Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back.. With a Vengence!

...okay, maybe not a vengence. But definitely back with a goal!

First, let me fill you in on the past few months. I have been slacking on my fitness quite a bit. I lost my job in September and let that fact define me. At least a month was spent on the couch, doing nothing but playing solitaire and watching TV. Depression had me by the throat. It was not a good time.

The only upside of the past few months is that I've somehow managed to drop 20 pounds. Always have to find the silver lining. I'm down to about 239 right now and have been fluctuating between that and 235. I've also just been given a FitBit for an early Christmas gift so I will be monitoring my fitness through that.

But back to the goal.

The year 2012 will be "The Year of 1,000 Miles". I have already found 6 different obstacle races that I want to participate in next year and I don't want to go into them without training like I did this year. So next year I am going to make sure that my legs, and my body, are ready for the punishment I am determined to put it through.

I have broken the goal down into doing 4 miles a day. If I am to realistically reach 1,000 miles in 365 days, I need to plan for sick days, days when I'm just too busy, days when I may have pulled a muscle or injured myself, and days when I just don't feel like doing anything. 4 miles a day will get me to 1,000 miles in 250 days. That leaves 115 days for the things that just come up. And if I go over the 1,000 mile goal... even better!

Leaving myself a bit of wiggle room, I believe, will help me to stick to this goal I have planned for myself. The perfectionist in me doesn't like making mistakes (missing a run, or a workout) and generally throws in the towel once one has been made. This plan allows for mistakes to be made and still lets me continue working towards where I want to be.

I hope that you will stick with me through this and as excited as I am to see where it takes me!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Setting Goals

There is something to be said for setting goals. Nothing lofty or vague, but real concrete goals that you commit to. Having goals that are tangible make working out so much easier.

For example: I always wanted to run. By committing myself to a 5k or two (or ten!) which have to be paid for in order to participate... I am committing to something. There is something on the horizon that I have to train for, work towards, and be present for.

In all the years I have struggled with losing weight, there has always been the goal of "I want to lose weight". But that is so.... foggy. There is nothing to really measure against there. How will you know when you reach that goal? If you lose 5 pounds? 10? 50?

However, if you change it to "I want to lose 10 pounds", there is something significantly measurable there. You have something solid to move towards with your fitness routines. While it may take you just as long to lose those 10 pounds even with setting a goal, you can gauge your success far easier. You aren't forever on the train of "Not there yet." If you don't define what "there" is.... how will you ever reach your destination?

Right now I'm working towards NOT getting leg cramps while running and getting my per mile time down to under 16 minutes while running a 5k. Two very measurable things. It helps with motivation. If I choose to NOT get up and work out, these goals get further and further out of reach.

When you're setting goals, though, remember to set something that is achievable. Saying, "I want to be a size 2 by this time next year" is probably not something that will happen. I am a size 16 now, and I have 160 pounds of muscle mass already. I am 5'9", so being 160 pounds at my height will probably not result in a size 2. Something more feasible would be "I want to be a size 12 by this time next year". That is far more doable and healthy for my body.

And when you set goals, make yourself accountable. Write them down. Post them where you will see them all the time, like on your fridge, or the inside of your front door... maybe on your bathroom mirror. And tell people! When your friends, family, and coworkers know what you are trying to work towards, they can help keep you honest. They can encourage you and celebrate with you when you reach the goals you set for yourself.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anacortes Art Dash 5k

Another day another 5k! Saturday we met up with a friend and her daughter to drive out to Anacortes for their Art Dash. Again, my legs cramped up on me like they did during the first 5k I did. But I still managed to get through it with the help of my running buddy. (Thank you!!)

My time wasn't terrible, but I want to make it so much better. I really want to start getting my times down.

But the upside is that I had a really great time. Our friend and her daughter are wonderfully charming and friendly people. We had met up with them at the Do Life 5k on Wednesday, but didn't spend that much time with them. This time we had breakfast (and coffee) together, and ran together. It was a great time!

I ran in probably the last quarter mile (maybe not that far, but it was a distance!) and it felt good. There is nothing like the adrenaline of seeing the finish line in front of you. It was a beautiful run. Definitely worth it. And there are always such nice people running with you. Great 4th 5k of the year.... 4 down, 6 to go!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tiffany Does Life

A few months ago I stumbled across Ben Davis's blog, Ben Does Life. He lost over 100 pounds by running with his brother (who also lost a great deal of weight). I found someone who has done, and is still doing, exactly what I wanted to do. I am fat, but I wanted to run so badly.

So I started following his blog. He's funny, charming, and brutally honest about what he's doing. Then they announced in late May, early June that they were putting together a tour of the US with organized 5k runs at every stop. Needless to say.... I was giddy. Ben is a huge inspiration to me and I was going to be able to meet him (and Pa!) and do a race with all these people that are readers as well? Where do I sign up??

Everyone who showed up for the run. Photobombed by a kissy couple in the back! :)
Needless to say, when they got to Seattle I was giddy. We were the last stop on their tour and I think we sent them off with a bang. At one point Ben ran along-side me when I was having a really hard time with my pacing and breathing. He's good people.

I actually ran more of this race than I have my previous two, and managed to knock 4:22 minutes off my run-time. (Went from 53:43 to 49:21) And made some awesome friends in the meantime!
Start Line... which was about 10 feet from the finish line. Too bad I couldn't just run THAT bit.

And we're off! Look at that sweet pony-tail action I've got going on!

I look happy, and I'm running. Yes this was EARLY on in the race. And my friend in the purple is Mindi. Met her there and she stayed with me for most of the run. She is awesome!

Ben and me. He is just as awesome in person as you'd expect from reading his blog.

Couldn't leave without a picture with Pa. He is as much an inspiration as both of his sons are.

The Shirt. You can't run a race without getting The Shirt!

I'm dying and sore today. But it was worth it. I had a really great time. It was well worth every minutes of the run.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TMI Post: Naked Conversations

This may be too much information for some of my readers. If you don't want to read anything about nudity or women's locker rooms, please go to a place where you won't be nearly as scandalized.... like here.

Okay, now that all the squeamish are gone I can talk.

There is this strange phenomenon happening that kind of tweaks my brain. My M-W-F workouts are done with 3 other women that I am friends with and work with. We all get changed in front of each other and shower. At first it was strange. At first it wigged me out that I was completely clothes-less in front of people with which I would have to attend meetings later.

Over time this weirdness started going away. Now it doesn't phase me much and we have long drawn out conversations while getting our regular clothes on and out of our sweaty gear. I am completely comfortable around these women and I don't think much about body modesty or self-consciousness.

Today, however, I held an entire conversation, pre-shower, with a woman I had never met before. She was also in the middle of changing and we were having a really interesting conversation on losing weight and how it effects your shoe size. (Bonus, she says that she was a 10-11 and went down to about an 8 and a half... there's hope for me yet!)

For some perspective, I was always the girl who faced the corner while I changed. I always tried to get dressed (and undressed) without anyone seeing an inch of my body. I would creatively arrange my towel, take my bra off under my shirt and slide my new shirt on over my head quickly. But not so much anymore.

I'm beginning to learn to not care so much about what other people think about my body. I have come a long way from my days at 315 pounds. I'm still overweight. There is no possible way to hide that from anyone with eyes. So why should I worry myself over it? And concerning the naked locker room conversations? I assume that if the other person weren't comfortable they wouldn't continue the conversation. Until someone tells me otherwise, I don't see my behavior changing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No More Whining

It's taken me an entire week to get past the news from the doctor. A week full of snippy remarks to friends and family. A week full of wanting to do nothing more than stay curled up in bed and not talk to anyone ever.

Yea, I was throwing a grown-up temper tantrum. I was pissed off. I was sad. I was angry at both myself for not doing better, and at my specialist for talking down to me. I was so unsure of what to do. I was scared and felt that no one understood just how terrifying it all was.

A week post-appointment, however, I am back in the gym. Today I went back with a vengeance. I was not going to let this beat me anymore. I wasn't told that I was going to die any time soon. These things are controllable. Why am I giving it all this power?

No more whining. Just moving and sweating and getting it done. Rawr!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Falling In

I am frustrated. The news from the doctor has the usual tailspin going on. I realize I am over-reacting and that I have all the power to change things... but right now it's pulling me into this deep emotional crater.

Working out seems useless anymore. I did the whole 8 week program, I did cardio 3 days a week, and I ran a 3.55 obstacle course. All of these things, and my health hasn't changed save for getting worse. What's the point, right?

This post isn't about a pity party. It's not about garnering sympathy or fishing for compliments. It's to show those of you who are on the same journey I am that we all have days like these. I am discouraged. I am sad. I am emotionally eating and snapping at my friends and loved ones. I feel like it's not only the scale, mocking me with its unmovable numbers, but now my vital bodily processes are joining in on the bullying.

There is nothing more I want right now than to just lie in bed, forget that life is happening outside my bedroom window and give up. I don't understand what the purpose is of all the sweating, all the pushing, and all the pain if I'm not getting results?

Today is a day of weakness. I am human and flawed just like everyone else. Not a rockstar today.