Wednesday, May 30, 2012

6.3 is the new 6

I'm going to start this blog post knowing that I probably won't be able to finish it.  And times are tight these days because we're leaving on a weekend camping trip tomorrow.  Ok, so I better get to it.  Monday was a good day.  Miguel went to play golf and I got to hang out with the kids at home.  Marek had a friend over all morning and they had a lot of fun playing.  But, man, those kids are exhausting!  When Miguel came home I did not feel like going to the gym.  The thought of sitting on the stationary bike wasn't very exciting.  But the thought of riding a real bike sounded fun so I decided I'd ride my bike to the gym, lift weights, and then ride my bike home.  Cardio + Strength Training + some outdoors = Winning.  On the way there I decided to bypass the new "easy" bikepath route and take the old route which includes a hill.  I got there and did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  Pushups are still a nice challenge.  Miguel tells me I should start doing them every morning if I want them to get easier.  I don't know, pushups before coffee doesn't sound like my style.  I rode the bike home and again opted to take the route with a hill.  This is a big hill and it's actually getting easier.  I'm getting closer to being ready to try a really big hill soon.

My eating has been pretty good, I'm spreading my points out more evenly throughout the week and I have to admit, it feels weird.  I'm used to indulging big on the weekends and then having to be near perfect the rest of the week.  This way I feel like I'm indulging every day (though in a smaller way).  Different.  We'll see if/how this affects the scale.  Though not this week.  I'm about to start my TTOTM and between that and missing my normal Friday weigh-in day things will be wonky this week.  I'm trying to decide if I'll go to a meeting tomorrow (a day early) or Monday (3 days late).  Probably Monday just because of lack of time.

On to Tuesday...I went to the gym in the late afternoon and I was SUPER pressed for time.  I had to pick the kids up in 45 minutes so I did a 15 minute run on the treadmill.  I wanted to squeeze all I could out of it so instead of starting at 5mph and working up to 6mph I just started at 6mph.  It was a challenge but I was able to do it and didn't feel like I was dying.  In the last 30 seconds or so I increased the speed to 6.3 and was surprised it felt manageable.  Happy dance, happy dance.  I can get faster!  Granted it was only for 30 seconds but I'm going to start working that pace in for intervals.  I someday want to get up to 6.7mph, I'd LOVE to be able to maintain a 9 minute-per-mile pace for a 5k!

Anyway, after the 15 minute run I started into strength training.  I didn't have time to do my full workout so I did two sets of everything instead of three.  I got another question from a fellow gym-goer asking me if I'm training for something.  Are these guys all conspiring to make me feel like a rock star?!  I told him about my upcoming events but what I should have told him is that I'm usually in a hurry and have to move quick, which is obviously making me look hard core when really I'm just rushed.  And hard core, of course, right?  Ah, just go with it.

So I finish up and rush to the car and see a text from Miguel - he can pick up the kids.  Hallelujah!  I go back inside, do the rest of the sets I couldn't do before and then hop back on the treadmill for 10 minutes of running at 6.0mph.  I again upped it to 6.3 for 30 seconds at the end.  Good stuff, and a good husband.

Baby #2 is awake so I'd better run.  Next time I check in will be post-camping.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Downhill in all Directions!

I've been riding a wave of satisfaction since Friday after reaching my mini-goal.  It was sort of surreal at first but it's not now - I did it, I got back to (and under) my lowest weight ever.  And I did it before the one year anniversary of being back on the wagon.  I started this current post-babies fitness journey on June 4th of last year.  And I've lost over 40 pounds since - I couldn't be happier.  Why people want to lose weight so fast is beyond me.  Well, no it's not, I understand - but slow will still get you there.  Slow is feeling great to me right now!

So Friday I went to the gym and did 25 minutes on the bike.  That bike really makes me work!  I don't know if I'll ever move past level 7.  After the bike I did legs/shoulders/core.  I've been adding sit-ups in, old school without hitching my toes under something, and I like it.  I do them slow, controlled and they are a challenge but fun.  I need to mix things up a bit with my routine, I've been doing the same things for months on end.  I clipped some stuff out of Women's Health and I'm going to see if I like them.

My mother came over Friday evening to visit the kids.  She usually stays the night because she doesn't like to drive at night.  My mom wanted Chinese food take-out so that's what we got.  I had already planned to eat salmon so I stuck with that.  Salmon and roasted broccolini with a little vegetable fried rice.  Oh, and multiple bites of sesame chicken and honey walnut prawns.  I tracked it all and felt fine with my choices.  Miguel and I talked about going out dancing or something but by the time the kids were asleep we were too tired.

Saturday was a fun family day.  We took the kids to the zoo.  We spent all day walking and lifting the kids up and down.  I had a moment of gratitude for my body, for being able to do these kinds of things with ease.  I don't know the childhood my kids would have if I hadn't gotten back on track but I think it wouldn't be as good as this one.  I snapped a picture of Miguel with the kids that I just love.

I am such a lucky girl.  So fortunate and so very grateful for the love, health and well being of my family.  And I'm grateful for the waffle ice cream cone I shared with the kids.  Portion sizes really are out of control, one cone was plenty for all three of us.  Miguel tried to buy a smaller version but they said they can't.  So I just wrote to them on Facebook asking for that.
Dear San Francisco Zoo - Please consider selling smaller sizes of ice cream at the Lemur cafe.  We bought a Dreyer's waffle cone and it was at least 3 serving sizes so my two kids and I shared it.  My husband wanted one scoop for himself and the cashier said they can't sell one scoop, only the huge version they sold to me.  With the obesity epidemic being what it is I think smaller portions should be an option for people that are trying to be sane with their food choices. 
Maybe if more people speak up change can happen eventually.

So the Golden Gate Bridge is turning 75 years old this weekend and we got stuck in some horrible traffic coming home.  The drive turned into nap time.  Back at home and we spent the rest of the afternoon doing house chores.  Then dinner - we were starving!  We had our "tipico" meal of black beans, cream, pico de gallo, avocado. I had some salmon leftover so I had that too. Yum!  I was feeling some mild urges to snack after dinner, though I was not hungry at all so I decided to do some Beck homework.  I did the chapter on the excuses we give ourselves to eat when we're not supposed to. But I don't like that language, not supposed to (too paternalistic for me) so I changed it to excuses to eat when I truly don't want to but am compelled by urges.

My excuses were...
  • It's not a whole piece.  It's only a bite.  It's better than eating the whole thing.
  • I'll only eat it this one time.
  • It's not that fattening.  It's a better choice than what I could be eating.
  • I'll make up for it by eating less later (or) I've been "good" all day, I can have/deserve a treat.
  • I earned it.
  • Everyone else is indulging.
  • I'm celebrating (or) It's a special occasion. 
  • I really want it.  I can't resist the urge.
  • I'm upset and I just don't care*  (this is the most common lately)
  • I'm craving it and I'll probably eat it eventually anyway.
So I wrote my responses to all of them. I won't bore you with all my responses but I'll share the first one to give you an idea:
"Even eating a small amount of something not on my plan - something I don't really want but feel compelled to eat - is not helpful.  It strengthens my giving-in muscle and I am left feeling bad.  It is better to resist and stay on my plan and feel better."
I found this exercise very helpful.  Writing out a true response to those excuses brought my awareness level up and gave me mental ammunition for the next time I'm feeling compelled to eat when I truly don't want to.  For me it's tricky, sometimes I think it's ok to indulge an urge to eat.  It's those times when I am feeling out of control, when I know I'm eating for the wrong reasons.  In the sidebar of my notes I wrote, "It's not pleasure, it's a release of tension.  It doesn't feel good, it just feels necessary."  And later in my notes I wrote, "I can do whatever I want.  The question is, what do I want?".  Good thing I know the answer to that question.  I want a healthy, fit body.  I want an enjoyable relationship with food.  I want to feel good about what I put in my mouth.

Whew - this is a lot of writing.  Ok, so while I worked on my excuse responses I watched Dean Karnazes' film UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons - 50 States - 50 Days.  It was inspiring and it made me appreciate running even more.  So many amazing recovery running stories out there.  In the movie someone says, about the obesity epidemic, "We're so comfortable, we're miserable."  It's true.  We have gone overboard on the efficiency factor and now our couch potato butts are getting out of control big.  I'm happy to be bucking the trend in my own life and with my own family.  That's a perfect segue into my fun today, Sunday!

I met my friend Laurie for a brick workout.  We're doing the Tri for Fun in a few weeks so she thought it might be good to actually train.  We did a 10.5 mile bike ride in a little less than an hour, followed by a 30 minute trail run (2.54 miles).  It was great.  I had an AccelGel between the bike and the run to keep me going.  I was feeling super tired toward the end though.  We did some stretching and then headed home.  While I was driving home I felt terrific!  It was like some sort of post-exercise high.  I amped up the music and was drive-dancing (something I am usually embarrassed to see people doing, but I didn't care!).  Oh, and I was hungry.

I made my go-to sandwich of late (same thing I packed for the zoo the day before).  A turkey breast avocado sandwich on Alvarado Essential Flax seed bread (3 points for two slices!).  Unfortunately the "meat" is super-processed Oscar Meyer stuff but I haven't had a chance to find a better alternative yet.  I ate that with some fresh pears and apple.

Mustard, avocado, tomato (campari - the best!), M√Ęche greens and turkey.
The final product.  This sandwich is really making me happy these days.  I put it on a salad plate so it looks more filling.
And now the kids are sleeping and it's several hours later but I'm still feeling good from my workout and my healthy lunch.  I got hungry a bit ago and had some leftover roasted veggies.  I've always said, when you're motivated, healthy choices are like riding a bike downhill - everything is easier.  And I'm motivated right now.  And I'm going to fly down this hill as long as I can.  Because I know there's a hill out there (hopefully a small one) that I will have to ride up one day so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  Wheeeeeeee!