Monday, July 30, 2012

Flying Solo

Okay, NOT solo. In fact, I have a terrific new walking partner - someone who easily keeps up, actually pushes me a bit, and is an inspiration in life every single day.

But solo. The person who gave me the kick-start for this journey has gone. Oh, we'll be in touch - a lot - and he'll be monitoring my progress and giving me more to do in the way of exercise as this goes along. But now I have to keep track of my own times and food and miles. I won't have the little voice in my ear telling me random bits of nutrition info. I won't have someone around to do the healthy cooking when I just want to fix a big pot of mac'n'cheese.

Nope. Time now to put on my big girl bloomers and take responsibility for this myself.

And I'm a little scared.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's the Little Things - 1

*Having to use a belt on my jeans.
*Parking on the 3rd level of the parking garage and not being out of breath when I walk up 4 flights of stairs to get back to the car.
*Hearing someone mention a meal of corn dogs, french fries and mac'n'cheese, and thinking "that's too many carbs." 
*Not being all creaky and stiff and sore when I wake up in the mornings. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Soooo many emotions this morning. 
I mean, a 15-minute mile was supposed to be a goal to work toward. Something I might reach in a month. Or two. 
I don't think anyone expected me to break a 15-minute mile already today, only 12 days into this whole new eating/exercise thing. I don't think my Trainer did. I know I didn't.
Yet we clocked one this morning...and it was Mile #4 at that. It wasn't pretty. There was huffing and puffing, and some grunting and growling, and a lot of talking to myself. And as soon as I crossed the mile marker, I could barely stumble 4 more steps to lean on the fence by the trail, where I stood gasping for breath and, yes, crying a bit.
Crying because I couldn't believe I'd done it. Crying because my legs and back hurt from the extra effort. Crying because I could barely breathe. Crying because I wouldn't have known to push myself without my Trainer giving me a countdown. Crying because, for the first time, I realized just how tough this is going to be with him gone. Crying because, by golly, I frakkin' DID IT!
Right now I feel like I could take on the WORLD...after I take a nap. :)
This is what 14:58 looks like
(after about 10 minutes of recovery time)

It's All in Your Head

(Originally posted on on July 25, 2012)
Or...Have To vs. Want To
Yesterday was rough. Not gonna lie. Yesterday I didn't get out of bed until the last possible moment. The legs felt like they were slogging through wet concrete. If my Trainer hadn't been coming to meet me to go walking, I wouldn't have gotten out of the house. And even at that, I cut it short by a half-mile because I just didn't have it in me. 
That was yesterday. That was a day when I "had to" go walking to get all my time/miles in for the week. And I hated every minute of it.
But then I had the option of taking today off. I figured out my work schedule for the next couple days (I have a job where it changes from week to week) and could have taken today off and then done more walking tomorrow morning.
And I discovered that I didn't want to. I wanted to go today. And when we went walking this morning, my head was in a much better place, and I clocked my best mile so far.
It all came down to being able to choose whether or not to get out and do something. I know that, realistically, I get to make that choice every day. But there's something empowering about knowing that you don't HAVE to, but you decide to do it anyhow. And for a control freak like me, it makes a lot of difference.

Cheat Day

(Originally posted on on July 23, 2012)
I know that "Cheat Days" are supposed to be the time when you indulge...allow yourself the things you deny yourself the rest of the time...perhaps celebrate a milestone.
I'm set up to have a Cheat Day once a week. Typically it's on Sundays, since we go out to eat after church. So yesterday was my first cheat day.
 And I couldn't do it. 
Oh, technically I did. I allowed myself some banana bread with my lunch salad (but only one slice of the two that were served) and I had an itty little bitty ice cream bar late last night - the first chocolate I'd tasted in at least a week.
But I still stayed under my calorie goal, and I didn't even enjoy the ice cream bar that much. (Anyone who knows me will now need a moment to pick  themselves up off the floor.) 
See, Cheat Day is a two-horned devil for me. 
One horn is that I don't want to cheat, eat more than I have been, and undo any progress that has been made. I know...I can recover quickly from an occaional binge. But I just have a very hard time thinking in those terms. I'm so afraid that if I start to backslide at all, I won't stop. (Remember...I've dieted before and have always quit and then gained more.)
But the REAL issue for me - Horn #2, so to speak - is that I have an all-or-nothing personality. Either I'm hard core and extreme, or I'm nothing at all. And allowing myself an occasional Cheat is like opening the bottle and letting the genie out. You may never get him back in again, and I may lose the self-discipline that I've had. It's better to not even take the cork out of the bottle.
So maybe I'll save Cheat Days for *really* special events - birthdays, holidays, other big celebrations. At least for now, until I know I can control the genie better.

"What have you done to her?"

(Originally posted on on July 21, 2012)
My daughter knows me well - probably better than anyone else alive. We spend a lot of time together and often think or say the same thing at exactly the same time. We can read each other's moods with just a look. We have enough inside jokes and references to fill a small book.
So she was the one who gave a quizzical look when I first ordered water for lunch instead of Diet Coke and watched me eat only one....ONE...Olive Garden breadstick with an entire meal.
She watched me eat a half of a turkey sandwich, a small package of baby carrots and Baked Lay's chips for lunch while three others around me had pizza or pasta. 
But when we were out for dinner and I ordered steak with a baked sweeto potato with ONLY BUTTER, rather than the usual double helping of marshmallows and brown sugar, she turned to the person on her left - who also happens to be my Trainer - and exclaimed, "What have you done to her?" 
 And at that moment I knew...this is going to be a huge change.
 PS - the "big jeans" (every girl has them) that had become the "fitting right jeans" are already big again. 

And So It Begins

(Originally posted on on July 19, 2012)
I have dieted. I have exercised. I have dieted AND exercised. And I have always quit. Something else has always come up that made the diet/exercise thing one more stress that I didn't need.

It wasn't always this way, y'know. I was 5'9" and weighed 130 when I got married. Tall and skinny. Shoot, until I hit the later years of high school, my mom had to order boy jeans for me so the waist and length could be separate measurements - it was the only way to get them skinny enough and long enough at the same time. I had a crazy high metabolism, too. So I could eat anything and never put on weight.

But the summer I was 29, my husband had some health issues and I spent a lot of time at hospitals where my main exercise was walking from his room down to the cafeteria, then back to the room, where I sat and read or watched TV.

Then there were the sedentary jobs. Office jobs. Sweet, cushy office jobs. Where you sit most of the day.

But the eating didn't change. I was a farm girl, my mom was a good cook, and she enjoyed cooking. So meals often included meat, 2-3 vegetables, some kind of bread, and a dessert. That's how I was raised...that's how I continued.

And slowly the scale numbers climbed.

So here I am now, staring my 50th birthday squarely in the face in 7 months, and seeing numbers on both the scale and my pants sizes that I never dreamed I would see. And yet I couldn't find the hook...the really get serious and do something about it.

Then this kid ambled into my life. I say "kid" because he's become the same as a son to me, even though he's in his mid-20s. But he's a professional runner. And I have watched him and what he puts himself through to be at the top of his form. I've watched the miles and miles and MILES that he runs...the hours and hours that he works out...the way he has diligently rehabbed an injury...and the very strict diet he keeps himself on.

And I think,, "If he can do it, I can do it." I have no excuses anymore. It's time to protect my health while I'm still mostly healthy and rehab my lifestyle so I can keep plugging along.

And so it begins.