Thursday, March 29, 2012

Message In A Bottle

Me in front of CitiField "Home of the Mets"

my family
       On Saturday, I participated in a 5K event with my friend Cindy. I was so happy to sign up for this event but the closer I got to the race, the more nervous I became.A few weeks before I had a couple of "bad" runs where I felt pain and had to stop in the middle of training. One of the pains was in my right heel. I went to the podiatrist who informed me that it was not a heel spur but that my muscles are so tight that they are pulling on the heel. On recommendation from my chiropractor, I have really invested in stretching. While training, my concentration was on the challenge that I would run the entire 3.1 miles. I hated the idea of pain interrupting my endurance. But my chiropractor suggested that I stop and stretch when I start feeling pain. I would never think of that because I was so busy trying to run the distance. I took my training back to the track in my neighborhood which is .82 miles for each lap (four laps is a little over a 5K). After two laps I started to feel a little worn and I stopped to stretch before leaving the track. But the funniest thing happened. After I stretched I felt this jolt of energy that told me to keep running and I did. I felt good.
me and Cindy at the start

Cindy and Pete

         So on race day, I was my usual nervous self. I brought my hubby and the boys along to cheer me on. I met up with Cindy and her boyfriend Pete and then I went to the start line. When the whistle blew, I started jogging my slow pace. I am not up to running really fast and I like to conserve my energy to make it until the end. About two-thirds into the first mile I ran into a crack on the trail and twisted my ankle slightly but I kept on running.Before I knew it, I was up to the first mile marker at 15.39mins. I was still feeling good and I kept on running. In a few minutes, a water station popped up. I usually do not stop for water but the cautious me said get some. Of course I tried to run with the water (note to self: running while trying to drink water is dumb). I kept running after I discarded my cup. Pretty soon, I was at the second mile marker at 33 mins. I was starting to feel the distance but I was not in pain so I kept running.
           The last mile seemed to last forever. I was looking for the finish line and it seemed like it would never appear. But it did appear just in time. As I was running towards the finish line , I saw my friend Cindy cheering me on. I looked around expecting  my son Josh to take a picture of me struggling to get to the end. But he was not there. None of my family was there. Apparently they were wandering through the park.  I went through the finish line, grabbed my freebie banana, bagel and water and hugged Cindy. We went to post race stretch and then to get our times. My time was 49:09 mins. Last year it was 52+ mins. I cannot believe that even though I was concentrating on endurance, I had also improved my time shaving 3mins off of last year's time.
me and Cindy after the race

           We wound up walking miles to a diner for our victory feast. But we were actually conservative and had veggie egg white omelets , whole wheat toast and home fries. Then we were off to Main Street to catch our bus home. Just like last year, we stopped in the Modells Sporting Goods store to look for workout gear. I purchased two new sports bras as my treat to myself for completing the race. It is always cool to reward yourself with non-food treats. Last year I bought pink sneakers. I also racked up alot of activity points for the whole day. On my pedometer I had 21,876 steps and 9.32 miles. This includes walking to the bus, walking to and from the event and the race.
me showing off my race number

my non-food reward

             While I was relaxing on my bed channel surfing, I came across a show on the Living well network starring Ali Vincent from The Biggest Loser. She helps someone change their lifestyle through eating and exercise. The woman she was helping on the episode wanted to do a 5K. Ali put together a group of people she had been working with. All of them were very overweight and all of them were enthusiastic about running a 5K. Ali set up what I thought was a cool style for running the event.She told her team to run for two minutes and walk for 30 seconds. That was how I started running to begin with. So if you are interested in learning to run or want to compete in a race, remember that you can run and walk in intervals that might not strain your endurance. I thought that was neat.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do

            This week's meeting topic was about setbacks and our perception of them. It is so true that as a weight watcher, we tend to use the word bad alot. I ate so many bad things. I had a bad weigh-in on the scale. But maybe we need to change from the feeling of bad. For starters, we are human beings and we have faults. Something happens when we attach the word "bad" to it. By making it bad you made it stronger than it should be. And instead of moving on, you are almost tempted to live up to it.You ate too much on Saturday, so you keep on doing it on Sunday. What you become bad at in the end is forgiving yourself for being human. I am definitely guilty of that. What we should do is focus on the things we can do very well.
            On the weight loss journey, I realize quite a few things about myself.
-I know which foods work better for me and which do not.
-I know that I can walk for miles and sometimes run them.
-I know that I can track the foods that I eat instead of blindly gobbling them.
-I know that laying around everyday is not good for my body.
-I know that some desserts are the same amount of points for a whole meal.
-I know that eating too much of a good tasting thing does not bring me joy but provides a tummy ache and massive guilt.
            This week the feedback from the scale said that I am doing better than I have been. I was able to get rid of last week's gain and a little more. I do not want to say how much but it was significant. It encouraged me to keep going in the right direction. And for the days after, I made good choices.
With one more week to go before the first 5K of the season, I got back on the running track. I was doing plenty of walking but avoiding the run. Why you ask? Well for one thing, my last two runs were frustrating. I experienced some aching in my lower right back and pain in my left heel. I went to the podiatrist petrified that I was having a heel spur again or worst; the dreaded sprained ankle. But my podiatrist told me that the muscles in my calves are so tight right now from running that they are putting a strain on my heel . He said that I need to stretch more and he's going to keep a close eye on me. I imagined all the times that I wished that my calves would stop jiggling and now I have tight calves. How about that!
             I took my tight calves for a run and they made it. I was able to run 2.4 miles. It was such a good feeling. Of course I'm mad sore but that's part of the course. When I started running I just kept saying to myself "just keep running until you can't run anymore". I felt so great that I went to the store after to pick up ingredients to cook dinner. Earlier I was planning to order Chinese food but with my runners high I was happy to cook my own food. Last week I could not imagine I would ever feel that runners high again. But I did.
            Today I went grocery shopping and other store errands. I do not drive so I get to walk for miles. When I got home my old man reminded me that I forgot the cat litter so I said let's go to the store and get it. In the end I wound up walking six and a half miles. Not too shabby for one day.While we were in Kmart on line, I saw a Snickers peanut butter bar that I had to try a couple of weeks ago when I had no resolve.  I told my hubby "ooh. there's the Snickers peanut butter bar from before" ( yes I was a little bit hungry). He looked at me and said "look away". And I did.

"I'm not bad, I'm Bob"

Monday, March 12, 2012

(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden

        This week I have come back to the realization of self sabotage. I have been trying to figure out what is going on with me lately. First of all my weight is on a yo-yo cycle of lose a couple , then gain a couple. This is not a good sign for me. One of the first reactions to seeing my weight on the WW weigh-in card was extreme despair mixed with anger. It was getting to be a bit much. So I asked the receptionist not to tell me if I gained or lost. I put the card into my WW booklet and sat down to enjoy the meeting. This worked out because instead of being pissed off at a gain, I was able to concentrate on the meeting. But I have to tell you. It had another effect. I was not watching my weight and I gained.
          I was going through a rough time with responsibilities and life and I started to become depressed. When I get depressed I keep it to myself. One reason is because I was raised that way (did any of your mothers ever say "what happens in this house stays in this house"?). The other reason is because I tend to internalize everything. Although I cry on a dime during a sentimental commercial or movie, I think crying over myself is a waste of time. It seems that I don't think my own problems are important enough. It's easy to feel empathy for others and their problems but it's really hard to think of myself as important.
          What does this create? Well for 45 years it has created a vortex of eating my problems. I was upset, my old man got sick, I hurt my foot, my job was killing me and I could not deal. So I started self medicating with my drug of choice: food. And I got sloppy. One week, I barely tracked. Another week I did not exercise as much. Then I started to feel sick which made me even more upset ( I am planning to run a 5K in a couple of weeks). How could I go backwards? How could I make do with less exercise? How could I take care of my job and my family during crucial times? I know. Stop taking care of myself. I shut down. I ate.
            I started to notice that I felt lethargic and I got worried because I thought I was getting my hubby's cold. I started out filling in the E-Tools tracking for WW and realized that I had gone up a food point. Oh yes, I gained weight. Last week's meeting was about portion control. Sometimes when that topic comes along I get agitated as if haven't I heard enough blah blah blah about tracking? But no, it comes along for a reason. It helped to shake me out of my state of unconsiouness. I was sleep walking and numbing myself. Not full out binges but little binges here and there. Oh, wouldn't I like some chocolate? Why not have chocolate everyday? Why not have cookies ? Why not eat more than the serving size? Why not put a little extra rice, chicken, pasta ....... There is a reason. It's called total loss of control. It ends in weight gain.
            During the last six days, I have been trying to set things right starting with measuring and tracking. I followed up with pulling back on the crap ( excessive snacking to medicate). Snacks have not been eliminated from my life, they are only more controlled. I made an effort to keep walking when I can. I was getting filled with despair over my last two funky runs. That led to depression that I will suck at the running 5K in less than two weeks. But what does it matter if I only half run/ half walk my 5K. I am doing a 5K. This is something I would not believe if you said to me five years ago.  There has been progress in my life. Last year this time I was losing weight steadily so obviously I can do it. I just need to try harder.
          This brings me back to the title of my blog which was a pop/country hit in 1970 that I would listen to on my Mom's kitchen radio. I love songs from the 70's so much because somehow their lyrics are still with me. I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there's gotta be a little rain sometimes. That's truly what life is. Some days are internally sunny and some are internally rainy. Sometimes life is going to mess with you and you have to figure out a way to deal. For me, eating is an extremely consequential way to deal with my problems.