Archive | January 2014

January Progress Report

I took on several goals for the year back at the start of this month, and I wanted to track some of my progress towards them since today is the last day of the month.

1.  Complete the 30 Day Plank Challenge in January.

I did this.  I was able to do the full plank without stopping for every day except for two or three near the end, where I broke it up and still completed the full time (over, actually) but with one or two breaks.  But then this irritated me so much that I forced myself to stick it out without stopping.  I ended up finishing this yesterday with a full, five minute plank without a break.  I still am not sure how I did it, as each one over 3:45 seemed like a miracle, but I did it, and I’m pretty proud of it.

With the planking challenge over, I’m looking for something else to do in its place.  I’m looking at a 30 Day Squat Challenge.  I like the idea of doing something small but building every day.  This would take me to the end of February.

2.  Keep up my 2014 Run Streak for at least 30 consecutive days.

I have done this as well.  I’ve run every single day, one mile at least, since January 2.  That translates to 53.5 miles I’ve run this month.  A lot of these runs had to be completed on my treadmill because of either a:  crazy snow or b:  crazy cold.  I have definitely done some of them outside though and have learned a lot about layering and winter running this year.  I’ve decided to try and keep this going at least till the end of February, so 60 days straight of running.  I’ve never gone that long running consecutively, so we’ll see how it goes.

3.  Run at least one race a month.

I did not get a race in this month.  I had my eyes on a race last weekend but it was seriously cold and windy and my husband was away so there was no one to watch the kids.  I have one in my sights for February, a run I did last year and really enjoyed.  I still think I can meet this goal by doubling up (I already have two races in mind for March, for example) as the weather grows warmer.

4.  Run at least 2 10Ks this year.

Still looking to do one of these sooner rather than later, but haven’t really started training for one.  This weekend the weather is supposed to moderate so I’d like to get a good six mile run in and start working towards more distance.

5.  Run a half marathon.

Again, still haven’t figured this one out yet.  In talking with my running mentor, he suggested the one I was initially looking at might not be a great fit:  it’s super hilly.  It’s also in April and I don’t think I will be ready by then.  I’m thinking I’ll do one at the end of June, even though it will mean running in the heat.  I know the area and ran the companion 5K last year so I think it is doable.

6.  Finally reach my goal weight.

This is the one goal that I’m actually upside down on at this point.  I’m up 1.4 lbs since January 1.  I’m going to be entering another weight loss challenge at bootcamp next month so I’m looking forward to really getting serious about it.

I think I’ll try to do this type of post every month.  It’ll keep me honest.  🙂

Wednesday Weigh In

Down, just a little.  0.2 lbs less than last week.

Still haven’t gotten my head back in the game.  I wrote last week about really focusing and concentrating on goals and what I would be willing to forgo to reach them and then later that same day I drank wine and ate too much chocolate.

I wasn’t careful this week.  I still drank wine every night.  I ate sweets four out of the seven days.  Honestly, the scale could have easily gone the other way (and you better believe I feel like a dodged a bullet that it didn’t).

The exercise.  It is the only reason why.  I am (despite Mother Nature’s best efforts) still getting in at least a mile every day.  I’m going to bootcamp.  I am planking every day (yesterday I made it to 4:10….I’m not sure exactly how but I am psyched to try again today and try to add a few seconds to it).  And I feel good about all of those things.  My new treadmill arrived yesterday (which deserves a whole other post, and I’ll write it in the coming days as I learn how to use it) so a huge weight is off my shoulders about continuing my miles with this terrible weather we’ve been having.

But.  But I know the only thing that makes the scale go down is good choices at fridge.  I can burn 500 calories by kicking ass at bootcamp only to undo all of it in a fifteen minute binge.  I know, I know, I know all of these things.  I have to learn how to silence that little voice that tells me to just go ahead, it’s no big deal, just one is fine, maybe just another one, maybe another glass.  I’ve done it before and I know I can do it.  The same determination that is pushing me to get that mile in every day, even when it is ten degrees out; the same determination that pushes me every day to do that $#@# plank when most of my friends that started the challenge have quit.  That’s the same determination I need to call upon with my food choices this week.

Come on, Amy….you can do this.  Why do you keep putting obstacles in your own way?

Current Week: -0..2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  14.2 lbs
Age:  43
BMI:  28.2

Um, No (Well, Maybe…)

I’m really struggling this morning with conflicting emotions.  I had on my target list for today a 5 Mile race.  But I told myself all along that I’d watch the weather before signing up.  With all of the cold weather and snow lately, I didn’t want to sign up for something and end up having it be cancelled, postponed, or something I just couldn’t do.

I’ve been watching the weather all week and as it has worn on, I’ve seen very clearly that today was supposed to be very cold.  As in 10 degrees.  With 20-30mph wind gusts.  And I officially have decided against racing today.  I had pretty much decided against it last night when I saw the coating of snow fall all over the roads; not enough to shovel but enough to cover everything.  Not that that is the deal breaker; if anything, that snow would probably help my traction over bare roads when it is this cold.  But the final straw was when I could hear the winds howling at 2am.  Cold, cold winds.  No.  Just, no.

But I’ve been trying to run outside as much as I possibly can these last few weeks.  But it is truly unusually cold here for this area.  It is rare that it gets so cold here. Usually winter is in the 20s, not the teens or single digits.  I ran four miles outside this week when it was 15 degrees and by the end I was really feeling strangely.  My legs never warmed up despite having two layers on them.  I was fine with my long sleeved tech T and my warmest fleece on top, and my headband.  Normally during a winter run I end up taking off my headband and gloves, but not that day.  It was too cold.  So even though I was sweating, my face was cold; the wetness on my face combined with the cold gave me the oddest sensation of being cold and warm all at the same time.

I never felt that way all last winter.  I ran in 20 degree weather all of the time, and told everyone that winter was my favorite running season because I sweat so much.  That you can run outside basically all of the time except for maybe a handful of times based on road conditions (not weather conditions).  I ran a January and a February race without ever feeling too cold.

But this year?  Right now the wind chill here is 5 degrees.  I just can’t do it.  I can’t bring myself to get out there and run my super slow five miles, which I know will take me an hour at least.  So I’m not going to race today.  And I am not happy about it.  I feel a bit like I’m letting myself down.   But I know, as conflicted as I am about it, that it is the right decision, today, for me.

***Of course as soon as I blogged this I felt like a total wimp and challenged myself to do today’s #2014RunStreak mile outside with my dog.  I bundled up and went out and it honestly was OK.  I learned a bit from my 4 mile run earlier this week so I used warmer layers on my legs and a scarf to protect my face.  I managed 1.25 miles and would have honestly been able to go much further but my poor dog’s paws were clearly bothering him so I returned home.  I found that I could tolerate the cold for the most part but the slippery half melted coating of the snow was the real problem.  I truly would worry about that on the race course.  There was no bare ground and parts of my route today were slippery.  So while I am still sure I made the right decision on the race, I do feel that I’ve learned a bit better about being able to run in the sub twenty degree range.***

Binge

I want to write about this because I feel so defeated this morning.

Last night I had a full on binge of chocolate and wine.  Why do I do this to myself?  All I want to do this morning is just crawl back under the covers and stay there.  I don’t want to run.  I don’t want to plank.  I don’t want to go back to bootcamp.  I just want to eat crap and not care about it any more.

It is cold here in CT, very cold.  My husband is away.  My daughter is a teenage girl.  My son is on the spectrum.  I made dinner last night and all three of us sat together, quietly hashing through our day.  It was quiet and boring; the kids had a major delayed entry because of the snowstorm we’d had the night before.

After dinner, my daughter went back to her lair room.  My son asked for the last of his birthday cake.  There was a little too much to serve just to him, but such a small sliver it seemed silly to save it.  Right?  I ate two bites of the birthday cake.

It was like releasing the effing beast.  I poured a second glass of wine (I had had one with dinner) and cleaned up dinner while my son finished.  I couldn’t get the taste of the frosting out of my head.  It was insanely good.  It was like crack.  I needed more.

I rummaged through the cupboard to find any sort of viable replacement for the chocolate frosting.  Dark chocolate?  No, not sweet enough.  Cookies?  No, not intense enough (why on earth do I have all this crap in the house?!).  AHA!  Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Perfect.  I grabbed two and popped a whole one in my mouth while taking the other, and my glass of wine, to the den to watch TV.

I ate the second more slowly while drinking my wine.  Both were so good that I decided more was in order.  Sure, a nagging voice in my head whispered that it might not be a great idea, but I wrestled that sucker right down to the ground.  Before it had a chance to get back up I’d eaten another cup and had a third glass of wine in my hand to take back to the TV room.

My son wished me goodnight, my daughter quietly went to bed and I sat there on the sofa feeling stupid.  Awful.  Full and heavy.  And frankly?  Not caring.  Those damn peanut butter cups are freaking awesome.

Roni from Roni’s Weigh asked yesterday in her post, “Are you wiling to give up  _________ to get to your goal of ________?”  And in that moment, and even right now, the answer is clear to me.  The reason I am not moving forward towards my goal is because I’m not.  I want it all.  I want the wine, the candy, the crap and the goal.

And this morning, I know that that’s not possible.  Which is why I feel so defeated.

Wednesday Weigh In: Wrong Direction

Ugh!  I’m up 1.2 lbs this week and I’m not entirely sure why.

I mean, I haven’t been perfect.  I know that.  But have I been so bad as to merit that kind of gain?  I don’t think so, I truly don’t.  I’m higher than I’ve been since October, which pisses me off.   We did have my son’s birthday this weekend, but I ate seriously the smallest slivers of cake.   We had celebration dinners but I stuck with mostly protein and veggies.  I’ve had better runs, longer planks, harder bootcamp classes.  What gives?

Who knows.  But I do know that some of my habits need a bit of reality check:

1.  Bread.  My husband likes bread with dinner and it was one of the first things to go when I lost weight before.  But lately, I’ve been letting myself have a slice (sometimes two) with dinner.  It’s not a huge thing, but probably 75-150 calories each day I do it.  Four times in a week that could be hundreds of calories.

2.  Alcohol.  I’ve said it too many times to count, but I really should rein in my wine consumption.  If I look at my food logs, on the days that I’m over it usually is partially, if not fully, due to glasses of wine.  And not only the calories, but I worry about what else it is doing to my body.  I’m not saying I’m ready to teetotal or anything, but I really need to look at the habit seriously and make some changes.

I think just working on those two things this week and keeping the rest of my good habits in order is where I am at.  I’m still planking every day and still running every day (hoping today isn’t my waterloo….there’s a lot of snow outside and my treadmill is on its last legs….we got a new one but it doesn’t get delivered for a week).  I’m still making more good food choices than bad.  So I’ll chalk this week’s gain up to Whatever and move on from it.

Sigh.

Current Week: + 1.2 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  14.4 lbs
Age:  43
BMI:  28.2

Planking

I got involved with this Planking challenge with a bunch of girlfriends this month….it’s on my list of goals.  I have planked before doing exercise videos and definitely in my bootcamp class before, so I know the drill.  They aren’t easy, but I’ve done them.  It’s not like they are say, burpees, push ups, worm walks or these crazy things our instructor calls “handstands” but are really you burpeeing with your legs apart…or any of the other insane crazy new exercises I’ve been doing since I joined bootcamp.

Yeah.  So.

The challenge started slow, with a 20 second plank.  No problem.  And yes, I did see that it was going to end up after 31 days somewhere around a 5 minute plank, which I figured me doing was the same as lightning striking the same place twice or me winning the lottery or something, but I figured I’d go as far as I could with it and just plod on.

We’re past the halfway point now, on day 20 of 31 days, so as you can imagine, we’re getting closer to the 5 minute mark than the 20 second mark.  Actually, that’s not true.  Today’s plank was supposed to be exactly 150 seconds, or two and a half minutes.

What I have been trying to do, though, with this challenge, is go a little higher than each day’s time.  Because the schedule has you basically spend three days on one time and then jumps to the next (and we’re now jumping by 30 second increments), I try to more gradually work to the next level by going a little higher on each day’s time.

Planking has suddenly become serious business for me.  I never, ever, imagined I could do a plank for more than say, 90 seconds.  But I did.  And then I slowly started being able to meet each day’s allotted time.  I’m not entirely sure how, but I am.  Maybe it is the gradual thing?  Maybe I am stronger because of bootcamp (well, I know that’s definitely part of it).  Maybe it’s because I’ve learned how to really pay attention to my body, the form, and most importantly, the breathing during these exercises.

So today, this is what I did:

plank

I never could have imagined before starting this challenge that I could hold a plank for three minutes.  It is insane.  It’s hard!  I sweat even if I start out cold.  I can feel muscles in my arms, abs and back burning by the end.  I’m huffing like someone who is hyperventilating by the time I’m done.  But I’m doing it.  I can’t even believe it.

I’m really glad I’m doing the challenge.  I’m still not sure I’ll be able to make it to 5 minutes, but now?  Now it seems maybe possible, where before I thought it was absolutely impossible.  So that’s something.

It’s actually something kind of awesome.

Wednesday Weigh In: Status Quo

The scale reads exactly the same as it did at this time last week.  And frankly?  I’m OK with that.

Not going to lie, this was a challenging week.  We’ve had rain, we’ve had snow, we have had 50 degree temps and we’ve had temps below zero.  My treadmill, twenty years old and literally falling apart, is on its last legs from all of the use it has been getting this week.  I’ve kept up my #2014RunStreak only because I have the damn thing and and am carefully navigating my runs on the slowly shredding belt.

My husband has been working late which always means less cooking for me.  It’s terrible, but it is true.  It’s easier to whip up a quick quesadilla or all beef hot dogs because a:  they love them and b:  it’s fast.  I don’t normally eat those things with them, so I”ll rummage through the leftovers available.  Sometimes that’s good, but sometimes it means I eat less consciously because I’m eating whatever “is around” rather than purposefully putting a protein and a vegetable on a plate.

The weather also puts my head in a weird place where I want to eat more.  Like feeling full will help me feel better about the cold, the dark and the drizzle.

I’m not trying to make excuses here, I know what I am doing.  I’m just being honest about it.  I recognized this week when I was reaching for chocolate at 8:30pm and finally, consciously, put a stop to it.  I noted the opening of the wine bottle and pouring more than I should out of it while watching TV, and finally, slowed that train down.  I felt the urge to stop my running and my planking and pushed back on it.

So this week, knowing where my thoughts have been, how hard I have had to push back against them?  I’ll take a status quo.  It is far better than what could have been.

Current Week: no change
Total Weight Left To Lose:  13.2 lbs
Age:  43
BMI:  28