Thursday, January 19, 2012

All or Something

Whew, today was a hectic day.  I didn't really have a firm plan as to how to squeeze in exercise so I shouldn't be surprised that it was almost 8pm by the time I got to the gym.  I didn't have enough time to do my 5 mile run and then strength train so I compromised and did 2+ miles on the treadmill rotating through 5, 5.5 and 6mph speeds.  After that I did my legs/shoulders/core routine.  Lunges are super tricky after running so I do some shoulders first but I was still pretty wobbly when I did lunges.  I feel a bit disappointed that I didn't get to run 5 miles today but I'm nowhere near as disappointed as I'd be if I had skipped working out altogether.  Something is much, much better than nothing.

So I found this spiffy chart online that gives a "rough estimate" of how much time you'd shave off your running times depending on how much weight you lose.  I have more than 20 pounds to lose still and the chart says if I lose 20 I'll take almost 9 minutes off my 1/2 marathon time.  That's kind of cool to consider for next year.  The 5k times are kind of sad, lose 5 pounds, save 31 seconds.  Yippee.  Not. 

The good thing is that during this year I will not just lose 20 pounds (assuming I do lose 20 pounds in the coming year) but I will also be working on my fitness level, getting stronger.  That means 9 minutes and then some.  It's funny, I don't think I care all that much about my pace for speed's sake, it's that I'd like to be able to run long distances without it taking me half the friggin' day.  It'd sure be cool if I could go on a 90 minute run and cover 10 miles.  Right now that takes me just over 2 hours.  Maybe some day.

I hope you got to squeeze some exercise into your day.  If not, tomorrow is another chance!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fat Acceptance

I just love Kate Winslet.  She's one of those people that says she accepts her body and doesn't strive for some crazy thin Hollywood ideal.  Of course, she has an incredible body, one which I would have no problem "accepting."  I realize this photo is misleading as the post title has NOTHING to do with Kate, I would sneer at anyone that even hinted at her being "fat".  I just saw how great she looked at the Golden Globes and want to share my admiration of her refusal to starve herself into having the body of a prepubescent girl.  Though that is sort of related to my post.

So my title is about Jayne Williams, author of Slow Fat Triathlete.  Her book was so inspirational to me.  I remember when I read it back in 2008 I googled her and came upon a blog that hadn't been updated in quite some time.  I wondered if, well actually I worried, she'd fallen of the wagon.

Recently I found myself wondering about her again so I googled her and found a new blog she started in August 2009.  She's gained quite a bit of weight and has had to curtail triathlons.  She's struggling with something like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other pain issues.

Of course I haven't read every post but I think I can safely say she's on the healthy-at-any-size path and a self declared "fat activist".  She, like me, had a strong reaction to "The Fat Trap" article and wrote her own detailed response.  She made some interesting points but in general she saw the article as confirming her suspicions or experiences, whereas I saw it as more undermining mine.

Why am I sharing all this?  Because it saddened me.  It shouldn't, she makes it clear in her blog that she has a new acceptance of herself and her body and that she has been liberated by that.  I suppose I am projecting my wants, and my fears, onto her and maybe I'm not sad, maybe I'm scared.  I never want to go back to being significantly overweight and or out of shape.   The Fat Trap article was a barrage of you'll fail and then seeing Jayne's take on it, it's only failure if a normal BMI is your only definition of success - well, I guess it's all scary to this former near morbidly obese person (I was 11 pounds from a BMI of 40 when I started this blog). But it shouldn't be. Aren't I always talking about flexibility, balance? Besides, there are a ton of things I can get behind - not waiting until you are some certain size to start loving your body, the elimination of discrimination based on size, striving for a healthy and active life even if a normal BMI is not going to happen for you - all of that is good stuff. So there's a place for the fat acceptance movement, right? 

This all makes me want to get on my soapbox for a moment so bear with me. What is the difference between permanent change and temporary change? I say it's two things. A true INTERNAL desire for change. Many people start on a diet/fitness plan because they want to be a good role model for their kids, or because their doctor said they are pre-diabetic. But at some point the motivation has to shift from that external one to an internal one. You have to want it for you and you must know that. It sounds like a cliche but it's only a cliche because it's true. 

The other thing is a plan that is sustainable. Any restrictive diet is almost guaranteed to fail. A crazy workout routine is probably not going to last forever. You have to ask yourself if what you're doing is something you can do for the rest of your life. I understand why some people might be more rigid when they first start. Sometimes you need that rigidity to make a clean break from the past and to establish some new habits. But eventually you'll have to figure out how to deal with birthday cake and unplanned bowls of cereal, with the flu and missing (gasp!) a week or two of workouts, with periods of low (or no) motivation - with life. It's all about balance, flexibility, and fun. And of course commitment, which goes back to the internal motivation.

Alright, that's it. Stepping off soapbox now and into exercise journal mode. I went to the gym in the evening tonight, an hour after we ate dinner, after once again not getting up at 5am to exercise.  It's looking more and more like I can't count on myself to get up that early. At the gym I rode the bike for 25 minutes followed by strength training, back/biceps/core.  I felt strong and that felt good. I took my time stretching and left feeling good.

I've got a rough idea for how to get my long run in this weekend given our trip. Here's the plan as it stands now:

Thur:  Run outside - 5 miles after work, Gym - legs/shoulders/core
Fri:  Gym - Bike, chest/triceps
Sat:  Day off
Sun:  Long run

Then I'll resume my regular schedule starting on Monday.  We'll see how this goes.  Night all!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rain Running Rookie

I have had a ho-hum attitude since yesterday.  When I got to the gym today I hoped a little exercise would give me a boost.  I changed and got my 3 mile run underway outside.  It was chilly and I'm learning I don't run so well in the cold.  But I did my best to push myself and finished in just under 33 minutes.  And, of course, I felt revived.  Then I went on to do chest and triceps.  I'm still doing 3 "real" pushups followed by 5 on the smith machine but the 3 real ones are getting stronger. I'm in better control as I lower and raise my body.  Maybe next time I'll try doing 4 and see how that goes.

Jumping ahead a bit, my training plan calls for 11 miles on Saturday.  I know I shouldn't complain because I have been SO lucky with this dry winter so far BUT, it's going to be a rainy weekend according to the forecasts.  On top of that we're going overnight to Monterey so I have to do some fiddling with my workout schedule to make things work.  I feel like I'm in a cliffhanger - Will I do my long run?  Or Won't I?  Will it rain?  Or won't it?  I am not making a commitment to run regardless of the weather because if it's pouring and cold out, well, I don't know that I am that hard core at this point in my running career.  I thought I might do something creative, like run 3 on the treadmill and then head outside for 8. 

So the other issue is what to wear.  Other than a mad dash to my car I've never done any running in the rain. I did a little research and I like this Nike Storm Fly Jacket for the not so tiny sum of $80.  I think I need to actually log some rain-miles before I consider such a thing. So far I'm planning to wear some tight-ish running pants, a warm base layer and either a jacket or vest.  Will this happen?  Who knows?  Like I said, a cliffhanger.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Couple Beers and Frosted Flakes

So we had some friends over last night to watch football.  Mostly I was cooking and watching the kids but I indulged in a couple of beers for fun.  For dinner I had 1.5 pieces of grilled chicken thighs, a piece of carne asada and zucchini.  I started to feel munchy not too long after dinner and ended up eating a cookie, some m&ms (yes, they are back in the house for potty training but this is the 1st time I ate some so I'm doing ok) and then, before bed, a bowl of Miguel's Frosted Flakes cereal.  Ugh.  I tried to tell myself to make better choices but myself wouldn't listen.  I know it was the beer that made me not care what I ate.  So today I am trying not to beat myself up.  I wish today wasn't a day off from exercise, I could use the positive energy I get from working out. 

A mom friend and I met with our kids at the playground this morning.  I ran and kicked the soccer ball around a bit but mostly I was just standing around.

I feel like I want to ramble on about my food intake last night but I need to let it go.  Man, alcohol just always makes me want to eat crap.  LET IT GO MICHELLE.  There - maybe that will help. 

The kids are napping now and I'm playing with my running playlist.  I just added "Break My Stride" - I love that song and it seems made for running.  We'll see how I like it when I do my run tomorrow.  Really looking forward to a nice 3 miles and some strength training.  Goodbye Sunday - Helllooo Tuesday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm on Fire!

It's one of those days.  I just feel so good.  Everything is easier when you feel good.  It's probably due to going to bed at a decent hour last night, having a nice morning with Miguel and the kids and then eating an AccelGel about 10 minutes before heading out the door to the gym.  Oh, and I'm sure it's also that the jeans I bought at Talbots on clearance a couple of weeks ago are no longer too tight to wear.  They run small because they're a size 14p and I'm wearing 10s and 12s in everything else.  Anyway, I'm sure fitting into them helped build up my mood.

So here I am wearing those jeans.  We were heading out for some errands this morning and I asked Miguel to snap a pic for the blog.  I know my friend Kristy's been wondering what I look like these days.  Well, there you have it!  The angle makes me look even smaller on the lower half.

So after our errands I changed and rode my bike to the gym.  It was overcast, cold and a bit windy - not like the gorgeous weather we had yesterday - and I was glad to be cycling in this weather and not running.  At the gym I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I can't say legs were "easy" but I can say they were totally doable and I was surprised when I was done.  That's it?

I also got a chance to talk to my friend Alison who always makes me feel like a fitness superstar!  And she's on her path to become one in her own right.  And another woman at the gym that I've chatted with a couple times, Kelly, we commiserated on the pains of managing the food intake.  It's not easy folks, it likely never will be for someone like me, but we can do it!  And it will probably always include the occasional binge, we've just got to figure out how to live with ourselves and carry on.  But who cares about binges today?  I don't, because I feel great! 

So I rode home from the gym and then drove to meet Miguel at the soccer field.  He has a game this afternoon and he took the kids to play a bit before his game started.  Now both kids are in bed and supposed to be napping but they're yammering away in there.  I hope they fall asleep soon, I need a shower!

That's it for me.  I hope my feel-good is rubbing off on you a little bit.  I like spreading good cheer!!