Friday, November 08, 2013
In fact, I came third in the last maintenance challenge, so go me!!
This week has not been a good week. I came down with a cold that also managed to affect my ear. This meant that when I got out of bed in the morning, or made any sudden movements I got a sudden case of vertigo! Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, so I think the worst of it has passed.
The thing about colds is that it is harder for me to get out the door and exercise and much easier to say 'yes' to the cookies and cakes. I am sick after all!!
Those two things don't balance out, however, and the scale does a good job of reminding me of that.
Two things have helped me cope this week:
1: Just say "no".
The "at goal and maintaining" team have a thread where they ask, "what did you say no to today" or something similar, which affirms the strength it can take to say "no" to junk food. I've been stopping and asking myself if I really need to pop the chocolate into my shopping basket, and then, if the answer is "no", leaving it alone. It helps me. It's a little thing, but is one step closer to keeping my body healthy.
2: Tell myself I'm going for a half hour jog.
I realise this may be a bit of bribery and corruption going on, but today, as I was feeling just a little better, I said to myself, "go on, just half an hour". It was enough to get me into my running gear and out the door. Then, amazingly, when I hit the 30 minute mark, I found myself thinking, "go on, just five minutes more" and on it went until I managed an hour of jogging.
Sometimes we just need to imagine doing the first few steps. Once we've done those, the next few steps seem possible.
I read through my last blog before writing this and, amazingly, I've managed to meet most of the goals. Making sandwiches for lunch is still not as regular as it could be, but I do feel life is settling in to a groove here, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that this is a new groove, not at all my old routine, but it's a groove that is working and slowly taking shape.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
This last week has been a tough one for me. This was the week when the University set down their expectations for Phd students and I spent a lot of time getting to know my (much younger) fellow students and getting to grips with what achieving a Phd will actually mean!
More than the workload, I began to realise that my usual training schedule was going to need to change, too. I have always gone jogging in the evening, and, although I didn't realise it, seen it as something to look forward to at the end of the day. My college timetable is not going to allow for that. As most of my scheduled lectures are at the end of the day, it is going to make more sense to jog in the mornings. For some reason, this has really upset me.
Added to that, I have not been able to set aside time for lunch. I find myself travelling at what was my 'old' lunchtime and have just been fitting in some food wherever I can find the time. Argh!
My old routine is not fitting into this new life!!
Things need to change.
There is no point trying to do things the way that I used to, because I can already see that it will lead to failure, disappointment and a return to bad habits. I can see that if I want to keep up with my running and healthier lifestyle, I'm going to need to adapt, and, like I needed to when I first started Sparkpeople, this is going to need a little bit of planning.
So, here goes:
Jogging needs to be done first thing in the morning. Instead of it being something I look forward to at the end of the day, I need to see it as a way to start off my day well.
I can still pack myself a sandwich everyday. That way I know that I've prepared for lunch, and, over time, I'll find a regular time to enjoy my lunch.
Start waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday. This may help in feeling like I have some sort of routine.
Plan my studying the way I started exercising - with just ten minutes everyday. Set myself smaller, realistic tasks. It may seem too small at the moment, but it will grow and in time I'll be able to keep up with the academic conversations in class.
Keep monitoring my exercise and my calories, just to make sure I'm keeping stable in that area (Being part of the 5% challenge always helps with this). I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm just making sure no bad habits are creeping in without me noticing.
Work on my attitude and perspective. Just for now, try to see not only the frustrating, negative side of change, but look for the potential in living differently.
This is a start. It is interesting to see how I like to try and fit my old routines into new environments. I think this is the first time that I've realised I can't do that. It is a tough realisation, but I think it may be the key to not gaining an extra ten pounds of frustration. It is also interesting to notice how my main frustration is over when to eat a sandwich and having to change the time I go jogging!! Those things are easily resolved.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
There we are. My ever supportive DH and me. He has seen me progress from my first 5km in 2009 (at 148 pounds) to my first half marathon (at 120 pounds). At the end of the race he said, "your body has certainly changed since your first race!!"
In spite of my IT band giving me a bit of trouble this last week, I managed quite well. I've learned that if I concentrate on relaxing my shoulder it somehow helps release the tension I feel in my knee. I knew to start at a slow pace as that would enable to keep going the entire distance without pain at the end. It worked!!
When I hit the 10 mile mark I knew that I could just go for it, and I did. It was amazing what a mental boost it was to think: "this is the same as a 5km race. I can do that!!" and just let my body take over.
The weather was overcast and cool, just perfect for running, and the course was fairly flat. There was a steep incline just before entering the race track, which was not ideal at the end of a race, but I managed. I ran the whole distance averaging about 9.30 mins per mile, with a final burst of energy at the end. My last three miles were all under 9 mins per mile. I passed the finish line just at just over 2 hours, which was what I was hoping for. I'll get the official time later today, but I think it will be 2:01 or 2:02.
IT band is sore now, so sitting on the couch resting it. The rest of me feels great!! Give me a few weeks and I'll be ready for the next one!! The training for this has been long (nearly 7 months) so I'm extra relieved that it went well, and very happy.
Thanks for all the support!
Friday, September 13, 2013
And all I keep thinking is: 'don't get an injury now!!'
I'm ready. My past two long runs have both been 21km in about 2 hours. I know I can do it, now I just need to taper for this week, get enough sleep and eat well.
We've been away on holiday in Scotland and have not eaten as well as we usually do. I haven't jumped on the scale yet, so hopefully I haven't gained too much, but I do look forward to a week of balanced, healthy eating before race day.
I'll be running the half marathon next Sunday. I've been training for months now, so it feels like it's been quite an epic journey.
My last long run is this Sunday. I'm only planning on running for 90 minutes. My plan after that is two runs of thirty minutes each, and plenty of yoga.
I need to keep healthy and injury free now. I feel like the training part is done.
Phew. I'm excited!!
Any last minute tips??
Friday, September 06, 2013
Although anniversaries are frequently the opportunity to look back and reflect on what we've achieved over the last year, this time I very much feel like I'm looking forward to the future. Much of the reason for this is because I find myself preparing for a few things that have been on my goal list for just a little bit too long.
Here's what I think has happened:
When I started spark people, I was given a few simple ideas to keep me on track to reach my weight loss goal. I wasn't just taught how to set goals, I was given simple ways to meet them and it worked for me. I got excited by spark points and fitness minutes and trophies. (I still do ) I also liked the idea of setting myself a goal of ten minutes of exercise a day. I knew that I could do that. I learned not to focus on the ominous final destination, but on the little steps I could take each day instead. Eating too much junk food was no longer guilt ridden because I simply added it to my calorie tracker, and, slowly but surely found myself eating less and less of it. For me, this really worked.
Once I reached my goal weight, I slowly began to toy with the idea that other goals in my life could potentially be reached too, if I just did a little bit each day. I now knew that I liked trophies and accumulating fitness minutes, and this naturally flowed into jogging. By signing up to races I knew I would earn myself some sort of medal at the end of the race, and I also knew that I would be spending time building up my mileage. Again, this has worked really well for me, I think because I'm learning what motivates me. This running routine is now such a part of my life that I get itchy feet if I miss more than a week doing it. I'm still amazed to have discovered a love for an activity that I used to dread when I was at school. We really are never too old to discover new things about ourselves.
Something intangible has changed. I think that I used to be really full of self-doubt. Now, I feel that I am actually a capable person. A worthwhile person. And that reaching out for what I want in life may actually be a worthy pursuit.
So, my husband and I went through our dreams. We brainstormed and realised that we had the resources to take a break from the rat race and be a bit brave. We moved to a small seaside town. Now, it is in Ireland, (not your first choice for a sunny seaside resort, I know), but a door opened which gave us the option to try out this dream and see whether living away from the city would work for us. We've been here a month now. We're still adjusting, so I'll keep you posted.
I will also be starting a Phd programme at one of the local universities here. This is another dream of mine. It's both daunting and exciting at the same time - but then so was losing all that weight and that worked out really well for me!! I'm nervous, but I think I have the tools in hand to do this (without the fresher fifteen!!)
Where am I now? I'm in a more confident place. I can't say it's a happy place because emotions come and go and problems and unexpected events are always there to put a spanner in the works, as we all know.
I've learned to embrace the journey towards reaching our dreams, and, maintaining my weight has taught me that there is no finite end when we reach those goals. We just move on to something new, something just a little bit more challenging. It's a good place to be.
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