Thursday, August 28, 2014

The stone cutter effect

Over the past ten plus years of my life that I’ve spent conscious of the battle of weight loss and dieting and healthy living I have often thought about a single quote. In fact, 10 plus years ago, the very first time I ever went to weight watchers or lost a single ounce, I printed out this saying and hung in at my cubicle at work. I will not quote it exactly right off the top of my head, but the gist of the quote is that, “ever watch a stone cutter at work? They hammer and hammer away at something until it finally cracks. It wasn’t that last single blow that caused it to crack but all the blows that went before it.” I think about this often in relation to weight loss. Mostly because it is always true and relevant to weight loss. It’s one of those things that work at and work at and sometimes you see results and sometimes you feel like it’s all going good and sometimes you think maybe it should have/could have been more, and then suddenly for no apparent reason, out of nowhere comes that big blow. It wasn’t so much necessarily this exact week that resulted in the outcome but the series of effort that led up to this moment.

What I am getting at is this, this morning when I got on the scale I had to do a double take (and that includes weighing a few times just to make sure) but the scale said 149.8, which means I lost 3.2 pounds this week. This is CRAZY to me. I have been steadily holding my 1.5-1.7 range for the past 4 weeks and I have been more than comfortable with that rate of loss. And I really did nothing different this week except for have a Sunday where I ate like 4,000 plus calories and wham today, I’m down 3.2 pounds. I am not advocating having a binge day by any means, but sometimes they work for me. This is not the first time in my complicated 10 plus year history of doing this that having a crazy binge day results in a good scale weigh-in. My body is bizarre like that. I also think it helps that I followed up my Sunday binge with 3 excellent, perfectly on track days. I’ve actually been incredibly proud of my efforts these past 3 days. My workouts have been totally on point and my food has been great as well. I am not delusional enough to think that this one week I actually lost 3.2 pounds, (well, yes technically I did) but realistically it is my body letting go and accepting the entire month of hard work I’ve put forth.

And yes, I can honestly say I’ve worked very hard this past month for this result. And as a result I feel proud once again of my efforts. This means in 5 weeks I am down 9.7 pounds. I am technically .3 pounds away from my initial 10 pound goal. I have 5 more weigh in’s to go before San Jose. My goal has and will continue to remain simply to be 145 pounds. I also believe that now that the second number is back to being a 4, it gets harder and harder to lose weight. I think a goal of 5 pounds in 5 weeks is perfectly realistic and more than enough to hope for. Let me tell you the relief I felt this morning though to see a 14 on the scale. It’s been a very long time since 4 was my second number. Aside from my first initial complete shock, was utter happiness. I honestly had no idea. I did not cheat or peek at the scale all week. Truly the last time I weighed myself was last Thursday morning.

It’s funny that this occurred today because last night in personal training, Amanda looked at me and said, have you been losing weight, you look leaner? I guess about 10 pounds is the magical number that someone starts to notice. It was still nice to hear. But at this point, in the last 5 weeks I’ve lost a little over 6% of my body weight, so that’s pretty good. When I lean out, the muscles that already live under the body fat tend to pop out more, helping the overall appearance as well. Whatever, I am in the 140’s again. BARELY. But it’s there.

It’s not easy. It’s never easy. But the truth is, the time is passing by anyway. Had I not started 5 weeks ago, these last 5 weeks would have come and gone no matter what. At least now I’m down almost 10 pounds and feel much better about myself as a result. The thing is for the last 6 months I have been giving myself excuse after excuse as to why I didn’t need to actually lose any weight. And yes, technically there is nothing wrong with me being 155 pounds. I totally understand that.  But it just isn’t a place that ultimately I am comfortable or happy at. I start to feel and look much better at around 150, and ideally feel really good at 140-145 pounds. This is where I really truly do want to live at. Because it was too much work and I didn’t want to give up the treats and indulgences I tried to convince myself that my body just wanted to stay between 155-160 pounds. It was truly an excuse born out of laziness. Weekly indulgences are fine, every single day indulgences are not okay.

Overall I’m very happy! Entire bag of hint of lime tostitos and a bottle of wine aside. (I forgot that on Sunday I drank pretty much an entire bottle of wine as well. Oops!) Thank you body for always being so kind to me, even when I have been less than kind to you. You are truly amazing and I’m proud of where we stand together, after all these years.

Back at it today, back to my consistent normal healthy life. Just keep plugging along, being good and healthy and not spend any amount of time worrying about what the scale will do, because ultimately it is highly unimportant. Tonight I gym, tomorrow night I gym. I am taking Saturday off to spend the day with my husband and rest before running another half marathon on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Puerto Vallarta Anyone?

 After my shit Sunday I have managed to pull together 2 very good, very productive, very sweat inducing days. This is the great news.  I honestly was not feeling it on Monday. I was actually not hungry (I am sure it was my body saying wow, let’s process those 4,000 calories from the day before first before we go stuffing ourselves full again), and I accepted that gleefully. But that did not mean that I wanted to work out. I honestly thought it sounded horrible. But I put on my clothes and headed to the gym anyway. Monday night I had a half hour class and then an hour class. Even if I wasn’t feeling it, I could manage thru classes. No brainers, someone else tells me what to do!

I warmed up with a 15 minute run on the treadmill. I pushed myself, because I knew it was only 15 minutes, and ran at a 6.4 mph on the treadmill. And about 2 minutes in, I felt awake and alive. And despite feeling awful just a few minutes prior and not wanting to do it, I suddenly felt AMAZING. And like I wanted to keep going. The thought occurred to me, that my horrific Sunday probably would have been remedied had I just got my ass moving for even a few minutes I would have felt better. Excellent lessen to be reminded of. When I really don’t want to exercise, give it just a couple minutes and I will either feel great and amazing and snap out of my funk, or else if it’s still awful and I don’t want to then I can quit. But it’s a good distinction to realize that it’s my brain telling me no more than my body. After 15 minutes I felt that awesome happy glow and headed into class where I killed it again. And then an hour of Iron Power class and overall I felt blessed that I felt so good after working out. It’s that endorphin high you know.

Yesterday I felt much better and managed to once again have that afternoon lull that made me think I did not want to exercise. I had no classes last night, so I knew I wanted to do a little bit longer of a run. Of course I forgot socks in my gym bag. I HATE when that happens and really should keep an extra pair in my car. I honestly have no idea why I don’t.  Seems stupid. But I was determined to run anyway, so sans socks I managed a really killer 4 mile, 40 minute run that left me drenched in sweat and feeling awesome. I then spent another 40 minutes doing strength training and then decided to call it quits. I knew tonight would be personal training and Iron Power and it was going to be hard and therefore last night was enough.

I am so certain tonight is leg day it’s not even funny. I have such mixed feelings about leg days. I hate them but then there is something satisfying about the sore that follows. Of course I am running a half marathon on Sunday so I just pray that the sore that WILL come following leg day will dissipate by Sunday morning. Amanda is going to kill me tonight; I guess that is her job. And I guess I pay her for that and all.

I should talk about the reality that I have booked my life crazy full of running events this year and honestly I am looking forward to year’s end when I complete my personal goals and can relax a little next year. In the end I set some pretty lofty goals for myself and I am going to follow thru on them, but secretly am looking forward to mid-December when my goals should be done and accomplished. Until then persevere.

Next year we will be more selective about our race choices and I am not going to set any goals, instead just doing what I want or what feels right.  But I have one big goal for next year. Next year is Maui half marathon. Yup, it’s the end of September, so in the back of my mind I am planning an end of September Maui trip which will be expensive and therefore I can’t do a lot of the little race traveling ones. But we will see. Chris and I are beginning to discuss next year’s goals and calendar and overall picture of stuff. I think we are pretty much on the same page which is great.

We would like tentatively to do at least one half marathon a month just to stay active. We can do little 5 or 10k’s here and there as we want. Although we love and adore Rock N roll races next year might not be the big heavy travel year because of Maui. But we will do Portland and Seattle for sure. Because of the way the calendar looks we might try to squeeze in San Diego because we just loved it so much and Vegas in November, because we will always want to go to Vegas to run the strip at night and its close and cheap and fun.  With all that said we would have gone to Arizona in January because I have to admit Arizona was one of my favorite places ever but for some reason in the last two days Chris and I got a brain child and something else came to fruition this morning.  No Arizona in Jan, because instead on Feb. 6, 2015 we are going to Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

You see, the thing is, we got an Alaska Airline credit card last April when we kept flying Alaska for all these trips and they hawked their card on every flight and of course the card gives you an annual $99 companion fair ticket to anywhere they fly including Hawaii and Mexico. After doing the research it really seemed like a good deal, so we got it. Means, you buy the first ticket and your second ticket is $99. We get a new code every year. We had this year’s code sitting in our account. We will get a new one in April, which we will use for our Maui trip in September of next year. In the mean time we had to use this year’s code. Suddenly I’m researching Mexico and bottom line is this, we are just doing a quick little trip 4 nights, 5 days. Leave on a Friday come back on a Tuesday. With airfare and hotel it was a little less than $800. Super cheap. Going to Arizona would have cost us at least $600 so this was not that far off plus a longer trip. I’m super excited for this.

No run. Just a trip for fun. Imagine that! It seemed like a good time of year to get away, and while it won’t be Maui by any stretch of the imagination, it still be tropical and beachy and that is good enough for me. We are going to do some excursions for sure.  We want to do a swim with the dolphins and some snorkeling/kayaking trip or an adventure trip of some sort, but it’s too early to book those just yet. But the air fare and hotel are now booked. It is really happening. So I had to give up RNR Arizona this year to go to a tropical locale instead. I guess that’s an okay substitute.

These are the pictures from outside the hotel we are staying at.

Chris and I are not 5 star resort kind of people. We like smaller hotels, and definitely wanted something with an ocean view, which we paid for the ocean view room. Nothing like waking up and seeing the tropical ocean. Of course, location was important as we will be without car, and this one is within walking distance of stuff. We have never been to Mexico this will be an experience unto itself. In fact we’ve never left the country, so that is all new.  In fact, we have to get passports.  We printed the applications and are going to get our photos on Saturday and take in the applications next week.  We have plenty of time, but still crazy.  

So this is what my tentative schedule looks like:

October 2014: San Jose
November 2014: Las Vegas
December 2014: Levenworth WA (Christmas village with the family)
February 2015: Puerto Vallarta
May 2015: San Diego
September 2015: Maui
November 2015: Las Vegas

This is a pretty good looking calendar if you ask me! Thank you Alaska Airlines for having awesome service and a great rewards card that truly does save me money and makes my husband more inclined to do these awesome trips. I am a happy girl today, because as of today I have a tropical vacation on the books. 5 months out but totally something to look forward to. Yeah, yeah!  Hopefully this knowledge can power me thru leg day personal training tonight!

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's called a binge

 It happened. What I knew would eventually happen, because this is typical and normal and let’s face it, unavoidable. I had a binge day. It really isn’t the clique that if you deny yourself you will eventually crack. I am very happy and comfortable with the foods I have been eating. I have been doing great. It’s really a matter of, I like food. And there comes a point where the stars and moon align and for no good reason other than you just feel it or feel off you just decide to eat. Because by God you really want to eat a bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime chips and not worry about the consequences. You don’t want to count out chips and weight and measure. You just want to freely stick your hand in the bag and consume.

I woke up yesterday way off in all senses of the word. I was just an emotional mess, all over the place and I had zero desire to do anything healthy or productive. So I ate. An entire bag of hint of lime tostidos. Yup, the entire giant bag. It’s possible to eat a bag in a day. AND white chocolate, AND peanut butter AND almonds and cranberries. In a nutshell I ate like 4,000 calories. The bag of chips was clearly the worst move. The rest of it was still at least good for you redeeming foods. There’s pretty much nothing good about processed chips. Almonds, cranberries and peanut butter I can totally forgive. Tostitos in that volume is not a smart idea. I know this because by nights end my stomach hurt so bad. It was in pain and I knew it was the chips. It did not like them at all.

It’s a good reminder yet again my body does not thrive on crap. It really hates it. Not only physically do I feel sick but the psychological repercussions such as well. In all fairness I was feeling the psychological yuck before I began eating so I suppose I can’t entirely blame it on that. But it didn’t help in the least. You ever have one of those moments/days where no matter what occurs you just are dissatisfied and annoyed? I couldn’t even muster up energy to exercise. On a weekend when I had nothing else going on, I had an entire day to myself and I couldn’t force myself to go to the gym. I knew something was clearly off in my head.

I decided at some point that I just had to accept this bad day as just that, a single isolated bad day and forgive myself for feeling less than and move on. I tried to reason it out. Reasoning rarely works, but the logic was this. Saturday morning I did run an AWESOME 10k, 6.2 miles and then I went to the gym, and total burned like 1,400 calories. I worked hard. If I worked out yesterday as well, I could only go a couple more days at the gym before the fatigue would totally set in. I could not go 6 or 7 days in a row, which is what I was thinking was going to have to happen. Next Sunday I am running a half marathon, so I really should and will take off next Saturday from exercise (plus Chris will be home and we will have stuff to do), this means that I would really exercise Friday night, as to not take 2 days off in a row). Going that rate would mean I’d have to exercise 7 days in a row. This is HARD, and honestly not smart.

By taking off yesterday, this frees me up to exercise tonight thru Friday, 5 days in a row, and then rest on Saturday. See my logic there? These are the things I try to convince myself of to not feel bad about taking a day off on a weekend. It’s pretty stupid really, as it is okay to rest now and then. And if I woke up and just didn’t’ feel it, then so be it.

There is a part of me that actually believes on some level that our bodies need a binge day with no exercise every so often to reset and keep you going. Its funny how one day you can seriously be so perfectly on, and then for no apparent reason you just don’t care one bit. Motivation is a funny thing like that. I guess I just need to feel happy and blessed that I have more days full of motivation than without it.

I just had a bad day, it’s not a bad life, it’s not a bad journey, and it doesn’t mean I’m a failure or I quit. It’s just a bad day where an entire bag of chips got the better of me.  Pick myself back up and get right back at it today. I will not let one day define me or my journey. I’ve learned way too much in life to let that one hiccup get me.  The big picture is much more important!

Do you know what is in my bigger picture? This awesome life I have filled with health, love, excitement, adventure and happiness. Just have to keep the bigger picture of life in mind. I’ve been around the block far too many times to think that one bad day is the end all. I know that this is a forever battle and there will be days like that and then great days like Saturday where everything fell perfectly into place. But alas, I still struggle like the rest of the world. I am not a super human beast who never gives into temptation or feels lazy. I am real. I have real moments of self-doubt and laziness.

But tonight I am back to the gym. (Actually I plan on Monday-Friday, going after work so that isn’t exactly laziness at all) Rest Saturday and then a half marathon on Sunday. Plus I get to spend Saturday with my husband who I cannot express how much I have come to love and appreciate over the past year. Best year of my entire life in every single way. It’s only when you hit rock bottom that you can actually begin to climb yourself out of the mess and start over. Only more wisely and honestly.  Running saved me. It saved us!

With that said, here is Saturday loot to add to my growing collection of shirts and medals. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nothing but Consistent

True to my recent trend, I have become quite consistent with the weight loss, another 1.5 pounds this week. Last four weeks look like this; 1.7, 1.6, 1.7, 1.5.  I’d call that pretty close to as consistent as you can get. If you add all those numbers up that equals 6.5 pounds exactly. So yes, in 4 weeks I have lost 6.5 pounds.  This is a very healthy average consistent weight loss. This is also probably about on par with the amount of effort I’ve been putting out. Wait, my physical effort I feel like I might have bumped up a notch, but it’s pretty consistent with the foods I’ve been eating and that really is where all weight loss comes from. I typically do have a few indulgent meals during a week so honestly this trend is beautiful to me. Yup, beautiful.

I say beautiful because honestly this week I was REALLY worried about my food choices. I had 2 days where I just ate way more than I should have, and then I had a greasy, fatty, alcoholic beverage consuming dinner out and then some extra odd choices. I’m glad to put this week behind me and glad for my 1.5 pound loss. Fantastic! I have 6 more weigh in’s before my October 5 goal of San Jose and my 2 year weight loss anniversary. Today the scale said 153 pounds. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to San Jose weighing 145 pounds. This is a great happy number for me. This is 8 pounds in 6 weeks. I hope this is obtainable. On paper it’s obtainable, but there is a lot we don’t understand about our bodies that can occur in 6 weeks’ time. Either way, it’s exciting to me to even be thinking about a number of 145 again. I had honestly been hovering way to close to 160 pounds for way to long and that is a scary, I have to stop this boat and turn it around pronto kind of number for me. With the 160 comes guilt and frustration and clothes not fitting and PANIC. Panic that I was going back to my old ways.

4 weeks later and I’m so happy to have found my control again and yup 153 is a much better, more comfortable number on the scale for me. It’s a slow process but it’s moving exactly how it should, in the direction that I want. FINALLY. And I love and adore all my pretty muscles too boot.

Last night, during personal training, I was slightly sitting up/slightly lying back on a work bench doing single arm chest presses. One arm was pushing a 15 pound weight up over and over while the other arm was placed on my side for balance and support and while I looked into the mirror in front of me I actually thought, “HOLY SHIT, you look like a strong muscular girl! Your upper body is buff!” I don’t often have these moments where I compliment myself; mostly it seems vain, but a moment here or there is okay I suppose.  I have never and will never be a dainty stick of a girl. It is not in my DNA. I can however embrace what is awesome about my body and that is my strength. My body is strong and has the ability to grow. For good or bad, it constantly wants to be growing. It’s just learning how to channel that growth in the positive direction.

I’m going to the gym tonight. I don’t have any classes planned, I’ll just be on my own, but I’m thinking I should at least run a 5k and then part of me is seriously thinking I should try and do some legs. I am taking tomorrow off from exercise and then Saturday morning I am getting up and running a 10k bright and early at 7AM. Yes, sometimes I am crazy. Like waking up EARLY to run 6.2 miles at 7 O’clock in the morning on a Saturday.  That means I will be done at like 8 or 8:30 and back home by no later than 9:30 I am sure. I have zero plans for my Saturday after that. REALLY not sure.

With all that said, just got to get thru tonight at the gym and then I get a break, yeah! This is my 6th day in a row of working out so I’m slightly ready for the break tomorrow. But I don’t need to jump ahead of myself, still got one more good sweat session to get thru tonight.