Thursday, February 26, 2009

Planning ....

Things are starting to settle down for me. I've got my big events for the weekend mostly planned (though this dump of snow last night is probably going to mean the cancellation of the soccer tournament). So ... that frees up my mind a bit to get back to some menu planning. I desperately need to get back to that and just having today & tomorrow planned is already giving me a bit of a calming feeling, like life is in order.

My scale is still up today, please let this be PMS. I can't stand the thought of having to battle my way down again. But I will if that's what I have to do. I'm pretty sure I'm ready to abandon this practice of eating some of my APs. I don't like the extra points. Maybe it's a coincidence, but ever since I started that I've been SUPER hungry and end up feeling like I have to fight the urge to eat more. If I wasn't a woman with hormones I think this would be so much easier. There's just so many other factors out there - GRRR.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh yeah!!! They just posted the race results and I did better than I thought. I must have misunderstood when they told me my time. It's posted on the results page as 49:04 - 50 seconds less than I thought. WOW! And the top 5 finishers - 3 of them were National Cross Country runners and 2 of them were sub 4 minute mile runners. WOW!

So I don't know what's going on with the scale, actually it's not the scale - it's me - I checked on another scale just to be sure. Monday's weight 153.4, Tuesday - 155.4 (2 lb gain), Wed - 156.4 (another 1 lb gain). I'm hoping it's just hormones or whatever, but it's awfully discouraging. I have dug into the candies a little bit the last 2 days, but I accounted for them and am totally within my points allowed.

This week is challenging with all these candies around. My son's soccer club has a tournament this weekend and I'm in charge of the team food packages - which includes candy bags. I find it very challenging to not dig into them, I LOVE candies! Hopefully I'm sick of them now.

My SIL just announced her Wine Tour weekend with the girls and I plan on going this year. A weekend of being in the sun (aka bathing suits) with a group of women who are all in pretty good shape. I can feel my insecurities coming on already. SO ... I'll just have to work extra hard so I can push those nasty thoughts away and out of my mind.

Monday, February 23, 2009

8K Race Results

Had the 8K race yesterday - it was actually 8.225 K . The trail was in so much better condition than the last run, but OH MY the hills!!! Yeouch! I'd run part of this trail before, but I hadn't run this route and it seemed like it was hill, after hill, after hill. Tough!

But ..... I'm so, so, SOOOOO happy! I had hoped to finish in at least 52 minutes but figured it might be more realistic for 53-55 minutes with the added distance and bigger hills. However ... I finished in 49:54.

I knew coming up to the finish that I'd be around 50 minutes so I pushed it extra hard and got there just under the wire. I was pumped after I crossed the finish (until about 10 seconds later when I thought I'd lose my lunch - but I didn't).

My husband did awesome and completed in 42:25 which was alot faster than he'd expected. My son didn't have the greatest day, he started out with a headache plus a bruised thigh from paintball the day before and he finished in 46 something. But I still think that's great (I would have loved to have been THAT bad - heehee). This morning he came down with a fever and a stomach bug so that could have contributed to his results no doubt. I'm quite proud of all of us!

The fastest runner finished in 25:20 - WOW! But these guys were like 6" around at the widest area on their bodies, wearing next to no clothing and had on super light runners with spikes in them. They averaged just under 12mph for the whole run. Next time you're on a treadmill put that into perspective and imagine doing it on rough terrain, up and down steep, gravel hills.

Next run is in 2 weeks - that's a 10K. I don't think it will be as hilly so I'm quite hopeful for a pretty good time. As of right now I'm thinking I can do it around or just under 60 minutes. We'll see what the route is like and that will probably determine it.

For now I'm hoping I don't get whatever my son has, and that no one else in the family gets it either.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sore Muscles!

I think I may have overdone it last week with the squats & lunges. My legs feel like bricks the last few days. Tried to train for the run last night and just didn't get very far. Did 25 min at a slower than normal speed then that was it. Moved over the the elliptical and that was still tough. I want/need to work on my cardio, but I just didn't have the strength to push myself further. So today I'm going to scale down the intensity and do some walking then bootcamp. I pray she's not going to do a major leg workout tonight.

I think I could use a little pool time too maybe. Surely that's got to be easier and will definitely get that heart rate up there. Friday morning I'm taking a fitness class and this time I'll bring my suit and do some laps afterwards. If I have to pay I may as well use all the facilities!!!

Both the kids got their course planning sheets completed and are handing them in today. That's one more thing off of my mind. My daughters was pretty straightforward as the options are minimal. My son's was more important as this will pave the way for the path of his schooling/career future. At the moment I think he's making really good choices and he's listening to me about covering his options for down the road. Hopefully he continues to listen as the years progress.

I'm in a food slump. I haven't tried a new recipe, or anything remotely exciting in weeks. It just all feels so blah. Eating is feeling very mechanical, something I know I have to do but am just not interested in. Maybe I just have too much planning/organizing on the go and don't have the extra energy to focus on meal planning. Ah well, it should calm down in a couple weeks so hopefully I get back to it - if not I'll have to force the issue.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scale Anxiety - not success, still in training

WOW, is it ever tough staying off the scale and just trusting myself with the knowledge that I'm OP and doing what I should be doing. I last weighed on my home scale on Friday before my WWs meeting. Today I had to do my WI for the challenge on the WW's board.

I was SO anxious this morning - I felt ill! Made me feel pretty disgusted with myself actually, how I've let that scale determine how I feel. Even when I awoke in the middle of the night I put my hand on my belly and thought, ugh, I bet I've gained about 2 lbs. My stomach is softer. My muscles feel like they're retaining water. And a zillion other negative thoughts raced through my head. Got up this morning thinking "Am I bloated", "do I have to go the bathroom", "can I fit in a short run before work"... CRAZY!

I ALMOST considered not weighing myself today and just using Friday's weight for the challenge, but that wouldn't really be accurate. I was so scared that I would get on that scale, be up a few pounds and just melt. Then I'd pull back the reins and get off of this expirement I'm on with eating a few more points per day.

But .. after some deep breathing and a lot of self talk and mental preparation to tell myself to ignore whatever it said on there ... I finally got on. And stayed the same as last Tuesday's home weigh in. Phewf!

Then came the temptation to step up again, and the temptation to weigh again after I'd been up for 1/2 an hour (just in case I'd dropped a little bit). But I resisted. This is hard!

I can't believe how many times I'm near a scale and feel tempted to step on. And it's only been since Friday morning. Sure I could put it away, but the temptation would still be there. And I'm WAY too resourceful to think that just having it put away would stop me if I truly wanted to weigh myself. There are just too many options out there to get my "fix".

So now it's done and I get my next fix on Friday. I'm really working on seperation from the scale & it's numbers. Pulled out a pair of jeans I wore when I was at goal last. I can't quite do them up yet - but I can see potential, and I can see improvement from the last time I tried them on. Though I did wonder if I had just transferred my obsession from the scale to another form of standard to measure by - hmmmm ??????

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eating a few more points

I've been getting increasingly frustrated with very small to non-existant losses on the scale - as well as (unfortunately) very little to no loss on the measuring tape. I think my waist is down a bit but it's so hard to tell. It would probably be best to get someone else to do this - this is a service they have at the community centre - but I'm not willing (at this stage) to spend money on this.

I exercise quite a bit - on average 60 min a day every day, and I don't pansy-ass around with my workouts. They're tough, sweaty & ugly. I've been finding that the only time I see much of a real loss is when I work out like crazy all week and eat basically JUST my points target of 21. But then I can do the same thing the following week and see no loss or even a gain. It gets annoying.

So I went to a WWs meeting last Friday. I quite like this leader better than other one's I've had there before - although the "group" isn't all that suitable to me. Anyhow, I mentioned my frustrations to her and she's recommended I try eating 4 extra points every day for at least 2 weeks and see how that affects my weight. She said I could even need more than that, but to try this for now. She also told me to stay off my scale. I've been told to stay off of it before, and I have, but it's made no change. It's not like if I don't like the # I get in the morning that I eat more. If the only change I make is to not step on the scale I can't see how that makes a difference. But this time I will because I know in the past when I've used more than my 21 pts in a day I see a gain on the scale and if I do this for a few days in a row I freak out and go back to my 21 pts. So she said to ignore it, stick with the extra points, and see if it works itself out in a few days. I sure hope she's right.

This is terrifying for me. I'm terrified that I'll gain 6, 8, 10 lbs and then have to fight for another year or more to get that off. But ... I'm giving it a shot because "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got" - so it's worth the risk.

I'm also getting more and more interested in learning about proper fueling for exercise. I think this would definitely help my running. Normally I don't eat before I run because it makes me feel sick - even if it's 1-2 hours before. About 3 hours seems to be good, but when I run in the morning I don't get up early enough to have this buffer. Then after any heavy exercise session I rarely have ANY appetite at all. But this can't be good for replenishing my needs after working my muscles so hard.

So this Sunday before our group run I got up a little bit early and had half an english muffin, toasted, with a bit of peanut butter - about an hour before we ran. That actually seemed to work out pretty good. I didn't feel sick at all. Don't know if it gave me more energy, nothing significant anyway, but it's got to be better. I'm also going to work on spacing out meals and forcing myself to eat a little something after workouts. Maybe eat a little less at dinner if I have an evening workout, then have a snack afterwards.

Oh... and the results were posted for our run from the 8th. I ended up 42 out of 102 in the 5K division - 11th out of 28 for women age 20-39 (I'm 36). I think that's not bad considering everything! My husband was 38th out of 95 doing the 10K - again pretty good, especially considering he's not a regular runner. My son was 14th out of 102, he had thought he was 7th, but I still think 14th is incredible. And his time was 26:32, which makes me feel a heck of a lot better about my time (officially 32:46, but my watched clocked it at 32:30 something). I had dreams of doing it around 27-29 minutes, so if it took him 26:32, there's no way I could have done it in that time as he is a MUCH faster runner than me. In fact ALL the runners were slower on this route than in previous years, by about 10-15%. It was a different route than they normally use and I'm thinking either it was slightly longer or just tougher terrain.

Our Sunday run was amazing this weekend. It is so beautiful, warm & sunny here and the trail was incredible. At one point I just stopped and let the sun beat down on me - ah heaven! I'm hoping to go to that trail at least once more during the week before our next race this weekend (8K). I want to work on hills.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Haven't posted in a few days. Truth be told I've been waiting for my run results to be posted so I could comment on them ... but I'm still waiting (and frustrated). Grrr, how long can it take? Do they need me to go do it for them??? HAHAHA

Anyhow, the race went pretty well. I wasn't happy with my time (about 32:30), however it was quite a challenging trail - lots of hills, a very long, steep one right at the end. There were a few obstacles we had to jump over, lots of roots, twists & turns - some uneven gravel, snow & ice. Still, I thought I'd do better. My son ran the same distance and although he didn't remember the time he came in (he's a doughhead that way), he thinks he came in 7th overall. Pretty good in a pretty large field of people who run regularly in clinics and races - and he's not a runner. He didn't want to ruin his new, good running shoes so we got him a pair of cheapies from Walmart to run in. My husband ran the 10K option and did pretty good (in my opinion). His time was about 57:30, not sure where he placed in the field - definitely not the very top, but probably in the upper half. He also is not a runner, he's run at home maybe 5-6 times total this year, but he's quite fit.

So my next race is Feb 22nd and it's 8K. If I sustain the same pace as the last race I could do it in 52 minutes, but to be honest I'd like to do it in 48 minutes MAX, but I'm not sure about that. The last race was hard, much harder than I thought and I was suprised how sore I was the next day. Especially since I run regularly, and usually faster over that distance. I trail run, but have no idea of my pace on that - maybe there is a big difference.

Yesterday was a tough day for me - I could have cleared out the bulk bins on candy at the local grocery store. The whole family had sweet cravings, which of course doesn't help when we all want it. So I did cave and made a gooey, fudgey, chocolate cake - but I only had half a piece. Today I'm feeling "normal" again so hopefully I tamed the craving.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The "Other" Benefits of Weight Loss

I was at my hairdressers last night and she has started following the weight watchers plan. She's not attending meetings, but borrowed the books from a friend. Since the beginning of January she's lost 17 lbs! WOW, I couldn't believe it - incredible. Anyhow, she told me that she joined not really to lose weight but because she'd been feeling kinda crappy and wanted to improve her eating. So it got me thinking about all the things that have improved for me since I have changed my lifestyle. Obviously there's the number going down on the scale, and of course the smaller clothes/size. As well, with increased physical activity you're going to feel more energy and have improved cardiovascular and strength - but I'm talking about the other things:

1) Improved skin

I notice that my skin is so much clearer now. I don't suffer near as bad from little breakouts like I used to. I used to get this big row of bumps all along my jawline - ick. I was also starting to get little spider type veins on my cheeks. Also I notice that I don't "need" face cream like I once did. My skin just isn't as dry anymore - anywhere on my body. Also, better hair & nails overall.

2) Stomach disorders

The little truth no one wants to talk about until you bring it up. I used to frequently suffer from a variety of stomach issues - diarrhea, constipation, general aches, gas, etc. I never really put two and two together, but now I realize that I rarely ever suffer from these anymore - unless of course I eat something crappy. That is another thing I notice, my body just doesn't like junk anymore and will react quickly and violently when I fill up on greasy, junk foods. When I first started running (or any high intensity workout) I'd get horrible stomach cramps and often end up in the bathroom. So much that I didn't want to run outdoors for fear of it coming on. I think it was my body detoxing itself, getting rid of all the bad stuff in my system. I don't suffer from this anymore either.

3) Lighter, regular, easier periods

Another rarely talked about subject. My periods had been getting heavier and heavier - to the point where I had to set my alarm to go off about every 2-3 hours and night to avoid accidents. And the first 2-3 days I had to be as immobile as possible and stay close to facilities. They also got longer, cramps got worse, my "moods" got bad - it was awful. They also began coming erratically - usually late, every 6-8 weeks - but sometimes every 3 weeks. I talked to my doctor about it once and he said that it really wasn't that unusual for a woman my age to have changes like that. However, this is another thing that has improved for me. I'm now pretty much back to what has been a"normal" period for most of my life.

4) Minor aches & pains

I've noticed a big difference here. Makes sense, right, you lose weight and you're no longer putting unnecessary strain on your joints & muscles. My right shoulder (that I typically sleep on) used to be in pain all the time. At night it would ache so bad that I was beginning to take Ibuprofen on a regular basis just to get a decent night sleep. Not to mention back pain, general fatigue, knees .... Now that's all gone.

5) A full night's sleep

For years I had no idea what that was. I had difficulty falling asleep, then when I did I'd often wake up in the middle of the night for hours on end. Then fall back asleep to be woken by my alarm dead tired. I was constantly tired. I still have the odd night of laying there wide awake, but I think it's more due to thinking about "things" instead of just being awake. I do find, for me, that exercising in the evening really puts me in a deep slumber. Knocks me out cold and keeps me that way. The other day I had an exceptionally big meal and went to be quite stuffed - I slept horribly! I could feel my stomach groaning at my all night. What an awful feeling!!

6) Higher tolerance & patience

I find the little stuff doesn't bother me as much as it used to. Not sure if this is related to a healthier lifestyle, but I'm thinking it could be. I'm just more content & relaxed, not so edgy, not so negative - not so likely to "snap". Could be just a personal change in me, but I do think it could be due to the healthier changes I've made. You'd certainly think that living life without fatigue, regular aches & pains, awful, annoying periods, lack of sleep, etc. would make for a happier, more content life - right???


So .... anyone out there reading this, can you relate? Any other big improvements you've seen in relation to the changes you've made???