Thursday, September 29, 2016

Am I Boring?

That's the question I just asked myself when I saw how long it's been since my last post.  Seriously, I used to have something to write about here nearly every day. Then I got off track. Then sort of on track. Then off track again.  For a while I probably should've re-named htis Workouts and Weight gain just because that's what was happening.... Still working out but gaining weight.  I like to "blame" picking up my boyfriend's horrible habits but even if I did let them slip in, I should've been in control.  I think that's really when I got out of blogging and have just had a hard time getting back into it.  That plus being busy all day and busy at night.... And basically just doing lots of other things!

So my last post was in July...

I don't see where I ever posted about my super fun Chicago trip with my friend Ashley.  I had decided to do the Bears 5K. Then the boyfriend and his Dad were gifted baseball game tickets. The same weekend. I can do the Chicago trip solo; it's not a big deal. It's close. I always drive anyway. I know my way around... BUT it's kind of a little bit more fun when you have someone with you. So I thought "hmmmm who can I convince to go?" and put a post on FB. Ashley is another IRun4 runner from my area. She responded and we decided to go! What a fun trip!! It was quick, we went down Friday afternoon, raced Saturday morning, spent Saturday there, and came home Saturday night. We packed a lot into our time!

The race itself went pretty well. I eventually slowed down a little because it was hot.  The heat really gets to me.  Well, actually it's the sun. Or the humidity. Or a combination. I guess because I always ran in the evening, I didn't realize how much of an ass the sun is to me. I SHOULD know this because I've had pale skin for my entire life.  I used to go tanning but finally realized how incredibly stupid that is... First, skin cancer. Second, totally fake.  Third, sometimes people look the color of Oompa Loompas. Finally, I don't want to look like an old beat up handbag. I really enjoy looking younger than I am. It's just gross all the way around. I never tanned all the time. I would go in spurts of times I'd tan and times I wouldn't. Then I'd go only a couple times a week. Then I stopped all together because I'd much rather have healthy, youthful skin than look like an old beat up handbag. My personal opinion...If you tan, enjoy.  Anyway, so I'm not tan. I have fair skin. Fair skin that the sun likes to skorch. So I could feel myself burning and slowed down.  As usual, I forgot the sunscreen for my arms and back. I always remember the face and lips (okay, not always, but most of the time). ANYWAY...So I got hot and slowed down. I finished slower than I anticipated. I was a little bummed but then realized I was standing ON Soldier Field and let it go. Ashley and I drank our free beer, waited for the race to finish and bought medals for our buddies, and our awesome tutus attracted a reporter and we got interviewed - which focused all on our IRun4 buddies (and a little on football... Ashley may have gotten some flack for not being a Bears fan).  It was a lot of fun and like other races I've done in Chicago, right on the gorgeous lake shore.  I'll forgive the sun.

I didn't do any races in July. I did the Color Run in August but that was with my boyfriend's little cousin so running was limited.  Goofing around was through the roof.  It was fun! Most of July and August were focused on training for the next half marathon. I had short runs. I had long runs. I struggled with humidity. I struggled with heat. I got pissed off at the sun way more than what was probably necessary.  Honesty, how have I been running for so long that I haven't figured out this sunblock thing yet? Or maybe I forgot about it. That plus change in times for training made a huge difference. MOST races are done before it gets too unbearable. Running at lunch is far different than running at 7am or 7pm. Like with what happened with Gazelle Girl, running inside on the tready is much different than outside.

I didn't really go too far from home in July either.  August was a tough month. My workouts were very inconsistent for two weeks. My Grandpa hadn't been doing well for almost a year and had declined for the last two.  He got really short of breath one day so my Mom had the ambulance take him to the ER. He was eventually admitted and tests revealed that he had fluid around his lung. We didn't realize how much until the doc drained off over two liters. So, let's say a two liter of pop and a half.  The liquid was dark. But it was gone.  So we waited for his little lung to expand.  It didn't. There were things that could be done to help it along but it didn't work.  Eventually, it was decided that they would not opt for the more invasive procedure.  People can breathe with one lung.  His other lung had a section missing  (past biopsy site - which was just scar tissue), so it was a little lung but it was just fine. He started declining during his time in the hospital and we sort of knew what was coming.... We decided to take him home on Hospice. He wasn't in terrible condition and was pretty alert for those first few days.  As the week progressed, he was sleeping more. He was crying out in pain more. It happened to be that the Friday that he had gone into the hospital my Aunt and Uncle were here from Kentucky.  So, most of us were there that following Friday night - minus my cousins and their significant others.  Both my Mom and I had "that feeling" in the morning.  I went for a run and pounded the pavement hard. At a 10-something mile for a short time. It was super humid and miserable, but I ran hard. That night everyone was there for pizza...I think. My boyfriend and I were there. My Dad (who wasn't going to come but my Mom said "you need to") was there, my Aunt and Uncle were there. At one point, I remember my Dad telling him that he, my Mom, and my Uncle had gone and made all the arrangements that morning, so he'd know everything was taken care of. I'm not sure when I realized it, but at one point I said to my boyfriend "we can't leave." And I told my Dad the same.  For some reason, we just knew we were sitting there, waiting for him to let go.  We watched him decline all day and when my Aunt and I were outside, my boyfriend came out and said "they want you in there now - they think he's dying."). So I went in and saw him struggling to breathe.  We all stood around him. He looked so helpless. He was alert and responsive to us. That day I did the absolute hardest thing I've ever had to do.... I looked him in the eye and said "Papa, it's okay to go. We love you but it's okay. I promise we will take care of Nonie." At that point, he started to cry. I noticed a little tear rolling down his cheek.  He closed his eyes and within a few minutes, he was gone. I still can't picture his sweet little face or think about it without crying. Thank God for my boyfriend being by my side through all of this. He's been my rock. The following Tuesday was the funeral. My cousins made it up that weekend. I had taken a couple days off of work and spent time with my family, then we had the funeral. I was tired and exhausted. I took a few days after just to adjust to life in general, I guess.  My workouts were... well I have no idea. They were there and they weren't there.

After that I knew I needed to get back on track. I'd missed two long runs and had a half marathon coming up. I don't think I missed a day of doing something form then until the half.

The half was in Chicago last weekend. I did well.  I remembered my sunblock. I listened to my body. I started out strong (my fitbit and strava both said stronger than my race time -- for all of it, but whatever). Other than a quick stop at the hydration stations, I didn't walk until past the 10K mark. And, as I felt my skin getting hot and burning, I did the smart thing... I stopped at the aid stations. I asked for my sunblock and I put it on.  I felt better. I did this a couple times during the race.  Here's the thing with races, any stops count... Potty stops, medical stops, even those less than one minute walks for hydration... It all counts with your time. So I finished slower than I expected... At least five minutes slower. But, even with that extra time added in, I was about 10 minutes faster than my last half. Still slower than my first, but that's to be expected.  As I lose weight, I will get faster. As I train more, I will get faster.  The best part is that... I felt much better during the race and after. I think that those stops, time added or not, really helped keep me from getting too warm. It feels ten times better running when you don't feel like your skin is burning.  It was a beautiful morning along a gorgeous course.

Then this weird thing happened.... I realized I LOVE HALF MARATHONS. The first one ever was a goal. I wanted to do "just one." I didn't do another for just over three years.  This year I've done two.  The second one, earlier this year, was a miserable experience but I finished. This last one... It felt so good and I wasn't worried about things like time, pace, or sweepers (total fear during the first one which was funny because I was running 11-12 min miles and the time limit was based on a 16 min mile - weird first half anxiety I guess!). I just ran.... I picked a pace that was comfortable and went with it. Sure, as time increased, I slowed down a little. I even walked a little after mile 8-ish. I think once I even walked an entire mile (right before I needed sunblock again).  But I picked it up and ran/walked after that.  I didn't hit a wall at mile 10. I didn't feel like I wanted to quit once. Mile 11 seemed a little long but I kept going. I felt so good after!!! Now, I have fallen in love with this distance. My next half is planned for February but I'm looking for one sort of near by for the end of October or early November, just to keep long distance momentum going. I have to look at my training plan for the half in February. I hope to be down another 20 pounds, based on my 5 pound per month rate of loss, by then. I think that will continue to help with endurance and speed. I'll be closer to my lower weight, but will still have some work to do.  I will be happy if I shave off another 5-10 minutes.  But part of me wants to work my butt off and PR it.... I'll strive for that but will be happy with a small improvement.

So that's that... Maybe next time I won't wait so long!!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Inspirational Women in Yoga.

First, I have to say that my head is POUNDING but I really want to write this. I'm a little concerned that it may impact on my writing but I think it'll be okay. Plus there's always that awesome editing feature which I needed yesterday because..... I am not good at posting from my iPad.

I'm sure I've written a bit about yoga before. I love it. Yoga makes me feel strong, both physically and mentally.  Yoga challenges my body differently than other activities. I am constantly surprised at what I can do or in progress that I make. I don't practice at a studio because my work schedule is all over the place. It makes it hard to get to classes. There are some on Saturday mornings; right when I do my long runs.  I'm hopeful that something a little later in the evening or earlier in the morning will open up.  I do yoga from DVDs that I have. I find new things on-line. I practice some moves on my own. I do Piyo which is a hybrid but includes yoga poses. I would love, love, love to take a class but it's a matter of finding one that works with my schedule.  Something may have to change though.  I have thought, at various times over the last five years, about wanting to include exercise in my professional life. I had a goal of getting my personal trainer certificate back in 2011 or 2012.  I've thought about yoga a few different times, especially over the last year.  Something has stopped me each time.

I've discovered what's stopping me.  Me.  Well, my perceptions of what others MIGHT think about me in those roles.  Back when I was at my smallest, I had achieved a tremendous goal.  I'd lost the weight of an adult. But I felt like I didn't fit the look.  I had the passion but felt that my own appearance wasn't good enough. I ordered the books and started studying but that's as far as it went. I met my boyfriend in 2013, and gained weight back (not all of it, thank goodness!). It was clear then that my books needed to stay in a box. And that's where they sit. Looking back, I looked good. I didn't think so because I didn't look like whatever it is I thought I needed to look like. I didn't think so because the numbers on my scale were higher than what I felt they should be. I look at pictures and I look fit, healthy, and in some ways even thin... My collar bones and spine were showing. But not my ribs. I didn't have protruding hip bones.  My abs and muscles didn't show like I thought a trainer's should. I had a picture in my mind of what I thought a trainer should look like and it wasn't me.

I've thought about becoming certified to teach yoga a few times.  Again, I thought that this would be my goal when I reach my weight loss goal (this time - where I'm staying). I had another picture in my mind (this one a bit different but still NOT my body) of what I should look like.  Several pounds and a few years away from where I was, I thought "when I get there again..." and realized that at that time I totally could've worked for those goals.

Yoga has been on my mind a bit more lately. I love yoga for the entire experience. When my body does something I didn't think it could do, or I can master a pose, I feel awesome.  It's work and takes time, like anything.  I love how it can relax people but at the same time make people strong.  I totally love the mental part of yoga. I incorporate similar thoughts in my life and what I do at work. I want to become certified so that I can actually teach poses and help clients in that way. A few months ago I decided that when I reach my weight and fitness goals, I'll do that.

Guess what! Trainers, like people, come in all shapes and sizes.  I'm finally learning that it is okay to workout and not look like a fitness model or the stereotypical trainer I had envisioned. Yoga instructors come in all shapes and sizes too.  Bodies can do a lot - no matter the shape or size.

I've been a person who believes in body positivity in a way that we should all embrace and accept others. We are different souls in different bodies. Why should your body look like mine? Why should mine look like yours? It shouldn't. We are unique and different and go through life in these amazing masses of all sorts of cool science-y stuff like matter. That's what our bodies are for... To carry these brains around and, well, they're part of what make us people; living beings. I think that we've gotten away from really thinking about what our bodies are and have focused so much on what they look like.  We have sexualized our bodies. Instead of looking at them as just bodies, we have made them more - basing it on what is physical appealing to the eye. Well, someone's eye because the idea body didn't just become ideal all on its own. Someone came up with this; the media continues it.

Let's think about it... Boobs.  They're blobs of fat and flesh that are meant to provide nutrition to babies. Someone decided that boobs were sexual (to look at, I mean; I'm educated I know about erogenous zones). Someone decided that these big blobs were so pleasing that they were sexually arousing. Now people go out and spend thousands of dollars on making them the size of their heads (or bigger!).  Butts are the same for some people.  Our butts help power our bodies; help with movement and lower body strength, Someone decided that butts were sexually appealing. So now the sight of Luke Bryan shaking it in a pair of tight jeans makes women drool.

We all admire different things for different reasons. I may see beauty in something that you don't. I have recently started to see beauty in bodies in a different way.  I see them as beautiful in what they can accomplish.  Someone with awesome muscle in a pose that's been captured beautifully by a photographer is pleasing to my eye.  I think that fit bodies are beautiful - and muscle can be graceful. Check out Adeline Gray, a female olympic wrestler or some of the other athletes in ESPN's body issue.  It really is about movement and the way their individual bodies are created differently. And it's absolutely gorgeous.  

Yes, I've had plastic surgery to remove skin.  Why? Because I didn't like it. Because I worked hard to achieve a physical goal and I wanted the reminder of past pain to be gone.  This time I won't go through more surgery (but I'll likely bounce back a bit better this time too). I don't have any pain associated with the amount of fat on my body.  This is the result of being too lax on nutrition and having too many indulgences.  It's been in fun. I've still been active too, so I guess that's a part of it.  And yes some of my past surgery was probably based on how others would see me.  This was also done three and four years ago.  People can change and, apparently, my outlook has in that time.

Now, I agree with body positivity but please know I do not agree with promoting poor health - at any size. I believe in treating my body well through fitness and nutrition (but yes I do still indulge sometimes!). A person can have fat but still treat their body well.  I don't know, by looking at someone, what their health issues are. I can see an overweight person and make the assumption that they have high cholesterol.  I can look at a thin person and think they don't.  I could be totally wrong.  I'm overweight right now and the only thing wrong with me is that I seem to have a headache today.  My lab work is all great. My functions are great. My body works well.  Yeah, I don't eat clean 100% of the time (but am making great strides, and realistically I will never be perfect nor do I want to). Someone could look at me think I'm fat, ugly, and unhealthy. And they'd be wrong. I'm not fat.I HAVE fat (we all do!). I'm actually like really pretty. Other than my weight being too much I'm healthy.

I have found some amazing women in yoga who have been inspirational. They are not thin. But they are athletes. They are strong. They are beautiful. They have bodies that are not the idea but they are beautiful.  They have bodies; bodies that can do amazing things.

Dana Falsetti.... LOVE her!!! Anna Guest-Jelley created curvy yoga; yoga classes and teacher trainings that are for all bodies. She has included ways to help those who have bodies that may function differently so that they can do their best practice. Amber Karnes created body positive yoga. Rachel Brathen does yoga on a paddle board.  I'm not that good on stable ground sometimes!! A headstand on a paddle board? Badass. Chelsea Roff is a woman with a story that makes me cry when I read it. She survived a traumatic childhood and anorexia. She founded Eat Breathe Thrive. Our bodies are wonderful, capable things. They can do a lot. There some other awesome yogis out there too.

Whether we do fitness for mental health benefits, physical benefits (improvement or weight loss), or just because it's fun, we all do something. Thanks to these ladies for being awesome and showing that it's okay to be you in your body. And that has helped me to realize I DO want to do this.

With that, I need to find someone local who is able to train new teachers.

Go find the beauty in someone else....


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Patches, Pink Drinks, Powders, and Pills - Oh, my!!!!

I decided today that I'm going to stick something in a bottle, give it a nice name, some flashy packaging, and tell people that it's THE life changing product. It will make you energized, cleanse your colon, and help you lose weight.  I'll find a way to make people believe in it. Then I'm going to convince people to sign-up to become distributors to go sell it for me so I can sit back and make millions. BUT I'll let them know that by signing up they too can make money (if they put all of their time into it) and earn the miracle product for free!! 

Sounds like a pyramid. Sounds like something I hear about in one way or another, a couple times a week. Now there is a fancy name for it; Multi Level Marketing. It's not a pyramid scheme and differs in a couple ways; the main one being that it is legal. However it is still a pyramid business when you think about it in he basic sense....

Two others and I join your team. That pushes your rank up and you get a raise. I add three people. The others and two and five, respectively. Wow - by adding 3 to your team, you  just had others add 10 more to your larger team. Of course they can create their own.... And so on. Pretty soon the person at the top is making money thanks to the work of every single person that signs up under them. They get on social media and promote but they don't need to continue the legwork. Meanwhile new girl A is at the bottom, struggling to add people with the belief that she'll get free product and make extra money. The problem is that now the market is over-saturated. She's struggling. No one above is sending referrals her way or helping her build her team. She signed up. They told her what to do. That's it. 

Yes, this IS a generalization in the most simple context. But it makes my point. 

Now please know - I've done a couple of these. And I sucked at them because I love my career more than some random side thing. One thing ended up being used just for the discount. After the fees, the discount wouldn't actually be a discount (fees added up, over time). So I quit. The other? I just didn't have time for. I honestly LOVE the products and will continue to use them. BUT....Extra work outside of work is going to be for my career - kinda like lesson planning for teachers. I don't want to work to push or sell a product in my free time. I want to workout. I want to walk my dogs. I want to spend time with my family and my friends. I want to take trips. I want to sleep. I want to watch the three TV shows that I like. I want to read running and other exercise magazines. I want to write.  I don't want to be stuck sitting around late at night or during the weekend. I want to do things I enjoy in my free time; not things that are work. I didn't love it. It's not my passion. So? I'm done with that. Now you know I have a background and experience. I'm not just babbling. I'm also bit bashing and saying no one should ever do those things. If you love them, go for it. I love therapy. That's my thing. 

SO.... The latest I've seen (some still; some again) are "health" related. Pink powders, flavored powders, a skin patch, some random "supplements" that you pop. And people are quick to join becaus it sounds so amazing. Every single one of those products is going to give you energy, make your bodily woes disappear, help you lose weight, and whatever else.  That product that isn't required to be evaluated by the FDA (although there is some apparent credentialing they can get). It's bit the same evaluation. I wonder how many people look into the validity. The ingredients. The safety. I prefer to know exactly what I'm putting into my body. I try to aim for ingredients I can pronounce. This is most likely why I'm sling weight. Because I care again. I know exactly what lettuce is. I know where apples come from. I don't know what some -ose -Ide -whatever -whatchamacallit might be. 

Guess what!!! Clean eating, water, and exercise will make you.... Have more energy, feel better, and get rid of the junk in your body. Oh and if you get up and move... You can actually get pain relief!! Throw some chia seeds in your yogurt and - there's your awesome, a,axing, miraculous super food. 

I'm the type of girl who asks her medical professional for input before taking whatever supplements or proteins she may read about or think about taking.  I asked my PA about my pre-workout and if it's safe because it has things in it that I can't pronounce. And I sure as heck don't want to put something in my body that could be harmful. 

I can see where you think I'm being hypocritical or contradicting myself. Unjust said that I take pre-work out but earlier stated I prefer to know what's going into my body. There. Please note and understand that. I'm not being hypocritical....  I'm saying I don't just jump on board with something that is presented to me. I won't put something into my body (and don't use it on a daily basis) that I didn't discuss with my PA. 

I don't buy into gimmicks. I'm very skeptical of these types of products. I'm not going to throw $200 at something for a month. I'd prefer to buy an entire Lululemon outfit (more on sale or at an outlet!) that I can wear to workout. I can wear it to do something good for my body that's gonna last more than eight weeks. 

I guess I'm like "Carrie Bradshaw " - "I like my money right where I can see it hanging in my closet." 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I Guess It's a New (again) Trend...

I see I've been absent for almost a month again. Gosh, time is FLYING by so fast!! I have been working lots of busy days and between other things and making sure I have time to fit in some exercise, by the time I sit down at night I'm in that mode where I just want to zone out.  Not sit down and write.

I believe I posted about my weight loss before. I'm moving down, however it's slow going.  I'm eating mostly clean but not super clean where I'm dropping pounds as quickly as I did in the past. I'm all over the place with exercise - it's getting done but not at on any kind of schedule.  I had family up (unexpected surprise!) so I was working with that. I also did a June biking challenge - 100 miles in the month - to raise money for kids with cancer.  I've had lots of support on what I'm doing and my biking but not much as far as donations.  Awareness is something in itself though. Now more people know about the challenge so when it comes around next time, maybe more riders will sign up. 100 miles in a month is really not bad, even if you bike at a leisurely pace. I generally keep it fairly light and bike around 10 miles per hour.  One day I think I did about 14 and that was a day I was moving a bit faster because I started getting rained on. At ten miles a ride, that's only 10 rides in the whole month.  That's only 10 hours of time.  Not bad at all. Due to my schedule mine were more spread out. Then I was out of town for a couple days for a 5K and doing some running on other days, I ended up in crunch time last week. Most of my workouts were biking; at least ten miles. June went by much faster than I  was prepared for! But I finished, on time, and with over 100 miles.  It's The Great Cycle Challenge USA and they'll continue to add miles and donations in throughout this month. There were over 26,000 riders so I'm sure it takes a bit of time to gather all the data.

Anyway....weight loss... I'm sitting around the 25 pounds lost that I was at in June (okay I'm like a pound, almost two, more pounds lost, but close enough). I'm working on 30.  My goal is to have lost over 30 by the time my next doctor appointment comes up.  that's on the 15th of this month, so just under two weeks.  I see no reason that I cannot lose five pounds in two weeks.  As of yesterday, or maybe the day before, I was thisclose to being to that 2 more pounds lost, so it's really only four pounds which is totally do-able for a two week span. More would be great.  I weighed this morning and even with increased sodium (cookout yesterday) my weight was not up as much as it could've been... Not even a pound, so that should come off with water in the next couple days.  I feel that just biking and walking last week had something to do with it too. Until the weekend, I hadn't done much running so the last two weeks were pretty light as far as activity. I was still doing activity but not as intense. Lots of biking and walking but only a few runs until this weekend. I had done a 5K on the 25th and then it was walking and biking until Saturday. I did a couple runs the week of the 5K to get ready for it but I'd been running a couple times a week before then and no long runs since what turned out to be a five miler when I did my last 5K (ran/walked a mile to/from to add a couple more on to the run). I think running will really get things moving again!

This weekend, I did just over four miles Saturday, three Sunday, and a virtual Independence Day 5K yesterday.  Saturday's run was a bit of a struggle; probably because I hadn't done a run in a week! With all the biking and being so busy and not wanting to run late (because then I'd be energized and miss sleep!) it just kind of worked out that way.  By yesterday I noticed my endurance was already better. My speed was also improving. Saturday was more of a struggle and each day got a little better. The 5K the previous weekend was a little brutal. It was hot early in the day - like 80 by race time. And the Windy City had a lack of wind, even right on the lakeshore. There were also lots of people. I lost my friend within the first mile because she was able to squeeze through some people and as I went to go through behind her, someone else came up from the other side and he and his buddies went through, then there was another group I couldn't get around. So I got stuck. Several times during the race, actually. Somehow my time wasn't as awful as I thought it would've been given getting stuck and it being so stinking hot. I was slower than usual but not too terribly far behind - only a few minutes.  It was still an awesome race and when I realized just how crowded it was, I realized time would probably be a factor at some point. I got to finish ON Soldier Field.  I could've been stuck walking the whole thing and would've been totally fine!!!

So weight-wise I'm doing pretty good. I'd have hoped to drop 8-10 pounds a month before this appointment. I was really wanting to be down 50 pounds from February (five months) which is the rate I lost at when I lost weight the first time.  But I'll be okay with 30+. Is it slower than I want? Yes. But I'm doing it in a way that's better for me. Previously I cut off a lot of socialization because that's so centered around food. I was also a little obsessive about my eating habits. Yesterday I decided that I wanted to have an adult beverage because it was the 4th of July! I typically have a beer or drink once every 1-2 weeks.  And that's usually one drink.  Yesterday was a rather large mimosa but after that I was done and back to water.  Moderation.  Yesterday was also a cookout and I ate like a normal person... Not too much and not in an obsessive way.  I had hotdog. I had some pasta salad. I had a few chips.  And I was good. I ate to where I felt satisfied but not super full. I didn't freak out and chug water or struggle because there were not fruits or veggies. I ate a white bun (gasp!). In the past I would've loaded up on fruits and veggies avoided pasta salad and chips totally, and maybe would've had a some of the meat without a bun. I'm losing at a slower rate, but it's a more comfortable, more realistic rate. And I'm not beating myself up like I did before. I ran and burned lots of calories and although I don't like to eat calories back, if I ate a few of them back (wasn't all of them), that's okay. Life goes on.  I'm happy. I'm not self-isolating for fear of what food or drinks will be around.  Life is fun! Would I like to be down 50? Of course.  Would I like to be down 50 but not doing anything or have problematic eating and anxiety in social settings? Nope.  I'll take slow and meeting the needs of my life as it is at this stage.  A few years ago, I was okay self-isolating. My then-boyfriend lived away. I had no one else to worry about during the week. It worked.  Now? It won't work the same way. But I'm eating as clean as possible and putting in the work in way that's working for me now.

Around 20 pounds lost people started noticing. I didn't.  And I still struggle. But I struggled when I was at my smallest weight. In some way, I'll probably always struggle with body imagine. I think that's something that's true for many of us.... I know very few people who are absolutely comfortable with their bodies and would change nothing about their physical appearance.  It doesn't have to be weight loss... It can be that they want to gain weight; maybe they have a nose they don't like; maybe they're short... Anything. Body image is tricky and in same way most of us have some sort of issue with it. BUT it's in how we handle it and how big we allow it to get. So at 20 pounds I didn't notice much.  At 25, I started seeing some differences. I'm also feeling better about how I look in pictures and take mirror selfies regularly to help monitor progress.  I didn't do this last time but this time I think it's a good thing since my weight is moving a bit slower. I'm getting there.  And maybe I won't hit 50 pounds lost until September.  That's okay.  I'd say my goal for the end of the year; another five months would be to hit 70 pounds lost, total.  That's another 40 from where I am now. I think that if I'm a bit more strict, I can do that.  But I will accept a loss of another 30, for 60 overall since February. The good thing is that I'm done beating myself up. Progress is progress. Progress is good. Progress not perfection. I think I'm finally back in a place where I've done my best to block all other negativity from my life and am just working to respond in a different way to bad vibes... You don't like me? Cool. You wanna talk about me? People who know me won't believe it. People who know you will (but do I even care what they believe? Nope.).  People somewhere in between won't want to get involved, will ask the second side of the story, or will let it roll away. Got a problem with how I look? Don't look at me. You think I should/should not be wearing make-up? Okay. Don't like my hair color? Okay. I do. I'm just at that point where I know I can't control what other people see or say and that's okay. My body image isn't about them. It's about me. It's about how I feel. Why should someone saying "oh she's gained some weight back!" bother me? It shouldn't. I'm WELL AWARE of that. Yeah, I have.  Why do you care? What people don't know or see is what I'm doing.  I exercise at least 6 days a week. I usually take a rest day but not always. My exercise varies - I do light cardio, intense cardio, weights, yoga... A variety.  The thing is, I don't control what anyone else thinks about how I look. I don't control what they say. I only control how I see myself; how I feel about myself; and what I choose to do (or not do) about it.  Right now I'm eating mostly clean and I'm exercising a lot. Exercise makes me feel good. I'm losing weight but I'm not stressing.  I'm happy. Maybe that's what upsets people... I'm not showing that I'm totally miserable with how I look. I'm not. But it's also not anyone else's business how I see myself or feel about myself. I share things here because I want to. Because I've heard it's helped other people.  I've had people tell me I've motivated and inspired them. I've had people tell me that my determination has helped them to be more determined.  That is by far one of the best feelings I've ever experienced. Ever.

So I'd say things are going well... I've done a three 5Ks in June/thus far in July.  I was thinking of another half this month but got off-track with my training. I have one for sure in September so training will start for that soon enough. I'm sure I'll do some more 5Ks and 10Ks this summer.  Running is good. Eating is pretty good - I could clean it up a bit but I'm okay where I'm at. Weight loss is happening. I'm going to make sure I don't miss tracking any bites during this two weeks and hope to be at 31, or more, lost on the 15th. Other areas of life are going great!

Hope life finds you well and your summer is fantastic!!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Month...!?

I've been busy.  Super busy lately.  It seems like time has gone by very quickly.  I'm going to give quick run down of what I've been up to and will write a more detailed post later.

In the last month I have....

1. Lost more weight. Not as much as I could have (or feel I could have) in a month. But I'm down five more pounds. My weight loss had plateaued for a bit and within the last couple week. It's been moving again. I've added some more light activity so maybe that little bit of extra has made it move again. I've also been trying to vary my routine more, which typically helps break plateaus. Slow loss is okay but in a month I'd have ideally lost 10 pounds.  I would have accepted eight. But I'm happy it's moving again.  Any loss is good.

2. Run a 10K.  I wasn't ready for the 25K at Riverbank, especially after Gazelle Girl in April.  The morning of Riverbank was cold, which I was happy about. It had rained but it wasn't raining at race time. It was windy which I didn't enjoy but it wasn't bad and didn't slow me down too much. I felt really good after the race. I'm still slower than I used to be and have some speed work to do to get faster (which I hope will improve with continued weight loss). It was a good race and I felt good about things.  I had started half marathon training again so the 10K was before my long run was scheduled but that was okay; I have varied my runs since then. I missed my seven mile run last weekend (due to biking 14 miles instead and out of control allergies the next day) but I have eight on the agenda this week. I'm usually okay up to 10...It's over 10 that I need to work on so missing one seven mile run should be okay.

3. Gotten back into biking again. I started cycling challenge to raise awareness and benefit kids with cancer. I have a goal to ride 100 miles in the month of June and people can sponsor/donate. It's the Great Cycle Challenge. On days things aren't hectic (or cold, or rainy..)  I plan on riding to and from work which will give me a minimum of two miles a day. On a day where I could work it, that would be four with going to/from lunch. I also plan on a long ride every other weekend (at least) to see my Grandparents, plus other rides throughout the week. As of now I'm sitting at 20 miles. 80 miles in 23 days (including today) isn't bad.  I have a short tempo run to do this evening and will most likely at least ride a few miles... At a comfortable pace I can do five in half an hour so it's not like it takes much time out of my day.

I suppose that's the short version of my health and fitness update.

I saw this awesome video today and feel like people should check this out - and the awesomeness of this woman, Dana Falsetti! She seems like such a strong, confident woman.

Hope you're doing well!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This is a LITTLE Late: Plexus Slim Review. Results not Typical....?

As you may (or may not depending on whether you've read before) know, I did a trial of Plexus Slim that ended last week Thursday. I weighed and measured before. I paid attention to my body. Summed up in one sentence, a seven day trial was not enough for me to notice any changes. This does not mean that others haven't experienced something else.  The thing to keep in mind is that I was already eating clean (probably about the 80/20 that I strive for) and exercising routinely. I had started just after completing a half marathon. A half marathon itself can really do strange things to your body.

Weights and measures.
As far as measurements; no changes. However I didn't really expect any changes. When I've done measurements in the past, I've done so monthly because weekly is excessive. Changes in body composition and a loss of inches aren't typically seen that frequently. Weight is a bit harder to figure out.  My weight after the half marathon was up two pounds. Here's what my half marathon weekend looked like - carb loading the night before. Depletion of sodium, fluids, and whatever else during the half. It was ugly (running is always ugly for me).  I was soaked in sweat. I had those white lines that I thought were the body glide, but my friend informed me were lines for sodium loss, on my pants.  I was pretty interested about that and took to Google.  I'm a salty sweater. That day, post-race, included eating out again. Meals out contain a lot of sodium and considering I'd just lost a bunch, it was needed. However, who knows how much sodium exactly is lost or gained... Not me, that's for sure. I bloat when I run. My fingers looked like sausages. My hands were almost as big as my boyfriend's. I do not typically have large hands.  Right before I started my trial, I put my body through the ringer, doing my longest run in three years (training runs were 10 and 12 miles; the second and third longest runs in three years).  Whatever the reason, my weight was up two pounds.  It was gone by the end of that week and even less after the trial... As of last Friday (30th) I was down five pounds compared to the Monday after the half (18th). Given the crazy race effects on my body, I was actually down three pounds compared to what I had been the Friday before.

I really cannot say whether Plexus Slim had an impact on my weight during that time because the half caused my body to do strange things and I'd already made changes.  My weigh-in day isn't until Friday but I anticipate continued loss given my dietary changes.  Some will say that Plexus is meant to be combined with a healthy diet and exercise, which is the reason it promotes loss. Again, I was losing before (down 20 pounds, FYI! Wooooo!!) so I don't know how much Plexus played a roll in that. I've heard that people don't typically lose that quicky when using it; some even gain weight. So, take my experience as that... My experience.

PS (I decided to abbreviate) is supposed to help you sleep better. I was sleeping pretty well before and didn't notice a change in my sleep patterns either way.  Fitbit says I was just as restless while drinking the pink drink as I was prior to that.  My 3-5 hours a night was the same.
NOTE: I do sleep more than 3-5 hours.  Fitbit tracks restlessness which is probably every time I move.  I move a lot.  I am still sleeping the 20-30 some times it tells me I'm restless.  Sometimes I awaken, but again there were no changes there.

My sleep patterns were not influenced by PS.

Overall Body Feeling.
I honestly didn't feel any different after my seven days of using PS. It's said to increase energy, but I didn't see a change. However, I'd seen an increase in energy before that due to other changes. My appetite was unchanged.  I ate about the same as I had before PS; mostly clean, healthy, nourishing foods.  I try to eat every few hours so that I don't get too hungry (and because that's supposed to be better for the body). I had my typical morning shake and coffee (I added the PS to my shake all but one day). Lunches and dinners varied a bit but are typically about the same in terms of calories.  I sometimes eat freezer "diet" meals for lunch because they're convenient. Or dinner leftovers.  I might make something else...  The point is that I don't think my eating habits changed much.  Maybe I was less hungry a couple times but those could've been days I didn't drink my usual amount of water (which keeps me full). I did feel like I was peeing a lot more than usual, which apparently it can do. My friend said that it's how PS gets all the yucky stuff out of your system. I do think I'm just being more aware of my water intake. I mean, even today I feel like I'm peeing a lot. Which I am because I drink a lot. So that may not have really been the PS.

I'd say overall, I cannot say after my seven day trial was well.... Anything. It could be because of the changes I'd already made.  Most people are supposed to make changes when starting PS.  I also had the funky body stuff doing on after the half.

I will say that it wasn't bad. I actually liked it when mixed into my protein shakes. It gave it a little extra flavor which I enjoyed. I wasn't a fan when I drank it on its own, but my friend said she likes hers to be REALLY cold.  It had a sweet taste and aftertaste and she said most people don't say that. Maybe I'm weird - or I don't have much sweet stuff so I responded differently. Or it wasn't cold enough. At any rate it was good.  Will I spend money on it? Probably not.  For me it would basically be extra flavor for my shakes.  It is not a miracle weight loss answer; even if it might be marketed that way. It is supposed to be used with clean eating and exercise. It is helpful in some as far as making them feel better in general however that could also be because of clean eating and exercise. As I said I didn't see those same differences.

I loved the protein shake (P96) and it's comparable to my current shake as far as cost and ingredients. That is something that I would purchase.

So that's my experience with Plexus Slim....I suppose I'd say I'm neutral. Nothing exceptional for me but nothing horrible either.

Hope you're doing well!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gloomy Tuesday!

It likes like we are in for clouds, clouds, clouds, rain, and cold for the next couple days.  Yuck! Today looks pretty gloomy, which stinks after it turned out to be so nice yesterday.  It rained, then the sun came out, and then it got cloudy and rained later but when I left work it was so warm! Low 70s. Then the rain started and it dropped. And dropped some more.  This morning, when I came to work, it was pretty chilly.  I haven't been outside yet to see what it's like now, but man does it look gloomy out! I'm happy that it's not snowy and super cold but I am seriously ready for it to be a little warmer (we've had some teases and now I'm like "okay, just get to it...") and some sunshine.

 My schedule is pretty crazy today... Not much time at lunch to do a workout. At least not the workout that I like because I don't have time to do that, shower, eat, and get back to work.  I did have a cancellation before the group that I do so I'll have time for a walk then - but still nothing intense because I don't have time to shower too.  I was going to get up early to at last do some Turbofire but didn't sleep well last night, so that didn't happen.  So far the day is winning! BUT I will get that walk in later, even if it has to be on the treadmill.  I am usually home a little after eight so I won't have time to do anything intense (unless I want to be energized and unable to sleep), but I think I'll do some arm work.  I can handle a good 30 or so minutes of arms; maybe make it a little longer and do some ab work too. We shall see.

I need to get back on the weight training road. I've focused so much on running and cardio because of that half that I have gotten away from that. I love squats, lunges, and leg day in general (okay that's a love-hate relationship) but I'm not going to add that in for a while. It'll be upper body.  I'm really trying to not stress my legs too much because I am planning on another half marathon soon. I find that if I do leg day and try to run, it decreases my running performance. I'll start adding some leg work into my routine, but it won't be a full-blown leg day like I'd been doing. I don't want to avoid leg day completely even though running does work those muscles.  I guess I just like the extra  - and running doesn't hit ALL of the muscles so there's room for some exercises.  Anyway, I'm going to work on a plan at lunch, starting with arms and abs and see where it goes from there. My schedule at work is super busy so I need to make sure I can do strength work on days I do maybe Turbofire or other cardio, but when I can also fit it in. It'll likely be shorter periods in the evenings.  There's always time to fit something in.... I just have to put the puzzle together!

As of this morning I'm down almost 20 pounds. It was a loss of 19.8 so I'm hoping to be over that 20 pounds lost mark by the end of the week. I continue to eat healthy and eat mostly clean. I do have some foods that aren't clean here and there but I'm really trying to focus on healthy stuff more frequently (like I used to do). And of course, continued exercise.   Apparently the combo is working again since I am losing. Yay! I love being back on the weight loss road.  I'm hoping I will reach where I want to be (no specific goal; but a general one) by my Birthday (basically the end of the year). If I continue on this track and with the loss, I'll be there before then. But since I know things like plateaus occur, I'm giving myself a longer period of time. Plus if I say I'll do it by fall, then I tend to stress more and the pressure builds which sometimes leads to failure. So my goal is by December. This is realistic for me.

Tomorrow is the last day of my Plexus Slim trial. I haven't really noticed any changes that others report yet, but I am still keeping an open mind.  Obviously I've had some weight loss (a few pounds), but I don't attribute that to just Plexus.  I was already working for that and losing prior to starting this. I just wanted to see what changes it may do for my body.  I'll be taking measurements the day after my trial ends...Or I plan to. It could be a busy morning so that might not happen until Friday morning. Anyway, though, measurements and a post about the experience and results will happen later this week.

I suppose that's about it for now...