Sunday, October 31, 2010
Not too long ago I wrote a blog entitled "the reluctant runner". In some ways, not much has changed.
I really admire my spark buddies who looooove running. The ones who feel like they could go on forever -- and do! Who go from non-runner to marathoner in a year's space.
That is not me. Running is hard for me. Even after a couple of years of building up to it, even after a year of really training, and running a couple of races. I often want to stop before I've even run one step. Getting out there on those chilly mornings can be an act of willpower (in all fairness, going out way too early on a chilly morning to swim, which I love, can also be an act of willpower).
So what gets me out that door? I may not love running, but I love how running makes me feel when I'm done. Happy. Energized (no matter how tired I am & how hard it feels during).
So I'm here to tell you, if you want to give running a try, don't give up immediately just because it feels hard. Give it a chance. Give yourself a chance to acclimate to running. It doesn't come naturally to most of us. Because if you really give it a chance and train smart, you're going to love the way you feel.
Only that isn't really the subject of this blog, I just threw that in here.
Sparking can inspire other people -- people you may never hear from. My running inspired one of my spark buddies who'd been sidelined by arthritis to give running another try.
And browsing around on some buddies' spark pages yesterday inspired me. I was all set with my next race -- a fun run -- only we're going to go visit the inlaws that weekend -- which is all the way across the country -- so that is out.
I am considering a turkey trot, but that all depends on whether or not we get together with family, which may rule that out.
And then I saw it on my buddy's page: a resolution race -- New Year's day. I was already wondering am I truly crazy by initially considering a race in early Dec. -- it's cold here then; there could be snow on the ground -- but it was at the park I walk the dogs at, DH could walk the dogs while I ran, there would be costumes, sounded like fun (that's the one I can't go to).
But New Year's Day? Seriously? There could be snow, it could sleet, there could be sub-freezing temps and I hate the cold.
But I looked around and yes, there is one here. Crazier than that, there is actually a half marathon on New Year's Day! Now that IS crazy. But there's also a 3 1/2 mile run. Color me crazy, I'm considering it.
Keep blowing on that spark . . . maybe it will keep me warm when I'm running outside in January.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
So after a great weight loss last week, I had a small gain this week. I'd like to say the number doesn't effect me -- in fact, I don't know the number, they just told what I'd gained -- it does. There was very small binge. Minute. As in some flax crackers and one mini Clif energy bar.
Oh, as usual, there are all sorts of explanations (read: excuses). I'd done over 6 miles the day before using running/walking intervals (3:2). So it could simply be water retention. It could also just be a small correction for the biggest loss in one week in my entire life (including the time I had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled at once).
I had planned to do some shopping for running clothes and jeans yesterday. Which I did. Made sure to print out some coupons first -- as DH likes to say, I'm "saving" him money when I spend it.
Here is where the NSVs come in (non scale victories to the uninitiated): first, I pulled on my focus jeans, which still felt tight last week even after that big loss. And while they're still just a bit tight, I wore them to go shopping in. Go figure -- lose weight, don't feel it; gain, feel as tho I've lost (could be more muscles, right?).
Then I stopped at Old Navy. Bought myself a size 8 short skinny jeans. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago I'd bought a size 10 and they almost immediately felt too big. I'd tried on a size 8 that day, but it gave me definite muffin top.
These are a bit tight in the thighs still, but definitely no muffin top. I thought I'd wear them on the flight to Hawaii, but I don't think they're comfortable enough for that (it's a long flight and we have plane changes so a lot of walking hauling suitcases too -- and DH is always rushing me even when we don't need to rush).
I also tried on a size 6. Definitely too small, decided muffin top -- but they did actually zip!
And that's not even the true NSV. I then tried on their "Rockstar super skinny leggings". And they fit. In a size 8. I was s0000000 surprised, so I had to buy those too. Just wish they didn't have ankle zippers; I don't really like that. They're lower cut than I really like, but hey, I fit into something labeled "super skinny" and while I know I'm not, I'm vain enough for it to make me feel good. Plus they were actually comfortable.
Then it was on to Dick's. I wanted to try to find some more running shorts. I only have a couple of pairs (that I wear outside, I have a lot that I wear when I'm on the treadmill, but they don't have pockets on them and they're about 15 years old).
I picked up a few pairs, not realizing that one was a running skirt. I picked up larges & mediums cause running shorts tend to run small, I find.
Tried on the on sale L shorts. Then I tried on the running shorts in size L, then in size M. I went back & forth a lot, but finally settled on the M. The L was a bit large and I was afraid they might fall down after a while. I hope the M is comfortable enough -- I plan to try them out on the treadmill today since it's too cold (for me) to wear them outside (which is too bad, it's actually a lovely day to run outside today). I see people running in shorts still, and I personally think they're nuts (our temps have fallen back into the 40s).
Yes, the retail therapy definitely changed my mood. It's just a number (and an unknown one at that). I am definitely feeling good about how I look. There's always work to be done, but I know that I'm going into this vacation looking better than I have in a long, long time. My clean eating over the last couple of weeks has really paid off -- altho sometimes it is a challenge when DH is around.
And for everyone that is struggling with a very long plateau like me, or if you're just struggling, or you're a marathoner (or about to be) or triathlete, this quote's for you:
Tough situations always fade. Tough people never do.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I finally got to this article in this month's Self Magazine -- OMG, it is definitely worth a read -- www.self.com/fooddiet/2010/10/secret
It wasn't what I planned for my blog today, but I definitely wanted to share the bits that spoke to me:
**Weight loss should be the result of a goal, not the goal itself.
Good lord, how brilliant is that? Short, sweet, and soooo right. My first major weight loss was all about the number. Now it's about having energy (still working on that one, but I'm getting there); fueling my workouts; getting faster with my running -- and yes, being happy with myself.
**Not ritualizing food.
Funny, my WW leader was just saying that if you have a ritual about eating your food, you know you have a problem with eating that food.
I don't think I have a whole lot of rituals, actually, but still, this spoke to me.
** I may not ever be my dream weight, but I'll be happier & healthier.
YES!!! This is what keeps me trying, instead of throwing in the towel, no matter how long I stay on a plateau. Cause I feel so much better now -- and I know how I felt before -- I don't ever want to go back!
But if I do go back:
**I understand I'm going to gain a little, and I also know I can get if off.
I am learning that, slowly. Being truly mindful and introspective allows you those insights. You realize that suddenly gaining some weight doesn't have to be the end of your world (or your healthy habits).
**I learned that I obsessed because exercise felt like the one thing I could control.
Guilty as charged, but I'm learning to slowly let go of those thoughts.
There were times I'd walk around my bedroom or march in place just to get those final 1000 steps. Now I know that somedays I won't get 10,000, but most days I'm well over so it all balances out over time.
I still feel somewhat driven to get my planned workouts in, but I'm getting better at realizing that sometimes life just gets in the way and I know that exercise is such an ingrained habit it's not like one missed workout will derail me.
But I don't think I ever looked at it in the light that while I sometimes couldn't control my eating, I could control my exercise. Interesting relevation.
Any food lovers' secrets of your own you'd like to share?
I guess one of mine would be that it's about balance over time, not being perfect for every meal.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I was out walking the dogs one afternoon, and the mailman was coming around. And as soon as he left a house, someone would pop right out and get that mail. Someone elderly and retired, that is. We have a fair amount of retired folk in our neighborhood.
It made me sad. They are obviously just watching for that mailman. Seems as though it's the highlight of their day.
I like to know when the mail arrives, so that I can time a walk with the dogs and pick up the mail at the same time. But I don't rush right out there and get it. DH is another story. If I haven't gotten the mail cause it came late, it's the very first thing he does when he gets home, too. I really don't get it. I've even been known to not get the mail at all if the weather is truly atrocious.
But it got me to thinking . . . just what is the highlight of my day?
That's a really good question. I'm not sure. I would venture a guess that I have several highlights. That first cup of tea & breakfast certainly rate up there. I love having a little quiet time to myself with the cats purring around (or on) me.
Sparking -- specifically reading blogs -- is definitely another highlight. After getting a glass of water and a short yoga session, sparking is the first thing I do in the morning.
I could sleep later -- and go to bed later -- if I wasn't up and sparking and reading with the cats in the morning.
Sometimes cooking or baking is a highlight.
Sitting down to eat with DH, when we catch up with our days, is another highlight.
Snuggling with the dogs and/or Simba is another.
I sure hope getting the mail never actually becomes my highlight. Maybe because I have SP and my spark buddies, and I feed my social connections thru here.
What is the highlight of your day?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have a spark buddy who could really use some prayers -- www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TE
Her husband is in the hospital recovering from surgery for a perforated bowel -- and it's very serious.
She is the sweetest, most supportive person -- AND it's her birthday, to boot.
I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, even tho I don't belong to a synagogue. I believe you can be spiritual without necessarily being within organized religion -- altho frankly I'd join a temple in a heartbeat if DH were interested too.
So please hold her and her husband in your prayers.
Now, my body thanks me. It feel real pleasure when I put healthy foods in it. Too tired to make a fruit smoothie for this morning last night, too loud to do it in the morning while DH is sleeping.
I chose to cut up an apple, mix it with some grapes and cacao nibs, and top it off with a tablespoon of almond butter (with only almonds as the ingredients). Um, um good.
It was filling. It was sweet. It was crunchy. It hit the spot perfectly.
And then I made a raw cake for dessert for today. I have gone almost 2 weeks with no sweets other than fruit. Actually, considering that the raw cake is nuts and dates, I suppose I can still say that.
But I also know that if I go into vacation and suddenly start eating sweets, after a long period of abstinence, I am likely to indulge more than I ought to. So I felt it was time to ease back into them. But not overindulge. Find that proper balance. I'm planning a LSR (long, slow run) soon, so yes, I do think I'll earn it -- even tho you really shouldn't view exercise vs food that way.
I am really bummed that the vegan restaurant I really wanted to go to in Kauai is closed. I have a couple of the owner's cookbooks. I was really looking forward to that! Such is life, I suppose.
What is your body thanking you for today?
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