Saturday, January 11, 2014
I came to the reality the other day that I have been on Spark for almost 4 years. What a journey! I have come a long way but I've always given myself some grief that I never reached my goal weight. I was so close...just 5 pounds away. Imagine running a marathon, and you can see the finish line right there. You're so focused on the prize right in front and then BAM, you stumble over your own feet and break your leg. That's sorta what it feels like to me.
Not only did I not make the finish line, but I started gaining weight back. Stress was a huge factor. And then my thyroid. You would think it was underactive, since I gained 14 pounds. But I went to the doc and it turns out it was overactive. Probably why I had a ravenous appetite all the time. I was constantly eating because I was really hungry. Then the dreaded holidays. I made 12 different varieties of Christmas cookies. Need I say more?
I was desperate to get back on track. Desperate times call for desperate measures. A couple of months ago I heard about the Fast Diet on Good Morning America. It intrigued me. Also known as "intermittent fasting", you cut your calories down to 1/4th of the recommended intake, which is 500 calories for women, 600 for men. You do this twice a week (not consecutive days) and the other 5 days you eat what you want. This works best for people who eat reasonably on their non-fast days.
Critics have said that one may develop an unhealthy relationship with food. I've had 4 years to work on my relationship. Some may say you may fall into "starvation mode". It doesn't happen since you only do it for a day, and then eat normally the following day.
I really like it because I never feel deprived. You know you only have to get through one day, and you can enjoy whatever you're craving the next day. It's very flexible. Going out to dinner with friends? Simply move your fast day over a day. The diet is genius. Studies are showing that the diet may also lower your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels, your triglycerides, your LDL, your risk of certain cancers, and dementia.
I don't think this diet is right for everyone, but for now it seems like it's right for me. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
I'm having trouble committing to 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. I have increased it from 1 day to 3, so that's a start. Last night's run was brutal like usual (running 3.5 miles when the heat index is in the mid 90's can drain anyone), but the good news was that I shaved a minute and a half from my time since last week.
Now is the time my club begins to become more focused on marathon training. FDC partnered up with my run club to offer marathon training on Saturdays. Saturday run club was awesome...it was early, and for the more committed runners, but very informal. There was no sign up...just show up. And you could run whatever distance you wanted. Now that FDC joined the picture, you have to register and pay to run with the group. And they want a lot...like $135.00 if you're running the full marathon, $100.00 for a half. Mind you, you still have to pay to register in the marathon, which is over 100. Now that half my income has been wiped out, official training is not an option. Looks like I'm going to have to train on my own.
The kids go back to school on Monday. I think once they're gone for the day, I can focus on fitness a little more. I have a long way to go. Right now, a half marathon seems more realistic. I can always change my mind if I see I improve faster than I'm expecting.
Friday, August 02, 2013
This July, I broke a record for myself. I logged the least amount of fitness minutes in one month since I joined Spark People. That's an all time low in more than 3 years. I am severely out of shape. I went from having the ability to run 1o miles and dreaming of completing a marathon, to not having the desire, or ability for that matter, to run 1. In fact, I went to run club on Wednesday evening and broke out into tears on the way back. I had a stitch in my side, I was out of breath, and my legs felt heavy and weak. I was literally dragging my feet.
So what happened? I have written before about life challenges, and how certain circumstances can suck the life out of you. I've been contemplating for quite awhile of whether or not I should blog about what I'm going through. I'm a rather private person and never really share much in terms of my personal life, but here it goes.
I've been married for almost 20 years to my best friend. We have 4 wonderful children together. We have had many ups and down...probably more downs. This is the biggest down ever. On July 3rd, my husband was sentenced to 32 months in prison. Don't ask for what...it really doesn't matter. The fact is he is a man that has struggled with a lot of things, but he is a great person that made a mistake. We honestly thought that because he had no priors, had no intent, and his whole case screamed entrapment, he would be found "not guilty". I think most of this country has realized that although we live in the greatest country in the world, we have a very flawed justice system. Everyone that knows my husband is saddened and shocked that he was torn away from his family.
On top of losing my husband for more than 2 years, I have also lost his Social Security benefits. I now have to live on less than half the income we used to receive. Looks like Monday will not be the only day we go meatless. Unemployment rates in Miami still hover around 9%, and trying to find a job when you are 42, and have experience in absolutely nothing will make it close to impossible to find employment.
I have lost sight of my goals. Right now, getting out of bed every day and being "strong" for the kids wipes me out. My family lives in NY, and my in-laws hate me. They know where their son is, and yet I haven't heard from him. He lives about 20 minutes away, and is a millionaire. Maybe my expectations are too high.
I do have a great church family. They have been so supportive that I have to admit I have never felt alone. And even without them, I am never really alone, because my Lord and Savior is holding my hand each and every day.
On Wednesday night, I faced the fact that I let myself slip. But you can't change what you don't acknowledge. I need to use that night as a marking point. I am oing to try my best to recommit myself to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It;s not a huge goal, but it's a starting point. I can grow from there. Maybe after a few weeks, that marathon dream will fill my spirit again. "For with God, all things are possible."
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Every now and then, our lives are affected by a deep personal challenge. It could be loss of a job, death of a family member, or some situation that just seems to suck the life out of you. That's what my life has been like the past couple of months. When I feel like I have just cleared a hurdle, there is yet another to jump over. I am a strong Christian, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't know that in the end, everything will be ok, and yet lately, I always feel tired, even when I know I have gotten plenty of rest. How do you motivate your body to exercise, when taking care of your daily responsibilities is overwhelming? You don't.
This month I have completed 241 minutes of cardio. In the past, I've done that in 1 week. The fact that we are into the fourth week of the month is sad. But I have a silver lining. This morning, after battling myself to get on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I have not gained a single pound. I have evolved, and that's good. It means that I am not emotional eating. It means that I make good, conscious choices about what I put into my body.I have not been tracking most days either, so it means that my diet is healthy, and well-balanced. This is a very big victory. Thank you, Lord for every little blessing.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
On Friday evening I mapped out an 11 mile route in my head that I wanted to complete on Saturday morning. The original plan was 13 miles, but I had 2 previous days of standing on my feet all day long, and my back was bothering me, so I thought 11 would be ambitious enough.
The second I started running, I knew it was going to be a tough run. I just felt tired. I ran my first mile in 10:16, but it was all downhill from there. I had periods where I had to stop and walk. My leg muscles were just not keeping up with what my mind wanted them to do.
After 7 miles I had a GU, and a bottle of water and pushed on. Mile 9 and 10 were excruciating, and a walked a lot of mile 11. My finish time? 2:05. I thought it was decent, considering I took walking breaks. I have some friends from my run club that ran the Miami Beach half marathon that day. Their finish time? 2:28! That made me feel great. I basically ran just as good as them, and they have completed full marathons.
I'm giving my body a little break. I'm not going to do a long run like this until the end of the month, and let myself recover. When I got home, my legs kept cramping on me, and I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. But a hot shower, some Motrin, and stretching, and a few hours later, I was feeling better.
My goal was to be able to run 10 by the end of March, so I am ahead of schedule. In a month or so, it will be way to hot to run long distances without dehydrating or suffering heat stroke. Marathon training will be tougher, so I'm taking advantage of the weather now. I am going to do this.
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