Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The last few days have been extremely hectic, but in a good way. As such, this blog is going to be a bit disjointed, so bear with me.
Friday, we went on a dinner cruise to celebrate our 1st anniversary, and it was amazing. I found that I was really good when it came to food and dessert, but when they offered the free drinks upon boarding and the free bottle of champagne? Weee.... I added it all up at home and was shocked the day only came to around 1900 calories. Whatever, I'll take it!
I had a lunch meeting on Friday at an Italian chain that doesn't publish its nutritional info (how lazy is that these days?). So I ordered an eggplant panini, ate a little salad and a bread roll extremely slowly, and when the panini came it was enormous: like it could be considered three entire sandwiches when cut into triangles. No wonder it doesn't publish info! I ate maybe three-quarters of the smallest triangle and wrapped up the rest. So the guy in the meeting says to me, "Wrapping up food is such a girl thing!"
What? How sexist is that? I answered "Really, I always thought about it as a saving it for later thing." I wanted to say more, but I kinda wanted this guy to generate some business for me so I bit my tongue. I'm getting better at that!
We went surfing this weekend in the crazy waves (the aftermath of Hurricane Bill) and I busted up my knee a bit (totally worth it!). I tried running 25 minutes of C25K yesterday, but the knee was acting up after so I opted to bike instead. Overall I'm feeling good about my fitness levels, but I know I could be doing more. But couldn't we all?
Work got crazy after I got back from surfing and it's been nonstop since, and I find I am loving it. I've been drafting contracts, handling real estate deals, and working with clients. I also do crappy boring temp work over at the big company which is soul crushing and makes me glad I'm not doing that full-time anymore. I know that having a happy outlook on life is what is making this whole lifestyle change easier for me. When I regretted grad school, couldn't find a job, and wallowed instead of taking initiative, making poor food choices was so much easier. Now it's just part of the big picture. I'm rehabbing my body, my career, EVERYTHING.
Yeah, I'm going to struggle a bit while I spend every day learning about what makes my career and body tick, instead of taking the easy way out with boring, but well-paid work and delicious, but damaging food, but life's short, and I'm going to spend it hectic but happy!
Friday, August 21, 2009
[Cue Miley Cyrus. Nah, actually, leave her out of this. The day speaks for itself!]
Yesterday was just about an exercise in futility. With a great beginning and ending.
I woke up feeling refreshed and happy, and figured, I'll go to work early and take a long walk along the harbor before work and watch the sunrise. The stars were still out when I started, and the sun slid up from the horizon and bathed the city in a warm glow. I sat there with my coffee and paper and really enjoyed the summer morning. New England is amazing in summer.
Another great thing I had planned for yesterday was leaving work at 3 p.m. to go running, Week 6 of Couch to 5K.
But of course, I left my keys at home. My husband works on the other side of the city and had a lunch meeting, so we couldn't meet up at lunch to get the keys. So I needed to stop by his office before I could go home in the afternoon.
Then I get better news! The place where I work has brought in an amazing sushi chef to prepare sushi in the cafeteria. Holy smokes! I come back with a great dish of stuff and start nomming away. It's delicious. Then that last piece of tuna nigiri stares me in the eye. I'm kinda full by this point, but I'm one of those people who feels it would be a shame to throw away a good piece of sushi.
Eh, what the heck? Down the hatch.
Bad sushi. I knew it as soon as I took the bite, but it was too late to spit it out at that point.
My stomach churned for the rest of the day. I don't know if it was psychological or what, but I felt horrible. I got out of work and started walking across town to get my keys when the skies opened up, drenching me, soaking everything. Dripping, I trundle onto the subway, and finally make it to the keys.
"See you later for the BBQ," he tells me. Hmm, oh! I'd forgotten all about the farewell BBQ for a friend who's moving to California. I wanted nothing but sleep at this point, but I knew I had to go. Back on the train to home. The rain miraculously stops at this point and it is sunny and muggy. The train also stops. For 15 minutes, for no discernible reason.
And the bus ride is not without its mishaps. No AC, screeching brakes, jolting stops. I think to myself "Please don't barf up a plate of sushi on a public bus," over and over again. God is good, and I get home at 5 p.m. puke-free, two hours after I left work. Definitely no time for a run (even if I didn't feel like crap) and no time for a nap either. I pick up the husband from the station and sit in traffic for 45 minutes, until we're finally there.
It's great to see everyone. The night is cool and beautiful, with a gorgeous sunset. My stomach has enabled me to turn down beer, wine, margaritas, but my friend hands me a sugar-free ginger ale, which I'm eternally grateful for. It helps so much, and once I eat some food I feel a lot better, but make positive choices. And we're laughing and reminiscing under the twinkling sky.
I think to myself, what a weird day. But it's the beginning and the end that counted. It began and ended with stars.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I like to call myself the jiggly runner, the fast fatty! I love the looks of skinny people in the train station on the escalator, staring in amazement as I quickly bound up a flight of 50 steps!
I'm 256 pounds and 5'6", which is morbidly obese (9 more pounds lost and I will be merely "obese," hooray). Last week I ran a little over a mile on the treadmill. I'm signed up for my first "live" 5K in a little over a month, which I'm hoping to complete in an hour or less. I don't win medals for speed, but I do run longer and faster than many people that I know.
When people question me about Couch to 5K (C25K) and how a big girl like me can do it, they inevitably state:
"But I'm too fat to run! Maybe I'll try later when I lose some weight..."
I've been fat for an entire lifetime, but I'm not waiting until I lose weight to run. Running is going to help me shed these pounds. A coordinated running program keeps me on a tight schedule, and the 5K looming on the horizon is incentive enough to make me want to finish in style.
Are you too fat to run?
Well, first of all, everyone should get the advice of their doctor before starting an exercise program. I may be a big girl, but I'm considerably young (28), and (knock on wood) I have no other health concerns such as athritis, diabetes, hypertension, etcetera.
Also, I can run longer than some of my skinny friends, so some might consider me a "fit fatty." It's important to note that large size does not necessarily indicate "extremely unfit" and small size does not always equate "super fit." These are misconceptions that skinny people, in their neverending quest to subjugate the fatties (kidding, kidding) have propagated to make them feel better about their Olive Oyl physiques.
If you are fit to run, here are my Top 3 reasons for trying C25K:
1. You will lose weight.
2. You will develop fitness, stamina, and balance.
3. You will impress yourself.
So if you've decided to take the plunge and start running, here are my thoughts for running while obese:
1. C25K is hard but rewarding.
I'm not going to lie to you. It will be harder for you as a obese person to run this program. Duh. We are carrying more weight and most of us haven't run in a very long time (if at all). I had an irrational fear of lifting my foot off the pavement for a very long time, and it's very easy to psyche yourself out. But you can do it. And when you run for a prolonged amount of time after finding it difficult to run for one minute in the first week, it's a huge rush!
2. It will take you more than 9 weeks, most likely.
C25K is officially a 9-week program, but I estimate that 90% of the people who finish do not finish in 9 weeks. Life happens, and we might have to skip a week and go back. Or Week 4 might be busting your butt, and you need to repeat it. It's inevitable. AND IT'S OK.
3. You do not have to run a 12-minute mile.
I consider "running" to be anything where you cannot physically continue at that pace without lifting one foot fully off the ground before placing the other one in its place. Depending on your stride and fitness level, this could be anything from 3.5-5.0+ miles per hour. You're not training for speed, so don't worry about it. Run at a pace that is comfortable. It is much better to complete a 5-minute run at 4.2 mph than to fizzle out in the middle at 5 mph.
4. People will watch you... mostly in amazement.
You're a big person. You're running. Given the general stereotype of a runner, you're an anomaly. It is OK. Most of the time, people will be watching you because they are inspired and amazed at your abilities. I've gotten so many supportive comments from surprised people who watch me run. A woman who must have been no more than 120 pounds who was walking on the treadmill saw me stopping and starting and complimented me and asked what I was doing. I told her about C25K and she said she was going to try it herself.
Other times, people will be close-minded and thinking "Look at that fatty run!" Listen, you're overweight and people can be cruel. I'm sure you know this by now. If you were sitting on the street corner eating a Twinkie, a passerby will probably think or say "You eat that Twinkie, fatty! Put on that weight!" If you were sitting on the corner eating a rice cake, someone will probably think or say, "You eat that rice cake, fatty! Lose that weight!" It's a no-win situation. It was my lot in high school, and it was probably yours as well.
Defy expectations. Run for yourself.
5. Get your gear.
Get a pair of bike shorts or tight spandex pants. It is by far the easiest thing to run in and keeps those thighs from rubbing together while you run. It is way easier than trying to run in a pair of sweatpants. Ladies, purchase the tightest sports bra you can find because you don't want those puppies to bounce more than necessary.
6. Enjoy the run!
Plot out new routes, find a running partner, switch up music and songs, and take it at your own pace. See what works for you!
As always, let me know if I can help you in any way!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Dinner at Grandma Grease's tonight, which went right through me. I ate more than I wanted to (top of the range) but good in comparison to what I'd normally eat over there. That TOM plus an icky tummy meant I put off running until tomorrow morning. Still, 3 days at the top of the range right before weigh in makes me anxious, so I decided it was a good night to do my monthly measurements!
Body Part - June - July - August
Waist - 46 - 43.5 - 41
Hips - 53 - 50.5 - 49.5
Neck - 16 - 15.5 - 15
Thigh - 32 - 31 - 30
Upper Arm - 16 - 16 - 15.5
Inches lost since July: 5.5
Waist - 2.5
Hips - 1
Neck - 0.5
Thigh - 1
Upper Arm - 0.5
Inches lost total: 12
Waist - 5
Hips - 3.5
Neck - 1
Thigh - 2
Upper Arm - 0.5
I can really feel it around my waist, and my stomach too, though I REALLY want to lose it around my thighs more than anything to make it easier to run!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Anniversaries and Weddings...
This weekend marked my husband's and my 1st wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe that it was a year ago. It's been a good and crazy first year, and I love him so very much, and every day I'm more and more sure that he's the best person in the world for me. Kind of sad we're no longer "newlyweds," anymore!
It was a hot and beautiful weekend, and we were going to go out for a meal together, but we decided to go to the beach, grill outdoors, and just chill out. I did pretty well with my food choices, but had a few indulgences (pina colada, vanilla-frosted cake). I'm becoming more and more OK with the idea that the indulgences are not going to kill me in moderation. We're going on a dinner cruise on Friday, so that will be our romantic evening!
Also, a good friend of mine got engaged a couple of months ago, but hadn't set the date. Well, now she's set the date, for September 19, 2009! WHAT? She's crazy, so it's not completely unexpected. Surprisingly, I'm not irked at the inconvenience of BEING A BRIDESMAID in a Southern wedding with one month's notice, but extremely excited to have a trip to look forward to next month. We'll spend most of the time in New Orleans and the wedding will be in Mobile, Alabama. NOLA is one of my favorite places in the world and I haven't been there in over 7 years, so woo hoo!
This week at work should be less crazy (no overtime), which means I'm restarting Week 6 of Couch to 5K after a week's absence. I'm so incredibly grateful to be chosen to be one of the co-leaders of the C25K Group. I want to spread the word that obese people can start a running program! Running has absolutely changed my life and my expectations of what I can and cannot do with my body. Just a little over a month until my first 5K. I'm so excited!
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