Thursday, July 18, 2013
This week we have an assignment to reflect on the first half our BLC round.
First about the BLC itself:
I have to say that I am very pleased with the BLC itself, even though it is time consuming. I have done nearly 100% of every exercise and posting requested so I have devoted a lot of time to the project. I've lost a little sleep, study and reading time over it. However, I also feel a real camaraderie with other active participants. I also have discovered more flexibility within myself than for trying to understand what others mean in short messages and for trying to work my habits around assignments that do not necessarily please me when I first read them. Because of health and pain issues, I have had to modify some specific exercises, but I have been able to complete nearly every assignment and have felt great about it. The three team leaders have been very supportive. Additionally, a volunteer in our group, Cat, reminds us of assignments daily, which has been a big help.
About our team, the Violet Venuses:
Our team has a real mix, from people who started at 300+ pounds, people who are at near-maintenance and one in maintenance. We have several people who are losing at least 2 pounds a week and are very inspiring to watch. Some of us (like me) seem to spend most of our time gaining and losing half a pound, but we are getting stronger and are firming up. But our group is very supportive and we cheer each other on as we exercise and love each other up when things go wrong.
My specific thoughts on the first six weeks:
I really struggled with my health. I have exercised consistently 6 days and sometimes 7 regardless of how I've felt, but sometimes I was bewildered by why I felt so bad. I gave myself pep talks to get through it. When I was done, I felt pride more than anything else because I knew that my willpower was strong, at least.
I can feel that my health has definitely improved since I began my journey to become fit. In 2003 I suffered a neck injury (on top of preexisting disc degeneration) which began a spiral downwards - then Dad died and I got depressed in 2006 - then there were financial issues when I couldn't sell my house after I moved across country to be with Mom - then I had unexplained bouts of severe angina in 2009 and walking even 2 blocks was exhausting. In 2010 I began to exercise a little, but I was not serious about it until THIS YEAR. In February I still could not have run one block; I began by walking fast. In May I began to run. I ran my first 5k in June. I am running a second one (well, 3.2 miles rather than 5k exactly) Saturday. This one will be very competitive, crowded and on a difficult beach course complete with pavement, gravel, sand, dirt, roots, a steep sand dune hill (3.55% grade, 380.58 ft!!!) and wet areas. I doubt I'll place well, but I don't particularly care.
My husband got me a Polar heart rate monitor and with it, I have a tool to help me see why I feel the way I do and to fine-tune my pace. I am not very good at pacing myself yet outside. It is easier to do on a treadmill, but I have grown to hate them because they are boring. I love running outside, where there is always something to look at and fresh air to breathe. However, until I got the Polar, I didn't have numbers to look at, either, so I had a tendency to run all out and then wonder why my heart was pounding in my ears and I was gasping. Duh. I'm not an 8 minute miler yet.
I am flabbergasted by my body's stubborn refusal to lose weight. I am firming up, but I have been gaining and losing the same half a pound, even though I exercise fairly hard for someone who was sitting on the couch a few months ago. I have increased the time I am using kettlebells (15 minutes, several days a week, up from 10 minutes) and I'm now running about 9 miles a week and walking 11 or more to make up 20 or more miles a week (up from 15 miles). I fully intend at the beginning of each week to run 15 miles and walk 5, but my intentions have not previously turned into reality. Maybe with the Polar to help me pace, I can do that... and the increased intensity will help me lose weight.
Ok... I'm rambling. I need to check out where I'm going this weekend since I won't have access to a computer soon. Be back Monday! Have a great weekend!