Sunday, October 11, 2009
I run because one day I felt like I needed a complete jolt. I had counted calories and upped exercise before, but I needed something completely different to keep me motivated. I needed a goal that was not measured in pounds and ounces.
And then I woke up one day and realized I had NEVER run before except a couple of blocks for the bus, or when screamed at by a PhysEd teacher. I was actually angry at myself for never running. See, I had a dream the night before, and I was amongst thousands of people running screaming from the bad guys and thinking to myself, "I'd never survive if that happened to me. I can't run. Consider me dead."
So yeah, I guess you can say, I run because I scared myself.
My first goal was to give it a try, and maybe, maybe I'd run a mile someday. That day seemed very far in the future, even though according to the Couch to 5K Program I should be running that in a few short weeks if I stuck to the interval running/walking schedule. A little under two months later, I watched the numbers on the treadmill tick over from 0.99 to 1.00 and a feeling of pure bliss walked over me.
My success is measured in miles. Not calories, not pounds, not ounces, not inches, not numbers. It's measured by that feeling in my lungs as I push past what I thought was possible.
I run because my body tingles afterwards and it makes me feel as though I've done something somewhat magical.
I run because nobody in my family believes that I run and it is gratifying to defy their small expectations of my athletic ability.
I run because I can see the changes in my body every day. The smaller stomach, the more defined legs, the slimmer waist. As I was running, I caught a glimpse of myself in the window, and couldn't believe it was me standing there.
Finally, I run because of all of you. Because your acheivements . . . your marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks . . . spur me on and get me off the couch when I feel like I'm too tired to run. Because with every small running acheivement I received your goodies, your encouragement, your woohoos! You keep me going. And I can't thank you enough.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I love traveling, which is why my rewards for my two big goals (Onederland and Losing 100+ Pounds) are trips!
As many of you have commented, yes, the background image on my page is of Santorini, which was supposed to be my reward for dropping 80 pounds and getting to Onederland this spring. Well, turns out my husband's new job has a "blackout" on vacations from June-September for new employees, so our tentative plan to go in July (which happens to coincide with a family wedding in England) is out. We really can't justify the cost of two trips to Europe and we were planning to do a weekend in the UK with the rest of the time in Greece (via Easyjet or some cheapo flight).
Ah well, maybe 2011. Now the plan is to go to England for Presidents Day weekend to see our new nephew and other various family members. It'll be my first time back in London since December 2007, which is kind of sad. I miss my English family! Then in April, my in-laws are going to Florida, so we might stay with them at their timeshare and do the Disneyworld thing. Hopefully I'll be swimsuit ready by then, but it's definitely not going to be a topless beach like in Greece.
I'm two pounds away from the halfway point to my first goal! I haven't been in the 230s since my last major diet in what, 1999? Wow. I think I made it to 230 before the summer was over and I drifted back into old habits. Sad really- I think I hovered around 240-270 for most of my 20s, and then last year I shot up to 286 and finally scared myself.
The strength training is taking it out of me. Tuesday I ran for 30 minutes (I guess I'm in W9 of C25K, though I'm definitely playing loose with it), did some arm and legwork on the machines and then cycled for another 15 minutes. I felt great, and then I got home and climbed the stairs to my apartment and suddenly I felt like I was going to collapse. I sat down and my head was spinning and I felt nauseous. It wasn't dehydration: I had drunk plenty of water during my workout and on the way home. But I certainly didn't feel like the pork chops my husband was making, so I sat down and drank a Diet Pepsi and started eating some pretzels. The salt made me feel instantly better. Maybe I drank too much water? It was the first time I was genuinely scared something was wrong. I'm back to the gym tonight, and I hope it goes better.
Well, this blog has been quite a ramble!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Before I get into the Salad Experiment, some updates:
1. Feeling better today about family. I can't control anyone but myself, and I'm grateful to have family and friends who DO get me, my great SP community, as well as a terrific partner in my husband. I don't know if anyone here is an Office fan, but people joke that we're like real life Jim and Pam, which in my opinion, is probably one of the highest compliments a relationship can get!
2. House hunting over the weekend went OK, but I have a feeling it's going to be a long process because we're looking for the right mix of bargain and not requiring TOO much additional work before it's liveable. Also, we're looking for a multi-family home which will eventually be an investment property, and some of the landlords, unfortunately, leave their homes in disastrous conditions and then expect to sell them at the same price they bought at in 2005. Well guess what, it's 2009, after the mortgage crisis! You bought an overpriced home and are now expecting to sell in an underpriced market.
3. The scale stayed the same today, but that's OK. I wasn't expecting much after a less than stellar eating Sunday and lagging in the exercise over the weekend. Tonight I go to the gym to make up for it! I'm excited to run again!
And now onto the Salad Experiment!
I had a bagel for breakfast for the first time in weeks, but figured it would sustain me (I was starving when I woke up!) and I'd have a lighter lunch. Well, my body is not used to 60+ carbs in one meal, and I just felt bloated and icky (and yes, full).
So today I decided for the first time I would put NO dressing on my salad for lunch. I have a bottle of low-cal, non-fat dressing in my work fridge, but I figured, I might as well use those 60 calories on something healthier and more substantial. and actually savor the tastes of the veggies. Instead of the dressing, I allowed myself to sprinkle some delicious feta cheese over the veggies and I had a couple of thin slices of chicken breast as well.
MMMM! The feta was just the seasoning it needed. The salt of the cheese brought out the taste of the veggies without overpowering them, and it was nice to actually savor the crunchiness of the lettuce. Eating edamame, sweet potato, red pepper and asparagus without the sugary dressing was also a revelation. These veggies taste a ton better on their own.
So the Salad Experiment was a success, and I'm definitely going to think twice in the future before weighing it down with a sugary dressing with no nutritional value!
Monday, October 05, 2009
Ever have one of those crazy weekends where you feel like you didn't have a rest? I'm actually glad today is Monday because I'm trying to make a fresh start after an annoying weekend.
Friday, I finished work and planned to run at the track, but by the time I got home, it was too dark, so I went to the gym and combined a 35 minute run with some strength training. I started off really low on the weights because I know I'm a weakling and I'm not ashamed of it, but my arms and legs still *killed* on Saturday and Sunday. Man, I'm weak. But I'm not giving up.
Also, I have one of those big families who gets really angry with me if I don't visit them once in awhile, so Saturday and Sunday were spent with family. The thing is that they want to see me, but some members either give me endless grief over various things (usually me not visiting or being involved enough) OR ignore me in favor of their own boring stories about the trivialities of their lives.
Me: Oh, Grandma, I ran a 5K race last week. Wanna see some pictures?
Granny: Cut your hair and buy some new pants.
That exchange is verbatim, by the way. I did not make it up. My husband mentioned to her that he plans to work overtime during the week, but not on Saturday, because we need a chance to relax and she told a story about the "old Italians" who worked all day just so they could buy pasta, sauce, wine and bread on Sunday. Mmmm, carbs. Apparently we're both expected to work 60+ hours per week and then travel around various cities in Massachusetts to visit aunts, uncles and cousins during our free time.
I also visited my dad, who asked me no questions about my New Orleans trip, my 5K race, or the fact we're investigating homeownership. I did however hear plenty of stories about the fat squirrel who eats all the birdseed, the new carpeting, and a new digital camera.
These family visits always make it tough to stick to my meal plan. I ate in moderation, but still, tons of treats I don't usually eat or drink. I ended up eating about 1200 calories just at lunch, but I *think* I managed to stay under 1700, if not a little over for the day yesterday. Isn't it funny how that "full" feeling makes us feel guilty after months of getting used to being OK with just "satisfied"? In any case, I think I got my fill of treats and want to get on track this week with more freggies and good foods.
As for the week ahead, I'm going to run and strength train tonight! Might take an afternoon off this week to recoup and do some miscellaneous work.
I'm still going to work it.
Friday, October 02, 2009
This is my favorite weight loss show, and it was instrumental in getting me serious about my health and weight in January. Season 2 with a new group of friends starts tonight on Lifetime: www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/shows/diett
What I love about the show is that it's a group of friends that already has strong relationships with each other and whose activities revolve around food. Season 1 showed the group eating massive plates of pasta and fruity drinks at an Italian chain, a Friday night ritual. One member was getting married, another used to be a skinny athlete, another had unsuccessful gastric bypass, and another subconsciously used food as a way to be "less attractive" to men, having suffered a sexual assault. By the end of the show, instead of the Friday night bingefest, they're going bowling and roller skating instead. And all of them, including the heaviest are running a mile by the end of the show.
Also, the diet and exercise plan offered by hottie trainer Jessie Pavelka are realistic to the average viewer and are posted online, so there are no gimmicks involved:
The meal plan the participants use is something people in everyday life can stick to, about 1400-1500 calories per day and it looks a lot like what I try to eat during my journey.
In any case, I'm interested in seeing what this season brings (hopefully shirtless Jessie!) and encourage you all to check it out!
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