Day 164 – Exercise makes a difference

18 Scale Dec 31 188.6lbs

I’m really excited that I lost weight despite all of my Christmas indulgences!

I can only attribute my weightloss this week to my activity level. I usually burn 500-600 calories each week with running and walking. This past week, I burned more than 1400 calories! Who knew that rollerblading and a 6 day walk/run streak could make such a difference? I’d love to keep it up after school starts back up on Monday, but we’ll see.

I’m enjoying having my parents around, though they’ve completely freaked out my cat. He’s a rescue, and he’s really skittish. This morning, the little cubby door to the attic was open (that’s a first), and the cat is MIA. I’m fairly certain the cat’s hiding in the attic, but I’m afraid he might be stuck! Of course, he’s a cat, so I’m sure he’ll get himself out one way or another.

I’m enjoying our day of appetizer snacking. I’m definitely over-eating, but it’s only one day (well, maybe two since I think we’re going out to eat tomorrow). In either case, I’ll be back on track no later than Saturday, and my routine will be totally normal by Monday.

Happy New Year to all of you! (I’ll post my calories for today and tomorrow either tomorrow or Saturday.)

 

Day 163 – Treadmill workout #5

Today has been busy. I went up to school and worked for a solid 7 hours today. I have SO much to do before Monday! Our whole community lost power this afternoon, so I went home. I’ll go back Saturday and Sunday to work some more.

My parents are coming into town tonight. We haven’t seen them since Labor Day weekend, so I’m excited about it. I refuse to lose time with them to work, which is why I won’t be back at school until after they leave on Saturday. It also meant that I spent most of this evening cleaning up and making sure the spare room is ready for them.

WO 5

I am proud to say that I completed treadmill workout #5 today! First try, and I NAILED IT! The first part wasn’t too bad, but the second half was killer.

Day 163

Tomorrow is going to be a delicious day. We’re having chicken tenders, wraps, veggies with hummus, and a relish tray! It shouldn’t be too unhealthy, but I will eat as I please and love it.

Day 162 – The poorly named foam roller

I started running in July. To me, that meant I put on shoes and moved as quickly as I could down the street. Then I started reading about runners running. Suddenly, running involved cadence, heel strike, calf sleeves, intervals, hill repeats, negative splits (these will forever cause my vision to go fuzzy as I imagine the world’s largest banana split), tech shirts, IT bands, and foam rollers. Over the last 5 months, I’ve learned about many of these running terms, and yesterday I learned about foam rollers. Funny thing is… they’re not actually foam.

When I first read about foam rollers, I pictured a pool noodle. Then I read that people use them to “roll out” muscles, so I tried to picture a lean, fit runner sitting on a pool noodle. That didn’t make sense, so I tried to imagine a pair of lean, fit runners whipping each other with pool noodles. No matter how many ways I tried to consider it, I could not come up with a way to use a pool noodle to do anything useful to running muscles.

Please remember that I live in the middle of no where, and I my satellite internet is severely limited – we are not able to stream anything (especially video). I did eventually find a series of still shots that showed an outline of a runner rolling their body around on an outline of something that looked like a short, fat pool noodle. I thought I was starting to understand, until I read runners writing about how much foam rolling hurt. I really waffled between feeling dumb for not being able to figure this out and feeling really curious about how rolling around on a short, fat pool noodle could both cause pain and help your muscles.

IMG_20151229_190042[1]

This thing is awesome! (but not made of foam)

Then I learned just how much I didn’t know (and just how stupid the running paraphernalia naming people are). A wonderful woman at Fleet Feet showed me a metal rod with plastic balls strong across it and a handle on each end. She showed me how to roll it up and down my calves, find knots, and knead the balls into the knots until I can roll the massaging roller wand can roll up and down my calf smoothly! She also showed me the rollers that look like short, fat pool noodles. They are actually really hard (as in not squishy) and very hard to use. I tried it and about tied myself in a knot while trying to figure out how to balance my body weight on my hands while rolling my calf across the tube. Using that kind of roller is a yoga-like workout all by itself! I’ll stick with my magic massaging roller wand – which I am now in love with!

Day 162

Still on track! I know that I’ll enjoy New Year’s Eve so much more if it truly is a special treat!

Day 161 – Haste makes waste

In many ways, Christmas came a few days late for me. I got both a new pair of shoes AND my new GPS watch today! As a bonus, I also got a “foam roller.” (I’m proud to say that I’ve not only learned what that is, but I even learned how to use it, thanks to the very nice woman at Fleet Feet!)

New Year New Shoes 2015

I’m hoping these shoes work better for me than the New Balance did.

Some of you might remember me getting new shoes in September, and I’ve only run about 100 miles since then. Unfortunately, I’ve started struggling with shin splits and developed semi-permanent blisters along the outside edges of my feet. Since I made it the entire way through the Couch to 5K program without any of these issues (and while weighing a few pounds more), I can only blame the shoes.

This time I went to the “local” (2 hrs away) Fleet Feet Sports store. I explained all of my issued. I also told the woman (who’s name I cannot remember, for the life of me!) that I ran in Asics in college and have been wearing Brooks as sneakers since the birth of my son. I was so relieved when her first response was, “Well, then let’s start with Asics and Brooks, since we know they’ve worked for you in the past.” The shoes I had bought in September were New Balance.

After measuring my feet and watching me walk, she said that she was sizing me at an 8.5 – a half size smaller than the New Balance shoes. Since my day-to-day teaching shoes are all 8.5, and my dress shoes are an 8, that sounded reasonable to me. I ended up with these pink Asics. I’m trying not to get too worked up about them yet; it will take a while to know if they’re really working for me. The best part about the store today was their FIT guarantee. If these shoes give me problems, I can take them back!

New FR10

I LOVE this gadget! It was so nice to be able to just glance at my wrist and see my pace and distance right there!

I also got an AWESOME new GPS watch! I won’t have to carry my phone on my runs, I can see my pace at a quick glance, my data will be easily uploaded to Smashrun, and I’m SO excited about it!!!

It was exactly this excitement that led me to forego my scheduled treadmill intervals for a nice long road run. I was so excited that I didn’t take time for the watch to fully charge (half way is good enough, right), and I decided to ignore the foul weather.

Things started out great! The watch was awesome, the shoes felt good, I was ignoring the weather. Then, a mile and a half into my 2 mile run, I goofed. I somehow managed to delete my entire run from my watch. I have NO idea how I did it, but I got so MAD at myself. I dropped to a walk and fumed down the road. By this time, I was cold and wet. My shin was hurting (because I was supposed to be doing a much shorter and cushier bit on the treadmill). As I grumped and stomped and grumbled, I realized that I usually use running to bring myself OUT of these kinds of moods. I realized that I had managed to take the happy out of my run! I started thinking about just how much running I’ve done (more than 150 miles since July!). I realized that I will likely run twice that between now and my half marathon on Labor Day weekend. I have so much time ahead of me to run that I don’t need to use all of my new things right this minute. A big part of my success this far has been a commitment to taking it slow – one day and one choice at a time. It’s great to be excited, but I’m better off to slow down and spread the excitement out over the next 9 months.

I lightened my step a bit and went home to explore my new foam roller! (which I’ll write about tomorrow) 🙂

Day 161

3 days on-track! I really want to get under 190. It may not happen this week (thanks to my Christmas eating bliss), but I would like to get as close to it as possible.

Day 160 – Victoria Secret

A couple years ago, I went to VS to buy a bra. It was a big deal to me. My body had not felt like my own since before my son was born (He was 3 by that time!). I felt fat and nothing fit right. At that point, I had given up on losing weight. I was trying to accept my new self as it was. I had decided that clothes that fit properly might help. I think it’s important to note that no matter what my size having clothes that fit properly ALWAYS makes me feel better about myself.

Anyway, I was excited about being properly size for a bra, and getting a new one. Of course, I was also very nervous about the whole process. When I went into Victoria Secret, I hesitantly asked if someone could measure me and help me find a bra that fit. The woman who helped me that day may have been nice and sweet and welcoming. I really can’t say if it was her attitude or my self-consciousness. Whichever it may have been, I ended up feeling judged. I felt fat, gross, and unacceptable. I eventually settled on a bra, and I even kind of liked it. But I didn’t feel good about it.

I’ve been wearing that one bra (along with a revolving door of cheap Walmart bras) ever since. This fall I had to use a safety pin to hold it together, but I kept wearing it. It was the best quality, best fitting bra I owned, and there was NO WAY I was going back into a VS store and suffer through the humiliation required to get a new one…

…until yesterday.

Hubby noticed that I’ve been feeling more comfortable in my own skin as my weight has gone down and my activity has gone up, so he bought me a VS gift card for Christmas. He actually noticed the safety pin and informed me that it was time to brave the store again.

It was a totally different experience! Maybe it was my attitude, maybe the person who helped me was having a better day, maybe the world is becoming nicer to larger people, or maybe it’s that I’m not quite as big as I was (though I really hope it’s NOT the last one!). In any case, I was so excited I ended up buying TWO bras!

I had really hoped that my bra size would have gone down with my weight, but unfortunately, I’m the exact same cup size as I have been – though my band size dropped 2 inches!

I wish I could have had that kind of experience before. I wish I could have felt as good about myself at 232lbs as I do at 190lbs. I still have almost 60lbs to lose, so it’s not that I’m actually that small. My experience with VS yesterday was a combination of feeling good about myself and having  someone help me who seemed genuinely excited to see my find something that made me feel good.

I’m not sure how much sense that will make to anyone else, but I was amazed at how different a shopping experience it was. I do not plan to wait another 3+ years before buying a new “good” bra!

Day 160

I’m still on-track!

 

Day 159 – It’s not Christmas anymore

Christmas Eve and Christmas day I ate, and ate, and ate. But now it’s done. I’m learning to think about holiday’s like this: If I showed up at work and my boss gave me $20, it’s be a nice treat and I’d be thrilled! If she started giving me $20 EVERY DAY, I’d have to pay taxes on it; I’d start to count on it; I would expect it, and it wouldn’t be special or a treat anymore. What made eating anything and everything I wanted on Christmas was how special it was, because that’s not the way I eat anymore.

Calories Christmas Week

I loved treating myself to eat whatever I wanted for 2 days, but now I’m excited to get back to healthy eating.

I am learning a few tips/tricks for getting right back on track. Last night, I told hubby to pick out any remaining treats he wanted, put them on a plate, and label them with his name. Then I threw everything else away. When I started this journey, one of the first changes I made was eating breakfast. I’ve learned that I love cold oats. I make them in a mason jar with PB2 and cocoa powder every night, so that they’re ready to eat first thing in the morning. I didn’t make them for Thursday or Friday, since they were special occasion days, but I made them for this morning! Tasting the same oats I eat every morning, made my day feel normal. It felt like today was an on-track day, so it seemed (to me) to be easier to make on-track choices.

Day 159

I’m happy with the way today went.

After 3 days at home, my whole family was starting to go a bit nuts. My son has been asking to go roller skating. Since Hubby got me a Victoria Secret gift card, I wanted to go into the city anyway. The mall was not as busy as I had expected and skating was AWESOME! Six months ago I would never have done what I did today. I would have been to embarrassed to even attempt to skate. I would not have had any confidence that I was physically capable of skating, and I would have suggested we do something “safer” like seeing a movie. Instead, today I suggested the roller rink trip. Hubby and I broke out our old roller blades from when in lived in VA Beach. We used to love skating on the boardwalk, and I was glad to see my skates still fit. Hubby and I helped Little Man. He started out really struggling with trying to skate, but he kept at it. Eventually, he even made it around the rink once all by himself! I had so much fun skating. It felt so good to enjoy doing something active with my family.

skates

Little Man had to rent skates, and it was interesting to see that they have not changed at all in the last 20 years!

Day 156 – Chillin’ on-track

Day 156

One day of healthy choices!

Today’s been an awesome day. I woke up, drank coffee, played Minecraft, went shopping, played more Minecraft, and am chillin’ with my family. I’m happy to report that I practiced making healthy eating choices today. I’ll be doing so again on Friday, but tomorrow… oh, tomorrow… I will eat and enjoy (and still track every bite).

Day 155 – Reasons to celebrate

celebrate

This pretty much sums up my current feelings about life.

  1. Twelve days of NO SCHOOL!
  2. I just finished treadmill workout #4 – on my 1st attempt!
  3. Twelve days without ANY STUDENTS!
  4. I enjoyed an awesome lunch with my fellow teachers!
  5. Twelve days to do WHATEVER I WANT!
  6. I got some fantastically thoughtful gifts from students (including a really cute little journal that a student said made her think of me)!
  7. Twelve days to sleep in, write in said journal, and play Minecraft!
  8. I loved exchanging gifts with my Secret Santa this afternoon!
  9. Twelve days without having to fuss at anyone to get to class, clean up after themselves, or do their work!
  10. I’m drinking Starbuck’s coffee (I usually only get Folgers, but we decided to spring for the good stuff as a holiday treat)!
  11. Twelve days of FREEDOM!!!
TM WO 4

This workout was really hard, but totally doable. I’m learning to differentiate between things that are physically challenging but mentally brutal vs. things that are physically too much for me. Mentally, I had to really push through to finish this workout, but physically I was able to still do 50 squats when I was done.

Day 155

I’m still attempting to live on chocolate (though I should point out that I added cake to my diet today)! It really doesn’t make me feel good, and I’m actually excited to return to a healthier diet tomorrow. Maybe someday I’ll learn how to receive candy from students without immediately consuming it. For now, I’m just glad they only bring me treats once or twice a year!

Day 154 – The good and the ugly

Good news! I almost stayed on track today!

Day 154

Given that the teacher’s lounge had wraps, brownies, 3 trays of cookies, and fudge in addition to the dove chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, and m&m’s gifted to me by my wonderful children – staying this close to on-track is a HUGE victory.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t because I chose not to the treats. In fact, my lunch looked like this:

day 154 lunch

Who needs healthy food, when one can clearly live on junk?

For better or worse, eating a lunch of nothing but junk left me feeling slightly ill (but not hungry). I kept dinner healthy and am determined to make healthier choices tomorrow. 🙂