Friday, September 24, 2010
Time for some positive thoughts!! My last couple of blogs were written when I was kind of down on myself. Well, I have bucked up, analyzed my eating and exercising behaviors, and decided to work toward a solution. That's what it's all about, right? If we all want to work this unhealthy weight off, and KEEP it off, we have to continually analyze what we are doing, check up on ourselves to make sure we are not moving in the wrong direction. And if we ARE moving in the wrong direction, find a solution.
For starters, I kept asking myself the question, "How was I so disciplined last year, and now I can't get a handle on things at all? How do I get back to that point?" I kept thinking, maybe I need an exercise buddy to help get me motivated and back on track. But you kow what I have found?? Exercise buddies only help you so far, and you have to be motivated and inspired in yourself FIRST, and then feed off of others' enthusiasm. Just looking to others to push you through will NOT work. So, I stopped looking elsewhere, to be honest. I know how to lose weight, I know how to eat right, I know how to exercise and what works for me. It just comes down to doing it. But why am I having such a hard time "doing it?"
One word - HABITS. Through the holidays last year, after reaching my goal weight, I purposely allowed myself to endulge in a lot more junk - Christmas chocolates and other sweets, more alcohol drinking... Those 2 things being the biggest culprits, I think. And while I think it is ok to endulge now and then, one has to return to their good habits, or the bad habit of endulging will sink in. After the holidays, I tried to tighten up the reigns again, but never really got a good handle on things again. And over the last several months, it seems to just be a slow decline downwards....
This is my take - EVERY decision we make will help solidify a good, or a bad habit. When we start giving in (say, to just snacking more and more without counting, for example), it can quickly become more and more often, and before we know it, it's a hard habit to break, and its helped pack on 5 pounds.
I want to start getting back to those healthy habits, where I easily got up in the morning for my exercise, because it was routine, it was what I did every day, and I NEVER made excuses (unless it was really pouring outside or I was sick.) I want to stop making silly excuses, and stop saying "I'm too tired, I'll run in the evening" - cuz we all know that don't work... at least for me. To get myself back to that point, I have decided to stick to my exercise plan hardcore for then next several weeks. Get out there, and just do it.
I also want to get back to tracking my food. At the beginning of the week, as I was contemplating all of this, and coming up with my game plan, I thought I would leave off the tracking for a few weeks, and just focus on getting into full swing with my exercise. But then I got a school assignment to write down everything I eat for a week (we are learning about nutrition), so I thought, "GREAT! What a great way to get me starting tracking my food properly again!" Of course, after this week, it is up to me to keep that ball rolling on my own...
I am also getting back into the habit of weighing myself regularly again. I know some diet programs say to only weigh yourself once a week, but I find, for me, weighing myself almost daily works the best. I know weight fluctuates a little from day to day, so I don't worry about those little fluctuations - what's important to me is that it is generally moving in the right direction.
Another bad habit I am trying to tackle is drinking. Alcohol, I mean, though I do need to work on drinking more water. I have been facing some stressful situations lately, and have been allowing for a lot more consumption of alcohol in the last couple of months. First of all, alcohol does not bring any kind of solution to tough situations, and secondly, it really dampered my ability to jump out of bed and go exercise the next day. And I have a strong suspicion that it actually contributed to my "down-ness," not to mention the 5+-pound gain I have seen in the last few weeks.... UUUGGGHHH! I can live without it, that is for sure. We are gonna nix that completely for a while. =)
So, with my game plan still in the baby-stages, but growing into full swing, I am feeling much more upbeat and positive. I have already lost 2 pounds this week, which of course, is motivating! But I can't live on this week's successes alone, I have to keep working toward deeply establishing those good habits that I once had. This is about a healthy lifestyle, not yo-yo dieting. =)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I hate writing another negative blog, but seriously, I can't think of a better place to vent then right here on my SP. I could just kick myself, seriously. This entire summer has just gone down the drain, eating and exercising-wise, I have totally let myself slide. And no matter how I try to rev myself back up, and muster up determination to get back on track, something always comes up and throws me off before I have even really gotten the momentum up.
It's always something with the exercise/running - it's the weather, it's that I have too much to do, it's that I stayed up too late the night before and can't seem to drag myself out of bed, it's that I don't feel good, or it's just that I simply don't feel like going... The excuses go on and on.
With my eating, well, I have just been eating and eating, everything within reach, no thought for calories, no counting calories of course, no sense of boundaries, just eating so much. I have gotten into the bad habit lately, that when I cook a meal, I take the taste-testing a little too far, and practically eat a whole portion before I even have an opportunity to sit down.... You have to understand, I am a very busy mother, and have small children, and sitting down to enjoy my meal is a bit of a luxery itself.
Anyway, I am so tired of using excuses. I am so tired of not following through on my own goals. I am so tired of breaking my own rules (like never skip 2 days in a row on exercise). Yet every time I try to analyze and find the problem and then revamp, I just keep slipping right back into the bad habits.... Frustrating! And I am really tired of the scale creeping up.
So, I am not sure how, but this has got to stop now. And I am contemplating some different goals or guidelines that I might need to set until I am really back into full swing again. It's not just about the scale either, I really feel like crap with all the junk I have been eating, and with the lack of exercise. Eating right and exercising give me such an amazing feeling, and I really miss that. I want to get back on track. Why is it such a struggle?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Seriously, I'm in a slump. Between August 2009 and June 2010, I ran 4 half marathons and 3 10K races. I was motivated with or without an exercise buddy, and very dedicated. Every time I felt my momentum wavering, I searched out a new goal or found something to help push me through.
Then in July, I got very sick. So sick that I was in the hospital for a few days. I gave myself a good rest period to recover, and then started back gently running again - much shorter distances, and not pushing myself as hard. But I sense a significant decrease in my motivation to run in general, and it's been a struggle to keep going.
Last week, it rained every morning, and I mean, pouring rain. I didn't get out there to go running at all. As a result, I'm even more down on myself. Plus I ate a ton of food... Uuugghh, it's just a vicious cycle.
So I've decided to lighten up a lot. I have a tendency to set very high expectations of myself and push myself too hard, and then when I don't perform and fulfill my goals, I get down on myself. I tend to pour myself 100% into whatever I do, but you know what? There's more to life than exercising like a maniac! There are other things in my life that need more time and attention, including my 4 beautiful children. I'm not putting pressure on myself to do any more half marathons (nor a full like I had been working toward) for the rest of the year, but I still want to get back in the game and be consistently running, even if it is shorter distances.
Last year, I didn't feel I needed a buddy - I was highly motivated all by myself, even doing almost all my races alone. I think anyone's real no. 1 motivator should be themselves, or they'll never really be consistent. But at a time like this, I really wish I had a solid fitness buddy that I could confide in, and draw encouragement from. I have a few friends here who like running, or want to run, but aren't close enough to me to actually go together, and aren't consistent about exercise. I don't want to be the one always trying to keep things moving, keep us motivated....
Oh well... at least the past couple of days I have been running (only 4-5 km, but still!), so I'm feeling much more positive, and maybe I'm on the upswing.... I guess we will see. At least the weather is supposed to be rain-free pretty much all week. Time to work on getting my groove back!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I donít think they exist. I think they are excuses people use, because they donít feel they can do anything about their weight situation. And I donít think they could be more wrong. Yes, there are health complications and problems that might play a part, like a thyroid problem, but most of us are good and healthy. Of course, I am no doctor or scientist, and this blog is simply my own opinions and conclusions, but I think I have discovered some things along the way that have been very helpful and might be so to others.
So, why do some of us struggle so much? Why is it that every office or work place has a least one person who seems to eat everything they want, and are still stick thin? Why is it that some people simply decide to start exercising to get into shape, and the weight melts away, without them even saying anything about a diet change? Why is it that other people start training for a marathon, eating a good balanced diet to fuel their body properly, and they gain weight?
I am one of those people who has to count calories meticulously to stave off the weight. For years, I struggled with my weight, though never obese, always chubbier than I wanted to be. I started running, thinking the weight would come off through exercise alone, but the weightloss NEVER came, not even after increasing my running and training for a half marathon several years ago.
I couldnít figure it out. In my eyes, I ate pretty healthy, healthier than average, so I thought. And I exercised more than the average person, so it must be a slow metabolism, right?
I later discovered how to determine the proper calorie intake in order for me to lose weight, which was really the missing link for me to lose the weight. See, what it really came down to is this: as I increased my exercise, I unknowingly increased how much I ate. I ate until I was satisfied, which kept me stuck right where I was. I was eating just as many extra calories as I was burning without even knowing it. But even now, I know how to calculate my proper calorie intake, I know what it takes to lose weight, I still struggle with my appetite. Why?
A documentary I saw a few years ago on the Discover Health Channel, I believe, held the answer. In this documentary, the doctors studied several different obese patients over a period of time. One of the things the doctors did during the study, was to study the brain activity of the patients, particularly the activity in reaction to them eating. What they found was that almost all of the patients showed significantly lower levels of endorphins released after the patient had eaten, compared to the average person, MEANING that these patients needed to eat MORE to achieve the same level of satiety.
What does this mean for the average person? Well, I think that many people actually experience this on some scale, me for one, though not to the same extreme. Think back to that girl in the office who always seems to eat what she wants and never gain weight.... Yeah, a half hour after you (or I) have wolfed down 3 of the Krispy Kreme donuts that someone was "kind" enough to bring in, sneaking back for another, we can walk past her desk and still see half of her ONE donut she took sitting on a napkin on her desk. Why? Because she is satisfied. She took a few bites and her body said she was done. Me on the other hand, I am struggling to calm down this voice in my head that is screaming "More Donuts, NOW!! More Donuts! Must eat more donuts!!" Even though I have already eaten 3.
Bottom line? I really believe that it is not the metabolism that differs so much from person to person (though I am sure it does a little bit), but the level of satisfaction we acquire from food that differs so much. That girl who seems to eat anything she wants? We donít really see her all hours of the day, and if we were able to, weíd probably see that she eats far less than we think she does. Children who grow up with obese parents or family members do not, in my opinion, inherit the obesity, but simply learn the eating habits of those around them. For me, my mother was obese when I was growing up, but I believe it was a very traumatic experience I had as a teenager that triggered an emotional connection with food that I have been unable to shake. I believe that it is the HABIT of overeating, whether for emotional reasons or because we are influenced by those around us, that TRAINS our bodies to be only satisfied with such-and-such amount of food, and once we become accustomed to that eating lifestyle, it is very hard to reprogram ourselves.
So for some of us, weightloss and management will be a constant struggle. For some of us, we may not be able to just turn off our impulses to eat, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible to overcome. The rewards to acheiving a healthy weight are far more than the satisfaction from endulging in food, no matter how appealing. So keep working at it and don't give up!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
These are some of my latest contemplations and random thoughts.... I seriously have so many things I would love to write about, I could write every day, if only I had the time....
Ok, so on to the subject at hand. I'm a very goal-oriented person... and not abstract goals, or relative goals, I like to have definite, defined goals, and I don't like to settle for anything less than 100%. The same was the case in setting my weightloss goal last year in January 2009, starting out at 175 lbs. I wanted to be under 125 lbs, ideally between 122 to 124. Getting under 130 felt so great, and I could sense a dramatic decrease in motivation, but I had said under 125, and I mustered up all my determination to pull through for the last stretch.... And I did just that and reached my goal in October last year... But then came Christmas, sickness here and there, and my weight slowly started creeping up. I took a lot of focus off my diet, allowing myself to eat more, and I found myself in the range of 128-130. Since February, I've been trying to get off the unwanted 5-or-so lbs, but have had a horrible time trying to rein in my uncontrollable appetite!
It was so weird- how could I have been so disciplined last year, and just cannot stop myself now? Maybe because I allowed myself some treats throughout Christmas, I got into some bad habits again. I seriously feel that the more I allowed my self to eat, the more hungry I became. Its as if, once I start really controlling and monitoring my diet, being disciplined, after a few weeks, I achieve this state of discipline, where it doesn't seem hard and I can pretty easily say no to things. But if I go an extended time giving in, I lose that state of discipline. I also felt that the running was preventing me from really getting back on track... I would do good for a day or 2, but then the hunger would hit, and I would start snacking on all kinds of stuff, piling on the calories before it was even lunch time. Whether I was giving in because of the hunger, or because I convinced myself that I "needed" the extra food, I don't know.
With this whole debate about my appetite, as well as other concerns about my hefty running, I decided that maybe I needed to take a step back from the running, and do some diet overhaul! I know, it seems obsessive over just a few lbs, but my ideal goal was still there in the back of my mind, and I did not want to become complacent, adding lb by lb slowly back on.... I mean, where do you draw the line, and say, "Enough is enough, I wanna get back on track now?"
So, I started watching my eating more closely, portion sizes, calories, making healthier choices, running much lighter, and then I got sick! Really sick. So sick I was hospitalized last week. The doctors at the hospital are convinced I had mononucleosis, but I think it was just the most SEVERE case of strep throat IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.... Or that's at least my perception. My normal doctor also thinks it was strep throat. (We haven't gotten the results of the tests yet.) The pain in my throat was excruciating beyond words! I couldn't even speak without unbelievable pain. Anyway, due to the pain, I could barely eat. So, you know what? I dropped weight like crazy this last week... Yep that's right, all those silly little lbs I had been fighting with for months? Gone. It was completely unintentional. Right before I got sick, I weighed 128.6, and today, I'm at 122!
What I think is so ironic is that I had spent several days contemplating how I was going to get my diet back on track, particularly because I sensed there would be a time when I wouldn't be able to run, or would not be able to run as much, and I knew if I didn't get my eating under control, I would blow my whole goal of maintaining my weight like I wanted to. And now, I got sick, and am not supposed to exercise for 3 weeks, doctor's orders, and will really need to practice some healthy eating choices over the next few weeks. It's like I sensed something was coming.
I think this whole situation has just really helped me see that, no matter how much you exercise, you really need to keep that appetite in check. I was putting so much focus on running off the extra calories, that I was making way too many allowances, and the allowances kept becoming more and more frequent. So, even though I suddenly lost those unwanted lbs, I'm going to carefully watch the diet over the next few weeks of inactivity. To be honest, I'm not scared about gaining, and I am actually welcoming the break. I think it will be a great time of rest, healing, and regeneration for me. And I have some running buddies who will be more than happy to run some races with me this fall once I get back on my feet.
On a slightly different subject, I am a hobby cook. I follow a whole-foods diet (everything whole-grain, as unrefined as possible, and so on), and make everything from scratch, including all my own bread. My birthday was Friday, and from my husband I got a Kitchenaid with a grain mill. From my parents-in-law, I got this super cool professional cook book, that teaches you all sort of processes and stuff with really detailed pictures. So over the next few weeks, since I won't be running, I want to put some extra thought and effort into some new recipes!!! And into some freshly milled grain for my bread! One of my project recipes this week is going to be fish, which I want to buy and filet myself for the first time. I'm actually not a big fish fan, but I guess I am what my husband calls "fish curious." haha! I'm excited about trying some new things and expanding my skills as a cook, as quirky as that is!
Get An Email Alert Each Time RUNDARCYRUN Posts