Sunday, March 26, 2017

Early 2017 Weight Loss Review

I've yet again fallen off the weight loss wagon. Once again it was a vacation that threw me completely out of sync of my healthy routine that I had worked hard on establishing. A month back in England for Christmas/New Year with my family and friends set me on a path of laziness. I struggled immensely getting back into a groove with just day to day life. Being a freelancer meant this was a dangerous situation to be in financially, a lazy streak meant no money. With our savings depleting by the day we've definitely have to shake things up in the work department, but I also need to get back to work on being healthy.

My friends recently visited and I saw a couple of pictures that were taken of me. I saw large arms and a pot belly...definitely things I didn't want to see. However having seen these pictures I felt a sense of determination. I need to get to work, simple as that.

I stand by the list I made previously about things I need to work on to lose weight. Just before Christmas I was doing REALLY well with it. I lost about 6 lbs working on changing these bad habits, but then yeah...Christmas happened. So here's me, reiterating what I need to work on for my own benefit:

  • Workout 3 times a week. 
  • Only eat oatmeal on workout days
  • Eat breakfast at the dinner table every other day
  • Drink 2 large bottles of water a day
I'm back up to around 170 lbs now, so I need to get on with getting healthy or else I'll be fat forever! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Uptown Rhodes 5K, Atlanta, GA - October 29th 2016 (5K #1)

I moved to Georgia from Colorado in May 2016 and shortly after we landed the humidity hit like a tonne of bricks. Having grown up in England I was definitely not used to this climate, but living in Japan for 2 years had prepared me for a long summer. My way of dealing with the humidity? Hiding inside with the AC on! I'm sure I'm not the only one. Unfortunately I had to give up my ClassPass membership because we no longer had a stable income coming in, which meant I had to rely on home workouts in the near future. I'm living on the top floor of an apartment building, so Insanity was out of the question without severely pissing off the person who lived below us, so I had to resort to the onsite gym.

For a short while I ran on the treadmill and the cross trainer, but my form was so bad on these machines that my hips began to hurt a LOT. I'm just not destined to be a gym bunny. Once the summer humidity faded in late September I saw to my horror that I had gone from being predominantly in the mid 160's for 4 years to the early 170's. I was now heading closer to obesity than I was healthy. What do I do in times like this? Enter a race.

However, I didn't think I was ready for a 10K. The last 10K was tough and I struggled to get around the course. It was, in fairness, mostly an incline - but the last time I tried to jump right back into training for a 10K I walked away with a savage knee injury. I decided I would go all the way back to basics by doing a 4 week Couch to 5K training program. It was running/walking intervals 3 times a week. Ideally I should've done yoga and strength training too, but one step at a time!

Before & After the race! 
I entered the Uptown Rhodes 5K race since it looked like a fun run with a lovely starting base. The morning of the run I hung out on the lawn of Rhodes Hall, picked up my t-shirt and goody bag in advance, and looked at all the awesome costumes. This race is even dog friendly, the first time I would share a race with some pooches, and they even wore costumes! The race was well organised despite being small in size, and I was surprised at how quickly we were off after lining up.

The scenery of the course was through wonderful neighborhoods with houses decked out in Halloween decorations. It was a road race and some sections were shared with cars, but most of it was empty of traffic. There were some truly spectacular views, the Autumn leaves on the trees providing a beautiful frame for the awesome Atlanta skyline that poked through here and there. The course did have some inclines, but unlike the FroYo 10K in CO there were moments of relief when the course would head downhill.

I've ran most of my races without stopping to walk, I always feel a bit defeated when I have to and I try and do it just once during a race. For this race, I was a bit bummed that I stopped multiple times to handle those hills. However I figured that it was probably better to walk up the hills fast versus trying to trudge up them at a snails pace jog. I also may have exerted too much energy at the beginning of the race during lots of downhill portions, my Garmin told me that I ran my fastest 1 mile in 9:37!

Elegant, like a swan.
Time of 34:21 (11:04 min/mi pace)
Overall, I did good. I didn't do amazing, but I didn't do terribly either. I finished the race in 34:21 with a pace of 11:04 min/mi. This was my 3rd fastest race pace, behind the Blackpool 10K and the Ribble Valley 10K where I was running around a 9:30 min/mi. For both of those races I had done Insanity, which I long to do, but alas...third floor apartment :(. The t-shirt I received was nice and soft, definitely a great lazying around the house top! I'm a sucker for medals, I actually base my race selection on if I get a medal because I'm a god damn magpie, but I was happy that I entered and trained for this race in a month! For the first time I actually did ALL the runs for training and didn't skip out on any, go me. I didn't lose much weight while training, since I was only training for a month, but it definitely set me on the right path. I went from 173 lbs to 171 lbs in 4 weeks of training - better than a gain that's for sure!

I would definitely like to do this race again next year! Hopefully I'll be lighter and faster :). My next challenge is to continue on with running/walking but train for a 10K and adding yoga/strengthening to my routine!

Weight Loss Reset - Getting Serious (for the last time)

Pretty dramatic title, but I assure you that this isn't as intense as it sounds. I'm writing this for myself more than anyone (isn't what this entire blog is about after all?!), but this is the last time that I can tell myself "this time...I mean it." I have to mean it, or I'll remain fat forever.

I lost 50 lbs between 2010-2012. I got to 149 lbs which is 1 lb into the healthy BMI range. I was SO proud of myself, but I took for granted how hard it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a completely new environment. I moved to Japan, got my first full time job and then over time became depressed because I was working a job I wasn't passionate about. When a full time job takes up 80% of your time, I couldn't escape the feeling of hopelessness. I didn't realise just how sad I was back then, but I look back and realise the severity of my emotions now. I gained back some of the weight and since then haven't been able to bounce back.

It's 2016 now, 4 years from my all time lowest weight, I went back to England before moving to 'Muricuh, and I'm sitting at 170 lbs as I type this. A few weeks ago I saw my weight get as high as 174 lbs. Fuck. FUCK!! I'm closer to OBESITY than I am to healthy I told myself. I've said it probably 20 times to myself and to those around me "I have to do it this time!" but getting back into the 170's really made me scared.

Despite me laying down my past achievements, I need to reset my mind, and drop the fact that I regained. Dragging the feeling of failure due to regaining weight isn't going to get my anywhere. So, earlier this month, I entered a 5K race. A 5K, not a 10K, a 5K. I then started a C25K program instead of my usual Hal Higdon training. I'm essentially taking this reset thing very seriously. I cannot hold myself to standards set in my past, the fact I used to run a 10 minute mile, the fact I used to run 3 miles just to train, I had to go all the way back to the beginning and start walking/running intervals again. And it was TOUGH. I realised how out of shape I had become, but I was really, truly enjoying running again.

Recently I've been asking myself why am I fat? I think that if I can get down to the root of my problems and begin working on them slowly, I'm more likely to develop healthy habits that I can maintain for life. I'm not about going cold turkey, I'm not about restricting myself, but I'm all for slow changes that will build in time to my ultimate goal. So I'm using this blog as a way to vent my problems and start working on a solution. Here goes.

Reasons Why I'm Fat
  1. I'm inactive. My job has me sat inside all day behind a computer. Thankfully not at an office, but at home as a freelance video editor. I also have spent the last 4 months not exercising. 
  2. I eat too many grains. I'm not a binge eater, though I have moments where I stuff my face. I eat the right amount of food give or take. My problem is WHAT I eat - which is too many fucking grains. Oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, chips for a snack, rice with dinner - I have grains with every damn meal. 
  3. I'm a habitual eater. I eat breakfast and lunch in front of Netflix, so when I watch Netflix outside of meal time I want to eat. I've taught my mind that TV = Food, which causes me to want to partake in snacking in the evening. 
  4. I'm a stress eater. Thankfully there's not a lot in my life that causes big stress, but I definitely eat more when I'm PMSing. I'll want all the greasy food, all the soda, all the sugar. Just give it to me! 
How I Can Stop Being Fat
  1. Exercise 
    1. Enter a 5K - Check. I'm already one step ahead. Early October I entered a 5K and I trained 4 weeks for it and ran it on October 29th. I ran 3 times a week, which is much better than 0 times a week which is what I was doing before. 
    2. Train for a 10K - Need to get on this. I've given myself time off after the 5K for some reason? I'm not sure why, but I need to snap back to reality. 
    3. Increase workouts from 3 times a week to 5 times a week - I'd like to run 3 times a week, like what I was doing for the 5K, but include Yoga and a Strength workout into the equation. I'm only going to end up injuring myself if I don't.
    4. Increase workouts from 5 times a week to 6 times a week - For now I'll have to do yoga twice, but when I'm more financially stable I want to add a dance class as cross training. I really miss it, it was a fun workout. 
    5. Run a 10K - I'm aiming for one in March. 
    6. Train for a 10K using Hal Higdon's program - In other words, stop doing running/walking intervals and start running distances all at once again. 
    7. Train for a Half Marathon - I really want to run a half marathon eventually. 
    8. Run a Half Marathon
  2. Grains
    1. Eat Oatmeal only on days when I run - I've already started to implement this into my routine, so I'm halfway there. Need to continue this trend.
    2. Eat 1 piece of bread instead of two for 20 days - I need to work on this slowly, because I've essentially had a sandwich every day for lunch for the last 27 years. 
    3. Eat 1 piece of bread for lunch every other day for 20 days - I want to make my lunches more vegetable focused and no longer bread focused.
    4. Cut out bread from lunch entirely - This is gonna be a toughie.
  3. Stop eating in front of the TV
    1. Eat breakfast at dinner table every other day for 20 days - I'll start with breakfast first before moving on to lunch, because this is gonna be a hard habit to break. 
    2. Eat breakfast at dinner table every day from now on
    3. Eat lunch at dinner table every other day for 20 days
    4. Eat lunch at dinner table every day from now on - Oh boy, this is gonna be interesting. I can DO THIS! 
  4. Stop using PMS as an excuse to eat
    1. Track PMS related food triggers in app for 2 months - I have an app that tracks my cycle and it has a cool feature where you can track your moods. If I feel a junk food binge craving then I need to whip out my app and track it. 
    2. Stop eating junk food - identify problem days in advance and say NO! - This one is pretty vague, since I don't want to build something up in my mind because it'll make me think about it, but I definitely need to be aware of when my problem days are and know when it's PMS related. 
Phew, I think that's it. I'm gonna make a new tab in the blog and track my progress. I also need to include measurements too, because why not?! 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Secret Eating

Recently my boyfriend has been working most of the day which has left me in the apartment alone. Completely unrelated to that is that I've been feeling depressed recently. Lost. A little hard done to, you might say. Today I had what I can only describe as a food meltdown. I have been cooking home cooked meals for months now, with 1 cheat meal a week where my boyfriend and I will go out to eat. I went to the store and I bought a frozen pizza, root beer and ice cream and I just ate it all in shame. I walked out that store with my bag full of shit and I can't even sit here and say "I don't know what happened!" I fucking know what happened, for some reason I associated that horrible chemical processed crap with some sort of release and I went for it. I shoved that garbage into my mouth until it started to hurt and I made sure I finished all of it, despite my stomach protesting, because in a way maybe I felt like it was some sort of punishment for being so weak.

Once I was done, I cleaned the kitchen, destroyed the evidence and pretended like it never happened. This secret eating is scary, I do not want to make a habit of it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

FroYo 10K, Golden CO - May 7th 2016 (10K #5)

This was the race that was supposed to get me out of a slump and back into some serious exercise. For 4 weeks of my 8 week training plan, it totally worked! I was exercising 5-6 times a week. Then I went to Atlanta for a week to look for a new place to live. We were so busy with apartment hunting and then finally relaxing once we were approved for our new home that I didn't work out. No big deal, right? Just pick up where you left off! Except I'm a frustrating individual who, once they've traveled or done anything out of the usual routine for long periods of time, NEEDS time to withdraw. Withdraw means be alone, watch TV, play games, eat, sleep and not interact with the world. This has happened to me numerous times and I can't fight it. I once heard someone say "there is wisdom in knowing yourself" and I have grown to accept my quirks as a person. So I had 2.5 weeks off from training. Eep. On the week of the race I ran 5 miles on the Monday and I was so slow, groggy and generally crap at running I feared the worse for the 10K I was about to do on the Saturday.

FroYo Run 10K, Golden - May 7th 2016
The day of the race rolls around and it's a cold, gloomy morning. The weather threatened to rain but it held out for the run thankfully, but it did begin to rain that afternoon in a Biblical way. We picked up our swag at registration - a blue cap and some reflective sunglasses as well as our bib. The sunglasses were cool, I think they'll be my appointed car sunglasses, but the cap didn't really suit my style. At 7:45am we lined up at the start and there was a 15 minute delay because road closures had not been confirmed. Standing in the cold waiting for the race was not pleasant needless to say, but eventually we began the run.

The course was not nice. It's the most dreary course I've ran to this date. After the mile 1 loop-around the course spends almost 1.5 miles on a gradual incline. Not cool!! I thought this was supposed to be a fun run?! At the turn around post after the hell hill the majority of the remaining of the course is downhill/flat which was a huge relief. However for the 10K race it was 2 laps of the 5K course, so I knew I would have to face that godawful hill one more time. I picked up my pace on the downhill and soared - my Garmin tells me my record pace during the race was 8:55 min/mi - I think that's the fastest I've ever ran in my life! The second lap of the course was a real killer, to the point where I walked very briefly twice to catch my breath and to try and forget the ache my legs were radiating. My second downhill stint was wonderful - I kept my fast pace almost to the finish line.

Happy to have a spoon medal! 
Time of 1:10:35 (11:22 min/mi pace)
The finish line was on a slight incline too, Races that end with an incline can go to hell! I'll forgive the Bolder Boulder for doing it because you end up in a stadium of cheering people. I saw a woman going in for the finish line, I essentially tried my best to sprint past her but she was having none of it! It was quite funny, I could see her pride was on the line as she saw me trying to beat her, good on you, lady. I respect that.

I immediately got my spoon medal, my magpie mentality makes me say that it was all worth it for that shiny medal, and a bottle of water. I saw the photographer for the event too late - my face is probably warped with exhaustion and pain. I've not seen the pictures yet...but I know it's not going to be pretty! After the finish I caught my breath and wandered into the victory arena i.e. a field full of tents. I collected a couple of free light bulb boxes (?!) and then went to get my free FroYo. This is the reason I entered this race, dammit! Free delicious dessert! It tasted like victory. The weather was getting windier and colder, so we skidaddled out of there before we froze.

My aim for this race was to beat my Bolder Boulder 2015 time of 1:12:49, which I was successful at! I ran this race in 1:10:35 (11:22 min/mi pace) - 2 minutes faster than last years 10K result. I'm so pleased I did it, especially on such a sucky course. The euphoria I feel after finishing a race is like nothing else, I immediately go into planning mode for my next race. However since I am moving to Atlanta I think it would be wise to not train for a run with summer fast approaching. I have experienced humidity living in Tokyo, but I haven't felt that debilitating heat for years, so I don't want to stick to a training plan I'll abandon halfway through. My next aim is to try and beat my 10K PR of 59:35 and then move on to training for a Half Marathon. Wish me luck!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Pictures of myself next to skinny girls & Beginning to weigh again

I was looking at my Facebook page recently and I started flicking through my tagged pictures to see my memories. I gotta say, I'm getting reaaaaal fed up of seeing a pudgy face and lack of a jaw line. I'm also getting fed up of my chubby cheeks making my eyes look small. When I get my picture taken next to a healthy looking friend, my heart aches with yearning to be able to look healthy like they do. Honestly it's one of my biggest motivators - to see myself looking bigger next to my skinnier friends and feeling that determination channel into my veins to want to look thin like they do. I hope some day I will see pictures of myself and actually compliment my own appearance instead of critiquing it. I think when I reach my goal I'll have so many freaking years of scrutinizing every picture under my belt I'll never have a bad word to say about my appearance again.

It's been a while since my last update and I've decided to drop numbering my posts! I'll update this when I update it, no point in counting the weeks.

10K training was going swimmingly well, except I have recently been struck with a killer period. You know the ones, ladies, where it hurts a lot and you feel like you want to murder everything around you. I was in such a terrible mood the entire week, I considered finding a hotel and staying in it for a week and not talking to anyone. I would also probably eat myself into a cocoon of some sort. I would turn into one giant potato I imagine.

I've avoided the scale for the most part in the last month and I must say it's been both nerve wracking and refreshing. I'm glad that I don't rip myself to pieces every morning that I step on the scale and see a small gain, but I'm also terrified that I'm gaining without realising it. I was around 165 lbs before, I have stepped on it here and there and seen 167 lbs/168 lbs but those were both after having eaten out. I've been exercising quite well and running distances so I can't imagine those numbers being a true reflection of my weight.

I've just began a new challenge on the weight loss forum I'm on, 3FC, and I think it's time to start weighing again. I think I will start doing it weekly instead of daily to begin with. I'm also in the mindset that I won't truly lose weight until I move out of my BF's parents basement - something that we're working on right now. This weekend I'm going to Atlanta for a week to search for an apartment. After we leave we hope to have secured an apartment and then we'll be packing our belongings to leave and start a new life pursuing our dream career in the film industry. But that's another story for another day.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Week 4: 10K Training hath commencethed + No more weigh in's until April

I'm on a weight loss forum where I regularly run weight loss challenges. It requires me to maintain a spreadsheet where people come and enter their weights for about 8 weeks. It's so amazing to see people absolutely kill it with weight loss during these periods of time. In the latest challenge I ran, I saw someone lose around 20 lbs, and their starting weight was 10 lbs above my current weight. I saw them blast through the 160's like it was no big deal, what an amazing accomplishment. However despite my immense joy for running the challenges I started to feel really sad about my lack of accomplishments during these 2 months. I hadn't lost a single pound. I looked at my results in previous challenges, the same pattern of maintaining has prevailed. My life from January 2014 - March 2016 has been stuck in the 160's.

After feeling this sadness I decided to snap myself out of this funk by choosing to not weigh in for 1 month until I run my next challenge on the weight loss forum. Already I've felt liberated from stepping on that scale each morning and in that 3-4 second window, where I don't know the result, I feel panicked about what I'll see. If I see a gain, I feel like a failure. If I see a loss, I treat myself like a dog and give myself a snack as a reward. Focusing on living a healthy lifestyle is my aim for the next month, the scale can go suck on it while I take this awesome vacation away from self scrutiny. 

For the 120th time (estimate) here is my plan for my healthy life to begin anew!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Week 3: Entered another 10K!

Do you ever see a girl with a sharp jaw line and think "man...I want that!" I will be glad to see this double chin of mine disappear!! Or as Amy Schumer puts it - an at-risk chin. Another reason I want to lose weight - face transformations are the best! 

I didn't weigh in this morning because I had a cheat meal last night and didn't want my weight to reflect that this morning. Overall this week has been pretty forgettable, I don't think I've done anything drastic i.e.binged, but I've not been particularly good either. I did, however, workout Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and I'm going to go on a run soon when my Garmin has got some juice in it! First world problems - have to charge my GPS device before I can go out on a run. 

This weekend is the Boulder international film festival and we have 3 films booked to watch. One today and 2 on Sunday. We're also going out tomorrow to celebrate the BF not being a PA anymore! He's finally done, woohoo! Have you seen The Devil Wears Prada? His boss was like that. I'm going to be so happy to not hear her name and all her bullcrap that's associated with it. 


In other news I've entered the FroYo 10K in Golden, CO! Whew, it was surprisingly hard to do so, because I was so nervous to commit to it, but since the weather has been so nice I thought that running won't be such a chore. Plus my knee seems to be doing a LOT better after injuring it last year. Now that I've made the commitment and paid for the entrance fee I feel the need to train. I'm not going to try and beat my fastest time, since I was quite in shape when I did it, but I'm going to commit to exercising each week so I don't die during the race. The last 10K I did last May I was the slowest I've ever been - I'm going to chalk it up to still recovering from a knee injury + adjusting to the altitude. Either way, I hope I do it faster! 

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