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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Relationship with Running

I've been looking forward to this post all week.  Not because I have anything fantastic to say but because my blog has become my accountability partner.

I'm gonna be totally honest.  I feel like I have completely fallen off the wagon this week.  I did complete week one of C25K, but I ate crap and only went to the gym when it was time for a run.  No weights or eliptical.  SHAME ON ME!  I knew I totally deserved what I would see when I stepped on the scale this morning.  My weight last week was 208. This morning: 210.  Okay, I can live with that considering what I ate this weekend.

This happens every time I don't go to the grocery store as soon as I get paid. I take a frozen meal to work that I don't want to eat and then go out instead.  Other than lasts nights dinner, I ate out for every meal since pay day.  Friday was Starbucks, Panda Express and JT's, Saturday was Panda Express and Papa Johns, Sunday was Starbucks, Subway and KFC.  Yesterday I was determined to eat right.  I was bored all morning at work and my lunch (the frozen meal thats been waiting for me since Friday) just wasn't appealing to me.  So I went to Hibachi grill.  *SIGH* My name is Bethany and I am an emotional eater.   This time the emotion was quite literally boredom.  Especially boredom with food.  Whats even worse is, I could have purchased a lot of healthy food with the money I spent eating out.  When I have good meals to eat, I want to eat them.  The crimson tide is also on it's way in...I ate chinese three times.  FAK.... (thats my new favorite word)

I also had a co-worker approach me yesterday just to tell me that she could tell that I looked fantastic and that she could tell that I was losing weight.  This meant a lot coming from someone who it normally very quiet and reserved.  It was probably this only thing that gave me the determination to finish week one.

So, back to the subject at hand.  Running,  I have decided to take the Couch to 5K challenge because all my life I have always wanted to be a runner hated running.  Sounds kinda backwards huh?  Well, I'm doing this because its something that I wanted to prove to myself that I could.

In the past couple months I have worked myself up to an hour of cardio.   Usually I do 20 minutes on the elliptical, then 10 to 20 minutes of walking or interval running and then 20 minutes on the elliptical again.  Leaves me sweaty and burns about 650 calories.  I love that workout but I get bored with it often.    My gym also has a cardio cinema so if there's a good movie on its a great workout because the time passes quickly.  If I have good music to keep me motivated (i.e Pandora is picking the right songs) its also a good workout. There was one day that a good song came on (Pink "So What") and it made me feel like kicking some ass.  I ran for 9 minutes straight after that song.   However, I hate being at the mercy of things beyond my control.  Time to create a play list I guess.

C25K: The first couple of workouts consist of a five minute warm up and cool down then  20 minutes of a walk/run cycle in between.  It was a great start to the program but I didn't really feel like why was pushing myself physically.  This has only made me more motivated to get to the upcoming weeks.    I also don't want to burn myself out.

 The only time we really had to run in school was while running the mile.  I was never able to run the whole thing and can't even remember finishing in less that 15 minutes.  This was a big source of shame.  I wanted to be able to keep up with my peers but I don't think I had the maturity to work through the pain.  Up until I was 15 I was very thin, so I never felt the need to workout.  My body always protested.    I was never good at sports because I was slow and uncoordinated.  In middle school I tried.  I really wanted to play Volleyball and Softball (both were available as an intermural before having to try out for a team) but I could never keep up at practices with running.  I wasn't strong enough to serve/throw the ball or coordinated enough to throw.  These realizations lead me to shy away from the competition.  I remember one day in gym we were playing soft ball.  I had hit the ball and was running the bases.  I don't think that I had hit a home run, but I still hit it pretty far.  Eventually I got back to the dug out and realized that a couple of girls in the class were making fun of the way that I ran.  I didn't confront them or get upset but I made a promise to myself that I would never run in front of people again.  Any desire that I had to be on the softball or volleyball teams was crushed that day.   I'm sure I still had to run in PE after this occasionally but I'm sure that I never tried very hard.  I also did everything that I could later in high school to make sure that I didn't have to take PE.  (You could get a waiver if you were in sports or marching band)

It wasn't until about 6 months before my wedding that I tried running again.  This time I would just run around in my neighborhood.  I would walk for about half a mile and then I would start to run.  I didn't really time myself but I would pick a spot to run to, stop and walk and then run again.  This lasted for about three weeks and I lost about 5 pounds.  I think I may have pushed myself too hard because the shin splints were too much and I decided again that running just wasn't for me.

While doing C25K outside, I have an app on my phone that will record the distance and pace of my run.  Its really helpful because I can listen to my music and the timer tells me when its time walk or time to run.  The first day I did 2.25 miles at about a 14 min mile pace.  I discovered that the distance and pace do not get recorded while on the treadmill.  I will need to run outside for at least one workout a week to get an accurate idea of how much my pace is improving.  The difference with running on the treadmill is that the machine helps to keep me moving a little bit.  I guess I'll just have to balance.  I was also very sore after the first two runs, and then after the third, I wasn't.  Hopefully this is a sign that I am easing my body into this program.

Happy Anniversary to my husband.  We were married two years ago on beautiful fall day.  I can't wait for him to get home from work tonight so we can celebrate.  (Get your minds out of the gutter hookers, thats not what I meant.  maybe.)  I think I'll even let him pick the restaurant!

Happy Running!

Mrs. B

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let's start with some basics. 
Who am I?
My name is Bethany.  I am 26, married for almost two years (our anniversary is a week from today) and I have three fur children.   My husband is the executive chef at a local country club (more on that later) and loves to fish, golf, and drink beer.  He is also a busy body, he loves to go where the "party" is and is always stopping by a friend house.  I, on the other hand, like to come home after work, relax and take care of the home.  I currently work at a local retail store as a manager.  I am a teacher at heart and hope to use my teaching skills and business experience to land a corporate training position in the future.  Occasionally I enjoy going out with friends or relaxing at a local winery.   Our dog, Brandy is 5 and is a black lab/hound mix.  We also have two cats, Bootsie and Buttons.  Pictures to come.
Why am here?
This is the second time I have attempted to start a blog.  Hopefully this time it will stick.  I wanted to write about my weight loss journey in a way that wouldn't be intrusive to my friends and family on facebook.  Although I love to share my progress and get really excited when I have good news to share, I don't want to overload those who don't want to see or hear about it.
I have drawn a lot of inspiration from a blogger in Texas.  She is about my age, has two children, a full time job, a husband and a home to take care of.   She has gone from 200lbs to about 135 and continues to write about her success with running and maintaining her success.  If she can do it, I can too.  She also makes me laugh, a lot.  I would like to think that if she lived closer, we would be very good friends.  You can follow her blog at www.mamalaughlin.com
I have also been following and reading blogs that other friends have started.  A couple living in England for a year, a friend living and teaching in Korea for a year, a friend trying to conceive a child with her husband, a friend serving our county with the military, a friend and her husband living in Indonesia and a friend living in Chicago.  Most of these people probably don't know that I follow their blogs or look forward to their posts.  I look forward to getting a deeper insight into the lives of the people I have grown up with or went to college with.  I've felt that I've gotten to know these people on a deeper level even when we don't get to speak or see one another often.
I'm definitely not the greatest writer, nor do I really have a way with words.  I hope to share and perhaps inspire others with my weight loss journey and hopefully keep myself accountable.

Where did I come from?
About 6 months ago, I went to the doctor.  Of course the first thing that they do is have you step on the scale.  I knew that my weight had gotten out of control.  My clothes kept getting tighter and tighter and I just made excuse after excuse about why I wasn't ready or willing to do something about it.
About 5 years ago I made an effort one summer to lose some weight.  this was the summer after my freshman year of college.  I went from 186 to 160 over that summer and I felt great.  I did it mostly by drinking a lot of green tea, controlling and logging my calorie intake and working out about twice a day in the sweltering heat.   I only worked part time, so I was able to dedicate a lot of time and energy to weight loss.
I was also diagnosed with a low Thyroid about three years ago.  Life happened and I had gone off the hormones to correct the problem and wasn't even willing to try until I was able to go to the doctor and get "rediagnosed".
Back to the doctor,  I stepped on the scale and felt punched in the stomach after I saw the weight.  I knew that I had gone over 200 but I figured I was about 210.  The final weight 229.  Almost 90 pounds over what a healthy person of my height should weigh.  Not once did the doctor mention my weight.  He did a very thorough check up and talked about anything I wanted to talk about.  Especially the thyroid issue.  I think he chose to save the weight loss lecture until the results came back.  So,  I had the testing done.  When the results came back, they were negative for any thyroid issues.
This was good news and bad.  I had hoped to get back on the hormones since I knew they would aid with weight loss.  I also realized that I didn't have an excuse anymore.  I was mostly relieved though since I didn't want to take those hormones for the rest of my life.
We also talked about migraines, severe heart burn my plantar fascitis/ heel spurs  in my feet.  In my head I knew that these were all problems that were being made worse by my weight. I decided that it was really time to do something about it.
I would daydream about what it would like for me to be thin again.  I would watch weight loss and exercise program commercials and dream about being successful with just one of them.
I will never forget looking in the mirror one day and noticing some new stretch marks.  I had had enough.  The following day I went out and joined the gym.
How did I get where I am now?
Usually when I am motivated to do something, I will follow through for about 2 weeks.  Then I am done and find excuses to stop.  This time, I really hoped it would be different.  I joined the gym, which had tanning so I knew I could at least motivate myself a little with that.  I also signed up for myfooddiary.com.  I was able to log the foods I ate and my exercise for the day to stay on track for my goals.  I was also able to keep track of the weight loss.  After just one week of recording what I ate and staying within my calorie limit and exercising for about 40 minutes (mostly walking), I lost 4 pounds.  HELLO MOTIVATION!  This only made me want to keep going.
I made sure I ate 3 small meals and 3 snacks a day.  I also allowed myself a small desert.  I started with allowing myself one day to cheat as well.  (more on why I don't do that any more later).  I planned my meals so that I didn't have to think about what I wanted to eat each time I was hungry.  It was already set for me.  This was a great idea for me since I discovered that I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I'm bored, sad, tired, happy, and for whatever other occasion I could think of.  When the meals were set I ate on a regular basis and was able to focus on what real hunger felt like vs.  wanting food to fill an emotional void.
As the weight started falling off I also started noticing that I had more energy, I was sleeping better and I was rarely experiencing the painful heartburn and acid reflux.
About a month after I started going to the gym I was set up with Kristina, after one "free trial" workout, I knew she needed to become a regular part of my work out regimen.   Although the rapid weight loss stopped after the first few weeks, Kristina became an accountability partner to keep me going.  We had our last session a week ago, but she will continue to check in on me and we may even work out together for fun every once in a while.
In the last 6 months I have gone down to 206 (about a 23 pound weight loss).   I have gone from a size 24 to a 16/18.   I plan to keep going until I reach my goal weight of 160.  There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way.  I almost gave up a few times but every time that I got back to the gym, I remembered why I was there in the first place.  There is nothing like an exercise high.
Where do I wanna go?
All along, my major goal has to learn a healthier lifestyle and become a more active person.  When I think about it like this, and I don't obsess about the weight loss, I am much more successful.    In the end though, I want to get down to about 160 pounds.  Then from there I want to work more on toning and eventually get to 140-150.
I want to make it through the holiday season without gaining weight or eating out of control.  I will continue to log my calories.
I also got "transferred" to a less active job, so I hope to up my exercise regimen.  Today, I am going to start eh couch to 5k program.  I HATE running but I want to prove to my self that I can do it.  AFter I complete the couch to 5k, I want to tone up with Jillian Michaels and do the 30 day shred. 

I plan to write about and check in with my progress once a week (just as often as I met with Kristina) and share pictures of the changes in my body and the healthy foods that I'm eating.

I hope to inspire someone else just as Mama Laughlin has inspired me.  Sort of a weight loss "pay it forward"
Until next time,
Happy running!