Weigh In Wednesday

Let me just say it up front….the scale went in the wrong direction this week.  And not by a little either.

I’m flat out mad at myself about it.  Clothes are starting to get snug and for some reason, I still was just not on my food game this week.  I hinted at it in my last post about tri training.  I feel like I am just going backwards and I am not entirely sure why.

I take that back.  I know exactly why.

It’s because I’m not happy.  With me, weight is always a barometer of what is going on in my head.  100 %.  And since I am frustrated and upset in my life right now, I am taking it out in my food choices.   I’m eating and drinking to make myself feel better.  My husband is working late every night right now, and has been doing an awful lot of that over the last few months.

My days mostly go like this:  I eat a solid breakfast, before or after a good workout.  I usually stay strong during lunch, but then the afternoon munchies hit.  I try to make a good choice there, and sometimes I do, but sometimes I don’t.  I might have a second helping at dinner, I might not.

But then I am on the couch alone after the kids are either watching tv in the playroom or off to bed.  And I drink my glass of wine and snack my way through the evening.  And the longer I sit there, the worse it gets.

I’m lonely.  I am unhappy that I don’t have a strong career.  I’m frustrated that the rest of my family isn’t strongly supporting my fitness journey.  I feel like if I want to be truly living a healthier lifestyle I am doomed because no one else in the house wants to do that with me.

I know.  Excuses, all of them.  I am living the same life I was a few months ago when I dropped the weight.  The same life I was last year when I lost the same amount.  It’s a negative thought pattern that just stems from me not believing enough in myself and my strength.  That awful voice that tells me I have always been overweight and will always be overweight.  No matter how many miles I run or salads I eat.

I need to bitchslap that voice.  Somehow.  But today?  This week?  In this moment?  I don’t honestly feel like I have the strength.  Or the will.  Or the motivation.

But I’m going to keep trying.  I haven’t given up.  I have enough belief to at least not give up.

Age:  44
BMI:  29.8
+/- :  +1.2 lbs
Pounds to Current Goal:  17.4 lbs

The Road to the Tri…Week Four

So I’m sitting here feeling alternately accomplished after another week of solid workouts and fat and sluggish having watched the scale spike up in the last five days.  I’ve talked to several people who are also training for the triathlon I’m going to do and most are noticing a bit of a weight gain during this training cycle.  It seems absolute insanity to be so active and feeling so awful about my body at the same time.

This week was back to the training after out of town guests in town last week.  It was a solid week:

Tue:  3.28 mile trail run (12:18 pace)
Wed:  45 min HIIT class
Thu:  3.89 mile walk and 30 min TRX class
Fri:  Rest Day (rain)
Sat:  8.25 mile bike (9.28 mph) and 30 min pool swim
Sun:  Volunteering for 7 hours at kids’ triathlon
Mon:  2.6 mile trail run (13:57 pace) and .56 mile open water swim

I’ve been trying to “brick” a bit here and there because I really need to get a feel for what that is like.  Plus the distances are short enough that half an hour of a workout isn’t really enough.

It feels weird to not be logging the miles on foot as much as usual but I am really enjoying the swimming and biking.  On Saturday morning two girlfriends and I went out together for a shorter bike ride (we did nearly 7 together, the rest is me riding to and from to meet them) and then swam in a pool for half an hour.  We didn’t touch sides or bottom for half an hour.  It wasn’t easy but we did it.  It was good practice for our big day yesterday.

Yesterday we had a chance to go for an open water swim on a local lake.  One of our tri group has a friend who is part of a private club there and she brought us in as guests.  It was awesome!  Tough, and challenging of course, but totally allayed our fears of the open water swim.   To be honest, the half mile was much longer than I thought it would be just looking at it.  But just like running and biking, we went slow and steady, and we took breaks when we needed to.  Some of us could freestyle it the whole way.  I couldn’t; I had to alternate between freestyle and breast stroke.  The women from the lake club came out and went alongside us in paddle boards and kayaks and coached us along.  It was a great environment to do the first swim.  It honestly made me even more excited and eager to get to our tri.

So onto another week of training.  Hoping to get more of a handle on my eating and filling my hunger with wholesome, fueling foods that doesn’t derail all of the hard training work I am putting in.  It’s a weird feeling to feel fat and unhappy while feeling strong and fit at the same time.  I need to get it under control.  I want this experience to be all around awesome!

Weigh In Wednesday: “Walking the Walk”?

Yes, there it is.  It’s time to start holding myself more accountable for what I am putting into my body. My weight is up two pounds over the last two weeks.  And unfortunately, is back up to the place I was six months ago.  I’ve managed to erase eight pounds of hard work and sacrifice, and I’ve pretty much done it in the last two months. And it is completely 100% my fault.  Granted, two of these pounds are totally related to my sister’s visit, but I knew what I was doing.  Did I have to get the two scoop ice cream when we went to the dairy farm?  No.  Did I need to get the italian ice with the custard mixed in?  No.  Did I need that third piece of wood fired pizza?  No.  I could have still had all of those things but in smaller portions. I am unhappy with myself and my choices.  And reading this post today on Roni’s website this morning really stopped me in my tracks:

But here it is: does it bother you in the least that so many of the “fit blogger” community never actually walk the walk? I follow several of them and their blogs are FULL of ads for this “healthy” snack food or this fitness device or DVD or sports bra or whatever…and full of giggly posts about their new gym schedule and cutesy pix of their vitamins lined up on a pretty plate or whatever…and then posts about going out drinking with the girls, eating appetizers, weekends on the couch binge-watching TV shows and chick flicks, rationalizations about moderation, etc. They have a ticker that hasn’t budged in years as they yo-yo the same 10-ish pounds, never actually getting “fit” or losing any weight.

While I don’t agree with the judgement reeking from this email from “Martha” that Roni received, I see myself in it.  And I find myself judging myself in the same way.  My blog is three years old as of yesterday (Happy Blogoversary to Me!) and I am sitting here exactly 1.5 lbs less than the day I started it.  Granted, I don’t have any ads on my site and I’m well out of the Fitbloggin’ circle (I have only been to one conference) but I am definitely one of those struggling with finding the right path to health and wellness.  One minute I am proud of making a clean meal for my family or giving up artificial sweeteners and soda, and the next I’m eating Milanos and drinking too much white wine. But am I not getting fit?  Am I not healthier than I was when I started this blog three years ago?

And then I see this story and the ensuing comment discussion about Rachel Taylor and her experience shopping at Old Navy recently.  Comments like this:

Uhm, if you’re going to cry and feel bad because someone pointed out your size is huge. ( Which it is; it’s no secret that she’s obese ) then someone giving real blunt advice and saying “well you can fix that problem” is not rude at all. Society is trying to fix the obesity problem by making everyone believe it’s okay and beautiful.. when it fact it’s unhealthy and a negative life style.

I find myself reading that and feeling like a failure.  Why haven’t I “fixed this problem” already.  It’s been three years.  How hard is it to stop eating and drinking so much?  It sounds so simple.

But I think it is not all that simple.  While by any measure or indication on the scale or in the mirror, I am overweight.  My sister, the one who recently visited, weighs 50 pounds less than I do.  While I don’t want or think I need to lose that much, it’s a bigger number than I can even fathom.  I am overweight.  But does it then follow that I am “unhealthy and have a negative lifestyle”?

Since I started this blog I’ve kept up with running, something I had just started (and nearly gave up on) at that point.  I increased my mileage to take on 10Ks and even two half marathons, something I never imagined I could do.  I started taking bootcamp classes and increasing my muscle mass and activity level.  I started taking yoga classes.  And now I’m training for a triathlon, another fitness event I never dreamed possible for me. I would argue (and can actually prove based on how my clothes fit) that even though the scale has not moved for me, and while I still have to work on my self control and will power, I am still making positive choices in my health journey.

Even if my weight yo yoed up in the same ten pound range over the last three years.  Even though I still drink and eat too much.  Even though I relapsed into eating sugar again.  I’m still better off than I was three years ago, and this blog (and the encouragement of the fitness/healthy blog community) is a big part of that.  I am stronger and more active than I have ever been in my life, even when I weighed less.

So I would argue that there is a complicated spectrum to health and wellness.  And that we’re all, every day, looking to find that balance between health, weight, appearance and lifestyle that we can live with.  I’m still striving to find that balance. And I probably will continue to struggle for a very long time.  But hopefully, if I keep trying, I can continue to move forward in the journey.

So on this Wednesday, as I commit yet again to trying to drop these extra pounds, I will use once again all that I know about healthy eating and exercise to move (mostly) forward.  I am going back to using Wednesdays for weigh ins for the accountability of it.

Age:  44
BMI:  29.5
+/- :  +1.2 lbs (2 weeks since last weigh in)
Pounds to Current Goal:  16.2 lbs

The Road to the Tri: Week 3

This was an off week because my sister came into town with her two kids for a visit.  The last time they were here was ten years ago, and I had only lived here for six months at that point.  This time, I really know the area and wanted to show them so much about what I love about living in SW CT.  Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of tri workouts in.  We did do a lot of walking though, so I wasn’t a total slug.  But, we more than made up for that by basically eating our way through the week.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate of enjoying what every new place has to offer, and I don’t regret a single italian ice, fresh ice cream made at a local creamery, amazing New England woodfired pizza, local wines and the most delicious food made up that day at our local farmers’ market (note to self:  find a recipe for those amazing blueberry and lavendar scones, as well as those insane corn fritters).  I wanted to show them everything that this place has to offer, things that they just don’t see much of in their suburban corner of Michigan.

But I digress.  Either way, the tri training suffered this week, but she left to go back home early yesterday, so it was time to get back in the saddle and get back up to speed.

Yesterday, since I was up early to see my sister off, I decided to try and hit 12 miles on the bike.  That’s not hard to do on our beautiful bike trail, but I felt a little funny going alone to the trail that early, so I decided to just suck it up and do the hilly roads around my house.  I figured since it was so early I could eek it out.  I am not going to lie, it was not easy.  We live in a very hilly area and I had to walk my bike up some of them.  But I didn’t have to do that for most of them, and I figure the hills will make me faster on the flat areas.  My goal was to hit 12 miles (the distance I will have to bike in the tri), the longest I’ve gone yet.

I did it!  I was very proud of myself.

Today I decided to hit our local lake for my first open water swim.  This isn’t where I’ll be doing the race, but I figured it was a better training fit than laps at the pool.   It was a little strange at first getting my bearings.  But after I figured out which areas to avoid due to massive undergrowth, it was actually quite nice.  This lake is 5 minutes from my house and best of all, FREE (it costs me $5 every time I use the pool in the town next door).   Granted, it isn’t as clean as a pool (I avoided the areas of floating unidentifiable stuff), but it is much closer to what I will be actually doing.  I’d love to go down to Long Island Sound and swim there (I think it might be cleaner due to it being a larger body of water) but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.  Either way, while my lake swim wasn’t perfect, it was doable and I felt good about doing it.  Hard to gauge the distance but I think I exceeded the half mile based on the amount of time I was in the water.

The entire week looked like this:

Tue:  Walking in NYC
Wed:  Rest Day
Thu:  4 mile trail walk
Fri:  3.7  mile trail walk
Sat:  4.3 mile walk through neighborhood and 60 min yoga
Sun:  12.25 mile bike ride (8.88 mph)
Mon:  .6 mile lake swim

Looking forward to getting back into my routine of classes, runs and tri training this week!

The Road to the Tri: Week 2

I’m done with Week 2 in my training and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it.  It’s been very interesting trying new types of activities….I never really thought much about biking or swimming for exercise, and I’m really liking them both (especially since I got my bike fixed!).  Here’s what this week looked like:

Tue:  Rest Day (got my bike fixed)
Wed:  4.8 mi run (12:50 pace)Thu:  30 min of swim (.57 mile) and 45 min HIIT class
Fri:  2.5 mi walk, 30 min TRX and 1 hour kickboxing class
Sat:  60 min yoga
Sun:  Rest Day (rain)
Mon:  8.4 mile bike (8.25 mph) and 2.7 mi run (12:22 pace)

Today was my first “brick” workout day.  Although really last Thursday when I swam and then did HIIT probably would qualify as well.  I also did a lot last Friday, three different workouts so over two hours of exercise in varying degrees.

But today was officially the first brick, first a bike ride and then a run.  I had about an hour and a half in between though, getting the kids up and fed and ready for camp.  So it wasn’t one right after the other, but it was close.

Today’s bike ride felt easier than the others I’ve done so far.  Today was my fourth and since my bike was fixed, a lot easier.  Everything works like it is supposed to so I could just concentrate on the ride.  I went with my girlfriend to the same spot I did my first ride two weeks ago.  What a difference!  We added on another mile and a half and could have gone for more if we both hadn’t had to get home and get our kids up and moving.

I felt so good after that I decided to try a run.  My legs were definitely feeling the ride, but I told myself I’d just try for 2.5 miles and if I had to walk some I could.  It was a little rough at first but I finally got in the groove and really hardly walked at all.  I felt very accomplished afterwards!  Like I might actually really do this thing.  We’ll see after I add the swim into the mix, but I have two full months left to train, so I think I can get there.

I’m excited!

What I Ate Wednesday

I have absolutely no great recipes or new awesome foods to share from the last seven days.  I was more conscious of what I ate and when with my training but there were no fabulous new things that I feel merit a blog post.  That being said, it is my absolute favorite time of year for food.  The early plantings are just starting to yield fresh, local produce.  Our local Farmers’ Market, which I help run, is finally open and we will now have feasts every Friday night after my shift is over that include things like locally harvested clams, freshly made gazpacho and pesto, zucchini and lettuce and sugar snap peas and freshly laid (lain?) eggs.

Each year I plant a few things in my own little flower bed and see what takes.  This year my garden looks like this:

One of my two tomato plants, not doing much yet.

One of my two tomato plants, not doing much yet.

photo 4

My zucchini plant, full of flowers. Behind it is a butternut squash plant. No flowers blooming on that one yet, but they are close.

photo 3

Fresh rosemary thriving in its pot.

photo 2

My sugar snap peas that I grew from seed. See the pea pods? I already have harvested several.

 

photo 1

Basil, mint and parsley in containers. They are huge and beautiful! I snip some to add to most meals.

I would love to have a big garden some day but our yard isn’t suited to it. Our backyard is surrounded by trees and just doesn’t get enough sun. I plant all of these either in containers by my front porch or in my flowerbeds in the few empty spots there are. Each year I plant something different. Last year it was cucumbers, but the plants were so prolific I couldn’t eat them all, and by the end of the summer I was totally sick of cucumbers. I never seem to tire of fresh tomatoes, as my plants never give me more than I can keep up with. I am hopeful with the butternut squash plant…I planted one last year but probably too late for it to really do much. I harvested one tiny one, smaller than my hand, in September. Hopefully this year will see a bounty from these few small plants.

I know that when fresh food is available and of good quality, I always tend to choose it over the garbage. So here’s to summer, and fresh, local foods that will help keep me on track!

Road to the Tri: Week One

So I have officially finished my first week of triathlon training, and I have to say, it is definitely harder than I expected.  It’s going to be hard to fit all of the workouts in, and I still have no idea how I will put all of these pieces together.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Tues:  6.86 mile bike ride (7.69 mph)
Wed:  45 minute strength/cardio workout at gym
Thur:  4 mile run, easy pace
Fri:  30 min TRX, 60 min kickboxing class
Sat:  60 min yoga
Sun:  REST (planned on biking this day but it rained)
Mon:  10.5 mile bike ride (planned on swimming but will rain tomorrow so will do then, 8.98 mph)

So the biking.  The first ride last Tuesday was a total baseline.  My bike was not in great shape; the handlebars were not straight, the seat kept moving up and down and I couldn’t find a comfortable pace.  My girlfriend took me out to a local trail and the hills killed my quads.  Plus my brakes are definitely in need of repair; there was one downhill where if I had needed to stop, I couldn’t have done so.  It was so much harder than I thought it would be.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I thought of biking as a leisurely thing to do.  I was sore for days.  But today’s ride was easier, and I hope they will continue to get easier (as with any activity).  I still had trouble with hills today, and actually changed my planned route because they were so hard.  But my seat (mostly) stayed in place and less hills meant less need for the brakes (I do have an appointment tomorrow to get them fixed).  I could have gone longer than the 10.5 today if I had wanted to, but it was hot and I was ready to be done.  I definitely want to try and hammer out my bike rides early before it gets too hot and too many cars get on the roads.

I plan on going swimming again tomorrow.  The kids are out of school now so my goal is to get over there early enough that I can be home before they are up.  I’ve heard that this pool is busy then but I just want to see if that’s an option for me.

I am hoping to find the balance of doing my yoga one day, two days at the gym and then the tri workouts the other days.  i know this isn’t exactly the plan I was given to follow, but I know the strength I get from yoga and the gym classes will only help improve my stamina for this race.

At this point while I am nervous about putting all of this together, I am also excited.  It feels nice to be doing some other activities other than running (my feet certainly are grateful).  We’ll see how I continue to feel as we go forward!

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