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The Weekly Mile: Week 2 (Running For Miles While Standing Perfectly Still)

Monday, April 23, 2012

One of the challenges involved with training for a marathon and still attempting to lose weight is, well, the latter. I've heard it from a number of fellow runners now that it is almost impossible to continue losing weight while training hard for running 26.2 miles. It seems like backwards reasoning. I'm running my stinking BUTT OFF! But the scale refuses to budge. Not even a little. In fact - when it really feels like it - it goes up for the sake of making me very angry. Like this week.

Now one could argue that there is muscle gain involved with training. Yes - this is true, my legs are definitely rocking some chisel...between the fat that is hanging on for dear life while I keep pounding the pavement in the hopes of shaking it loose. That's a fun visual. I'll give you a second to imagine screaming fat cells hanging on to a flabby jogger...hehehe...

Anyway - back to the situation at hand - I haven't lost any weight in almost a year. And yet I've increased my weekly mileage from 5 miles a week to almost 20 miles a week. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!

Our bodies are not calculators. This I know. But 3500 calories burned is supposed to equal a pound, right?

The problem is that 3500 calories equals a pound - and I can tell you right now - running off 3500 calories a week means that I'm hungry enough to consume at least double that...every day. It is true that I am a burning machine. But I am also an eating machine. At first I thought it was just for carbs. Not the case. My cravings lately have been for fat. Peanut butter, cheese, nuts of any kind, oils! How the heck do you crave oils? But I'm not kidding - I look at the bottle of olive oil on my counter like it could possibly be a drinkable option. "Do we think I could I do this in a shot?"

But I am hoping that this shift in cravings means that my body has actually found a way to burn fats more efficiently (which is exactly what we want it to do when we run). All marathoners need to load up on excellent sources of usable carbs - both complex and simple - for quick fuel. But for the LONG miles, the body uses fat when the carb stores are depleted. And I've got PLENTY of it kicking around for use. Burn baby burn.

I've been talking with Robert (ON2VICTORY) about my hunger and while he will claim firsthand that he's no expert on the subject, he did have his own opportunities to experiment with this very thing when he ran his own marathon last year. He's given me a pile of resource material to read - some of which I'm hoping to implement myself. Being a low-carb runner is tricky business. While it might help with the weight loss, it can lead to serious fatigue and other issues, so I'll need to make sure that my vitamins are balanced properly when I do cut back as well. But at this point, I'm willing to give anything a try for a few weeks. What I do know is that a LOWER carb (not totally low-carb, or no-carb) diet does work for me. My body loves protein and tends to behave better when I eat lots of lean meat. I'm on my way to Florida this week, and I fully intend to eat as much seafood as I can muster since I get it so rarely at home (my boyfriend is allergic, so we stay away from it when we eat together).

But there is a serious downside to training really hard for something and not getting the results that you want on the scale. Even though this is only Week 2 for you guys, I've been at this for a while now. Long enough to be feeling pretty burnt out on running in general and just sad and disappointed that I haven't been able to get over this plateau hump despite the added calorie burn. The hope was that as the mileage got higher, my weight would get lower, making it physically easier on me to go the longer distance. My fear now is that I will end up running those 26.2 miles at the same weight that I am today, which is not only going to be VERY hard on my body (if I even make it there in the first place), but not what I want to have happen at all!

This week was REALLY tough to get through. I had 3 mile and a 5 mile on the plan - and while I did get my runs in, I skipped a day of cross training, and pushed my whole schedule back by a day because I was procrastinating so hard. Turns out that I may have been better to swim than to run since my knees are a little worse for wear after a weekend of events in high heels, but we can only do what we feel is right at the time, and I felt like getting the miles in was more important.

I'm about to do something that I didn't think would happen while "training" for a marathon. I'm taking an entire WEEK off running. Woah. It's scary - but I feel like my body needs it. And as I mentioned, I'm going to Florida which is going to provide me plenty of cross-training opportunity. Swimming, walking, biking, and possibly belly dancing will all happen while I'm there. And the running will resume when I get home - hopefully all the better for my time away - both physically and mentally. As it turns out - full rest weeks ARE important in a training schedule. The demands on my time to run every week are grueling. And in order to be able to look at a weekly training schedule with any clarity and desire to do it, I have to be in the right state of mind. Which right now involves a mini-vacation. I couldn't be more excited.

So the goals for the week are to keep the calories LOW, since I won't be burning as much, but to keep the activity as high as I can without actually running. We'll see how it goes.

Here are the weekly stats:

Week 2 Schedule (Completed):

Sun - Rest (after 11 miles on Saturday, counted as part of this week's mileage)
Mon - Rest
Tue - Rest
Wed - Chiro + 3 miles
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Zumba

Total Weekly Miles: 19
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3191
Weekly Weigh-In: 189.2

Week 3 Schedule:

Sun - Rest (although I spent the day on my feet in high heels running a Benefit event!)
Mon - Rest (cleaning my house & laundry before I leave)
Tue - Rest (work event in the evening - will be on my feet for 3 hours)
Wed - Belly Dancing on the beach
Thu - Walk & Swim
Fri - Walk & Swim
Sat - Bike?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUTUMNPOTTER 4/24/2012 7:57PM

    Burn baby burn... You are too funny. I know it seems that as activity increases weight should decrease my problem is my calories increase with the activity. I'm just like you an eating machine. Only I don't run which is probably why I'm still 300 pounds. Here is wishing for weight loss for the both of us, and I hope you have fun in FL. Can't wait to hear all about it.

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LAURIETAIT 4/24/2012 6:08PM

    In my experience the harder you work the more reluctant your body is to part with it's fat stores. Training for a half is hard work. You're body is conserving it's stores to fuel it. I bet once the run is over and your milage comes down the weight will start to come off. You might even see a bit of a change during this week off. AND, your body is changing on the inside. Be patient. Stay the course. You WILL reap the rewards of all this hard work. Unfortunately it will be on your bodies timetable not yours. Hang in there. Thinner thighs are on the horizon.


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CALLIKIA 4/24/2012 9:59AM

    And FYI - Since starting my heavy lifting program, the one thing I crave more than anything else is peanut butter...so maybe craving fats means you're building some lean muscles and burning off the body fat!? (*snort* I have no basis for this assumption, but it friggin' sounds good, doesn't it?!)

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-POOKIE- 4/24/2012 9:57AM

    I think you should be so proud of this, I admire you greatly training for something like this!

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CALLIKIA 4/24/2012 9:24AM

    I have no doubt you'll be in better shape when it's time to run those 26.2 miles. However, I know that doesn't help when you keep getting evil glares from the scale. (Trust me...do I ever know?) No advice for you, really, as I'm not training in anything running-wise right now...however I totally stand behind the week off idea! I keep seeing different programs encouraging this from time to time, just to give your body some real time to really heal up - so you can ask it for more later. Have fun in Florida!

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JENJESS48 4/24/2012 8:45AM

    Sounds like your body and mind could use a break. Enjoy your fun in the sun! I'm sure you'll come back ready to show both the scale and your training schedule who's boss!

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JEREMY723 4/24/2012 8:17AM

    Though I'm only training for a half, I have the same experiences that it's harder to lose when training. Not sure if it's a starvation type mentality or just the way it is or what.

Even if the scale stays the same you'll have more muscle and less fat and be in better shape come marathon time.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/23/2012 9:47PM

    Without a doubt plateau's are frustrating! The magic of breaking through one still escapes me yet I know it can be done. Enjoy your time in Florida and rock that body on the beach while belly dancing - that sounds amazing!

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/23/2012 9:02PM

    Your plateau situation sounds pretty frustrating..but I love that you're pursuing fitness goals no matter what happens with your weight. Training for a MARATHON! That takes some serious dedication - go you!! I really admire someone who reaches a tough fitness goal!

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/23/2012 5:25PM

    I am so proud of you for continuing to keep on. I think a week off is just what your body is craving right now, and belly dancing sounds super FUN! Have a great time in FL!!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 1 (The 26 Week Road to Running the 26.2 Miles Ahead)

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's just my luck that an odd sequence of perfectly timed events all happen round about today.

#1 - Today is the first day of my THIRD year on Spark People and thus the beginning of what I'm deeming the 3rd stage in my weight-loss journey. In my first year here I lost exactly 100 pounds to THE DAY. You can read my blog about it here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4168540


My second year here started out with a bang and I continued to lose fairly quickly until I hit that magic 125 pounds. Then I ran SMACK into the wall of Plateauville - the place I have been hanging out in for the remainder of the year. It needed to happen. I've learned a lot. But I'm done, and definitely ready to move on. I know I'm not meant to stay here. And I know there are more things for me to learn. Just not here. So I'm forging a new road - be it at the same physical weight or not. Which brings me to:

#2 - 26 Mondays from now, I will have officially completed the 2012 Chicago Marathon. Funny, a marathon is 26.2 miles. That works out SO well to start my training journal right here on Spark and bring you all along with me. Am I right? Woohoo! And...

#3 - Today I officially am picking up where I left off (distance-wise). To get everyone up to speed you need to know that unfortunately, at the end of 2011, I injured my right knee and was unable to run for about 6 weeks. That was after running a glorious 11 miler and feeling like I was totally invincible...until I wasn't. I stayed active and did other things- swimming was really important, and I even enjoyed a few days of downhill skiing. But every time I tried to run, my knee would lock up, I'd have searing pain in the joint itself, and my leg would render itself unusable for any speed faster than a dull limp. Boo. Well - after a few months of amazing chiropractic therapy and massage and training THE RIGHT WAY this time as far as increasing weekly mileage goes, I completed another 11 miler on Saturday and I FEEL AMAZING! My legs are strong and in shape. The only pain I'm experiencing is the exhaustion of running super long distances (for me) and not being able to sleep 10+ hours a day. Awww, poor baby.

So here we go...

Obviously, seeing as I just ran 11 miles over the weekend, you can probably guess that my training isn't officially starting today. Nor will it start at the 18 week mark that Hal Higdon sets as being enough to do it. This is my training, my way - taking into account a number of different, but excellent resources (including a few fellow Sparkers who have run this road before themselves), and a variety of different training schedules - the most important of which is my own body and the rate at which it wants to learn, to build and to get better at doing what it is that I am determined to do. So far, so good.

I'm going to venture out there and jump on the band wagon of people that suggest that it might not be the best idea to train for a marathon if the longest distance you currently run is a 5K. No one is saying you can't. In fact, a lot of people start from nothing and learn to run while training for a marathon. But not me. I'm still considered overweight, and I personally feel like starting from ground zero on this one would have been WAY too much stress on my body. I'm stressing it enough as it is - but right now I feel like it's a good stress. It needs to stay that way.

I started running a few months into my Spark journey. I thought I was crazy at the time. I thought I'd NEVER like it in a millions years. But everyone else was doing it, so why not try, right? I was wrong about hating Zumba (I frickin LOVE Zumba, and my cuter than cute, spunky and fantastic instructor Christa, who has been my inspiration and cheering squad through 100 pounds of sweat and booty shakin'). So maybe I would be wrong about hating running as well. The fact that I am writing this blog right now should tell you how that turned out.

Like a lot of people, I started with the C25K program, and then worked up to Bridge to 10K, and then completed my first 15K in November of 2011 with my super-fit boyfriend at my side. Actually - that's inaccurate. I passed him on the way and left him in my dust. He finished a couple minutes after me. But we don't talk about that...hehehehe....

I thought I was well on my way to finishing out 2011 with my first Turkey Trot Half Marathon, but then the aforementioned knee injury struck me hard, and I was benched for the year. So much for perfect records. But that's ok. What I learned from that injury was that my training style was ALL wrong, and that in order to train for even longer distances, I was going to have to train smarter...and much, much slower. Maybe this blog will help me and others keep that in mind, and we can all come out of this feeling good and injury-free.

So I've been officially training for the marathon since February 1st of this year - the day that I officially registered. Even though that's almost 5 months before other people will start training, slow and steady WILL finish this race. And I've also chosen a Half to help me break up the monotony, pretty much right at the half-way mark for my full 9 months of training. Coincidence? Maybe not - I am a sucker for schedules and perfect timing :)

Currently I'm running 3-4 times a week, using roughly the schedule that Hal Higdon dictates in his book, times two (since I have so much extra time). The goal for me is not to overtrain or tire myself out, but to take double the time working up to the longer weekly mileage and thus fitting in more full rest weeks and low mileage weeks to allow my body time to adjust and recouperate properly. So my schedule looks a little like this at the moment:

Week 1: Long Run - Rest - Short Run - Massage Therapy/Chiropractic/Cross Train - Short Run - Rest - Cross Train

Week 2: Semi-Long Run - Rest - Short Run - Semi-Long Run - Short Run - Rest - Cross Train

I repeat Week 1 & 2 for 3-4 weeks at a time and then do a "Rest Week" where I cut my mileage by a good 20-25%, cross train more and do my recovery therapy.

Since running a marathon is as much about brain strength as body strength, it's also interesting to note that because of the way I have derived my schedule, my shorter run weeks also have MUCH more actual running in them and serve to "burn me out" enough that I look forward to my long run weeks like crazy. Same or more weekly mileage run, but fewer days of running on the schedule and I also get therapy and cross training in there which are both things that I look forward to with intense glee.

Currently, I am cross training with swimming and Zumba. I will add in biking to replace Zumba after my half marathon since it is lower impact. I have already prepared Christa for the fact that I will be in class less as we get closer to the big day. Though Zumba IS a form of cross training, it is SO high impact that I'm often sore from that class for at least a day afterwards, and I can't consistently pound on my legs that much as my miles get higher. But I will look forward to a triumphant return to booty shaking in the fall with a 26.2 Mile Finisher's Medal around my neck. Hmm, on second thought, maybe I'll remove the medal for class - don't want to injure myself or anyone around me with all the bouncing and swinging! Haha.

For therapy, I have been seeing my chiropractor regularly since I started Spark. I credit my proper alignment for a lot of my ability to lose weight and lose weight quickly during that first year. She kept me active and pain-free and there is no underestimating how much that has helped me along the way. Just this past week, I have started alternating my chiro sessions with sports massage therapy. OMG. It's SO good. Very different from just a standard back massage - she specifically targets the muscles I'm using in my legs and my back to run hard and long, and I felt like a million bucks after only 30 minutes. Next time, I'm booking the hour-long session!

And finally - Food. This is going to be the most interesting segment in my training log. So far it's been elusive and tricky - but it's not just training that has me overeating right now (there's a reason I came to Spark in the first place - and I'm still working on those issues while I train). So stay tuned. What I can tell you right now with all honesty, is that my training diet still involves FAR too much, erm...brew. Because nothing feels better than washing down 11 miles with one, or two...or five, cold drafts. I've earned it, right? Heh.

So journey with me - the countdown to 26 (.2) miles in 26 weeks. It's going to be a wild ride. Ups and downs a plenty. Let's see if I can get this beer habit under control. Let's see if I lose some more pounds. And let's see what kind of guts, inspiration and raw focus it really takes to commit day after day to this massive goal.

At the end of every blog, I'll list my weekly schedule, and my last weekly weigh-in number, just to keep track. If you are interested in more details, please check out my public food logs and exercise logs (they're available on my Spark page).

Week 1 Schedule (Completed):

Sun - 6 miles
Mon - Rest
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Massage + 5 miles
Thu - 4 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 11 miles (did long run a day early to allow for 2 rest days if needed)

Total Weekly Miles: 18 (+11 - but that will be counted as part of next week)
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 2505 (4047 with the 11 miles)
Weekly Weigh-In: 187.6

Week 2 Schedule:

Sun - Rest
Mon - Rest
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Chiro + Swimming
Thu - 5 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Zumba

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYATLANTA2010 4/19/2012 8:14PM

    Great blog and great training plan!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/19/2012 2:09PM

    26 Mondays from now... I love that. Rock Chicago!

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And happy Third Year. Good things come in threes. Right? :)

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KDYLOSE 4/19/2012 11:15AM

    Wow, look at you. You've become a serious athlete this year. Maybe there's a plateau in the scale numbers, but there's no plateau in your continuing transformation of yourself.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/17/2012 1:45PM

    GIRRRRL, you doing fantastic! You are connecting all the way . . . mind AND body. I remember starting C25K at the same time and now look at you run. I admire your determination and dedication to the sport. Enjoy the journey ahead of you and as you have been doing - take care of you.

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CALLIKIA 4/17/2012 11:25AM

    Happy third year! *clink* Water toast! ;) (Mine starts tomorrow. ;) )

I love your "Slow and Steady" plan. From one injured runner to one in recovery - get after it, girl, but take care of you! Hope to be joining you back on the road soon! ;)

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VICKYMARIEC 4/17/2012 10:42AM

    This is great information!

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SARAWALKS 4/17/2012 10:05AM

    This is fascinating. I don't know that I will ever do it but I take inspiration from you as far as just getting better at my 5K goes! Gradual and changing up the routine and listening to your body. It's VERY interesting. I know you will do well! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAMONAFLOWERZ 4/17/2012 9:44AM

    AH-FREAKING-MAZING! Seriously! You are so inspirational! Keep it up, I can't wait to hear about your success on the BIG RUN!



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JENJESS48 4/17/2012 8:26AM

    Great plan and great attitude! You've totally got this!

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KARVY09 4/17/2012 6:56AM

    So excited to read about your training!

(and yes... Beer after a run = divine !)

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STFRENCH 4/17/2012 5:25AM

    You seem to have an amazing training plan - Good luck!! emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 4/16/2012 5:20PM

    wow Jenn, what a great outlook. I have all the confidence in the world that you are going to OWN this race. I can totally see it in the quiet confidence that you project and the lessons that you have learned.

You got this.

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/16/2012 5:17PM

    YOU are AM AZING! I love that you are sharing your training logs with us, and I am so excited for you!!!

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LAURIETAIT 4/16/2012 5:17PM

    Just reading this exhausted me. I can't see your plateau holding out under this onslaught! You go girl! I'm anxiously awaiting updates.

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KBARRY23 4/16/2012 5:15PM

    Congrats to your amazing progress so far!! It sounds like you've got a solid plan and training schedule in place. I'll also be running Chicago this year for my first marathon. I did a 10 miler this past weekend, so looks like we are on similar plans!!! Good luck - let's keep each other motivated!!

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Your Very Own Bob?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hey Sparkers!

Chicago has a new Personal Trainer and he happens to be a good friend of mine. Check out his new website for more info: www.peopleschamppersonaltraining.com
/PeoplesChamp/Home.html


Adrian is a local Chicago actor and I have personally watched him beef up, slim down or gain weight (whatever his body needs for the various roles he plays). It's amazing how he does it. He is also one of the sweetest guys to work with. No being afraid of your trainer!

He loves a great success story and will work as hard as you do to help you achieve your goals. Eventually I'm hoping to work with him once I'm done my marathon training this year. Can't wait to see what he can do for me too!

This is my full-on endorsement of the guy. I really hope his business takes off because he absolutely deserves it. You can contact him through the website or on Facebook. If anyone is interested in signing up for joint sessions with me, let me know!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLFRISBEY 4/19/2012 2:33PM

    I am TOTALLY interested in joint sessions! Send me a message if you're still looking for a partner! :)

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/19/2012 2:09PM

    Cool!

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LAURIETAIT 4/14/2012 1:01AM

    Can't wait to see how that works out for you.

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ON2VICTORY 4/13/2012 7:23PM

    this guy sounds like a real great trainer. it is going to be exciting to see your results when you start working with him.

awesomeness!

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The Best Feeling In The World

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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNATCHCARRIE 4/30/2012 4:24PM

    What happened?

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CHATTIEGIRL 4/10/2012 1:21AM

    Hi Jenn;

Good for you and I knw the feeling because I don't run but I walk and my highest steps has been 26,000 + 1 or 20 miles. Now that is not all at once but it was a lot of walking 15 to 30 minutes at a time. I am 68 with a bad back but the walking helps the back. I love when I can pass my goals. Continue on with your healthy life style. God bless you always.

Smile Joyce

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KAYATLANTA2010 4/8/2012 2:59AM

    This is a very encouraging blog for me! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 4/7/2012 2:24PM

    emoticon and thanks for the inspiration! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/6/2012 3:46PM

    You go girl! I agree - setting and accomplishing a goal is the way to go. I love how busy you are - sounds like fun.

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Comment edited on: 4/6/2012 3:46:58 PM

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LAURIETAIT 4/6/2012 3:23PM

    Awesome. ! Big things are on the horizon. I can hear it in your "voice " too. So glad things are coming together for you. Spark on!

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ON2VICTORY 4/5/2012 10:34PM

    Jenn- that is so awesome to hear! I havent forgotten about the info i promised. Like you, i have been bringing my A game. Im prepping for my first triathlon and im pretty excited. It is really good to hear the enthusiasm in your 'voice', its encouraging because you had some tough spots and you pulled through stronger.

rawk on!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/5/2012 10:23PM

    I am so proud of you!!!! You are doing amazing, and you keep setting those goals girl, and then plowing through them - you are such an inspiration to me!!
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UMBILICAL 4/5/2012 10:14PM

  What matters most creates the best feelings.

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March Madness

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 4/1/2012 2:06PM

    emoticon

Bravo! For being present, for thinking through it instead of staying in avoidance or denial, for sorting through how to be good to yourself! You can do this.

emoticon

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CALLIKIA 3/26/2012 4:29PM

    It IS tough and we WILL get through it. I agree, NOT trying, which I thought was a brilliant plan, didn't work for me either. I just need to try smarter, I think. We'll both find our grove (dear Lord, I friggin' hope so!!) and settle back into loving ourselves (and those compliments) whole-heartedly.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 3/21/2012 5:58PM

    Plateaus are TOUGH. And it's even harder when people don't see the changes that you're working on, cause you get less support. But sounds like you've been doing well - it'll get easier! Keep blogging and working and training and you'll be okay. I'm proud of you! emoticon

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SHELLYBABE2 3/18/2012 11:11AM

    I wish you every success in battling your plateau and really hope you do lose those few pounds before your anniversary. I also hope you win the battle of learning to love yourself without feeling the need to feed it in - it's so hard to do isn't it. I found your first anniversary blog not long after I re-joined Spark and I've loved the fact that you've shared your ups and downs with us all as it's really helped me feel like i'm not alone in my battles with the numbers, my brain weight, my everything lol - it's a big thank you from me and a huge hug to hope that you find the magic of your success again and continue on with the rest of this bumpy journey!

Take care and remember to take lots of time to be kind to yourself!


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PJH2028 3/17/2012 4:29AM

    I love the way you express so much -- the broad strokes and the subtleties. The profound and touchable YOUness here is testament to your inherent beauty as well as your achievements. Like some other good friends here have said to you -- you are fabulous awesome beautiful strong lovely nuanced lithe human growing shining blossoming.

Thank you for sharing where you are. WIth your honesty and insights, You inspire me to reach forward to where I may belong, to have compassion for my self in my struggles and successes, to look deeper, to enjoy more.

No ruby slippers needed here. Or if they are, you've got 'em.
You are beautiful, Jenn.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 3/16/2012 10:40PM

    This blog was a resounding call to keep working for me. I've been searching for this blog, and here it was all along! I've lost a substantial amount of weight but I still have a far journey to travel and plenty of times I've fallen off but haven't gotten back on 100%. It's all about the numbers for me also, and when the numbers ain't right I lament and beat myself up. I guess this is the mental part of losing weight. Thanks for posting this blog. I needed to know that someone else is going through the same thing. It's nice to know someone has your back.

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LOTUSFLOWER 3/16/2012 5:40PM

    I can relate to so much of what you've said. I think you are doing great work, both physically and mentally with the marathon training, and also the brain weight that you are working on. I think you are simply amazing. Hang in there, you are still inspiring, kicking butt and taking names.

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LAURIETAIT 3/16/2012 12:55PM

    I think anyone who has lost 100 pounds and kept it off has also lost some significant brain weight. Everyone might not appreciate the accomplishment or even understand how brain weight fits in the obesity equation but Sparkpeople certainly do. But it's true that you don't get the same recognition for the bw loss. So I'd just like to take this opportunity to commend you on your bw loss. I really admire all the work you've done, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional to get to the place your at now. While you frustrated with your seemingly never ending plateau just remember those of us on the outside looking in are in awe of your accomplishments. I look forward to hearing how your adjustments affect your plateau.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 3/16/2012 12:36PM

    I KNOW this is my year to break the barrier and blast out of my now 4 years in P-Ville. I'm learning lots but I'm done. You are brilliant and fabulous - you'll get to where you want to be!

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SCOTTPILGRIM 3/16/2012 12:23PM

    I just love the idea of losing "brain weight." I wish more people took that approach. How would you go about congratulating someone for having a lighter brain?

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MIQUEY73 3/16/2012 10:28AM

    I suspect you'll see results from increasing your calories. Here's to breaking through the plateau! emoticon

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JENJESS48 3/16/2012 9:08AM

    Plateaus are soooo hard - I've been on one for nearly a year, too, and my efforts definitely wax and wane. Unlike you, who has kept on fighting. Both of those non-scale victories are huge! And I think your plan is great. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 3/16/2012 6:07AM

    "It might not look like much, but it takes heart and courage and determination to stay in a place like this without quitting."
YOU BET! HANG IN THERE! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHSTATE 3/16/2012 5:54AM

    I have done the same thing recently!!! I was trying to be too restrictive, and that was backfiring with binges, so I adjusted my range up, hopefully we will both have success!!!!:-)

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ON2VICTORY 3/16/2012 5:36AM

    hi jen, its me :) im on my phone so its hard to tap out a well worded comment but i want you to know that ive been exactly where you are at. ill send you a goodie with my contact info and we can talk if you wish to do so. Typing and reading is good but it is even better if you can air out alot of frustration and maybe we can hammer out something that might work...

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