Monday, August 24, 2015

Conversation with My Tummy

Today my tummy says to me,

"Why are you doing this me?"

It says, "I thought you weren't going to do this to me anymore. I don't feel well."

It's a scary time for me. The last time I had experienced the death of a close family member, I was well into a nice weight loss and running routine. In 2008, my stepfather passed away, and in the days and weeks after that I could never quite get myself back to where I was. And I stopped running, and my old habits returned. It was grossly disappointing.

Now with the death of my uncle I am feeling strange and totally out of sorts. I am eating however the %$#& I want to eat and most of my routine has gone out the window the past week. I can feel that I could very easily head down the same road I did seven years ago.

Today sucked. I struggled at work this morning so that I ended up leaving midday, and I am taking off the morning tomorrow. I think about my uncle a lot, and the other important people I've lost in the past few years. I don't feel like myself. At times I feel fine – kind of – and then suddenly, I break down for no good reason. It's really hard to focus. Honestly, all I want to do is eat and drink. So today has been a relative free-for-all.

It feels like total shit.

This time, in contrast to 2008, I have some things going for me that I didn't have then: Most importantly, a massive support system. I've got friends and family on Facebook who know all about my journey and cheer me on, but I also have a group of runners behind me. These are people I don't want to lose touch with and who inspire me to keep wanting to run. I have a "place" to go to to be with other runners and to run alongside. I was totally solo in the past, so it was easy to give up. I'm also planning to mentor the Learn to 5K group starting in October, so I have to keep going if only for that. In addition, I've been asked to mentor a weight loss group at the running store as well, and that begins September 12th and runs through December.

There's just really no option to give up, see? Even if I've gained 10 pounds in the past week (which I suspect I may have), I have to keep going. What's the alternative? Going back to how I was? I don't think so.

Stick with me. Give me some high fives. Now is a time when I really need some affirmation.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Catching Up With...

This might be one of the longest breaks I've had here on this blog since I started writing again last May. I'm sorry about that!

A lot has been going on. Since I hit the 100 pound lost mark, I bounced back up a little bit. That's disappointing, but it's a blip. I promise that to myself. Things have been outside routine since my last post – first, we spent a few days visiting my dad in New Hampshire. That was great not just for the visit but also for the exercise (swimming in the ocean, a hilly run, a cool hike), but I ended up just about back down to 272 as a bonus. We got back home Tuesday evening, I was back to work on Wednesday, and then...

On Thursday morning I got news that my beloved uncle Chuck was in the hospital and it was likely the end. He'd been sick for a while now, but it wasn't exactly expected that this would happen. My partner and I had planned to visit him this weekend, actually. Too late! I made arrangements with my boss and spent the day at the hospital, and with my cousins, sat at uncle's side as he passed away in a Hospice room at about 3pm. It was very peaceful, so much so that we didn't realize he was gone right away. It was still heartbreaking.

Since then, things have been tough, as you can imagine. My uncle was more than just an uncle to me. He lived a long life and the recent years have been especially good to him. But, he lost his dear wife late last year, and with his own health issues, he was ready to say goodbye.

I haven't really been thinking much about my eating. It's been fair at best, but I'm not too worried about it. Tomorrow I'm back to work and the one good thing about that is that I'll be back to the regular routine. I am anxious to get back on track and continue on my journey. My eating was TOTAL crap today but I am happy that I got a two mile run in at a great pace for me, 14:10. With everything that's been going on in August running has gone to the wayside a bit and I've only been running once a week or so. It is good to know that I am still capable, and I will be ready to finish up this session of my running group at the beginning of September, hopefully with a flourish.

That's all I have for now. I am still here, and I am not giving up. Far from it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How Do You Lose 100 Pounds?

Well, it's different for everyone. But Dr. Sherry Pagoto asked me some questions about my experience so far for the Real Life Biggest Losers feature on her website.

You can read my responses here!

Dr. Sherry's FUDiet "club" on Facebook has been a great source of support for me. (FUDiet is NOT a diet, by the way.) You can sign up to join here. It's an intimate group of diverse people who I have really grown to respect and enjoy sharing the journey with.

This is on the heels of what has been kind of a crappy week for eating and exercise. But I'm OK – I'm not going anywhere! How could I now especially with this kind of recognition, especially?

(Yes, I love me some proverbial gold stars.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Horizontal Stripes and Mirrors

It's been a while since my last post. It's been kind of an off week, to be honest. We had a guest in from out of town for a few days, which was fun but definitely knocks you out of your routine. I also had some issues with what I assume is a pulled muscle in my side that has been affecting my sleep. I even had what I think was a slight UTI! (Sucked.) I haven't exercised much, except, oh you know...


Yep, I ran five miles on Sunday with my friend Jewel. Both of us missed the group run on Saturday so we paired up the next day to assure we'd get it done. It was super hard for me, since I wasn't feeling my super best in the first place, but it is on the books and if I don't want to I never have to do it again: from here on out our running group runs will be four miles or less. (Thank god, for now.)

Also. I am a fat person but I dared wear horizontal stripes and walk around a room made of mirrors yesterday. Proof:

I got my Balega socks on!

Like, OMG, right? This is at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and it's a sculpture by Lucas Samaras that has been around since I was a kid. (Actually, since before I was a kid – 1966, to be precise.) Anyway. That was fun and even though I should have looked up while taking the photo, I like it. Aren't my Balega running socks the best? The Hidden Comfort style is my absolute favorite. 

Yes, you have to take your shoes off to go inside the room. And you can't touch anything.

And here is Jewel and I just after our massive five-mile achievement!

I look, perhaps, a bit manic, and honestly, I sort of was at that point. I still can't believe I did it.

Now that our guest has returned home, my partner and I will be out playing tennis after work once again. I haven't done much exercise other than the long run since last week and hoping to make up for it in the coming days: tennis today and tomorrow, and then running or walking every day from Saturday to Monday while I am visiting at my dad's in New Hampshire. Friday and Tuesday are long travel days. 

I haven't weighed myself since Saturday, and I wasn't super happy then – up a couple from my triumphant 100 pound loss, of course. I say of course because whenever I hit a big milestone, my weight bounces. I hate it, but that is what seems to happen, so I am trying not to get down on myself about it. I'm going to wait to weigh until I get back from my dad's because I always lose weight when I visit him and my stepmom. We'll see. In the meantime, I just can't deal. And that's OK.

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Goals Recap

I can wear my Swatches again! Finally. Now I just need some watch batteries...

Well, well! The end of July came and went and here I am leaving you all in suspense about how I did on my goals for the month!

Here's the lowdown, with the original list of goals and the results.

... lose 8-10 pounds.
I started at 281, and ended the month at 272. Nine pounds lost! Perfection.

... learn how to kayak.
Ack! Nope. I didn't get out there. But I have been talking to a friend who wants to do it, too, so August may just be the month!

... get my bicycle road-ready, suit up with some fun accessories, and ride!
Yes. I did. I haven't taken as many rides as I might have liked, but I did it. 

... go on a hike, even just a short one.
Aw, shucks. Another no. What can I say, tennis took over our lives! I still have hope to go on at least one hike before the end of August.

... play more tennis.
Well, yes, yes, and yes. We played 3-4 times a week, usually around an hour each time. My abilities have improved quite a lot in just the two months we've been out there!

... run four times a week.
With the advent of tennis taking over everything, I decided to try to balance things out a bit and go for three times a week for running. It seems to be working out pretty well. Of course, if I do four, that is great! But I am not stressing out about it.

... include stretching and strength exercises in my regular routine.
I never really got a good routine going, I am sad to say. I will continue working on this point, too. These two items are pretty important in the big scheme of things!

For the month of August, I want to keep up my physical activity to average 5-6 times a week, 45 minutes to an hour (or more!) each time. I also would love to lose another 8-10 pounds, possibly seeing below 265 if I play my cards right. Right now, after coming off a rather debaucherous and indulgent weekend, my big goal is to get into the 260s by mid-month, before I go visit my dad on the 14th. This could mean 269, or it could mean 265. Who knows? As usual, I just aim to lose something every month and keep the momentum going. That is good enough for me. 

P.S. It's been a really long time since I've been able to wear any of my watches – I have a small collection of Swatch watches that I've really missed wearing. Unfortunately it seems like my wrists are taking forever to shrink at all and it's only just now that I can fasten the strap on the last hole comfortably! From here on out, I will measure progress via watch strap holes. :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Photos are hard sometimes

I am so pleased today.

• I am still at 272, which means it wasn't a fluke or a blip! Super stoked.

• Yesterday evening I ran with some folks from my running group for a Pub Run my local Fleet Feet store puts on. We went to Big Ditch Brewing in downtown Buffalo and it was really fun! The best part was that I ran just over two miles at an unheard of average pace: 13:51! This is the first time since the time trials back in June that I've run so fast – in fact, I beat that time slightly. I guess I am getting used to running in the heat, among other things. I'm just getting better. I felt great during and after the run. PROGRESS, in all caps for sure.

But then...

As always, events like these are photographed. I do love that, and it is helping me get over my body stuff, but sometimes... I see a photo like this and I get really blergh. I'm not really discouraged or upset, just... well, here, see for yourself.

Post-run socializing! (I'm the one in the orange cap, talking to one of my fave mentors, Pat, and my
running pal Amy F.'s elbow, and one of my other favorite mentors, Liz, who is out of photo to the right.)

Anyway. I see that I have definitely slimmed down. But that stomach! The arm! Argh. 

The stomach. Good lord. Will it ever be "normal" again? 

Look, I know I am being all the things I don't want to be by talking like this. But, I am an open book and I want to be honest about my experience in all aspects. This is a biggie. A photo like this is really hard to see.

But I also know how awesome that body with all its funny proportions is. I'm going to look at this photo every day and try to think only of how I just ran my fastest two miles ever and how super psyched I am about it, rather than cry over how weird my stomach and arms are. That is just stupid, and I know it.

I will just leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

100 Pounds

Well, I guess today is the day!

I'm 100 pounds down.

Caveat: Not sure this is going to stick, but 272 appeared on the scale and I'm taking it! Yesterday I had two intense workouts in fairly hot weather, and I didn't eat as much as usual, so – if this is a blip, so be it, but either way it was really cool to see the number blinking back at me this morning.

From here, I'm very excited to get firmly into the 260s.

This begins the effort to lose the next 100 pounds.

I'm just so glad that I no longer have to deal with the reality of being over 200 pounds overweight, like I was when I started. My physical life is SO much better now in so many ways. My mental state is, too, though that relates more to the exercise regimen I've built in the past year – when I can do physical things like running and playing tennis, it makes me feel like a superstar. The adrenaline counts for a lot when you're trying to lose so much weight. It carries you through.

So yes, while I know that you don't have to exercise in order to lose weight, for me it's been a necessity if only for mental/emotional reasons. It makes everything else easier to deal with.

So anyway, I am going to relish in this moment today.

(I'm even wearing a skirt with bare legs to work, first time in years and years. Hey, it's supposed to hit 90 degrees today!)