January 22, 2014

It feels wasted.

Okay, quick update: 30 laps in the pool and 24.1 miles so far this year with more expected by the end of the week.

I knew I was addicted to the scale.  I knew I checked it everyday, before and after workouts, and after particularly arduous events in the bathroom.

I knew it gave me a sense of elation or devastation when it didn't say what I believed it needed to say.  I knew I was crippling my self-esteem with a machine that was fickle and recorded a 6 oz steak as a 2 pound gain.

I knew these things.

Which is why I had to give up the scale.  I said I will focus on athletic achievements but let me be honest: I thought this effort would lead to weight loss.  I thought that it would magically help me get over the weight loss hurdle I've faced the past 8 months as I floated up and around the same ten pounds.  I also wonder that if 11 months from now if there is no weight loss, will I feel as this year has been a waste?

As far as my weight is concerned I've always been really proud of the fact that for almost 6 years no I've maintained a 50-60 pound weight loss.  But I've never gone much further because I'll stop working out or stop tracking my eating or whatever and gain back ten pounds and then spend the next two months losing those again.  Right after the wedding I made some new progress but now I'm back up to right about where I was when Brandon and I got married.

So, not weighing myself has not changed my eating habits because it just hasn't.  I'm hungry, I eat.  I try to eat Paleo but I struggle to be consistent and to eat well in social settings and to not binge and I eat because I just love food!

So, I titled this post 'It feels wasted' because without the affirmation of the scale most of my athletic efforts and achievements feel inconsequential.  Who cares if I can lift 165 lbs 36 times if my pants are not a bit smaller for the effort?  Yes, I can now jump 12.5 inches but my stomach looks the same size so why does it matter?

Earlier this month Brandon and I took before pictures and I took a body fat measurement at my CrossFit box.  I hope that by February I (and you) and can tell a real difference.  I hope that I am faster and stronger but also smaller and I am being frankly honest about the real goal of my goals.  I hope that throughout the year, as the weight comes off, I can move away from tying so much to my body size, but if my body doesn't change I wonder if I will feel like this experiment was even worth doing?

January 13, 2014

What I've done so far...

Yesterday I ran the farthest I've run since before Thanksgiving: 5 miles.  I was very slow.

How is it that you can go at one pace pretty regularly and then all of the sudden just slow down by a minute or more per mile?  I mean, I wasn't slow just the last mile or two; I was slower each mile.  I didn't feel like I was doing more or less effort.  It didn't feel different.  Why was my pace so different?


This is my first time using a GIF in my blog!

I looked at my mileage last night and as of yesterday I have 13.66 miles done for the year.

I haven't logged any bike miles or swim laps yet.  I'm struggling to fit my laps in at the pool with the Y's hours.  I might try to swim some tonight after the WOD.  I do feel like the March 1st half marathon is still possible though; if not there is one on March 22nd as a backup in case my training gets weird.  I have exactly enough weekends to get my training in if nothing goes wrong like sickness or injury.

Thanks Cely for linking to my blog last week!  I had more than 1000 page views!

January 8, 2014

Better Box Jumps!

Yesterday I made an awesome improvement on my box jumps!  I made it to 12 1/2 inches!  This means I am already really close to reaching my New Year's goal and when I reach that I can go forward from there.

Not weighing myself everyday is really, really hard.

A lot harder than I thought.

Before I used the scale to reinforce good eating habits and exercise.  Without that I am trying to find other ways to motivate myself but struggling to find the immediate reinforcement that I want.  I think I will have to spend a lot of this year learning to trust my body and work towards heath while looking towards long-term goals; not immediate satisfaction.

January 3, 2014

2014 New Year's Goals

2014 New Year's Goals!!

My birthday and New Year's Day fall on the same day and as I say every year it always adds some gravity to the day because not only does a new calendar year start but a new year of my own life starts as well.  I wanted to make some of my goals for this year public so here are my top ten:

1.  My first goal is a big running goal.  I want to run 447 miles; that is the North-South length of Florida.  If I run 50 weeks of the year that works out to be a bit over 9 miles a week.  Doable but definitely not a casual goal.

2.  Swim 10 miles.  Last fall I took an adult swim class and I really liked working on that skill.  In order to improve on that I'd like to swim about once a week or so.  10 miles is about 15 laps of the pool at the YMCA each week.

3. Bike 100 miles.  Brandon has really inspired me with his triathlon training and I want to bike to strengthen my legs and improve my running.  Brandon thinks this goal could be achieved in only a few months.  If that is true then I will adjust my goal.

4. Back squat 200+ pounds.  I am so close to reaching this; a few weeks ago I squatted 185 lbs but it might take me all year to get to the 200 Club.  I also want to improve on my depth in squats.

5. Bench press 150 lbs.  Right now my 1-rep max is 125 lbs and I think with consistent work I can get it to 150 by the end of the year, if not earlier.

6. Jump 14 inches.  Box jumps are really hard for me.  Because of the tendinitis my left leg is a lot less strong than my right (don't believe me?  Ask me to hop on my right foot, then the left.  The difference in height is ridiculous.)  Also, box jumps are terrifying to me.  I'm afraid I'll fall and skin my shins.  I'm afraid that I'll fall in front of everyone.  I'm afraid of hurting my Achilles more than it already does hurt.  

I. Do. Not. Like. Box. Jumps.

So right now I can jump a bit less than 10 inches and I'd like to be able to clear a foot by the end of the year.  Brandon thinks I should try for 20 inches but let's just take it one bumper plate at a time.

7. Run a sub-30 minute 5K.  Right now on my best day I run a 5k in about 33 minutes.  Again, that is my best day.  I plan on cutting my race calendar and my pocketbook some slack and say that any workout of 3.1 miles is eligible for this goal; not just a chip-timed race.  I'll take a picture of my Garmin watch when I reach this goal.

8. Run 3 half-marathons.  Right now I have three half-marathons on my calendar: the Albany Half on March 1st, the Disney Wine and Dine in November, and the Reindeer Run in December.  

9. Finish my dissertation.  I am ready to graduate and move on with my life.  I am ready to have a career, not just working while I also try to graduate.  I also know that the further away I get from school the harder it will be for me to finish.  I'm also tired of this hanging over me like a guillotine.  I'm ready to pack this part of my life up and move on to other goals and parts of my life.  

10.  Go scale free.  No more daily or even weekly weighing myself.  A lot of goals this year are about improving something I already do.  I want to try to track my progress (like running faster) which has very little to do with whether or not I weigh 2 pounds less than I did the week before.  I also hope that by focusing on these goals the weight will kind of take care of itself.  

I will have other ways of measuring changes in my body.  On Monday I am going to my CrossFit box to get my body fat percentage and tomorrow Brandon is going to weigh me, write the number down, and put it in an envelope.  If I want to I will look at it on New Year's 2015.  I also want to measure inches and I'll take some pictures for my own interests but otherwise I'm putting the scale away for the year.

(yes, that is my first attempt at adding text to a picture)

Cheer me on!!