Sunday, October 14, 2012

It Takes Two

       Last year I signed up for two 5Ks back to back. While training I sprained my ankle. I was able to do the WW Walk-It 5K but not the Hunts Point Hustle. Other than the 5K with my WW homies, Cindy and Tam, this was my shot to participate in the Bronx which is the borough in which I live. I would up sitting on the sidelines all summer. Fast forward to this year, a brand new year indeed. A year when I joined the NY Road Runners and started challenging myself to do more. Starting in April I tried to sign up for an event every month. When it came time to sign up for October, the only race I could find near my skills wa a 1.7 mile. Cindy laughed at me saying that's too small but a chance to run in an event is a chance and I took it. A month ago I received an email that there would be another Hunts Point Hustle and it would take place the day before the 1.7 mile. I chose to sign up and run two races two days in a row.

        The Hunts Points Hustle 5K was an inexpensive event. For $5 I signed Jake up for the 5K too. I asked Jake if he would like give running a 5K a try and he said yes. I was already training myself to run 3.1 miles straight. I took Jake out for a couple of training runs. He ran ahead of me to start. He ran like a child, from side to side on the track, smacking tree branches on the path. He slowed down when he burnt out and walked behind me the rest of the way.  So Saturday morning, at a brisk 39 degrees, I attached a racing strip to his sneaker and we moved over to the start line. Jake took a look at all the runners in their gear and said " you're going to to run fast and leave me behind". I told him that I would do no such thing and reminded him that I run very slow and we will be fine. Then a horn blew and Jake took off, running with the crowd as fast as he could. He looked over his shoulder at me and never looked back again.  I continued to run at my usual pace thinking oh my goodness I've lost my son and I have run this kind of race before and I can do this.
           Unlike the races in Central Park, I found myself a distance from others and it felt like I was running early morning on a weekend. I was listening to my music which was telling me I was halfway there when suddenly the finish line appeared. Other finishers were cheering at the finish line and all I could do was look my long lost son. And there he was. I crossed the finish line thinking I should not kill him in public. He was waiting with an older woman who assured me that he had to run his own race. After the race, I got to do something I never did before. They had a Zumba instructor giving Zumba lessons and I jumped into a spot and did Zumba for the first time in my life.

           On Thursday I went to pick up my number for the 1.7 mile race. I walked from my office in midtown to the upper east side, approximately a little over two miles. When I received my number bib, I noticed that it did not have the tracking strip on it. When I asked one of the volunteers she pointed to a young man across then room. So I asked him to help me obtain  my strip and he looked at my number bib and said "we do not time that race". I felt as though I was stabbed in the heart. Did he just look down at my 1.7mile race? Does he realize how hard it was for me to be able to run 1.7miles? It was not until I got home that I realized I actually walked farther to pick up my racing bib than the length of the actual race.
           Today I Jake and I had our NY Road Runners races. First Jake ran the childrens race with his 10-12 age group. Then I ran the 1.7mile. It was an interesting course with a few small hills. For once my kids were actually at the finish line cheering me on. Jake asked me what happens when he turns 13 years old and no longer qualifies for the 10-12 year old catagory. I told him that we will figure something out. A year ago I noticed that Jake was putting on a little weight. Since then we put him in little league and I have tried various ways to get him to be active. I bought him a suit for an event last year in April and it did not fit by August. I was not sure what to do because I did not want to give him a complex but I also did not want him to have to work as hard as I do trying to lose weight in the future. This August in anticipation of a wedding his dad was looking for something for him to wear and he tried on the too tight suit and it fit. He called me at work to say that we do not need buy a new outfit. Jake was so sharp dressed up in his suit so trim and fit. His gym teacher told him that he is her best student who is always willing to run extra laps..

Eating always makes me feel better until I stop and then I feel worse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two Wrongs

      Often during my weight loss journey I come across a few setbacks but I find that it's how we react to setbacks that's important. For me life's setbacks have often lead to life's smorgasbord. I even admit to years of eating to get through parts of my life that I found difficult to deal with. Some people attribute this to when you were a child, parents often gave you a snack to make you feel better.
Two Rights Don't Make A Wrong
     I never filled you in on my September 15th four mile race. It was absolutely great. I had a couple of new experiences that I never had before. One was needing to take a bathroom break. I usually go to the bathroom before a race but I may have gone too early this time. So right before the race I told my friend Cindy, that I need to go. She looked at me like I had lost my mind and said wait for a porto potty stop. The feeling did not leave so for the first time ever, I had to stop. I was mortified and laughing my head off because I felt stupid and human. Luckily for me, there were other human ladies feeling the same way at the first porto.  The second thing is an event that I will never forget. I finally ran up Cat Hill, the formidable hill within the first mile of a New York Road Runners Four Mile race. Usually when I get to this hill I start walking. But thanks to a little bit of hill drills and some courage I slowly ran up the hill. Lunatic that I am, I took a picture of the cat statue after stating that I finally beat it. I was able to run a few more hills and the rest of the race. Right after that, my son Jake ran the children's race in his age bracket. After we all went to breakfast at a diner where I had an egg white veggie omelet and whole grain toast.
the cat statue on Cat Hill

Me and Cindy

me and my son Jake

      Yesterday I had some frustrations regarding finances and a trip to my primary physician. I am not impressed with my primary physician which is why I go to my chiropractor. When Dr. B. suggested that I go to my regular doctor for blood tests just to rule out some reasons my weight loss has slowed down. So when I spoke to my doctor, I told him that I would like him to look into some things regarding my weight loss. Do you know what he said to me? "Well I could refer you to some surgical weight loss professionals". I felt like I was slapped in the face. This is after explaining that I am a Weight Watcher and a runner. I told him that the only way I would do such a thing is if my organs were failing and I had no other choice. Also for the record my thyroid is fine and I was not anemic, he just neglected to let me know these results from my last tests less than a year ago.
       So both those things really pissed me off. I had to stop at the grocery store on my way home for something to cook for dinner and I find myself in the baking aisle holding a can of cake frosting, thinking about baking cupcakes for the guys. At that moment I had an epiphany. I started to think real hard about which frosting I was choosing and how good it would taste and how I would allow myself a cupcake and I saw myself sitting there with several cupcake wrappers and icing all over my face. I realized I was setting myself up for a serious binge. When I make cupcakes for the guys I do not eat one or I allow myself one and track it but I knew right there in Pathmark that if I purchased that icing and went home an baked them, I was going to eat until I was numb from my aggravation. I put down the icing and walked away.
         I blog all of this to say that you may have a bad day where everything seems to go wrong and you want to numb yourself with food. When I finish a race I feel like I can eat a buffet but then I go for the simple breakfast at a diner even though I have many activity points at the time. I say all this to say that when all of the food wrappers are cleared I would feel bad if I went overboard . One feeling was good and celebratory and the other was aggravating and depressing. Food would have fit in to each situation but it did not have to. This does not mean that I am cured  of overeating because I still have to eat food and make decisions. But this means that there are these moments of clarity that you can use to make better choices. I was right to be upset about yesterday and I was right to be celebratory about the race. They were right emotions but the wrong would have been to use overeating to cap them off.
         I saw something on one of those OWN shows with Iyanla Vanzant called STOP which stood for;
S - Stop
T - Take three deep breaths and smile in your body
O - Observe what's happening in your body
P - Proceed now with kindness and compassion

I don't have trouble eating. It's the stopping.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let's Get Serious

              I am always talking about running in my blogs lately (and probably always will). But I will take a step back from that today for a good reason. I need to say that running is not everything. Clutch my pearls, I cannot believe I just typed that statement.  The truth is while running is a fabulously fun, meditative, power driven, strength building exercise, there are other things I should be doing with this body I am trying to whip into shape. In my struggle for running power and glory, I neglected to cross train. I stopped riding my bike (forgive me Sheryl), lifting weights, using DVDs for aerobics and yoga.
               I have written in previous blogs about my visits to Dr. B.'s office on Tuesday. He is my chiropractor and in his office we practice wellness care. I keep him up to date on all my activities, eating habit and challenges. I also ask his advice when I feel injured and about how to treat myself so that I can heal and get back to running. I used to see Dr. B. right before Tuesday Night Happy Hour Weight Watchers meetings with Melanie the great. I used to run in, get therapy and run to my weigh-in. But a funny thing happen after Tuesday Night Happy Hour became Wednesday Night Happy Hour(s). I was no longer in a rush to leave and Dr. B. asked me if I wanted to workout on the Total Gym machine in his office.
               I had no idea what to do with this machine. The extent of my workouts are cardio and free weights. So he started me on a few easier ( okay maybe not so easy) exercises. I started out just doing what I could and then eventually added on more repetitions and other workouts. Today I had a super workout.  I went straight to work on the routine he planned for me. I was able to push myself with few breaks in between and when I was finished I felt like I had a truly good workout. Here is my workout prescribed by Dr. B.;
3 sets of 12- upright rows
3 sets of 12- seated rows
3 sets of 12 - dip position leg lifts
3 sets of 12 - military press
3 sets of 12 - jack knifes
3 sets of 12- overhead triceps curls with 10lb weight
3 sets of 12 - front lifts with 20lb kettle bell
3 sets of 20 - knees together squats with biceps curls using two 7lb weights
3 sets of 20 - knees outward squats with chest presses using two 7lb weights
3 sets of  planks ( aiming for 40 seconds but right now I can only do 12-15 seconds)

I have another WW profit from Wednesday Night Happy Hour meeting named Joey. He has been coming up with some sayings that definitely resonate the spirit of WW meetings.

Eat right, exercise more and share my experiences VS Eat poorly, not exercise and keep it to myself.

If you're gonna leave, walking outside is good.