Sunday, August 12, 2012
According to Spark People, I have engaged in 801 minutes of exercise so far this month.
In reality, I have engaged in 1,619 minutes of exercise in August.
Because my time tends to be in distance events, I only get credit for the daily maximum of 2 hours. Now, some part of Spark People recognizes the time expenditure because I was awarded my 1,000 minutes trophy on the 4th, after a day when I rode 81 miles over 7+ hours. But as far as my SparkAmerica Fitness Minutes are concerned, I only got my 120 minutes for that day.
I know that in the greater scheme of things, the fact that I DID that exercise is far more important than SparkAmerica Fitness Minutes. But it's still a little irksome.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Today's plan was simple: get up and do abs and strength training, get laundry done, go to Party City with DD to pick up costume bits for the Super Hero Bike Ride tomorrow evening (just a fun ride, but costumes! and the way we'll do it, 30-40 miles of riding), then drive over to our best friends' house to pick up their sugar gliders, which we are pet-sitting for the two weeks they are on vacation. After that, come home, change into bike clothes, and bike to the farmer's market to buy produce. After that, get home in time to greet our out-of-town, weekend guest.
Well, we were starting our workout when the repair guy came to look at the treadmill. That took way longer than we expected, and though we got some chores done, suddenly it was afternoon. Then the costuming took three separate stops, partly because figuring out an effective costume that is also safe for biking is a bit of a chore. She's going as Cat Woman, I'm going as Mighty Mouse. Mouse ears are hard to find!
Then we drove across town to pick up the critters. Though they had promised to leave the door unlocked for us to get in, they forgot and locked up. So there was an hour of waiting until the friend with the spare key arrived. By this time the farmer's market was closed.
We got home and had just enough time for a short bike ride, only 9 miles. We have no produce in the house, but at least we got in most of the exercise we wanted for the day.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
There was a discussion in one of my forums during which someone said that people fail at mainenance because they stop eating right and exercising. I think it's unfair and too simplfied to say that people just stop trying. There are biological components going on that make maintenance extremely difficult, and all the weightloss research in the world hasn't found a way to circumvent those yet.
No one wants to get fat again. None of us who have yoyo-ed hundreds of pounds are happy with that. Losing weight causes measurable metabolic changes that our bodies resist and try to "correct." Staying lighter is staying at war with our biological makeups, and that constant vigilance gets exhausting.
If there was ever anyone who had a million-dollar-a-year motivation to stay thin, and access to all the resources for doing so, it was Kirstie Alley when she was Weight Watchers' spokeperson, and that wasn't enough motivation.
Oprah Winfrey could PAY people to slap food out of her hand, and that isn't enough motivation.
To expect Joe and Jane Average, who have the daily stresses of life to juggle and the occasional life crisis to meet, to be able to do better than these celebrities who can afford every advantage is unreasonable. And to BLAME Joe and Jane Average for failing at something that 90-95% of people fail at is to deny years of science and research and about as realistic as believing that leprechauns are the secret to weightloss.
I've read numerous studies that conclude that weightloss is simply ineffective, and is more likely to lead to longterm weight gain and worse health because of lost muscle mass in the weightloss attempt--and then end with a conclusion that people should keep trying anyway. If that research had been for a cancer drug and the conclusion was that in 90-95% of cases it had no effect and might actually make the patient worse, but we should go ahead and administer it anyway, the authors would be laughed out of the scientific community. But because it's fat, and because we cling to the belief that somehow willpower is enough--despite all the scientific evidence that it isn't--we just keep on blaming the patient and hoping for the best.
We are playing a lottery with very long odds. I am playing it right along with everyone else here on Spark People, even knowing those odds. I am not focusing on being thin. I will never be thin. I am focusing on being healthy, and on being able to move around and do lots of physical activity that I couldn't before. I am focusing on eating healthy foods, and paying attention to when I am full, and not denying myself good food so that I feel compelled to binge. Weightloss is coming with that, and I'm pleased about that. But I am also aware of the issues that surround it. I can't deny or ignore those.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
It sounds crazy, after a weekend in which I biked 125 miles, to say that I have to get myself rededicated to my journey. But in reality my weight has bounced up about 10 pounds because I was eating EVERYTHING in anticipation of this ride.
Now that the ride is over, and my whole life isn't focused around the bicycle, I have to sort of "detox" from the continual eating, and rebuild a more even workout schedule. Not that I'm not going to ride--I'm pledged to get in another 650 miles before the end of the year, and I'd rather not be doing them in the snow--but that I'm going to balance it out with weight training, walking, and ab work to get a more balanced me.
And get back to eating appropriate portions for burning 200-300 exercise calories a day, instead of 1,500-2,000. My eating has gotten really sloppy, as has my tracking. I have work to do in those arenas. And I will, because I am determined to end this year as healthy as possible.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
As many of you know, I participated in Pedal to the Point, the Multiple Sclerosis 150-mile bike ride.
Except it turns out that the race organizers mapped out a 165-mile ride for us to enjoy. Which didn't make any of us very happy. But, hey, you're out there with almost 3,000 people, you do what you have to.
Also, it was supposed to be 92 degrees and sunny. Not my favorite riding weather. In preparation for the ride daughter Erin and I started drinking Powerade and hydrating like crazy.
Then on Friday afternoon, Hubby and I had to get into our bee hives to add a new set of frames. The bees are usually very docile and I don't even have to wear gloves. But the bees were agitated because a skunk had been after the hive, so they came after me and stung me twice on the right hand, one on the index finger and one on the base of the thumb.
Plus, there is still the bruised tailbone giving me trouble. This was an inauspicious beginning, to say the least.
But I was game anyway. So Erin and I were at the start by 5:30am. Start time was supposed to be 7, and we were anxious to get some miles behind us before it got warm. Unfortunately, the "guest of honor" was late and had to make a long speech. The whole crowd was highly irritated at the delay, all of us knowing that the cool weather was crawling away from us.
Finally at 7:25 the event started. We pulled out as quickly as possible and headed down the long hill that we groaned at the notion of coming back up on the second day (this year the race start had been moved to a location that was much hillier for who knows what reason). The first part of the ride wasn't bad, and we reached the lunch break, 35 miles in, at 10:00. We ate quickly, but by the time we were done with lunch the cloud cover was burning off and it got really, really hot. With the heat, and the wind blowing into our faces, it got really uncomfortable really soon. By the time we got to the second to last break, SAG (Support and Gear) trucks were loaded down with bikes from people who were dropping out and two ambulances had passed by.
We were about 20 miles away from the finish line, and decided that this would be a good time for a long break in the shade. And man, were we going through the Gatorade!
We got back on the road and just about melted. But finally we turned north and had the wind behind us. We got in at just before 4pm with 80 miles done. With breaks, the riding time was just under 6 hours. We staggered off to the hotel, got showers, and went down to the pool to meet up with the rest of the team.
That's when we found out that it had been 103 degrees that afternoon. One. Hundred. Three.
I'm really glad we didn't know during the day, because it would have psyched us out.
This morning we got a decent start, but then rain came in. We got drenched, and at the second stop, which was at a little market store. We waited it out for about an hour and ate snacks. By the time the rain was slowing, though, the volunteers were pulling down the rest stop and we realized that we were really far behind. We got on the bikes and headed out and good clip. We caught up with and passed a lot of riders, and made the next 20 miles in about 90 minutes, pulling into the lunch location at 11:40.
But the ride was starting to tear up my back. I was in a lot of pain and couldn't get comfortable in the saddle. My tailbone was pretty much on fire. And then when I peeled my riding gloves off my hand was completely swollen, and my arm was swollen about halfway up the the elbow.
44 miles in, and I realized that I simply could not go on, not without risking really injuring myself. Erin, who is very much a cheerleader type, took a look at my hand and insisted that I stop. So I called Hubby, who was at the finish line, and told him that I needed to be picked up.
Then I put my head down and cried a little. Erin went on, because she still had it in her, and I waited, watching more SAG trucks picking up bikes, watching an entire schoolbus of riders loading up for the ride back to the starting line. I watched the volunteers pull down the lunch stop. When hubby arrived, I cried a few more tears, then we headed back.
I almost refused to take the medal. But the race veterans pointed out to me that people who only ride one day get a medal. In fact, people who only ride the 35 miles to the lunch stop get a medal. They also pointed out that only a third of the people who ride the first day also ride a second day. They reassured me that I had nothing to be ashamed of.
So. I biked 125 miles over two days. I biked through staggering heat and humidity. I biked wet and cold.
And I was smart enough to stop before I hurt myself. The one thing Hubby and I discussed before this was how important it was that I not let my obsessive nature overtake my common sense and end up injuring myself and losing the progress I've made. Calling it quits was actually harder than pushing through would have been.
I am not entirely happy with what happened. But I am satisfied.
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