Saturday, August 30, 2008

Almost back to normal...

Weight: 298.2
Total Weight loss: 51.8 pounds

I feel like I am just about officially into the 200s. The past few weeks I have been dipping my foot into the pool but never jumping in... but I feel like I am there for real. (I'm sure I am jinxing myself by saying that, oh well.) It was rather anti-climactic, since it happened so gradually, nothing exciting at all. I am still not ready to change the "bling" in the sidebar to 50 pounds lost, but maybe I should.

Things are still mopey, but getting back to normal, kind of. I'm thankful that it is a holiday weekend so that I don't have to return to work on Monday. An extra day off is always a nice thing, but especially after you've experienced a major blow to your emotions as I have.

I will confess that I haven't been eating the best, most healthy foods. I've been eating crap, mostly, but I have been watching how much, trying to eat mostly during daylight hours, and getting some exercise in the form of cleaning and gardening and just plain running around in. No, I still haven't returned to running and walking yet. I may wait until Tuesday. I could start Hal Higdon over again. Fortunately, my weight has been stable and even going down slowly, gradually. I'm definitely in control and for the most part not letting my emotions dictate my eating habits, i.e. I haven't been self-medicating with food or anything. We did, however, move the furniture around today. Sometimes, change is good.

Don't tell anyone, but I bought a pair of size 20 jeans the other day because the size 22s fit just a little, teeny bit loose and I wanted to be able to wear them into the winter if I can. The 20s (from Avenue, btw) are very snug and not suitable for public consumption just yet, but it won't be too long. FYI, I wore a pair of old size 22 dress pants to the funeral this past week. I made sure to get clearance from mom to make sure they didn't look godawful or anything. If it passes the mom test, then it's OK with me.

I'm getting there, despite hard times.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Losses and Gains

Weight: 301.2
Total Weight loss: 48.8 pounds

My stepdad, Basil, passed away early Saturday morning, August 23rd. It's been a whirlwind since then. Yesterday was the funeral, today is the first day I have had since late last week to take a breather. I'm pretty tired and just generally mopey. My mom seems to be holding up relatively well considering and still has my stepsisters around, so today I am holed up at home. It's grey and drizzly out today, perhaps appropriately.

It feels a little on the trite side to be posting about this stuff -- weight loss and fitness -- but Basil was proud of my efforts and I know he would want me to soldier on. If I didn't start blogging sooner than later, I might veer back into no man's land, and I really don't want that to happen.

I weighed myself every day but yesterday when I stayed over at my mom's house. There were a couple days when I went on "The Basil Diet" and didn't eat a whole lot of anything and saw a pretty drastic loss... down to 297, 295... held under 300 for a few days. Yesterday was one of those free for all days for when you are feeling really low and you just hang out with family and eat lots of food and chat and share rememberances, so I am not upset about my weigh this morning. It'll be down again soon enough.

Also, I haven't been out for a run or walk in abut two weeks now. I may start up again this weekend, I do miss it.

Mostly I just feel numb and empty, and probably will for a little while. But, I know that life goes on and that Basil would want me to carry on my efforts and be happy in life. I dedicate this entry to him and his memory.

Basil J. DeBlasi, 1939-2008
We will always remember you in your best times!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

HYC Check-In: Holding steady

Weight: 303.6
Total Weight loss: 46.4 pounds

I am still weighing every day, but posting it here just once a week. I'm up less than half a pound from last week, which I consider staying level for all intents and purposes. Part of me is frustrated, but honestly? With the state of my life the way it has been, I am actually quite happy to see that my weight has been stable.

It's been a really hard week overall. I am dealing with a lot of stress, most notably about my stepdad's health being in rapid decline (cancer), my hideous financial state, and (least of all, but still a stressor) getting freelance web design project finished this week (had planned to finish over the weekend but didn't). I won't go into any detail about any of it except that I've been a mess, and totally exhausted.

My eating habits have been... balanced. Balanced, that is, between eating fairly healthfully and fairly crappily. Hence no weight loss, but no weight gain either. I'm OK with this for now, but see myself getting back full-on sooner than later.

My exercising has been... infrequent since my run on Thursday. Friday was my big rest day of the week, and while I had fully intended to do my run on Saturday, I was just too tired after an emotionally draining and long day spent with my mom and at the hospital until after midnight. I didn't get home until 1am. Sunday's long walk was also nixed. I just didn't have it in me, even though it probably would have been good for some stress relief. I did go on a 20-minute bike ride in the afternoon, though, and did get my heart rate up a bit.

I am still very tired, and let myself get talked out of the first run of the week this morning by C., who wanted to spend a little time together since I have been so busy. I think he knew I was vulnerable! On top of everything else, it's PMS time again so I'm getting the drain of that, too. Just great.

All that said, no beating myself up here. Totally cutting slack. I think it's understandable; at the same time I remain diligent in the small ways I feel capable of right now. I weigh each morning, I try to eat as healthfully and reasonably as I can most times, and I do try to get at least a little exercise in when I can (like when I walked to the PO box down the street on my lunch break yesterday, for example). One thing I did accomplish: cutting out evening snacking! It was only a matter of simply not doing it. How novel!

It looks like August will be a wash, but it's OK. C. already mentioned that he is aiming for September to really get back into things -- he's also not lost or gained for the past month or so -- and I will, too (and probably a bit sooner than that).

The point is in the end that it's never too late to keep going.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today's not half as great as yesterday was. Well, they all can't be, can they?

It's just a blend of various things going on in my life that is bringing me down today, not least of which is my weight and how I have been eating lately. In a nutshell, I'm still playing around with the same 4-5 pounds and I need to get over my evening snacking. It's not rocket science, really. Pretty much if I stop that pesky evening snacking (which I only started doing recently for some unknown reason), I'll probably start losing weight again. During the day I have no problem, and I get exercise in regularly. There's no reason why it shouldn't fall off of me, really.

It's so diet cliche of me, isn't it, to have an evening snack problem? What a mundane issue to have. Fortunately, it should be an easy one for me to address.

All I can say is thank dog I found some exercise that I really enjoy. Running has been my saving grace through all of this.

As for my other problems, I won't go into them here, except that they are really stressing me out and probably not going away anytime soon. So I just have to hang in there and do my best to deal with things and/or find my way through them.

It'll be a busy weekend, so you'll likely not hear from me until Monday... have a fun one!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Nice Day

Despite totally being unable to drag my ass out of bed this morning at first, the morning turned out lovely.

C. was already up for hours and watered the plants and gardens so I didn't have to do it. We had a nice chat before I headed out on what I thought would be just a short walk. I was feeling very sore and tired, and while I had the option of a total rest day, I really didn't want to rest. I wanted to get out and move around, so I compromised and said to myself that a 30-minute leisure walk would be the ticket. No pressure.

Har, har!

I got out there and felt tired, but once I was approaching my intended half-way mark (at 14 minutes or so in), I thought... well, I'm feeling OK now, why not just go another few minutes and make it 40 total? (I keep seeing those notes about how getting more than 30 minutes of exercise a day each week is really best, what, they're actually recommending an hour a day at least 5 times a week?) So I kept going. And then at that halfway mark I only had a little ways to go to a particular intersection that would probably bring the total walk to 50 minutes, so you guessed it! I walked for 50 minutes this morning, covering over 2.5 miles. It was very, very nice.

I am, however, glad that there is a 1.5 run on the schedule tomorrow and then Friday is my true REST day, hooray!

On top of that my weight continues to go back down gradually. It's fine. My ankles are becoming more shapely, and my stomach is getting squishier (whereas it used to be more solid and full-looking and feeling), so I'm happy. I feel really, really good today.

This is my fourth week of 5x exercise, and this week it will be 6x! I like this routine, it makes me feel very strong and confident.

*Pats self on back* You're doing good, kid.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HYC Check-In: Feelin' Fine

Weight: 303.2
Total Weight lost: 46.8

So, I am up a little from last week, but a few days ago I was back down to 300, and I've been back on track since yesterday, so I feel good about the chances of getting back under there shortly. Preferably in time for my 20th high school reunion on the 22nd! Ha ha! We'll see. It's not like it will make much difference; after all, most of the people who will be there saw me last when I weighed no more than 140 pounds. Wow, that's something to think about, isn't it?

I bet a lot of people wouldn't even go to their reunion if they weighed 160 pounds more than they did in high school. But, for me it's not like that. I am who I am, thin or fat, and now even though I am very fat I still feel confident, happy about where I am in life, and proud of my achievements over the years. I've taken a much different path than many and I relish in that fact. So, I will go there with my head held high and just enjoy the highjinks that is sure to ensue.

I had a really nice run today. A lot of mornings I wake up to the alarm, groan, and hit "sleep". Several times. Today was one of those mornings. I got to bed a little later than usual, and I was (and still am) pretty achey from the weekend. I really, really didn't feel like going out today and maybe almost didn't. But I did, telling myself that if it felt bad, I could cut it short. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do the 2.25 mile run that was on the schedule.

But, I did it. It was a little rough at first, but once I got into it (as per usual), it actually started to feel good. Great, even. I finished strong, even passing by a walker who looked to have a good stride. My mileage for the actual run turned out to be a little short (by like .12 miles), but including my warm-up walk I got in a total of 2.32 miles, which is fine by me. And a bonus was that I garbage picked a multi-plant planter and a bookcase! I noticed the items on my run, and went back to get them afterward. Gotta love free stuff!

On another good note, I am wearing another skirt today that I couldn't get into previously -- a 2X, no less! Yay! Here's to more forward motion this week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Never-Ending Struggle, But It's OK.

Yep, that about describes the past week or so in a nutshell. But it's OK, really. I'm still here, and I haven't given up which is pretty amazing. So I am giving myself a big thumbs up for that. It'd be really, really easy to just give up, keep letting the pounds creep back up again, gradually (or maybe not so gradually) slip back into all my old habits.

I'm not doing that, though.

I've been keeping myself in the 300-305 range the past week. Not great, but not terrible. The exercise has been my saving grace. I rely on running and walking to keep me focused on something good, and to make me feel good about my body. This is so, so important, maybe more so than anything else. Over the past few weeks I have upped my frequency from 3, maybe 4 times a week to 5, usually 6 times per week. I run 3 times, and walk or run-walk the others. A day just doesn't feel right if I don't get in my morning routine. I'm very proud of this.

And that's why today I am not beating myself up about anything. I pretty much let go on my eating for most of the weekend, although Friday was a totally great clean eating day and it felt good. Now that it is almost the middle of August, I want my goal for the month to be to find myself solidly below 300 pounds. Just once and for all I want to be done with it, no more pussyfooting around. It's time to get down to business again. I'm going to have a look at some of my old food logs and see what I was eating back in the early days and see what has changed, if anything. I would sort of like to take the approach of this whole thing being fresh and new again, somehow. Being more diligent and accountable as I was back then will help a lot.

I guess all of this post is saying nothing new. How many times have I said this stuff already? How many times have I needed to refocus or get on track? Many times, but... really, it's never too many. It's however many times it takes to keep the weight from jetting back up. It doesn't matter how many times I start falling off the wagon, as long as one finger is still holding on, it can be enough to pull me back up.


I had quite the interesting adventure on Sunday, by the way! Sundays are my long walk days (one hour+), and to shake things up a bit I decided to go in the opposite direction on the trail at Devil's Hole State Park to see what I could see. Well, I found myself descending some stone stairs well into some amazing, but rather hairy, scenic trails. I wish I had had my camera with me! It was pretty hardcore hiking territory, at least to my eyes. There I was with my running sneaks, totally unprepared to navigate rocky, narrow, cliff-hanging trails. It was something I don't think I'd ever consider doing before, and I wanted to challenge myself a little, and do something that was out of my comfort zone. I was all alone, no one in sight... one misstep could have resulted in minor disaster, but at least I had my cell phone with me.

Eventually I saw a sign that said, "Limestone Cave/Power Authority Access Road". The idea of a road sounded really good to me at this point even though I had no idea how far away from home it was (though I figured probably not too far since the Power Authority is about a five minute drive from the house). I saw the cave, which was a big, dark hole in the side of a cliff with a bunch of graffiti on it and beer bottles sadly strewn about -- scary! -- and then went in the other direction, the trail getting narrower and less trail-like with each step, until finally -- FINALLY! -- I reached the road. Ah, civilization!

I had spent about 40 minutes wrestling foliage and rocks in the "wilderness" and that was enough for me. But now I had to figure out where I was and how I was going to get home. The point where I arrived at the road was at the bottom of a hill, so I had to do some work. Still, it was better than being afraid of falling off a cliff at every step. Soon enough I realized where I was and found myself entering a different type of wilderness and isolation and scariness: the wilds of a crappy industrial area of the city of Niagara Falls. Nothing but run-down abandoned factories and warehouses, and no sidewalks for another half hour or so!

I could have just as easily been attacked or kidnapped in either situation, and no one would have seen anything. All the horror movies I've ever watched in my life (and that's a lot, believe me!) cycled through my head during almost my entire walk. Fortunately, an hour and forty minutes after I first started out I was back home, never happier. Moral of the story? Sometimes it's a bad idea to be adventurous, even though I did kind of have fun.

This week my training brings me up to 2.25 mile runs tomorrow and Saturday, with an easy 1.5 miler on Thursday. I have a great route planned out that doesn't involve wilderness of any kind. ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

After a two-day hiatus from good eating habits, I am back in business. And it's not even an effort because eating junk makes me feel so junky! C. experienced this, too, so we're both on the same page. That's always a good thing. I don't feel guilty about what I ate, and I am not too terribly frustrated about the few extra pounds I put on as a result. As always, this is a process and a journey that sometimes goes off the planned course, and it's OK, as long as I find my way back to the main road in short order. :)

One thing I did do that I am proud of was stick to my running program this week. It was really interesting to me that there is a direct correlation between what I eat and how I perform; it became so obvious yesterday on my short run for the week. It was just 1.5 miles, but it was rough and I did walk here and there. I just felt like I could keel over the whole time, and I know it was because of what I put in my body the day before. It was a magnificent revelation. Today on my walk, same thing. When I woke up I felt practically hungover and the last thing I wanted to do was get my gear on and exercise. But, I did it anyway and got in a good 40-minute, 2 mile walk that was made even nicer than usual by the light drizzle and cooler temperatures... my favorite weather to run or walk in, especially in my neighborhood where there are so many trees that shield you from getting totally soaked in the rain. Just lovely, as always.

And you know? For as much as I didn't want to do it, I really needed to at the same time. It felt really good once I was out. It is this experience that keeps me going each week, even on days when it would be easier to sleep in. I know that I am going to feel better if I stick to my regimen. I love having a program to adhere to for many reasons, one of which is that no matter what else happens during that week, I have that to look back on and feel proud of -- I'm still doing something good for myself. I am honoring my body by helping to make it stronger and capable. Everything else just flies out the window. It's a great sense of accomplishment that I cherish so much, that makes it possible to do everything else I need to.

In short, I am really looking forward to some clean eating today and really getting back on track.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Update: All Is Well

I promised a follow-up to my earlier post (wow, two posts in one day!), and here it is.

Weigh-in, as predicted, was not pretty. It's back up to 305, rats! Ugh. However, my moving average only went up a tad, and I am still down from last Saturday's average (it's a Physics Diet thing, sorry if that doesn't make sense), so that's an upside.

As I said earlier, I wasn't going to let this ruin my mood today, and I am pleased to report that it hasn't. Right after weigh I set down to write little lovey birthday notes to leave around the house for C. to find. I had a good time doing that, and found that it was impossible to feel down after doing something nice like that.

Moral of the story? Redirect your disappointment, frustration, or other not-so-good feeling. Make the decision to bring yourself out of it and into a positive place, whatever it takes. My suggestions:

• Doing something nice for someone else in need and/or deserves some TLC
• Taking a yummy bubble bath (yes, I LOVE baths!) and luxuriating
• Get outside and convene with nature, via gardening, a stroll or jog through the neighborhood, or a leisure bike ride
• Write about it -- get it out of your system!
• Declare the day a "Cutting Slack" day, whereupon you forgive yourself and move on very consciously
• Call a friend or family member and tell them why they matter to you

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?

Losing It?

No, I'm not talking about losing weight, I am talking about losing "it" -- my determination, my gung-ho, my will to recreate a new life for myself.

I think, like one of my biggest inspirations, Michelle, I'm not off the wagon, but holding on to the edge for dear life hoping not to fall off. I'm not sure what is going on with me. I've been cranky and stressed out and pretty snippy with poor C. I just got over my period, so I can't blame that. Today is his birthday, though, so I have to get happy and be kind, which will be good for me anyway. You know how sometimes you just get into a rut with certain behavior? I think I am getting used to being snippy as my "normal" way of dealing, and that is not good. I've got to snap out of it.

So it is starting to affect me in other ways, specifically what I am doing here. Last night for dinner and beyond I totally went off plan (totally unplanned, unlike today which I have planned to do for C.'s special day), and the result is that today I feel literally ill. It's my body telling me to cut the crap! I should definitely listen to that. I need to listen to that.

I am writing this before weigh-in this morning because I wanted to sort out my feelings before seeing the number on the scale, see how it might affect me. I'm sad to say that even though I am much more immune to emotional response to the scale, I am not completely cured. I know that, for example, when I weigh in a few minutes it can cheer me up a bit (number going down), or it will make me feel slightly surly (number going up, most likely scenario). I have control over this, though. What if I decide to weigh and get over it right away? Just move on in my life, start with renewed dedication immediately, cultivating a positive attitude? I won't ruin my day. I need to be happy for myself and for others -- just to be alive and to have all the opportunities I do have. One bad day or even a bad week will not change that.

I'm going to check in later and tell you what happened, and how I turned my crappy mood around.

It's a rest or walk day for my training, and I am taking a rest because I am sore. I'd really like to get out there, honestly (and not just to improve my scale reading!), but I also want to stay in tune with my body, and I think she needs to rest her bones. Tomorrow's a relatively easy 1.5 mile run, and then I will do another good walk on Friday, etc. etc. Today, I'm being gentle with myself.

Have a good day and wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

HYC Check-In: Oh, the Bling...

Weight: 302 pounds
Total Weight loss: 48 pounds

So, I decided to change my bling back to 45 pounds lost and wait on the 50 pounds lost badge. I'm obviously not quite there in full, but it's OK. I will get there permanently soon enough. I think I need to have another massive refocus, it seems to be a weekly requirement. So be it! I am totally refocusing my efforts for a smashing week.

It started off well, I must say! This morning began week 3 in my training, and called for a 2 mile run. After my last run on Saturday that was so hard (barely made it through 1.5 miles), I was a bit leery of this one. I needn't have been, though -- it went well. And though it felt like I was quite slow, I ran at a pretty decent pace for me, just over 17 minutes per mile. Still much better than what I was running while still going through C25K, for sure. And this morning I just realized: I've only been running for just over four months now -- I've made a LOT of progress already. I have to keep reminding myself of that as I scold myself for not tackling the 10K training yet. My 5K training ends in mid-September, so I should start looking for another suitable race to try, preferably out closer to where most of my family lives, so that I have a cheering section and someone to hold my keys and take photos! ;)

In summary, it is a disappointment that I am up a couple pounds from this time last week, but I am still happy with how things are going. Nowhere to go but up from here! (Or down, depending on how you look at it, heh.)

Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Opportunity to Kick A$$

Last week I wrote that my goals were to complete my training week in running successfully (check!) and to keep my weight at or under 300. I am sad to say that on the second count, I did not fully succeed. The highest high was 303.6, and the lowest low was 299.4.Today on my rest day (Fridays and Mondays, btw), I clocked in at 302.6.

I'm disappointed, but also pretty OK with this. Whenever I hit a new, sudden low, the weight plays around a bit. I think this past week has been about not only simple bodily adjustment, but also crazy female hormones, so I am cutting myself some slack. However, I have very, very good feelings about this week. I will be entering week 3 of my Hal Higdon 5K training, and I also feel that I can take my weight down below 300 for good. This will be my focus.

I have to admit that I had a moment this weekend when I just felt like throwing in the towel. It wasn't for any particular reason, but I even declared it out loud to C., whose prompt response was perfect: "You can't give up now, you've come so far! You can do it." Isn't that some awesome support? It snapped me right back into reality, with reality being YES I can do it, and YES I have come so far. Dummy. ;)

Saturday's run was really tough for me. I had accidentally shifted Thursday's and Saturday's run around, so I was doing a 1.5 mile, but man! I had like zero energy. I did end up walking a little bit, but I finished. Here's another reality: you can't always have a good run, and hormones suck. I totally blamed my clunkiness with the hormones. But! On Sundays, a long walk (30-60 minutes) is prescribed. Last week I finally made it over to Devil's Hole Park, which is just a 10-15 minute walk away from my house. The trails there are gorgeous and run right along the Niagara River. Yesterday I made a return trip there, but got a little carried away and walked for just under two hours total, all the way to Whirlpool Park and back. It was pretty amazing. I got a great workout, I really enjoyed it (!) and bonus! Today I am not sore at all. Hiking the park trails will be my regular Sunday morning activity from now on.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, a photodoc of my walk:

Here's an example of the scenery along my regular route. Lots of greenery and shade which makes for a really pleasant run or walk.

Once I arrive at Devil's Hole Park (located just beyond where the first photo was taken), this is the view I am treated with! Ah, breathtaking! I love the sound of the river. Canada's on the other side there, just across the way.

Dun dun DUN! Most of the trail I cover is pretty easy-going, but look at this little downhill treachery! Last week I didn't even attempt to traverse it, but I tried this week and it was pretty all right. You just have to be careful. (It looks much worse in person, btw.)

A little ways down the trail, I am rewarded with the vista at Whirlpool State Park. Believe it or not, I'd never been here before in my life. I feel so lucky to live so close to such gorgeous landscape. Again, Canada's just across the way there! Upstream is the Whirlpool Bridge.

...but then, on the way back I had to go UP that little rocky hill... Turns out it wasn't half bad to climb up. No problem! See how rocky and steep?

If that kind of scenery does not inspire one to get out and move, I don't know what will. I covered just over 4.25 miles on my walk, and I was thoroughly enjoying it the whole time. I can't wait until this upcoming Sunday to do it again! That's the kind of exercise everyone needs. Also, a trek like this really reminds me that I am not just doing all I am to see a smaller number on the scale. I'm doing it in order to enjoy life more, to enable my body to do fantastic things, and to be healthier overall. This thought is what really keeps me going, what keeps me from giving up after having a rough day or week.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bloat, Bloat, Bloat

Ugh, sometimes I just despise being a female of the species. I'm experiencing yet another marathon period again this month, today being the 8th day with no signs of slowing or stopping. This happened a few months ago, too... I don't know what's up with it, but it is most unpleasant.

Anyway, the point being that I feel bloated today, and the scale certainly reflected it. Like, above 300 reflected, which sucks the most. Oh, I know, it'll come off like nothing, because it is nothing, but man. Psychologically? I just never want to see that 3 at the front of my weight again. Ah well. Soon enough. It's nothing I did or didn't do yesterday... I had a clean eating day, got my exercise in, drank lots of water.

The funny thing is, just before I woke up this morning, I dreamt the number on the scale, almost exactly. And I remember in my dream, I was very upset. In real life, I was just surprised and annoyed, which is a much better reaction, don't you think? Today's been a funny day, feeling slightly off due to aforementioned female trouble and because I had a rest day from running. I know I needed it, but I also really feel funny when I don't get to go. It's a really important facet of my morning routine now. Rest is important, too, though... even if I have to remind myself of that fact every week, even to the point of reading it on Hal Higdon's website or wherever else runners talk about that stuff.

Suffice it say that I am really looking forward to the weekend. I want to get a lot of stuff done, and I want to kick some ass.