Friday, May 27, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 32

Sorry for the delay in the post this week - I wasn't able to catch Blogger actually working.  :S

This week's loss looks really big, but I jumped back on the scale (ok, stepped gingerly) Wednesday morning just to check, and had already gained a pound and a half of it back. It's water week, and nothing makes sense - which is normal for me.

We won't know the real story this coming Monday either, since I'm out of town for my first (of many, I hope!) race, and won't have a chance to get weighed on my own scale until Thursday morning. So the timelines will be off for a bit.  My big goal is to return home next Thursday and find the number on the scale at least as low as it was this past Monday.

It's a big week

As I mentioned, the 5K I've been building up to since, well, since last fall, is finally here. We run tomorrow (Saturday) evening at 5 p.m. - it's the moment of truth! On the advice of my cheering team (including, of course, The Faithful Mo) I've changed my starting corral to 35-40 minutes, from the 40-45 I had originally signed up for, way back in December when I couldn't run 30 seconds consecutively. Why does it matter? Because if I stayed in the slower corral, I'd have that many more people to somehow get past before I could start running at my own pace.

Good thing I have so many experienced racers to advise me!

Mo took me to the race expo today, which was so much fun! As a beginner, I'm enthralled with all the "stuff" and had a great few hours wandering and checking things out. I bought this hat - likely very uncool to wear it  to the race, but then again, it might prove helpful, haha!

Tonight is the big carb-load dinner at my brother's place, as there are four of us racing this weekend: me in the 5, my brother in the 10, and The Faithful Mo and a friend of hers/ours in the full marathon.  I'm suspecting this may be my favourite part of the race!

Mo and my brother and sister-in-law, all runners, have given me advice about how best to enjoy the race, including:

  • Don't eat within 2 hours of the race
  • Take the corners in the middle of the road, because everyone else will jam into the corners to take them as tightly as possible
  • Don't start too quickly and run out of gas, and
  • Leave one ear-bud out, and enjoy the roar of the crowd!
I can't believe I'm about to do this, when a few short months ago it really seemed impossible to me. Not sure when (or if) it'll ever really sink in.

But no time to ponder that - I have pasta to eat!   :)

Loss this week: 5.1
Lost so far: 77.2
Still remaining: 22.8
Activity points earned this week: 24
Weeks to go: 20

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mae: Huh? Who is that? Mae? Mae who?

I'm back. Not that I ever really went away; Annie and I keep in touch regularly about the project, exercise, etc. I felt I needed to stop posting for a while in order to keep my little secret: I'm pregnant! I was worried about my workplace finding out (there is at least one casual reader of the blog who works with me) and wanted to keep it under wraps until I felt I was in safer territory. 

And here I am, 4 months in! 

Remember that wonderful cruise in February? Well, there you go. The mister and I had made a plan to set our sights on the next year or so for getting pregnant. Given my age (35), I figured that it would take at least that long, and never did I dream that it would happen this quickly. 

I was counting on it taking longer for a couple of reasons, but one of the main ones was that I wanted to get more of this weight off. There are days that I feel selfish, reckless and irresponsible for getting pregnant while this overweight. I worry about the risks that I may be putting this little person through because of my stupid issues and problems. Stories like this don't help: Should doctors refuse to treat overweight pregnant women? 
In other moments of emotional vulnerability, I feel like I've let the project down. I'm a super crazy type-A person and I had a plan: plans are to be adhered to in my crazy head, and when they're not, I generally get bent out of shape. But don't get me wrong, in my 'right' m ind I'm elated and feel very blessed and lucky to be having this experience and look forward to the next few months.

I have an awesome obstetrician. We discussed my pregnancy weight-gain, and I'm supposed to stay within 10-15 pounds total because of my starting weight. She was very straight-forward about how hard it will be to stay within that, and I've been trying my best not to gain too much. Since coming back from the cruise in February, I've gained 4 pounds. Not so bad so far, but I know the real challenge is coming. This is going to be harder than the Project! 

Anyway, I can't sign off without congratulating Annie on her amazing success throughout this Project. I am in awe, and so so proud of her for taking on her first 5k race this weekend. I will be attending a very boring conference Saturday morning, but will have butterflies (of excitement) thinking about her!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 31

Nothing unusual or unexpected this week, really. It was a relief to be back home and in control of my own meals.

Not sure how I got turned around on the math, but I had somewhere along the line credited myself with a 2 lb loss I hadn't yet earned. So the numbers below reflect the new reality - those mystery 2 lbs have been put back on the shelf, to be lost sometime soon!

Malibu Stacey: "math is hard!"

Loss this week: 1.5
Lost so far: 72.1
Still remaining: 27.9
Activity points earned this week: 32
Weeks to go: 21

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Annie: George Eliot

I watched the season finale of Brothers & Sisters this week, and was struck by Nora Walker's quote from George Eliot at the end: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

"Was" vs. "might have been"

I was "fat" in my mind long before my body was overweight.

I look at pictures from high school, and my heart breaks to see a girl embarrassed to have her picture taken because her size 12 dress is so embarrassingly huge.

It became a self-fulfilling prophecy: the less I believed in myself, the less I took care of myself. I hated my appearance and battled my weight throughout my teens, twenties, thirties (except for about a month after I lost the 70 lbs in 2003), and the first couple of years of my forties.

Then, after years of gentle support, The Faithful Mo broke through.

Not that Mo was responsible for this Thanksgiving Project - that was my own, latest "big idea" to get myself together. (It followed far too many other unsuccessful "big ideas" to even mention.) With that said, when I floated the idea with her (you have to realize this was likely the 50th "big idea" she'd had to listen to, and might well have expected to suffer the same fate as all the others), she was enthusiastic and promised to be a faithful reader (which, as you might have noticed from our comments, she is!).

But the difference between this time and all the other times is that this time, I'm actually liking my body.

Not how it looks naked - frankly, I don't know if that will ever happen! Had I gotten my act together in my 20s, maybe... But how it works, and what it can do. And that's where Mo gets the credit.

In 2003, I lost the weight, fine. But it was all about food, even then. I counted carefully, I journaled faithfully... until I stopped doing those things. And then everything was back to "normal" - I ate huge volumes of garbage, I didn't exercise, and I gained it all back.

Now, though the food remains a struggle (and always will), I am actually enjoying exercise, for the first time in my life.

As a kid I played hours and hours of tennis, and loved it - but not because it was exercise, because it was fun. Getting older, I didn't have all day and all night to play, and I moved away from my tennis-playing friends and family... and my body didn't cooperate the way it had before. While I had never been a particularly good tennis player, the playing had come easily (physically). Now, it no longer did.

So for decades now, I'd been hating all forms of exercise - until I started to run.

I won't say that running is "fun" for me, or even that I exactly enjoy doing it. But I love the feeling of having done it each and every time I go out -- and I love the feeling that I can do it. I never believed I could, but I can.

Mo, and her husband, and our brother and sister-in-law, and my own husband, all runners, told me I could run if I wanted to -- but for years I simply didn't believe them. My body had let me down in so many ways for so many years - orthopedic problems, arthritis, miscarriages, etc etc... I just had no faith that it could do anything beyond simple survival. Mo tried again and again, gently, to encourage me, but my faith in my own body was so low that I never even tried, until now.

Thanksgiving Project + Mo's 5K training program = the key

Today, I sat outside on the front step and changed out the laces on my running shoes to new special ones I bought at The Running Room (they apparently won't come untied while you're running - a big problem for me for some reason!). As I laced them up, I found myself excited for tomorrow morning's run, to try them out.

Me, excited to go out tomorrow morning and try out new shoelaces.

I still kind of can't believe it, and I don't think about it too much, because I'm afraid somehow the spell will break. After all, it's only been a couple of months, after more than 20 years of hating my body and having no faith in it.

But that Eliot line struck something in me, and somehow gave me permission to accept that maybe I can be a runner, and maybe I can be comfortable with my body, however it ends up looking.

I'm 42 now, and I'm angry to think of how my "good" years (beauty-wise!) were wasted in this vicious food battle. But, with luck, 42 isn't the end of the line, and if that's how long it took me to find my stride, then I should just be thankful that it didn't take me until 52. Or 62. Or, terrifyingly, until it was too late.

It's never too late to be what you might have been.

I have faith, and I feel good, starting now.

Thanks Mo.   :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 30

This was a week of running blind.

I was out of town for the whole week, and eating in restaurants/living in hotels. I had no idea how many points just about anything was, though I ate at Subway at every opportunity (that was 4 times, for the record) because it was at least a known quantity.

I never came across a sushi place, so that was out, too.

But I made it work, somehow. I grabbed a banana and a skim milk from the breakfast buffet every morning. I chose southwestern chicken salads of various types in 3 different places, since I knew the veg would be 0 and the chicken low, as long as I kept the dressing to a minimum (which I did, by ordering it on the side). I had burgers a couple of times (they were amazing, and well worth the points!) because I was actually worrying a bit about coming up too short on points and decreasing my metabolism. Who knows whether that was actually necessary, but I enjoyed them, so it was worth it either way.

On the exercise front, I did pretty well - I ran outside twice, and once on a treadmill in the hotel. The first outdoor run was very early in the morning, running around and around a nearby government office parking lot, as though it were a track. The second outdoor run posed a challenge for me, as I was in a major US city's downtown and the skyscrapers blocked the satellite signals to my Garmin watch. So I was without any pace information (which is tough for me, because I have no sense of my pace whatsoever!) for about half my run - a bit weird, but I managed! I have no idea whether I covered my full 5K, but I do know that I completed my full three sets of w1r8, which was the main thing.

The reason I have my activity points down as 50+ is that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were each spent walking... pretty much day and night. It would have averaged out to at least eight hours per day of walking on each of those three days... as well as three hours Tuesday night, now that I think about it. Between my three scheduled runs and all that walking, you can likely see why I didn't worry too hard about the two burgers, haha!

Arrived home last night, and had a lovely sushi dinner for mothers' day. It's great to be home!

And now... I'm off to run, in my first w1r9 outdoors, before the downpour starts.

Loss this week: 2
Lost so far: 72.6
Still remaining: 27.4
Activity points earned this week: 50+
Weeks to go: 22

Monday, May 2, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 29

This past week was relatively easy, as weeks on program go - I didn't struggle too badly with my resolve, was in control of all my meals (ie no "event" dinners!), and was healthy to run.

On the topic of running - another post, for another time, when I'm not on my way out the door.

This coming week will be very interesting, as I'm headed out for a week of business travel, and won't eat a home-cooked meal until a week from now. It's all restaurants, all the time for seven whole days.  I know enough now to make pretty educated guesses, but also know enough to know I really don't know WHAT happens behind the kitchen doors (generally, fat makes everything taste better, and restaurants want everything to taste good, so...).

So I'll do my best, and we'll see next Monday how I did.

Loss this week: 4.4
Lost so far: 70.6
Still remaining: 29.4
Activity points earned this week: 22
Weeks to go: 23