Day 469 – Challenge Day 1

Well, day 1 is done. I did all 6 yoga poses, plus the inversion recommended to finish up the… whatever you call a bunch of yoga poses. I also ran 2 miles, ate 1831 calories, and woke up this morning weighing 155.6 lbs!

Tonight, I’ll attempt the 6+1 poses on my own for the first time! I’m oddly nervous about it. I did make myself a cheat sheet to help me out. All of the included pictures are from Yoga International – They have great yoga info and support!

6-poses-to-practice

In order, these are trikonasana, virabhadrasana II, utthita parsvakonasana, parsvokanasana, virabhadrasana I, and prasarita padottanasana. The last picture is a shoulder stand (and it’s not from Yoga International).

The instructor, yesterday, told me what they’re called in English, but I don’t remember that part. She wrote down the formal? official? more complicated names, and I’m kinda glad for that. I wish I knew how to pronounce them; I really appreciate using original and accurate terms to discuss things.

Per the class, yesterday, I’m planning to focus on keeping my chest open during the first three poses. I use a block for the 1st and 3rd pose, since I can’t reach the floor, yet, without falling backwards! During the 4th & 5th pose, I’ll be focusing on squaring my hips while pressing my back heel to the floor. The 6th pose is the one when I thought I’d crash and burn, but with a block under my head, it was doable and actually really cool! That pose requires that I focus on getting the very top “crown” of my head to rest on the block. I also use the wall to help me get up into the shoulder stand, and I put a thick stack of blankets under my shoulders to ease the strain & angle of my neck.

Today is Monday, and Monday = rest day for me! So no running. I should do 3-5 miles tomorrow, but I have an IEP meeting, and Hubby has a board meeting. I might do some miles on the treadmill (I certainly should), but we all know how much I despise that evil contraption, so we’ll see.

I ate 1900 calories today… um… oops? *shrug* I tracked it all, and that’s my big focus, for now.

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Day 468 – Yoga & a challenge

I went to my first yoga class in more than a decade, this morning! It was terrifying – as in “Pet Cemetery” meets “It” – sleep-preventing, TERRIFYING. I had to go some place new, where I didn’t know anyone, to do something (that I have extensive experience failing at) in front of other people, who would all know exactly what they were doing.

It started off as I expected. I was too early, the door was locked, the instructor popped up behind me (scaring the crap out of me), I screamed, and it was very embarrassing. Then she introduced herself, unlocked the door and let us both into the studio. Since it was just her and I for a bit, she was able to give me an idea about what to expect, and I was able to tell her about my hopes/goals for the class. She actually ended up adjusting her plans for the whole class to fit what I was looking for (it really didn’t seem like this was a big deal, but I LOVED that she listened to what I was looking for and was so willing to accommodate it!)

The class is 45 minutes away, so there’s no way I can attend every Sunday. I mentioned that I’m hoping to attend every other week and practice on my own in between. She said that’s very similar to how she started yoga. She had someone teach her 6 poses and challenge her to practice those 6 poses, 6 days a week for one month to see how she felt. Her whole style/class of yoga focuses on the details of poses without any flow or music. The instructor commented that it had been a long time since she’d really focused a class on those 6 poses, and mused that today would be a good day to do that. She even wrote them down for me, to make it easier for me to look them up and practice more at home.

There were only 3 other students for the class (2 of whom where exactly the super-skinny/very bendy women I imaged I would find in a yoga class), but they were all 3 SO welcoming and nice! They introduced themselves sincerely, and I quickly felt very comfortable. I was able to do all of moves, though my flexibility is non-existent. I even managed to do this weird pose where my feet were spread wide with my hands between them and then I put the crown of my head on blocks. I really thought I was going come crashing down at that point, but I didn’t! The final pose was a shoulder stand, and it looked really scary – even one of the other ladies chuckled and commented that I looked a bit nervous (she assured me it was okay no matter what – she had fallen over while attempting a head-stand the previous week and almost took out the person on the mat next to her). Have I mentioned how social and informal the class was? It was really nice! AND… I managed to do the shoulder stand!!!

I’ve had some successes recently – my running is going really well, and I’m very excited about yoga! But I’m also still struggling with stuff – my tracking has been horribly hit-or-miss, and I know I’ve been consistently over-eating. I was thinking about challenging myself to 30 days of something, but then I realized that Thanksgiving is only 26 days away! In honor of that, I’m committing to 26 days of healthy choices! For the next 26 days I’m going to do the following things, and then I’ll see what difference there is on November 24th!

  1. Weigh, measure & track every bite, every day – NO EXCUSES!
  2. Keep running (I’ve been consistently hitting 4 days/week for a total of 16-20 miles/week.)
  3. Attempt my 6 yoga poses 5 days/week (I don’t think 6 is realistic for me at this point)
  4. Post here regularly to log my progress (This one is less of a goal and more of how I’ll track my goals. It may be that I end up doing a weekly post summarizing how things are going or a quick daily update – we’ll see.)

The first goal is one of those things that just needs to happen. I’d been really good about tracking consistently, and I’m not sure how that fell off. The second one is easy – I just need to keep it up. The third one is a biggie. I’m not sure exactly how yoga will fit into my life, but I know that I want it to. I felt like the class this morning gave me a very manageable starting point, and I even bought my own yoga mat!

yogamat

I love the purple color, and it’s one of the thicker mats.

Anyone else have goals for the next 26 days? What daily choices are important to you? Anything new you’ve worked up the courage to try?

Day 467 – Feasting & Running

So I did this today:

run-29-oct-2016

Please note the average pace… 10:10!!!!!!! for 8.7 MILES!!!!

My mom is still in town, so we decided to perfect our leap-frog maneuver and do another long run/walk. It worked exactly as planned today, allowing her to walk 3.35 miles (GO, MOM!) and me to run 8.7! It was really cold when we first started our, and I had my watch covered by my long sleeve shirt. I really wasn’t worried about my pace at all. Mom and I were traveling and turning around based on time, so I knew I’d be moving for 90 minutes. At that point, I didn’t figured it mattered if I covered 7 or 8 miles (and I was confident I’d end up somewhere in that range). Well, apparently in my attempt to avoid freezing to death, I ran a bit faster than usual.

I looked at my watch as I passed Mom for the first time. I was 2.5 miles, and just over 26 minutes in. I figured I’d slow it down, but mostly I was just running how I felt comfortable (and trying really hard to warm up!). I knew I had to run for another 35 minutes before turning around, so I went back to ignoring my watch and just kept going. The trail we were on has mile markers, & I expected to turn around somewhere near the 5 mile marker. But when I got there, I still had almost 10 minutes to go before turning around! I went up to 5.5 and turned around despite being 4 minutes shy of my turn-around time. I really don’t know what was going on, but it felt great to run, today! I really didn’t get tired until about the 8 mile mark, and by then, I knew I needed to just keep going to catch Mom.

Since she’s been in town all week, I’ve not had to do dishes. I know it sounds like a little thing, but it’s been fantastic! It also means that I’ve been able to cook more. Tonight, I roasted a whole chicken. I also made roast parsnips, carrots, garlic, & potatoes along with poached pears with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert!

It was all delicious!

It’s been such a great day, I think I may have even worked enough courage to attempt that yoga class tomorrow morning!

Day 466 – Weigh-in & going out

scale-68-28-oct-154-8-lbs

Well, it’s not a loss, but it’s not really a gain, either. I’m going with it.

This week has been very busy! Hubby and I went to the orchestra last Sunday; Mom and I made cookies Monday & Tuesday (They are multi-step cookies that take 2 days); I had parent/teacher conferences yesterday; & today, I’m taking my 7th graders on a field trip to see a university!

It’s been one of those really fun and completely exhausting weeks, but I did manage to keep up my running. I did 3.8 miles on Tuesday and 4.8 miles on Wednesday. I tracked most of everyday, but there were a couple days when I’d lay down at night and realize I hadn’t tracked anything after lunch. I’m not sure why this has become an issue for me this fall. I had no problems tracking EVERYTHING for 400 days, and now…

…sometimes I just forget. It’s something I want to do better at. I know that inconsistent tracking (along with the cookies that I was “forced” to “test for quality”) are why I’m maintaining my weight. I’m struggling, though. Since I’m pretty happy with how I look and feel, and I enjoy getting to eat more treats, I don’t really feel any urgent “NEED” to drop more weight. But then I go run. I know that another 10-20 lbs would make a big difference in how my knees feel when I run and would really help my speed. I do REALLY want to be consistently and comfortably running faster than a 10 minute mile. I know that it all comes down to the choices I make – I just can’t seem to decide which is more important to me: enjoying treats or running fast. *Sigh* Mostly, I’m just thrilled to be a normal size & no longer 230 lbs!

dressed-up

I was so excited to find that this old dress fits again! I bought it in 2005 to wear to a formal holiday party, and I think it fits me better now than it did then!

 

Day 461 – The real reason I run fast

I PR-ed my 5K time today. I should also point out that I ran my fastest 8 miles, yet, yesterday. This might leave some people to believe that I’m really focused on my speed work right now and working hard toward a goal.

But I’m not.

The reality is that I often struggle to find the time to run, but I’m not willing to use that as an excuse to miss my mileage goals. So what’s a girl to do?

Run faster, of course!

Yesterday, my mom and I had worked out a complicated leap-frog-like trail maneuver that would allow her to walk 2-3 miles while I ran my 8. It involved her dropping me off at the end of the trail, driving to the middle (ahead of me) and walking the same direction while I tried to “catch” her. We’d then agree to both continue forward for 20 or 30 minutes before turning around, leaving me to try and “catch” her again before she arrived back at her car. Unfortunately, I told her the wrong direction to walk down the trail, and the whole thing got screwed up. On the up-side, I spend about 2 miles of the run trying to do the math to figure out how it would actually work out. Of course, I realized that it would work out for her to finish 10-15 minutes ahead of me.

So I ran faster!

Since she’s a math teacher and former engineer, she also figured out our error and compensated for it, and I was able to catch her about a 1/4 of a mile from the car.

This morning, I didn’t want to run. My legs were tired and sore from yesterday, and Hubby and I have orchestra tickets this afternoon. Since I also went into school for 3 hours to finish up the quarter grades, I was tight on time. I got home from school, changed, and took off out the door. When I hit the road, I realized I’d forgotten music, sweatband, and water, but I wasn’t going back! I decided to just get it over with.

29m32s-5k-pr-23oct2016

Sometimes lack of time works to my advantage!

Day 460 – Weighing in & future races

I did get on the scale yesterday. It was pretty much what I expected. Part of me feels like I’m maintaining, now, but when I step back and really look at the numbers, things look a bit different. I’m actually still dropping ounces, but very VERY slowly. In June, I was bouncing up and down around 160; by the end of July, I was bounding up and down between 156 & 158; by September, my bouncing was more closely tied to 155; and for the past month (despite 10 days of out-of-control eating that took me back up toward 158), my ups and downs have stayed under 155. So really, that’s 5 lbs in 5 months! At this rate, I will actually hit my goal weight – in about 2 years! (haha) I’m completely okay with that. I’ve never had a timeline attached to this journey – it will continue for the rest of my life.

67-scale-21-oct-154-7-lbs

This is up a bit from last week, but nothing awful.

I’ve also officially registered to walk the Thanksgiving 5K with my mom! I’m really excited to get to complete her first 5K with her!

I’m also registered for the Louisville Mini-Marathon that happens as part of Derby week (Apr 29)! Part of me is nervous to try training for a half during the school year, but I’m also excited to get to train in the cool temperatures. It certainly will prevent me from slacking off this winter!

Day 458 – Busy but still here

I’m still here, still logging, still running.

My mom’s in town, so we’re cooking like crazy! We both love food, enjoy cooking, and are losing weight. Her weightloss is currently a bit more active than mine, and she’s down 55 lbs now!!

Since it’s the end of the 1st quarter, I’m crazy busy finishing up grades, so I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting this next week.

I will be weighing in tomorrow. I’m hoping for a level weight. I’ll be happy with anything under 155.

Day 455 – Failure to plan penalty

I feel like things have been better for the past several days now. It hasn’t been perfect, or even great, but it’s been a big step back in the right direction. I’ve been refocusing on the things that make me healthier, like making my salmon for lunch and tracking everything.

Today I got a reminder about the importance of planning ahead. At the end of each quarter, I offer my kids cookies and milk as a part of my classroom management economy system (I give “like buttons” when kids do what I want, and they use them to get what they want – like freedom to go to their locker, get a drink, etc. They can also use them to buy pencils, erasers, and cookies & milk!). This meant that I had a bunch of cookies sitting out in my classroom this afternoon. I completely failed to plan for this huge and extended cookie encounter.

Failing to plan meant that I started off excited to eat a cookie, felt regret after eating 3, considered cutting off my own hand after 5, had a solid list of ways to hide the fact that I had consumed 8, and only managed to stop when I began to feel like I might vomit after 10!

day-455

Considering 1500 calories came from those damn cookies, I figure this isn’t as bad as it could have been.

Apparently, planning for how to handle situations like having a bunch of cookies around is important. *shrug* Who’da thunk it?

I’m viewing today as a lesson re-learned. Tomorrow will be better. (Seriously, the cookies are gone, so they can’t assault me unexpectedly, again!)

Day 454 – Yoga??

I know, I know! Yoga and I have a long history of disdain, pain, and hilarious doom. You’d think I’d let it go, walk away, and give up on the whole stupid Yoga thing.

Problem is…

… I don’t like to give up on stuff.

It’s the same stubborn streak that keeps me running and tracking what I eat. Now that I know that reaching a healthy weight is actually possible, I have to believe that nothing is impossible. This translates to an insane believe that I really should be able to figure out how to do Yoga. Up to this point, I’ve been led by DVDs and YouTube. Clearly, that has not worked for me, and maybe the source is the problem. I recently discovered that there’s a Yoga studio in the same town as Walmart (It’s 45 minutes away, and normal people who live in civilization may consider that a bit of a drive, but since I have to go to Walmart, anyway… it’s actually the closest I can get anything more than milk). Perhaps a real-life class with an instructor is what I need to figure out how to do Yoga!

There’s a class on Sunday mornings that looks promising, and their drop-in rate is only $15. yoga

I’d really like to try it, but I scared. I feel really bad asking my husband for the required time away to take the class (With travel, it’d be another 3 hrs on top of the time I spend running throughout the week). Then there’s the actual bravery required to attend the class. I don’t think I’ve got it. I’m about 70% certain that I’ll fall down, trip over myself, injure myself, or otherwise embarrass myself. I worry that the instructor will be so offended by my obvious ineptitude that she may ask me to leave and/or never return.

So I’m still debating. Maybe I’ll forget about it (literally) by next weekend. If I’m still considering it in 2 weeks, which is the first time I’d be able to attend a class, since we have plans next weekend, maybe I’ll work up the nerve to give it a shot.

In other news, running is going well. I’m still doing it, and I haven’t been attacked by any wild animals or shot by hunters. So that’s a win!

Eating is still happening. I’m eating more than I should, but I’m tracking it all. I don’t think I’m really making much progress as far as weight goes, but I also don’t think I’m gaining anything. I’m certainly feeling better about the choices I’m making. I may be overeating, but it’s sweet potatoes and bananas with peanut butter – not ice cream or other awfulness.

 

Day 451 – Starting out… again

Thank you all, so much for the support!! I know this is a journey that will continue for the rest of my life. Struggles are inevitable. It’s really hard right now, for a few reasons:

1) Hubby is spending almost every evening in the lab or in meetings. This leaves me to spend all day with 12 year-olds and all evening with a 7 year-old. I love kids, but I miss adult conversation! This also leaves me alone in the house in the evening, when my temptation to snack is at its worst. Having Hubby around makes it easier for me to choose a healthy snack or skip it all together, so without him… well… falling off the wagon started with some embarrassingly awful and embarrassingly large evening snacks!

2) Little Man is struggling with school this year. I’m actually thinking that we may be heading toward a visual processing disorder diagnosis and a resulting IEP. He is at the top of his class in math (by a LOT!!! He’s adding & subtracting 3 digit numbers and knows his multiplication tables to his 6’s in second grade), but he struggles to read – a LOT! He doesn’t appear to be able to differentiate between “truck” and “trunk.” He still doesn’t know the difference between “p, b, & d,” and he often writes his letters backwards. He’s been in speech therapy since the start of kindergarten, and now we’re going through the intervention process to see if additional reading support will help, but… my kid’s been in school since he was 14 months old. He had preschool, pre-K, and his mom is a reading teacher. It’s not like he hasn’t been exposed to books, read to, read with, and supported for the last 7 years!

Which leads me to another confession… There is part of me that is embarrassed to be the mother of a child who is struggling to read. As a reading teacher, I pride myself on helping my middle school-ers grow and develop as readers. I spend many conferences offering other parents “expert” advice about how to help their child grow into a stronger reader. Now… I can’t help feeling like part of this is a failure on my part, but I don’t want my son to feel any of this. I don’t ever want HIM to feel embarrassed about having to work harder at reading and writing, and I want to ensure that he gets any help or support he needs.

 

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent.

I did track everything I ate, yesterday!

I chose not to eat cake in the teacher’s lounge, and I had a reasonable portion of popcorn for an evening snack.

Today has been harder; I think the second day always is. But I’m hanging in there. I have my first teacher’s writing workshop group tonight. I’m so excited to hang out with adults for a while!