Monthly Archives: January 2012

busy, busy,

busy….

I have just been really busy in the last week. Work has been busy and good and I am happy about that. I have kept up my running workouts but eating has kind of gone off track. I am not entirely sure why but I have some ideas and I am sorting through the things I have been avoiding in the hope that I was using food to help me avoid them… It will sort itself out.

I am starting to think about how I will fit study into my life and that makes me a little nervous given how busy I feel at the moment. I am hoping to get some things done between the beginning of March which is when semester starts.

I am away this weekend but I am staying with a friend who is eating healthily and also runs. I hope to get a run in over the weekend with her. I am taking breakfast cereal and snacks so that at least some of my food is organised.

It is summer… things will settle down in the next little while I hope.

my weekly report

I have had a good week. I have averaged 8780kJ a day over the last week, I exercised on 5 days, doing a total of 25.4km in 3 hours 46 minutes. My exercise time is down from what I was doing last year but the intensity has gone up because of the running. I have been doing some reading and some thinking. I met my commitment to myself to eat well, exercise and do some head work. So, it was a very good week. There were some stress points but I did not use food to manage the stress. I also had an unstructured day yesterday with a big brunch and then two light snacks and then dinner but I tracked the food and I did not use it as an excuse to over eat. So, I am really happy with that. The number on the scale is down 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) from last week! I am almost back to my lowest weigh in for last year and that makes me feel good. I know it is a large weight loss for one week; some of it I attribute to the week before (my stress eating last weekend impacted weigh in). It is also still a ‘starting out’ weigh but it is alot for one week.

This coming week I have a couple of social events that I will plan for but I think they will be ok given what they are and who they are with. I have my exercise booked in, I have meals planned and most of the shopping done. I will keep reading and thinking. I will try and eat a little bit more to bring it up to 9000kJ a day. I want to keep the weight loss steady and so it needs to be slower.

My running is going well. I had some good times this past week and I think I might try running 5K this coming weekend as a timed run. When I ran 5K late last year it was without good eating or consistent training leading up to it. Some of the Up and Running girls have been talking about 12 races in 2012 – be that virtual or actual races. I like that idea and as I will be away the last weekend in January I thought I could try next weekend. I will see how the week goes.

I got a call from the Get Healthy Program last week. I knew the call was coming – it was my 12 month follow up call – but I thought it would be a couple of weeks away. It was really good to report in to them. The Get Healthy Program is run by the state/territory govts in Australia and provides free phone coaching over a period of 6 months on healthy living to people living in those states and territories. I signed up in January last year for the additional support and I really enjoyed the calls from my coach. I agreed to do the followup call as part of the research on the program itself. I think it is important that programs get information from the participants so they can try to assess if the program met the objectives. There were questions about food/exercise/planning/motivation and weight and waist circumferance. I felt so strong and positive in that conversation. I haven’t finished this journey yet but I have come so far. I know that having those check in calls last year did help my motivation and commitment. I highly reccomend getting as much support as you can, be it a group, family or friends, online forums or govt sponsored programs. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if we could be there for each other as we walk our own paths to better health?

The Racer

Late last year I was looking for some poems about running that I could put up at work. See, the password policy had changed and the password to login needs to be complex and change frequently and I can’t remember them. But if I have a poem, I can use phrases from the poem to create my password and because the poem is up on my cubicle wall, I have a prompt at hand. The running poems does not look out of place, it is underneath my Up and Running 5K course certificate.

One of the poems I found is The Racer by John Masefield. John Masefield was an English poet and writer (1878-1967) and was the poet laureate of the UK from 1930.

I saw the racer coming to the jump,
Staring with fiery eyeballs as he rusht,
I heard the blood within his body thump,
I saw him launch, I heard the toppings crusht.

And as he landed I beheld his soul
Kindle, because, in front, he saw the Straight
With all its thousands roaring at the goal,
He laughed, he took the moment for his mate.

Would that the passionate moods on which we ride
Might kindle thus to oneness with the will;
Would we might see the end to which we stride,
And feel, not strain, in struggle, only thrill.

And laugh like him and know in all our nerves
Beauty, the spirit, scattering dust and turves.

And because I had to look it up… turves is the plural for ‘turf’ and so means ‘grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots’ and that is a nice running surface.

The third verse really speaks to me – here it is again

Would that the passionate moods on which we ride
Might kindle thus to oneness with the will;
Would we might see the end to which we stride,
And feel, not strain, in struggle, only thrill.

If I could only focus that emotion I have into getting the job done! And if I could take the effort and have that spur me on! Even the difficult times, knowing that I was making progress. I would surely reach my goals!

I read this poem maybe once a week, and think about the struggles on the journey. Getting up early to go running when I don’t want, pushing myself to finish a workout when I want to stop, not eating the chocolate last night because I had eaten enough food yesterday, food planning, food prep in advance and all of the little things like tracking food and making sure the washing is done so I have clean workout clothes which can seem a burden. It is all part of the journey. Sometimes it is a strain and a burden and sometimes I don’t get it all done. But I want the goal. I want the ‘far off’ health and fitness that I am striving for. I want to go walking with my grandchildren in 30 years time.

I like this poem. And it is good to have things about me which help me reflect on the journey, that the choices I make today are important for the long term goal.

Weekly wrap

The past week was really quite good now I look back. I had a great time doing the Up and Running workouts… I write that and I wonder at who this girl is who loves running!!! Anyway, the workouts this week were hard and pushed me and I saw myself improve in the week as my body got used to regularly exercising and eating well again. It was just so good to see. I did my longest workout yet in terms of distance with 7.3km in 57 minutes, which included a total of 5.8km of running. I was so proud of that workout and I was tired afterwards 🙂 And I loved having the stats from my garmin to see how I did over the different segments. Overall last week I had 2 rest days and did 6 workouts with a total of 29.2 km. Yes, I did two on one day because I had my new toy and I was trying it out.

My eating was pretty much spot on all week as well after starting on Tuesday. I felt better for eating properly. My energy levels were good, I enjoyed the food and I wasn’t hungry or feeling like I was missing anything. It was like I slipped back into the way I was eating last year and that felt normal. It was a big relief to just fall back into it so easily. I was aiming for about 9000kJ a day and averaged (over 5 days) at 8830kJ. I was interested in how my running impacted my hunger and energy needs for the day and I felt I was listening to my body and making good choices. I ate a little more on the days I ran (up to 9300kJ) and a little less on the days I didn’t (about 8500kJ). And so it averaged out and I was really happy with that. But the best part of the week with food was the awareness of how much better I felt when I eat well, when I get hungry between meals, when I listen to my body when it needs a little more and then I give it a little more of healthy food. So it was a great start to the year. The other positive thing I did over the weekend was do a meal plan for the week, go shopping, prepare foods for lunch this week and cook one meal for the freezer. This week will be easier because I have a plan and am prepared.

I did have one slip up yesterday (hence not tracking for 6 days last week)… I had not planned an outing well. I really should have thought about this one a little better. Firstly, my period started yesterday and the first 24 hours are difficult with back ache, cramping and general moodiness; after that it is usually bearable. Secondly, the outing was not quite what I expected, I was disappointed and that threw me a little. I had taken food with me that I was not planning to track and that was a bad call. I was a little tense because of the company. And so I ate the foods I was not planning to track in amounts greater than I would have eaten had I not been where I was. When I am tense, I eat to help me relax because having a full belly means comfort and security. I know this is how my brain works. So, what do I do next time? Think about the outing/event and plan the food a little better. Take chewing gum so that I can trick my brain into getting the relief from a tense situation without the calories. Do some positive self talk prior to the event. Continue working on my issues around self acceptance. I can’t do much about the timing with hormones but I can have painkillers with me if I need them.

The slip up was half of one day. And in the scheme of a week it isn’t much, in the scheme of a month it is only a a moment. I was frustrated this morning when I stepped on the scales and did not see as large a loss as I would have liked. But now, looking at the whole week and knowing what happened yesterday, I can accept it and move on. I had a relly good week with food and exercise and I am happy. The number box on the floor was down 0.8kg (almost 2bs) from last week and I am satisfied with that. I feel that it is a pretty accurate reflection of how the week went.

I also decided what to read to help me in the area of self acceptance. I will read Karen Anderson’s “After: (the before and after)”. I chose this book because it is Karen who partly inspired me to look at self acceptance from her discussion with Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone in episode 27. (Insert Plug for the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone: Love your work, Shauna and Carla!!!) Listening to that podcast again late last year made me first realise there was work I could do in this space. Without having something on the shelf that spoke to me on this issue, without knowing where else to go, not wanting to spend hours browsing book shelves in shops (although that can be fun), I decided to go back to the original prompt and start there. I have a starting point.

A new week awaits. New training plans, a food plan and a commitment to making healthy choices today.

Searching for self-acceptance

I haven’t really clarified what I mean by ‘self acceptance’ and what I am trying to achieve in this space. When I talk about self acceptance, I don’t want to accept my size now and be happy with that and not move forward to be fitter and healthier – it is not like the ‘healthy at every size’ acceptance of my weight now. That is not the path I am on (I am not saying it is not a valid path, just not a valid path for me at this point).

What I am aiming for is to accept who I am – this is me, where I am now. I don’t need to apologise for not being someone else. I don’t need to strive to be someone else. Other people can be role models and inspire me but I want to be the best ‘me’ that I can be. And that means knowing who I am, accepting who I am, accepting my past because it has made me who I am, accepting my strengths and where I am good, accepting the things I am not so good at and knowing that those things are ok. It means letting go of the past and living in today. Accepting who I am as a partner, a mother and a daughter and being myself in those relationships. It means letting go of the ‘should be’ and ‘what if’ and working with who I am and the talents I have. It means building dreams and goals based who I am now and where I see me going; it means building plans which allow me to enjoy the journey because it is my journey and I want to live, enjoy and be me today. It means being happy in my body and soul, separate to the circumstances of today. It means being less buffeted by circumstances in life because I know who I am and I am strong in myself. This is what I am looking for with self acceptance.

I am hoping with increased self acceptance, my need to eat because I am insecure will be less because I won’t be as insecure; my need to eat because I am bored or stressed or hormonal or afraid will be less because I am more aware of who I am and where I want to go.

January commitment

My January commitment post is a little late with all the new year/old year musings that made its way here. But I do intend to write a commitment post at the start of each month and a wrap up post at the end of each month for accountability and motivation purposes.

In January I have decided to commit to three Up and Running workouts a week out of the 5 I will do each week. I had thought I might do two a week and then some other running but I was thinking about the 5K course I completed and how I do want to improve my running. Making a commitment to the workouts will get me there. To keep me accountable I have my workouts marked on the whiteboard on the fridge and I cross them off once they are done. That way, at any point in the month I can see how I am travelling; inspiring and motivating all at once.

Foodwise, I am committing to a kJ budget of 9000kJ a day. The way I manage this is that I look at a weeks average rather than each day. This is more than I budgeted in December so it will be interesting to see how I make up that extra 1000. Having chocolate or alcohol every day is not a good way to get those kJ in. But I discovered this week that I am just a little hungrier on my UAR workout days and 9000 or a little over is the right amount. On non UAR days, between 8000 and 8500 is enough. It looks like this will average out quite nicely.

And for my head, this month I will read at least one book on the theme of self acceptance. I don’t know which one yet. Honestly, this is the one I am least likely to do so I better go and look for a book tonight. I have a kindle so it will be easy to pick something up without having to leave the house.

Given my excesses of December, I expect a good weightloss in January – maybe 5kg. But I am not aiming for anything specific. I know that if I do what I have said here, it will happen and if I don’t do it… well I know what will happen then, too. The difference for me here is that the weightloss is second to exercise, managing food and doing the thoughtwork.

New Toy

*whispers* I bought a Garmin Forerunner today. First run tomorrow morning (just a straight out and back 30 minute) followed by 40 min walk at lunch and I have an Up and Running workout planned for Saturday. I am very excited. So much data!!!

First Anniversary Post

Happy First Anniversary to my changed life!

It seems like such a long time ago and also just like yesterday.

This time last year, I started out tracking my food, working out an exercise plan and writing about my journey to lose weight. I was excited and scared but I was determined!

link to first entry

Taking a long view of my first year*

Starting weight 3 January 2011: 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight 3 January 2012: 99.7 kg (218.5 lbs)

Total weight lost: 41.6 kg (91.5 lbs)
% starting weight lost: 29.5%

Measurements January 2011: Bust 130cm, Waist 137 cm, Hips 141 cm
Measurements January 2012: Bust 108cm, Waist 109 cm, Hips 121 cm

It was such a big year. I still have a long way to go but I am over half way to my goal weight. I am a smaller size now then when I left school in 1992. Things have certainly changed for the better around here 🙂 And I have really enjoyed writing about it and will continue to do so.

Here is to the second year, continued health, strength and improved fitness.

*raises glass*

* My lowest weight was 95kg at the beginning of December. December was a bad month for me – there was alot of stress and I ate to cope. So, I am back up a little. But I stayed under 100kg and I am happy about that. Now is not the time to fret about the gain. I can learn from the poor stress management but it is time to look forward.

the nuts and bolts of it – food

At a weight of 65kg (143 lbs), I would need to eat about 9000 kJ (2100 cal) a day to maintain that weight, doing moderate exercise 3-5 times a week.

65kg is in the top half of my healthy BMI weight range and gives me a 5 kg buffer before I hit the overwieght category. It is the weight I am aiming for. I don’t know what it will look like or feel like and I have no timeframe for getting there. But in my head, that is a good aim.

At my current weight of about 95kg (210 lbs) and doing moderate exercise 3-5 times a week, I need to eat about 9000 kJ to lose 0.5kg a week.

I am going to start this year by setting my kj ‘budget’ at 9000kJ a day. There are a couple of reasons for this:
– I want to know what it is like to eat that much over a period of time, like a month. If this is going to be my food budget in maintenance I want to think about what that means in a practical sense.
– I am aiming for a weight loss rate of between 0.5kg and 1kg a week and as I plan to do moderate exercise 5-6 times a week this is a good food budget to help me with that.

I am going to start tracking again on Tuesday. I know it is the new year and all, and I know that I usually start on Mondays but given our plans tomorrow, the actual food tracking will start on Tuesday. There is a nice symmetry to that. Tuesday is the 3rd of Jan and I started last year on the 3rd of Jan. So, Tuesday 3rd of Jan it is. I will keep this food budget in place till the end of January and review then. I know what a normal day of food looked like at 8000kJ and I know how to build that to 8500kJ. I am going to start with that and then build in the additional 500kJ.

However, I am not waiting till Tuesday to start exercise. I am dressed in my gear and as soon as the boy goes down for his nap I am heading out to try a new 5km route. I am walking it today to break in my new running shoes (*squee*) and because it is about 30’C outside and also because I am doing a running workout tomorrow. I am looking foward to a nice walk to bring in the new year. I will think of my running friends and send them good wishes for their planned runs today.

More about the nuts and bolts of exercise later….

2012 – today and far off

I have a new spreadsheet for weightloss stats. It has my starting weight from 2011 and then will have my first weigh-in for 2012. All of 2011 stats are archived. I like this because December was hard and I am back up 2-3 kg from where I was at the start of the month. So, a new spreadsheet gives me the opportunity to move forward, acknowledging how far I have come in a year but not worrying about the last month.

I have a new spreadsheet for recording training. I also have a calendar that my sister gave me which includes an exercise log for each month. I also have a small diary I will keep in my handbag that I might use to record exercise. I have looked at a few online logs but I don’t find them quite right (well suited for running but awkward then for other exercise workouts)… I am not sure what I am going to use yet but I have options and I will work it out. I will record my exercise. That much I know.

I have some books to re-read in relation to self awareness. I would have read them about a decade ago when I was doing alot of growing up very quickly. These books will be my starting point for the self acceptance development I want to progress.

I am going to try and do things differently in 2012 with regard to commitment and motivation. In 2011 I had my 40 week grand plan and it worked so well for changing my life. This year, I want my focus to be on ‘today and far off’ rather than one defined endpoint. ‘Today’ is every day, the choices I make each day that will get me to my ultimate goal of being healthy for life; which is the ‘far off’. To help me transition, I am going to look at a monthly committment and review. At the start of each month I will commit to my health and future, at the end of each month I will review. Part of my commitment each month will be weekly goals for eating and exercise but I hope that by reviewing and committing each month I will keep my motivation high while helping me transition. So, no grand plan for this year. My plan for this year is to normalise food and exercise into my life, to make those healthy choices part of my everyday. And to keep in mind the goal of healthy for life.

I want my attitude to be matter of fact with regard to food and exercise, building on the routines I developed this year. By matter of fact I mean less swayed by emotion and that this is just the way I live. That every day I choose to track my food because it helps me watch what I eat (I am going to keep tracking because it does work for me). It is not a big deal, it just is. And I choose to exercise regularly; summer and winter, rain and sun. It is not a big deal, it just is. I want to quietly go about my own way, looking after my physical and mental health.

2012 will see me keep going on my journey to a lighter plane of being.