Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I was PMSing SO badly last night and ate the following:
1 triangle of brie cheese and a few crackers –OK, HEALTHY SNACK
1 babyel cheese wedge – OK, I’VE HAD ENOUGH CHEESE
1 mini Dove chocolate ice cream bar – WHAT AM I DOING?
1 container of Skinny Cow Strawberry ice cream – MORE ICE CREAM?
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
I actually put a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter INTO my ice cream AND added strawberry sundae sauce.
And to top all of that goodness off, I had 2 glasses of wine.
What is going on?
Today was my weigh in day and somehow all of this mess hasn’t made it to the scale – yet.
The only good thing was that I worked out and walked 3 miles w/ weights, so I actually had a calorie deficit of about 100 calories after all was said and done.
But I wanted to blog about it to remind myself, and others, that we all have our "off" days, "bad" days, whatever you call them, you have two choices.
1. Let it defeat you.
2. Go on as if nothing has happened, and continue along the path to health.
It all evens out in the end. If we let days or nights like this sabotage our efforts, then we really are taking 3 steps back. But if we continue on, one foot in front of the other, we will truly reach our goals.
Oh, and remember to drink lots of water along the way.
And ok, a little coffee can't hurt things.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Ok, so I am stuck. In a dreaded plateau, the very word plateau sounds defeating to me. It is a negative word. I looked it up in the dictionary, and the definition is:
1. Period during training when no observable progress is being made.
2. A relatively flat highland.
3. A temporary or more permanent leveling off in the recovery or rehabilitation process.
Wait, there was one word of hope there. TEMPORARY. Yes, perhaps I can't see the progress being made, but it is there, somewhere, hiding and lurking, waiting for me to have the strength to endure this dreaded valley and come out a slimmer me.
I think what has really made me so mad and frustrated is that these past weeks have been the BEST weeks of my program. I mean, if someone was handing out gold stars for performance, I would have gotten several. I stayed within my calorie range and tracked it - even on the weekends! I worked out above my typical level AND I ran a 5k. I mean, what else do I have to do??
SO I am going to stop. Take a deep breath. And regroup.
I am officially renaming the Plateau. It is now called A Break, A Party, A Siesta. This is a perfectly normal thing and my body has to adjust. I am going to have a little party with my body, I am going to work out, I am going to eat right, I am going to have a little healthy party while my body decides to accept these changes I am putting it through. I think it will come around to my side, eventually.
Perhaps a little glass of wine will help.
And I'm also going to make a few tweaks during this happy, healthy party. From what I've read about these, ahem, BREAKS, is that the best single word of advice is to make a change. Not to make the mistake of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result (Ben Franklin's definition of insanity).
Here are the changes I am going to make in the next few weeks:
1. Zig-Zag Calorie Intake (or Calorie Cycling)
Zig-zagging, or calorie cycling is the process of varying daily calorie intake, while maintaining the same weekly intake. Instead of consuming (for example) precisely 1800 calories each day - you can mix it up. Eat 1500 calories one day, and 2100 calories the next. This can be as simple as halving then doubling a portion size, or adding a post-workout shake into the plan. Just keep your body guessing.
2. Strength Training - 3x per week.
If you are not doing this as part of your program or lifestyle, then it's time to start. Working your muscles will help to strengthen bone tissue, increase lean mass, and ultimately boost metabolic rate.
3. Change Your Exercise Routine - Adding a gym class and maybe swim
So you go walking a lot? Then try jogging, or swimming, or cycling -- anything that will change the way your body is working. If you are doing low intensity cardio work, then try some high intensity exercise.
4. Alter Macro-nutrient Intake - I am going to try less carbs.
Although it sounds complicated, once again, the idea is to change what you are eating. If (for example) you are eating a moderate diet that is higher in carbs - try eating less carbs and more protein. There is no need to get super-technical over the whole thing. If you have a carbohydrate snack every day at morning tea time - change it to a protein snack. Whatever you are doing consistently - try mixing it up a bit.
5. Change Meal Frequency - Plan snacks, no unplanned eating.
If you are eating three square meals a day - start adding snacks in between (which may mean reducing the portion size of the main meals). Eating often is an old and common style of eating - once again, you are trying to boost your metabolic rate.
I am also going to chill out and stop obsessing. My body just needs to realize that it is the guest of honor at this party, and gladly accept the gift of a thinner me.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Total time: 39:31
Pace: 12:45 per mile
Place: 1408 out of approx. 1700 timed runners
Calories burned: 665
I did it! I ran my first 5K!!!! Thanks to SparkPeople and the Couch to 5K program!
I have been sick with a cough and so each time I breathed in I had to cough, so that wasn’t helping me. BUT I ran the entire thing; I only stopped once to walk for about 30 seconds.
My longest training session prior to the race was Friday night, and I ran for 20 minutes straight. I am on Week 6 of the Couch to 5K program, I haven't graduated yet (but will), however I still finished the 5k in about 39 minutes, so I doubled my time. So I pushed myself, and I’m a bit sore from it, but I did it!
Me, my daughter Lucy and my sister Kris before the race
I was so nervous the night before the race, I wanted to do everything right. I had a healthy dinner of protein with some carbs (chicken kabobs and rice) and made sure I drank lots of water in the days before the race. That morning I had a simple breakfast of cereal with a banana. I also had a half cup of coffee. I prayed to have the strength to finish the 5k.
As we lined up the sense of excitement was so strong, I just knew it was a special thing I was doing, and that I had worked so hard for this! I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew I was going to give it my all. My sister snapped a picture of us and then the whistle blew.
Me (right) and my sister Kris (left) before the race, taken from her cell phone.
The first 1/2 block or so was hard, to get into the mental frame of, I AM going to run 3.1 miles. So I stopped thinking of it like that. I stopped looking at all the fit people running in front of, and WITH me, and behind me, I realized that I WAS one of these fit people, I belonged here no matter my size or the number on the scale. I was in the ZONE.
The course was awesome and was held at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. All proceeds from the races went to benefit the zoo. We ran past the baseball fields for MILE 1, then onto running through the zoo to be greeted by cheering crowds (including my cousin and her husband) and flamingos onto MILE 2, then the hardest part for me was MILE 3, which was a little boring and run on a gravel paved path to the finish line. I think MILE 3 got to me mentally because I could see how far we had to go (it was in a straight line) and then all of the runners returning, so it FELT long to me. This is when I had to stop and walk for a bit.
Flamingos in Mile 2
My sister Kris ran with me the whole time, even though she normally runs at a faster pace. This helped me so much; her support has been really awesome. Before each mile marker she would call it out to me. Before the finish she pointed out the finish line and then even stopped to take a picture of me as I ran toward the finish! Running through the zoo past the animals really kept me distracted and entertained at the same time.
I was so proud of myself for running this 5k, my first 5k! I still can’t really believe I actually DID it. My training has paid off, and my weight loss and new lifestyle have as well. My sister told me that the girl in that picture at the finish line couldn’t have been me a year ago – this is a NEW girl – leaner, stronger and more confident. THIS is a girl who will capture her dreams and hold them captive. THIS is a girl who is DONE being a fat girl, and onto being the girl she was meant to be!
Me running to the finish line (I'm in the grey pants)
After the race they had lots of munchies (popsicles, bagels, bananas, oranges, apples). I had an orange Popsicle and it really hit the spot! After that I got professionally stretched out by ATI Physical Therapy. It was complimentary to the runners and it felt so good!
Me, my sister Kris and my daughter Lucy after the race
I ran into a good friend of mine that ran the race as well, we didn’t even know that we were both running in this particular race, and we work out at the same health club and talk about training, so it was a crazy coincidence. It was great to see him!
Me and my friend Tom
Then I changed out of my sweaty clothes and got to spend time with my family and walked around the zoo, had a picnic we brought from home, and I even rode the carousel with my 3 yr. old daughter Lucy.
Me and Lucy on the carousel.
Afterward I relaxed pool side (baby pool side) with the kids.
The 5k course map.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
May Progress Report:
Start weight: 240
End weight: 236
Weight lost: 4 lbs.
Weight lost since the beginning of the year: 21.5 lbs.
Total weight lost: 62 lbs.
Fitness minutes: 1,090 – I reached the 1,000 minutes mark this month!! Last month I only reached 485.
Miles: 43 miles walked vs. 20 miles last month! I doubled my miles!
3 inches off my hips
1 inch off my waist
0.92 to 0.91 waist to hip ratio
I Lost 4 inches!!
Grade for the month: A (up from a "B-")
Scale victories: Reached the 60 lbs. lost mark!!
Praise the Lord victories: I have been working through a stronghold in my life and finally broke through it see the light at the end of the tunnel. Trusting the Lord 100% with my heart and life.
My page was picked as the Done Girls May page of the month
Went to the water park and didn’t feel as self-conscious as I usually do – I wasn’t the biggest one there. I actually looked pretty good.
I AM a size 16 in a bathing suit!!
Was able to able to go in and buy off the rack from a boutique a cute sundress that was NOT a plus size.
C25K Training – In my 5th week, able to run for five minutes without stopping.
Was able to play with my 3 yr. old, both at the water park and at Wizard Quest – going through tunnels, down slides, etc.
My mother said she was proud of me.
I now weigh less than my brother in law (he is an over 6 ft. tall Harley guy, great guy, but I would rather weigh LESS than him! He's always complaining about his weight, giving the exact number and I used to shrink inside, thinking, ugg...I have at least 20 lbs. on him!
Turning down biscuits and gravy while on vacation AND an oatmeal creme pie cookie (Little Debbie, my favorite but at 330 calories a pop, no thank you!)
Doing C25K while on vacation with my sister Kara!
Walked for Breast Cancer in a 5K and raised $200.00 as an individual, as a team (Chicks for a Cure), we raised over $3,500 with the total contribution for the walk as $269,871!
(Me on the left with my sister Kris on the right)
Making healthy choices on vacation – salad, fresh omelet – a VEGGIE omelet, very little cheese.
I’m now happily looking for ways to add more veggies to my food – for example, leftover broccoli from dinner before in my eggs.
I worked out in my PJs to get it in!
Had to readjust my HRM belt to make it smaller!
I purchased the cutest pair of pink workout pants from my health club in 2008. They were a size XL and didn’t fit me, but I didn’t return them – I loved them too much and I vowed they would fit me someday –at that time they didn’t go past my thighs, but now I can button them! They fit!!
A picture was taken of me and my family before going on a boat at Navy Pier and I actually LIKED the picture of me! I saw collarbones! I gladly paid the $20 bucks for the photo.
I had a bad two days where I went over my daily caloric intake and instead of letting it defeat me, I worked out both days and on the 2nd day I did 60 minutes of cardio, 4 of Leslie’s miles and did strength training. Instead of going to bed that night feeling full and bloated, I felt refreshed and energized. I woke up the next day and was back on track. The lesson – I didn’t let these 2 days sidetrack my progress I’ve made and didn’t let it squash my motivation.
May was a great month! I was a little disappointed that I didn't lose more weight. I had hoped for more than my usual pound a week. But you know what? I had two vacations in May where I didn't track my food, just made healthy choices for the most part. And I survived two periods in May (long story).
But in the end, the turtle wins the race, not the rabbit. I will take what I can get, and keep my attitude positive and take each pound as they come! For all you fellow turtles out there, you can do it too!
June will be fabulous as well!!! Aiming for 6 lbs. down in June!
My May Calendar
Photo comparison from last Memorial Day and this Memorial Day - 60 lbs. down!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I am a person who you wouldn't look at and think "runner". I am a person who never thought of herself that way. Last year when I seriously starting Sparking after having my second daughter I looked through the Spark teams looking for inspiration. I had heard of the Couch to 5K program and had instantly disregarded it. Couch to 5K? Why in the heck would I want to get off of my comfortable couch to do a 5K - let alone RUN it. No thank you, I had better things to do. Where was that remote?
Fast forward to the present day. As I started getting healthier and making this a lifestyle change, things naturally, well, CHANGED. I began to LIKE veggies and began to eliminate things from my diet. I began to move and started challenging myself to go further. As some of you may know, I love Leslie Sansone and at the beginning could barely finish a mile. I started to do 2 miles, 3 miles, up to 5 miles. I joined a boot camp at my gym. I started running then for the first time since high school. I hated it. Boy, did I hate it. I was in a pack of about 25 girls and they were all slim runners. I was at the back of the pack. I was so far back that I had my own time - the fast ones would go first, then I would go. But instead of hurting my confidence, it built it up. Here I was, almost 300 lbs., and while I wasn't as fast as the other girls, I was RUNNING. This was a first step. This was when I first got the thrill of the run and started to see progress. The other girls helped build my confidence as well, always patting me on the back after the runs.
Then my sister entered me into an 8K race and I mistakenly thought I could walk it. It said on the application form that "walkers were welcome", however, you had to be a FAST walker. I have a separate blog with details of that (link below), www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3026454 but the main point is that I ran half of that 8K without seriously training. Where was I to go from here? How could I challenge myself? Run a 5K. That was it.
So I joined the C25K team and I have fallen in LOVE with running. Love, love, love. Now I am a working mother to two young girls and I'm sure many of you can relate - there is nothing I love more than my family. I can't wait to get home from work to see them. But, I have to fit in my training time. With my other workouts I could wait until they were in bed asleep or before they woke up to do them, but with this I sort of need daylight (not qualified yet to "night run" I don't think) and so I fit in my training when I can. I don't feel guilty about it, I make sure I leave work on time, stop at the gym or a park and get my training in, then go home. And I look forward to it. ME? I love it. ME? I can't wait to do it again. ME?
I've come up with my own Top 10 list of benefits of running. Here they are:
Top 10 Benefits of Running, or Why I Run:
1. If the world were to be taken over by zombies, I just might stand a chance.
2. I am now able to run with my daughter at the park or in our backyard, instead of just watching her wondering how she has all that energy.
3. I have increased cardiovascular health. Running not only improves my appearance, but also the overall function of my body, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke!!
4. I am slimming down. My thighs are getting smaller and stronger.
5. Increased confidence. The feeling of being an athlete.
6. Improved coordination.
7. The thrill of the race.
8. Running slows down the aging process. Need I say more?
9. The victory of being able to run three minutes straight without stopping.
10. Being able to run away from my problems - literally. When I am running I'm in the zone and not thinking about anyone or anything else.
MOST OF ALL I RUN FOR ME! I AM DONE BEING A COUCH POTATO!!!
I want to end with this quote from Nike:
"SOMEONE BUSIER THAN YOU IS RUNNING RIGHT NOW."
Make the time for yourself. Whether it's running, biking, jumping, dancing, loving, walking, hiking. Make that time because it will make you a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, lover, friend. It will make you YOU!!!
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