Monthly Archives: November 2011

The week ahead

I did not get a chance last night to catch up on the start of the week.

Last week was one where I had control. There were no surprises food wise, I planned meals, I planned around my brunch, I declined alcohol and chocolate. I was happy with my choices. Particularly with brunch, I looked at that day as having 2 meals and 2 snacks with brunch being a big meal and getting me through from about 11 through to 3pm when I had my normal afternoon tea. In the past, brunch was an opportunity for an extra meal… So I am really pleased with the thought and changes in behaviour that occurred last Saturday.

This week is not quite that simple. I have a work lunch on Friday that I have pre-ordered for. The menu is not friendly but I have put in the following order steak sandwich (no butter/marg on the bread, aoili on the side, and mixed salad with no dressing instead of fries). I sent my order through to the colleague
who is managing the group order and ran down to chat with her about what I was doing. Turns out she has been working on healthy eating and exercise this year, has gone down 2 sizes and we had a really nice chat about how hard things are at this time of year. I am so glad I took the time to work out the best option for me.

This weekend is going to be special. My man and I are going away, there will be dinner out, theatre, fancy accomodation and breakfast. It is only one night away so I am not going to pack my exercise gear. It is the first time we have been away together since our boy was born. Our boy is staying with the grandparents – everyone’s a winner 😀 Things I am planning to do to make the weekend healthier are, exercise before I go on Saturday, taking normal snack food for the car trip (both ways), making sure that there is a healthy dinner option for Sunday night when we get back. And I will enjoy the night out with my man and not worry about how many kJ are in what I am eating.

So, this week I will not drive myself to lose weight, next Monday on the scales will be a chance to record information; I hope to maintain but whatever I get will be ok. I had a big loss last week and got back down to where I wanted to be. To expect a loss this week is not realistic. I am not giving myself excuses to eat more than I should, I will be keeping track of everything and sticking to plan for all other meals. And while we are away I will be mindful and make healthy food choices. And what happens on the scale on Monday will be ok. At least that is how I want it to be… all calm and objective and aware. We’ll see how things are on Monday 🙂

This week will be good practice leading up to Christmas and New Year.

Huzzah!

Just very quickly before I run to work… no not run to work, but run to the bus stop.

Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight: 94.9kg (209 lbs)
Total lost: 46kg (101 lbs)

Exercise this morning:
51 min 5.83km
including 3x1km intervals with times of 6.49, 7.32, 7.49

I am back down and past my lowest weight. I have had a rocking week!

Check in

I just want to say I have had 4 days of eating properly and I feel better. I pushed myself a little far I think with the running and have had a couple rest days but I will be back out there tomorrow, rain or shine.

It boggles me how it can be so easy to be on track when everything is going well. For example, today at work I said that I did not want the free lunch after the orientation program – this was when I was looking at the food. I said I am watching what I eat, it would be difficult to guauge the kJ in what was provided and as I had bought my lunch in I would stick with that. I was respected for that choice. It was actually an easy choice for me to make today.

But then, when things are not ok, it is so hard to be on track. Every decision is a struggle. Sometimes I can make healthy decisions and sometimes I let it go and give in to whatever is driving me. What I find frustrating now is that I look back at last couple of weeks and I don’t understand why I acted that way – it is so foreign to my state of mind now.

I hope I get better at seeing that switch coming up so that I can manage it, even avoid it. I hope I get to a point where I can look at what is stressing me and channel that in ways that are not related to food. I am getting better but it still is a fallback for me.

Small steps. Today was a victory and each day of good choices reinforces a better way. This is not about perfection, it is about improvement. I will keep going.

The other thing I am really happy with today is that I had a surprise visit from my sister and her fam after work. They live about 4 hours drive away so it was very exciting to see them with about 40 minutes warning. They were at our place for dinner and on such short notice we got takeaway. We picked up some bbq chicken, shredded it and made wraps with tortillas, salad, light sour cream, salsa and light cheese. It was tasty and healthy. For my second wrap I used a large lettuce leaf rather than a second tortilla. It was a meal that I could track easily and while a little more work than straight takeaway it was still easy.

Four days in a row of good, clean eating. It is a good start. Already I can feel the difference in my body. Eating healthy food is better for me. I need to remember this.

Danger – cliff edge ahead

I’m down almost a kg on last week – which means I am still up from 4 weeks ago but it is a step in the right direction.

I was lying awake last night (my boy had a restless night), thinking about weigh-in Monday, knowing I had exercised well but not eaten well for about 50% of the week. There are three things that really stick out for me this week for having derailed my earnest desire of this time last week, which was to follow my food plan:
– sugar…
– alcohol…
– an intense workout…

I had some jellybeans in the house left over for decorating my boy’s birthday cake. I only needed two for the cake but bought a big bag because that was cheap and easy. Next time I must remember to get one of those little bags from the chemist. Without too much thought, I ate jellybeans all week, I just kept going back to the container. Finally, I threw them out on the weekend but I should have done it much earlier. I have thought about the impact sugar had on my body and my head. The sugar made me thirsty. Rather than having a drink, I would go for more sugar. I was craving sugar. Then I started looking for something other than jellybeans that would give me a sugar hit and I would eat that, too. It was pretty nasty and I kept doing it for days in a row. I get addicted to the sugar hit. I love sugar, especially in sugar/fat combinations. It makes me feel good really quickly but it is evil. The downside is that too much sugar makes me feel bloated and my system doesn’t like it. Sugar makes me thirsty but then tricks me into more sugar. Sugar makes me grumpy and tired from the spiking blood sugar levels. Sugar withdrawal leaves me with a headache. After a few days of no sugar I feel much better; I am sleeping better and have more energy. But it does take about three days to get through to feeling better stage. When I am managing my food well I can tolerate small amounts of sugar but that really means occasional small amounts. For me, it is a fine line between managing my sugar intake and blowing it. Maybe I should respect the line and keep away – like the edge of a cliff. Last week, I kept trying to see over the edge… and of course I fell.

Alcohol is also evil but in a different way to sugar. I had a couple of drinks last week. We had a special dinner as part of my first week of a new job and I had an alcoholic ginger beer. We went out on Saturday to a friends place and I had some wine there. Alcohol makes me feel like I am confident and in control but it actually results in a lowering of my ability to assess my hunger/satiety levels. I want to fly off that cliff edge with alcohol! I become so confident I don’t take note of what I am eating. And then, I get the munchies. I usually go for something high in refined carbs (bread/chips) while I am drinking and afterwards I want sugar. Alcohol can lead into a sugar spiral if I am already primed with a little sugar.

On Wednesday last week I went for an almost 5K run in the morning. I felt great. I had my normal breakfast. I had my normal morning tea but I had it a little early. Then I had lunch a little early but it was a normal lunch. And then 2 hours later I was so hungry that I just started snacking. It was healthy snacking – I first went with protein, fruit then dairy but then I found the jelly beans. I hadn’t realised before that I need to be careful of my hunger response after an intense workout. I need to manage that by having just a little more at breakfast and morning tea and pulling back into a normal lunch.

I lost weight this past week. I exercised well and consistently – getting in 4 1/2 hours over 6 sessions. 5 of these sessions included running and for substantial distances. My overall exercise intensity has increased in the last month and I want to keep it at that higher level. I made some really good exercise choices with regards to setting up new routines at my new work, mapping out new routes and challenging myself. I did well.

But it works better when both my eating and exercise are on track. This past week I would say that my eating was in control only 50% of the week. I kept trying to get back on track but I kept eating those jellybeans and didn’t realise what has happening in my body till later in the week. I was sabotaging my efforts.

My goal for this coming week is to break the sugar cycle, not drink alcohol and have my eating in control for 90% of the week. I have to stop looking over the edge of that cliff and thinking I won’t fall. Right now, I need to stay away from the edge.

where work and healthy living intersect

I started my new job this week and I am really pleased with how I have already introduced my healthy routines into my new work atmosphere.

– At my new office, you are not supposed to go through the main foyer in exercise gear. You are supposed to go through the ‘bike’ entrance from the basement. I am ok with this (although I was surprised when I read it initially). In the basement is set up with bike storage, change rooms and lockers, showers and a hairdryer and ironing board and iron. This week, I organised to get a locker so that I can keep my shoes, running belt and hat and some other bits and pieces down in the change rooms so that I can get in and out of the building in my gear easily. It costs $10 a year (plus locker key deposit) and I decided to pay up. I am really pleased I got this set up because it makes it easier for me to get changed and going at lunch times. I like easy options when it comes to my healthy routines.
– I went out at lunch two days this week and am working out a new walking/running route – I mapped it and know distances. It is a little long at the moment but that is ok.
– My colleagues know I go out to exercise which is a good thing. I like that the expectation is that I will go out at lunch. It is also good for me so that I don’t have to explain my red face when I come back.
– It is good for my head that the expectation is I will go out and exercise. There is less thinking about it, I just do it.
– I told my team that I have lost alot of weight. I didn’t give weights but I did talk about clothes sizes. It means that when I refuse to eat something I don’t have to give an explanation.
– It is getting hot as summer approaches. I want to acclimatise to exercising in summer and if I don’t get out then I won’t acclimatise. Getting out twice this week shows me I can run in warmer weather. 30’C is not an excuse not to go out and run.

First week of work is done. I have made some good healthy choices this week when it comes to my work routine.

many steps forward, a couple back

Tired today. I started my new job and it was a good day.

I also weighed in this morning and I have put on weight in the last two weeks. I was up 4 kg this morning from a fortnight ago. I know some is water, some is overeating and some is hormonal. But it is also not unexpected. While I did some exercise last week, my eating spiralled out as I made cake for my toddler’s birthday and decorated cake and planned party food. It was not a good week. And I didn’t check in here because that would mean I would have to face what I was doing.

A couple of times during the week I was aware of how I felt physically, having eaten too much sugar and too much food in general. I thought about how I felt in my body – It is important to notice the bloating, the trouble getting to sleep and the sluggishness when I don’t eat well. It is important to recognise that eating too much sugar leads to sugar cravings and it is so very hard to stop once I have given in. It is important to remember that I feel so much better when I eat well; I sleep better, my body moves more smoothly and I am confident in myself.

Here I am. I have taken some steps back. And I have learnt some things. I think that these are lessons it is going to take me some time to learn. My brain is still wired from decades of poor choices and it will take a long time for the rewiring to be the default.

But, I am going to start taking steps forward again. I am not yet done.

This morning I went out and did 50 minutes of walking/running, a total of 5.8km. I was at work today and I took my snacks and lunch. I have packed my food for tomorrow and have done some prep for dinner tomorrow night. I feel like I am in control.

I am not going to meet my goal for Christmas with regards to seeing numbers on the scale. That is ok. But I will aim to be at my lowest weight this year for Christmas – which means I am going to get the gain off and then some. I will work towards running a 5K between Christmas and New Year. That gives me time to train and I hope to see an improved time since my 5K. This is a good goal to set.

I wish that my emotional mind could take orders from my rational mind. My rational mind knows what to eat and how much. It has logic and evidence with regard to food choices. But eating/food is more than that for me. It is comfort and pleasure; it is part of how I interact with my friends, it is how I am generous with my friends; it is part of how I express my creativity. I am finding ways to be creative in a healthy way with food. I am finding ways to be social apart from food. I am finding ways to manage stress without food. But it is not easy. I don’t think it will ever be easy.

But I believe it is worth it.

I am already living so many benefits of my weightloss and improved fitness.

I will keep looking for new ways. I will keep taking small steps forward; in healthy food choices, in exercise, in stress management. I will be healthy, fit and strong. This I promise to myself. While I may take small steps back, that will not be the end. I will stop, look at what I am doing, look at where I want to go and then keep going. This I promise to myself.

Today I ran 5km

It is the end of the UpandRunning 5K course this weekend. I have bonded with the women on the course!!! It has been the most wonderful way to learn to run. This weekend (and the couple coming up for those that fell behind due to travel/illness and life) we are all doing our 5km races. And we are cheering each other on.

I decided to do almost the same course as the 4K fun run last weekend but extend my turning point. I did a trial there yesterday to make sure my new workout clothes were comfortable and to check the extended route. I also tried out runkeeper for the first time. As I finished up yesterday, I imagined the blue finish arch at the slightly new position and ran through from before the last corner to my new end point.

This morning I got up, had some breakfast, got ready, got my small one ready and we headed off. I really wanted to run the full 5km but was not sure if I could, my fall back plan was 30sec walking after 3km and another 15 sec at 4 km if I needed it; but that I would try dropping down a gear first before dropping back into a walk.

I did a good warm up today and a good stretch. I started runkeeper and I had my watch on as well as backup. It was time to start.

The first km was hard. It was the only time this morning that I really thought I might not be able to run the full length. But I know that the first 5 min is always hard and when runkeeper piped up at 500m and told me my speed I knew I was going a little too fast. So I dropped the pace a little, focussed on breathing and kept going. The second km was comfortable and so was the third. At my turning point I realised I had run further in one stretch than I ever had in my life. And I was running comfortably. I went into the fourth km still feeling comfortable but then it started getting difficult. At 3.5km I imagined the girls from the course lined up on the side of the track. They had pink pompoms and they were cheering and doing waves with the pompoms and calling out my name. They got me through that fourth km. And then, there was only 1km till the end. I had already run that last km so I knew that I could do it again. I could feel a blister forming on my left foot but decided that it would not stop me. I tried to pick up the pace by swinging my arms a little more. I had 500m left and I almost cried because I was going to make it. Every person that I saw that last km saw my smile. I was so thrilled to be out there.

I rounded the final corner and saw the end point. And then I saw my man and little boy all of a sudden start to run to try and get back to it before me. I imagined the girls from the course, I imagined the blue finish arch. I almost tripped because I wasn’t looking down but I recaptured my footing and kept going. And then runkeeper announced I was done and I still had 20m to get to my man and boy, so I kept running.

I made it to the end. I had not slowed to a walk. At each point runkeeper piped up I knew my pace was a good one. And I cried.

I am sitting here, 6 hours later, drinking a little champagne and having some cheese. My legs are tired but actually it is not that bad. And I am in tears again.

I am not the fat girl anymore. I am fit and I am healthy. Sure, I still have some weight to lose but I can run! I can run 5K! And I will keep running. I will keep making healthy choices.

I am so proud of me.

Times:
5K total – 36.32
1st km – 6.30
2nd km – 7.17
3rd km – 7.39
4th km – 7.39
5th km – 7.27