QuarterLife Girl Gets Fit!

Archive for January 2010

You’re probably wondering “what happened to Day 6?!” Well, I had to work late due to a deadline that was pushed up….that meant I worked until 7, and my running group starts at 6:30. (Plus it takes me an hour to get there in traffic.) So that was quite a bummer.

Day 7 was yesterday, Wednesday. I showed up feeling pretty good, energy-wise, however once I started warming up I realized I hadn’t had a real meal the whole day (I had “veggie pizza”, but that was basically a crescent roll covered in cream cheese….not the most nutritious thing). The second strike was when I found out the “two-one” group leader wasn’t there (the one that always stays behind to push me to finish), and instead we’d be running with only one (new) leader (we usually have two for each group).

I’m not sure if she started running faster than what we normally do, but by the first mile with the tw0-ones I was worried about not making it with them the full 3.8 miles and being left behind in the darkness. So, I stayed behind and joined the one-ones.

To make a long story short, I stayed with the one-ones, who were doing a 3.0 mile run, and by the end I was as tired as I had been with the two-ones. I’m not sure what my deal was…..perhaps its the fact that I hadn’t run at all in a whole week? The fact that I didn’t have a real meal? (Although I did have a protein shake 1.5 hours before, and a peach 1/2 hour before….or perhaps that was part of the problem too?) The fact that I felt disoriented with a new group leader? Either way, I wasn’t thrilled with my performance, although I did enjoy talking to some of the girls as I was running with the one-ones.

Anyway, next week I’m giving the two-ones a shot again. I’ll make sure to eat a proper lunch, and a carby snack a couple hours before. Oh, and more water…..I’m pretty sure I haven’t been drinking enough lately. I’ve convinced my BF to do a run with me on Saturday morning, so I’m fairly excited about that!

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I counted out the days, and this was Day 5 of my Fitness 101 Training group! To recap the first days…

Day 1 – Ran with the one-one’s at about a 14:30 – 15:00 mile pace. Did great. Only in the last interval was I a bit winded. I felt gypped when I found out we only did 1 mile and every other group did 1.5 or more.

Day 2 – Ran with the one-ones. This time we went a bit further, 1.5 miles. I felt good throughout.

Day 3 –  Ran with the one-one’s again. This time our leader sped up to around a 13:30-14:00 mile pace. Much more challenging, but I was right there at the front of the group.  We ran 2.0 miles

Day 4 – Supposedly, the last week had been an “experiment” to get us to see if we could handle a faster pace. They encouraged us to step up to the next level if we did ok. I decided to run with the two-ones this time. It was a smaller group, and I was at the back. The first mile was ok, but after that it got tougher. Really tough. I thought I was going to die near the end, but I stuck with it and I finished! I was at the end of the group, but I finished with the group. We ran 2.5 miles. (Turns out everyone else had run more, but I was ok with my 2.5.)

Which brings me to yesterday, Day 5.

I was running late from work, and I thought I wouldn’t make it. As 6:20 rolled around, and I still wasn’t there (traffic SUCKED yesterday) I was debating just going straight home. I didn’t want to run in the dark by myself! I’m not sure what changed, but a few minutes later I realized it was dumb of me to skip my running day….first of all, I’m paying for it, and second of all I’d had a boatload of teddy grahams earlier and needed to burn them off. So, I got the idea that if I was a few minutes late it would still be ok. I could run slightly faster until I caught up with the one-ones! Perfect!

Well, I parked my car, and rushed into the store to change, and was slightly disappointed to find that they were just finished up their warm ups. Damn, I was STILL on time! So in the two minutes they gave out the day’s announcements/instructions I had a tough decision to make: Should I try to kill myself again and join the two-ones? Or should I take it easy for one day with the one-ones?

When they called out the groups, I had only a moment of hesitation….and I found myself walking towards the two-ones. Yikes! Apparently I missed the announcement where they said we had a choice between 2.5 miles (like last time), or 3 miles this time. Umm….no one else was objecting, so I didn’t want to be the only one saying no!

So, we started out. Already in the first interval I was getting nervous. (Oh, and did I mention I had a very rough day at work? I was emotional all day and almost had several anxiety attacks.) When the second interval came along and we stopped to walk, one of our leaders came over to give me encouragement, which is when I stopped to say “actually, I was debating whether or not I should drop back and join the two-ones”. Apparently he didn’t like that, so from then on he made it his mission to make sure I DID NOT drop back!

At the time I was slightly annoyed, and I’m embarrassed to say what happened next. During the next 3 minutes I proceeded to have a hissy-fit enduced breathing attack. It hadn’t happened in a while, but I guess my throat starts closing up, making it pretty hard to breathe without making a racket. I don’t know if he noticed, but I got kind of embarrassed at myself and forced myself to work through it. When the next running interval started, I went for it. Slowly, but I had made the decision to work through it nonetheless.

It was still difficult from then out, but I’m really glad he made me stick with it! And guess what….I ran the three miles! I didn’t finish as closely to the group as last time, but I finished strong. I must’ve gotten my 2nd wind because in that last interval I passed three people!

Anyway, yesterday proved to me that joining this program was what I needed to do. By the end of the 7 weeks I’m not sure I’ll be able to run a full 5k without stopping, but I have confidence that my running is going to improve greatly.

One of the biggest things that made me realize that I needed to “get back on” the Beck Diet was a conversation I had earlier this week…..a conversation with myself. Scratch that. An argument. And it was a pretty heated argument at that. Keep in mind I hadn’t looked at my advantages cards or my response cards in WEEKS… 

You see, it went a bit like this. I was sitting in my office, doing work. For some very odd reason I had bought Teddy Grahams the day before (Buy one get one Free….I blame Publix, haha). I had just finished my delicious lunch (home made tuna salad wraps with alfalfa sprouts) and my bonus snack (cheese curls. A minor obsession of mine….and just 140 calories!), when I remembered the Teddy Grahams. The intense craving started.

I remember thinking to myself “they aren’t very high in calories. And my ‘bonus calories’ came in under 200 as I’m allowed. It wouldn’t hurt.” After that argument didn’t work (I was very tempted though) the rambunctious adolescent within me came bursting out.

“But I want them! I don’t have to be on a diet. This is just a game you’re playing….who cares if you lose?!”

I was very, oh, so very close to giving in. But for some reason I kept arguing with myself. Eventually, the light bulb went off….

This is NOT a game.

I’m not trying to “win” a game….I won’t prove anything to anyone by giving in. Who cares if I lose?! Well, I CARE! The only thing I’d be doing is giving up on myself. Letting myself down. Sure, it’s “just” 100 calories, or whatever…..but that’s 100 more than I should have already. The only thing I’ll lose is the chance for me to lose weight and achieve my goals.

I guess that’s the thing I have to realize. I’ve always done well on diets because I’ve treated them like a game. I love games, I get very competitive when I’m playing against myself….to see how far I’ll go to “win”. That’s all well and good until I feel like I want a time out, or the game gets boring.

Well guess what, THERE ARE NO TIME OUTS in this game. As one of my response cards reads….NO CHOICE. I don’t have a choice. I follow the rules, or I gain weight. Isn’t it worth skipping those Teddy Grahams for the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing everything I can to make it?

Finally, another one of my response cards popped into my head…..”I can always plan to have this food tomorrow.”

And that’s what I did. As soon as I made that decision the adolescent calmed down a bit, and I was able to get back to work.

It’s kind of funny, how even weeks after I stopped using my response cards, their message stuck in my head. I really think there’s something to this program, and so I decided to get back with it in full force. It’s not a game….it’s my life. In life there are no time outs, so I have to be ready to push through all of it. And guess what? I’m excited to do this! Even though it’s not a “game” it doesn’t mean I can’t treat it with the same intensity I have when I think I’m playing one.

I don’t think the rambunctious adolescent is gone forever, but for now I think I have the tools I need to fight it!

Thanks to Prior Fat Girl’s Beck Diet discussions, I’m hitting this stuff hard again! I’ve rearranged things on the site to make more sense, and keep me on track (unfortunately that means no more couch to 5k tracking….since I’m not really working on that program right now). So, I now have a Success Skills tracking sheet tracker! (Geez, what a mouthful.) I’m hoping to use this blog as my “Diet Buddy”, as well as anyone else that wants to join me.

Now, to the funner stuff (I know that’s not really a word)….I’ve also re-thought out my weight-loss rewards, and redone my “Advantages” card. My old one had a bunch of stuff, that while true, it wasn’t really getting me motivated. I needed something that could remind me, I mean, really remind me of the things that bother me about being weight. Here’s my new Advantages list….

Advantages of Losing Weight

-Looking great in my belly dance costumes

-Shopping for jeans ANYWHERE! (My thighs are pretty big, so that means out of 20 jeans in a store, I can only try on one or two styles….if that.)

-Enjoy looking at pictures of myself. (While looking at some pictures recently I was mortified at how I didn’t realize I was gaining weight…until it was too late!)

-Wearing thigh-high stockings! (I’ve always wanted to buy a pair, but being realistic about the size of my thighs, I haven’t….I don’t want them cutting into my legs and making me look like a sausage!)

-No rubbing and chafing in the summer! (Any other girls with big thighs should know exactly what I’m talking about….)

-Feeling in complete control of my body. (When I’m heavier than usual I feel like a blob….I remember how great I felt even just 5 pounds ago!)

-Going to the beach this summer. (I live really close to the beach, and the BF loves going. Due to my self-consciousness, I haven’t worn a swimsuit in years, let alone gone to the beach….)

Notice that most of them revolve around my legs. When I start losing weight it starts disappearing from my waist first. While that’s great, what has happened in the past is that I’ve become complacent with losing X inches, and I stop before I lose some from my thighs. I can’t do that. I deserve to have great legs! Right?!! (And I used to have great legs!! So I know I can get there!) I need to make sure I remember these things so that they keep me going until I reach my goals.

Enough of that.

As of today I’m making sure to plan my meals the night before. Otherwise what ends up happening is I “make room” for a bunch of extra food I shouldn’t eat, and then convince myself that it’s ok, because I supposedly planned to eat it. The silly mind games we play….

Feel free to check my “tracking” page periodically if you want to see my progress. I should be updating it nightly with the day’s accomplishments.

One thing I hadn’t really settled on when working on the Beck Diet Plan was rewards. I knew I wanted to reward myself, but with such lukewarm ideas, it wasn’t exactly motivating.

Well, I’ve finally come up with some good rewards!!! They are:

5 pounds lost (157 pounds) – Dri-fit Sports bra (1 or 2?)

10 pounds lost (152 pounds) – Dri-fit top

15 pounds lost (147 pounds) – Running skirt

I may throw a pair of moisture wicking socks in there somewhere, depending on how much I calculate costs to come out to, but I’m really excited about these rewards! It’s hard for me to justify buying workout gear right now, particularly since I have tons of stuff already (although all cotton, and I keep hearing how cotton is THE WORST to work out in, hehe), but if it’s a reward for hard work? I’m all for that!

Wish me luck!

I keep getting the impression I’m being more consistent with my workouts and eating than I really am. I was aiming to work out every day, and while I have been active, I certainly haven’t been working out every day. Last week I had skipped a few mornings, then I promised I’d work out each morning during the weekend. Well, that didn’t happen. Friday’s workout finally happened last night (Tuesday).

Anyway, I’m not yelling at myself quite yet. I’ve just started my running program, so at the very least I’m being active twice a week. Add my two dance rehearsals each week until the show….and that’s another 2-3 hours of exercise. At least I haven’t been sitting on my butt! However I really wanted to progress with P90X, and keep losing weight. That just isn’t going to happen if I keep half-assing everything. (Add to that the issue I currently have with my neighbor….every step I take in the living room resounds in his bedroom, so I’m scared of walking in my apartment lest he come over and yell at me….much less exercise. Anyway, the solution to that is relatively simple: shift my exercising from my living room to the spare bedroom….I just haven’t set up the spare bedroom to have enough room for that yet. That’ll be my project for the rest of the week and the weekend!)

So nothing exciting to report, other than confessing that I’m not doing as well as I keep convincing myself. I’m going to finish one more week of P90X Stage 1 (Lean), then I’m moving into the recovery week. Hopefully that last “week” won’t take more than an actual week.

To update you on my Fitness 101 program, I decided to stick with the one-one’s again on Monday (one minute running followed by one minute of walking) and I’m glad I did. Either due to a lack of eating enough, or a lack of general endurance I was beat! We went further and ever-so-slightly faster, and apparently that was enough for me. Today I have another session, and I think I’ll stick to the one-one’s again….and keep doing so until I’m not having to push so much. I’m not sure if it’ll get me to my “run a full 5k” goal, but if it’ll improve my 5k time I’ll take it!

So last night was my first experience with my running training program! I’ll be referring to it as “Fitness 101” from here on out, since that’s it’s official name. Anyway, it was very interesting. I arrived ahead of time, had time to change my work pants (I’d worn a tank top under my clothes, so I was able to change shirts in the car….I wore 3 in total…it was cold!), pick up my packet, browse through it, then leave my bag before walking out to meet the group.

It was a pretty darn big group. I’m assuming over time the group may dwindle a bit as people lose motivation, but we’ll see. We did a group warm up (which was really funny since we all did it on a sidewalk in the middle of a busy shopping area. Drivers and pedestrians were staring as we shuffled and kicked and did all sorts of goofy stuff.), then we divided into groups. As I may have mentioned before, all groups would be doing an interval of running, followed by a 1 minute recovery walk. So we divided into the 3 minute runners, 2 minute runners, and 1 minute runners. While they said that you could always fall back in the event you start off too strong, I decided to stick to the one-one’s.

Since it was the first day they decided to just do a total of one mile. All in all, it was good. I didn’t feel too winded until the end when our leader “challenged” us a bit and made us run faster for the last interval. However, she made it clear that she had been taking it easy on us, and eventually we’ll be running at a 12-13 minute mile pace. (Keep in mind we’d been running a 15-minute mile pace, which is what I typically do.) When the other groups got back though, I kind of felt cheated….they had done two miles, while we only did one!

So, while I enjoyed myself, I’m totally doubting what I should do for the next session, let alone my overall “strategy”. I’m afraid that if I stick to the one-one’s there’s the possibility that I’m going too easy on myself, and won’t improve as much as I could. (And I may not reach my full-5k-run goal, like I want to.) However if I go with the two-one’s, that may be too much, and as our distances increase (and speed, apparently) I won’t be able to keep up. (And while they said we could easily fall back if we find it’s too much….I’m kind of scared of doing that because of how DARK it was!)

I have until Monday to decide what to do. In the meantime, I think I may go for one run and test myself running for two minute intervals for a mile and see how I feel.

Any advice?

Side note: I didn’t wake up for my workout this morning. In my half-asleep haze I recall convincing myself it was ok since I ran yesterday, and this morning was supposed to be a leg workout. I’m a little disappointed. However, if I work out this evening I don’t think I’d be in shape to work out in the morning….so I don’t know what to do!

Actually, I take that back. I think I figured out what I’m going to do. Tonight: legs and back as I was supposed to do in the morning. Tomorrow morning, if I feel up to it I’ll do Kenpo, as scheduled (which involves lots of kicking and whatnot….so we’ll see how I feel). Otherwise I’ll do Kenpo the next day and skip my “resting day”. That way I’ll be back on schedule!