Friday, August 23, 2013

A bump in the road

Although I strive to lose 1.5 pounds per week on average, it doesn't always work out. In the last month, for example, I've lost absolutely no weight at all.

The last two weeks were spent on vacation and during that time I exercised very little and ate a lot. So I probably gained some weight. This is most likely because I spent nearly a week at a summer camp I used to work at and the meals and meal portions are very unpredictable there. So when they serve you something appetizing and you have the option to eat a larger portion, you go for it because you don't know when the next normal meal will be.

In the long run (over the course of an entire summer), this way of thinking works out because most meals are inadequate with regards to portion size. And by that I mean, we often get 1/2 of a scoop of mashed potatoes and half of a chicken breast, which is just not enough to hold me over for the day. But for some reason, I was able to get normal-sized portions during my time there and so I overate every single meal.

Prior to leaving on this vacation, I had been slacking with both exercise and food, and consequently I wasn't really losing any weight. I'm totally okay with this because I had been feeling burned out about the weight-loss plan for a while and needed a break from pushing myself. I also don't have a deadline by which I must lose all my weight, so pushing back the goal weight date isn't a big deal to me at all. It'll happen when it happens.

Since I got back on Monday, though, I've been more motivated to start losing weight again, which requires regular exercise and more strict food control than I've been doing lately. Mostly, I don't want to lose the muscle definition I've worked so hard to gain in the last few months, so I've got to get moving again.

I only have 35 more pounds to go! I have to keep repeating that with the exclamation point of excitement because that number seems so overwhelming and difficult. Even though I'm more than halfway there, 35 pounds is still a lot and the first 50 pounds were incredibly frustrating and difficult. So having to do more of that is scary.

Clearly I've found a method of weight-loss that works for me. I just have to stick with it and the weight will (hopefully) just fall off.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Back in the saddle

I took the last month or so "off" from losing weight in that I only exercised when I felt like it instead of feeling the need to get 5-6 days of exercise each week. I still averaged about 4 days of working out during that time so it's not too bad. I was just sick of everything and didn't feel like pushing myself too hard.

During that time, I got pretty burned out about road biking and since that's been my most frequent form of exercise, it was clear I needed to continue with it otherwise I would stop losing weight. But I didn't want to ride anymore! A conundrum, I tell you.

So I took a couple of weeks off from the bike. And when I finally went back to it, I loved every minute in the saddle. I eventually realized that all the rides I had been doing were either balls-to-the-wall or insanely uphill. There were no "fun" rides where I could simply enjoy being on the road on my bike. Riding became a burden.

My first ride back was along the flats near my house at whatever pace I wanted at the time and it was awesome. I eventually returned to riding hills on Wednesdays with a group I'd been riding all summer. And even though we rode straight uphill for 6 miles, I had a blast, as evidenced by my genuine smile in the picture below.

I'm in the middle in the green.

During my break from riding, I did a bit of running to keep somewhat in shape. I went for a run with The Roommie and we averaged a 9:30 minute/mile pace for 3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals.* I didn't ever dread having to run once the walking part ended, which is a HUGE improvement in my run endurance and state of mind. I think I may actually enjoy running now. Eww.

I was also having some knee issues after an unfortunate game of kickball which resulted in cutting back on my exercise. Everything turned out to be fine and my doctor said I can exercise through the pain without messing my knee up any further so I'm back to full force.

In between the MRI scans and doctor's visits, when the prognosis for my knee wasn't clear, I stressed. I was worried that I'd have to either suffer through a season of rugby on a bum knee and thus postpone the hypothetical surgery until November, or I'd have to sit out the season altogether and have the surgery now. Since I've recently begun getting respect from the refs, I didn't want to disappear for three months and lose all that so I was stressing out a lot. I also couldn't really turn down a trip they had offered me to Minnesota since I don't know when that'll come up again. But all is well now.

As they say, "Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, then it's not the end."

*I still don't like running for long periods of time, so when I do go for "long" runs I turn them into intervals. Instead of running straight for 3 miles, I run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute. This way, I have something to look forward to during the three minutes of torture.

Losing weight in the face

People have been commenting a lot on my weight-loss lately. While I really appreciate them noticing and congratulating me on my hard work, I get super uncomfortable with all the attention. All my life I've just wanted to be normal and blend in with everyone else, so this extra attention is not helping with that.

The comments have all been very nice, though, and I really appreciate my friends saying such great things to me. Also, most people have said that they notice my weight-loss most in my face, which is weird because I didn't think I had that much to lose there. But when I look at pictures more closely, I see the difference.

For example, I do look big in the photo on the left. You don't need to see the rest of me to know that I'm way overweight. But my face looks a lot thinner in the photo on the right (I'm in the red). So I guess my friends have a point about my face getting skinnier.

213 pounds
183 pounds
In the end, I have to keep telling myself that compliments are awesome to receive and that I should relish this time when everyone's noticing my hard work. So I smile every time someone says something nice and thank them for being so kind.