Thursday, April 05, 2012
I know I haven't been around much lately, but I promise I've been busy. I need a sign to put on my Spark page that says "Gone Runnin'" like the "Gone Fishin'" sign my dad has hanging up by the lake.
Since I'm up to running 4 days a week now, plus Zumba, plus swimming, plus all my other extra-curriculars, it leaves little time for all this other stuff. But I'm still Sparking every day when I can.
I just have a very simple musing on "Achievement" today that I wanted to share. Bear with me here because I'm currently experiencing a mix of runner's high and caffeine, but...
There is NO better feeling in the world than that of accomplishment. The feeling of setting a goal, pushing yourself to get there and then meeting, or even exceeding, that goal. It doesn't matter what it is - big or small - but the self-love that comes along with accomplishment is incomparable. No other person, no pet, no addiction, nothing, can give you the same kind of love that you can give yourself when you achieve your dreams.
I just ran 4 miles. No big deal for me really - I ran 10 on Sunday. But tonight I understood that feeling of accomplishment for what I have done. I am SO proud of myself every single time I lace on those shoes and get out there and do what I have set forth as my goal. Tonight, 4 miles was my goal. It wasn't my easiest run. It wasn't my best run. But I met a goal and it feels damn good.
I think I'm getting my Spark back you guys. I'm zoning in on my 2 year Sparkversary and I think I've rediscovered something that I've been missing for a while. There's more in store. I can feel it!
Spark On my friends. Do it for yourself. It's the BEST feeling in the world!
Friday, March 16, 2012
I'm peeved. "Training, not Trying" has gotten me all of nowhere. Sure my training is going GREAT, but not trying has gained me a whopping 4 pounds in less than a month.
So we're not doing that anymore.
I'm depressed. I don't like it when things don't go my way and I'll admit that I'm a difficult person to be around lately. I don't want to be around me, why would anyone else want to? But I think there's a lesson in here. This is one of those places where I need to love me more. And apparently that's what I'm trying to do with the food. I'm feeding myself to love myself in a really stinking hard time, because that's the habit I know. I really can't blame myself for that. But what I can do is step back and feel a little empathy for me and, really, commend me for trying to be so sweet. It's like a small child who TRIES to do something good and sweet and meaningful for you when you're feeling down, but just gets it all wrong. In the end, it's kind of cute and laughable. So that's all I'm doing here. The thing that I think is best to make it all better.
The problem is that it's not helping. It's hindering.
I have exactly one month from today until I reach my 2 year Sparkversary. And I guarantee you that blog is going to be significantly different than the one I wrote a year ago at the height of my happiness. It's been a rough year. But I think it's been just as important a year as the one in which I lost 100 pounds. This year I've been working on losing more brain-weight. And unfortunately, that's not as recognizable on the outside. And that's why I'm upset. Because you don't get commended on a regular basis for losing brain-weight. And the commendations for losing the physical weight just don't feel the same anymore. I actually have gotten to a point of frustration with people when they say I look amazing because right now, I don't FEEL amazing. It's a hard place to be in.
So I've made some changes - AGAIN. I feel like I'm grasping at straws here and that I'm not actually giving any of these theories a long enough test run to see if they really DO work before deciding that they don't and moving on to something else - but at least I am still committed and still interested in making something happen in terms of the scale. I've decided that I can't just NOT try at all because that leads me to binge eating and drinking every weekend with the excuse of "I'm training for a marathon and burning SO many calories." Well - that's all fine and dandy when it's about 3 weeks before the marathon and my training mileage has peaked at roughly 50 miles a week. But right now I'm still only running 15 miles a week. Which, don't get me wrong, is more weekly miles than I have ever run before, but still isn't going to tackle the additional 2000 calories a day that I can consume in a binge or out drinking with my friends. But to be fair, I AM burning extra calories, so eating only 1500 calories a day is NOT going to cut it. So I adjusted my tracker back to a place where I am perfectly comfortable - between 1800-2000 calories a day, burning at least 2000 calories a week. I'm comfortable with that. That range allows me to eat a decent breakfast when I wake up hungry after a night run the day before. It allows me to eat a substantial lunch and snacks during the day so I'm not constantly obsessing over when my next meal is going to be. And best of all, it allows me to eat an entire footlong Subway sandwich if I so desire...and sometimes I do (like tonight). It also allows me room to carb load before a long run and still stay within my range for the day - which, let's face it, makes us all feel good. I wish it weren't about the numbers, but for me, it's about the numbers. The numbers on the scale, the numbers on the tracker, the number of miles run or laps in the pool. I also have a theory that my body will respond better with a higher burn rate and MORE food. We'll see. If it's true - it will make me a VERY happy camper. But really, I just want to lose 5-7 pounds by this time next month so that I can officially say that I've broken my almost year-long plateau for my 2 year Sparkversary. Yes, that would surely be a gift, because at this point I really do feel like I've tried everything else.
But here's to small wins - two of them today that have me thinking all is not lost:
1. Today I ran for the third day in a row this week. Before this week I had never run two days in a row let alone 3. In all my race training, I have always run every other day to allow my body time to heal and rest in between and because I do so much other cross training. But my marathon training is really picking up now because of this achievement tonight. I'm definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow, but I'm proud of myself for getting through this week. And I actually feel pretty good, which is also a surprise. My legs are in good shape and still feel light when I'm running, not heavy and pounding like they sometimes can - so this is a GOOD sign that my training is doing what it's supposed to do and my body is responding accordingly.
2. I'm working on a sugar detox this month. I have identified some definite trigger areas and one is a chocolate bowl at work of the baby chocolate bars, Kisses, Dove chocolates and other naughty stuff. Seeing that bowl usually provokes an automated reaction from me. I grab and eat, grab and eat without ever usually thinking about it. So after a grab today in a moment of high stress, I put the bars down on my desk, looked at them and said to them out loud "I don't need you right now" and then I walked (and pouted a bit) back to the bowl and put them back. My work colleague laughed at my pouting and said I resembled a 4 year old in a "time out" but that she was proud of me. And like a 4 year old in a "time out", two minutes later, I forgot all about them.
It's become my mantra of sorts. I'm still here. I'm still fighting. It might not look like much, but it takes heart and courage and determination to stay in a place like this without quitting. So to my fellow peeps in P-ville, I've got your back and we'll get through this. I never thought it would happen to me, to be honest, but now that it has I need to be as grateful for this struggle as for the fast weight loss. For in the end, it will be this struggle that makes me strong enough to know that I have what it takes to stick with this for life.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I'm done trying to lose weight. Not forever - just for now. Because chances are, if I quit trying so hard, it's just going to happen anyway. Instead of beating my head against a wall about monitoring every calorie consumed and wondering why the scale still isn't moving, I'm embracing the training mentality that I'm going to need to carry me through the next 8 months of running, swimming, cross-training and running some more to get me in shape to complete 26.2 miles on October 7th. And sometimes what you need to do to train that hard, is EAT.
So I have officially sworn off the food tracker. Which is actually both liberating and terrifying. Bottom line is that I know - I KNOW - what a 1500 calorie day looks like. I know roughly the complete calorie breakdown of everything I eat on a regular basis. I've become pretty good at guessing about everything else. And they put info on the backs of food boxes for a reason. The mental calculation is enough - I'm not going to stress about the rest. Instead, what I'm going to have to do is listen to my body. Novel concept.
Over the next couple of months I will be increasing my weekly running mileage from 12 miles a week to 25 miles a week. By the time I run the marathon, I will have increased that number again to approximately 40 miles a week. If I don't lose weight from running that many miles, I seriously need to take stock of what else I might be doing that preventing it from coming off.
Training is all that matters right now. If I don't change a thing about what I'm doing, I have already proven that I will continue to maintain. But I have an inkling that the person who crosses that finish line on October 7th is not going to weigh as much as she does today.
It's time to put the knowledge I have to good use, trust my instincts and embrace the fun of training for this momentous occasion in my life. Chapter 1 in Hal Higdon's book "Marathon" says that the marathon lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle - good food, good sleep, low limits on booze and other bad-for-you things. So for the next 8 months, I am a marathoner. Plain and simple. And the pounds are just going to have to agree at some point.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
This week has been a somewhat somber reality check in the aftermath of Valentine's Day - supposedly the most romantic day of the year.
My reality check? Fairy tales don't exist. Neither does Prince Charming, or Cinderella, or Happily Ever After.
No - nothing is wrong in my relationship. In fact, we're better than ever and had a really lovely Valentine's Day skating at the top of the city and eating gourmet cupcakes. Le sigh. I'm still very much in love with my wonderful man.
But as wonderful as he is, he is not here to save my life. He is not going to whisk me away and make all of my problems disappear. And it would be really terrible of me to demand that of him.
But the problem is that I HAVE been demanding that of him. And of other people too. I am enamoured with the romantic notion that there is some magical key to my ultimate happiness - and I don't think I'm alone in this method of thinking.
"If I just lose the weight, I will have everything I truly desire"
"If I find the perfect man, we'll get married and have babies and my life will be perfect"
"If I get the perfect job, I will never be unhappy again a day in my life"
Well - that's just not the way it works. Life, is life. And it's going to continue being life with all of its crazy ups and downs, regardless of dramatic weight loss, weddings, babies or any other big events that really only serve to sway the course temporarily before life carries on, day after day after day.
Existential much? Perhaps. But I'm finding lately that coming smack up against The Human Condition as we all share it is helping me through the worst boughts of loneliness and depression and dissatisfaction. Sometimes telling it like it is and excepting it as that is the best thing that any of us can do.
So what brought this on? As romantic as my Valentine's Day was, I had hinted at a gift that I really wanted a few weeks ago and I didn't get it. And that upset me. I had fantasized about our perfect night together, and that had included me getting this gift from him. When that didn't happen it honestly felt like my hopes and dreams were crushed...just a little. I immediately jumped to blaming him for my hurt - did he not get the hint? did he not love me as much as I love him? was he insulted that I had suggested he buy me a gift in the first place? am I not worth it? But I knew there was something that felt wrong about being mad at him for such a silly thing. And there is something wrong - but it isn't with Nikhil.
I'm not happy with my life right now. My job is sucking all the joy and energy and desire from my daily existence. I am desperately trying to find somewhere new to go, but the job market is terrible and we all know that. This is going to be a long battle. Add to that the fact that I'm not just trying to change jobs, I'm trying to start a whole new career path for myself. And one that nets me more money at the end of the month. Not an easy task. I'm also still in Plateauville, but, DUH, for obvious reasons. So it's only natural that I would seek salvation in the one thing in my life that IS going well - my man.
Imagine the pressure he must feel having to live not only his own life (and do amazingly well at it), but also be responsible for making mine better! That's so unbelievably mean of me, I'm ashamed. But can you blame me? Who doesn't want to be saved? Who doesn't want to be swept off their feet and taken away from all their worldly issues? Shrink this down to a smaller scale though and ask simply - who doesn't just want to be hugged and told it will all be better soon?
The gift that I wanted? It would have bought me maybe a week of gloating on Facebook, showing it off to all my friends, being made to feel special for a short period of time. And yes - that would have felt great. I could surely use a dose of that right now and I'm still mourning not getting it. But after those 3 days of happiness, life would come back with a vengeance. I'd still be in Plateauville, I'd still be working my sucky job, and despite a really nice gift, I'd still be in the same place with the person that I love. Changed, but only briefly.
They are right when they say you can't buy happiness. And that goes for all kinds of currencies. Money, pounds, food. No amount of any of those things is going to create the kind of change in your life that yields a true feeling of contentment.
However, they are also right when they say that we are each the masters of our own destiny. I am the only person that can control my personal fulfillment. No one else is going to get me a new job. No one else is going to live a healthier life for me. I'm in charge of doing all those things for myself. And ultimately, it's better that way anyway since I'm the one that's going to benefit from it.
It sucks - not getting what you want. And it sucks when you REALLY realize that no one else can be responsible for your happiness but you. Because it's then that you know that it's a long road ahead and it's going to be a lot of hard work. And that sucks too. But the rewards reaped are going to be a bigger payoff. I've felt that and I know that, I just have to keep reminding myself of that. It doesn't make it any easier, but just because there aren't Princes and Castles and Fairytale Endings, doesn't mean there aren't Silver Linings.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
The novel is on my list of "must reads," but this isn't a blog about a book.
I'm terrified of being hungry. There - I said it. I'm STUCK right now because I can't bear the thought of being hungry. The thought of being hungry scares me so much, I binge eat in anticipation of maybe, possibly, ever being hungry at some point in the future. When I was over 300 pounds, I couldn't possibly even imagine trying to lose weight because that would most certainly involve being hungry. And I CAN'T be hungry. Being hungry triggers the worst possible feelings and reactions and instincts deep down inside me. Every trait that I have that makes me "all-consuming" is triggered by my hunger. And I have come to understand that if ever someone speaks poorly of me, it is usually because they have witnessed a behaviour that is the product of my hunger. Being hungry is a bad, bad thing for me, and I do everything in my power to make sure it never happens to me. And unfortunately for my weight loss project, that includes the physical consumption of A LOT of food.
But we're talking about two different kinds of hunger here. Otherwise - I'd still weight over 300 pounds. Somehow, in April of 2009, I got over the fear of physical hunger and managed to lose 100 pounds. Thinking back on that year I can't remember ever being physically hungry. I wasn't in pain. I wasn't depriving myself. In fact, I was being fed plenty. I lost over 100 pounds eating over 2200 calories a day. That's a lot! I am living proof that you don't have to starve yourself to lose weight.
So what the heck am I so scared about lately?
I always knew that my weight loss journey was going to have 2 chapters. I had a pretty even 200 pounds to lose that I figured would happen in two 100-pound increments. Getting to the first hundred was the first hurdle and I galloped over that line with what I look back on now as a blaze of glory. But I have just recently realized that what was supposed to be two equally weighted chapters has become, over the course of the last year, three. I am not ready for the final chapter yet. And my fear is telling me that fair and square. I am not yet mentally ready to lose another 100 pounds. And that sucks. Because like the scale, you can't will the brain to move quickly. Chapter 2 is about taking time, and work, and love and faith to move that mountain of mass in my head. I don't doubt that it will happen for me. Just not as quickly as I wanted it to. This isn't going to be a clean fight for me. And why I ever expected it to be, I don't know. This has been a dirty duel since day one (and day one was a LONG time before April 15, 2009).
So right now, I'm fighting the fear. The fear is the unknown factor. Because the known factors are actually fairly simple. I am at a point where I need to reduce my daily calorie intake to approximately 1550 calories a day. When I do that, and stick to that plan, the scale responds accordingly with a loss. So I know the math works. But what doesn't quite work yet is my mental willingness to stick to that number. Even though I have proved through a number of days of eating at that level that I WILL NOT be physically hungry, my emotional hunger is taking over. I'm using my running as an excuse to overindulge. It feels good, so I continue to do it. Heck - Hal Higdon tells me I can eat PopTarts? Best believe I'm gonna go get me some PopTarts!
I can tell that I'm in the midst of a down and dirty mental battle with my brain when I start instilling ridiculous "Game Rules" on myself. The post-it on the box of PopTarts that says "Only if you run 5+ miles," the note on the container of ice cream in the freezer that says "Only to be eaten when Nikhil is present" because I know I won't binge in front of him, the constant talking with myself all day long about how many calories I consume and when I can consume them - "If you wait until you go home, you can have a latte on the way." I'm so obsessed with consumption, I'm actually consuming myself! I've been playing the game for long enough now that I know the rules inside and out and therefore, I also know how to get around them. But in playing the game I'm not actually listening to myself. I talk to myself daily about numbers - numbers on the scale, numbers on the tape measure, numbers attached to the foods I'm eating - but I'm NOT talking to myself about my feelings which is not allowing myself to know when I'm really, physically hungry. My life, and my health, and my happiness is NOT a game. So I need to stop playing for a bit and listen. I need to stop making deals and bartering with myself, trying to "win" when all I'm doing is ensuring that a different part of me is going to "lose." And that's the part of me that is so scared right now and hanging on for dear life. She's not going to let go and give up the ghost when she's so threatened.
Mentally, I'm back in 2009, before the change. In many ways I have come SO far. In many ways I have made amazing movement to something more positive. But I think the fear that I am feeling now is attached to my core issue, and the closer I get to that issue, the tighter I hang on to my old habits. SOMETHING happened in 2009 that allowed me to let go. Something happened that made me trust and through practice convinced me that my worst fears of being hungry weren't going to come true. So I'm continuing to put in the work right now to find that something again. Because right now, I'm too hungry not to be fed and I'm sitting at an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet called "Life" - And I'm fighting with all my might the temptation to try a little bit of everything.
Get An Email Alert Each Time KITHKINCAID Posts