Starting Again

Here we go again!

Plan: Weight Watchers online- tracking daily

Goal: Lose 90 lbs

Diet: Lower carb ww; new thing to try this week – spiralizer!

Exercise: Since I am in school and homework takes most of my late evening, I will do cardio in the morning and strength in the early evenings on the way home from work. I will use the circuit machines at the Y.

Phase 1: run 2 miles daily; strength three days

Once I can run 2 miles comfortably, add mileage

Accountability – right here baby!! I will blog daily about my plan, my progress, my thoughts. I will weigh in and take pictures on Thursdays.

Rewards: (I will fill in the blank ones as I go!)

10 – start getting gel manicures

20 – new swimsuit

30 –

40 –

50 – Professional house cleaning

60 –

70 –

80 – Luke Keuchley Jersey

GOAL – Trip with Bob

Is It Time?

Is it time to get serious?

Is it time to accept that I have PCOS and that there are just some things I can not eat if I want to be healthy? Is it time to eliminate these things from my diet once and for all? Or…mostly one and for all.

I am beginning to think so.

This would represent a radical shift in my eating. Well, maybe not THAT radical. I have been eating fairly healthily, but eliminating sugar, and possibly dairy and caffeine…decreasing the amount of meat, eating only whole grains (and a very limited amount…) those represent “tweaks” I have been resisting. But the more research I do, the more I realize these are the things that are holding me back.

So I am reading a book called “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It has been recommended on a couple of different reputable PCOS sites, so I will give it a shot. From reading the reviews it looks like there is a 6 week initial phase that it strictly vegan and caffeine/alcohol free…and while I am willing to do it, I am not willing to do it over my birthday!

So, after my birthday celebration, phase one. Then we will see. People were losing 20+ pounds during this time, and health indicators were vastly improved. These are great motivators.

So I think I am almost ready to make a radical-ish shift. I will spend the time between now and the end of the month weaning myself off of caffeine and whatever else I might need to so that I can minimize withdrawal symptoms and really make a difference in my health.

Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

I think it’s time.

Summer of No Sugar Week 1

I lost 5 pounds this week.

Five pounds.

That’s more than I’ve lost in the last 3 months. Combined.

And I did not eat any fewer calories…I just ate better food. No oreos. No ice cream. No doughnuts. I filled in the formerly sugary calories with greek yogurt, lean protein, milk. Clearly this strategy works for me. (Your mileage may vary.)

I feel very motivated to continue. I’m not foolish enough to think I will lose five pounds every week. I know it will get harder to keep doing this, at some point. But I’m learning some cognitive techniques to prepare for those things, and I’m optimistic.

I showed a video starring Magic Johnson this week in some of my HIV 101 classes, and someone asked him why he stayed on meds once he started doing well. His answer was kind of, well, revolutionary for me. “If something is working – like my meds making me feel good and making my numbers look good, why would I change it?”

Why do so may of us think as soon as things are “better” we can go back to what we were doing before and not suffer any consequences? It’s not logical and yet I have done it a million times.

No more. I hope. 🙂

***

I am reading the Beck Diet Solution – a friend’s therapist recommended it for her, and as we have many similar issues, she thought I might find it interesting. I’ll keep you posted!

***

This week’s progress pics…ImageImage

Summer of No Sugar (or booze)

So, I kinnnnnnnd of had this little epiphany.

See, I started running to lose weight.

But now I know that I need to lose weight to improve my running.

I have been stuck at basically the same point for many months now. So I am instituting the SUMMER OF NO SUGAR in order to buckle down, regain focus, get serious(er) and see some progress.

I’ve lost 31ish pounds on this whirl through Weight Watchers. I have lost 75 pounds from my highest weight. I have 65 or so pounds to go to get to my doctor’s goal.  This seems to be the point where I always get stuck, around 30 pounds. Time to do something drastic. And having PCOS, I know that the something drastic I need to do is eat really, really clean. So. Here we go.

My weight and measurements have been recorded. I “officially” weigh in on Sundays, so I will update with pounds lost. I think measurements take longer to change, so I will update those monthly.

My goal is to lose 25 pounds and be able to run a 10k by the end of summer. (That will be the weigh in on September 22.) And I want to look way better than these pictures! (Please ignore the spots on the mirror. 🙂 )

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So my training plan is set,my diet plan is set, and my goals are set.

Let’s do this!

Things I Have Learned From Running

You can look at it whichever way you want – both iterations are true. But only one makes things better:

For every uphill, there is an equal and opposite downhill.

I choose to believe that even though things can be hard, things will also get easier.

***

When a man runs towards you from the opposite direction and says you are “motivation and inspiration,” you probably want to just take that at face value and not worry too much about what he may have witnessed, sports-bra-wise, as he got closer to you.

***

Water is life.

***

I’m running a 5k on Saturday and my goal is to run the whole thing. And then start my 5k to 10k training.  Yeah, I’m hooked. But I know I’ll never be faster until I lose more weight. Thus, the Summer of No Sugar begins on Monday.

***

Good music is essential. Taking all the Adele and Coldplay out of my playlist was the best move I ever made. Crying while running is just a waste of energy. And fluid.

***

That moment? You know the one, the moment when you realize you have found your groove and everything is working and nothing is hurting and you have moved past breathing hard and you’re just…running? Yeahhhhhhh. More addictive than Diet Coke, strawberry ice cream, popcorn and M&Ms, iced coffee…It’s the shit,  man. I finally get why people do this.

***

Running is the only time my brain is quiet. It’s…heaven.

***

I am learning to pace myself, and understand that just because I CAN run a certain time/distance doesn’t mean I HAVE to, every time I run. I understand why tapering runners are cranky. I just want to GO but sometimes it’s not in the training plan or I don’t have time or I just freaking ran three miles yesterday and I need to rest because HELLO, OLD. I have to learn to be ok with that. Not every day is supposed to be a PR.

***

PR is personal record.

I learned that too.

Planning on posting one of those on Saturday. 🙂

 

46:48: Got Grit 5k

We did it!

I did it!

My friend and I ran the 5k we registered for and even though I wasn’t ready and I didn’t run the whole thing and I came in very close to the end – I still did it. I finished a 5k and NOW I feel it’s legit to call myself a runner.

People encouraged me, giving me thumbs up and clapping as I slowly ran by them. I wondered if they were sincere or if they were being condescending. When I passed a guy and he said “You’re doing great!” I rolled my eyes. I will have to learn to accept encouragement at face value. Just because *I* think I look ridiculous doesn’t mean other people do. Maybe they are kinder to others than I am to myself; maybe the mythical running community full of people who just want to see others do their best is more real than I dared imagine.

There was a little girl at the end of her driveway waving pom-poms. I waved at her, and she shook her pom-pom back at me but didn’t smile. I thanked the cops and volunteers who were blocking the cars and showing us where to turn; those are boring, hot thankless jobs and I thought they deserved a token of appreciation.

I wished I had brought a little bottle of water, because one small cup at the turn around didn’t seem like enough. I challenged myself to run to that mailbox, no that pole, no, keep going to the curve, to the turn. Sometimes I made it. Sometimes the voices in my head got really loud and I stopped when I could have kept running.

But I kept moving.

My music was great. I had worked on my playlist the previous night when I couldn’t sleep. I got rid of the Coldplay and the Adele and the sad Eagles. I needed fast, upbeat. My song at the start was Crazy B*tch. It was perfect…fast, dirty. That motivates me for some reason.

I finished in 46:48. The guy at the finish line said he was proud of me, that I did really well. For a brief moment I was proud too, and for a brief moment I believed him.

I wore my race shirt to dinner last night. The kids and I were celebrating Mother’s Day, but I didn’t want to go anywhere fancy because I wanted to wear my shirt. I texted an old friend I have kind of lost touch with and said “in case you didn’t see it on the news I ran a 5k.” I wasn’t bragging. I was trying to make myself believe it. Saying it over and over again makes it real.

I took my race number to work and put it on my bulletin board. 236. That is me. Number 236.

I changed my profiles on Facebook and Twitter to include the word RUNNER. Because I am. I did. Running is an identity, and such a different one than I have ever had.

And now I have a time to beat. And I have a number and a shirt from a race I ran, not just those I worked. (And in the midst of all this, I actually finally lost weight last week.)

See you at the next one: King Tiger on June 8.

Boston Strong

I have wanted to be a runner for…well, forever. I remember a few years ago I was walking and I thought “I just need to…run a little.” And I did. I ran very little. I knew I needed to lose weight to preserve my joints if I seriously wanted to run.

***

One day I was playing soccer with my kid, and the sun was behind me, low in the sky. My shadow was elongated, lengthened, slimmed. I saw my shadow running, and I saw a glimpse of what I could be. I caught a flash of the beauty my body was capable of creating with running, and I wanted it.

***

I registered for a 5k. I got hurt. I quit training.

***

I registered for a triathlon. I got sick. My doctor made me pull out. “There’s no way,” she said, after having bronchitis for many weeks, that my lungs could take it. I quit.

***

One of my best friends wanted me to run a race with her. We had time to train. I was afraid, I was weary of registering and quitting. I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew I would look ridiculous, and who wants to come in dead last? Because I knew that would be me. Dead last. So I didn’t do it. But I promised her that one day I would.

***

Then Boston happened. My brother lives there, but was nowhere near the terrorist attack. That doesn’t relieve the terror, though. My mind, my anxiety – they work in sinister ways, snaking out connections that don’t really exist, changing a situation that has nothing to do with me into one that deeply, personally, affected me and my walk and my place on this earth. Until the bomber was caught, I was a walking, talking, headline-updater. I knew every detail, even the wrong ones. I kept up with every news source, even the ridiculous ones. I shared every piece of information and every theory I had. Not all of my theories were incorrect. But the walk through that week was tough. My friends knew, they checked on me. They told me to stop, to do something else, to plan some other sort of remembrance or tribute to the victims. This, this wasn’t healthy.

I knew it wasn’t healthy but it was the only way the labyrinth in my head could come up with to cope. Except. Maybe.

Maybe I could run?

***

I registered for a beginners 5k class at the Y. I spent $65 I absolutely did not have and I committed.

***

It’s week 2. I feel strong. I feel progress. I SEE progress. I look forward to my class and my homework runs. And when I feel like giving up or skipping it or postponing it, I just say to myself, Boston. Sometimes it’s a singular word. Sometimes it’s a chant.  Always it works.

***

Last night I decided to see how long I could run without stopping. I decided to see if I could do hills. I decided to run more than walk, to keep going after I was technically done with my homework run. After an hour, I found my rhythm. Something inside of me let go, and I just kept going. It was weird. I was free, I was bound to the earth but I was free from the things that weigh me down.

***

The aforementioned best friend and I are doing a 5k next weekend. I probably won’t be able to run the whole thing. I’ll probably still  be dead last. I may still look ridiculous. But I know now that it won’t always be that way, and I know that something stronger runs through my veins.