excited and confused. It didn’t seem that this could possibly be happening; but, it was and it did.
For years, I have wanted to run. A couple of times during the past three plus decades I approached one of my health care providers and inquired about whether or not running would be advisable for me. Each time I was told, “No.” At the end of 2013, when the desire to run stirred again, I asked my doctor whether or not it was okay for me to run. My doctor was well aware that my health and well-being were undergoing a transformation. This time I was told, “Yes. Be careful. Do not take on too much, too fast.” I was thrilled to be given the green light.
So, as ALICIA 363 said in her blog, “ … I know the transformative nature of having a child; is participating in your first running event also a transformation? …”
My response to her question would have to be a resounding, “YES!” Running has definitely shaken my preconceived ideas of what’s possible. I know that the running is transforming me in ways yet unrevealed. I can feel it deep within me.
I have learned and continue to learn much from those of you sharing your experiences in your blogs. Thank you!
I would be negligent to not thank my friend, coworker and fitness buddy. Thank You! Thank You! Without her companionship, encouragement and shared wisdom I have serious doubts that this transformation would have occurred.
I hope to run for many years to come and remain injury free. Should an injury confront me, I have experiences of recovery shared here on Spark that can provide guidance. It is wonderful to be experiencing life in a much healthier state with my ‘inner runner’ reawakened...for this, I am grateful.
Monday, June 02, 2014
Well, I am ready to declare that I am transitioning to maintenance. I say this with some trepidation. Thank you for the resources shared in the Big Page of Links* and to those members that have responded to my questions. You know who you are.
A year ago I began walking with a co-worker to reduce my stress levels. My focus was not weight reduction. I knew that I needed to reduce my stress to improve both my mental outlook and improve my physical health. I had allowed myself to gain 70+ pounds over the course of 25 - 30 years and I was close to an obese BMI. Mentally, I was a wreck.
For 6 months I focused on establishing and maintaining a regular walking routine. Near the end of that 6 month period I took a Health Assessment provided by my health provider and decided it was time to address my nutrition. It was at that time that I returned to SparkPeople. I had been introduced to the site in 2010, spent a brief time here and then allowed life events to derail my attempts at improved health.
I have made great strides in improving my nutrition over the past 5 months, have continued a regular walking routine and added strength training. During the past year I have experienced challenging life events that would have derailed my efforts in the past. Not this time.
Yesterday, I started using some of the tools shared (weighted averages, trend lines, etc.) to explore my past and current progress as I transition to maintenance and establish a goal weight. Honestly, I don't know what that number is going to be which makes me nervous. But, I realize determining that number will be a process of discovery for me and I am on my way.
Upon reflection in recent days, it seems to me that I never traveled this road before because I believed that it wasn't possible. I knew no successful maintainers in my life until coming across this site and team of people. So, I figured why bother. People lose weight all the time; but, they never keep it off. I trust that you are "real" people sharing "real" experiences and are not "virtual" creations. You have given me hope and provided inspiration.
I cannot say "THANK YOU!" enough to my co-worker and friend and those of you that have supported me in my journey.
Looking forward to joining the ranks of the maintainers...
*I am referring to a link shared by the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team here at SparkPeople. I attempted to embed the link, but was unsuccessful. So, if you're interested in learning more, take a look for the team's logo on my SparkPage and click through to the team from there.
Get An Email Alert Each Time JEANKNEE Posts