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Exercise

Week Two Weigh In

251.4

– 1.4 for the week

-3.8 total

Okay, so admittedly this hasn’t been the GIANT weight loss I usually get when I first start low carb.  But it is a LOSS so I am just going to smile and say YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I am proud to say I stayed on induction all week with the exception of adding nuts on the weekends.  I really did expect a bigger loss since I was getting off my period, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The big addition that we got to help our diet this weekend is we got our foodsaver back from my in laws.  You know, that little gadget that vacuum seals bags so you can freeze them and have them last longer without freezer burn?
I’m pretty excited to make up some bulk recipes this weekend and freeze them for the weeks ahead.  As I always say, the trick to this diet is being prepared.

The other thing that I need to start doing is exercising.  The book states plainly that exercise on this way of eating is NON NEGOTIABLE!  For whatever reason when I was in my 20’s and did the diet for two years I got away with it.  Must have had a high metabolism at that time I guess.  Not so much now. 
Having said that, next week I’ll be strapping on my sneakers for the first time since the 1/2 marathon in November.  Yeah, that’s four months that I’ve been a slug.  At first I used the excuse that my toenail had fallen off as a result of my poor planning for the marathon, but it’s already mostly grown back and it hasn’t hurt in about three months so yeah…no more excuses.
I’m not going to be doing any hardcore training by any stretch of the imagination, but I am going to get my butt moving.  A mere 20 minute brisk walk on my lunch break should get me back in the game.  Physically AND mentally.
While I have been feeling pretty good lately, I’m still lacking something to feel like my old self.  I’ve been using essential oils at work and home to perk me up or calm me down and those work pretty well, there is an underlying feeling of restlessness that I can’t quite put my finger on.  It occurred to me the other day that when I felt this in the past, going for a run helped out immensely.  One run would put that feeling at bay for a couple of days at least.  I need to get that mental stability back in my life in a big way.  I’m not feeling all together bad or anything, I just feel a bit… off. 
I’m pretty sure working out is the key to getting everything back together again.

 

 

2014 Wharf to Wharf

Me, after finishing and starting back up to meet my husband

Me, after finishing and starting back up to meet my husband

There were two things that I signed up for this year to keep me motivated and moving. The first was the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon, and the second was the Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf. Last year I didn’t sign up for any runs, and therefore, did no training and gained 30 pounds.

Well, it did nothing for the first half of the year to motivate me but as the race loomed closer, I realized I needed to suck it up and start something. The last time I did the Wharf to Wharf was two years ago, and I was so ill prepared that by the time I finished I was in tears and just broken. The same applies for the last 1/2 marathon as well. So three weeks ago I started training again. What I discovered is that the 30-pound gain and lack of general exercise for the last year and a half have made an impact in my timing. I can no longer punch out a two miler in a half an hour on my lunch break. In fact, I can barely get above a fast power walk at all anymore. That shouldn’t shock me. I’m not dumb enough to think that I could just pick up where I left off after all the time off, but it was a blow to my ego just the same.

So while I have kept at my training the last three weeks I was kind of discouraged. Especially since this last week was pretty painful for me in my lower back on my walks. I was pretty sure I was going to fail at this run miserably. I was picturing me stopping at the mile 4.5 mark where my husband was playing with his drummer friend for the race. Or worse, just giving up before that and sitting down, waiting for the bus to come get me in the end.

The back pain was specific to the left side of my lower back. That usually means my pelvis is tilted again, so I made an appt with my chiropractor on Friday night after work and got adjusted. Saturday I didn’t run because I had rehearsal and then went to bed super early because I had to get up so early the next morning. You see since my husband was playing the race, he had to get there really early before they blocked off the streets. That meant I had to be in the shower at four this morning so he could drop me off at the start line before heading out and setting up for the gig. Yeah, that kind of sucks because that meant that not only did I have to get there very early and sit around for hours, but I also had to run the race and then double back after getting my goodie bag, another 1.5 miles to get back to him so we could go home. It seems a bit extreme, but I’ve done the route where I finish and take the bus back to the car and believe it or not, it’s quicker and less painful just to walk back to the 4.5-mile mark.

Anyhoo cut to this morning. I woke up a bundle of anxiety. I really didn’t want to do the race because I had convinced myself it was going to be painful and horrible, and I would never finish it. I showered and got ready anyway. I vowed that even if I had to just walk it slowly, I would.

Rob dropped me off as it was just starting to get light out, and I walked about five more minutes to get to the boardwalk. I found a cafe that was open, so I grabbed a yogurt parfait and took a seat outside. That is where I stayed for the next two hours playing on my phone and people watching.

When we got closer to 8:30, I got into my corral but we didn’t start moving until at least 8:50 or so. The first two miles were really tough, which is kind of ironic since that is the most distance I had been getting in on my weekdays. You would think it would get harder AFTER two miles.

As I have found with most races I have done, once I hit the three-mile mark I was hitting my stride. Once I settle into my stride it just becomes a different mindset. The first two miles I just kept thinking: “Oh dear Lord, this is never going to work. I’m so tired already; there is no way I can make it another mile!” After mile three I think I relaxed a little bit, and I realized that I had made it that far, I could finish. It felt like it got easier.

Long story short, I finished and then made it back the 1.5 miles to find my husband already packed up and waiting in the van. I was in good spirits. I didn’t cry, even cracked a joke and shocked the heck out of my husband.

I’ve been back home for a couple hours now, and a sunburn has begun to redden my skin, but other than that, some minor chafing and a couple of popped blisters on my left foot/toes, I seem to be okay. Much better than the last time I did it.

Things I did differently this year: 

  • I didn’t push myself. 
    • I walked 90% of this race and was totally okay with that.  I managed an 18 minute mile average. 
  • I listened to an audio book on tape instead of music.
    • For the first time ever in my walk/run history, I didn’t listen to music. I downloaded the sequel that Stephen King wrote to The Shining and listened to that as I walked. It was a little weird at first, and I think that is why the first two miles were a little hard. Once I got into the meat of the story I was able to get my mind off how many more miles I had to go and let myself get lost in the tale.
    • I think the disadvantage to this is that since I normally walk to a certain BPM, I walked slower than I normally would have.
  • I had taken an Advil right before I got into my corral.
    • I have no idea if this helped or not but I DO know that my back didn’t hurt at all this race. Even going uphill, and it ALWAYS hurts going up hill. It could be because I got my adjustment right before the race. It could be because I had my hydration belt on, and it was tight, thus serving as some sort of support. All I know is that for the first time in a long time my back didn’t hurt during a walk, so I’m going to stick with the Advil from now on.

Overall, I’m happy to report that I did much better than I thought I was going to.  In endurance anyway, this race was not about a time for me to finish by, simply to finish at all.

 

Running is never bad…

7.13.14

I did not want to run today.

Last night the husband and I attended a lovely low-key BBQ with friends where there was much music, drinks and tasty, but bad for me food to be had. We didn’t get home until late(for us) and then I continued to snack on the bad for me (but seriously, these were some tasty sausages) food and go to bed really late.

I woke up at eight thirty because my eldest dog was feeling left out of whatever was going on in the living room and repeatedly barked at the bedroom door until I got up and let him out. After I peed I realized that my tummy wasn’t feeling super great. Not bad, but more like a tummy that had ingested three Pineapple Sausage Dogs in quick succession not too far in the past.

Since I had put off my run the day before in favor of sleeping in, I knew I had to get it in today or else it would be three whole days with no activity. As I’m sure most of you know, the larger the length of time in between workouts adds fuel to the procrastination fire. The less activity I do, the less I want to do an activity. It’s simple math really.

So I puttered around and played on my computer, trying to justify an excuse in my mind that would save me from running other than I had some bad gas. I found none.

Finally, I put on my running gear and headed out. My first stop was my usual track right at the end of Carmel Valley at the middle school. What I saw was a packed parking lot overflowing onto the lawn because of what I had forgotten was the dog show they were having this weekend. Okay fine, off to my second choice, Carmel High. When I got there, I found it was under construction. There was nothing but gravel where the track used to be.
My only other choice is in the valley at the park and as I drove by that on my way to my other two spots I was made aware that they were having a car show, so that wasn’t an option either.

Well, it looks like the universe was smiling down on me, telling me to take a break. But I still had to go to the store, so I stopped at the Safeway in mid-valley. I realized as I parked my car that this was a relatively flat neighborhood that surrounded Safeway and maybe I could at least get a mile in. I had, after all, slathered on the sunscreen already so I didn’t really want to waste it.

I pulled out my phone and headphones and started out on a journey around the Safeway. Less than two trips around the block I had done my mile, but I didn’t feel too bad so I decided to keep going. By the two-mile mark, I was done but I was super proud that I even got a run in at all. And all the reasons that had kept me from wanting to run in the first place were negated by the run itself. The fatigue, the tummy upset, the overall feeling of ick. All gone with a two-mile run that almost wasn’t.

Progress

7.10.14

Not my personal best by any stretch of the imagination, but what is important to note here is that I felt good. As in, I felt progress.

Ever since I’ve been trying to get my runs in on my lunch hours I have had mostly nothing but pain during them. The pain in my lower back from hauling around this big belly. The calves that were burning intensely the second I started up the first hill. The stitch in my side as soon as I started to attempt a jog.

I still had that this morning, but everything felt less. The back pain is always pretty consistent, but that didn’t start to nag at me until I was at least half way done and even then it wasn’t bad. The calves were feeling less of a burn and the stitch in my side was delayed and less persistent as well.

As I was partway through I noticed that I was jogging on the flat areas as well as the downward hills. I usually only jog on the downhills and speed walk the rest. At the same time I noticed that, I noticed a smile on my face and realized – GASP! – I was ENJOYING my run! I know! I can’t believe it either!

Of course, when I reached my mental goal of 1.5 miles I was ready for it to be over and only pushed myself slightly more, but it felt good. It felt like my body is finally starting to appreciate what I am trying to do for it and is starting to object less. That may not sound like much but holy cow is it huge to me!

Not to mention the euphoric feeling that lasted hours after the run. It felt amazing and helped get me through a rough day of transitioning a new phone system at work.

It may not be like this again tomorrow, but today…today is what I need to remind myself of when I don’t want to get out there.

Weigh In and Thoughts on Exercise and Depression

Weight on 6/12/14:                 255
Weight this morning:              250.4
Total loss:                                   -4.6 pounds!

For not dieting, I’d say I’m pretty proud of myself.
Like I said in the last entry, I’m trying to make better choices but I am by no stretch of the imagination counting calories/carbs/points right now.
In the weeks following my birthday(May 30th) I was making some very poor choices and, as a result, I gained those four pounds I just lost, but more than that I felt like total crap, and my blood pressure was the highest it has been in many many years. Like, since I was put on BP meds when I was 26 years old and 300+ pounds. That scared me. A lot.
The good news is that this week of working out for four consecutive days in a row(another mile and a half today!) have brought my blood pressure back down, and I have to say I feel pretty amazing.
This is not new information. I know how great I feel right after I work out. However, it has been well over a year since I exercised regularly enough for it to effect me even longer than the immediate endorphins.
This week I have been going to bed earlier and sleeping better than I have in a very long time. My mood has improved by leaps and bounds. I have been fighting depression a lot the last two years and it had gotten to the point where I just accepted it. I didn’t even notice that it was effecting those around me. I can’t even imagine being my husband and having to put up with me coming home in a foul mood every single day, not wanting to talk only shutting down and wallowing in my own self-pity.
I have felt like a completely different person since I have been exercising. It’s almost shocking. A complete 180 degree turn. I know this sounds like I’m gushing, and I guess I am – but if you have ever lived your life in the dark tunnel of depression, it’s amazing that all I had to do was get out and walk in the sunshine for a half an hour a day.
I’m sure that I knew that back when I was training for the half marathons the first couple of times, and that would make sense because I wasn’t struggling with the depression back then. Not sure if I connected the two things at the time because it’s been a long time since the depression was so encompassing as it has been lately.
I need to make sure I remember this. Hopefully, I won’t need to since I hope to keep on trucking with the exercise.

Three in a row!!!

I was going to give myself a day off since I had done a mile and a half each the last two days and a girl has got to reward herself. By my lunch break, I had talked myself into only doing a mile, and that would be a sort of break but still have me moving. In the end, here is what I did:

 6.18.14

2 Miles!!
Not only did I do 2 miles, but it is also the third consecutive day in a row that I walked on my lunch break. I haven’t done that in years. I usually start out with the best of intentions on a Monday and putter out to maybe twice during the week but never in a row.
I do feel I pushed myself a bit too hard for the heat out there today, but I’m still pretty proud of myself.
My official weigh in is tomorrow but I did sneak a peek at the scale this morning and I was very pleased with what I saw given that I haven’t been dieting, just trying to make small better choices in what I’m eating.
So while I seem to have gotten back on track with the walking(if three days counts – it does to me!), I still don’t have a lot of motivation to start cooking good recipes again.
I think that is mostly because the ones that I’m finding that I want to try are rather involved, and I’ve gotten so used to the time saving convenience foods that I’ve been preparing lately. Not much of an excuse, I know but my lazy butt has gotten used to having a couple hours of couch/tv time a night. And what is stupid is that, just like with exercise, cooking makes me feel better. I enjoy dancing around my kitchen cooking and grooving to my favorite music. I always realize this after I do it – just like running – but it’s like pulling teeth to get me motivated to do either.
I know that I will get there eventually. It’s all a process, and at least I’m making progress, right?
Oh and while I remembered to put sunblock on my face, three days worth of 1/2 hour exposure in the sun has left me a wee bit sunburned.

burn

Every small step is still a step…

running

Well, I ran/walked on Thursday and Friday on my lunch breaks. I was going to try and get a 2 miler in this weekend, but I succumbed to a almost four hour nap on Saturday afternoon before the play that I desperately needed. Sunday was the first day of my period, and it was a thousand degrees out. It was all I could do to drag myself to the grocery store, and while I was there, my youngest dog got into and ate half of a giant bag of beef jerky.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching her for signs of any side effects. Thankfully the only thing I witnessed was her being extra thirsty and having to pee a lot because of that.
Today being the 2nd day of my period, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a run on my lunch. I wanted to take it as a sign this morning when my workout clothes were still wet in the washer, but I scrounged and found an old ratty tee shirt and some yoga pants in the bottom of my closet anyway. When I got to work I was crampy, irritable and bloated. All of those reasons that I didn’t want to go for a run were the very reasons I NEEDED to.
I told myself I would only make myself go a half a mile instead of the 1.5 miles I had in my training calendar. Once I got going I compromised and managed a mile. A very hot and painful mile but I did it, and I’m glad I did. I feel way better for doing it than I would have if I had just laid on the couch in the break room reading.
This is the type of thing I need to remember when I sit here making every single excuse in the book as to why I can’t exercise.
Things on the diet front aren’t going as swimmingly, but I’m okay with that as long as I am getting off my butt and walking. Right now I’m not about losing weight as much as I am about getting my training process for the 10K and the 1/2 marathon off the ground and finding my groove again.
Once I get comfortable again with my running schedule and no longer find it a burden but a bonus to set my body in motion, I can see about getting back on the wagon food wise.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not eating like a pig. Although, I did overindulge my birthday weekend a LOT and, as a result, was so bloated from salt and sugar overload I could barely get my wedding rings on and off and I wound up with a dizzy spell from what I’m sure was my blood pressure skyrocketing from all the sodium.
Other than that weekend I have been trying to make better choices, but I do not deny myself. I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, but it took me a week to finish it. Normally that would have been gone in 20 minutes!
At any rate, I feel like I am on the path to better health, one small step at a time.

And so it begins…again.

Action: I ate a cookie.
Immediate Reaction: It tasted soooo good!!
Delayed Reaction: I felt like crap. My stomach hurt, I was lethargic and my head felt funny.

Action: I went for a power walk
Immediate Reaction: I hated every minute of it and my lower back was killing me.
Delayed Reaction: I feel fantastic. My stress and PMS levels are lower, my mind feels clearer and I don’t feel as tired as I did before the walk.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist does it?
So today is the day I started back on my walking routine.
The Wharf to Wharf is coming up in a little more than a month, and I haven’t trained at all…in like a year. Blah!
Today I walked a mile. About the halfway mark, I felt like I was going to die. My lower back was completely seized up on my left side(which tells me I need to get adjusted because that always happens when one leg is shorter than the other) and my shins were killing me. But I met my goal of 1 mile.
Tomorrow I will do another mile and this weekend I will try and attempt two miles.
I’m going to build from there adding a mile or half a mile every weekend while pulling of two miles on my lunch breaks during the week.
That is the training schedule that I used when I was training for the first couple of half marathons…you know, when I actually trained for them.
As lazy as I’ve been, I do feel better having made a schedule and having gotten off my ass today and walked. I just need to keep the momentum going.

Here We Go Again…

So yeah, I know.  I’ve not really been around this blog and there is a good reason for that. 

I gave up.

It all started when I gave myself permission to take the year off from the Vegas 1/2 marathon.  I had done it that previous three years and decided I would skip it for 2013 and give myself a break.  Apparently, I gave myself a break from EVERYTHING.  From exercise to trying to eat right, I have pretty much done NOTHING in the way of trying to get healthy. 

Sure, I would start a diet for a couple weeks but even then I was taking little cheats here and here and then complaining because I wasn’t losing any weight.  I’d overlook my cheating and get frustrated at my lack of results and quit the diet.  Well, you can only be in denial for so long.

My year of denial has cost me an extra 30 pounds, depression, mood swings and the inability to walk a mile without my lower back seizing up like it used to when I was 300+ pounds and I couldn’t walk more than a block.

I’m at 250 pounds.  That is the heaviest I’ve been in a darn good long time.  A tight size 22 with an uncomfortable amount of girth around my stomach.  I feel unhealthy. 

So here I go again.  I have rejoined weight watchers and started back on the points today.  I also took my first walk in forever on my lunch break.  I didn’t even make it a mile.  After fifteen minutes I had to call it and go inside. 

But it’s a start.  I want more than anything to get healthy again, definitely more than food.

I know that the holidays are a stupid crazy time to start a diet but I will allow myself to indulge on Christmas with my husbands family as long as I don’t go crazy and get right back to tracking the next day.  Working out will become a  necessity as I do no like how I feel mentally and emotionally when I don’t. 

So here we go again and I look forward to feeling better and hopefully shrinking once more.

 

The Doubts Crawl In, The Doubts Crawl Out

EXERCISE IS NON NEGOTIABLE.
That is stated in the Atkins book.  That didn’t apply to me back when I first did Atkins.  I did no physical activity other than day to day tasks.  Of course I was a LOT younger and I’m sure that had a lot to do with it, but for whatever reason I was able to lose without working out.
I’m finding that isn’t the case this time around.
I keep a log at work of the days that I walk/jog on my lunch breaks and my weekly weigh ins and the proof is right there in black and white.  Consistent exercise=loss and only once or twice a week shows me not losing at all.
This of course sucks because I am incredibly lazy.  However, I did pay good money to do another half marathon in December so I really should be out there training anyway but blah!
Blah, I say!
I’m still wavering on this diet.  I know if I can just get the correct amount of carbs for my body to consistently lose weight without feeling sickly I’ll be fine.  I think that I was taking in too few carbs last week because I was feeling dizzy and kind of sick.  I know that you are supposed to feel this way in ketosis when you first start but I was seriously close to passing out and my anxiety was through the roof.  I added some more carbs and felt better but gained back the weight I had lost during the week.
Basically, this isn’t as easy as I remember it being back when I first did Low Carb.  I also know that I’m half assing it because I’m not finding it as easy.
I’ve invested too much time and money at this point to not follow through…and it’s not like I haven’t lost, it’s just that I’m experiencing more complications than I expected.
I’ve spent too much money to give up now.  Maybe I need to go find the book and reread it…it has been several years.