Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time for some tweaks....

I am working with a great nutritionist that has helped me spur my weight loss this year. It has been a good experience. Monday we met again. She gave me a lot to think about and try for the next few weeks. You see, lately I have been feeling weaker than usual at kettlebell class. I started half marathon training and running in the mornings four times a week.

Lauren suggested that I needed more rest. I haven't consistently taken a rest day for months. She even suggested that I may want to consider two days a week. Of course, she is not the first to mention that I need rest days. I totally understand the concept that strength builds during recovery. I just never have applied it. It is time to do it.

She also asked me to try backing off one of my four days of running and replace it with interval training (stair climbing for instance). She feels that the program I am following is really built for someone who is only running. I am doing a lot more -- kettlebells, stair climbing, etc. I am going to try this. In fact, today I did not do a run but did stair climbing instead. I only hope that I can actually build the endurance I need to run a half marathon.

Finally with my nutrition, she wants me to eat before running in the morning. This is probably the hardest for me but I know it makes sense as well. I really do not want to be burning lean muscle mass during my morning runs. I am going to definitely put this in practice. She says it doesn't have to be much but some carbs and a bit of fat or protein. 

I should also be getting my recovery food sooner after kettlebell class. I am going to bring some protein shakes with me to drink on the way home, which is at least a 30 minute drive. I am also going to be sure to eat that afternoon snack before working out.

Lauren thinks that my training will improve if I follow these things. I want to see some improvement so I am going to try these tweaks. This is important to me that I improve in the fitness areas. I want to be strong and I want to run that half marathon.

So, it is time for tweaks...changes...whatever you want to call them. I am excited about things and the future. It is all good.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I have a problem........

I decided that when I could remove my pants without unzipping or unbuttoning them, it is time to think about new clothes. AND I hate shopping. I know...I sounds crazy but I do hate shopping. It has nothing to do with the fact that I can't ever find anything that fits. Even when I was my smallest size as an adult, I hated shopping. I think I always will.

I did go shopping today....and now I have another problem. I have no idea what size I am. My biggest problem is pants and jeans. When I find something that fits on my legs, the waist is too big. When I find something that fits in the waist, the legs are way too tight. I am going to have to start looking into alterations. I have never done something like that before but I don't have much choice if I want to wear something that does not have an elastic waist band.

I shopped all day and ended up with one pair of slacks for work, which were about FOUR sizes smaller than some of the pants I am wearing to work now. I haven't really shopped in a long long time. I had plenty of things in the closet that were too small but some of them I have to get rid of already. I still need to find some jeans but will have to look into the cost of alterations before I purchase any.

All in all, I guess these are not bad problems to have, eh?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How did I get to that point?

I totally intend on this time being different. I mean, how many times have I lost weight, gotten fitter and then get to goal or hit a snag and BOOM, end up heavier than ever? It has happened more times that I care to admit. So, why do I think this time will be different?

One thing I am trying to understand is how I let myself get to the place where I reached what I considered "critical mass"...a point that I could no longer look at myself in the mirror...a point where I had no self esteem...a point where I didn't care for myself...a point where I was slowly but methodically killing myself. Note that this is my experience and I do not mean to reflect my experience or life style changes on anyone. This post, as hard as it may be, is meant to help me accept and understand what is going on with me and me alone.

First, I have always been an introvert. I have had very few close friends. I have NEVER been a hermit and I definitely have always had fun with people and such but as far as letting people in on who I am, well, that really does not happen. Lately, I have found myself being a bit more open with some people who are relatively new in my life and with some people that have been in my life for some time. I have even found myself being more open and honest with my husband, which may seem a bit strange but it is definitely true that I feel like he probably knows me better now than ever...and you know what, he still loves me! My friends that know a bit more about me...well, they're still friends.

Second, I have long expected perfection in all areas of my life, except my health and fitness. That was one area that I allowed myself to not worry about being perfect. It was the one area that I would just let things go. When I did try to take control, I would find myself trying to force perfection...and end up failing...and reverting to the "just let it go" mentality. I am getting over that whole idea of needing to be perfect in my life. While I have been quite success in many areas of my life, in the past, if one thing would go wrong, I would feel devastated and like a failure. I am learning to relax a bit more and give myself a break from time to time. I am working on that in the area of health and fitness as well. I am not dropping off my path towards the person I am meant to be. This is definitely one area I need more improvement but I am getting there.

Third, I have always looked for the easy way. I think that the media tends to let us believe that there is a miracle way to weight loss and fitness. All you have to do is find it. I tried so many ways. I have gotten to a goal weight in the past using a national diet program. I have gotten close to goal weight using another program. Every time I would get to a certain point, I would fall off course...and having never understood proper nutrition or what is right for my body, I would gain weight back. This time I am not obsessing with counting points, calories, carbs or whatever. I am paying attention to my body and how it reacts to certain foods. I am focusing on life style changes more than I am on the scale. I am feeling good about the changes. I am not looking for the "quick" answer. Sure, I wish my weight loss was happening at a quicker pace but I am more happy that even when my weight loss stalled for a couple of years, I never gained the weight back. I am learning a lot and listening a lot.

Fourth, I never gave myself the time/money/respect I deserved. I hated spending money on myself. I hated focusing on myself. I hated trying to better myself. That's a lot of hate. I am now understand (and a lot of this is thanks to my husband) that I am worthy of the effort this is taking. I am worthy of taking time out of my day to become healthier. I am worthy of spending a few more bucks on quality food or a good fitness class. I do not always have to skimp on me.

Fifth, I think I have always tried to figure out why I got to the weight I did. I mean, I know that I was overweight as a kid so being an overweight adult is no surprise. I was always trying to find out the WHY...even trying to place blame. But you know what? No matter what, it was still me that ate the food that was not good for me. It was still me that sat on the couch day after day. It was still me that allowed stress to play such a big part in my life. Sure, there may be some underlying issues to my lack of self confidence but the bottom line is that it was me that allowed it to effect my life in so many ways. I can admit that and now I can deal with it.

Sixth, I never thought of myself as someone who could do physical challenges. You can bet I NEVER thought I would be running a mile much less training for a half marathon and thinking about a triathlon. I always thought I would like to do something like that if I ever got in shape but I am now realizing that doing these things is what will help me make the goal of being healthier. I am learning to deal with the feelings of inadequacy when I think people are staring or laughing at me. I am learning to think that I am out there running the trails for ME and not for anyone else.

Seventh, I never really looked for help before. I always thought I could do it on my own. Support did not seem that important. I am sure this is partly because of the introvert tendencies I have. Now, I feel like a large support network. I am working with a trainer that I tell a lot of things to...I am working with a nutritionist that has been very helpful...I fired my doctor and found a new one that is much more supportive (truth be told, I went into that first appointment and sort of demanded that she listen to me as I was tired of not being heard by my previous doctor)...I have friends that support my life style changes....coworkers that encourage me to go to the kettlebell classes or support me at my physical challenges...on line friends that have been more helpful than I could imagine...and a husband who is proud of me and tells me often. It is amazing what a good support system can do to one's sense of self worth.

I think that is enough for now. I am sure there are other things I would like to add to this list but suffice it to say, I do not intend on getting back to the unhealthy person I once was. I only plan on better things for the future. It is that future that I am focusing on and I will not dwell in the past. I am learning to be the person I was always meant to be.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Let's look at the positive!

So, last week I did another stair climb. If you read a blog posts back, you know that I had a melt down after a stair climb I did at Mile High stadium. I still am not completely sure why I had such a bad reaction but I did. I decided to do another one the very next weekend. This one was fewer steps but more people. I think that part of the reaction at the Mile High stadium climb was the small crowd and not feeling so anonymous.

This climb was around Dick's Sporting Goods Park north of the city. It is where the Colorado Rapids play. There were several hundred people there. We went up and down, up and down all around the stadium. It was a total of 1765 steps. 

How did I do? I finished in a bit less than 24 minutes. I jogged a couple of the flats but pretty much just kept a steady pace. I did pass one person, which was a bit of a boost. I had two friends also doing it. They started earlier than me (younger group). They both tried to finish as quickly as they could and finished in about 15 minutes.

None of us had a good gauge on how we did, until they remembered that we all did the stair climb in February. This was my first stair climb and it was 1,098 steps straight up (no up and down on this one), 56 floors. Anyway, Kristin told me that they had both added 3 minutes to their time from February in the stair climb a week ago, while I actually did it about 5 or 6 minutes faster. I have to look at this as an improvement. I also did not stop. I just kept going. In February, I had quite of few moments where I stopped and breathed.

Yesterday we did more steps as a practice for the September 11th stair climb. It was okay...not great. But I did not stopped. I just kept climbing. So, September 11th will be 9 laps around the Red Rocks amphitheater as a memorial to those firefighters who lost their lives in the twin towers. I can do it. I will do it. I will remember their sacrifice. 

I will remember that I have a goal to be healthier than I have ever been. I will make my goals. It may take some time...but I will do it. I am doing it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reintroduction phase complete...

I finished the reintroduction phase of the elimination diet. It took me a bit longer than anticipated because I do not intend on adding a lot of the foods that were eliminated back into my long term lifestyle. The results were as follows:

1. Eggs -- congestion after consuming (tested twice)
2. Wheat -- headache and general ugh feeling after consuming (tested twice)
3. Yogurt -- congestion after consuming but other dairy did not bother me
4. Soy -- No energy the day after consuming, just felt UGH after eating.

2 through 4 I was already okay with eliminating from my lifestyle on a long term basis. Yogurt is probably the hardest of the items and it does lead to a suspicion that other dairy may be a problem. 

BUT eggs...eggs...I am extremely upset by that one. I am going to eliminate them for the rest of the year (a total of 6 months) and try again. It is hard to not have this easy protein in the mix. I have had to be creative regarding proteins, especially in the morning. I am learning not to classify food as "morning" food or "day" food. Currently, my breakfast consists of yam hash with veggies and ground grass fed beef or organic turkey.  I will admit that there are plenty of days still that I think about how much better it would be with a poached egg on top. 

As far as the whole process, I do think it was a valuable one and I do thank Lauren for helping me through the process. I think I learned a lot and I feel like my body did some healing during the process. I do know that I have lost a lot of inches and some weight. I am having issues with wardrobe now in that I have had to get rid of so many clothes and now have very little to wear. I have also physically challenged myself a lot over the past weeks and am looking forward to more challenges.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm okay with coloring outside the lines....

Over the past few months, I have been saying that I am finally figuring out who I am and I am definitely liking that changes in my life. I saw this a few months ago and I think it says a lot about how I am feeling these past few months.

So, who have I finally realized I am? A friend asked me if I could put it one sentence what it be? I thought about it. I could say that I finally realized that I am physically strong. I could say that I am a runner. I could say that I can do so much more, in a physical sense, then I ever thought possible. I could say that I am energetic and happy. I could say that I am getting healthy. I could say that I realize that I can meet challenges of all different sorts. I can say that I am learning that I am fearless in many respect. I can say that I am enjoying life and finally living a life I deserve. 

There are a lot of things I could say but none of them really say everything that I feel has been revealed to me in the last few months. My physical well being has improved dramatically and I know that. But I have figured out so much more about who I am.

I think I can sum it up in one sentence but it may need some explanation. My sentence is --  I am finally realizing that I am okay if I color outside the lines*. It is okay not to be perfect. It is okay to fail at times. It is okay to have moments where I may not reach my expectations. I can have bad days without thinking that it is the end of the world as I know it. I can ask for help. I can lean on people.

It is important to be resilient and I think I am. In fact, I am doing another stair climb this weekend. I am even going to be timed. I am going to do it because I like doing them....and it is okay that at times I color outside the lines.

*We spent some time with friends and their three year old girl the day after my stair climb melt down. At one point, the little girl started to cry because she wasn't a good "colorer". Tim, my ever insightful husband, asked me what was wrong with females...whether they be three or in their forties, they never do anything good enough...not good at coloring...not good at stair climbing.