28 August 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week Two

Another week done, another Friday upon us, which means it's time for another edition of Face the Scale Friday!

Daily Points: 39
Weekly Points used this week: 49/49
Activity Points earned this week: 34
Activity Points used this week: 9

Weight lost this week: -2.6
Total weight lost: 5 
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 254.8

After being successful last week, I felt in a good place to continue the momentum. I also took advantage of some sales that Weight Watchers was having and bought some snacks to keep on hand at work.

Around 2 or 3 pm I always get the afternoon munchies. We have a small....not quite cafe, but nook full of snacks and food that we can buy and some of it I can make work, but this way I know for sure I have stuff on hand!

The other tool I've been using is the Believe Training Journal.

One of my CLE Marathon Ambassador friends, Jamie, posted a photo of hers and I fell in love with it so much, I immediately had to buy one of my own. It lasts a whole year and keep track of workouts. Each week you set a goal and every few weeks you sort of check in with how you're feeling and doing. There's also a place to keep notes to specific races, both before and after. It was super helpful before running the Rock City 5K and then there's also a place to write down thoughts after finishing.

I do this with all of my race recaps, but I had never sat down and really drafted thoughts prior to starting a race. Like, what are scenarios or challenges that could come up? What are my goals for the race? Logistics, like parking and eating. It's stuff that seems SO obvious now and I'm looking forward to doing it with future races.

My goal this week was to run three times after work. With my new schedule I actually have the luxury of running in the evenings and I love it but I'm still getting in the habit of doing it, so having that as a specific and very achievable goal seemed a good idea.

We have a walking trail at work outside and I often go for walks on my lunch break or if I ever need to get away from the computer for 10 minutes. Then I was thinking that instead of running after getting home, some night I could just run right after work and then head home. That was my plan Wednesday, but then I just decided why not run on my lunch hour?

The path is uneven and gravel and I'm used to running on pavement so my calves were burning about half a mile in, but by the end I felt fantastic. Plus, I was able to get my run in without a) having to wake up super early before work or b) have it hanging over my head to do after I get home. With the locker rooms on site, cleaning up is pretty easy, too, and then I just ate my lunch at my desk as I worked.

It clearly all worked, too, since I lost another 2 1/2 lbs this week! That's 5 in two weeks. Woo hoo!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

24 August 2015

race recap: rock city 5K

Who knew that I'd get to a point in my life where I'd be all "Ran a 5K this morning. NBD." It's always nice when you still have the power to surprise yourself!

This particular race was hosted by Cleveland's own Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Saturday afternoon I headed over to pick up my race packet. There was also a half-marathon, but I just went for the 5K.

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and headed over. I didn't know what the parking situation was going to be like, I ended up parking in one of the lots downtown about a mile from the start line. This actually worked out well because it gave me a chance to warm up my legs before the race.

I got there just in time to see the half-marathon start, which a couple of my fellow CLE Marathon Ambassador friends were running. Then, while I was hanging out waiting for the 5K to start, I was on Facebook and realized one of my high-school friends was also running the 5K! I wasn't able to find here before we started, but I did at the very end which was a nice surprise. I also found out she is running a few upcoming races that I've been considering as well, so that might be the push I need to sign up. After all, I committed to running one race a month in 2015 and still have a few more months to go!

If this course wasn't the exact same one as the Bernie Shuffle last fall, it was pretty close. There was a slight hill in the beginning but other than that it was pretty flat (and, of course, meant we went downhill at the end).

There were quite a few walkers at the race which I think is great because it means people are realizing that races like this aren't just reserved for runners. I also wore my Running With Police Escort shirt and had a couple people come up and talk to me about it.

My chip time was 49:04 which meant a 15:48 average. I wanted sub 16 minute miles so I'm quite happy with my final time!

The finisher's medal looks like a vinyl record which naturally fits with the Rock Hall theme. The race started at 7:45 am so I was on my way home by 9 so I still had the whole day ahead of me! I think that's one reason why I love 5Ks so much. Half-marathons always leave me so exhausted after and while, sure I took a nap this afternoon, I wasn't feeling the effects quite as much as I do with longer distances.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

21 August 2015

Face the Scale Friday: Week One

Hello and Happy Friday! As I mentioned in Monday's post, I'm instituting a new series that starts this week called Face the Scale Fridays. I'm hoping by making it a regular feature on the blog, like (Half) Marathon Mondays, I will be held more accountable rather than just a post I may or may not write week to week.

Since starting my new job I've had to change around my weigh in day at Weight Watchers. At my previous job I had Fridays off, so I'd always go to the Friday morning meeting. That's no longer an option and the other meeting times sort of work with my schedule, but not ideally.

Luckily, the same location I was going to isn't too far from work and has open hours on Thursdays, so I've been going over on my lunch break just to weigh in. If, for some reason, I'm unable to do it at lunch, they have meetings in the evening. The meeting times themselves don't work super well, so I don't stay for that, but I can at least still pop in and on the scale, so even if I'm not weighing in at the same time I can at least keep consistent on the day I weigh in.

Of course, all of this means I'm not actually attending meetings, which has its pros and cons. But I keep reminding myself that I lost all of my initial weight way back when doing Weight Watchers entirely online, so I know it's possible to do without the meetings.

I'm also still trying to figure out the best way to structure these posts. I know part of the success of my HMM posts was always giving a run down of what training I did each week. With this it's a bit different, and I realize that if you're not familiar with Weight Watchers, some of this won't make sense, but here's the hard data I'm thinking of sharing week to week:

Daily Points: 39
Weekly Points used this week: 29/49
Activity Points earned this week: 10
Activity Points used this week: 0

Weight lost this week: -2.4
Starting weight: 259.8
Current weight: 257.4

So, this week had a few challenges. First was right off the bat, going out to lunch with co-workers. We went to a local Mexican place and Mexican is my favorite type of food. Luckily, I had been to this place before and know they offer a really, really good tilapia dish that comes with yummy zucchinis and rice. I, admittedly, debated about getting something else but in the end went with the tilapia and am glad that I did. Of course, I also still had some chips and salsa, but everything got tracked.

Saturday was my second book signing, this time at Case-Barlow Farm. They make a root beer that they have for sale at the farm and they gave me a bottle after. I had already told BC to count on me making dinner that night and figured the root beer would pair well with the baked chicken and corn salad I had planned.

Broke out the butterbeer mugs we got in Florida!

The rule is to generally not drink your calories, but by splitting the bottle between us I think we did okay.

I haven't been running since the Shawshank Hustle, but that's not uncommon. I often go through periods like that where my desire to run comes in waves. But I have a 5K on Sunday and knew I needed to get out there, so I was super excited on Monday when I was done with dinner and just got this huge desire to pound the pavement.

Quick 20 minute run, but it felt so great to be out there again. And then that same urge happened again on Tuesday! Suffice it to say, I'm feeling really ready to rock the Rock City 5K so come back Monday to read my race recap.

Losing 2.4 lbs this week is fantastic, but it's just the start. Now I have to keep that momentum going!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 August 2015

Running With Police Escort Ignite Fitness Video

You guys know that back in June when I went to Denver for FitBloggin, I also was a part of the Ignite Fitness Keynote Address and presented on being a slow runner. I'm super excited because now the video of my Ignite Fitness presentation is available online and available for all of you guys to see!

Seriously, y'all. Someone should hire me to be a motivational speaker, amirite?

Speaking of being a slow runner, new episode of Running With Police Escort comes out this Friday so be sure to subscribe to get it automatically!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

17 August 2015

mental health monday: the 85 lb onion

It's time for another Mental Health Monday post and I'm warning y'all right now, this one is gonna be a bit of a doozy.

Now, it's been a few years since I've watched an episode, let alone a season, of The Biggest Loser, but I always remember there was inevitably a part at least somewhere along the way when Jillian Michaels would be yelling at some contestant in the gym (granted, that's pretty much every episode, but go with me on this one) and the contestant would get so fed up they'd quit their workout early and storm out of the gym in a mess of tears and a flurry of curse words.

When Jillian finally caught up to the contestant they have this long, drawn out conversation trying to parse together what caused the contestant's initial weight gain and what causes them to continue to gain weight. What causes the binge eating and late night snacking?

The contestant becomes an onion as Jillian slowly peels each layer back to find the root cause.

But what happens when you're not an onion?

Looking back on photos from my recent trip to Florida, it's impossible to ignore my weight gain over the past 2 1/2 years. Back in February 2013, I weighed 175. At my weigh in last Thursday I was at 259.8.

This, ladies and gents is what an 85 pound weight gain looks like.

Obviously I'm aware I've gained weight. I mean, I'm not an idiot.  I've even blogged about it along the way of the past couple years. But, oof. It wasn't until I did the math in my head after weighing in that the gravity, the big picture of it all set in.

So Thursday night, I'm in bed, and I'm journaling and I'm trying to figure out the why. I'm peeling back my own layers to find the root cause of it and....I came up empty.

And I'm not just saying that out of denial or something, although I have no doubt there will be some who don't believe me and that's okay. But, honestly, I just....

My life? Pretty damn awesome. I am a published author and I finally have a job where I feel like a valued and necessary member of a team. And, to be fair, back in February 2013? When this whole regain started? My professional life completely upended and I spent the past 2 1/2 years in a mentally and emotionally draining and stifling work environment that left me miserable and crying more often than not, so if there was a catalyst I could pinpoint along the time spectrum, that would be it.

That being said, my life has always been pretty awesome. I come from a loving home. I have a super supportive family. There's really nothing in my past for Jillian Michaels to find as a smoking gun.

We are often programmed to believe that weight gain is a symptom of a much larger problem. That there is something about us that needs fixed. Something that requires hours of therapy and cryfests with professional help. Yes, I have a history of disordered eating issues and yes, I had self-esteem issues growing up which probably caused said disordered eating way back when. And yes, sometimes I still have bad body image days but, really, who doesn't?

But, if I'm being totally honest, I've done therapy before. Multiple times. I don't want to sit on a couch and spend an hour of my life each week unpacking my baggage. Not to discount that therapy can be beneficial for some, but for me I'm not sure I find it particularly productive. Approaching my weight from a place saying that I'm broken or damaged doesn't feel very productive either. I've spent far too long viewing myself through a negative lens, I'd rather not do that anymore.

For years I've always believed the message that if you love yourself enough you'll want to lose weight. That the only way to successfully lose weight is to love yourself. But why is that the end all be all of proof that one loves oneself? Self esteem is an internal mechanism so why is an external change expected?

You know who loves herself and showed it in an external way? This gal here, who wore a bikini to the beach in Florida.

Back fat and all, I said fuck it. (Also, somehow there is no full length photo of me in the suit, but c'est la vie.)

I look at those photos above, the progression of my weigh gain, and I'm not mad or sad or upset. I don't feel guilt or shame. It is what it is. Getting emotional over it won't change anything.

Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Do I want to lose it because I think it will make me happy? No, because 1) that's not how this works and 2) I'm already happy. Do I want to lose weight because I love myself enough to want to be thin? No, because I love myself already despite the fact that I'm not already thin. I want to lose weight because I'm vain and I miss wearing that sparkling vintage silver and teal dress in the photo up top.

At one point along this road, this slow runner would have said I'd like to be thinner so it will make me faster but then, see, I ran my half back in May and for the majority of it I was totally on target to PR despite weighing more than I did when I ran my first half marathon, so, see, I can't even use that as motivation.

Truth is, I think my real problem is I just really really like food and it's not something I'm willing to sacrifice. I also live in a city with a phenomenal food scene. And, I have learned how to navigate it while still balancing a healthy lifestyle. Like, last week BC and I went out to dinner after work to Melt Bar and Grilled. They have ginormous sandwiches and often we split one but this time he wanted their super spicy burger which I so did not want, so I ordered my own and only ate half the sandwich and half the fries.

See. Balance.

Could I give Melt and other favorite restaurants up? Sure. I mean, I love to cook and can make my own bad ass grilled cheese sandwiches at home. But do I want to? Ummmm, yeah, no. Some random scientist somewhere could find that magic bullet of weight loss and offer it to me and I could wake up 100 lbs thinner tomorrow, all I have to do is give up all of my favorite local restaurants. And to that, all I can say is fuck that noise.

So here's where I'm at. And, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure where "here" is, but I do know changes need to be made. I'm not going to make any big proclamations or "watch out world" promises because I've done that before and it thus far hasn't worked. Instead, I'm going to make small changes when and where I can and see where it takes me.

The first big change is a new blog series I'll be starting this Friday:

Since resigning up for Weight Watchers almost a year ago, I've been going to meetings and weighing in, but somewhere along the way I stopped blogging about it. Now that life has settled, the truth is that I do want to make my weight a priority again and in order to do that I need to readopt some of the habits I had the first time around. This includes holding myself accountable through this blog. I weigh in on Thursdays, usually in the afternoon, so Friday mornings are the perfect time to come here and recap how my week went, good or bad.

I actually got the idea from my (Half) Marathon Monday series -- I'd blogged about half training before, but somehow having that weekly post that focused on that held me more accountable to my training schedule and I'm hoping it will do the same for the scale.

Be sure to check out the other Mental Health Monday posts as part of this week's linkup! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 August 2015

stepping my way through Florida

After a week in Florida, I'm now back home and today marks my return to real life since I'm back at my awesome new job. While it was so nice to have the whole week off last week, I was quite happy to wake up this morning and head back to work, and not just because I get to talk to all my nerdy co-workers about Harry Potter world.

The thing about taking a vacation centered around visiting theme parks is that it gives you plenty of opportunity for exercise:

Step counts from Universal Studios (left) and Magic Kingdom (right)

Of course, taking a vacation also leaves the opportunity to maybe overdo it a little on the food and I may have taken advantage of vacation mode when we were at Harry Potter, but I tracked everything, including our lunch at the Leaky Cauldron.

Plus, y'know, Butterbeer.

When we went to Magic Kingdom a few days later I did much better on the food front. We packed pb&j sandwiches to eat for lunch and I ordered a chicken when we stopped at one of the restaurants for dinner.

As much fun as I had, amusement parks aren't really my thing and doing two all day ventures in one week was exhausting. Since we only had one day at Universal Studios and one day at Magic Kingdom, we were pretty much in MUST DO EVERYTHING mode and our day at Disney was very hot and humid so by mid-afternoon I was pretty much ready to pack it in. Luckily, once the temperature started to drop I caught a second wind but still, very long day.

It had been almost ten years since I was at any kind of theme park and, not gonna lie, I'd be okay if it's another ten years before I go to one again.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 August 2015

Mental Health Monday: Coaster Concerns

This week, BC and I are in Orlando for a much needed vacation. The past few months have been so busy and left me feeling so overwhelmed, to have a week off from all of that is just pure bliss. A chance to refresh and renew after the craziness of life. I don't really take summer vacations, so I'm enjoying having the opportunity to step back momentarily to gather myself before jumping into the second half of 2015.

There's just one teeny tiny thing that's giving me severe anxiety about this trip.

Right, so, this is Orlando, Florida, home to both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios and other such amusement parks. The thing is, see, I haven't been to an amusement park in about 8 years and the last time I did venture to a park was on a cousins outing to Cedar Point and I spent a good hour or two of that trip hanging out in the rain by myself while all of my family was on one particular roller coaster because I was too fat to ride. 

In fact, this very experience was part of the reason I started trying to lose weight. See, my parents wanted to surprise me with a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for my 30th birthday in November of 2011, but my sister had told them this story and the concern was that we'd get all the way down there and my by then 311 lb body wouldn't be able to ride any of the rides.

By the time it got closer to my birthday, even though I had lost about 50 lbs, we decided to travel to Vegas instead and I never got around to visiting the magical world of Harry Potter. With this trip on the horizon I, of course, have been feeling a wee bit anxious. Especially considering I gained back weight over the past two years. In fact, in the weeks prior to the trip I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at photos from that Cedar Point trip, like the one above, and comparing it to photos from more recently.

Do I weigh the same? Does my face look thinner? What's my stomach situation? How does my body mass compare? What about my boobs? Will the harness be able to close? Will I get pulled off the ride? How will I do with all of the walking? I mean, it's gonna probably be hot as balls in Florida -- will I be able to keep up without getting too tired? What should I wear that will best hide the obvious sweat stains that will inevitably show up? 

For weeks these questions have been replaying in my head. And, to be honest, I probably do weigh roughly the same but it's one of those situations where the number doesn't tell the whole picture because the actual look and shape of my body is completely different thanks to changes in muscle mass over the past several years. And while I packed my Back to the Future shirt to wear, the morning of I changed my mind because I really was concerned that I'd sweat right through that thing and ended up going with a black top that would keep sweat stains discrete while walking around.

Ugh, my arms will forever be the bane of my existence.

Turns out I didn't have to worry, since yesterday's trip to Universal Studios went by just fine. That being said, some of the seats were a little snug on my hips and at one ride I did need some help from the employees to get the harness to get down far enough to click in the seat belt thing, but that was mostly owing to my rather voluptuous rack and not much else.

It's an unfortunate side effect of being heavier, not knowing how you'll fare at the fair. Or carnival or amusement park or whatever. If you're visiting such an establishment you want to know you'll be able to ride the rides free of discomfort or embarrassment and not spend a ridiculous amount of time stressing about if you'll even be able to fit on the rides.

Universal was fine, but Disney is on Thursday so even though I had a great time and fit on everything and had no issues, there is still that little anxious voice in my head worried that my trip to the Mouse won't be as successful. 

Be sure to check out the other Mental Health Monday posts as part of this week's linkup! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...