Tag Archives: today and far off

Running in public

The running workout that I have been doing for the last couple weeks has involved the sequence (run for several minutes, walk for a small bit, do some half squats)*several times. And it is fine to do early morning when there is no-one about and I am running around the back paths of my suburb.

On Saturdays, I have started going with my man and our boy to a lake where we meet with friends. I do my workout around the lake and everyone else walks around and we meet at a play ground at the end for the kids to all get out and play. It works really well. The path mostly follows the lake; there are two bridges next to a very busy road and about 400m on the side of another very busy road. Last Saturday I was uncertain whether I should do the squats. I mean, it would look… Well, you see people running and walking and power walking and stretching but not really doing other sort of moves… And I feel self conscious enough…

But by the time I was at the first lot of squats I was 20 minutes into the workout and didn’t care that much. As long as I was not on the bridge (where there is not alot of room) I was good to squat in public. I was even next to the very busy road towards the end of the workout and squatted. And it was just me, doing my exercise and it didn’t matter. I was very proud of myself at the end.

Today I overslept and I needed to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work early. So, I did not get my early run in. But because I was there 30 minutes early I was able to take a long lunch break. I packed all my gear and at 12.30 I got out for my run by the lake – it’s a different lake; a busier lake with bigger roads and bridges and alot of lunchtime traffic around it in the form of people walking, running, riding, sitting, strolling. I decided that I would do the two bridge loop which would give me about 7km for my workout. I know this workout needs about that much.

Again I was really uncertain about the squatting! Initially I planned to just walk for an extra 30 seconds before running again but by the time I got to it, I just did it. I stepped off the path so no-one would run/ride into me and got on with my workout. And each time I got to the squatting segment I was able to step off the path. So I did. And I felt silly. But getting fit is more important to me than a fleeting silliness. These people who see me exercise really don’t care. They don’t know me, they won’t see me again. All they see is someone working out and working hard. And I am ok with that.

Well, mostly ok with it. The next workout, the one I had planned for today, had skipping segments (not jump rope skipping but skipping along). I did not want to skip in public, but I am mostly ok with squatting in public!!!

In other news. Today I weighed in and the stats are:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs) 3/1/2010
Today’s weight: 96.0 kg (211 lbs)
Loss since last week: 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)
Total lost: 44.9kg (99 lbs)

Last week I exercised on 6 days – I did 4 running workouts and 2 walks. One of the running workouts was a bonus; it was not planned but I got the opportunity and I also thought that I was busy the next day. So, I went. And then the plans for the next day fell through and I went walking that day instead. I deliberately did not run on two of my workouts. Last week I did a total of 34kms.

I ate well and consistently, averaging at 9225kJ/day which was a little more than I was aiming for but only twice did I think I had a little too much. I am doing well not having chocolate and really am not craving sugar, although I am still loving the summer fruit and choose to eat my extra kJ that way.

I have been more consistent in saying my positive affirmation. It starts off “I breathe in, I breathe out. I breathe in peace, I breathe in joy, I breathe in strength, I breathe in love. I breathe out fear, I breathe out discontent, I breathe out stress.” I repeat that a couple of times and then the focus changes a little. But, I breathe deeply and relax and when I say ‘I breathe in joy’, I can feel my cheeks lifting and I am smiling.

It was a big loss last week. Look at the numbers!!! Almost 45kg gone! Almost 100lbs gone!!! And I am very close to the lowest I got to in early December. My clothes are a little looser and I feel really good. It is very exciting. But I need to be careful. I need to eat enough to sustain my exercise – that is one of the things I got wrong in January. This week I am aiming for an average of 9500kJ a day, so just a little more than last week. I want to slow my weight loss to about a kg a week but I want to keep my exercise intensity up. I will aim for 3 of my Up and Running workouts and 3 fast walks. Again, I will choose not to run in some of my workouts!!! I love how far I have come, that more and more the expectation is that I will run!

So far, Feb 2012 has been a good month. My exercise and food choices have been ones that bring me closer to my goal of health and fitness. And my actions and choices bring me joy.

Wednesdays for regrouping

I so appreciate not working on Wednesdays. It gives me time to regroup; do some mid week washing, shopping and cooking. It gives me some time with my boy, to read books together and play. Right now, I am sitting here and writing shopping lists and to-do lists for today. Today I want to cook some soup for lunches the rest of the week and next week. I want to cook dinner for tonight and tomorrow night.

I went out running this morning. That is the other thing about Wednesday mornings; because I am not rushing out the door to work I can go out early and get my exercise done. It was a good workout. I did 6.78km in 58 minutes. 40 minutes of this time was running, there were walking segments and squats throughout. I was happy with my pace throughout. My little boy saw me just after I was back all hot and sweaty. I like explaining to him that I go out running and that he sees the effort and the satisfaction I get from exercise.

Yesterday in my lunch break I went out for a walk. I did not run and I am pleased that I stuck with a lower intensity workout. I walked quickly and worked up a sweat. I also had a good pep talk – what am I doing, how am I doing it, what my goals are. I find these talks really help my motivation and commitment. The exciting thing yesterday was that I started building in some different and desireable outcomes from being healthy as I get older. Up till now I have been saying that I want to be active in 30 years so that I can play and walk and run with my grandkids. Yesterday I included that I want to be healthy and active as I get older so that I can travel with my man when we have retired. And that thought excites me.

January Review – Febuary Commitment

There were some great things in January and some less than ideal things. And I am frustrated that I am recording a weight gain for the month rather than a weight loss. But to not report the gain would be a bad sign… it would mean that I was continuing in denial rather than facing up to my poor decisions.

In January I had committed to eating well, doing my Up and Running workouts 3 times a week and reading one book about self acceptance and thinking about it.

I did my Up and Running Workouts consistently. I am now doing a series called Bridge to 10K which builds on the 5K course by providing workouts that are challenging but aimed at the 5K distance, improving stamina and time. The longest workout in terms of distance I did was 7.3km which took 57 minutes and I ran about 40 minutes of that time. They are hard and more challenging than I would devise on my own but I trust Julia Jones, the running coach who devised them and so I would argue with myself to push through to the end of the workout. And that sense of satisfaction when I am done is amazing.

I read Karen Anderson’s book called ‘After (the before and after)’ about her journey towards self acceptance on her weight loss journey. It was listening to Karen talk to Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast last year that inspired me to look at my own issues around self acceptance. The book was not quite what I was looking for but was a good place for me to start. I started building a personal affirmation which reflects where I am now that I can use in a meditative way. I thought about different aspects of myself, especially those that are the negative voices in my head and how I can talk to those aspects of me and not let them hold me back. But these things did not become habit and I realise while writing that I have not thought of them in the last 2 weeks or so… the two weeks which coincide with my poor eating choices.

So why did my eating go off the rails? It did, obviously as I had started losing weight and now I have ended up with a net gain for the month. There are many reasons
– pushed myself too hard with exercise and did not eat enough which meant that I got really hungry and overate to compensate
– then I dropped the exercise a little (back to my 3 workouts a week) but still did not manage to balance energy in with the exercise
– stress about money and using food to avoid dealing with the money issues
– going to decaf coffee. I decided I wanted to reduce my caffeine intake. I was having two large (mug sized) espresso coffees a day plus 2 mugs of black tea. Over two weeks I transitioned to decaf coffee and kept the black tea. But I realised on the weekend that I am not reaching for sweet things to give myself a mental boost – especially at work. I need to find another way to manage less caffeine.
– feeling very virtuous after the first two weeks because I did so well, especially at a lunch with friends where I chose to leave 2 slices of pizza on my plate. The old feelings of entitlement came back with a vengence that night and I had chocolate.
– work has been really busy. It is not stressful like my last job but I am so busy and focussed on the tasks at hand that reaching for an extra snack helps get me through.
– I stopped tracking food, I stopped weighing myself on the scales every couple days, I stopped saying my affirmations which remind me of the big picture.

I need to think about all these things, the lessons I can learn, the ways I can manage stress and work pressures better. I hope that in learning I can start making better choices.

So today I got on the scales and that third number is back. Weight this morning was 100.3kg.

Fact. Information. Move on.
(I will try not to beat myself up for too long)

So, that was January. I made some really good progress in terms of exercise and building tools to help me on the journey. I stuck to my eating plan for the first two weeks but it was not enough for the intensity of exercise. And the last two weeks contained alot of poor food choices. I am not back where I started because my consistency with running has improved and I have some tools that I can pick up again.

February…

One of the things I ate in January was chocolate, too much chocolate. When I eat chocolate I want more chocolate. Maybe not immediately but the next day and the next day. It triggers bad eating habits for me and they cycle in a negative way. I need it to stop. February will be the month of no chocolate.

I will take steps toward selling my unit which will lead to sorting out my money a little better.

I will continue with 3 Up and Running Workouts a week but will not run on other days. I need to find a balance with exercise and food and running 5 days in a row upsets that balance.

I will track food and aim for 9000kJ a day. I will report my weight every week on Monday; I like that extra bit of accountability. I will aim for a loss of 3kg in the month.

I will work on my affirmation again and I will say it every morning when I get up. I will reread After and think some more.

I will keep going. There is no end to the journey, there are many small steps. There is today, there is far off. There is continuing.

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.

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.

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….