Friday, November 8, 2013

Overwhelmed with figuring out a training plan

Every time I restart an activity, I get overwhelmed with wanting to do it perfectly. For example, if I'm going to ride my bike, I feel the need to get the right combination of intervals and long rides to increase both my endurance and my speed. I also have to balance that with a running training plan to increase my fitness for refereeing. All of that makes for a very full exercise calendar that I know I won't be able to stick with. So something has to go.

Most of this "stress" is due to me not wanting to lose any of the fitness and muscles I've worked so hard to gain. I love the way my quads and my calves look right now and I feel like I'm losing some of that muscle definition because I'm not doing the things I was doing to get that, namely biking up ridiculously steep mountains several times a week.

However, I know that with this weather, it's not feasible to keep up the training regimen I had in June or July. I'm lucky if I get one good biking day a week and I don't want to waste it on doing NCAR repeats, because they're not all that fun and I go really slowly. I'd rather be out on the open road enjoying the wind going through my hair and seeing the mountains in the background.

The solution to all this is to use the off-season to build up my running base for spring rugby season, and enjoy the few nice days we'll have to ride my bike on the open road. No stressing about doing the right type of runs or exercise, but instead focusing on getting outside and moving. Runners have nice quads too, right? So all won't be lost by dropping biking for a season.

I still need to lose a few pounds so until I'm super lean, I won't be at my peak running fitness anyways. I might as well enjoy my bike rides as respites from sprint workouts instead of stressing over getting them perfectly right.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Continuing on when I'm content with my size

I'm currently at a weight and size that I find somewhat acceptable. I'm just below my lowest weight in college, but I'm significantly thinner because I have more muscle than I did back then. I consistently fit into size 12 pants and small/medium t-shirts, so it's not a bad place to be.

As a result, it's been really hard to stay focused with my exercise and calorie counting. I could be happy the way I am right now, which is what makes continuing on so difficult. But when I was this weight in college, I thought I needed to lose about 20 pounds. So clearly I'm just content with my size when compared to what I was last year (225 lbs). But if I were to look at my weight objectively then I know I would still like to be thinner and leaner.

This doesn't mean that I've been stuffing my face with chocolate, ice cream, and beer (with the exception of Halloween). I've been pretty good about controlling my cravings. But I've consistently been eating 1,800+ calories each day, which is more than the 1,500 I strive for daily. Additionally, I haven't made much effort to keep a consistent exercise routine. All of that has resulted in me not losing any weight.

For the past couple of months when I've stalled in weight-loss, I would tell myself that "I'll get back on the wagon tomorrow." But tomorrow has been nearly every day and I haven't changed anything. It's so easy to get back to my old habits of putting this thing off for weeks and months at a time when I'm decently happy with the way I look. the fact that I've been getting lots of compliments about my size doesn't help with finding motivation to go on.

This one garnered comments such as, "Looking GOOOOOOOOD!! So Fit and trim - oh la la."
I don't think it's that spectacular (look at that left thigh!) but multiple people have commented on it so maybe I'm being too critical.

I need to put my foot down and get serious about this because there is no ideal time to lose weight. There will always be something that gets in the way, whether it's rugby season and thus lots of drinking on weekend nights or bike rides that end at a bar.

Luckily, there's a big formal banquet in about a month that provides good incentive to slim down and tone up. I already look fabulous in some of the dresses I've tried on but I want to look even better. Mostly, I've needed a reason to get my butt to the gym to tone up my arms because my bingo wings have got to go. Dresses at a formal banquet are the perfect incentive for that!