Saturday, March 30, 2013

So Excited to Get Back to Training

I finally went to the doctor today about my problems with taking a deep breath. (Well actually I went to a Nurse Practitioner who told me I should have gone to a doctor.) But anyway, I got an inhaler and was told to buy an over the counter medication for allergies. She thinks that I do probably have an asthma problem but also probably serious seasonal allergies from running outside.

I hope the inhaler and the medication do the trick. She told me I could start training again on Monday.

I am SOOOO ready. I feel like I am craving the opportunity to go running. Maybe it's becoming an addiction. But at least it's a good addiction to have.

I also decided that I am going to start to put a lot of effort into strength training. I was reading SkinnyMeg's blog after hearing her on a podcast and could not believe the difference in her body after strength training...yes please!

The nurse gave me the do ahead to do some physical activity today so I am going to take a three mile walk in this amazing spring weather and then I think I am going to do 200 squats and 100 pushups outside just to get started.

Happy Spring Everyone! (About time:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What? That Used to Be Me?

After getting the stomach flu on late Sunday afternoon, I have found myself confined to the bed or the couch for the last couple of days. This means that for the first time in a long time I have not done much more than watch Hulu, surf the Internet, and do some reading. Not only have I found that I am bored out of my mind, but I realized something even more interesting:

I really have changed my life.

When I was in graduate school, I actually spent the majority of my time watching TV and surfing the Internet and eating. I was going through a difficult time and wanted to escape a lot of my life. I did this for almost two years. It would not be unheard of for me to order a large pizza, eat a pint of ice cream and watch a Gilmore Girls marathon all day long. This is how I put on 80 of my lbs.

Today, I work out at least six days of week, 75% of my diet is healthy and I only follow one television show on a regular basis (Castle lovers unite:). So it stands to reason that being attached to a couch for over 48 hours feels weird and completely unlike me. 

How weird to see the difference. I guess it truly does show me that taking small steps in the right direction eventually leads to a complete life change. Because if I ever have to sit on the couch and watch Hulu all day again, I might go insane:)

Happy end of the stomach flu! (I figure it's mind over matter..right:))

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marathon Training is Kicking my Butt

Yesterday afternoon around 4pm I got knocked of my feet with a stomach flu. I was at the grocery store and started to feel nauseous. By the time I got home, I was so weak I had to lay down before I put my groceries away. I then was in bed from 5pm to 7:30am dealing with all of the joyous symptoms of the stomach flu. Today, I have been drinking orange juice and watching Hulu, hoping to feel better tomorrow.

But this made me curious, because on February 7 (my 30th birthday) I also got the stomach flu. This one is a little worse for various reasons. But for me it's extremely rare to get the stomach flu and even more rare to get the stomach flu twice in a 6 week period. So I had to ask myself...what changed?

Marathon training.

This is the only thing I can pinpoint that is different in this season of my life. I immediately started googling long runs and flu and found something interesting, the low twitch muscle fibers that you use when running long distances (like 13.1 miles) are the same low twitch muscle fibers used to ward off illness. I read article after article about the importance of eating lots of vitamin C the day before and the day of your long run. Not to mention, the importance of rest right after your long run.

So, two stomach flu's later I have learned my lesson..Vitamin C anyone?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Perfect Run

Today may have very well been the perfect run. I had to run 13 miles today (I added a .1 on the end so it would be a solid half marathon.) I decided to go to the other side of the trail that I don't normally run so I would see what it felt like to run on unfamiliar terrain. Here are all the amazing things that went RIGHT today.

1. I had my fast average lap time ever

2. I finished the 13.1 quicker than I have ever run 13.1 miles ever

3. I finished strong, I didn't really run out of steam until the last half of the last mile

4. It was supposed to snow during my run, it didn't start snowing until well after my run

5. The temperature wasn't an issue, with a hat, jacket and gloves on, I wasn't cold at all

6. The other side of the trail goes at least 6.6 miles so I didn't have to repeat anything (the North side of the trail only goes 5 miles so I have to do some up, back, ups if I run that side on a long run day)

7. I didn't get shot (the trail runs behind a shooting range, always makes me a little nervous:)

8. I burned 1874 calories according to my Garmin

9. While I got a blister, it wasn't bad enough that it impaired my run.

10. Because of my amazing calorie burn I get to eat this without wrecking my weight loss: Wholemade Gluten Free Pizza-Yum!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Frozen Snickers Bar Oops

As a therapist that works with a lot of kids, I keep a prize box filled with little prizes and toys and such. When buying candy for this prize box, I usually buy candy that has gluten in it. I do this on purpose because I can't eat gluten. This means that I won't be tempted to eat any of the candy. So far this has worked great.

Unfortunately, the other day I got a little full of myself. I bought mini snickers bars for my prize box. Snickers bars are gluten free. But I thought "I have been doing so well not eating candy that this won't be a problem for me."

I should probably mention that not only are snickers bars gluten free, they are also my FAVORITE candy bar. This is the part of the horror movie where the music starts playing:)

I bought the bars, put them in the prize box and then put them in my trunk. For a while they didn't taunt me until yesterday. On my way to my client's house, I put the prize box next to me in the car. I thought "I'll just eat one mini snickers."

Well, I should probably mention that since the prize box had been in the trunk of my car, these snickers bars were also deliciously frozen. A frozen snickers bar? I'm pretty sure the Hallelujah Chorus started playing immediately.

Needless to say I ate 4 mini snickers before I put the prize box in the back of my car, so they wouldn't be near me anymore. So lets dissect the mistakes I made in this scenario.

1. I BOUGHT the Snickers bars, thinking I had everything under control. I've decided that people with eating problems have the shortest memory spans on the planet.

2. I put the snickers bars in my eyesight.

3. I didn't immediately get rid of them when I knew there was a problem.

So needless to say, I spent an extra hour in the gym last night, learning my lesson. When you are dealing with eating problems (binging, purging, etc.) you always have to be on your game. Lesson learned:)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Showing Up

Yesterday, I was listening to Jillian Michael's podcast. She was talking about her biggest loser contestant (who apparently won the whole thing). She said that the distinguishing factor between her contestant that won and the other contestants is that this contestant "Showed Up" every day.

This got me to really thinking about my weight loss this time around compared to all the numerous times I tried to lose weight in the 10-15 years before that. I think one of the biggest differences is as simple as showing up.

Back when I was trying every "diet" under the sun, I would show up for the day or two days, I would then not see the results I wanted or it would be too hard. I would then quit and try a different "diet" or quit and binge or quit and starve myself.

This time around I have been working on losing weight for a little over a year and a half. The difference is that I show up every day. I may have days where I want to eat more than I should or days when I don't feel like exercising, but even those days I don't say "Screw it, I quit." I show up and say "Today, I'm allowing myself to take a little break with full knowledge that I am in this journey for life and will be continuing it for the long haul."

This thought was also in my head this morning when I went to the gym. Everything has been against my marathon training this week. I developed some type of cold, running outside in the low temperatures on Monday, meaning having to slow down a bit this week. But I showed up at the gym. I was supposed to run 5 miles. I walked two. So it wasn't perfect. But I was there, and I KNOW that once this cold clears up, I will be back to my 13 mile run on Saturday. Showing up every day has helped me lose 95 lbs, showing up every day is going to help me run the marathon, and eventually, showing up every day is going to help me get to my goal weight.

"Part of abandoning the all-or-nothing mentality is allowing yourself room for setbacks. We are bound to have lapses on the road to health and wellness, but it is critical that we learn how to handle small failures positively so that we can minimize their long-term destructive effects. One setback is one is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your journey toward a better you."-Jillian Michaels

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Big Coffee Day

Today was a big coffee day.

Yesterday, I went for my normal 5 mile run out in very cold weather. It was just before 8am, about 27 degrees out with heavy winds. The first 2.5 miles I was running against the wind. But I did this run early in the morning and wasn't really paying attention. I thought it was a great run. The second I got home, I had trouble catching my breath. Then I continued having trouble catching my breath all day long.

When I googled this symptom, it kept being connected to "heart problems." "Heart problems?" -my hypochondriac self said. "I must be dying." Needless to say I was a bit anxious yesterday.

Today I went to the Alegent Quickcare and the nurse informed me it was probably just a result of me running in really cold weather. No need to worry, and also she told me to definitely continue training.

However, a day ridden with that much anxiety deserves a giant cup of coffee...after all, no heart problems here:)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Right Kind of Happiness

Something that bothers me more than almost anything else in the world is when people say "I deserve to be happy." Because the reality is, that not everything that's worth it is necessarily going to make you happy. When I am on the 11th mile of an 18 mile run, I am certainly not "happy." Sometimes, it's not about us being happy, it's about us taking responsibility which ultimately leads to change, and then leads to the right kind of happiness.

I would have never lost 90lbs (almost 100:) if my sole desire was to be "happy." Ice cream made me happy, pizza also made me happy. Vegetables actually make me quite angry. But taking responsibility for myself, my eating, my health and my body has led me to happiness in an extremely painful way.

I recently set some major boundaries in my life.  Setting these boundaries were painful. They certainly didn't make me happy. But setting these boundaries was a necessary evil to lead me back to the person I wanted to be. In finally setting those boundaries, I'm seeing the person I want to be emerge again. This is the person who desires to serve and gets excited about giving, not because I'm told "I have to," but because my heart truly desires to choose this. Sometimes pain leads to happiness.

"Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product"  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Progress Pic

So my friend suggested that I try on a dress that I tend to wear for a lot of weddings just to see how it fits now. The first picture is about 80lbs ago. The second picture was taken yesterday. Believe it or not, that is the same dress.


Please ignore the fact that I am not wearing makeup and my hair is not done in picture two.  Also, to my friends that let me go out of the house wearing a dress that was clearly too small in picture one, you are on my list:) I think sometimes you can't really wrap your head around how much progress you've made until you see it in pictures. I've been a little floored since yesterday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Nature of the Beast

Lately, I have been doing some major work on my eating disorder. I think once you have an eating disorder, you know the work is never done. You likely will never be a "normal eater." Currently, I have been really eating healthy, haven't been binging at all, and generally found a healthy balance with food. I am now currently 3lbs away from being smaller than I have been since I was 16 or 17. I am heading into territory that I haven't seen for about 14 years. And with that comes extreme emotions, anxiety, and irrational thought patterns.

I guess I never realized these things were running rampant because I would just eat instead of deal with them. But lately, they have been coming back with a vengeance. During this time, I have realized that maybe I am a person that just needs to focus on rest a little more than the average person, give myself time to process and time to wrap my head around the new me. The me that allows myself to feel deep emotions rather than eat my troubles away.

After spending time in prayer and counsel, I decided that dealing with the eating disorder, the marathon and my job were enough on my plate...and I decided to take a backseat in some of the other areas of my life that I am involved with..and that's ok. When you are trying to reach a goal and deal with something major, sometimes it's ok to set boundaries and not spread yourself too thin. (Pun not intended:))

On another note, today is my "rest day" from running and I am spending the morning drinking coffee, writing this blog and reading. It's definitely wonderful to take a breather.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Delicate Balance

Today, I went out for my normal 8 mile run. I do a 7 or 8 mile run early in the week (either Tuesday or Wednesday) every week so it really felt like a run of the mill day. The difference is that I have been super strict about my diet this week, eating about 1600 calories a day. Then I have been doing an extra 1-2 hours of a workout at the gym at night due to dealing with a lot of anxiety this week.

However, today I believe it all caught up with me. I made it about halfway through the first mile of my run and my body just shut down. This is the first time this has happened to me in which my body actually shut down. Sometimes I'm not in it mentally but I can still move forward. This time my body literally could not run another foot. So I made myself walk the rest of the first mile and then walk the mile back to my car.

I saw the writing on the wall. I am exhausted, working out too much and not fueling enough for it.

The interesting thing about training for a marathon while still trying to lose weight is that you have to find such a happy balance for your food. I have to eat enough that I can run strong, but I still have to create a deficit between food and exercise where I continue to lose. It's definitely a process. But I think I am going to nix the end of the day cardio. This hopefully will help. I just need to find another way to deal with my anxiety. Any ideas? Yoga perhaps?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Unexpected Day Off

Yesterday, I had an unexpected day off. As I was getting ready to leave to go see clients, my dog started having what appeared to be some kind of seizure. I had to run him to the vet where they decided he had probably pulled a muscle and gave me "doguprofen". (I don't know what the actual term is but it's ibuprofen for dogs.) They told me to watch him the rest of the day, so needless to say I had the day off.

After being home with the dog for several hours, he started to seem like he felt better. He was running around again and playing. So I decided to do an extra workout at the gym. (I had done my 4 mile run already that morning.)

I went to the gym and got super into the Biggest Loser and then Castle was on. In the end, my night workout turned about to be 3 hours long. Oh well, always good to burn the extra calories I guess.