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It is summer, so that means the food and exercise project is back on. I went roaring out of the gate last week and got smacked down for it over the weekend, so I'm limping out of the gate this weekend after three days of rest and an unfortunate encounter with cookie dough.

On the upside, I slid my jeans off yesterday without undoing the button or zipper. Something might be happening. Two more sizes smaller, that's my goal for the summer. That's about 20-25 lbs. I can do it.

Crystal City 5K

I am running the Crystal City 5K this Friday, with one of my VTees.

Am stoked. I have run that distance - running the whole time, no walking, with occasional bursts of sprinting - oh...four times now. By Friday, it will be five times. I hope I don't die. I have never run it in the evening, so I guess there's a first time for everything.

I'm really kind of excited. Then, I need to make a new goal, because being able to run that distance WAS my goal. I think my goal is a 10K by the end of the summer. I can do it.

I love it, because I started the middle of February, two short months ago, with a Couch to 5K schedule and it totally worked! I can't believe it! My body actually works like it's supposed to! All the times I thought I was just not meant for physical activity - I just wasn't doing it at a pace appropriate for me. This is making me downright philosophical, you know, "every journey begins with a single step" and all that jazz. I really like this.

My clothes are looser, but I've lost less than two pounds. That's all right - the distance is the goal. I'll worry about calorie restriction later.

For record keeping purposes

I started week 1 (again) of the couch to 5K plan. I'm GOING to run a 5K this summer and my friend Jenny is all excited and wants to run one with me. She could run a 5K while balancing the national budget, so it's not like she has to train. She's just being a good friend and getting fired up for ME. I suspect that she's tired of running races on her own. :) I'm up for it and her encouragement is helpful.

So, anyway, I started today. Week one. Week one is warm up (run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds)x 8 followed by a cool down. When I started this in January, it took me a full week just to GET to week 1. I'm happy to say that now, I'm already AT week one. In fact, I kept accidentally running MORE than 60 seconds, which may seem laughably ridiculous to most of you, but for me, it's nothing short of amazing! However, today's exertions put me at my limit, so I'll do the same thing Wed. and Friday. The next week I think it's run 90 seconds, walk 2 minutes...or something. I'll have to look it up.

It's encouraging that I can at least do the 'couch' part. *laugh* I already feel empowered. Keep your fingers crossed that I can stick with this. I'm going to do it 3 times a week for now and see what other exercise I feel like wedging in on the off days. Probably a big fat hike most Saturdays. That's a good start.

So, how are the rest of you?

I sabotaged myself on purpose this week.

I can only focus on one obsession at a time. When I am in school, it needs to be schoolwork, so my effort is focused on staying level rather than losing weight during the school year.

Last week I dropped below my plateau level for the first time. At first I was thrilled, but then I spent the next five days eating all kinds of junk. Not surprisingly, I am above it again, and that's strangely comforting. I'm trying to figure out why, because I do want to go below that level again, preferably far below it.

1. Since my goal is to maintain, losing instead of maintaining changes the rules of the game.
2. I could easily, since school is a little stressful at the moment, see me chucking all that and focusing on the food/exercise thing.
3. That would be very, very bad. Very bad.
4. So, I sabotage the food/exercise thing.

I do slightly wish I hadn't done it so thoroughly. By "maintaining", I mean that I have gone up and down in a five pound range since September. I think that's fine - that counts. When it gets to the higher part of the five pounds, then I watch what I'm eating and work out more and it drops down to the low part of it. I just can't, can't focus on this right now, no matter how pretty the weather.

However, the weather is delightful, and I am encouraged that I dropped below that level accidentally. It means that when I start paying attention again, maybe I can go below it on purpose and keep going.

I can see the saddle in the distance...

Folks, Thursday marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of this comm and the beginning of my weight loss efforts last year. I'm gearing up to start again (strangely at the same time I did last year) and I'm posting here to help me stick to it.

We have some new members and folks I don't know, which is awesome. This post is to warn you that I'm going to start posting more often and also to ask you guys for some chatter. Would you help me with my motivation and tell me what you've been doing lately? Eating anything good that I should try? Found an exercise system that works for you? Tell me about it. Hearing from you will help me get going. :) (Comment here or do a whole new post if you want. I'm easy.) :)


I've been overweight for over ten years, but in the past seven years or so, I've positively ballooned.  I'm 5:2, female, and at my heaviest, weighed 230 lbs. on my Olde Scale (as opposed to the doctor's scale which is always higher).  I don't want to get Diabetes; and I'd love to lower my cholesterol.  I'd also like my knees to stop feeling creaky.

I finally decided to do something about it about a month ago, when I weighed 228 lbs. and was a size 24 (pants) and 3x in shirts.   I'm in my early 50's, either menopausal or post-menopausal (don't really know; periods stopped ten years ago after chemotherapy).   I'm a junkfoodaholic; I love sweets and salty things; nuts, potato chips, some pastries and cakes, and especially pizza!  I can't keep peanut butter in the house because I would consume one small jar easily in a day or two; and I have little to no will power. Vegetables other than corn are things I must force myself to eat.

Did I mention that I. Hate. Exercise!?  If not for my dog, I wouldn't do it; but he needs to get out and trot around for at least 45 minutes per day off-leash as well as the obligatory relief outings; otherwise I wouldn't get any exercise.

Soooo.  A month or so, I constructed my own diet and (beginning) exercise regime:

1.  While walking the dog, I walk briskly for at least 15 minutes at a time, usually 30-35 minutes; and I do this rain or shine 5-6 times per week (other times I walk more slowly and intermittently). 

2.  I do an arm toning exercise; eventually I hope to add more to my repertoire; but I'm really bad about memorizing specific exercises and counting repetitions; and I'm not yet ready to be seen in a health club full of leaner people.  (plus, I hate aerobic exercise!)

3.  Cut out - junk food; all of it.  No potato chips, fritos, donuts, croissants, french fries, large bags of salty nuts, etc.

4.  Eat - MORE Veggies:  I usually have one mega-salad (cucumber, tomatoes, about 2/3-cup fresh green peas, some salad filler which is chopped cauliflower-radish-broccoli, one slice of Kraft Fat-Free Chedder, occasionally adding in one hard-boiled egg or a can of water-packed tuna - that depends on what else I eat throughout the day) and drench it in red wine vinegar.  I eat at least two large raw carrots per day (because I like the taste and they're supposedly good for me, and filling); and a few olives.

5.  Eat - Less steak/hamburger, more skinless chicken, and limit portions as much as possible.

6.  Drink more  Water - our tap water is poor; so I buy bottled stuff; I try to drink at least 32 ounces of it a day; which is a lot more than I used to drink. 

7.  Of course I drink diet soda instead of sugar-filled soda; but that's not a hardship for me; I've always preferred the taste of diet soda to regular soda.

8.  Road Food! - I keep 90-100 calorie units of goodies in the trunk, so I can eat one while driving around doing errands:  100-calorie packs of unsalted almonds, 90-calorie FiberOne bars (Peanut Butter & Chocolate is especially good), and one or two other type of 100-calorie chewie bar (either Quaker Oats or Special K).  I try not to have more than one per day...

9.  I don't force myself to eat anything I dislike - hence, no baskets of fresh broccoli and spinach and cauliflower or red or green peppers - all healthy, lovely things, but I don't like them; and will only consume broccoli when it's smothered in cheese in a Weight Watchers frozen entree.  No liver either, or tea.  I wish I did like all these things, but I don't find the taste appealing unless (in the case of spinach and cauliflower and broccoli) it's covered with other things.

10.  I Cheat.  I couldn't go without cheating for weeks and weeks. I've been cheating about every 14 days. But when I cheat, I don't do it for three days; and usually, the transgression is much smaller than it used to be - like, a reduced-fat cheese and tomato sandwich with low-calorie bread, or more Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges than I should, or more Orville Redenbacher 94% Fat Free popcorn.  But I do intend to do a big cheat with every 10 pounds or so; just one day each time.  I'm already gleefully planning whether to have something big and sinfully chocolatey or a pizza when I've lost 20 lbs. from my starting point.

11.  I need to have some stuff in my diet of which I can eat unlimited amounts - for me, right now, that's cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots.  I don't limit them; I eat as much as I want of them...

I've never been interested in spending long hours cooking in the kitchen.  I'm not into cooking much at all, in fact.  Perhaps I'll eventually get more excited about doing tasty low-calorie/low-fat chicken dishes...

I really don't base the diet on total daily calorie counts.  I think I'm eating about 900-1300 calories a day most of the time; but I could be wrong.  I do try to keep track of the calories throughout the day, because I know it can all add up to more than I realize.

I do manage some fruit (usually blueberries or blackberries, and almost always a banana for breakfast) - I should try to include more.

After a month of this, I'm not bored yet; and I'm 11 pounds lighter.  Even better, my large rear end is slightly less large. 

I have a long way to go.  My current goal is to lose 50 lbs. by the end of 2010; more would be nice, but I'm not necessarily expecting more by then.  In 2011, I'll make a new goal.  I'm setting a flexible schedule, month-by-month, with goals; knowing that I'm just not going to lose as much from October through December, and knowing that as I lose more total weight, I will probably lose less per week and month.  Going to the health club might hasten the process; but I'm never going to be an exercise fanatic. 

Wish me luck!

The distance thing doesn't work

After I hurt myself last fall and then it got cold, I stopped ruynning and went back to the gym. It is warming up and I got a running watch, so I am starting again.

I did some research, and it looks like beginning runner's should move up by tine. Also: only run every other day at first. I have been doing that, and I am starting my third.

I am continually amazed at our bodies' ability to adapt. The first week, running 2 min and then walking 3 was killing me. By the end of the second week, running 3 then walking 3 is too leisurely, and I look forward to tomorrow, my first day of running 5 and walking 2.

In one month, Crystal City 5k Fridays start. If I stay on track, I will be able to run for 30 min straight by then. Maybe I can't make the first race, but it lasts for 6 weeks. I bet I can make one of the races.

Oh yeah - running every other day for two weeks equals gaining two pounds. Whatever. I will focus on food later.
Ok, this is a plan of action post so please bear with me.

Fact: Winter really sucks for me. I have SAD and living in Portland doesn't help. It's always overcast and rainy here at this time of year. (I love Portland, except for that.)

Fact: The above fact makes it REALLY hard for me to exercise as I'm in a general state of malaise and exhaustion for most of January and February. It's also raining a lot of the itme which makes exercising outside really difficult.

Fact: I just can't get up early during this two months. I have to accept that fact. Here's me, accepting this fact.

I know that I'm causing myself more stress by feeling guilty about these things, so my plan is to NOT feel guilty. I'm planning on these facts and I'm figuring out a way to maintain my weight until the sun comes out and I can start cracking down again. I'm still going to run a 5K this year and I'm still going to lose 30 pounds this year. Those are goals.

So, my plan is to work on getting back on track with my food habits. I have had the most self-destructive 2 weeks I've had in over 6 months and I feel all bloated and gross because of it. I have a few goals that I can reach every day that will not only help me maintain, but I think I'll lose as well. This is all hearkening back to the system from Conquering Your Food Addiction which is what helped me lose my first 15 pounds last year.

Every day I will:

Drink 2 liters of water. (I have really sucked at this for the last two months)
Eat only when I'm hungry and make each meal last for at least 20 minutes. (This really helps me to not overeat)
Stop eating at dinner (usually around 7 PM. 8 PM at the VERY latest.)
No snacks just for snacking. If I'm hungry, a meal is fine. (I was eating 4 small meals a day before and that worked well.)

This is SO doable, and yet it means a huge change from my recent habits. This is good. I'm still going to try to walk when I can, but the exhaustion is real and I need to be nice to myself while the sun stays away. No guilt. Just food fixes. That's the plan and I feel really good about it for now.

I'm amazed at how constantly I have to change my system. I used to scoff at people that did that, but I realize that it's the only way I can keep my mind on it. If I have something new to focus on every once in a while I'm much more likely to succeed. I succeed in short spurts, but it's better than quitting.

It's a sign

I really need to get moving. I've been lame for almost 2 weeks. My task is to figure out how to exercise when I feel exhausted all the time because of the drizzly overcast weather. I'm inclined to just leave it for a month or so, but then that would mean that the self-destructive cupcake fiestas have just GOT to stop. ;) I'm thinking on it...


So I'm in week 2 of my couch to 5K goal. But, it took me a week to work up to the week 1 workout (run 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds for 20 minutes). Well, a bit less than a week. But for all intents and purposes, I'm actually NOW in week 1. If that makes any sense. I can run 60/walk 90 for 20 minutes without too much trouble. Yes, it still sucks. Yes, I'm still just POSITIVE that my minute should end at 45 seconds (every freaking time). But, it's going. I'm doing the run/walk 3 times a week and walking on my off days. So far, so good. I've only missed one day in almost 2 weeks, so I'm on a roll.

I have a love/hate relationship with it, actually. I kind of dread it a wee bit, but part of me is raring to go just because I can FEEL the little differences every time I try to run. The improvement is slow, but it's definitely there. I can't deny it and it's exciting. I'm dreaming of actually being able to go for 'a run' in the real sense of the word. I can tell it's coming, which is really cool.

Doing this on my lunch hour is also a great plan right now for several reasons: It's not dark. It's not a treadmill. I'm wide awake and it's my best time of the day. It breaks up the 8 hour work day. And I have a place to store my things and shower and dress, so it's perfect. I also run right around here where it's FLAT. It's so hilly around my apartment that I nearly die. I'll tackle that later I suppose. :) The only problems are the frequent rain and the fact that my nose runs non-stop when I'm out in the cold. Whatev. I'm powering through that and it's ok.

I'm feeling pretty good, too. Except for my hip flexors...Ow. They are constantly sore now. I'm hoping that will go away eventually, but yowza. All of my other exercise last year never made them hurt like this. Oh, and my butt. My butt is sore. Weird. I just need to stretch more I think.

Anyway, 2010 is off to a good start. I have a history of starting fitness goals the week before the new year, mostly because Christmas makes me feel so gross. :) So I'm two weeks in. :)