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.