Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Help Yourself

I'm trying to help myself out of this murderous slump.

Step one: Made a doctor's appointment for my annual physical – I had one last year in April, but didn't go for my follow-up in October. (oops!) Not "oops". I did that intentionally because I was embarrassed that I gained more weight. Well, fuck that now. I should have gone. Maybe I wouldn't have gained even MORE weight like I have. Maybe I need to feel a little embarrassed in front of my doctor, who has been so supportive and awesome the past couple years. So yeah, I made an appointment for next week.

Step two: Make a PT appointment. I filled out the on-line form for the guy I have heard countless amazing things about from fellow runner friends. This knee-now-leg thing is worse today, so that stairs are quite painful. Enough! Until I can see him, I'll rest and/or adjust my workouts so that I'm not doing more damage to my leg, which means no running. Not even walking right now, to be honest, because it hurts that much. &%$#!!!

Step three: I picked up my new talisman, an old cross country team hoodie from high school, from a former teammate last night (thanks again, Nanette!) Surprisingly, I could actually get the thing on!

At left, from the team yearbook photo in fall 1984 – me on top, Nanette below. (She doesn't have the same
hoodie on in that photo as the one she gave me, how funny!) I was originally #12. 11 is just fine. 

There is something about having this that makes me so happy. I tend to hate on my hometown a lot, but things like this – and the limited memories I have about being on the team – remind me that I had a pretty good time and place growing up in many ways. That team had the best coach and the best teammates. Even back then I always came in last, but they always, always had my back and made me feel good about what I was doing. You know, I wasn't fat back then (though I thought I was), but running was just about as hard for me as it is now. I was just never particularly athletic, despite my best efforts. 

Step four: Find ways to stay active without hurting my leg more. I have plenty of options. I'll still meet with Rick twice a week and we'll do modified workouts. I can go swimming. I can do upper-body focused stuff or even seated workouts! I can do stretching!

Another photo at Winter Warrior that popped up since my last post about it! Photo by the lovely Barb Boutillier. 

Step five: Remember the joy I experienced getting back out and doing a big race like the Winter Warrior, and how bad ass (or stupid???) it was to be out there despite frigid temps pushing myself out of my comfort zone... I just need to remember that I have limits, and that that's OK. I have to do right by my body and where it's at now, even if that means NOT doing all the things I want to do at the moment. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Feeling Low

You guys, I've been having a super hard time so far in the new year. I had such high hopes for myself, and it's like I've headed in the totally opposite direction. The one thing that has been fairly consistent is exercise, but I feel like that has been slightly curtailed because my stupid knee has been bothering me again since the race.

Let me talk about that a little bit more. I am glad that I challenged myself to doing what I did, but looking back and knowing how things turned out well, I'm sorry that I felt like I had something to prove – to who? I guess mainly myself but truth be told to everyone else, too. 300 pound woman CAN run and do races! You know?

But all I ended up doing was hurting myself. Ever since then my usual knee has been bothering me more intensely again. It's in a different way than it used to – more in the back than at the top – but it is still bothersome and discouraging. I'll be honest. I really, really don't want to go back to physical therapy. It's time consuming and hard and tiresome and... ugh. I know I sound like a baby but it's how I feel. So I've been trying to take it easy and haven't run since Wednesday. On Saturday I did have a gym workout, but Rick took pity on me and it was a lot more easy-going stuff and talking things out than anything. In fact, I ended up crying about half the session. I told you, I'm having a really hard time! It all came rushing out that morning!

My eating has been, frankly and in a nutshell, shitty. One of the things that Rick and I talked about was what I needed to do to get a better handle on that, like meal planning and prep, and smart shopping. If it's not in the house, I can't eat it! I also talked about my issues at work and sometimes getting out of control there if I don't bring my own lunch. I can really be my own worst enemy and end up with twenty dollars worth of fast food that makes me feel like total and utter crap. There are many days when I make much better decisions, like walking to Panera for a salad, but man. My mind was really not in the right place last week.

I haven't gotten on the scale in at least a few days, and I am scared to. All I can do right now is try to get hold of myself and do the best I can each day. I can check in with my partner about lunch when I am at work, and I know he will be encouraging and supportive to do what is best for me. That will be the biggest challenge.

It's been a long time since I have dealt with such down feelings for this long a stretch and I am not sure what I should do about it. I've been toying with the idea of seeing a therapist but at the same time I'm not sure if I want to go there. I'd like to work things out and maybe see this as a chance to think about what things I do (and eat!) will make me feel good and go from there. I understand that if I am really dealing with depression, it's not something I can just pull myself out from on my own – I guess I just want to wait and see.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Notes on the Struggle

I suppose it is not unusual for me to tell you in this blog that I have been having a hard time. But when I really am having a hard time, everything feels impossible and horrible, and that's what I've been going through especially in the past couple weeks. Basically, I'm my own worst enemy these days.

The one difference this round is that I am working through it anyway. As in, I'm getting out there and getting the work done, when it comes to the physical stuff. I'm doing the best I can (mostly) with the food and eating, but I am basically kicking butt when it comes to the activity part. Ever since Rick challenged me to dedicating myself to six days a week, I have been on a mission to make this a "full time" endeavor. This was based on a convo we had the day of my half marathon relay race, during our session together earlier in the day (the race started at 4pm), where he was saying that at that point, I was doing it like a part-time job, maybe 30 hours (metaphorically). He wanted to see me at full time. That really stuck with me and got me very motivated. So full time it is as much as I can. As I have mentioned before, my schedule now includes three days of running and three days of cross-training (two days with Rick and one day on my own).

Representing the Fleet Feet with the splatter! Also, glasses pretty much always fogged up.

I've been enjoying the challenge and pushing myself out of my comfort zone a bit – of course, not so much as to hurt myself! This past Saturday was the biggest example of that when I did two 3.3 mile legs of a half marathon relay with my friend Amy F. First of all, I haven't done that many miles on foot in a while; second, it was really, really cold – in the teens (degrees F) cold. One advantage I had was that I did legs 1 and 4, which meant I had a good hour and 20 minutes or so in between while Amy did her two legs in a row, and I got to hang out in a warm car for most of that time. BUT that still didn't negate the difficulty I had finishing. In fact, when I came in after the first leg, I told her that I wasn't sure I could do another one, and I really meant it.

Once she came back in, though, I felt determined to complete what I came to achieve and not disappoint myself like I did back in July at the Tuscarora 10K (DNF) – see, I still dwell on that! Never again unless I am really hurt, I tell you what. No more DNFs if I can help it. So, I strapped on the relay bib and made my way to finish the last leg. By that time it'd been dark for a while, but the course was well-lined with enthusiastic volunteers, and since it was in a business park, it was mostly well-lit, too. I had finally got my music to work (I ran without on the first leg, much to my disappointment) and I was just ready to get it done so that we could all go someplace warm and eat and drink to our heart's content. I was definitely slower the second time out, but I did run/walk both times and still fell well under the recommended 18:00 pace to complete the race in the time allotted. It turned out that the race had plenty of walkers participating, so I was in good company.

Long story shorter, I finished. I finished! I did 6.6 miles total. I cried at the end! Drama! Excitement! Etc. etc.

Finishing up the first leg at just under 55 minutes, which is right around what I expected. (photos by Barb Boutillier)

The next day, I could almost barely move until much later in the evening. Oh, my aching bones. By Monday, I felt relatively normal again. I had my usual appointment with Rick even though I really didn't want to go. On Tuesday, I had a rough morning for various reasons and ended up taking a sick day from work; but I ended up going to the fancy gym I used to go to as a guest of an old friend after much napping and much hemming and hawing about not wanting to go because I felt so shitty (mentally, physically, everything). After texting my friend a bit, I decided that going to the gym would definitely make me feel better, so that's what I did. (And yes, I felt really good afterward as predicted.)

Me and some of my gals! (Clockwise from center top: Amy F., me, CeCe, Angela, Kathy, and Ginny! Angela and Ginny did the whole half marathon on their own. Kathy was part of a team and CeCe (Angela's daughter) was our support gal!)

I'm making what feels like some progress, even if it is just doing the work, you know what I mean? Yet I have still been beating myself up massively. I've been really mad at my body for being what it is, to be honest. Yes, I know that on one hand my body is super amazing and can do lots of cool things, but all I seem to be able to focus on lately is all the things about it that I don't like and all the resentment I have for the way that it can't perform – like not being able to run faster, or having a very big belly that gets in the way of many things and just looks stupid (sorry, I know it sucks to say that but I am being totally honest here!) and bounces too much, blah blah blah. I feel like it has been impossible to lose weight lately. I am still hovering just over 300 pounds.

(Rick did tell me to stop using the scale to measure my progress, but it is a hard habit to break! He said, no scale for January except a food scale! Have I listened? Not as much as I should. When I see a gain, it pisses me off and throws me off track, and when I see a loss it makes me lose focus a bit for some reason – hasn't always been like this but has been lately. It's poisonous.)

It occurred to me after reading a post on the blog Runs with Cookies (see sidebar) that I might just be dealing with an acute bout of depression. It all adds up when I think about what my frame of mind has been and how I've been feeling both mentally and physically. I've been here before and I have been doing all the right things to battle it, so there's that. I am aware and I have support.

OK. Let me leave off with two positives for you. I had so much fun going to the gym with my friend (awesome treadmills that function well, and with TVs even!, unlike the ones at the little gym where I meet my trainer) that I looked into what kind of deal I could get to rejoin. I scoured my email archive and found a "We want you back!" email from last year that offered no initiation fee and just $20 a month, so I tried out the link – wouldn't you know it still worked? Now I have a place to go for fitness classes, a pool!!!, and all the machines I could want again. It will be nice to have yet more options as I battle various weather and other potential obstacles. I'm very excited.

The other good thing continues where I left off telling you about setting up my yoga/meditation space upstairs. It is still in progress, but I am more and more happy about the prospect of having it and the various things I want to have in it. I'm going to get some mala beads and some new incense and create my altar... I'll have rugs and pretty things and it will be my refuge. I'm going to try to finish it up this long weekend ahead. Namaste!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7 in 2017

One of my favorite (fitness? sport?) bloggers also happens to be an old zine friend of mine – back in the day we both self-published these little photocopied things that we'd mail out to people before we had things like Facebook and blogs to connect with the world. Her name is Caitlyn and she's very inspiring to me. Her blog, Fit and Feminist, is a great read and she has been racking up accomplishment after accomplishment in the past few years.

Anyway, I decided to follow suit by her latest post called 7 in 2017 and come up with my own list of things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year, specific to my health, fitness, and well-being. These are in no particular order – just however they came to mind.

1. Complete a half marathon. 
This one is especially important to me, because it is something I was supposed to do in 2016! I had signed up for the Wineglass half in Corning, NY (October) with a few friends early in the year thinking I'd have no problem training up to that distance. But somewhere along the way, training got derailed and I just lost my will. The race didn't happen for me, and I lost a lot of my fitness.

Once again, I've signed up for an October half – I registered before the new year, even – and no matter what, I WILL do it. For one thing, this race, the Queen City Women's Half, is right here in Buffalo so travel and accommodations won't be an issue. (Corning is about 3 hours away, just far enough to be more a pain to plan for.)

2. Run a sub-45 minute 5K – maybe even less!
I just want to get back to the level of running fitness I had built up to earlier last year, which enabled me to run a 44:26 5K in April.

3. Continue working on weight lifting.
I feel like I don't know quite enough about lifting and what would be reasonable for me to expect I can do in the coming year, but I want to continue working on deadlifting and see how heavy I can go!

4. Weigh below 250 pounds.
This is another goal that should have, could have happened last year. These days I feel like I have different and better reasons for wanting to lose weight, but it really needs to be done. I suppose 250 pounds seems like a random number, but it is a reasonable one and it would put me in a way more comfortable state for all the athletic things I want to continue pursuing.

5. Feel more free to "treat yo'self" as a regular thing.
This means a lot of different things to me, and they are mostly little things that add up to something much bigger: My overall well-being. I'm talking using moisturizer on my face every morning and washing my face every night before I go to bed; taking long, luxurious baths with yummy stuff from places like LUSH and Illume and moisturizing my body; spritzing myself with yummy-smelling things; lighting yummy-smelling candles more often. Obviously the senses of smell and touch are in big play here. Having treats like these make me feel SO much better in general.

6. Make room for meditation.
Our whole upstairs (we live in a one-and-a-half story) has more or less turned into a storage space, which is good on one hand, but on the other a shame – there is a small but lovely finished room up there that has been totally unused for a couple years now. It has served as a studio/office, a guest bedroom, and a smoking room. But now I am turning it into a space I can really make my own and where I can meditate without interruption. Along with that, I want to use it as a yoga practice space. We have a TV up there so I'd be able to follow along with my fave online yoga peeps. I already started cleaning up and clearing out up there, but still need to finish and get a little altar set up (I love personal altars!), hopefully in the coming week.

7. Come spring, go on more hikes and play more tennis.
My partner and I had a pretty active season last year, mostly playing tennis, and I'm looking forward to continuing that and doing more exploring – new hiking adventures and travel to public clay tennis courts in places like Pittsburgh, PA and Albany, NY!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Triumph, Frustration

So yesterday when I posted I totally spaced on telling you about my last run, which I did on Wednesday evening after work! For my Wednesday runs I will be alternating between heading over to Fleet Feet for their weekly group run and joining the folks up in my neck of the woods (Niagara Parks Runners/Old Falls Runners). This week, it was the latter and we met up at Academy Park in Lewiston, not far from the ultimate destination of our run, Artpark!

First let me tell you how it would have been VERY easy for me to just stay in after coming home to throw some gear on (note to self: get changed at work instead to avoid this temptation!). It was wicked cold, like in the teens with a single digit windchill – and yes, it was quite windy to boot! So easy to just say NO WAY to a run on a night like that.

But I felt I really owed it to myself to get out there and do something, so I showed up. As usual, I ended up running mostly by myself (shout out to Deb, who would have stayed with me if I asked!), which was totally fine – in some ways, better because then I don't feel quite so bad about my pace and worrying about slowing someone else down. But, the route was brand new to me and it was very dark! I did have reflective stuffs on, but I didn't bring my headlamp which was (another note to self) vital for an evening run in wintertime at Artpark. I did OK considering – it's basically a paved road that we ran on going through the park, with no traffic. Nothing really to worry about tripping over, fortunately.

As usual, the first mile felt nearly like torture. Turned out the whole way out was a low grade uphill, which I couldn't see because of the darkness. I sure did feel it, though! Once I hit the second mile and headed back from where I came, I felt much better. The low grade downhill felt nice and I had negative splits, as would be expected. I ended up running just a smidge over two miles, hooray!

Even though I haven't run much over two miles in a while, I still feel pretty well prepared for the relay race I am running tomorrow. Am I nervous about running TWO 3.3 mile legs? Hell yes, but I know I can do the distance even if I end up walking some, and I'll have about a 40 minute break in between while my teammate runs hers. I should be good to go.

(I am also super happy that my partner figured out the sound on my iPhone. My up volume button seems to have stopped working, so I couldn't get my music to play out loud or into my headphones! He ended up finding a way around it, so I will definitely be running with music tomorrow, no question.)

Playlist time! I've got two set up, one for each leg. (Click to enlarge!)

Now, how about the frustration I mentioned? Well, this morning I was planning to go out for a run on my own around the neighborhood, but honestly... I was SO TIRED and could not, would not leave my bed. I do feel like I have some justification, though, once I thought about it more: I'll be running 6.6 miles total tomorrow (usually only a gym day), and I will be running on Sunday. Basically, I've swapped out my Friday for my Saturday, minus the gym part today. I decided that I'm just taking it super easy today. I may still go to the gym in the morning tomorrow just to do some very chill stuff – stretching, easy treadmill, just to stay with the routine.

I guess I can't be too disappointed in myself for that. I will still be doing more activity this week than I have in a long time! OK, I am over it.

However, the other thing that annoyed me this morning was the scale. I know, I know. The scale doesn't tell the whole story. But the reality is that I do want to lose more weight and being over 300 pounds again has been really upsetting. I felt like this week has gone really well, eating-wise and I was certain that I'd see a pretty good loss, at least two pounds. Tomorrow is my official weigh-in day, so who knows what can happen overnight (snort), but I am 302 and that is one pound MORE than I was last week. Jeses. What the hell, you know?

I know, I know, I know. Shut up. (me, not you.)

Argh. I am just pissed off. It's definitely not derailing me, but it's pissing me off.

(UPDATE, a few hours later: It did derail me after all. I was still mad and I ended up at Subway for lunch and getting stuff that did not fit into my day. I'm over on calories already and I am even more mad at myself! More WTH?)

Onward! Yes, onward.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Positivity Rules!

I've having a good week, how about you?

One thing that crossed my mind – actually, one of many things – was the importance of being in the right frame of mind to reach goals. Then I reconsidered: Yes, that is important, but what about when your mind is not cooperating? When all you can think about is all the food you want to eat or how much you don't feel like busting your ass exercising?

I thought, well, you have to fake it until you make it. At the very least, I've had steady and consistent gym workouts twice a week with my trainer. If I did nothing else, it would still be a positive. I have been doing my best to stay within certain caloric limits and make better food choices in general. Have I been perfect? No, but I have been doing enough to make me feel like I am making a difference. I'm trying to view each day when I wake up as a new chance to do good by myself. I learn from my missteps. (Or maybe sometimes I don't, but I am aware of them.)

The other day my trainer (I'll just refer to him by name, Rick, from here on out) asked me, "If you could have any day off from exercise each week, which one would it be?" I thought this was a slightly odd question, but I thought for a moment and replied, "Friday!" He then told me that he felt strongly that in order for me to reach my goals in a reasonable amount of time, he'd like to see me dedicate to six days of some form of exercise each week. He knew that I was doing two days at the gym with him, obviously, and also that I was aiming for at least two days a week running – so to ask me to add on two more days was not such a stretch. And the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it would be a good idea, too. The idea also totally dovetailed with the Jeff Galloway 5 and 10K running plans that I am loosely following now. So, organization freak I am, I went to my Google calendar and hashed out a weekly plan for myself.

Cross-training: Gym workout with Rick, focus on strength training

Cross-training: Morning yoga/stretch session at home and/or Lunchtime walk (~2 miles)

Run: Group run at Fleet Feet or with the Niagara Parks Runners (alternating)


Run: Morning run on my own around the neighborhood

Cross-training: Gym workout with Rick, focus on strength training

Run: Group run with the Niagara Parks Runners or the Officially Unofficial Sunday Runners (alternating, depending on several factors – NPR is much closer to home!)

In addition to this, I'm implementing the "get up off your butt every hour and walk for five minutes" thing I read about in the New York Times recently – read the article here. It's interesting! I'm now on my second day and do find that it has made me more productive and have more energy overall. Plus, it is an easy way to get more activity in every day – I can easily manage 20 to 30 minutes' worth that I wouldn't have had otherwise, so win-win!

Despite all these positive steps, I am still dealing with some inner negativity. I'm doing lots of great things for myself, but somehow I feel like I am not making any progress. Running is still hard for me and many times when I'm out doing it I wonder why I torture myself so willingly? But the truth is, I want nothing more than to be able to run safely and soundly and not feel so awkward and slow. I need to keep doing the work so I can get there – both via losing more weight and by continue to train my body with a consistent running schedule. It can just get frustrating.

That's where having a HUGE and EXCELLENT support system comes in. And I do have that in place, in so many ways, and it urges me to keep going and reminds me that it is worth it.

I just want to get these out of head: Random negative thoughts.

• Wanting my Swatch watches to fit even just a little bit better – just a wee tight. Wearable, but not totally comfortable.

• Feeling sad that my one black skirt is tight enough that I can't zip up all the way now (well, it's been like that for a little while, but still) – it had fit perfectly and almost too big not long ago! (I still wear it with a shirt covering the zipper but would rather be able to zip the thing all the way!!!)

• Being worried about my feet and all the activity I am doing – sometimes they hurt. Makes me want to lose the extra weight that much more, so I guess that is a positive. I just really don't want to hurt myself.

• Being sick of how big my stomach is – not even so much for looks or anything else, except that it is cumbersome and gets in the way more than I would like.

This weekend I'll be running two 3.3 mile legs of a half marathon relay! The longest I've run lately is two miles, but I think this will be doable broken up into alternating sections with my friend Amy F., who is my relay teammate. The first mile always feels like shit, and then I hit the second one and things kick in and I feel strong. I know I have the miles in me, and the cutoff times for this race are generous. I am really looking forward to hanging out with all my running ladies!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Warmly Welcoming the New Year

Weekly weight report: 301, down a pound from last week. I didn't meet my sub-300 by new year's goal, but that's OK. I'm heading in the right direction. I haven't yet been back to logging my food in My Fitness Pal, but I am going to make a fresh start of that tomorrow (well, technically later today since it's post-midnight already). Generally I have been trying to eat intuitively, i.e. eating when I am hungry, and it's been working out well enough so that I didn't have gains over the holiday week(s).

I ended up having a great workout at the gym yesterday even though I'd had a tummy ache the night before and still wasn't feeling 100% that morning. I started out taking it easy and doing an easy 25 minutes on the treadmill, which was followed by a most excellent weight training session – more on the trap bar and some other stuff with upper body. I felt powerful!

I'm now regretting not having taken a screenshot of us, but for lunch today I spent a good hour Facetiming with one of my oldest and best friends, Carin, who is also a runner. We met our first year at Purchase College together (then known as SUNY Purchase) and became closer in the following years, eventually starting a band together along with her then-boyfriend now-husband, Angus. They now live in Maine but are still like family to me.

The impetus for our call was to talk about this 6-, 12-, 24-hour Ultra race* we're considering doing together this summer. It's taking place in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, about halfway between us, and I think it would be the perfect girls' weekend out. She's still on the fence but I am really hoping it will happen.

We ended the conversation with the decision to have a lunch date every first weekend of the month – we actually ate lunch together, almost as good as sitting at the same table! Anyway, we also thought it would be a good chance for us to check in with each other about our health and fitness goals, too! So this month, I decided I wanted to focus on getting back into the food logging habit, as well as adding on the second running day each week. Carin wants to do intermittent fasting, eating just once a day, and run/walk 3-4 miles each day. When we Facetime in February, we can talk about how those things went and where we want to go from there. I'm really excited about it! It'll be so nice to be in touch with her on a more regular basis, and to have yet another way to stay accountable and give/get support.

Well, today is Sunday, and technically I could have/should have gone for a run. I didn't! Instead, I slept in, lounged around, had my Facetime date... and then spent the whole rest of the afternoon in the kitchen cooking. Is that the same as running a mile or two? Mmmm... maybe? Maybe, but not really, I know. I'm giving myself a pass today but assured that this week is the week. I am going to be running Sunday mornings with my friend Janice, and also considering Friday mornings on my own as well. But first things first, gotta get those Sundays into the routine.

I also took the time tonight to peruse the coming year's races. I've already registered for a few and plan to do several others – it'll probably end up being about a dozen or more for 2017 if all goes well. I'll continue to focus on finishing any distances, as my trainer Rick suggested, and only start even thinking about improving pace once I hit the 250 pound mark. I have 50 to go but hearing this from him somehow helped me actually own it, envision it for myself. That's something that's been a problem for me in the past and I am sure has prevented me from progressing further. I mean, if you can't imagine yourself looking any different than you do now, how can you get there because you don't ever think you CAN get there?

I can get there. I will get there!

Happy new year!!!

* This is the kind of race that is a loop and where you can take as many breaks as you like during the time period you sign up for. It has the 6, 12, or 24 hour option. You can run as few or as many miles as you want/can. Perfect for a runner like me!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Saying Goodbye to 2016

First of all, I don't know how much I weigh right now. I've pretty much been sticking to once-a-week weigh, and last Saturday I clocked in at 302, which was an improvement. I'm not sure that I will best that this Saturday, though – eating hasn't been terrible but not super great, either.

I guess I haven't written anything here since before Christmas now that I think about it... but I have nothing much to report on that front. We're not huge holiday folks over here, though we spent a nice afternoon with my mom on Christmas eve, and I made my first-ever from scratch cheesecake at my partner's request. I was scared to try it, but I pulled it off! So, you know... cheesecake was eaten. But generally I think that I did OK. I mean, heck, I met with my trainer on Christmas eve morning for an intense workout, so how hardcore is that, right?

One thing I am really excited about is my overall fitness these days. As I have mentioned, I'm doing a lot of strength training these days (twice a week at the gym for hour+ sessions) and trying to keep stretched out – in fact, I asked Rick to text me every day to remind me to at least do some stretching. It really helps with soreness! So he has been happily complying with that, to my great appreciation. I haven't been running outside super regularly though usually at each training session I do a little bit on the treadmill. (TOTALLY not the same, by the way!!!) Well, I have a race coming up, and I have goals, so I know I need to get back to a running routine again sooner than later. So last night I went to one of the free group runs they hold at Fleet Feet and figured I'd just do what I could, as long as I did something. Most times they offer two and four mile routes for participants, so I went for the two mile thinking I'd run at least a mile and do my best otherwise.

The first mile is ALWAYS the hardest, and this one was no exception. I was kind of hating on myself the whole time and wondering how I could have let myself get so out of shape, watching walkers breeze past me. Then I realized that I wasn't far from the mile marker and I was starting to feel pretty good, strong even! Long story short, I ended up running the full two miles, only stopping for traffic lights. I was PUMPED. Totally pumped. I can still do this.

As I bid 2016 adieu, I think of a few things:

• I was reminded on Facebook that it was three years ago today that I began my efforts toward better health and fitness with my first appointment with a trainer (this was pre-Rick). Three years! In many ways I am disappointed with how this past year I managed to backpedal so much, but on the other hand I am such a better place than I was three years ago. There's no stopping now.

• I'm ready to upgrade my efforts again.

1. Continuing with my twice weekly training sessions (Monday evening and Saturday morning)
2. Making a routine of one weekly session with a running group (Fleet Feet or Niagara, Wednesdays)
3. Adding on one more weekly run with a friend (accountability, plus better and easier to run with someone!)
4. Daily stretching, even just a little bit
5. Daily meditation (I miss it! Would make me feel better!)
6. Implement a new break plan at work, where I sit at a computer all day – ugh. I recently read that rather than taking a longer walk in the morning before work or on a lunch break, taking a five-minute break every hour and walking around the office is even better. Hoping this will help keep me refreshed during the day as well.

Action plan!

1. Already in place – no problem keeping to this schedule.
2. All I have to do is get myself geared up and go after work on Wednesdays. Should be no problem.
3. I am contacting my friend Janice to start meeting up with her one morning a week. Looks like that will happen on Sunday mornings.
4. & 5. I can combine these two, like I used to. I still have a Headspace subscription that I have been wasting (for shame!). I can commit to waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning, OR taking part of my lunch break at work, OR taking that time in the evening at home to achieve this goal on as many days as I can.
6. I need to set some reminders for myself until it becomes habit. I will set timers to hit on every hour. I could also plan to drink even more water – bathroom breaks could coincide.

• I have to always remind myself that yes, I can do this. Most days lately, it feels like I can't. I get discouraged a lot. But you know my mantra: I will NOT give up. I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Being Brave

Today being brave means that I got on the scale, and it wasn't pretty. I was prepared. It's just reality, it's something to deal with and I have the knowledge and tools to deal with it.

I've hit 307 pounds. Grr. So not good.

So that is the bad news. The good news is that I know that I really can reverse the damage. I don't have to be here. New goal! *rolls eyes* New goal is to get below 300 before the new year. I can't stay here. I can't live with this. I can't just let it go.

One big help I have in my life is my boyfriend, who is also struggling with his goals. We're now closer in weight than we have been in a long time. When we first met, he weighed a good 70 pounds less than me, but over time he ended up weighing at least 30 pounds more than me at my heaviest. We don't know for sure. So now, we're within 10 pounds of each other. I am happy for him, but not happy for me.

I have to keep pounding at it, no matter how many times I have to make declarations here, no matter how many times I mess up, no matter how many times I said that I would never go above 300 again... I know now that I can never really be too far away from it. I was down to 265 and thought it would be impossible to find myself back here, but look how easily it happened!

I really know better now. I must continue to be diligent.

Oh well, at least I like this photo of me today. Thanks Photo Booth app on my work computer!

I like my hair today, and my lipstick.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Best Laid Plans

Frankly, things have been going just the opposite of how I want them to be going right now.

I know I have the power to turn that around, but I just haven't. The only thing I have been doing is going to my training sessions at the gym, but even this past week things got slightly derailed. Don't worry – headed back tonight right after work though.

I'm not totally blaming things on the weather, but I do think that I have been taking the turn of the season harder than I have in the recent past. It's been very cold and doing things like snowing and icing and I just can't stand it. I hate the stress of driving in those conditions, and I hate that weather like that prevents me from doing the things I want to do.

This past week, for instance:

• Wednesday I was supposed to do running group. I ended up leaving early from work because of a projected storm (good call), so no running or gym for me. I went straight home and did not want to leave again until I had to the next morning.

• Saturday I had high hopes that we'd have a reprieve, with a forecasted high in the 40s for my trip to nearby Rochester. Instead, more snow and ice and crap. I was supposed to run a race (the Reindeer Run!) and visit a good friend whom I haven't seen in years. I didn't go to the gym, either (much closer to home!). I probably could have, but again I was of the mindset not going nowhere no how. Ugh. In fact, I ended up not going anywhere at all for the whole weekend. On one hand, it was nice, but on the other, well... I just feel so down and blah.

I'm back at work today and the roads were totally clear the whole way down, no problems, but then the work parking lot? Reprehensibly covered in ice, just like an ice rink. Terrible.

Did I say how sick of this I am? And it's only December and it only just started. I am hoping that January will be gentler.

My eating has been shitty, for lack of a better word. No sugar-coating it. The last time I weighed myself a couple, few days ago I was 304, and really happy about it! Sad, right? I had been worried that I was up towards 310, so I was relieved. My goal for the end of the year is now to be under 300.

More sad. Ugh!


Total crap eating day again, but soon enough I will be at the gym making up for a tiny bit of that.

I don't know how this will end. I know what I have to do, but I am just not doing it.

Sorry this blog has become a total complain-fest do-nothing blah blah blah.