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Amidst Some Back Steps, More Steps Forward

Monday, April 29, 2013

I've been toying with the idea of more regular blogging. I'd be doing it for me. Then I wondered who would want to read it. I remembered that I have gained from reading about others' journeys, about their successes and challenges. So here goes.

About 10 days ago I hit my lowest weight in many years - 169.8. It was a huge victory to finally get below 170. I now really know it is doable - yeah!!!

Then I went for a four-day scrapbook weekend at a hotel where I did very well with my eating...until we went out to eat for dinner each night. With all the salt I consumed, my weight shot up 7.5 pounds, but came down over the next few days to 171.5 - whew, only a 1.8# gain! Normally, I only weigh once a week but wanted to see what effect the weekend had and what would happen over the next few days. All this time, I felt fine and my clothes seemed to fit the same (loose!).

Afterwards with the help of "The Duck" and other Spark resources, I have a restaurant game plan. As a vegetarian, going to mainstream restaurants usually means rather limited choices. I usually gravitate to things like pasta with Alfredo sauce, breakfast items like French Toast, or fried stuff. Thankfully, I don't eat out often. Now my strategy is to: 1) check out menus online ahead ot time when possible, 2) use my backup plan of ordering an appetizer and house salad with dressing on the side, and 3) asking for a take out box to be brought out with my meal.

This past three-day weekend I was out of town for my Aunt Myra's memorial service in the U.P. I had the NSV of remembering to buy healthy snacks to share with (extended) family while I learned to play euchre. My area of opportunity is to focus on eating primarily from those snacks, eating moderate portions and tracking my food. My weight is up 1.3# from the previous week, or total of up 3# from 10 days ago. I am surprisingly calm and okay about my having slipped partway back into old habits - and I still give myself a pat on the back for bringing and eating from the healthy snacks. Since we chose to stay an extra day to hang out with family, therefore missing our run with the training group back home, DH Dave and I went for a run/walk that ended up to be just under 7 miles. :)

Yes, my recent weights have been a roller coaster, but I know why. I have been doing well in my everyday life - yeah! - and have made progress in the challenging areas of managing food choices when away from home - whether it is eating at restaurants or visiting family out of town. I am hopeful and know that I will continue to make progress with my weight and with NSV's. That belief in myself is a wonderful thing!

Not sure if a little background on families is necessary, but I'm writing it anyway. Both sides are from the Upper Peninsula fo Michigan, north of Wisconsin. They generally fit the stereotype of Yoopers as obese overeaters, overdrinkers and smokers with rampant heart disease and major health issues. I grew up in suburban Chicago, but that is my family background. I am the only one in the family I was born into (Mom, Dad, 2 full sibs) who does not have diabetes or prediabetes. I see the many major health issues my mother has due to a lifetime of poor food and health habits. I do not want to be like that later in life. I do not want to be achy, sick, limited, dead now at the age of 48. To borrow part of the title to a Jeff Galloway book, I want to run until I am 100! I like running and hiking alot - and they are great helps for my depression, in addition to the right medication. I have been making great progress in making good-for-me choices, in making my life what I want. Yeah!

On another note, have any of y'all had the experience of feeling like you are "on exhibit" when it comes to your healthier lifestyle and "weird" athletic endeavors? Due to the wonders of FB, my extended family on my dad's side knows of my passion for running and awesome/"insane" plan to run/walk my first marathon (Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon) in October. The topic came up frequently, we talked freely and they seemed to listen intently. We have plans to go back up to Gladstone to run the 4th of July 5K - might even run the half-marathon on the 6th for Escanaba's 150th anniversary celebration. I think that when I write on FB about the 5K, I will invite the family to walk with us. If anyone takes us up on the offer, great! If not, we will enjoy run/walking it. :)

So, we had a great weekend with extended family - yeah! On the way home though I got knocked down a bit because the two things I'd been greatly looking forward were not going to happen. Today and tomorrow I had planned to finally get out for day-long hikes on the Ice Age Trail - the first time this year. I haven't been able to get out so far because of rain, cold, work or other family obligations. Well, rain is now in the forecast for both days - phooey! Since I have to travel 2-3 hours one-way to get to new trail on the IAT, I am not going out when rain is likely, especially downpours or thunderstorms.

For more info on my quest to hike the IAT, see this blog entry:

The second big disappointment was that I couldn't do something I was really excited about - Celebrate Dave's and my 24th (or 25th next year) anniversary by doing the Space Coast Half Marathon that Mirage here on SP has written about and seemed like a perfect fit for DH and I. We never took a honeymoon. And I'm scared of putting off again doing something big for us, scared of even waiting for our 25th (January of 2015) because I am afraid one of us will die or get sick. The race is always on the one weekend a year that I am 99.9% sure I will not be able to get off from work - Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, I work retail and really like my job. I will go in and ask what I can do to make it possible for them to give me the time off. I will play up the anniversary angle. I am valued employee. I can work Black Friday. But I just don't see management saying yes.

Last night was rough due to the disappointments in having to cancel plans I had really been looking forward to. I tried to find something else to get excited about - no luck so far. Today's plan was to honor the need to write all this out - and then go for a run outside before any rain comes.

Happy trails, Spark Friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Mary you are such an inspiration!!! Go for it!!!!
    1780 days ago
    Sounds like you have good plans.

    Hope you get to go for your halmarathon together. Can you volunteer to work the holidays before in order to get this one off? We used to be able to do that when I still worked shifts, as long as you said early enough.
    1787 days ago
  • PORGY_58
    Mary ... the Duck is motivated by your wonderful blog!
    1787 days ago
  • OWL_20
    This is a wonderful blog--it really highlights some ups and downs, but you have taken (or will take) control of what you can change. I really hope you can get that anniversary run in, it reminds me of my husband and I when we used to run together (and if all holds well we'll run again in a 10K in the fall!). Seriously good blog and I can imagine it's great to get it out and off your chest.
    1787 days ago
    You are doing fabulously!! I've got my fingers crossed that you can get the time off to run the space coast HM.
    1787 days ago
    Mary, wonderful blog. And yes, I know what it means to be scrutinized by family members with everything you do, especially walk/run events, eating habits, etc. I say continue on with doing what you want despite what they say. I've learned over the years that no matter what you do, you can't please everyone, especially family members. So that's why I just do my own thing and let them talk. At least you'll be happier and/or healthier for sticking with your exercise and diet habits.

    Definitely looking forward to some pics when you meet your exercise goals.
    1787 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon JOB!
    1787 days ago
    Go for it! Make that anniversary celebration happen.
    I'm so excited by the changes that I see in you since you started running. You are progressing so quickly! emoticon
    1787 days ago
    Thanks for sharing
    1787 days ago
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