Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 26: 185.8 lbs And Feeling Like A Runner

It doesn't matter that I posted a +0.4 lb gain this week at my meeting (thank you, Domino's) because I shaved almost 2 minutes off my best 5K race time yesterday. 5Ks used to seem so daunting to me, nearly insurmountable. But I remember thinking at the first mile marker yesterday, "Wow, a mile down already? That went fast." And I thought the same thing at the second mile marker, too. And the really amazing realization? It never occurred to me during the race that I felt like I needed to walk. Ever. In fact, two other thoughts kept invading my brain space, instead: 1.) "I really need to keep pushing my pace because the faster I go, the faster I finish." And 2.) "I really wish this girl would stop sprinting ahead of me whenever I catch up to her." (She kept sprinting ahead, and then stopped to walk awhile, and then she sprint ahead again whenever I finally caught up to her. Obnoxious.)

So I kept pushing myself. Next thing I know, I'm rounding the corner and I see the finish line just a block away. And now for the SUPER obnoxious part. Two or three serious-runner-looking types who were off in the grass watching the race suddenly join the girl who had been walking/sprinting ahead of me to encourage her to kick it in high gear to finish. Well, apparently she crashed and burned because I'm the one who found my second wind and sprinted to the end, kicking her butt - it felt AMAZING!!

The next race on the circuit: a 10-miler at the end on October, twice as long as any race I've ever attempted. Looks like I've got some work to do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 24: 187 lbs And Conquering The Plateau

Ahhh.... Wow, this feels good. And by "this," I mean finally getting off that awful, frustrating plateau from the last month. By "this," I mean having best WW meeting ever yesterday, where the leader made me feel like a million bucks, asking me to stand up, twirl around, and try to put into words what it feels like to be 50 pounds lighter. "This" also refers to going to an actual running store yesterday with my husband to buy new running shoes for ourselves, something unimaginable 50 lbs ago. "This" = the pedicure I treated myself to yesterday as a reward for losing said 50 lbs. And "this" also means hearing my husband tell me yesterday after I got back from my meeting, "I'm so proud of you," and then taking me out for dinner last night to celebrate. Ahhh.... Yes, this feels really good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 23: 190.6 lbs And Plateaued...

... but still fighting the good fight. I really hate getting into such a good rhythm of watching the pounds drop off only to hit a wall and see the scale come to a standstill for weeks on end. But I have to give myself a pat on the butt this time (hey, if football players can do it, so can I) - before WW, I would've used a colossal frustration such as a plateau to say to myself, "Self, this sucks. Nothing you're doing is working. You'll weigh the same tomorrow, even if you eat nothing but rice cakes and sweat a few miles on the treadmill. Why not kick back on couch all day with a couple jumbo-sized bags of kettle-cooked jalapeno chips? It just doesn't seem to matter at this point..." I never said it was a RATIONAL thought process, but that's what would go through my mind after a few days of not seeing the scale budge. It never occurred to me that when it comes to plateaus, the rules change: no longer is the goal to lose weight. Victory, instead, is more defined by NOT GAINING. By fighting through the time it takes for my body to recalibrate itself. To not sabotage the good I've done so far. To see that maintaining within the range of 190-194 lbs for the past month is hugely successful when compared to what might have been: falling off the wagon and eating everything in sight until I was back up twenty-some-odd pounds and staring at a number like 213 on the scale this morning (think it's impossible to gain 20 pounds in a month? Try me, I've done it more than a few times in my life...).

I've also found that it helps to not only switch my definition of success to maintaining, but also to find completely non-scale-related ways of defining progress. Right now, I'm jogging the best times of my short running career (it's funny to call this a running career, given my complete non-quickness). Case in point, last night I ran in 5-mile race on the beach. I've been kinda slackin' at the gym lately, and so I wasn't expecting great results - especially since I've never jogged longer than 4 miles. My goal was to jog half the race and walk the rest. But I don't know what happened. I kept setting mini-goals for myself, telling myself that I wouldn't stop to walk until I physically couldn't jog anymore. I don't know how I did it, but I jogged all but the first 3-4 minutes of the fifth mile. I JOGGED FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!! THAT'S HUGE!!!!!!! If that's not a victory, I don't know what is. And it's further confirmation that my 5K times will continue to improve..... Next stop - an improved 5K time on Sept 27..... I'll let you know.

So moral of the story? I'm successful this month because I don't weigh 213 lbs. My new size 14 khakis fit nicely. I continue to get lots of compliments from co-workers. I'm eating on-plan. I can jog more than 2 minutes without feeling read to collapse. I can walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded. And I don't feel miserable physically and emotionally during the day. None of the above would be possible had I thrown in the towel at the beginning of this plateau. And that is more than enough for me right now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 19: 190 lbs On The Tour De Pain

<---- Yeah, I did that! And ran personal best times in each race, too. I'm still in shock, actually. Last night on the 4-mile beach run, I jogged the whole thing without stopping to walk, AND I felt like I could keep on running awhile longer if needed. This morning's 5K felt a lot harder, but it was also more humid. And this afternoon's 1-miler was also a scorcher, but the free pizza and beer afterward made it all worth it. And earning my Tour De Pain medal will probably be the only medal I'll EVER earn for running, so I'm wearing it EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Today Was A Good Day...

... because I was showered with compliments all day long. Today was the first day of pre-planning, and just like our students have to re-adjust to the physical changes their peers go through over the long summer, I guess so do teachers. My fellow teachers ooh'd and aah'd over my summer slimdown, and it felt amazing. I know I've lost a lot (over 50 lbs since late March), but I guess I didn't realize hoq noticeable it was to those who hadn't seen me in awhile. I just couldn't stop smiling today. **Sigh**

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 18: 192.6 lbs In The Great State Of ILLINOIS

Whew, the scale started moving in the right direction this week. I had been especially worried because I went up to Illinois recently to visit friends and family all over the state. But I planned well with lots of Core snacks for the plane and car trips, and I talked with both sets of parents to see what was on the "menu," so I was all set. And I followed through.

But what was most eye-opening on the trip was the WW meeting I went to while I was up there. I was all excited, too, 'cause I roped my mom into coming - I really wanted to show her the motivation behind all my recent success in downsizing. Wow, was that a mistake. I really hate to say this, but the WW leader was TERRIBLE. She had lots of confidence to speak in front of a group, but it felt like she used her leader role to turn the meeting into her own personal therapy session. She talked about herself most of the time, gave us lots of little side stories about her own weight loss journey, and .... well.... it was just bad. She finally came out and said that recent post-pregnancy-weight was the reason she turned to WW, which, in my not-so-unbiased opinion isn't related to an eating problem of ANY kind. I'm guessing that most of the other women in that room, myself included, couldn't relate to her, because unlike her, the rest of us had battled our weight our entire lives. She just had a baby, so of COURSE she's a bit bigger than she's used to. So what!?

The absolute worst part of the meeting was when she said that she joined WW when she finally ballooned up to a size 16 and was absolutely disgusted with herself. I wanted to walk out of the meeting at that point. There I was, so proud of all my efforts to GET BACK INTO my size 16 jeans, and she was DISGUSTED with that size? And most of the women in that room were bigger than me. If I felt bad, I'm sure quite a few of them weren't exactly feeling great about themselves, either, at that point. To top it all off, the topic was all about focusing on body parts that we like, and so she went off on a 5-minute tangent about how much she liked her butt! I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole, 'cause my mom was there and I'm sure she wasn't enjoying it AT ALL. I was SO distracted by the leader's inability to.... well, lead..... that I forgot all about my amazing 5-lb loss at weigh-in. That's right - FIVE POUNDS. For some reason, I assumed the lady meant 5 ounces when she weighed me in, so I made her repeat herself, and nope - 5 POUNDS :) But did they give me my 5-lb gold star? Of course not. Just a bad meeting all around.

I always knew my leader at home in Florida was great, but it wasn't 'til having the aforementioned awful experience that made me so grateful for MY leader. She clearly has a gift for what she does. I genuinely look forward to each and every meeting, just to listen to her talk and watch the way she turns every negative into a positive. It's impossible to leave without feeling like I can conquer my eating challenges, and the world, for that matter. She NEVER discusses her own size, and come to think of it, she never really discusses herself at all, except perhaps a few off-handed comments about how she gave into some dessert that week and got back on track the next day..... or her new gym membership and the challenges she faces making herself go...... just normal, everyday things we all face and deal with. She's so down to earth. And I'm sure she's never raved about her butt at a meeting, either.

Anyway. The rest of my trip was fantastic. I saw all my friends and family that I wanted to, I went and visited my alma mater (GO ILLINI) and went to visit my old high school. All of it made me sincerely miss small-town life. People who aren't from the Midwest will never understand the draw of being surrounded by a sea of cornfields instead of condominiums.... to experience four seasons instead of summer year-round..... and to be forced to slow down and take note of all this beauty because of traffic congestion of a different kind: a tractor pulling out onto the main highway to get to the next field. It all just made me sigh and say, "AHHhhhhh. I'm home."

The picture above is taken one such small town very near where I grew up. This pic is in Harvard, Illinois - "Home of Milk Day" (Hence the cow at the town's main intersection. Apparently, this intersection has a lot of accidents because everyone's busy staring at the cow. The Harvard Hornets were big rivals of my own high school back in the day, and rumor has it that the cow was susceptible to many a prank by such rival high schools. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 16: Dealing With My First Gain

Well, I knew this day would come sooner or later. Today at my meeting, I posted my first gain at +0.6. I was on-plan all week, and I lost 4 lbs last week, so I'm not worried about it - I think my body's just readjusting to all the recent weight loss. Besides, today was my 16-week mark with Weight Watchers, so I had reason to enough celebrate anyway (WW says it takes 16 weeks to form a habit, so it's big milestone they like to celebrate).

And life is still great here in Onederland :)