Just a Little Note on Running!

I have been consistent in jogging on the treadmill since we got it up and running on Dec 28. Since that time, I have been working toward longer runs, increased incline, and now finally adding some speed. Not much, mind you! I am still only able to do a 5k (3miles) in thirty minutes. That’s my best time. Before you laugh too hard, I just want to share the fact that before November, I never ran. Never jogged. I could speed-walk at about 4.4 mph, but that’s it. Jogging and running take a whole lot more cardio conditioning and endurance. Especially mental endurance.

So, through all of this hard work, I’ve had my crutches that road runners (ahem) don’t actually always have the luxury of. I have my Just-in-case nose towel, that I always seem to need. Allergies. I have my tunes at full-blast, set to tempos that are precisely timed to correspond with warm-up, main cadence, then cool down. I have my trusty water bottle, screen door open and fan a-blowing. If I could have the seven-lord’s-a-leaping, I’d have that, too.

What I don’t have is car’s-a-rolling, strollers to side-step, hills to climb, potholes to negotiate, and various distractions. (Squirrel!!) I won’t have the luxury on the real road of knowing just how fast I am going, and knowing that if I can just run at 7 mph for the last 1/2 mile, I will beat my previous time. I won’t have a cushioned run, or the ability to distract myself from the fact that three miles is a pretty long way for a newbie like me.

Soon enough, it will be time to get real- on the road, in my first outdoor run that they call a ‘race’.  It’s been winter, and I am a huge Floridian at heart. If it’s not at least 65* with the sun shining, I don’t go out much. So, I have to prepare myself more properly for the road. Can I do it without all my props? No water bottle? No nose towel? Farmer blow, are you kidding me!! I can get some sort of gadget to gauge my speed, and maybe, just maybe, bring my music.

Have any of you started on a treadmill and not the road? How was the transition? Did it seem much harder?

Tell me your thoughts or share your advice!

I am up to about 3 thirty minute runs per week. I start with a brisk walk, then restart my time and set speed at 5.5. I stay there for about a mile, then increase to 6 mph until I feel like I am dying, then back to about 5.4 for awhile. On bad days, I drop to a brisk walk for about 30 seconds and go back to regular speed. Somewhere between mile 2-3, I get my second wind and can even get in some fartlek-type sprints in at between 6.6-7.0 mph.

Sometimes I fail to do the 5k, and only do 3, but 5 is becoming more and more normal.

Thanks for reading, and for any imput you may have.

By the way, I have really been craving salt and potatoes lately. Do I just need to take more potassium?

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126.5 lbs is Just Fine.

I am happy with my weight. I am happy with myself. It doesn’t matter that I am not perfect or don’t have the perfect Fitness Magazine body. I work hard, and my body works perfectly well; scars, popping joints, moderately dimpled ass and all. 

I am strong and healthy, firming up, and at a very healthy weight.  My cardio fitness has zoomed. Most importantly, I cared enough to do something about it, and for that, I am proud of myself. I am finally learning to see things through, to persevere. 

So, no complaints tonight. Just happiness.

LCC is Right- and also Not Correct- about Low-Carb Cheat Days

Low-Carb-Confidential posted a very moving quote (from himself? A famous author? I don’t know) that spoke a lot of wisdom in regard to relationships. I have been pondering it, with gratitude.

As to the eating of high-carb foods and the theory that it’s OK to splurge and then come back to low-carb, I both agree and disagree. I agree that a religious OCD mentality about dieting is not only unhealthy but also impossible to maintain long term. It can alienate those who feel insecure about their own eating habits, and confound those who eat normal diets, complete with all types of carbohydrates, who maintain their weight.

Where I disagree with ‘a little won’t hurt’, is where some addiction theory begins. As I have referenced in my previous posts, there is increasing science to support the idea that certain foods trigger unnatural eating behavior in some people. (Watch Super Size Me for another supporting theory). There are certain foods that have been especially crafted to cause us to crave them. Others just do so not so much by clever conspiracy, but rather chemical makeup.

For those of us who are unaware, or prone to addictive tendencies, food is a powerful force that goes beyond simple enjoyable nutrition, but becomes a genuine addiction, but it is rarely acknowledged as such. Changing one’s diet and exercise regimen  might be the catalyst for weight loss, but if it is so easy, why does America alone spend over 33 billion dollars a year on weight loss products and services? (MSN.com)

The answer is simple. Many of us simply need to cut down on portions. Many more simply need to make a few small changes to the daily routine, and add a little regular exercise. Then there are those of us with a unhealthy relationship with food. Some might call it gluttony, idolatry, addiction, or abuse. It is when we have let our appetite for the feelings that certain foods or eating patterns bring us control our behavior. It is no more amusing, nor less dangerous, than an alcoholic’s dilemma. We already are aware of what America’s increasing love affair with food is doing to our health- both emotionally and physically.

Just as the recovered alcoholic need not usually be too careful with the dash of cooking wine in food, or the accidental ingestion of alcohol- if that could ever really happen- the sugar addict need not worry much about the hidden sugar they accidentally ingested in some food they thought sugar-free, or the one bite of cracker. But to boldly walk into the proverbial lion’s den and purposely choose those old favorite treats to eat with abandon might be for many, akin to the recovered alcoholic going to the bar for ‘just one margarita” . Some people can, perhaps go back to a life of moderation, still enjoying treats as exactly that- treats. But there may be some of us who can never ‘go back’. So, as I contemplate my birthday, I anticipate one of the following possibilities. First, I will eat what I want, not gain weight for a one-day splurge, and feel confident. I will continue to want the pizza and chocolate, and my healthy fear will be diminished. Perhaps the next splurge will be that much easier…and I begin the slide down the slippery slope. The next possibility is that I enjoy my birthday treat, laugh, love, and be merry, and go right back to low-carb the next day, none the worse for wear.

I know myself. And instead of dinking around and playing with the fat-burning furnace I worked so hard to create, I’ve decided to keep the splurge to a modest enjoyment- I will eat a few of my favorite things, but I will not focus on food for my birthday, as if it is a reward for ‘good behavior’. I am living the reward, and the nay-sayers, like some of my family, be damned. I mean that with love, of course.

Like Nike

I read about many of my fellow weight loss bloggers who seem to know exactly how to achieve success- those who have discovered all the tricks and tools, but who are still struggling. Let me submit that there is not another trick, method, or plan that you need.

You only lack one thing- doing it- and doing it consistently. Don’t be surprised if you’re not seeing results if your efforts are inconsistent. I’m not saying give up if today was pizza and ice cream day- no, but keep pressing forward toward the goal. Set your mind that TODAY, I will be master of my own body. THIS moment, I will NOT let stress or fatigue be an excuse to pig out! Imagine that someone promises you a cool million dollars if you eat right and exercise 3 days a week for a year. You will be monitored for honesty/ adherence . I bet 90% of us would have roaring success. So, nobody is going to hand us that cool million, but how much is your healthy heart worth? Being active with and for your family? Having more stamina and endurance at work and play? How valuable is the feeling of triumph over failure? How good does it feel to not have to buy 46-54 inch waist pants or have to buy 2-4x size specialty garments? Think about the value of these things that money could not buy you- pride, rising to a challenge, being able to hold your head higher, being able to take it or leave it when it comes to junk food, but mostly leave it- because you’re no longer a slave to your own addictions. So be Like Nike. Just do it and stop sniveling.

Weight 128 and Feeling Great!

So, after working out fairly regularly for several weeks (average 3x per week, at one hour, 3 weeks) and keeping my diet at the same basic 25-35 grams of carbs per day, I’ve taken off another couple of pounds!! So, at the beginning of this journey in January, I was at 140-142, consistently. So I’ve lost about 12-13 pounds, which is fairly significant on my 5’4″ frame!

My fitness routine consists of a strong basis in cardio, but that’s not all . I also have discovered the amazing strength benefits of the rower. I’ve also dropped in on Zumba, yoga-lates, cardio pump, and my new Brazil Butt workout classes. I believe that cardio needs to be combined with muscle sculpting and flexibility, and backed up with a good diet! My splurge is a weekly sugar free frozen yogurt with fruit on top. I have had a piece of cake but it grossed me out. I was shocked ! I did not want more, and I burned it off.

For all of you who diet only, as I did in the beginning, I have to say that the exercise plays a huge role in not only how quickly you will lose, but in building lean, tighter body mass that makes you feel strong and healthy. A skinny butt is not as nice as a fit and firm one. On that note, I have a long way to go in that department, but I am Working, literally, on it!! Today, there’s a class at 9. It’s advanced yoga- lates. Maybe I’ll go and fall on my face, and ache all over for days. It’ll be awesome! So, be inspired that hard work does pay off! Challenge yourself and kick the ends out of whatever box you may be in.