Wordless Wednesday – This was my exercise today. What was yours?

When was the last time your dog took you for a walk?

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Seven days + 251 miles = Fitbloggin’11

Is anyone else having a problem with time going too fast?  It feels like only yesterday when I arrived in Baltimore for Fitbloggin’10.  I was extremely nervous and had no idea what to expect, but luckily I had Vicki with me and we conquered our anxiety together.  I met so many interesting women and I have no doubt I will meet many more this year. 

As I left Baltimore last year I vowed to be at my goal weight when I returned in 2011, but that was not meant to be.  No worries though.  I haven’t given up.  I’m still making better choices than I was 2 years ago and that is progress.  I haven’t gained any weight back in almost 18 months which is a major accomplishment for me.  My entire adult life has been an up and down battle with my weight, but I finally understand that food is fuel and not a reward.  I know that if I want to have a beer and a slice of pizza I can, but I can’t make that a daily habit. 

So what have I done since Fitbloggin’10?  Here’s what…

  1. I joined a gym and have logged at least three days a week in the gym.
  2. I hired a personal trainer and have actual muscle definition and strength.
  3. I ran my first official 5k in 41 minutes and crossed the home plate finish line at PNC Park .
  4. I went on a cruise and wore a swimsuit in public.  I even hiked through the rain forest in Belize and went 4 wheeling in Mexico.

I may not be at my goal weight YET, but I’m getting there and I’m not letting my weight prevent me from doing things anymore! 

Track Talk

I might have shared this with you before, but my ex-husband was a runner and for the 12 years that we were together I could not figure out his fascination with running.  I guess I’m still not completely clear on that, but I’m getting closer to understanding.  Believe me, I don’t wake up in the morning thinking “Man I can’t wait to run”, but once I’m into my slow jog, I feel a sense of pride that I’m doing it.

It’s still too cold for me to run outside, so I’m jogging on the treadmill, but I’m outside in my mind and I don’t focus on anything but breathing and the movement.  Yesterday I finished the 4th week of the Couch to 5K program.   The first four weeks mix jogging with walking as you gradually increase your jogging time.  Yesterday I jogged for 8 minutes, walked for 2 minutes and jogged again for 8 minutes.  My pace is very slow at 15 minute miles, but that’s ok with me.  My heart rate is still in the optimal zone and there is no point in killing myself right. 

Week 5 is coming up and the schedule includes:

Day 1 – alternate 5 minute jogs with 3 minute walks for 30 minutes

Day 2 – alternate 8 minute jogs with 5 minute walks for 30 minutes

Day 3 – jog for 20 minutes with no walking

There are just 37 days until the 5K at PNC Park.  I’m excited.  It may take me 45 minutes, but crossing that finish line on home plate is going to be amazing!  Let’s just hope the weather warms up so I can get some outside running time before April 9th.

Follow Up Friday – 2/25/2011

TGIF!  I weighed in on Monday after 2 weeks on Weight Watchers and dropped 2.4 lbs.  Good for me.  I am hopeful I’ll have another loss this week of at least 1 pound.  I’m remembering to log my food and count points 75% of the time.  I need to work on that. 

I’ve finished two full weeks of the Couch to 5k program and after my run today I will have completed the third week.  I love the way this program is set up.  It breaks the run into walking and running sessions of different time intervals.  I’m up to running 3 minutes at a time, which might not seem like a lot, but considering I haven’t really run in a year…it’s a lot.  The first week was 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking for a total of 30 minutes.  The second week was 90 seconds running, 2 minutes walking for a total of 30 minutes.  This week it’s 90 seconds running/90 seconds walking followed by 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking for a total of 28 minutes.  Next week will be challenging.  The routine is 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run, 2.5 minute walk, 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run for a total of 32 minutes.  It’s going to be a struggle the first day, but I haven’t quit yet!  I’ll be crossing that finish line on April 9th no worries!  In addition to my 3 days of running, I’ve been strength training with Leigh twice a week and getting in an elliptical workout on Saturdays.

I finally got to participate in our long distance book group this week too.  A group of us are reading Bring on the Joy by Jen Yost, MS ED.  It’s a great book.  We read a section before each call and then discuss how the exercises are helping us find our joy.  It’s so inspiring to hear how the group is experiencing the book.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the author will call in for one of our sessions.  I am so thankful that my friend Jen sent me this book.

I hope everyone has been well and more than anything I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Rerun

I had a breakthrough this weekend.  Lack of exercise = lack of lust for life.  I’ve been suffering from this nasty head/chest cold for two weeks and haven’t really had a good workout since the middle of January.  I was really hating life by Friday.  Leigh was over for a game of cards on Friday and asked if I wanted to workout with her on Saturday.  To be honest I woke up Saturday morning and  just wanted to stay in bed, but I didn’t. I got my rear to the gym.  I even convinced Aaron to tag along.  We did a sixty minute shoulder and triceps routine and then I did 20 minutes of cardio.  I should have been exhausted but I was full of energy.  I could immediately feel the difference in my state of mind.  BAZINGA!!!!!  I will not go that long without exercise ever again.  I usually always take Sunday as a rest day and with the Superbowl looming I decided to continue that routine, but I was right back at the gym on Monday and it felt so good to work out.  I was even inspired to start my 5k training again.

I downloaded the Couch to 5k iTunes ap and completed week 1/day 1. I tried Couch to 5k before, but never had much success trying to remember the training routine while I was at the gym.  The ap is great because I have it with me and it verbally guides my training.  Hooray!  Has anyone else used this ap or program before?  What is your favorite 5k training program?

PS….These are my favorite running shoes.  Seriously, it’s like running on clouds.

Winter Blues

Here we are in February and I’m way off track again.  Luckily there was no weight gain in January, but there wasn’t any weight loss either.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.  It’s been almost two years since I started my weight loss and I’m still only at my half way goal.  BOO! 

For the past six months I’ve been struggling with bouts of depression and high stress at work and home.  I’ve lost all drive to focus on the positive aspects of life and healthy living.  I’ve sought comfort with my food choices only to end up being more depressed after eating.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I will admit that at times I have said “Who cares if I’m overweight and unhealthy?” I know that’s just me feeling sorry for myself and I know that I care.  I don’t want to be obese again and I don’t want to develop heart disease.  I deserve better than that.

I’ve stuck to my personal training routine, but I’ve gotten off track with my cardio.  I’m not running at all anymore.   Maybe a fitness goal would help get me going.  I dread the scale, but perhaps if I try this whole 5k thing again I’ll find the motivation I am lacking.  I just know I have to do something.

I want this to be my last “pity me” blog post! Scratch that, this will be my last pity me blog post.  Today I am taking back control of my life and I will not let stress or anxiety rule my choices.  Life is too short to waste it feeling sorry for myself.  I sorta miss the healthy and happy Carrie.

Taking Inventory

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why my weight loss efforts have stalled and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been trying to do too many things at once.  I’ve set so many goals for myself that there is no way I can accomplish everything I’ve set out to do.  Basically, I’ve been setting myself up to fail.  Why would I do this?  I deserve success.  I’ve earned it.  So I’m taking inventory of what’s most important to me and focusing on those things first.   Makes sense right?  Not so much.  There are so many things I believe are important that it’s difficult to eliminate some of them.  New direction….figure out what is least important to me.  Numero uno……running.  I’m going to confess something here…I hate training for a race.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy when I’m running on the treadmill at the gym and the awesome workout I get from it, but I do not enjoy the pressure of training for a race.  I haven’t run for 2 weeks and I know it’s because I’m not looking at it as a stress relief anymore.  This 10k looming is making me stress even more.  No more race training.  I will continue to run at my leisure and a pace that works for me.  If I feel like running that 10k in September I’ll run it and if not….so what.  OMG I feel better already.

Number two on my list of what is least important……the scale.  I’ve been obsessing about what those numbers say every time I weigh myself, which is entirely too often.  I feel good in my skin for the first time in a long time.  I can buy clothing in non-plus sizes and I’m getting compliments every day at work.  I still have a weight goal, but I’m not going to worry at this moment if the scale is going down every week.  I’m going to keep on eating right and exercising and eventually my body will get on board and drop these last 20 pounds.

The last thing I’m going to eliminate or reduce are magazine subscriptions.  I’ve got so many magazines that I haven’t touched in months.  It stresses me out just looking at the stack.  I’m going to file them and make a list of which ones I still need to read.  I’ll get to them when I can.  I will be sure to read the futures mags within a week of getting them.  No more excuses.

Am I alone in my anti-goals?  What do you do when you’ve realized that your efforts in self-improvement have backfired?

The Beck Update

Today I start day four of the Beck Diet Solution Workbook.  Day 1 I reviewed the advantages of healthy eating and made a list of reasons to eat healthier and lose weight.  Day 2 I committed to a health eating plan consisting of a vegetarian diet working toward a vegan diet as well as limiting myself to 1600 calories a day or consuming 1000 calories less than I burn each day.  Day 3 I read about the importance of eating while you are sitting down.  Today’s exercise is about building your confidence and giving yourself credit for the small successes each day.  So how am I doing……

I read my reasons list each morning.  I’ve set up an outlook reminder to do this at 7:30 each morning.  I’m keeping track of calories in and calories out in my daily journal.  I’m not meeting my goal each day, but I’m coming close.  Day 1 I had a 1462 calorie deficit, day 2 only a 404 deficit and day 3 I had a 761 deficit.  I should be at a 3000 total calorie deficit, but I am at 2627, which is good for now.  I’m at 87% of my goal.  That’s a B+ right.  (See, I’m already practicing giving myself credit for the small successes) 

I never really thought that I ate that much standing up, but I noticed that after I got home from the gym, while I was making dinner, I grabbed a handful of crackers and ate them STANDING UP.  Oh no.  It got me thinking about when I do stand and eat and I realized it’s when I snack in between meals.  I always eat my meals sitting in a chair.  I need to focus on not standing when I eat so I can minimize my snacking habit.  I give myself credit for noticing this yesterday and thinking of a plan to stop it.

I am back on track with my workouts.  Monday I did a 20 minute easy run followed by 25 minutes on the elliptical for a total burn of 570 calories in 60 minutes.  Yesterday I did a 30 minute run (2 miles) followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical for a total burn of 575 calories.  My next workout is on Friday which is a 30 minute interval run and then Saturday I hope to get my husband to the gym with me so I can strength train.

Don’t forget that tomorrow we post our accomplishments for the week.  Start thinking about it, I can’t wait to read them.

The Great Race

You all know my goal of running a 5k in Cleveland never happened.  I was discouraged for about 5 seconds and then I got over it.  I know had my intestines not decided to ruin my weekend that I would have done it.  So I’m moving on.  Who needs a 5k when we have one of the greatest 10k races here in Pittsburgh!  Yes I’m talking about The Great Race to be held on Sunday, September 26th.

I officially registered today.  I’ve even downloaded a training program for beginners.  I know it’s early, but I start my training on Monday.  No time like the present.  It’s an 8 week training program and here are my workouts for week #1:

Monday – 20 minute easy run at 50-60% of my maximum heart rate

Tuesday – 30 minute easy run at 50-60% of my maximum heart rate

Thursday – 30 minute easy run at 50-60% of my maximum heart rate

Saturday – For today perform the workout in the following sequence: 10 minute walk, 35 minute easy run, 10 minute walk, 4 x 100 meter strides (run strong and relaxed for the 100 meters then jog for about 30 seconds, repeat 4 times)

So my question for you is who wants to train and run it with me?  I know Jen is already in, but who else?  Vicki this is the perfect time for you to come and visit!

The Importance of Keeping a Food Diary

weight graphSo this graph represents my daily weights since the beginning of April and as you can see I’ve lost a whopping 1 pound after this weekend.   I’ve only logged my food 14 out of 40 days, not even 50% of the time.  This is bad.  I could make all sorts of excuses, but I won’t.  I need to do better.  I want to show 100% completion in the next 30 days.  The positive in this is that it appears I’ve learned how to maintain my weight, but that’s not my goal at the moment.  My goal is to lose another 25 pounds by 8/15 and that’s just a little more than 3 months away.  I’m getting tired of reaching for my goal weight.  I want to know what it feels like to be my goal weight.

I’m still going strong on the vegetarian front.  No actual meat eaten for 3 weeks.  I have had dairy and a few baked goods that I’m sure included eggs, so I need to get that under control.  I purchased The New Vegetarian Epicure over the weekend and I’m enjoying reading the recipes and menus.  I just need to get to the store so I can actually make them.  One of my co-workers (also vegetarian) brought me a vegan carrot cake today and I can not wait to try it.  Thank you CJ!!!!!!!  I’m still amazed at the variety of food available to me as a vegetarian and the wholesome goodness of it.

My Cleveland 5k is this Saturday and I’m hoping to run the entire thing in under 40 minutes.  If I have to walk, so be it, but I’m going to be pushing myself hard to run it all.  I’m looking forward to supporting my friends Kristin and Pam in their Cleveland Half Marathon on Sunday.  Go Girls!

Yesterday we walked the Race for the Cure 5k here in Pittsburgh.  The weather was so cold, but we were brave and finished the walk in 65 minutes.  Not bad considering there were 30,000+ people walking with us.  There were some very slow going moments, but what an inspirational moment in my life.  I’ve been walking this for 10 years now and each year I’m more amazed at the number of survivors walking.  When will we find a cure and a way to prevent this suffering?

How was your weekend?  Did you manage to stay active and eat well?

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