Monday, May 24, 2010

I think I can...I think I can

I have found a new love...or maybe not so much love...but maybe like...or preference.  I have always had a bit of an issue with boredom, and the gym.  I guess I think "always" may be an overstatement, considering I have taken a long hiatus from my gym visiting on many, many, many occasions.  When I have been diligent about my gym attendance - I do get bored easily.  I can only spend so much time on a treadmill, or eliptical machine - and I am not where I need to be cardiovascularly, in order to attend the classes.  I usually just burn myself out, and stop going - super-healthy, right!?!  Instead of finding a solution to the problem, just keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different result.  Isn't that the definition of insanity?  It is official...I guess I am insane.

Thanks to my friend Darcy dragging me off to the local park/trail system, I have found something I enjoy doing - that is also helping me get my butt moving.  There are a lot of different options, so you don't end up having to do the same walk each time.  There are some that have more hills/incline (one of my major enemies) than others - and you don't really know until you are into it what the hike will be like.  Today I went out, and made a plan for a new trail.  When I got about 1/2 way through my planned walk, the trail I planned to take was closed.  I adjusted my path, and headed on what I will now be referring to as my "Biggest Loser" trail (at the end of the season, all of the remaining contestants hike the hill behind the ranch, and it allows them to look over the ranch, etc - once they get to the top).  There were more inclines than usual, including one real doozy about 1/2 way through - - I think I almost sacrificed one of my lungs on the trip to the top (Shout out to Jason and the Italy hike some of them did).  I had to give myself a self-talk not to stop 1/2 way up and catch my breath!  Once I got to the top it was worth it - you get to look out over this huge open area, and the tops of all of the trees.  There is a bench at the top, where you can sit and enjoy the view.  As tempting as that was, I feared if I sat down, I may never get back up.  This path (#40) also gives you no option for escape while you are on you have to do the entire thing - which helps me not be the quitter I sometimes long to be.  Eventually, I made it back down the trail safe and sound.  My first solo walk was completed with no injuries, and I was able to get rid of a  LOT of sweat!

 I will be taking a bit of a hiatus from blogging (because I am busy, not in the throws of an all out emotional crisis.  I am out of my emotional crisis of a couple of weeks ago) because I need to get my belongings packed and moved by noon on the 31st.  My sister is (hopefully) closing on her new townhouse this Friday.  I am going to have lots of work to do on that - and then I am moving to Milwaukee the last weekend in June.  I will be back to blogging on July 1st - and I hope you rejoin me at that time!  Have a great June, everyone!  Hope to hear from you in July!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead. -Les Brown

I know for a fact that I am not the only person who has a bit of a issue with self-perception.  In fact, most women have the same issue.  We have a hard time recognizing just how smart, strong, funny, insane, dedicated, out-going, shy, fit, brave, assertive, comforting, kind, controlling, easy-going, technically-savvy (the list could go on and on) we are - or in some cases how much we are not these things.  There are definitely situations where being pleasantly un-self-aware is a gift.  Your brain is protecting you - because there are occasions where reality completely sucks - and dealing with that constantly will just break you down. 

Tomorrow it will have been 3 months (Holy Hell!!  How time flies!) since I walked through the doors of fat camp.  In that time I have made, what I perceive to be, some pretty great strides.  I have lost 60 pounds, I have walked 2 5Ks, I exercise a minimum of 5 days a week for at least 45 minutes of cardio, I insure that I get in at least 60 minutes of activity a day (which is anything that involves moving your ass: shopping, mowing lawn, cleaning, etc).  I eat well the vast majority of the time - long gone are the days of 3 fast food meals a day.  I "feel" great!  My body can do so much more than it could just 3 short months ago. 

I look in the mirror daily.  I see that there have been some subtle changes in my size.  A few people have commented that I look "smaller".  Then came the day of my grandparents' 60th Anniversary party, and family pictures.  This is where the self-perception issue comes into play....  I was feeling pretty good!  I feel slightly more dainty (me...dainty - hahahahahaha), I had done one of my 5K walks that morning - and I guess in my head (shout out to mind-thoughts.  I am becoming increasingly aware that I may be certifiable) that meant I would magically shrink to half my size?  Not so much.  I saw our family pictures about a week and a half ago.  I cried. Like seriously sat in front of my computer with tears in my eyes.  I am STILL huge!  It shouldn't have been shocking - I have only lost a little over 25% of the weight I want/need to lose - but it is still startling when you realize you haven't come nearly as far as you think you have.  When the reflection (literally) of your hard work isn't what you thought it was, or what you think it should be.  I felt like a loser and a failure - like I was right back to dealing with this insurmountable issue that would never go away!

It put me in a funk.  I was cranky, and less than a pleasure to be around.  I would go to bed at midnight and stay in bed until 11am.  I was still eating low-calorie, for the most part - but was too lazy to go get fruits and veggies (which are a completely necessary part of any balanced eating program!) because prepping them seemed like too much work.  I didn't my blog (sorry Amy).  I didn't want to do anything.  I would force myself to get my rear to the gym.  It probably didn't help that the weather during this period of time was less than stellar - cold and rainy.  All of this finally came to a head on Monday.  I had to have a pretty serious talk with myself.  Enough was enough.  I haven't worked this hard to get this far to just stop, again!  I am breaking the seemingly never-ending cycle of "Natalie the Yo-Yo Dieter".  Thanks to some decent weather (honestly - does it get any better than this weather in MN?!?!  I LOVE IT!), some strict self-imposed guidelines about hours of sleep (I am not allowed to sleep past 8:30am) and my friend Darcy getting me out on the trails of Lebanon Hills,I finally feel like I am coming back.

After talking to a couple of my friends yesterday, I realized I am not the only one who has been haunted by pictures, shocked by film, tormented by photos.  I have friends who have done amazing things - and had those experiences somewhat hampered by unappealing pictures!  I have a friend who ran a marathon (26.2 miles....of running....straight!...not over a week - but all at one time!!!), and still didn't think she looked good in the pictures from it.  HELLO!!  You trained for and ran a marathon!!  You look fantastic!!  I have another friend who completed one of her huge personal goals last summer - she did a sprint tri-athalon in Hudson.  Her problem photo?  Well....I'll give you a hint: after you swim, you have to run to your your swimsuit.  I believe her description of the photograph included "cantaloupes" on her inner thighs.  Seriously!?!  You could do a tri-athalon!  You are amazing, and look amazing as well!  You could run naked and no one could say a thing!  This is what I am saying.... I think we all need to cut ourselves some slack. 

Trying to do something different than you have been doing (even something as simple as going for a walk instead of sitting on your couch all day) or training yourself for, and finishing, a huge athletic event deserves respect - regardless of what you think photos may say about you.  I am trying to appreciate the fact that I am moving, that I am trying, that I have had some success - but I have even more milestones ahead of me, that I am getting stronger - and most important thing... I had a set-back, and I am still going.  I didn't quit.  I didn't decide to eat pizza and burgers every day, for every meal.  Even if I always look like hell in pictures, I am getting my life back - and that is something to be cherished and appreciated.  Unfortunately, there just isn't any way to frame that and hang it on the wall....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Challenge of the Fat Girl: Exercise Pants

First and foremost - I apologize for being a complete slacker with the updates to my blog.  I will be better!

I am going to get started a bit off topic - but wanted to cover one quick thing first.  My friends, the Hastings', have tickets to Twins games, and invited a friend and I to join them last Tuesday.  The best part?  They have tickets on this tiny deck that has padded folding chairs (SO COMFORTABLE) instead of the regular stadium seats (which are on the big-butt-enemy-list).  The temps were in the 40's, and the Twins didn't play that great - but it was still fantastic to see the stadium (beautiful) and those seats are amazing!

Now on to my topic for the day....  exercise pants.  For those of you that are a normal size, I am sure you are asking yourself "what is the big deal?".  Let me tell you a little secret about the overweight girl: the bigger you are, the more your thighs rub together.  What does constant rubbing cause?  Friction.  I have found that every pair of pants I have had in recent years has collapsed under the pressure - they have surrendered to the friction.  I have worn holes through my jeans, fat pants (my affectionate term for exercise pants, also referred to as FP's) - really anything I consistently wear on the bottom have of my body.  I had a couple of pairs of FP's bite the dust while at FC - and just had my favorite pair of FP's fall victim last week.  I am trying to figure out how to out-smart this issue!  If I use cotton pants, they crumble quickly.  If I use the polyester pants they make so much noise while I walk, and the friction creates HEAT!  I don't need a fire starting in my crotch at the gym!!  That would be more mortifying that falling off my treadmill (a personal fear I have every time I step on one!).  I have one pair of Danskin pants - and so far I think they might be the ticket.  They are cottonish, but appear to have some spandex in them - which is helping to hold them far.  I do realize that this is a lot of effort to be putting into pants...but when your daily uniform is FP's and a T-Shirt, you want to find things that will last!

Do any of you have a great option for plus-size exercise apparel?

I am hoping to have a busy week this week.  My sister bought herself a townhouse - so everyone is hoping she can close early this week.  It is a bit of a thistle that we are hoping to turn into a rosebush.  And time is running out - we have to have it done by May 31st, because we have to be out of our apartment.  If anyone wants to help paint, clean or move - let me know.  There are still many positions available! =)

I hope all of you are enjoying the (finally) warm weather!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stop and Smell the Flowers

A couple of friends and I went to a state park near Nerstrand today.  The plan was to walk on some of the trails and look at the beautiful and colorful blooming flowers.  What a beautiful day!  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and most importantly - no small critters tried to attack me!  When we headed down our first trail, and it was all down hill - I suspected the trip back out of the trails might be a bit of a challenge (one of my most fierce enemies continues to be any amount of incline!).  We walked down to a really beautiful waterfall area.  We saw some really cute white, yellow and purple flowers (shout out to the Vikes!) but the majority of the flowers hadn't bloomed, yet.  There were some definite hikes up some hills - I feared I was going to lose a lung around 12:28pm - but I survived.  Shout out to Marilyn and Darcy for humoring me, and letting us walk slowly!  I had a few definite points of huffing and puffing like a freight train - but I do recover better than I used to.  Hopefully my cardiovascular system is improving - and I will become unaffected by incline!  Marilyn and Darcy also packed us a delicious lunch, that we were able to enjoy while sitting in the sunshine.  Our personal meteorologist was tracking a storm coming in (so nice to have our own weather tracker!) and my feet are causing me some problems right now - so after lunch we packed it up and headed home.

Since my walk on Saturday, I have been experiencing some pain in the bones on the tops of my feet.  I have heard that this may be some kind of fracture?  I am certain it is nothing serious - and will heal itself soon enough - but it is certainly not a good feeling!  While standing during my grandparents party on Saturday I was miserable.  I felt like I could barely walk on Sunday, without a decent amount of pain.  Today at one point they started to hurt a bit - but by the end of the walk they were feeling OK.  One odd point?  When walking up the inclines, they felt better.  Maybe this is my body's way of trying to get me to use some incline while walking on the treadmill?  Stupid body.
I have been watching the Twins while updating my blog - and see everyone enjoying the outdoor field - while getting poured on!  The winds are about 2343 mph - so I am sure it is chilly - but everyone still has smiles on their faces.  I am really enjoying watching them play this season!  It doesn't hurt that they have total cuties, like my boyfriend Denard Span (left) for me to look at!  I think I get to go to a game next week at the new stadium.  I am hoping the weather wants to be warmish by then?  I am definitely ready for a warm up - even though our personal meteorologist has informed me that the rest of this week is going to be COLD!  I hope you all find fun ways to keep yourselves warm! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh How We've Grown

And by "We've", I mean me - and all other severely overweight people.  And I am not talking about emotional growth - I am talking physical growth, girth, padding....fat.  I realized this weekend that I should have had classic cars on my list of enemies of the overweight girl!

My dad used his winter to restore his dream car - a 1956 Buick (sample picture to the left - this is not my pop's car, however.  His is yellow & black - like a bumblebee).  It is great! He had his colors picked out since he was 7 (he is now 57) - and has used every spare second to "tinker" with it.  I had my virgin run driving it on Sunday - and was not so pleased to realize that I barely fit behind the wheel!  Thank God I went to FC when I did!  If I would have been carrying around the 54 pounds I have lost, I NEVER would have fit!  The seat belt didn't even get close to fitting (who used seat belts in 1956, anyway?  I didn't even have a car seat as a baby!) but that wouldn't have been an issue!  I was so crammed in behind the wheel, that in the event of a crash I wasn't going anywhere!!  Instead of driving with my knee, I got to drive with my FUPA!  I am so talented!  I just thought that was a glaring example of how things have changed!  I am certain there were overweight people back in the 50's - but I am also certain it wasn't nearly as prevalent as it is now.  It was crazy!  Nearly not fitting behind the wheel was also a little more incentive to keep moving my butt!  One of these days I will fit behind the wheel comfortably....the seat belt may never fit, however!

This weekend I walked (slowly) my 2nd 5K - it was called From the Heart in Owatonna.  Thank you to Nina for walking with me!  I was having a week, last week, where I did not want to do anything.  I had to give myself pep talks to get any exercising done - and that continued into Saturday.  I didn't feel like doing the walk - so I really appreciate Nina putting up with me!  They also had a 1/2 marathon which a few friends (shout out to Mitz, Dawn, Kelly & Molly for doing the longer run!  Kelly had her personal best time - Congrats!!)  From there I got ready and out to the church for my grandparent's 60th anniversary (you read that correctly - 60th!!!  Shout out to Ed & Kay!  It is amazing - who likes each other that long?!?!) party.  It went really well.  We got cleaned up and headed back to my parents' house for more family bonding.

The unfortunate part of my weekend was that I pretty much ate like crap (Bars, dips, pizza, buffalo chicken sandwiches, french fries).  The good news is that I did get some exercise on Saturday, and I did get back to eating right and going to the gym today.  I'm trying to cut myself some slack.  I can't live and simultaneously never eat things that are bad for me.  Well....I probably could - but I am not sure I would count it as "living".

Happy Monday, all!