Friday, July 29, 2016

And Then...

So blue yesterday, and then things shifted just a little bit.

We ended up going on a great, almost two-mile walk last night after making an awesome dinner. One of our go-to stir-fry dishes, peanut butter chicken, mmmmm. It's not exactly the best stuff health-wise, but we don't have it often and it sure is tasty! And this batch was maybe one of the best I ever made.

My ass is still dragging in the mornings, and don't you hate it when you say how tired you are and your partner says something like, "Well, you got seven hours of sleep," trying to be helpful or something? Hey, buster, it doesn't matter how many hours I got – if I am tired, I'm tired. Blergh.

And I totally forgot that I could come in later today for our summer Friday schedule. We get every other Friday off but then work an extra 45 minutes Monday through Thursday. The alternate Friday is regular hours, but I almost always forget. So I asked and got permission to leave early today instead, which will be nice.

I have a busier weekend ahead than I'd have liked – I need to remember for future summers how precious weekends are and to NOT schedule any sort of extra work on them (unless the money is super good and the work is super easy). My saying no skills get better and better as I get older.

Another piece of good news is that I weighed again this morning, and I was 286.8, less than last time by a little bit. It's still not super great, but I will take it. Ideally, I want to not be over 285.

OK, well, I do have better ideals than that, but for now it will do.

Ideally, I'd never be in the 280s again, ultimately. Ideally, I'd be at or above (below?) the 100 pounds lost mark forever. Ideally, I'd be below 270.

I'm doing OK, though. I'm holding my own. I'm feeling good.

(Still maybe a little blue, but that is OK, too.)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kind of Blue


It's been a week since my last post, and I don't know what is going on. Everything sort of petered out, to be honest. I'm not going crazy with my eating, but I haven't been really tracking anything. I weigh in every few days – last time a few days ago I was at 287, which actually made me happy because I was certain I was into the 290s. I dunno.

Even exercise has been spottier than usual. We were doing nightly walks up until a couple days ago when I don't know what. The night before we did about a half a mile and then bought beer, and last night we crapped out. Hoping to get something in tonight, is the wish – my partner is on board with that. We've been avoiding tennis mainly because it's been so hot, but I really do miss it. I haven't run in about two weeks now. I miss it, too. I've been having a really hard time getting up in the mornings, though, and with all the walking we're doing it just goes to the wayside. Honestly, I would rather do a mile walk with my partner than a mile (or more) run by myself. I love that he is making the effort to be more active, and I want to support that as much as possible.

Personally, other stuff has been going on – mainly work stuff that I won't talk about here – that's been making me feel kind of "off". I have art exhibitions coming up, etc. etc. and my heart is not there in any of it. Blah.



On the plus side, I've been eating mostly bag lunches, which is good, and I finally, finally tried out overnight oats and am now a huge fan. I do oats, almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, peanut butter, and then in the morning I add defrosted frozen berries that I have been sweetening up a bit with sugar packets at work (whatever. I don't avoid sugar). 

I'm still on board for everything, but I am realizing how kind of a huge relief it is not to track everything damned thing I'm doing, and to not be so conscientious about food. I guess I have been trying to practice a general sort of moderation for now while I muddle through this blue phase. 

My clothes still fit, so...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

So Fat and Stuff

I've been meaning to write here so many times since my last post, but at the same time I'm growing weary of so much tracking, documenting, sharing. Sometimes I just want to step away from the internet all together forever. Sometimes I want to step away from... everything.

My headspace has been kind of all over the place. I know what my goals are and I still feel strongly about them, but the past week or so I just haven't been there. The whole thing with my back last week threw things off a bit, maybe – did I mention that? I ended up taking the entire week off. Monday and Tuesday were sick days (Monday I felt kind of crappy and Tuesday is when my back started on its thing). At that point, I thought why not take a whole week? I had the time and the workload at the office seemed OK. So, I checked in with the appropriate people and just did it.

Well, it was a good thing I did! On Wednesday I did a work-at-home morning to tie up some loose ends, and then took half a personal day. Thursday and Friday were vacation days. It turns out my back was a big problem for most of the week, even into the weekend. It wasn't until Sunday that I started feeling pretty normal again, and I've been OK since, until I woke up this morning and felt another twinge of something. I'm OK enough, though.

So that whole thing threw me off. It's no fun to be in pain, and not being able to do stuff got me down. I did still manage to squeeze in walks – usually later in the day my back would feel good enough to do at least that – but we didn't play tennis for over a week. I was feeling depressed and just down and defeated about several aspects of my life that I won't go into here, but including the whole weight loss thing.

I had also given up on the 30 days of running, because MY BACK. However, I did continue doing walks last week. The result is that there hasn't been one day that I haven't had some sort of activity. See?

Click to enlarge! Sport = tennis, of course.

So that, I am very proud of and will continue to do this until... well, as long as I can, I suppose. 

I haven't weighed myself since July 13th! I'm scared to, honestly. If I had to guess, I'm probably in the 290s. That sucks. 

I don't know. I guess I am going to try to accept that I will have good times, easy times, hard times, bad times. This too shall pass, blah blah blah. 

Just so you know. I'm not giving up.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Off the Rails/Committed

As a Gemini, it's not surprising that I am often at odds with myself.

On one hand, my eating was the worst it's been in a while, the past couple days. I haven't weighed myself, either, but I am guessing it wouldn't be pretty.

On the other hand, I'm keeping up my 30-day streak. It's not perfectly running as I mentioned yesterday, but I am determined to do at least that mile every single day on my own two feet. I wanted to run again today, but it wasn't in the cards. I had a very full, fun, busy day and by the time I got home it was close to dark and my partner had agreed to go on a walk with me, so we did the trail just before it got unmanageable. Honestly, I would have gone for a run but I don't feel super comfortable doing so by myself in the dark... To me this felt like a good compromise and I got something in. I stuck to my commitment.

Maybe I should just rename my challenge to 30 Days On My Feet for a Mile?

I still want it to be mostly running, if not all running the rest of the time, but walking is good, too.

Anyway. Tomorrow looks like it's going to be another kind of busy, off-routine day, so if nothing else once Monday hits and I go back to work it'll also be my chance to get back to my good routine all around.

I refuse to beat myself up – I am just going to get myself back on the horse.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"I Wish I Could Run Like That"

Look, I've been disappointed in myself the past few days, but I also have to remember to be kind to myself, too, especially since I have not been feeling well since the weekend. My back has been really hurting so sleep hasn't been great, and getting up in the mornings practically torture. As it follows, my eating kind of took a wrong turn, too. I'm trying really hard not to beat myself up about it.

On a brighter side, I've kept up my running streak – OK, maybe not totally since I had to walk yesterday and the day before, but I did something on my two feet for a mile, dammit! – and today I was feeling better enough to try a run again, finally. I waited until almost 8pm just because it's been so hot lately, and I ended up having a really nice time. I started out with a warm-up walk up my street's little hill, and began my run on a different route than usual, which was really nice for a change. For one thing, I wasn't totally sure when I'd hit the mile marker on this new route and I didn't care. I was just enjoying myself.

The best part of my run today was passing by a young woman (I'm guessing late teens-early twenties) who smiled at me and said, "I wish I could run like that!" Of course I replied, "You CAN! Really!" She even had the type of physique you think would be perfect for running and made me wonder why that person like that thinks she couldn't do it. Anyway, it made me feel pretty awesome, so thanks, whoever you were, lovely lady! (I know, I know – so much for judging people by what their body looks like, right?)

(That said, after I posted the above paragraph on Facebook, a couple friends commented that it could have been that the woman had some kind of physical limitation that was not apparent by a casual glance, which is totally true. I totally get that. In this case, it was also just really a nice surprise that someone was so outwardly nice to me while I was out running. I tend to feel pretty vulnerable sometimes, even after over a year of running in public, to potential verbal abuse. Luckily, it almost never happens. But when someone is friendly and encouraging, it really makes my day.)

Today marked Day 10 of 30 of my challenge, and I am pretty excited about it. I am absolutely counting the two days that I walked, mainly because it was what I could do and I would have run the mile if I felt comfortable doing so – but as it was the walks were challenging enough with my back in that condition.

I ended up doing just over 1.3 miles today and I felt strong. I'm building a foundation.

(N. B. >> Also wanted to note a thought that I had on my run today. It's that I absolutely own the fact that no matter how slow I am, I am a runner. However, I consider myself sort of baby runner. I am still growing and still learning and doing little tiny things that will hopefully develop into bigger and better things.)

Baby runner, baby!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Challenge Results/Tuscarora 10K Race Report/I HATE THIS!

Warning: This is an extra long post! I've broken it up into sections for your reading convenience.

Challenge Results

OK, I know how y'all have been dying to hear about how my latest weight loss challenge has gone. Today marks the week's end! To refresh your memory, I was at 281 and change when I started and I was hoping to make it to 275 or lower by the end of the week.

Har har. So what ended up happening? I weighed in at 287+ instead. Yep, instead of losing six pounds, I gained six pounds.

Don't ask me. I have no idea. It's truly mind boggling to me.

To recap: It's true that on Saturday evening, we decided to get drunk, and so that happened. As a result I also ended up eating more than I should have because I get really snacky when I drink. That was no good. The next day I had a hangover and didn't eat super badly but nothing great, either. I didn't log, so I don't even remember what I ate. Yesterday I still felt like crap but it wasn't being hungover still – I was just feeling down, achey, and super tired, and I ended up taking a sick day from work. I weighed in at around 284 (darn). Later, I went to my friends' house for dinner (thanks, Megan and Nathan!) which was really nice and nothing too crazy (amazing butternut squash risotto and a charcuterie and cheese plate with white wine) and by the time I got home and headed to bed my back started hurting a lot. I woke up this morning feeling even worse (the Aleve I took last night had zero effect), but I intended to go to work. I took care of the garden – needs watering every day in the heat and drought we've been having (ouch! ouch! ouch!), weighed in (ACK!!! WTF???) and got dressed, even had my shoes on and my lunch packed away in my bag! But I realized that the pain was bringing me to tears at that point, and I was like, oh man, I'm staying home. So I did.

I slept a good part of the day and still didn't feel much better. In fact, my partner and I kind of wondered if we'd both had light food poisoning from the Pizza Hut we'd gotten on Sunday night (ugh, I know. It was actually the worst Pizza Hut I'd ever had!) because of how bad we both felt. Then, later on, C. asked if I wanted to go for a walk and see if that would make me feel better.

I didn't really want to, but I also knew that there was no way that I could run the mile I wanted to in order to keep my 30-day streak going, so I said yes and off we went to a nice trail up in nearby Lewiston that runs right along the Robert Moses Parkway headed up to Fort Niagara. It was super hot today (90 degrees!), but the trail was mostly in a shady wooded area, and for just the mile we went it was totally doable. I won't lie and say it made me feel better, because the pain running from the side of my back down my right leg really hurt, but it was nice to get out and it was nice to continue my streak, even if it was with a walk instead of a run. I got my mile in!

(Aside from that, dear friends, I have been running at least one mile every single day so far. Today was day 8 of 30.)

Tuscarora 10K Race Report

Well, I'll just get this out of the way right away – this was my first DNF (Did Not Finish).

The 10K turned 5K+.

But, it's OK. If you've been reading recently, you know that I'd been feeling a bit trepidatious about doing another 10K now because I really haven't been training for it. Perhaps I should have followed my gut on this and just done their 2.5 mile option, but I just really wanted to allow myself the challenge.

The race took place on the Tuscarora Reservation during the tribe's Field Days. It's just a few minutes away from my house, but I'd never been to the race location before and I got a little lost because of a lack of street signs on the Rez. I managed to get there, park, and get my bib and t-shirt in just enough time to say hello to my friends Emily and Valerie, and catching up with a guy I'd seen and talked to at the Gay 5K, David, who is kind of famous for running bare-chested, revealing his whole torso and arms covered in tattoos! I went up to say hi and he remembered me and got a selfie of us to mark the occasion. He runs ALL the time and is a total inspiration – and it turns out that he lives just a few blocks away from me! So I am glad to have made a new friend.

Valerie, Emily, and I before the start of the race!
Me and my new friend, David! He is a superstar.
The race started and from the beginning I didn't feel great about it. In fact, I passed a couple roadside spectators, exclaiming, "Big mistake!" In some ways, I just wanted to get my running mile done for my 30-day challenge, so I knew I at least had to do that. By the time I got to the mile mark, I felt a little better and passed by another spectator, an elderly man who said some lovely things like about how I was extending my life by years and bringing myself happiness. Wow! What a motivator, right? I gave him a thumbs up and wished him all the happiness, too – wishing that I could stop and talk to him more. But I continued.

As is often the case, I was the last runner for the 10K race. I saw two women ahead of me who were mostly walking but occasionally sprinting a little bit; I didn't really expect to catch up with them, but little by little, I did, and soon I passed them by. Shortly after I did that, they sprinted again to pass me. It turns out that they were mother and daughter and we ended up spending a little time together. The mother's goal had been to stay at a 15 minute mile, which is about what I was running. 

It was nice to have companions during the race, but looking back, I feel like it was detrimental to my performance in the end. We hit two miles and I had run the whole time except for a water stop, and once I got to that point, I walked. Part of it was because they were mostly walking and I didn't want to seem... like I was competing with them or trying to beat them, I guess. I'm not really sure. Maybe it was just an excuse. Whatever it was, once I started walking, I couldn't bring myself to run again and by that point I'd hit just over the 5K mark and I decided to end the race for myself. 

Ugh. I go over that moment in my head over and over and wish that I hadn't done that. 

At least I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time, which was cool! (No, I wasn't injured – it's just that the ambulance was the safety vehicle following the last racers.)

It's funny, because I told myself for this race that I wasn't going to talk to anyone while I was running because I wanted to stay focused and I wanted to do the best I could for myself. Could I have done it, finished? I really think I could have and I really think I should have. 

I suppose that I made the best decision for myself at the time and there's no second-guessing at this point. I will remember the feeling of a DNF and make sure to always give myself the gift of finishing every race I start, even if I have to walk. 

All that said, I really liked the race, the atmosphere, the people, the course – even if it was riddled with a lot of roadkill! – and I will sign up again next year for sure. Time will tell if I try the 10K again or if I just do the 2.5 mile instead. See? If I had done the 2.5 miler I'd have been all set with a finish...


Yeah, well... the last few days have done a number on me. After having such a great week full of activity and sticking to a good eating plan up until Saturday, it's sad to have nothing to show for it – even before the Saturday snafu I didn't lose any weight, and for no good reason. 

It's hard not to get discouraged. 

I realized that in the past few days of not feeling well and taking off from work, I was really dreading going back to the office. After some thinking and inquiring, I've decided to go ahead and take a WAH (work at home) tomorrow morning and off tomorrow afternoon, and off Thursday and Friday. I just really need a substantial break right now. I'm hoping this will allow me relief from stress and the ability to focus on home and self-care. 

In that light, I'm challenging myself now to get back to the right kind of eating and the activity level I was enjoying just less than a week ago. For now I won't set a specific weight but assured that I will not gain any more. I'm still keeping an eye on my Happy Scale chart and hoping that I can keep it in the green despite today's weigh-in – so that will be my main goal in the coming week. 

Stay in the green.

And if you've read this far, thank you so much for sticking with me. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

How It's Going: Day 4

Three days later... how did that happen? I've been pretty focused on my challenges and doing well. To be honest, the scale is not showing much movement at all day to day (I've been weighing daily lately), but my activity level has literally been off the charts, which I'm very proud of – will be 7+ hours total at the end of the week including running, walking, and tennis.

Just about an hour ago I completed Day 4 of my running challenge! Tomorrow I've got the 10K and I'm honestly still not feeling good about doing it. I plan to go and give it a try, but I have zero expectations for anything except that.

As I mentioned, the scale hasn't done much despite my continued efforts to eat less and better. I'm down about a pound, so I guess that is a win – but it still leaves me just outside the 270s. Oh well! I'll keep making the effort!

I am committed!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two Challenges

OK, I am ready for some more hustle!

I already mentioned my running challenge yesterday – inspired by Roni at Roni's Weigh, I am committing to running at least one mile every single day for the next 30 days. Some days I will be running longer, but the only requirement is one little teeny tiny mile.

I'm doing this because I really want to renew my commitment to running and I want to establish a good routine again. My friend Amy F. gave me a good talking to after Bubble Run about it and encouraged me not to lose all the progress I've made in the past year+, even just to run twice a week. I thought hard about it and my roadblocks have been feeling like I have to run, say, two or three miles for it to be legit, or that I have to keep working on improving my pace or distance.

At this point though – which feels like a major crossroads, by the way – all I really want to do now is keep running without so much worry about constantly running longer and/or faster. I want to enjoy the fact that my body can run, and I want to relish in the endorphins coursing through my body every time I run, whether it is one mile or five or more. I want to know the joy of the thing. I was getting caught up in too much other stuff along the way and it has been making me majorly anxious about it.

So anyway, allowing myself the pleasure of the run and asking myself to do just one mile every day feels like the right thing to do at this point. This morning I got up just after 6am, put my gear on, and got myself out the door. I ran pretty well overall with a bit of a slowdown at the end that really dragged my overall pace down (oops – getting caught up again!), but it felt good. Then, I had enough time to water the gardens and even get a few more plants into my flower garden (poor guys were getting pot bound!) before getting ready to leave for work.

It was a splendid way to spend the morning and I think despite totally NOT being a morning person, I will adjust fairly easily to doing this most days.

1/30 completed!

Now, onto the other challenge I have decided on. Since the last one I did worked so well, I'm going to do another person weight loss challenge. This time, I'd like to weigh under 275 within the week. I'm starting at 281.8 this morning, so it is a bit much to ask, BUT! I like to aim high and I'll be happy with any loss I have during the coming week. I guess what I am mostly aiming for is to be solidly into the 270s with wiggle room... beyond that I would like to never see the 280s again.

One last thing... for the coming month, I'd also like to have my Happy Scale "Last 30 Days" be fully in the green. That is a challenge that dovetails well with my 30 days of running, yes?

Next Tuesday I will post the results, with some commentary about how things are going along the way, of course.

Monday, July 4, 2016

30 Days

(I will also post all about it here, too, if you don't happen to be my friend on Facebook. But there, I've announced it in two different places to be held accountable. Here goes nothing!

Bubble Run "Race" Report

Happy Independence Day, fellow American folks!

It's been a really busy weekend for me – a busy week, really. According to my workout log, I put in over seven and a half hours of physical activity this week! That included a lot of tennis and some running and walking, and yesterday I got to mix it up a little bit at my cousin's July 4th party by kicking a soccer ball around with her 8 year-old stepson, Jason, for a while! It was actually really fun – so many years ago I played soccer on my high school's team and I felt like some things came back to me. I wouldn't mind doing that again. (Mind you, I was a senior in HS when the girls' teams were formed, and anyone could join who wanted to. I wasn't good at it or anything!)

So that was a really positive part of my week. My tennis game is improving a lot and I'm feeling stronger and more confident on the court. I got two runs in; one training one and one that I will tell you about in more detail: the Bubble Run, a novelty "race" a la Color Run except with bubbles instead of colored powder. (OK, to be fair, they don't claim for it to be a race, but something fun for people of all abilities to participate in.)

Since the end of my challenge, I've been doing OK. I last reported having gained five pounds overnight, and that sucked, but since then I've dropped back down to 281 and change and except for yesterday and some irregular eating (not planning well and eating too much in the morning, going to my cousin's picnic party and eating even though I planned not to, going to the drive-in and sharing a popcorn and a soft pretzel with my partner, yikes!) and gaining a couple pounds, I feel good about the eating part still. We've got a good main meal planned for today and I still feel very much under control and comfortable with the choices I'm making. I'm confident that I will be back under 280 this coming week.

Vanessa, Amy F., Angela, and me at the starting line!

Anyway, back to the Bubble Run. I went with friends and that was nice. I got to run, and that was good. The course was down at the Outer Harbor right on the lake, and that was lovely.

BUT, so many negatives and SO many reasons why I will never do an event like this again:

• The course was not advertised as a trail race, but a lot of it was! Uneven ground with ruts seemed to be a "feature" of the course. There were some paved parts, too, but I was surprised by how much of it was on ground. Because the fun level was so high at this race, the ruts made things extra challenging trying to navigate when you're actually trying to like, you know, run. Silly me!

• Yeah, the navigation was also harder because of the fun factor. The majority of people there were not there to run. It was a lot of families with young children, groups of friends sprawled out across the path walking, people dancing and moving unpredictably, etc. etc. 

• Many people didn't follow rules, like not standing directly below the bubble machines and blocking the pathway. (I am a hopeless rule-follower despite my tendency toward anti-authoritarianism.)

• The course was about a half mile short! It's on the website that it's a 5K, but my app measured 2.7 and so did my friends'. 

• I'm not as fun of a person as I sometimes think I am. The bubble machines were cool in theory, but I realized that I really wasn't interested in that at all – I just wanted to run and finish. This event made me realize that I really AM a serious runner, so if nothing else the whole thing was worth it for that alone.

My result was that I finished the 2.7 miles in just over 41 minutes, which set me at about a 15:15 pace – not too shabby considering the circumstances in which I was running! I'll take it. Again, it was nice to just to get out there and do it. My friends and I also had to walk what was probably a good half mile each way to and from the event, so all in all, it was a decent workout.


During and after the race I was thinking a lot about how I've gone ahead and signed up for that 10K race (an actual race!) next week and how I really don't think I can do it. But, my thoughts since then have been the opposite – like, Why not try? You've done it before! etc. etc. So I am going to go ahead with it – I mean, it's paid for and everything – and just do my best. I do still want to try to do it all running and no walking but I think it might be important to get into the mindset that I have permission to tackle the race however I need to, you know?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hi, I Gained FIVE Pounds Overnight.

OMG. I can't even.

Yesterday I was down another wee .2 pounds, and this morning when I got on the scale I was back up to 284 – just shy of a five pound gain. Overnight.

Part of me is REALLY upset, and I even considered not sharing this here. But, in the interest of keeping it real and also as a reminder to myself about how things just do sometimes, I decided to.

Part of me knows that this is a blip.

Here's what I think happened:

• I recently lost a bunch of weight quickly.

• I ate two meals yesterday that were not smart for the sodium content: Indian buffet for lunch and Chinese take-out for dinner.

• I'm just about to get my period. Like, tomorrow.

I know calorie intake wasn't an issue because I had one plate of all vegetarian dishes at lunch, and for dinner I just had a couple cups' worth of moo shu pork and about a cup of string beans. It fit into my day. I played 35 minutes of tennis as well! The data:

I know, take-out is always a crap shoot estimate, but I tried to overestimate. Plus, 19 cups of water, dude!!!

(Note that my daily goal here is higher than usual because it tacks on exercise calories, which I usually try not to use. The goal is set at 1750 currently.)

Argh. I figured that I might be up a little bit, but never did I expect 5 pounds.

To be honest, my first instinct was to be all mad about it and therefore eat junk today. I had planned to go to Dunkin' Donuts and get a frozen Dunkaccino and donuts for breakfast. I did. In fact, I was in the drive-thru line and everything! Except that it. Wasn't. Moving. Several cars pulled up behind me, sat for a while, and left. Finally, I did the same, figuring the universe was trying to tell me something. But I still wanted a frozen drink, so instead I headed over to Burger King across the way and got a tropical mango smoothie instead, and no food. A better choice, and I still served my craving to an extent.

When I got to the office, I was happy to see that I had a peach on my desk leftover from yesterday that I could eat! And I have almonds! So there you go, crisis averted. I plan to have something decent for lunch. I don't know what for dinner, but honestly, I don't plan to eat any of the Chinese leftovers, no matter how much of it there is – a shame, yes, but I just can't, and I don't think I will be having either Indian or Chinese food again anytime soon, unless I make it myself (and I can!). I just don't want to deal with that heartbreak again. Ugh. Maybe I will at least have the green beans.

So much hard work this past week, almost all decimated in one fell swoop.

I won't let it deter me.