And here I thought I was kicking ass…

I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I have excuses.. allow me to list them.

Last week was crazy at work.  We had a big project in one of my classes, plus there was a school-wide project which culminated on Friday so things were crazy at work.  By the time I got home at night, put in my 1.5 hours of exercise, ate dinner, showered, gave the cats sufficient attention, and perused the job listings… I was beyond tired.

Plus… Monday night there was that whole… April Exercise challenge report that threw me into a bit of a funk.  I was fully expecting to be the top person on my team again… or at least CLOSE to the top person on my team.  I had 9.5 hours that I’d reported and when I got the reporting email… the top person on my team had done 18 hours.

Naturally, I immediately called them a liar.

I mean, I smoked the entire office the week before with 10.5 hours and someone comes out of nowhere with 18?  Excuse me?

I stewed over that, folks, and I’m not all that proud to admit it either.  Instead of focusing on my success in general, I was totally peeved at this person.  This person also beat me out this past week, but only by 1.25 hours.  I had 11 hours for last week and they evidently had 12.25.  Whatever.  The big picture here? My team is looking like we might be the winners!  I’ll take that… and maybe next year I can do something incredibly insane to be the overall winner.  I don’t know though, 18 hours in a week seems pretty steep.  If it were warmer and I was riding my bike… possibly.  I just don’t know.

So yeah, I got sidetracked and started with the negative thinking….which led to selfish thinking…which led to me being totally preoccupied with myself….which led to me spending senseless energy doing nothing but huffing and puffing and feeling angry.  Why did I let that happen?

I’m still kicking ass though… my own.  I have to keep reminding myself not to push it with the running.  I have begun googling to see if I can find other people who have the high heart rate problem I have and I’ve found a couple of threads that mention it… but nothing which gives it a medical name, and nothing that really gives much advice other than “do what it takes to keep your heart rate at 85% of maximum.”  You know… that would pretty much leave me “jogging” at a slower pace than I walk.  I am encouraged to see that others have this problem and they’re not all overweight… and they seem to be in various levels of physical fitness… so I’m going to keep researching and see what I can come up with…. because…. man… I had really forgotten how much it sucks when my heart rate jumps up into that 185 – 195 zone after about 2 minutes of jogging… and then trying to keep jogging.  It’s HARD.

Just keep moving forward, right?

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It’s like Jenga… only with your life

I ran into someone I sort of know recently.  I say sort of know because she used to be the receptionist at my chiropractor and while we are friendly, I wouldn’t say we are friends or anything.  However, she too went on a lifestyle change and lost a lot of weight a while back.  When I ran into her I told her she looked great and she admitted she’d not been doing so great lately and had gained 5 lbs.  I told her I could relate and joked about how, the moment you stop exercising… you suddenly start hating your body again.  And those 5 lbs?  Doesn’t matter if you used to weigh 50 lbs more, those 5 lbs make you feel like the heaviest woman on Earth.  We giggled and I told her Id’ recently found my workout groove again and told her she’d find hers again too.

You know, it’s one thing if the exercising stops.  However, what I’ve found is that once the exercise stops… the healthy eating slowly slips as well.  Folks, my eating over the past year has slid backwards in horrific ways.  That is… until I found my groove with this April exercise challenge.

Let me backtrack first.  Last week I clocked in at 10.5 hours and when the results came in…. I was a full 2 hours ahead of the closest competitor!  I was completely surprised and also completely thrilled.  I am determined to match last week’s time and, while I’ve had 2 days of short workouts, I haven’t taken any days off this week (and I did last week) so, I’m looking like I CAN get there… which is awesome.  I’d like to be the overall top competitor.

What I found this week has been really surprising:  I am craving good foods.  My breakfast has improved, my lunches have consisted of mostly fruits and veggies (and I’ve thrown in Greek yogurt which is totally yummy).  And dinner?  I craved salad all week long.  I didn’t have the stuff on hand to make a salad, mind you… but I wanted it badly.  I finally got my salad Thursday night in the form of a Wendy’s salad which included grilled chicken, pecans, apples and was so yummy I was in heaven.  Last night?  Same deal, I was craving salad again so I got another fast food salad, this time from Burger King.

So, as I’m sitting here right now I”m reading through my salad books (I’m horribly unimaginative when it comes to salads) for inspiration because I believe I should plan on eating a few salads for dinner this week.  It’s been a while since I’ve craved a good salad.  It’s been a while since I’ve looked ahead at the menu to see what kind of salads a restaurant has before agreeing to go out to eat, but I remember once doing so.

It’s amazing how everything sort of fits together.  If you remove one thing, it can all come toppling down.  Put that piece back in… and everything stabilizes.  I feel good about myself again.  I’m not thrilled with the extra weight, but I’m not throwing a girlie hissy fit in the morning when I get dressed, either.  I just feel GOOD.  And that’s the big difference, isn’t it?  When you’re working out there is no guilt to feel for not working out.  When you’re working out, your body craves the good stuff.  When you’re eating well and working out… life feels good.

And that, my friends, is where I am right now.  (Until my next post when I update you on the job search and rant and rave about crap I’m frustrated with.  haha.)

April Challenge: End of Week 1

If you’ve been able to follow my ramblings you know I am participating in my chiropractor’s April exercise challenge.  To be honest, I haven’t exercised much in the past year.  I kept having back issues or setbacks and – honestly – I got used to being lazy after the car accident.

There is no other way to look at it, exercise is… well… work.  

I know, I know… nothing life changing in that statement above but trust me, it took me a long time to realize that (so long as I was doing it properly) exercise would never become easy.  You’re meant to step it up as you improve.  For a person highly sedentary most of their life, those are frightening words.  Anyway, before I begin rambling about other things for an hour, my point here is I hadn’t exercised much prior to April’s beginning.  I’d been slowly getting myself back out there and I was pleased with my progress but to be a contender in the challenge, I really needed to step things up.

You know, there’s nothing quite like exercise to remind you that you are a being made of muscle.

I promise I’m not doing anything overly strenuous.  I’m essentially adding an hour of walking to my daily exercise routine (ok so the exercise wasn’t daily before so THAT bit is stepped up as well).

Folks?  My muscles hate me.  They really do.  I have accumulated 10.5 hours of exercise this week (yeah!) and my body groans no matter what direction I move.  Not HUGE groans, mind you… but large enough so that I swear I can feel each individual muscle in my body.

Before everyone jumps in here and starts asking if I’m stretching enough… yes… yes I am stretching.  I am beginning to think I cannot stretch enough to keep my back happy though.  I have been following up my exercise + walking sessions with lots of stretching, followed by some yoga stretches, followed by me groaning in pain as I roll it all out on my foam roller (I have serious IT band issues if I don’t foam roll them daily).  I’ve even taken a tennis ball to my glutes and certain places in my back which just cannot seem to get stretched well enough.  So yeah, I’m stretching.  I’ve even looked up the more stubborn muscles on a chart like this one so I can figure out what I need to do in order to stretch it.

In the end… I think I’m holding up OK.  I’m not glorious by any means but, all things considered, I think I could be much worse.  I’m going to continue stretching like there is no tomorrow and I’m going to try to accumulate 10 hours of exercise this week.  Why less than the 10.5 I just had?  That 10.5 includes a 3 day weekend for me in which I was able to go out in the morning and again at night. Coming home from work and putting in that much time just might not happen.

Here’s to hoping my 10.5 hours puts me as the leader in my team.  I’ll keep you updated!

Alone vs. Lonely

Holidays are often described as being bittersweet.  Mine are no different.  Like any other person, I will complain about my family, I will roll my eyes at their antics, and I will swear I’m thankful when they leave at the end of the day.

Except, I’m not actually sure I am.

I live alone and I enjoy living alone most of the time.  What’s not to like?  No one leaves crap laying around except for me.  No one annoys me when I want some down time.  No one but my cat lectures me about not being home enough.  I do what I want, when I want to do it and I enjoy the freedom… until my family comes over.

At the end of the day, when everyone leaves, I’m left feeling oddly empty.  My house, usually the pinnacle of silence (not even the tv makes noise in my house), goes back to its silent ways and suddenly it all seems LESS than it was before.

Nights like these I am left wanting a family of my own.  Nights like these I could curl up in bed and cry my eyes out if I let myself.  I go about my daily life happily enough, but when it comes down to it, there is a void there.

Thankfully, the feeling will be gone tomorrow.  I’ll wake in the morning, figure out what I’m going to do for a work out, and then go about my day according to my daily routine.  Life will be normal again and I won’t feel so lonely.  I’ll enjoy doing my own thing at my own pace again.

For tonight, though, I’m lonely.

 

Everyone is Different

You know, I keep reminding myself that I cannot compare myself to others…especially when it comes to fitness/running.  Ugh, that reminds me.  I’m going to stop calling what I do running.  I’m jogging at best even if it’s the best I can do.

Ok, let me backtrack because I know my last post was all “I’m super elated at having run a mile!”

So what happened between now and then?  This happened:

And what is this, exactly?    You know, because we all know that isn’t MY run I’m posting.  That is my friend’s run.  He’s male.  He stands 6’1″ tall and weighs less than me.  He’s been a smoker for longer than I really know and he started running about a month ago.  His last run was over a week ago and it was one mile in six minutes and he says it nearly killed him.  At the time, all I could think was “you ran a mile in six minutes?  You could run two miles to my one.”  But he assured me I could certainly beat him in stamina when I get back to my old self.

And then he did nothing for over a week and went out and ran 1.78 miles FASTER than the original mile.

It’s things like this which make me want to cry.  I mean, I don’t even think I can reach the speed of 10mph.  I’ve seen 8.7 and I was like “woah, I was fast for a brief 30 second sprint!”  But 10 mph?  Never.

Now, I can remind myself that I didn’t exercise for the first 30 years of my life.  I can remind myself that I have shorter legs and more weight to carry around.  I can remind myself that I will improve with time.  But it doesn’t take away the short term feeling like a loser.  Isn’t that crazy how things can mess with you?  My entire weight loss journey and fitness journey has been such a mental and emotional battle along with the physical.  Yes, I know I shouldn’t compare.  It’s just so hard NOT to compare, especially when you’re someone who has grown up overweight, is used to being judged for being overweight and out of shape, and who has heard the scathing remarks made by the fast runners at events.  (My very first event was a 5k in which I was barely able to go the entire distance.  I was pleased at having finished around 45 minutes only to hear some super fit girl remark “There are still people just finishing???” in a tone reeking of disbelief and scorn.  Gee thanks, lady.)

So yes, it’s hard not to feel inferior and whatnot when faced with those stats.  I just have to remember that I am giving it my all (and continue to give it my all) and that I will improve.  My friend may be a freak of nature, but he was really fit in his younger years and he has those years of exercise that I don’t.  I will improve.  I will do the best I can.  I will remember to celebrate what I can accomplish… because it is far more than I ever dreamed I would.  And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.

That damn bunny

So I fell off the grid.  I was all gun ho and ready to “be a blogger” and then I got lazy.  What else is new? Why do I do that? I commit to something and get all excited about it and then…just….stop? It’s not just blogging.  I haven’t exercised in weeks and I pigged out on Easter candy last night.  That’s real cute. 

Well what matters is I’m here now.  So enough beating myself up…right? You (whoever you are) don’t want to hear that.  Or do you? Sickos.  Ok so what’s new…..hmmm….not much.  That’s lame.  Am I experiencing blogger’s block right now? No it can’t be.  Alright, considering this is only my second post here and most of you reading are Rhonda followers, I suppose I could write a little bit more about myself.  That’s fun times right?

Ok so I’m 28 – scheduled to turn 29 in August.  I say scheduled because, well, you never know.  I married my husband in September of 2010 and we’ve been together since we were 20.  We have two cats, Chloe and Emmett and we live in South Boston.  I work for a bank (did I already tell you that?).  It’s not as exciting as you would think.  I’m actually quite bored at work.  Don’t tell my boss that – pinterst is my friend.  What else what else?  Oh – my mom is …um….ok let’s just say….entertaining.  I will be sure to include some Babs (that’s her name – well wait no, that’s what I call her) posts here because she reads my other blog.  I am interested in everything from cupcake baking to beer brewing, from marriage equality to never-ending games of scrabble.  I have an eye for color, a soft spot for blue-eyed cats, a love of clean spaces, and a never ending taste for buffalo chicken.  I am obsessed with writing lists and my Erin Condren life planner (hollerrrr!) is my boyfriend.  You don’t know what that is? Don’t talk to me.  No but really – it’s this psychotic planner that I write EVERYTHING down in.  You want to know what’s been on my to-do list for over a month? Write a blog post.  I know what you’re thinking – “Oh wow Beth that planner is really working out for you.”  You can fuck off.  Just kidding – please don’t leave.  We need readers. 

Facing the Hurricane – that was all Rhonda’s idea, isn’t she brilliant? I love it.  What’s my current hurricane? My sweet tooth and exercise.  The sweet tooth is over powering lately.  Easter candy totally rocks my world, who is with me? That damn Cadbury bunny is the fucking devil.  And like I said before – I haven’t been to Zumba in weeks.  There’s a class tomorrow that I MIGHT make if I get out of work early but that is doubtful.  I’m looking out my office window at Copley Square right now and it is gorgeous outside.  Everyone is walking around in tee shirts.  I suppose I could go for a walk tonight…but will I? How do you stay motivated? Clue me in would ya?

Here’s my promise to you – I won’t wait so long to write my next post ok? (I bet all the bloggers say that don’t they?)

Reality sinks in

You know how you have those moments of confidence which are strong enough to send you surging forward, determined to tackle any obstacle which threatens to hold you back?

And you know how, once that confidence fades, you’re suddenly stricken with insecurities about the path you’ve just set yourself upon?

I’m feeling that right now.  I spent spring break realizing that a job change likely means me moving.  A job change means I have to interview.  A job change means I have to fill out this ridiculously long online application which requires me to do background research on myself because I cannot remember the answer to some of these incredibly probing questions. (Seriously, am I running for president here?)  Quite frankly, all of it has left me feeling horribly insecure.  Am I really ready to move on?  Am I really ready to start making these finite decisions?

The answer is obviously yes, else I wouldn’t have started down this path.  It’s just hard.  (Ok, scary.  I’m scared.)

On the exercise front… April marks the annual exercise challenge at my chiropractor’s office.  I’m going to be trying to put in as much time as possible while not totally overdoing it.

I’m still doing relatively well on the exercise front.  I did take two days off this week but they were mainly weather related.  Other than that, I’ve even gone out and put in my run time with a headache. I’m still painfully slow with running.  It’s a combination of what my back can handle and what my fitness level can handle.

My C25K app I downloaded ages ago has updated to include a slightly modified version of the program with week 1 having 30 second, 45 second, and 60 second intervals instead of all 60 seconds.  I’ve been pushing myself with those over the past week and boy does it kick my butt!

Prior to doing the intervals, I was running a very slow (4.2 mph) half mile, walking 1/4 mile, and then running a likely even slower half mile.  I wasn’t capable of running (jogging?) a full mile but I felt confident I could get there.

Well, today I got there.  I’m slow, but I’ve always been slow.  My average pace was 4.8 mph and I”m ok with that for right now.  I felt ok afterward.  My back wasn’t completely gone and I was definitely winded, but I wasn’t dying.

All in all, I feel good about it.

With the increase in physical activity coming up in April, I’m not sure what sort of improvement I can expect in the next month, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to at least run 2 miles at this pace by the end of April.  I’m not trying to work miracles here, I’m just trying to rebuild.  You know?

I plan to throw in some cycling, some Curves time, a lot of walking, and of course the running and jogging this next month.  I really want to be a serious contender for a top contestant.  I want to be the top in my team and I’m determined to do it!