Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hey, Stress...Please Don't Give Me 20 Free Pounds.

Ohmygosh have things been busy!!! Last week was going great. Totally awesome.  I worked out every day, ate awesome clean meals.  Life was plugging along exactly how it should.  We went out of town Saturday night, which wasn't too terrible.  I worked out Saturday morning - I believe I went for a walk/jog with the dogs.  Yes, that was that day.  Then we headed out of town in the afternoon.  We hung out with a friend, had dinner and drinks, and watched a WWE Live event (yes, my boyfriend is a "wrestling dork" - has been since he was a kid).  Eating was...Okay on Saturday. Unfortunately I just didn't take the time to eat much during the day.  I did have some meat and cheese and that filled me up until dinner...Where I consumed Buffalo Wild Wings chicken wings ("naked" style to save a little bit) and a couple big Oberons.  On to the arena, where I had more beverages.  So yeah, that day? Not so great.

We headed out and about for a bit Sunday - to lunch (out, again, ugh) and to Lululemon so I could buy a new yoga mat.  And another awesome bra because...well, Lulu. We had lunch at Friday's and I had a burger and fries.  Not the best option but I was pretty hungry and rarely eat there. So, that's two "bad" meals. In a row.  I didn't think I'd eat later because I wasn't all that hungry. My boyfriend went to spend some time with his Dad after we got home and I hung out with my Dad and Grandpa for a bit.  There just wasn't enough time for both of us to see everyone, so we went our separate ways for a bit.  He asked me to bring home pizza for dinner, which I did.  I wasn't home very long... Maybe half an hour and saw that my Mom and Dad had both tried calling and texting.  My Grandma fell and was heading to the ER. So, off I went.

I spent from a little after eight until nearly midnight sitting in the ER with my Mom and Grandma.  My boyfriend stayed home and apparently did not do much but eat pizza and nap.  Glad I didn't really miss spending much time with him since he would've been sleeping.  I came home and got ready for bed and couldn't sleep. My Grandma was off to surgery to have a rod placed in her broken leg.  I finally fell asleep sometime after one and my Mom called around two to tell me that surgery went well. I fell back asleep for a couple hours before I had to get up for the day.  Monday I was exhausted.  I worked, sat at the hospital with my Grandma, and worked.  Eating was terrible. I don't even know what I ate but basically I didn't eat much all day and binged that evening because I was so hungry.  Tuesday? Almost a repeat of Monday.  Work, hospital, work, hospital, work.  Eat? Not much...Dinner was at about 8:30 when I was done working.  Wednesday was very much the same although I did manage to eat a little more throughout the day and avoid the junk that I decided was a good idea on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday's dinner wasn't bad since my Aunt arrived from Kentucky to help out at the house and with my Grandpa.  But, I am pretty sure I ate some junk on Tuesday as well.  Yesterday and today have better. I've managed to stay away from the junk.  I've managed to eat instead of not eating throughout the day.  I've managed to get some exercise in a couple days this week but so far not today.  We had a little scare with my Grandma so instead of walking to the hospital, I drove.

So, in combination with eating out so much last weekend, I feel like a big ol' fatty today.  I would not be surprised if I've gained a few pounds.  I know I haven't gained 20 (as in the title) but I feel like I have.  Of course, I haven't had so much water today so maybe that's part of it.  At any rate, I don't feel good. I'm tried.  I'm worn out. I haven't gotten much done around the house.  My routine is disrupted. I know it's just temporary (and probably mostly in my head because I am off-track) but it still bugs me. However, helping my family is, at the moment, my priority. I let myself fall to the stress eating the first couple days but the last two have been better. However, I'm still tired.  I really need to try to sleep a little better and relax a little bit.  I've been on the go non-stop.  I think a little yoga or piyo, even just 30 minutes, or a short walk is in order tonight.  Just something to de-stress a little and feel a little better.

So, that's the update.


Lakestride 5K Race Report

This post is a bit overdue!! I did this race on 6/13/15.... So yeah, just over 20 days late.  I guess it's just been a crazy couple weeks and I've not taken the time to blog.  My inspiration after reading that book put me into high gear as far as making sure I was making healthy meals and working out. I guess that took priority over writing.


So I got up early that Saturday morning and got ready for the race.  My Mom and I shopped for new outfits the day before (because...why not?).  I did my usual routine; washed my face, deodorant, that kind of thing. I drank my pre-workout drink and mixed one up for my Mom to have when she got there.  She was not as excited about the taste so I think I actually drank that one after the race too. No wonder I felt so good!!

We arrived a little early but considering the race is right down the street from my house we weren't too concerned.  We watched the half-marathon group start then we were next, followed by the 10K people.  I've done this race a few other times so I was totally familiar with the course.  Plus? I live here.

My Mom, who is not and has never been a runner, started jogging with me.  We jogged for a bit then walked.  And when I say walked, I mean power walked. She has some short little legs but man can she make them move!! I suppose being an Emergency Room nurse and being on her feet all day, nearly running around the ER, contributes to that.  She walks a few times a week too.  Anyway, so we HAD to start jogging...Because, well, that's what I do.  So she jogged with me for a bit then I walked with her.  Then we jogged again. This time I figured out that if I did a slow jog, it was the same pace as her almost freakishly fast power-walk.  We were on pace for about a 15 minute mile, which is pretty good with her walking.  I did walk with her on a trail part of the course because it was uneven and there were rocks and such.  When I did that, my calves felt tight again. UGH.  So I walked a little slower than her on that part (maybe a couple steps behind her) and then when we reached pavement I went back to my jog.  It actually felt better to keep jogging than to try to walk after jogging.  So, that's what I did... A nice, even, jog pace.  My calves weren't nearly as bad as they had been  (but were well-rested that week) and loosened up pretty well.  My Mom jogged a couple more short legs with me, but mostly stuck to her walk. We did run across the finish line together.

This was the first race I had zero concern about time, speed, performance.  It was mostly just for fun and to do something different with my Mom.  This time it was more about just getting in some exercise and spending time with her than anything else.  I don't even remember our time - it was over 45 minutes, so our final pace averaged out to somewhere between 15 and 16 minutes.  There are a couple big hills on the course that I'm sure slowed us down. But, ya know what? I'm okay with that.  This wasn't my fastest 5K (not by far!), it wasn't near my average/usual time for a 5K, but it also wasn't my slowest. And? The best part is that it was a fun time!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

So I Read This Book...

Sunday, I decided was a good day for a rest day from working out.  It was also rainy and who wants to go outside on a cold, windy, rainy day? Not me. In between loads of laundry, catching up with the dishes, and cleaning, I opened a book that I'd bought on Wednesday.  And I read that thing front to back in the course of the day.  To be fair, the print wasn't tiny (or large, FYI) and it wasn't THAT long - somewhere around 250 pages, I think. So, not a huge book.  It's no secret though, when I get into a good book, if I have the time, I'll plow through it quickly.  So reading a book in a day isn't really that big of  a deal for me. BUT it goes to show just how good of a book it is!

I was browsing books at Target on Wednesday and came across one that had a little girl on the front. She had a little belly poking out of her bikini set on a beach.  It was most definitely a real photograph. It was also in the best seller section, so I decided to pick it up.  Ah-ha! A memoir.  And a weight loss memoir at that. I read the description and decided to buy it.  I'm so glad I did.

"It Was Me All Along" by Andie Mitchell is one of the best memoirs I've read.  Some memoirs aren't that great. They don't draw me in.  Jen Lancaster has been the only author to successfully draw me in when it comes to memoirs. I love Jen's style and like to think that it's similar to my own.  I guess that's because I just get it.  I get the way she says things. Her descriptions are so amazing, that I can clearly see the scene (as I'd imagine it). Jen has a way of drawing me in that's like nothing else.  She's the standard against which I hold all memoirs. Are you reading this, Jen? You've set a major standard for anyone who dare write a memoir (in my opinion).  My point with that little oh-my-gosh-Jen-Lancaster-is-the-best-ever-and-I-might-have-a-girl-crush-on-her note is that I like  a certain style.

Andie's style is not the same as Jen's but they share one amazing quality.  They have amazing descriptions and can tell a story.  Andie, Jen - you should totally hang out. With me. Please?


Anyway, Andie writes her story from the heart.  It's what I do when I write so many of my posts; the ones with meaning and emotion behind them.  I could see her life when I read her words.  I could feel her feelings.  I think that some of that is because Andie's story is a lot like mine in terms of how the words of others could sting right to the core. Boom! Shot through the heart (sorry, I really, love Bon Jovi)!! I've cried similar tears. I've felt similar things.  While Andie's childhood varies from mine in her life, where she lives, and the way she overate (you'll have to read the book), the emotions are so much the same.  I can remember crying because someone called me fat. More than once.  I remember feeling different than my friends.  I remember the wild times with food and adult beverages in college. Reading that book made me cry because so much of it hit home for me. Thanks, Andie Mitchell, for the tears.

In reading Andie's story, I found one big difference.  After she got to a healthy place and gained a little weight back, she maintained.  I did not.  I met a guy, adopted his bad habits, and got comfortable being in love.  He wasn't the first boyfriend I had post-weight loss.  So why in this relationship did I gain weight?  Why did I start eating his crap food instead of my healthy food? Why did my workouts dwindle?  Because he was local and I enjoyed spending time with him. Because I'm, historically, one who sacrifices and does what others want.  We DO do healthy things together sometimes but for me, it's the food.  A bad meal on the weekend with him turned into more.  I hardly drank but cool beers on a hot summer evening started happening more.

Over the last several months, I've worked hard to recommit to my healthy lifestyle.  I have done better but not great.  Heck, I thought I was losing weight only to look at a photo and think "I've gained MORE weight."  After reading this book, creeping into her social media, and realizing that I need to start again, I'm feeling renewed.  I've learned that I won't be successful if I keep beating myself up.  Hey I lost like 180 pounds.  Then I gained a bit back and was at, what I now know, my comfortable weight.  I was good with a 160 pound loss.  Hey, guess what, I've gained about 50 back...Give or take since I am far too terrified to weigh myself. I never weighed myself in the beginning. I just started losing.  I knew what I had been just before I started and went with that. After I started buying new clothes, I discovered I'd lost some weight.  Then I decided to invest in a scale.

I'm really working hard on being positive.  I can't look at where I was.  I can't let the a-hole comments of "oh wow you got fat again" bother me. I can't internalize the words and thoughts of others and make them my own. Because they are not my own.  What I do know is that in most ways I'm happy. I'm happy in love; in my relationship. I'm happy in my career. I'm happy with my family and friends.  Those are the things that are most important to me. My life is not perfect and I have areas to work on (not just healthy eating), but I'm happy.  Being happy is a place that I can start fresh. I'm not dwelling on how much weight I've gained because that's damaging.  I'm not dwelling on how slow my jogging pace is now because that's damaging. I'm not dwelling on the fact that I currently hate shopping because things either fit and look great or don't (and when they don't, I get upset) because that's damaging.

I need to stop looking at where I was and look only at where I am now. I can no longer look at myself as having failed. That is so harmful for me.  I need to look at my happiness and just start...Not start again; just start. I know what to do.  And I will do it.

So, thank you, Andie Mitchell, for the tears and the rejuvenation for healthy living.


The Super Run 5K Race Report

First, it's been almost two months.  I guess I've gotten out of the habit.  This typically goes hand-in-hand with how well I'm doing in terms of eating.  That's been up and down lately. I have excellent days then I have days where my boyfriend's bad choices work their way into my mouth.  I'd like to think that they just wander there. They don't.  I really need to get past that point of being jealous when others eat crap that I usually like.  Although the good news there is that sometimes his crap doesn't taste as appealing as I'd think.

The quick update: I've been working out diligently. I've done a combo of yoga, pilates in the office a few times, walking (lots of walking) which has progressed back into a walk/jog combo, and combat.  I decided that I really needed to get back into running. When you're out of the game for a bit (and you gain weight), you have to start near the bottom.  For me this meant with walking. Two weeks ago I realized I had a 5K swiftly approaching so I upped my game. When I had the dogs with me, we jogged as much as they could handle.   Our pace improved. They've actually done pretty well for being old (and for Buddy being a chunky boy).  Then last Wednesday came.  Apparently my calves are tight. Super tight. Tight to the point that they decided to feel so tight that they were on the verge of giving me double Charlie Horses. I stopped running, did a pretty slow (for me) walk pace, and hobbled home.  I took Thursday off.  Friday I tried again.  I think I made it about half a mile before the tightness came on.  Again, I was reduced to walking. And tears. So the dogs and I walked (hobbled) home after a 30 minute walk with about thismuch jogging. I stretched. I hydrated like a crazy woman. I rested my legs as much as I could the rest of the day.

Saturday,  The Super Run 5K. Another race for my buddy! Yay! I love getting any miles for him; doing any exercise, really, but there's something about doing a race.  I guess I love sharing my race swag with the little guy! I hydrated, stretched, and fueled pre-race.  I was in a good place and hopeful (although I voiced my fears about 10,000 times to my friend) that it would be a good race.  The day started out great! It was sunny, there was no construction on our drive, we got there 15 minutes before we even needed to check in, parking wasn't an issue... The day was going great.  Well, except for when someone manged to pee all over the seat in the disgusting port-a-potty and I nearly vomited from the sight of it and the horrendous smell.  But after that, it was good!

Honestly though, people, can you please either NOT pee on the seat or clean up after yourself.  Some of us have weak stomachs.

The race was at a gorgeous, large park in the Comstock Park (near Grand Rapids). The race was very well-organized and a lot of fun. Everyone was dressed as super heroes. My friend Sarah and I even met another IRUN4 runner, so that was cool! I can't remember her name, but Owen from California, we met your awesome runner!  The race swag was pretty good - capes in place of t-shirts, and even though it wasn't timed they gave out numbers, we got a couple things of Biofreeze and the other random post cards and such. The race was for charity and benefited a foster care agency, which I thought was an awesome choice. The post-race snacks were standard for a 5K; water, apples, oranges and bananas. There was a hydration station along the course. The volunteers were super nice - they gave us extra medals for our buddies without any hesitation.

Part of the course was through a field but I was okay with that. I'm unsteady and find cross country running exhausting, but that day I thought maybe the softer surface would be good for the calves.  I started out running a at pretty good pace.  I clipped along through the grass, then a path, then more grass, and then... The intense cramping started.  I walked for a few minutes and tried again.  Still tight.  Still intense.  Finally I decided to just walk for a bit.  And walk I did.  And I stopped to stretch. I tried to run again (you see, I do not just give up - although in this case it may have been better).  The cramping worsened.  The tears came. I stretched.  I walked...Actually I think I limped because one leg was slightly worse than the other. I stretched some more.  Then something strange happened. The cramping seemed to decrease...But the tops of my feet, especially the left, felt tingly like they were falling asleep.  I continued walking and tingling with my decreasing cramping and then decided to run again.  It wasn't fast.  In fact, it was most likely the slowest jog I've ever done, but it was faster than walkers who passed me when I was walking, so maybe it wasn't as slow as I thought.  But I jogged. And jogged. And jogged - all the way to the finish line.  I'm not sure what happened but I was happy to finish jogging, not cramping, and not crying. It was my worst 5K ever in terms of my time.  It was slow...I'm not sure of the exact time but it was just on the other side of 45 minutes. Not even my first 5K took that long. Of course, at that time, I was running more, I weighed less, and my calves didn't feel as though they were being squeezed in a vice.  Cardio-wise, the jogging part was great, which is a good measure for me. That means my cardio endurance is getting better and that make me happy.

After the race, my calves were tight. So tight.  My friend and I headed toward home but stopped in another town to shop a little and have lunch.  I thought that resting my calves would feel good but even walking around the mall and some stores, they were still very tight. Of course, I was driving so they weren't elevated or anything.  After we got home, I showered, did a few things around then house, then propped a pillow under my legs, and napped. My boyfriend got back from hanging out with his Dad and he decided to nap too. We were supposed to go to a friend's party but we were both fairly tired and decided just to hang at home and watch a movie.  I should know not to nap late in the afternoon - it makes me not want to do anything!

So, not my best race, but a good day overall!! I think that the friend time was the best part!

Sunday I decided to completely rest, which brings me to my next post...

Coming up next!