Thursday, 29 May 2008

It just goes to show you.

Last night I made what I would consider to be a classic fitness rookie mistake.

At 7.00 I decided to go for an hour's ride. I didn't really feel like it, for some reason, and three minutes into the ride the thought popped into my head, "I shouldn't be doing this". It was surprising how un-able I felt for the exercise. I thought it was just a weak moment, so persevered anyway.

The thing about my bike rides, which I've mentioned before, is that I've got literally one block before the sharp descent begins. Once I've made the descent, I'm committed to going back UP at some point. So I've got one block to change my mind about the whole thing.

I got down to sea level and started the fat-burn portion of the workout. This is an 8-kilometer ride, round-trip, before I start the climb back up to my house. The climb is 1.7 kilometers straight up - I zig zag, however. I end up going a good bit further than 1.7 kilometers, but at least my heart doesn't explode.

Weirdly, I found I was going uncharacteristically slowly. I couldn't seem to get my speed up. I felt heavy and slow and breathless. What's more, walkers and roller-bladers kept straying into my lane, forcing me to slow way down, or stop, many times. After each stop, I had more and more trouble getting my speed back up.

On the way home I mentally chided myself for laziness, and forced myself to step it up. It felt awkward and laborious, though.

I got within sight of the beginning of the end-of-ride climb and realised there was no way I was making it up that first hill with no momentum. I kicked it way up for a couple of hundred meters, figuring I'd get my speed up and hit the hill flying.

Instead, I hit the wall. Just about at the base of the hill, I ran OUT OF GAS. This hasn't happened to me in ages...years, even. I was totally winded, exhausted, and done. I gave it the old college try, but two-thirds of the way up the hill I had to actually get off my bike and walk the rest of the hill.

It was only when I got off and started walking, gasping for breath, sweating, and feeling incredibly faint, that I realised what my problem was.

I had not eaten enough that day.

I had a muffin at 9.30 AM, a few crackers and cheese at 2.30, and a few tablespoons of black bean dip with a handful of baked tortillas at 4.30. I didn't do it on purpose, it was just a busy day full of unexpected guests and untimely phone calls.

I had trouble making it home, my friends. Between the faintness, the muscle tremors, the nausea, and the dehydration, I felt terrible for the entire evening.

Once I got home, I threw some stuff into a blender and gulped it down in an attempt to normalise my blood sugar and get some protein going to repair the damage I might have done. Banana, cottage cheese, yogurt, frozen berries. I would have added some honey or tofu but was out of both.

I think the moral of the story is, if you're running your body hot, you've got to have good fuel going in. All too often we slimmers tend to slash calories relentlessly, while stepping up our output in the form of exercise. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, when it comes to food, less is better.

When I was 19, 20, 21 years old, rowing for the UVic women's team, I made this mistake: only that time I did it on purpose. I thought "Wow, I am exercising a minimum of four hours a day.....I bet if I eat almost NOTHING, I will get really thin!" Well, yes - I did get really thin, but pretty soon my place on the team was in danger because my performance fell so dramatically. I couldn't keep up the exercise while dieting. I jacked up my calorie intake, gained back all the weight, and earned my "5-seat" back.

I'm beginning to wonder whether my tactics should change. I've stated before, on this blog, that I want to lose 15 pounds by my birthday in October. I think I'm realising that my priorities may need weight may not be negotiable. It's possible that I would be better off setting TIME goals - for example, three hours per week of riding, three hours per week of belly dance, three hours per week of heavy gardening or housework. There's no way a person getting that much exercise, and eating healthy food, will be matter what the doctor says about my weight.

In any event, next time I feel like I really shouldn't be doing a workout, I think I'll listen to my body and skip it. There's always tomorrow.

Eat, girls, eat!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Post Vacation Update!

I'm back from two weeks in the U.K. and this morning I weighed 153.4--up 2.2 from my pre-vacation weight of 151.2.

I got back on Saturday. On Sunday I was 154, and on Monday 154.8, so I'm heading back in the right direction.

It was a wonderful time away and I fully enjoyed being with family. Yes, we celebrated with food, and I could probably have been more circumspect, but although I did over-indulge, it could have been much worse, and it was so good to come home knowing that my buddies were waiting for me to resume the journey with them.

I went for a walk early on Sunday morning and I aim to go for a walk today at lunchtime if I can manage it!

I don't like the folds of fat that are bulging around my waist. Others may not see them, but I know they are there. The Battle of the Bulge has resumed, and I aim for victory!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

My hands are all greasy now.

Whew! It's been a while!

As far as weight goes, I am not sure where I'm at. Last time I weighed myself I was about 185, give or take a pound, but that was some time ago. I just hopped on now (at 11.30 PM) and I was 187, so I suppose, all things being equal, I am more or less the same now.

I have been using the bike a lot lately - taking a few trips per week. I haven't quite worked up to five per week, but that will come after Guides and belly dance wrap up for the year.

I was doing well with the running, but that will have to be put off for a while - I broke my toe yesterday.

It hurt.

I broke the little one several months ago, but now I've broken the middle one (this is on the same foot, too) and it's a bit more problematic. It just happened yesterday so it's still early, but in my experience (this is my third broken toe) it generally takes about 4 weeks for healing, and 6 weeks for the soreness to disappear. My running will be put on hold for about that amount of time, but it's okay since the bike has all my lovin' these days.

I went for a lovely ride tonight. The beginning was nice and easy (mostly downhill), the middle was nice enough - all on the flat, winding through town (so lots of stopping and starting, at lights and intersections) - but the end was CRUEL. A thousand feet up, to the top of Mount Crumpit. I was pretty winded halfway through - especially since it was 30 degrees today - but I only had to get off the bike once, and that was to manually change gears (my bike isn't very nice and isn't very well maintained).

I'm proud of myself whenever I ride my bike. This is because I live almost at the tippy-top of the town, so no matter where I go, I have to go WAY UP to get home. A lesser woman would avoid the bike altogether, knowing this. But not me!

I choose a different route almost every time, and some are harder than others, but every one of them is hard going for the last 20 or so minutes. I always wonder if this will be the time when I have to get off and walk, but so far I've managed to stay seated. On Thursday I came up the Hard Way, and that night I did have to stand on the pedals to get it done. But still.

Last year I had quite a dramatic body change from biking. This year, now that I'm aware how effective it is, I hope to be able to use my diet changes, clever scheduling, and the motivation I've got from my online friends to really work at it. I'd like to drop 15 pounds during the summer, accelerating my weight loss a bit. I've been doing okay, but it's just okay - not great. I've kind of plateaued at 185 and need to make some hard choices to get my momentum back.

I might have to think about dropping white bread of all kinds. I don't make white bread or use it for toast or anything, but I do get french bread a few times a month, garlic bread, that sort of I eat muffins which I make with white bread. Sigh.

Anyway, now I'm rambling so I'll sign off and say Good Luck to you all for the next week or two - I'll weigh myself properly for next post!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A Switch On from the Lightbulb

I haven't checked in since the beginning of May. Before I went to Winnipeg (May 1), I made it to 156 lbs. - only 1 lb. away from my goal. In Winnipeg I was diligent with exercise. I walked every day except one. Other than the day I arrived, I walked from 1 hr. to 1 and 1/2 hrs. each time. I was disciplined with my eating in some ways. I did not have ice cream when everyone went to the famous BDI's and I said "no" to many desserts. I definitely did not eat how I pleased.
However I was well aware of my addiction to food. At home, I do not have 'foods' that tempt me in the house - chips, crackers, prepared foods, cookies etc. I monitor carefully what I eat. I bake twice a week when I know the family will consume it - not me.

While there, the food was delicious but calorie in-take each day was higher than what I would have here. i.e, perogies and sour cream, sweet and sour chicken wings, and pasta at suppers, toasted westerns and reubens, chips at lunch, sticky buns at breakfast, etc. While there, I was proud of myself because I showed some restraint and limited quantities. However, I would put restrictions on myself before a snack or meal and I rarely held to them. I did overeat. I felt that I had maybe gained a few pounds and I dared hope, I may have managed to maintain my weight.

Once home, the scale revealed a different story. I weighed in at 164 lbs. I was hugely discouraged. I felt the scale had betrayed me and really was feeling 'victimized", remembering all that I had given up. To gain 8 lbs. in 6 days of less- than indulgent eating was hugely eye-opening. I realized how my metabolism, in this stage of my life, will not extend much mercy in my calorie intake. Although I had exercised faithfully and longer than when home, it did not compensate for my eating.

In 2 mos., I had lost 13 lbs., 8 of which I gained back in 5 days. I really struggled with that reality. In spite of being discouraged I chose to work hard and get right back on the 'straight and narrow' as soon as I got back. I am now at 158 lbs. after 12 days. I've lost 6 of the 8 lbs. Still, I am not back to my pre-trip weight.

I have learned a few things:
-this battle to lose weight must be consistent, steady, and purposeful (there's no easy way)
-I want to lose weight so therefore I will do everything it takes, I can persevere
-the losing weight process will take me longer than I thought to get to my goal weight (130-135 lbs.)
-life isn't fair but it is just (it took me 6 days to gain 8 lbs. and in 12 days of hard work, I still haven't lost it)
-I definitely have an addiction to food and struggle when unhealthy choices are available to me

I want to thank both Belinda and Shan and anyone else on this journey for sharing accountability. When I felt like giving up, I knew I couldn't because I want to be an inspiration to all of you, not a cause for discouragement.

Belinda, I have already determined not to be jealous when you tell me all you've indulged in and how you maintained your weight! No, I'm really glad you're able to do that - I'v had a lifetime of eating like a horse and the scale never telling the story. I'm just not there now. So blessings to you my friend.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Hello from England

Hello! I'm posting this from an internet cafe, where I am sipping a delicious Chai Latte as an excuse to be here using the internet!

It's a week since I left Canada and I have no idea for sure of how my weight is going. I will check in on the 26th, after getting home. My mum's scales are in stones and pounds and are several pounds different to my own.

I am walking much more as that is just the lifestyle here. However, fish and chips and cream cakes have been ingested to compensate! I have not given way to full fledged indulgence by any means though.

I hope my STS friends back home are doing ok! I was in Marks and Spencer's today, trying on clothes and it was a great reminder that while I have lost 10 pounds, the next 10 definitely needs to find another home!

On with the battle friends!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Late Check In

This week I maintained the same weight; 151.2 on Tuesday morning.

I would have loved to be down a bit more, but I am happy to have at least held my ground.

I'm reading a little book entitled, Get Thin, Stay Thin, by Arthur W. Halliday, MD and Judy Wardell Halliday, RN. It actually looks like a pretty good book and so far I'm enjoying it. I find it helps to read something that inspires!

This book's premise is that our hunger may be emotional or spiritual, but that we mistake these for physical hunger and try to fill them with food.

Stay tuned for more on this as I read and absorb what it has to say.

This Friday I leave for two weeks in England. I will try to post from the local library so that you know how I'm doing. I will definitely be partaking of fish and chips, but I also compensate with getting much more exercise while there; doing lots of walking.

I have been so busy for a few weeks that I have really slid from exercise. I think that will be the key to getting to the next level down in poundage.