Slowly Fading

Gosh, it’s really getting hard to write for this blog anymore. In the past few weeks I have started countless posts but I just can’t get past the first few sentences. I don’t know why this is happening but I certainly know that I feel completely uninspired to write and I don’t feel guilty about that in the least.

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying to challenge myself to have two weekly losses in a row and when the second week came around and I lost I couldn’t muster the energy to write about it. I was excited about it, too. Breaking the yo-yo cycling was great. So I tried for a third week in a row and despite suffering through my time of the month I came out with another loss. I am working my butt off hoping to pull another loss next week which would make June the month of losses for me. The thought of that makes me very happy.

Happy because I am losing? Yes. Happier because I am doing it on my terms? Hells yeah!

I have spent the past few weeks getting in the activities that I love and spending my time in ways that make me happy. I’ve been to parties, movies, bars, and out to dinner at least once a week but I’ve also been running, cycling, and Nia-ing whenever I felt like it. My exercise has become my passion and I just can’t get enough of what I’m doing.

So much so that starting tomorrow I am going to try commuting to work on my bike.

And just last week I rode down to our favorite bar/hangout on my bike to find the best/easiest route from our house.

If I could, I would ride my bike everywhere. And I am working on making that a very real possibility.

And the running. I have no idea what happened. I wrote in a post after I ran my first 5K that I was done with running. I told you that I had signed up for a second 5K but after that I was going to focus more on cycling. Then the second 5K came and it was brutal (finished with .5 mile uphill climb) but for whatever reason I still wanted to keep running. So I started running after my bike rides, and through my neighborhood, and out on the trails and now I just love it. So much so that I signed up for four races in July; three 5Ks and one 4-miler.

I’m actually going to meet a running group tonight for a run along the river walk (one of my favorite places to run in San Antonio) and of course I am trying to figure out the logistics of how I can ride my bike to and from the run meetup.

I just don’t know anymore. My life is interesting but I think it’s just interesting to me. I don’t have any great stories, deep thoughts, of words of wisdom to share with you – and maybe I never did- which is making it that much harder to post.

I’m still around posting on Facebook, tweeting when I can, and of course via email if you want to reach out to me. I’m still the same person working towards a healthy life and I will try to drop in and give you updates once in awhile but for now I think this blog is becoming less of a priority for me. And I’m ok with that.

So, thank you for being the best support team a girl could ask for. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. I appreciate your friendship and guidance more than words can express.

Until next time- thanks for reading! I love you guys!

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June 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Life. 1 comment.

Random Thoughts…because it’s Thursday

I have a 5K this Saturday. I haven’t been running since last Saturday morning. That makes me kind of nervous. Paul says (and I have read this in running books before) that it is better to be under trained and over rested than over trained and under rested. So, yay for being over rested! 🙂

After this 5K I only have one other race I am currently signed up for which is another 5K on July 7th. After that I think I am going to run less and bike more. I have the urge to be out on my bike (or on a spin bike) almost daily so I think I will take advantage of the rides that are available to me while I can.

I’m currently reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. It is an amazing story and I strongly recommend it to anyone. You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this book. It really is a fascinating story- almost hard to believe it’s true.

I had put a bunch of holds on some new books at the library and wouldn’t you know that four of them came in yesterday. In addition to “Born to Run” I have; “Jeneration X”, “The Skinny Rules”, “Dream New Dreams” and “Domestic Violets”. Guess I better get to reading.

I also checked out a DVD from the library; “Ride the Divide”. It’s a documentary about a bike race from Mexico to Canada. 2700 miles. Very rough conditions and terrain. I am intrigued. We watched “Bicycle Dreams” a few weeks ago, which is about a bike race across the United States, and that movie blew my mind. I expect this one to do the same.

That’s all I got for today. A glimpse inside my mind 🙂

Thanks for reading!

May 31, 2012. Tags: , , , . Life, Running. 1 comment.

Well, hello there…

I have been in a funk for months now. Although life has been great and I have had some wonderful adventures and created many fabulous memories when it comes to my weight loss journey I have been in a rut.

And until a few days ago I didn’t know why.

Or maybe I did but just didn’t want to admit it.

But the cat is out of the bag now. I have realized where I went wrong and the changes I need to make to get back on track and I am more than ready to make them.

Here’s the short version of what I’m talking about; well maybe not short but it’s the shortest version I can give you.

I went into 2012 seeking balance in my life. I had spent the previous 10 months dedicating 100% of my time to my weight loss journey. I spent my evenings at fitness classes, weekend activities were planned around workouts, I was constantly tweaking my diet to find out what worked best for my body and I experienced great results because of it. By Christmas I had lost 100 pounds in just 10 months and I was beyond the moon excited.

Although I couldn’t have been happier about my weight loss I was definitely feeling the toll those months had put on me. I had no social life. I barely saw my husband. I was borderline obsessive with my weight. I needed a break. I needed balance.

And so, 2012 started with my search for balance. I decided to ease up a bit and focus more of my attention on the aspects of my life I had neglected, namely my husband, as well as set some different goals/aspirations for myself. I was ready to start running. Something Paul does and enjoys doing and something I had always hoped to do with him. My focus was now on the only goal I had set for myself – run an entire 5K. I steadily progressed through the 8 week Couch to 5K program and at the end was able to run my first 5K, which I did in 34 minutes and 4 seconds! Paul and I also bought road bikes and took up cycling. I was enjoying my new hobbies.

I was also enjoying all of the fun activities Paul and I were partaking in; hockey games, beer tastings, parties, and lots of relaxing at home watching TV.

I was definitely bringing my focus back towards the areas of my life I had been neglecting but somewhere along the way I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. I hadn’t found balance, I found social Dacia. And I welcomed her back with open arms.

My life had gone from a constant focus on my weight loss to a constant focus on fun. I found myself becoming less active, some days even skipping workouts, but I was completely oblivious to this change in mindset since I was pretty much maintaining my weight. I had some fun new hobbies that were keeping me (somewhat) active, I was still following a vegan diet, and I still felt I was putting my health first but was I really?

I think what had happened was this- I was doing was enough to get by and that kept me feeling like I was still committed to my journey. However, it kept me from really making much progress this year and that has really started to wear on me. Bouncing between the same few pounds week in and week out, who needs it? Definitely not me.

Then the other night I was talking with Paul and he made a comment in regards to my fitness. He said;

“You write in your blog and tell others about how they need to find what makes them happy and yet you stopped doing everything you love. You stopped boxing, you stopped Nia, and you took up running which you don’t even enjoy.”

Yep. His comment was spot on.

Yes, I had my reasons for stopping my group exercise classes and at the time I thought swapping them for running and other standard gym activities would be no big deal.

And maybe it would have been no big deal if I had the same passion for running, the stationary bike and swimming that I had for the group exercise classes. But I don’t.

To say I enjoy running would be a half truth. I enjoyed setting a goal and achieving it but the training, the boring days on the treadmill, the solitude- eh, blah. That’s kind of how I feel. I plan on continuing to run but for fun. For me. When I feel like it. Out on the trails. Not on a treadmill. Not following a set training schedule. I’m just not that person. No matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise. Maybe one day. But not now.

So after a few conversations with Paul about what I want to start doing again (Nia, yoga, Journey Dance, spin class) and what new things I want to try (crossfit, body pump, boot camp, TRX) we have come up with a plan on how I will get back into my happy place in regards to my workouts and still continue to have a life as well. A plan to find balance.

This Sunday I will be returning to the Synergy Studio and I will start back with some Nia, yoga, and Journey Dance classes. I won’t be going every day because there are other things I want to do but going 1-2 times a week will help bring focus on the self-love/self-worth aspect of this journey. Those classes, in that studio, bring me calmness and inner peace and help me grow and heal both my physical and mental state.

Paul and I will also be taking advantage of a two week trial pass we have for the YMCA. The closest Y to where we live (which is literally down the street from Synergy) offers a crap ton of evening classes that would work into both of our schedules. They have multiple spin classes daily. They offer yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi as well as the more challenging classes I crave like boot camp, boxing and TRX. Plus they even have a rock climbing wall. How cool?
I think we are both optimistic that we will like the classes and trainers there and will be joining the YMCA after our trial period is up.

I am also excited because they offer early classes so I can hit up a class after work, shower, and still have time to hit up our favorite watering hole for a beer every now and again.

We can still enjoy our long bike rides together and then spend time with friends.

I can dance a Nia routine with some of the most amazing women I have ever met and then curl up with a book afterwards.

To me, that is balance.

And that’s what I need right now.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how the next few weeks play out. I am glad to be back. I’ve missed you guys. But I needed this break. I hope you understand. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better and I think the worst is over now. I’m ready to recommit myself to this journey, and to this blog, and start being accountable again. Are you with me?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. for those of you that have been reading this blog for awhile may remember that I had set a reward for myself that when I hit the halfway mark to my weight loss goal I would go ziplining. Well the timing didn’t really work out and that reward kept getting pushed to the backburner. Well, you’ll be happy to know that I finally bought a ziplining package (through Groupon, yay!) and I hope to use it in the next few weeks. Post and pics to come 🙂

May 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

Wordless Wednesday: Happiness

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Thanks for reading!

April 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . wordless wednesday. Leave a comment.

Some Extra Motivation

I have received so much positive feedback from yesterday’s post about triathlon training and for that I am beyond grateful.

This morning I received a message from Meredith C. (@meredithclark) who is one of Monica’s Losers in the Birthday Challenge and a phenomenal and inspirational woman. She shared this story with me and it brought me to tears. I had to share it with you. Meredith is a very special person and I hope you take a few minutes to read this article.

I hope it will inspire you to promote health and wellness and become a positive role model for others the way Meredith has. I know it inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

Check it out: Meredith’s Triathlon

Thanks for reading!

March 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Triathlon. Leave a comment.

And So It Begins

I have started to realize more and more lately that I greatly underestimate my capabilities; especially when it comes to running and the Couch to 5K program. Each Saturday starts a new week of the program for me and each Saturday I get scared wondering if I will be able to survive it.

Why? Why am I getting scared? I am still early on in the program and the most amount of running I am doing is five minutes at a time. In January I ran a mile, without stopping, in ~11 minutes so why the heck do I freak out about 5 minutes???

It’s because in my head I am still 286 pounds and completely incapable of doing such things.

It still hasn’t sunk in that I have spent the past 13 months exercising, building up strength, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Well, that might have been true until Sunday came and I put my body to a test. I surpassed my expectations which ended up completely changing my state of mind. But before I get to the test let me first tell you how it all started.

You remember how Paul decided recently that he wanted to start training for a triathlon? Then he went out and bought a new road bike? I was super excited for him. I thought triathlon training and cycling would be a great hobby for him and I was ready to take my spot on the sidelines cheering him on.

We started doing some research trying to figure out which tri he was going to do first. I started learning more about triathlons and the different levels (not sure that is the right word) you can choose to do. You probably know of the most famous triathlon- the Iron Man which is pretty freaking hardcore with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. That’s just nuts.

But did you know that they aren’t all that far? One of the ones Paul was looking into had three levels; super sprint, sprint, and Olympic. The super sprint (the shortest distance) is 200m swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run. Hmmmm….that seems pretty reasonable for a beginner.

That seems pretty reasonable for eve a beginner like me.

I mean why shouldn’t I try to do a triathlon? I am already training to run a 5K (which is 1.1 miles longer than the 2 mile run in the super sprint), I ride the stationary bike all the time and most days I ride farther than 10 miles, and I’ve started to incorporate swimming into my workout routine 2-3 days a week so doesn’t it seem logical that I could quite possibly do a super sprint after a few months of training? I kind of started to think that it was.

Before I committing myself to this challenge and a new more demanding workout schedule I thought maybe I should do my own version of a super sprint tri at the gym (with the events done in reverse order for ease) to see if I had the strength and stamina to endure doing these three activities back to back. Heck, I don’t think there could have been a better time to push the envelope a little.

So Sunday I headed out to the gym on post for my own version of a super sprint triathlon.

First up was the 2 mile run. This portion made me nervous since I knew I could do the distances on the bike and in the swim but I had never ran for more than one mile so running two was going to be a challenge. It was also a challenge because I wanted to go all out but knew I had to conserve some energy in order to do the other two events.

I ended up finishing the two mile run in 23 minutes flat. I ran the first mile in 11 minutes but ended up walking a portion of mile two so that one took me a minute longer at 12 minutes. I was still thrilled beyond belief. I was pushing to try and complete it in 24 minutes (as a stretch goal) so to finish in 23 was a huge victory for me.

Then I hit the bike and man my legs were super loose and I was able to blow through those ten miles in 27:49, which is the fastest I have ever ridden 10 miles in. Yes! Another huge accomplishment for me and I was feeling fantastic.

Then I had to make a mad dash for the locker room, quick change into my swim suit and into the pool. 200m is only 4 laps at the pool I use and I thought I would just push, push, push my way through them the best I could. I’m not a great swimmer, my technique is shit, but damn I am buoyant and that certainly helps.

I did not have any gas left in my metaphoric tank or the looseness in my legs anymore and those four laps were BRUTAL. It took me 6:50 minutes to finish. Even though that is probably slow by most people’s standards it was better than I expected. Doing the swim portion last I was hoping to stay at/below a 2 minute lap and I finished at a 1:42 lap time. I was thrilled. Exhausted but thrilled.

So there I was, chillin in the pool, with a million thoughts running through my head. Last year at this triathlon I was looking into the person who came in first in my age group did it in one hour and seven minutes. That of course includes the transition times (swim to bike and bike to run) without the transitions her time was one hour and five minutes. Of course it is a lot more difficult to run and bike outdoors and swimming in a pool filled with racers is probably similar to swimming against a current so I am not thinking my 57 minutes and 39 seconds would be anywhere close to what it would be come race day (I am thinking outdoors this would have taken me at least 50% longer) but damn if it’s not a good starting point, right?

This made me very excited. I saw competing in a triathlon as a growing reality and started to view myself as an athlete in training instead of the 286 pound couch potato I once was. I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone I knew that I was going to start training for a triathlon but then I stopped myself and said that I really needed to discuss this with Paul first (who was out on a 40 mile bike ride) and so I waited.

At brunch I told him about my results (he knew I was going to do that test at the gym) and that I was really excited about how well I did. He asked me if this is something I wanted to do and I said yes. His response was sheer happiness. He said ‘great, that’s what I was hoping you would say’. He had such an amazing time out on his ride that all he wanted was for me to want to join him- for us to have this hobby and common interest we could do and train for together. That was awesome. I was now even more excited. Then he said ‘well, I guess we need to go bike shopping for you’. And after brunch that is what we did.

I’m going to skip all of the details of bike shopping (including the one about the douche at one of the stores we went to that wasn’t very helpful or the one about the guy at a different store that was super duper amazing and ended up selling me my first road bike) and I’m going to skip to some pictures. Isn’t she beautiful?

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Last night we went and bought my road bike and got it all set up and I bought all the necessities which included a bike rack for our car. Tim, the most amazing salesman and bike fit specialist in the history of cycling (who works at Bike World in Alamo Heights every day except Tuesday and Thursday) spent hours with me on Sunday and again last night getting me all set up on the bike. When he couldn’t get the fit just right he even swapped out the factory seat post for a better one and that made it just right. I could not be happier. Can’t you tell from my facial expression during the bike fitting?

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So here I go. Off to start a new adventure. Am I crazy? Maybe a little but is that necessarily a bad thing? 😉

Thanks for reading!

March 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness. 7 comments.