runner girl: week 10

Still cruising along through this journey. Let’s take a glance at week 10.

EXERCISE

Week 10 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule I got a little ahead of myself. I think I was all pumped up after last week and then session one felt like a beating. It seemed as though I was trying to race myself and I was supposed to be focused on taking it easy.

As a result, I was all over the place… too fast… too slow… couldn’t find a cadence that felt good… ugh. Seventy two minutes of “I want this to end now”.

I felt better during the next two, but was still pushing a bit… as my pace would indicate.

I did do one pilates workout this week. Thought it might be fun to add in a little arm work, but quickly realized my arms are too puny to do the whole thing.

NUTRITION

Sunday was day 77 on the nutritarian diet. Closing in on 80 days is rather a big deal for me.

When I started with this nutrition plan, I genuinely thought the weight would fall off. I guess I figured it seemed ridiculous that it wouldn’t considering what I’m eating (and even more importantly, what I’m not eating). I decided to step on the scale again Friday and was disappointed yet again. Down 0.2 for the week.

I think I said something like, “Are you kidding me? At this rate it will be five years before I reach a normal weight!”

Oh goodness. So, I spent some time with God about it, hoping for some perspective. I also did the “Tired of the Struggle” questions/verses from I Deserve A Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). In the end, I am thankful to have released weight, even a little.

I don’t know why I keep expecting it to move faster since my body has declared its resistance to weight loss over and over again. Friday morning I just felt really tired of the struggle and was feeling sorry for myself a bit. If a “normal” person ate this way, the weight would be flying off… not for me though. It seems I will get to claw my way all the way to the end. Even still, that 0.2 is gone and I will do my part to ensure it doesn’t return. I don’t know why God isn’t clearing the boulders out of my way faster, but I will trust in His plan and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I also started asking Him if there is anything I need to tweak a bit.

On Sunday, the husband and I decided to grab a smoothie from Jamba Juice and have a meeting about some family stuff. I stood in line debating which fruit/veggie smoothie I wanted. I felt a nudge toward the one with ginger juice added. Instantly, I regretted this decision because the ginger was so strong and it burned my throat.

You see, I’ve had tonsil issues for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was little, doctors and dentists and orthodontists (and anyone else who actually sees my tonsils) would comment on how crazy inflamed they always were/are. I’ve had strep numerous times.

Anyway, they’ve been irritated lately (more so than usual), which I figured might be an indicator of detox. Anytime I have an infection, my tonsils react first. Well, for weeks the left one has been covered with white spots (yeah, I know it’s gross) – which looking through pictures of throat issues looked like tonsillitis to me.

So, I’m drinking this smoothie and it’s burning the heck out of my throat. I look in the passenger side mirror and there are my enormous tonsils, with the left one covered in white stuff. I keep drinking the smoothie because I’ve gotten used to the ginger and it’s starting to actually soothe my throat a bit. Several minutes later, I feel a pinch and some pain around the left tonsil. I look in the mirror and most of the white stuff is gone… GONE! And my tonsils are now significantly reduced in size.

Now, since I’m actually working on this post after Sunday, I’ll go ahead and finish the story. Monday, we went for Jamba Juice again and I got the same drink. Less burning this time, but by the time I got home my throat felt different. I checked out those tonsils again and discovered the white stuff was completely GONE and my tonsils were pink and barely noticeable. I was shocked.

I’ve been reading up on juicing (in regard to cancer – another story), and had been considering adding this to my dietary regimen. After seeing what that ginger juice did to my tonsils, I’m definitely going to give juicing a try. Hopefully I’ll have more to report on that next week.

 

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runner girl: week 9 (whoa!)

Can you believe it? I’m actually looking forward to the run/walk workouts now. This is the point I’ve been waiting to reach. I love the sense of accomplishment, but mostly, I love being out in creation… seeing bunnies, deer, and sunrises… smelling flowers… hearing birds and cows… it’s invigorating and peaceful all at once.

EXERCISE

Week nine of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule was probably my favorite week so far. The first session pushed us into more consecutive jogging minutes than I have done in a really long time. I felt energized and as though I had crossed the threshold back into “runner girl” status.

During the final 5-10 seconds of session 3, I cranked up my pace while trying to maintain form. I didn’t really feel like I was trying to sprint, I was just moving my legs faster and hit a 6:23 pace. I felt amazing (despite the fact that the kids and husband passed me as though I were standing still lol), but this was short-lived as my left knee swelled by end of day Saturday and hurt by Sunday.

Suddenly, I regretted not foam rolling or doing T-Tapp this week. Maybe it had nothing to do with the bolt for the finish on Friday, or forgoing the foam roller. It’s possible that wearing heels to the funeral of a sweet lady from our homeschool co-op on Saturday was the culprit. Either way, I need to foam roll most days of the week, and T-Tapp probably twice a week.

I did use my rebounder on Sunday evening to work my lymphatic system a bit, but my knee didn’t like it.

For some reason I was thinking a lot about breathing and oxygen this week and realized I haven’t mentioned another factor which influences pace.

Altitude.

We workout at about 7+K feet above sea level, and despite living here 10 years, it does affect my pace. I don’t know by how much, but an example is that when we were walking in Texas, my walking paces were faster by at least 1-1.5 minutes per mile. Of course, there are other factors, like elevation gains/losses as well since I live in a hilly area… and the slight oxygen advantage we have in the first few days of being at lower altitude.

One benefit to higher altitude though, there is always a significantly cooler part of the day to run in the summer… and this week’s runs at 4:30AM proved to be down right chilly at times.

NUTRITION

Yesterday, I hit 70 days on the nutritarian diet – That’s 10 weeks people! Wow.

On Friday I weighed in, and while I was disappointed at first with the measly 2 pounds in the last 28 days, I got over it. This brings me to 16.2 pounds gone in just shy of 10 weeks. I don’t know when I’ll weigh again. I might do every other week, or maybe once a month. If the scale is going to move much more slowly, maybe it’s better to not weigh as often.

We did try two new recipes from Dr. Fuhrman’s cookbook. One we liked, and one was a little weird for my taste (French Minted Pea Soup). My youngest daughter liked both and I’d say she’s got a more discerning palate than I.

I mentioned earlier that we attended a funeral on Saturday. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted fried food the rest of the weekend. Grief is such a powerful emotion and I’m used to stuffing emotions with food. It was also sobering because this sweet woman wasn’t much older than myself and had been battling cancer for 18 months. She was such a giving and kind person. She will be sorely missed. I decided that she would not want me to harm myself in my grief for her, so I stuck to the program, but it was far from easy.

Life goes on, although not the same for certain.

when the scale doesn’t do what you want

For people who battle their weight, the scale often becomes a nemesis or a friend… or both in the same day. I won’t rehash all my scale woes today as you can take a trip through my previous blog posts and discover I have had a love/hate relationship with that hunk of metal in the past.

When we first begin a weight loss program, we’re usually excited and motivated by those first couple of weigh ins. Unfortunately, this rarely lasts very long, and the dailiness of sticking to our healthful boundaries begins to wear on us. We work all week to see if the scale will reward our efforts.

Some weeks it does…

… other weeks, not so much.

This morning, after not weighing for 28 days, I was cautiously optimistic about stepping on the scale. I say “cautiously” because I know I’m still dealing with the Hashimoto’s monster and sometimes it seems he plays games with me where the scale is concerned.

As weigh in day approached, I thought about how many pounds I might have released in the past 28 days sticking to my food boundaries (nutritarian). I felt like four pounds would be reasonable taking into account the thyroid craziness. Unfortunately, I guessed wrong. It said I was only down two pounds.

((grumble))

Fortunately, I’ve had three years of renewing my mind about food/weight/body image, and was ready to face it head on like a grown up.

The first thing I needed to recognize was that I still had something for which to thank God. That’s right, whether I saw 2 pounds as an accurate representation of the hard work or not…

…I still released TWO POUNDS… gone… “bye-bye, woo-hoo, see ya“.

Secondly, I needed a reminder that I’m not keeping my food boundaries just to release weight. I’m also keeping them to honor God and to change my health. I think leaning on the Lord to keep my commitment of avoiding refined sugar/flour for the past 67+ days counts for something on both fronts whatever the scale may say.

Plus, I released TWO WHOLE POUNDS!

Third, I needed to ensure I wouldn’t fall for lies like, “What’s the point of all this hard work if it isn’t going to pay off” or “I might as well eat my comfort foods because this isn’t working”. I mean really, how can one say it isn’t “paying off or working”?

Did I mention, I released TWO MORE POUNDS?!

So I pulled out my journal and my worn copy of I Deserve A Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). I turned to the “Bad Scale Eating” questions/verses and did what I’ve done countless times before. I methodically wrote out each question, followed by my answer to it. Then, I prayed through the scriptures, praising God for His blessings and promises that hard work does matter.

And fourth, I needed to recommit to the journey for the long haul. This isn’t about one week, or even 28 days. This is about changing how I do life in regard to food/weight/body image. That doesn’t happen overnight. So, I settled down, made my fruit and greens breakfast smoothie, and continued on the journey…

…TWO POUNDS lighter.

runner girl: week 7

The week was “ok”. My mood was all over the place and I just felt “blah” a lot.

EXERCISE

Week seven of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule is in the record books with more interesting stories. We were a bit intimidated by session one this week because our jogging interval times doubled. Well, about a mile or so into the workout, we realized we were being tracked by a coyote. Nothing like a wild animal skulking about to take your mind off your workout. It tracked us for over a half mile and was closing in when we hit the turn to head back toward the van. Our abrupt turn startled it and it crept back into the brush.

I had also forgotten to load the workout into my watch so we were having to keep track of what interval we were on. We ended up running through all but 20 seconds of the last walking interval because we forgot my watch wasn’t going to prompt us. We felt really stressed during that workout, but we finished it.

Workout two had the challenge of bad air quality. It was really smokey out and our nose/throats were burning. We couldn’t wait for that to be over.

And then came the third workout. We went out a little later and encountered far more people and dogs than usual. Normally we don’t encounter other off-leash dogs, but plenty of on-leash ones that like to lunge at us and our dog. All the while, my dog trots along with us happily off-leash (lots of training went into this).

I truly don’t care if someone’s dog is off-leash or on, as long as they have a way to get their attention and recall them when necessary. We learned early on in his training that our dog would need an electric collar for those sensory overload moments (mainly bunnies and squirrels) to prevent his running into traffic or knocking down small children (kids are so fascinating to him). He just could not hear us when he reached that point of excitement. The collar immediately gets his attention and snaps him out of it.

I’m also very conscientious that not everyone on the planet likes dogs or feels comfortable around them. So, if there is anyone approaching from any direction, my dog is always recalled back to my side until we have enough clearance for him to explore without anyone feeling threatened.

During session three, there another “off-leash” owner hanging out just off the trail with his dog. Not having knowledge that this man was there, I didn’t recall my dog at the point I normally would, and he basically let his dog do whatever it wanted. It was intent on disrupting us from the moment it spotted our little troop. It taunted my dog to play and he relented. We continued running and I finally got through to my dog with the recall button on his collar (it vibrates and gets his attention). The other dog ran ahead of us once my dog rejoined me and stopped right in front of me on the trail. Seriously, my dog doesn’t run the show, did it think I was going to let it be in charge? Ha! I don’t think so! So, we had a bit of a battle of “chicken”, I growled and lunged at the dog. It moved and left us alone. The owner never once called to his dog and certainly didn’t apologize. Bad owner.

Ok, ranting about irresponsible dog owners aside, we finished the workouts. I’m just thankful these encounters didn’t result in any injuries.

NUTRITION

Yesterday, I hit 56 days on the nutritarian diet, but it wasn’t my favorite week. I’m not sure what else to say besides that. I’m going through a phase where I don’t feel like I’m releasing any weight, but it’s probably not helping that the husband wasn’t available to weigh me again on Friday. I almost caved and looked at the number just so I could weigh in, but I didn’t.

Could also be hormonal, and my eyes play tricks on me when it comes to my size anyway. I guess I’m still dealing with residual effects of disordered eating.

Plus, nothing tasted good this week. I mean, nothing. I found myself hunting for ways to make my food taste like something… anything… without resorting to salt. I did use honey a few times and tried some rice… blah. Maybe this is another layer of detox? I don’t know, but I hope it subsides soon.

My glands swelled up for a couple of days too. Of course, my wrists, hands, feet, and ankles look a lot thinner. LOL I guess that’s something at least.

 

runner girl: week 6

I my goodness, I cannot believe I’ve made it six weeks into a running schedule without an injury!! Shocking!! Praying this trend continues!

EXERCISE

We finished week 6 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. The kids were a bit intimidated at first with the increase in jogging time for session 1, but it turned out to be ok. Clearly, this schedule is designed to gradually prepare us for the changes, at least, I hope that’s true since we take a dramatic leap next week.

As you can see, I’ve resumed T-Tapp. I’m doing the Basic Workout Plus (BWO+) and CRT Skin Brushing. I feel stronger and more balanced when I’m doing BWO+ on a regular basis, so I’m going to make a real effort to incorporate it several times a week. It looks simple, but bless my buttons, it’s a tough workout if you’re trying to do it correctly.

The skin brushing… well, that’s because I want to exercise my skin. I’ve been much bigger than I am now (delivered 5 rather large babies), and I want to see if my skin can bounce back better than it has. I’ll tell you one thing, that brush hurts at first. I was wincing and thinking I must be crazy to do this to myself. It did get better toward the end of the week.

I noticed a difference after the second day of brushing (and first day back to T-Tapp). Later that day, when I put on my PJs… the same ones I’d worn the night before, the pants seemed noticeably roomier. I stood there and thought, “Is that even possible?” Not that I’m complaining – I’m all for shrinking my backside, even if I have to endure that stiff bristled brush for 5-7 minutes a day.

And yes, I realize I didn’t “rest” on Sunday. I actually wanted to go out for a leisurely walk. Everything was just so lovely and before I knew it, I had done four miles.

Changes In Perspective

Something I realized while reading skin brushing and T-Tapp testimonials was that I don’t care if it takes a little time for the results to really show. It seemed like most people go for the quick results, maybe even get the initial blast of inch loss, but then quit when it gets tough. The ones with the most dramatic change were the ones who stayed consistent for the long-haul. I want to be among those dynamic women!

In the past, I was always in a hurry. How fast can I reach a certain size? How fast can I reach a certain weight? But now, now I just want to take care of my body and allow it to heal.

I’m not thinking in terms of “where can I be two weeks from now” (or even at the end of a “challenge”), but rather “where could I be six months to two years from now”. Here’s the really shocking part, when thinking about reaching a healthy weight/size, I haven’t once thought, “When I get to ‘goal’, I’ll get to eat anything I want again.” On the contrary, I’m picturing a woman who enjoys exercise and nutritious food.

NUTRITION

I attribute this change in perspective on food to 1) renewing my mind regarding food/weight/body image for several years now, and 2) eliminating foods which trigger addictive behavior in me. Personally, I don’t see the way I am eating as being radical. It just feels normal and even, dare I say it, peaceful.

Yesterday, I hit 49 days on the nutritarian diet. Being off of sugar/flour for 49 days is a really big deal for me. I feel like the alcoholic in AA who can say, “It’s been 49 days since my last bite of the refined stuff”. I downloaded an app to keep track of the number of days so I wouldn’t have to constantly count back to the start date. I don’t like the ads on it though so I may look for something else.

As for weight, I’m noticing a perspective shift there too. Years ago I would say I didn’t care if the scale said I weighed 400 lbs if I still fit into my size 8 jeans. That girl is finally returning – except with a stronger mind. For years I’ve obsessed over that number. Fortunately, this too is something I’ve addressed with renewing my mind, but I’m thinking far more clearly than I have in a very long time since changing what I choose to eat.

When I realized the husband wouldn’t be available to weigh me on Friday (I don’t look at the number), I decided I didn’t care. It doesn’t matter. It’s not like I’m going to go off the rails if I don’t get scale confirmation that “it’s working”.

Simply put, I feel better (mind, body, and spirit). My clothes fit better (some reaching “too loose” status). My mind functions better. My hormones fluctuate better. My body eliminates better. I sleep better (most nights anyway).

Chocolate cake simply cannot compete with all of that.

runner girl: week 5

That’s right, we just continued right along with the schedule even though we didn’t finish week 4.

EXERCISE

We finished out week 5 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule feeling pretty good despite the walking interval times being cut in half. With this change, I decided I was stressing out way too much over hitting 10K steps per day and opted to focus on getting in the workouts and let the steps fall where they may. Eventually I’ll likely be averaging 10K per day without having to pace around my house or go for extra walks. I must be patient and not push it. It is more important to make it to the end of the training schedule than it is to rack up steps.

With the “step count pressure” put on the back burner, I decided to bring back my weekly rest day. For now, that will be Sunday. My legs have needed more rest than anticipated. So, unless I just feel like going for a walk on my rest day, I don’t plan to worry about my step count.

My IT band has been really screaming at me, so I was more intentional with the foam roller this week. I stretched and then rolled after each workout. By the end of the week I was experiencing much less pain overall. I’d like to get a more dense and longer version than the roller I have (pictured right), but I’m using what I have at the moment. The double benefit is that using this thing on your lower body works your abs and arms too.

NUTRITION

Yep, you guessed it, another week on the nutritarian diet. This brings me to 42 consecutive days. Wow, six weeks! This week felt like a breeze compared to last week. I focused a lot on comparing what is permissible to what is beneficial when renewing my mind. This is just common sense to me now… beneficial is better.

I have noticed a slight increase in hunger. I think this is due to the jogging and am trying to eat more as a result.

Because it had been two weeks since I last weighed, I was nervous about stepping on the scale. Some old feelings about it crept in and I had to take them to God. I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I haven’t consistently dropped weight on any plan since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Plus, I usually swell when I travel to lower elevations and/or sit in a vehicle for extended periods of time.

I did weigh though, despite my apprehensions and my body released 3.2 more pounds since my last weigh in. Praise the Lord!! This is rather miraculous with these thyroid issues and I am so thankful for the progress. That brings me to 14.2 pounds gone in less than six weeks (weighed the morning of day 40).

I’m really glad I finally listened to God’s prompting to let go of foods which were harming me. This must be what the drug/alcohol addict feels like when they hit 42 days of sobriety. Yes, I still sometimes think about my old “friends” (harmful foods), but then I remember that they weren’t my friends at all. They were destroying my health… and for what? Momentary… fleeting… pleasure? Wow, so not worth it.

runner girl: week 4 (grief)

Sometimes you’ve just got to survive.

EXERCISE

We did not complete the fourth week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. This was supposed to be a “recovery” week and it happened to fall while we were scheduled to be out of town. Exercise while traveling is already difficult, but I had high hopes of sticking to the plan. Unfortunately, life took a different turn.

Monday morning, the 14 year old, my mom, and I rose early and hit the road. Mom did part of the run/walk with us, which was fun. I was sweating up a storm due to the humidity, which isn’t something I’m used to since living in Colorado. Later, we played in the pool for a few hours, and while that didn’t count for many steps (not sure how it knows I’m not walking when I’m swimming or treading water), it was a good additional workout.

I thought maybe I had injured my big toe (tripped) a couple of weeks prior (I’ve broken it before), and by Monday evening it was really bothering me. So, I decided not to walk on Tuesday, but rather swim with the girls and my mom instead (the guys were working at a golf tournament). This proved to be a good thing for my body. It needed a break and I wasn’t too worried about it since I had planned to continue the schedule the rest of the week.

Well, I was awakened early Wednesday to the sound of my mom rushing through the house. My grandmother had taken a bad turn and she needed to get on the road to be with her (an almost 3 hour drive). While I helped mom get ready, she got another call… the call. My grandmother was gone.

I no longer cared about anything but helping my mom. Yes, in hindsight, going out for a run after mom left probably would have been helpful, but I just didn’t care. I ended up caring for her animals and sifting through pictures to gather some for the funeral. I spent most of Wednesday crying.

My family stayed at my parents’ house until Friday afternoon so we could care for their livestock, and then we headed over for the visitation Friday evening. Most of Saturday was funeral, more visiting with family, and the drive back to my parents’ house. This is a stark contrast to the 90th birthday party we had planned for her on Saturday.

There were moments when I thought about the run/walk schedule and wondered if I should have pressed through anyway, but I had to reach a place where I let it go. I needed brain space for other things and I chose to release the workout plan.

NUTRITION

What I refused to let go of though, was my food boundary. By the end of the week, I reached 35 days on the nutritarian diet and it was far from easy. Just being out of my normal routine is difficult, but couple that with the fact that I generally cave at some point when I’m at my parents’ house… it was already a challenge to keep my mind in the right space.

Then my grandmother died. Then more overnight traveling. Then restaurants. Emotional and temptation overload. It is only by the grace and strength of God that I didn’t cave. There were times when I had to wait hours to eat because what was available wasn’t within the nutritarian guidelines. Others were eating… the smells… oh my Lord in heaven, I prayed and prayed…. and prayed some more.

I did get emotional and cranky once, which was brought on by grief, temptation, the smell of Mexican food, and hunger. I had to apologize for my rudeness and thankfully they were understanding.

I had gone into the week with the resolve of “I will not break my boundaries… no matter what!” Of course, I also had no idea what the week had in store. Had I known, I probably would have decided to take the week off and resume next week. Coming out on the other side though, I can say with absolute certainty that sticking to my boundaries actually helped me to grieve properly. Instead of stuffing my emotions with food, I felt them, processed them, and took them to the Lord for comfort. This is new territory for me, but I feel like I’ve come away with increased confidence.

My resistance muscles were worked really hard, and with God’s help, I am stronger for it.

I didn’t take my scale out of town with me, so I don’t know if I released weight or not. I think I probably did, but it isn’t unusual for me to swell initially when I go to lower elevations. I was afraid if I had swelled due to travel, and it showed on the scale, I might not stick to the program while away. I’ll weigh again next week though.