Thursday, January 27, 2011

A weigh we go

It's Thursday, and you know what that means: weigh-in day! Let's check the tote board ...

209.4. Realistically, it's 210. I'll take it.

That's down from last week's 212, and it's the first time I've seen something lower than 210 in a long time ... officially my lowest weight of record in a very very long time. Woohoo!

And it's been a great week. Monday's run was a grand success - my first consistent four-mile run/walk in under an hour. For those of you playing the at-home version of the game, that's my first stint of 15-minute miles. That felt good. Plus, I'm working with my new zone numbers, so I'm working a little harder ... and loving it. I'm healthier than I thought, so I'm able to push myself more without worrying that I'm going to die of a heart attack right there on the treadmill or in class.

On Tuesday, Donna once again taught "my" song - P!nk's "Raise Your Glass." Such a celebration dance; big fun! All of which makes for a great workout. Didn't make it to the gym last night, and while I should feel guilty, I'm learning to let those thoughts go. I had left my gym bag at home, and there was no way I'd make it home for that and get back to LifeTime in time, so I had a relaxing night. Sometimes, the universe conspires to make me slow down.

At any rate, I'm feeling good. I have big goals. Achieving them will not be easy ... but it is possible. And I'm going to have fun along the way.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Testing ... testing

I'm feeling a bit like a slug today.

This was not a weekend of great activity. This was a weekend of hanging out, eating good food, working, and celebration. And there was much to celebrate.

See, Saturday morning, I did not have my regular workout. Instead, I had an appointment with Donna to have my Cardio Point metabolic test done. It was ... interesting.

I'm relatively fit. I'm capable of a lot. There is still much work to be done.

So I arrive at the gym and meet up with Donna, and we get ready to start the test. She needs to know my weight; I'm not shy about this. It's real, I might as well own it. "212," I say. "You carry it well," she says. Yeah, I know - I don't look nearly as overweight as I am. I'm lucky. I'm tall. Thank you, Jesus. Next, I'm hooked up to the computer to monitor my heartrate, and I'm fitted with a most stunning neoprene mask that tracks my oxygen intake and my CO2 output. I look like Hannibal Lecter, only not as cute. This is the price of fitness.

I hop up on the treadmill and the test begins. A little walkies, at 3.2 miles per hour. Sounds simple, until we're in the thick of it and I'm climbing at a huge incline, waiting for sweet death. Soon it's time to recover, and I'm ready to learn my results.

Well, for one thing, I have a heart. I have a pretty solid heartrate training zone, but it can definitely use some improvement. I need to do more work in the lower zones to torch the fat. And I need to improve my aerobic endurance so I can run without gasping for breath. I have a program for all of that, and we begin today.

So I'm sitting there with Donna and she's explaining the test to me, and she's putting my new metabolic information into my watch - the one that works with my heartrate monitor. It will now reflect true information, so I know where I'm at in terms of burning the fat. Then she says, "Oh, we have to change this number, too."

It's my weight, which I didn't know was programmed into the watch. I bought my heartrate monitor in March of 2008, six months after I joined the gym. The weight in the watch was 267, so Donna started hitting the "down" button. "I'm still going," she said. 55 clicks. 55 pounds. I started to cry.

55 pounds, just since I bought the damn watch. Add another 15 to that before I started wearing it; that's a total of 70 pounds since this journey started. 212 has never felt quite so svelte.

I still have a lot of work to do. I'm scared every day that I'll fail. But I keep trying, because while I know I might fail ... I also know that even if I do, I will keep trying. And I will eventually succeed.

Oh, and for the record, I did weigh in last Thursday. I have gained a little; hello, 212. That's okay. I'm biologically squishy and water retention-y, so I'm letting myself off the hook. Back on the wagon today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Last night, someone asked me, "What inspired you to start running?"

It's a question I'm being asked a lot these days, as if I'm some expert or something. And then, I guess, maybe I am. I'm an expert at trying something I thought was impossible and proving it's not. I mean, how many people begin a weightloss program and give up at the first plateau, or sooner? How many people decide they want to try and complete a 5K, but never actually train, so they chicken out before race day?

That's not for me. I've failed enough to not want to repeat it any more than I have to.

Which is why this Saturday, I'll be treating myself to a little something I've paid for with my holiday bonus from work: Metabolic testing. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's the gift I've chosen to give myself - a test that will accurately define my fat-burning zones, so I can efficiently torch my ass.

It doesn't hurt that, thanks to my wise and wonderful sister, I'll also be getting a fabulous pair of boots on Saturday. That's my treat for reaching phase one of the weightloss challenge. Yeah, I know - it was supposed to be a pedicure, then it was maybe a massage, and now, it's boots. It's my reward. I'll buy boots if I want to! (And it doesn't hurt that these $300 babies are mine for less thank $90!)

Anyway, I'm still moving forward. I'm treating myself as agreed, within reason. I'm focused, and I'm having fun. Sometimes, I can't believe this is me. Other times, yeah. It makes total sense.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Smile and be thankful next time you get weighed*

I'm back home. Been there for a week now. Today was my first weigh-in on the home scale since early December.

Today's number? 210.6.

What does that mean? Technically, it means I maintained my weight over the holidays. I did not gain a single freaking pound.


Now, it also means that the time to kick things into high gear is upon us. I must continue to make changes. I must get back to my regular schedule at the gym. (Last week was difficult; this week, moreso, what with trying to train for the half and gasping for breath along the way.) I must find ways to trim calories, and I must find ways to thank my body for all its accomplishments.

Today feels good. Every day brings a new opportunity to keep moving forward. And why not?

Another major realization: Much as the show drives me bananas, I've been keeping up with "The Biggest Loser." For the first time since the series began, I am not a candidate to be on the show. I am smaller than all the women who are participating. I'm on the thin side of fat!

*Title lyrics stolen from John Denver's "Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I ran last night.

I had not run since Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve. It showed.

More to the point, it hurt. I cannot wait that long between runs. My legs don't work well together, so I've trained them to cooperate, and it seems in the time between Christmas Eve and now, they forgot. My bum knee all but told me to fuck off, and my right knee - the "good" side - didn't appreciate the unexpected pressure of having to carry the full load.

So my legs are sore today, and I'm cranky because of it, and the two miles I ran/walked last night pretty much sucked to the extreme.

But I did it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

One week at a time

I have goals.

Sometimes they scare me.

See, I'll be participating in one event every month for the entire year. I know this is doable. I'm not sure my May event is, however.

I am training for a half-marathon.

Today, the training begins in earnest. Four to five runs a week, most of which are pretty simple, but one is always for distance. For us beginners, it's a doable week - two miles tonight, two and a half on Wednesday, two easy slow fun miles on Thursday, and three on Saturday. I know I can do that; I've already run three miles. But in week eight, the Saturday run is seven miles. It goes all the way up two 12 miles the week before race day. Slow, steady increases over the course of 18 months to (hopefully) get me there.

Can I do it? I have no idea. I am committed to my first half in February of next year, but I have friends who insist I can do it.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I am the little runner who could.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Up Goes the Scale

Weigh-in this morning: 213.

Oh, shut up.

Now, I'm still not sure if this is a "real" weight; this was my last weigh-in on a foreign scale, so next week will tell the real truth. But either way, this is where we are, and I'm not going to beat myself up. If this is real, I've put on three pounds over the holidays.

Three? Yeah, I'll take it.

It should also be noted that usually I have my morning ... um ... constitutional before weigh-in, and that didn't happen today. Instead, that happened after I got to the office. And I think it weighted at least three pounds.


I've been feeling a little under the weather this week, but my entire life should be back on schedule next week. In my home, with my own kitchen and my nearby gym and my regular life. Those three pounds are toast.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Planning ahead ... WAY ahead.

Go ahead. Ask me what I'm doing in February of 2012.

I thought you'd never ask! I'm running the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

I'm so far ahead of the game, they haven't even announced the date yet, but I'm all in. My sister Jennifer and I are both going to do it, and although I'm sure she (and many, many other runners) will cross the finish line before I do, I couldn't be more excited. I hope I can convince or inspire or motivate some of my other runner buddies to join us; the more the merrier, right?

The thing that shocks me is, a year ago, I never would have thought about doing something like this. Run? Really? Me? And yet, here I am. I'm already scheduled for an 8k run in April, and I'm committed to an even every month this year. What's happening here?

I'll tell you what's happening: I'm changing. My outlook, my spirit and my body. There are some major renovations going on, and I'm might proud of it.

Meanwhile, back home, it's been hard. The food has been delicious and the workouts far apart - although I've been to the gym at least twice every week, even throughout the holiday season. I'm a little nervous to weigh in this week, but that's okay. Then, next week, I'll be back on the home scale, ready to make some real strides on my health and fitness.

This is going to be an amazing year. Care to join me?