Monday, June 29, 2009
It's all anyone needs, really. And yes, the clock is ticking on your life, and on mine, and sometimes that paying of the piper comes due faster than expected, witness the lead singer of this week's song.
But for many of us there IS time.
So let's use it wisely.
And give ourselves more chances.
Because the amazing thing is, we only need one more, but we can get several.
Every day, every moment, can be another chance. Another choice.
Walk or drive.
Eat junk or eat healthy.
Cook or eat out.
Water or soda.
Help or hinder.
Record or forget.
Degrade or praise.
Exercise or laze.
Give or take.
Lots and lots of these choices, these chances. Every single day. And the wacky thing is, very few of these choices are truly dependent on each other. I mean, if you walk today, it doesn't mean you can or have to hinder someone tomorrow. Or you do. But it's the old "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, e. g. that so many of us think that just because Y comes after X that it had to have been caused by X. Well, not necessarily. Sometimes it's just an accident of time. And next time X and Y will happen at the same time, or X will happen after Y or X won't happen at all.
I'm kind of rolling this around in my head because the whole plateau busting thing is frustrating but it's another round of post hoc ergo propter hoc. I mean, I exercise more, I gain. Or I lose. I eat less. I gain. Or I lose. I rest more. I gain. Or I lose. The bottom line is eventual, incremental, continuing, sustained and cumulative losses. But it can be hard to see that very large picture in light of little speed bumps.
So I'll toss out post hoc with the bathwater it came in and instead just ride along on the journey. I'm confident that good choices will lead to good results, but not necessarily on my own happy little personal timetable. My body has no calendar; it's going to do its thing on its own sweet timetable and the only thing I CAN do about it is to continue to do good things for it. And trust in things to eventually work themselves out and right and good and properly.
And in the meantime, seize my life, because it is short, all too short.
Seize yours. Yours is worth getting back. You want it back?
All you need is one more chance.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Yesterday I ran a road race for the very first time. It was the Corporate Challenge in Boston, see: www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-s
tates/ma/boston/887865102 for a good look at the route.
This is not something that I ever thought I would do. Not in a trillion years. Not in ten trillion. Running hurt. Running was boring. Running was tiring. Running was mindless. And, truth be told, I didn't run the course that much, only about 10 - 15 minutes out of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 4 seconds.
But I still did it.
Now, I am tired today. And my pains are in some expected places (hello, ankles, calves and hips) and unexpected ones (hello, back, huh?). And no pain in an area where I truly feared it would be: my shins. See, way back, a year and a half ago, I'd walk for maybe 5 minutes and I'd get shin splints.
They are suddenly, miraculously, cured.
Heck, at this point my shins are pretty much the only things staying together.
My husband asked me this morning, "So, what doesn't hurt?"
They do not hurt.
Hence I am typing to all of you, to tell you about this. And it's hysterical because I'm almost as excited as I was about the TV thing (true story: a remote coworker of mine called me up yesterday for work purposes but we got to a lull so she asked me, "Been on any talk shows lately?" Er, not recently, you silly gal).
There were 15 people on our office team. And I undoubtedly came in last of all of us, although I was far from last in the overall race.
I had my husband's iPod knockoff with me so I was listening to music. One of the first songs I heard was Bob Seger's "Rock and Roll Never Forgets". Every time I heard, "... and now Sweet Sixteen has turned thirty-one...", I'd sprint. Except I saw 41 five years ago, almost six. Eh, it's the thought that counts.
Farther along, they played a block of David Bowie. This included "Golden Years". And I decided to jog for all of it. I just looked it up; it's about 3 1/2 minutes long. If it was "Space Oddity", I'd be in more calf pain -- that one's over 5 minutes long.
I accepted water from a little girl who was volunteering with her family, then promptly poured it over my hands and face (I had a water bottle of tea with me; I was anything but dehydrated). It's fun to take the water; makes you feel like the real thing, like you're in the Olympics. Farther along, a bunch of prep schoolboys were handing out water. They told every woman who ran by that she was beautiful. That made me smile, even though I could practically be their granny at this point in my life.
The far turn was back around The Public Garden and there were people out walking their dogs (the race started at 7:15 PM, so by this time it was after 8 PM). I gave a fast pat to a lovely Dalmatian and then it was time to focus on finishing.
I came around the turn and there was the end, with two electronic clocks hung on an overpass. Even with my glasses on, it was hard for me to tell how much time had elapsed although I estimated around an hour. When I got closer, I saw it was one hour and three minutes and change. I sprinted, tried to finish before it hit one hour and four minutes but missed that very slightly.
Raised my arms over my head in a V for victory at the one hour, four minutes, four seconds mark. When I had signed up, I had honestly thought the whole thing would take me an hour and a half to two hours.
And what happened to me yesterday is something extraordinary.
Running is not mindless. It is not boring.
It teaches you many, many interesting things, and I was finally receptive to them and I have finally learned them.
I am stronger than I thought I was.
I can be stronger still.
I haven't broken the light-speed barrier yet, but so long as I'm working on that, it's all good.
I have never had a runner's high and it's possible I never will, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the experience.
A little pain stinks, but the more you do of this running business, the less pain you'll have.
The pain fades, the memory does not.
My new lucky number is the one I wore: 6827. It is a prime number.
If you keep tea, tunes, a handkerchief and a pedometer with you, you're golden.
Taking a second to pet a cute dog never hurts.
The water station volunteers are exceptional people.
You can take a great tour of the city bouncing along at 3.5 MPH.
You get a free tee shirt (I ended up with two; one for the race and one designed by my company).
No matter how fast you went, or whether you ever do it again, you can forever say you are a runner.
I look kinda cute in shorts.
And I'm already thinking of when I'm gonna do this again.
C'mon and join me.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Being semi-off a plateau, but not thrilled about that, and being less than happy when Summer begins, are two things that really should cause the universe to scream out and say, "Why, you ungrateful wretch!"
Well, yah. Duh.
I had over a month of plateauing, so three weeks ago I decided to change things up. The first week, I lost. Second week, I regained almost 2/3 of that (let's blame TOM). This week, I lost more, gained the ground from the first week and surpassed it. Lowest numbers yet!
Yet I was and am less than happy. Huh?
And then, well, today, I was getting dressed for work, and I figured, what the hell, and pulled on a pair of size 10 pants. Now, they stretch (thank you, Lee Jean/Pant/whatever company). And I have a mini-muffin top going on. But they fit, and I can tuck my shirt and not feel like I look like golfer John Daly pre-stomach stapling surgery (Google his pics, if you dare. Don't say you haven't been warned).
And I was okay with that, certainly not unhappy, but not turning cartwheels. Plus I got some lovely comments, here and on my site and on Facebook, about new pics, new milestones hit, etc.
I should feel fantastic.
Yet I am, well, I'm okay.
I guess some of it is just from it being still a tough slog. Or from it being, well, months away even if my current weight loss rate remains relatively constant. Or from having sent a note to a Plastic Surgeon, and wondering how all of that is going to go down. There is a finish line out there, and I can kinda, sorta see it. And it excites me and frightens me, all at the same time.
Everyone tells me I should feel amazing. And I do feel better. But it's not always perfection. There are plenty of down days. So I've started taking St. John's Wort again, something I thought I'd never do in the Summer as I love the Summer. But it's been cold as hell for weeks. I doesn't feel like Summer. It feels like gnarly, chilly, wet, stinky late Autumn. You know, when the trees are bare and the sky is the color of a battleship and you start seeing snow shovels and rock salt for sale? Yeah. It's felt like that. And I've gotten all of the attendent internal feelings that go along with it.
Not so easy to admit to myself that I am so affected, but I am. They call it Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it makes sense in January. But in June it just seems like so much ingratitude. Like my body and my mind don't know what the heck is happening but are dragging the me part along for the ride. And I don't want to go, but I'm strapped in anyway.
So forgive me if I am not turning cartwheels, and I seem ungrateful and strange, and aloof and remote, and even with an optimistic song -- for I do feel that as well -- some of it is also a slight bit of, well, believe it or not, sorrow. I have said before that I don't know who I am any more. And sometimes I don't, and that is hard to take. I identified in this manner, as an oh so big person, for so very, very long. It is hard to break out of that.
************ Quick Interlude To Talk About Numbers And Do The Month In Review Thing
151.4 lbs. off since January of 2008. Down from size 28 to size 10, more or less officially.
Measurements are decent, at or close to most personal best levels. Energy levels are good. Getting hit on, on occasion, which amuses me. Able to handle the hunger. Able to change things up enough to hack away at a plateau, even if the hacking is imperfect. Size 10 pants, size 7 panties, mediums all over the place. All systems more or less a go. ************
And now here's where I really show how strong my geek hand is:
In the book, _2001_ (not the movie!), Sir Arthur C. Clarke talks about the ape-men and the effect that the monolith is having on them. And he wrote the most extraordinary thing. He wrote, "The very atoms of his simple brain were being changed." And that's what is happening to me. On an atomic level, hell, let's go for broke, on the subatomic, quark and meson level, I am going through alterations. The electrons are being made to bang a uey and my consciousness is kinda losing its way a little. No wonder I've got identity issues; the whole shooting match is being changed up. Over, under, sideways, down.
I do hope that's coherent and I don't sound any wackier than, well, than usual.
I appreciate your kindnesses more than you may know. And I do feel good, mostly. But there's still that pain that comes from flipping around the neurons. All I can tell you is that I am sure that I do believe. Not just in plateau-busting and in Spark and in the powers of exercise and diet and positive thinking. But in that person who looks back at me when I glance in a mirror.
Whoever the hell that is.
Monday, June 15, 2009
It's been a second week since I started my plateau-bustin' ways, and this week was not the happy slam dunk that the last one was.
I regained about 2/3 of what I lost the previous week, despite doing what I was supposed to, but the reality is that a few things are happening. As in TOM (ugh), both later meals were shifted way too late yesterday, plus I didn't have a rest day (it was supposed to be yesterday, but instead we went to the Arboretum with friends and walked for 2 1/2 hours. It was fun).
Hence, well, the scale didn't work out for me this week. That happens.
Measurements are okay except for my big ole butt.
wait for it ...
it hit a new personal best, for the first time in almost 2 months ...
by 3/4 of an inch.
It is now 44 1/2". When you consider that, when I started out, it was 64", that's pretty amazing. Yeah, I've lost almost 20" of keister real estate.
I'm feeling okay, considering that I gained plus I've had serious and nasty PMS. So I'll be fine, I know I will. This is why I wanted to do the plateau-busting experiment for a little over a month. Because one week definitely does not tell the tale.
It's also funny. Every time I feel ready to feel sorry for myself, or rail against the weight loss gods for giving me the fuzzy end of the lollipop (extra points for whoever gets that reference), something happens and I snap out of it. Today there was this woman at work, she came up to me at the break room and asked me if I'd lost a lot of weight. And so, sure, I told her all of that and introduced myself and she said, "I'm glad to know your name, I just knew you as The Weight Loss Girl."
A pretty funky thing to be, yes?
Oh yeah, the song!
It's been cold here. Damp, raw, freezing, icky. And that is SO not helping things. Yanno what happens when you lose a skeery amount of weight? Your internal thermostat goes a lil caca.
As in, I'm cold all the time. Rain or shine, sun or snow, I am cold. 70 degrees and sunny? I'm wearing a sweatshirt and shivering. 75? I might unzip the sweatshirt. 80? Dunno if we've had 80 yet this year so I can't comment. Perhaps I'll show a daring bit of elbow.
I am cold. Cold, freezing, brr, dunk me in soup and roast me over a barbecue, please, I am chilly!
So over the weekend we shot hoops again, and this time my husband played defense. And a few times, even with his hand in my face, I made the shot! To which he said, "You're got ice water in your veins."
That explains a lot.
Monday, June 08, 2009
This song has the f-bomb in it, at around the 2 minute mark. Consider yourself duly warned, and take precautions if such things matter to you.
I chose this song because, well, I look at myself in the mirror these days and I wonder who the heck that woman is. It is so strange. I am used to seeing, well, a round face, for one thing. And less wrinkles. For that is another thing that has happened. There's a dirty little secret of weight loss. There's less filler, so you can end up appearing older. At least once you've lost a really serious amount of weight, and you're living at an age similar to mine (I happen to be 46). Hence my face, just under the eyes and in particular at the parentheses marks to either side of my mouth needs something.
Who knew Home Depot sold beauty products?
But in other, far more serious news, I seem to be finally, and with a vengeance (!) kicking this plateau's patootie. I will continue what I am doing for the entire month as I had planned and see what the final results are, but so far it appears to be very promising.
Here's what I'm doing:
* no alli
* 2 extra glasses of water/day
* steps goal (via pedometer) of 60,000/week (this past week I logged over 70,000)
* because of no alli, the ability to go to slightly naughtier restaurants and relax a bit re fat
* BUT - restaurant only once/week (as before), and tracked, and an effort to stay within calorie and nutriment ranges, as always
* full food tracking, as always
* regular weekday meals
* 10 more lbs of weights lifted at home
* but only do weights at home 4 days/week
* extra abs work (just an extra 25 situps, with no weights added) 5 days/week (I had been doing them for 3 days/week before)
* walk to a farther away bus stop in the mornings that I am going to the gym (and no home weights on those 3 days/week)
* walk up monster hill every night for commute home
* for non-gym days, walk from Newton Corner, fast (this is an extra 10 minutes of walking and twice my normal speed -- I ended up doing this 3 days instead of the planned 2 because of the bus schedule)
Here are the results:
Down 3 lbs., more than I'd lost for the previous 6 weeks COMBINED. Down a total of 150 lbs.!!!
New personal best measurements for band, hip and thigh, tied for previously attained personal best measurements for bicep and keister, and only 1/4" above the personal best for belly.
Hmm. This plateau-kickin' has some meaning. Stay tuned.
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