Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eat and Run

Today was run 3 of week 4 of Couch to 5-Kick My Butt. This week I had to run 3 minutes, walk a minute and a half, run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, and repeat. On Wednesday's run, I was shuffling like an old lady by the end of the second 5 minute run, but I finished! On Friday's run, I struggled just as hard to finish that last 5 minutes, but this morning I felt much stronger and wasn't panting like a dog the whole time. I still think I am going to repeat the week's runs next week, though, to make sure I'm ready for week 5 - which ends with a 20 minute run (ack!). As I run, I am mostly concentrating on my breathing, but I try and imagine myself running my 5k, and that keeps me going. My confidence grows with every run. Fall is in the air and I run on a beautiful trail through a nature preserve, and I look forward to my runs even more now (that just blows my mind – I actually LOOK FORWARD to exercise!!!).

Up until this point, I have not been doing much other than my three runs a week – I was afraid to add anything new since I literally started from ground zero (a.k.a. my couch), but now I am trying to work in some aerobics a few mornings a week. Since I have to be up at 5am anyway to get J off to school (crazy, right?), I figure I may as well put that time to good use. Thursday was my first day, and I didn't feel it until Friday, but in a good way. I could tell I was working muscles that had been hibernating for years. Saturdays are my yardwork days, I weed and mow and do whatever I can to get red-faced and sweaty and burn off some calories! I have a wicked hill in my front yard, and pushing that mower up and down is a great workout (no self-propelled mower for me!) - in fact, in the hour it takes me to mow my lawn, I burn 437 calories!! Talk about motivation. I was actually bummed yesterday because with the cooler weather and lack of rain lately, the lawn didn't really need to be mowed, but I did get a few hours of weeding in (338 calories an hour, people). I will totally have the nicest looking yard in the neighborhood, and I may even volunteer to so some yard work for my neighbors!

So, I was really getting on track with the exercise thing, but after a few weeks it dawned on me that I hadn't really changed my eating habits. In fact, I had slacked off even more because now, you know, I was RUNNING. Calories burned = more calories to eat. I knew I had to nip that in the bud, and once again my trusty iPhone came to the rescue - I stumbled across another fabulous app called Lose It! which tracks your food intake and exercise. It will even email you a daily and weekly summary of your nutritional stats. It is so much easier for me to do this on my phone than try and keep track of a little notebook and look up every single food I eat - I am a firm believer in KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and it's so much easier for me to be consistent this way, instead of getting to the end of the day and trying to remember everything I ate. Although I've done WW many times in the past, I like this much better than counting points, because I get a lot more information, like the percentage of fat, carbs, and protein I eat every day, how much sodium, etc. The best part about this's FREE!

Yesterday was weigh-in day! Friday at work I had to fend off evil temptation - one of the ladies in the office brought in this yummy looking coconut swirl cake, but I managed to avoid it all day long. Yeah me!

I had a yummy and filling lunch - looks like a lot of food, doesn't it? The goldfish were my little splurge of the day, usually I will have a handful of baked chips. I went into this determined to succeed without denying myself anything, so I try and find ways to get my treats in a healthier way. No sugar-added fudgecicles are great for a low-cal chocolate fix!

So...weigh in Saturday morning made me happy. 201.4 pounds. I haven't seen the other side of 200 in nearly 3 years, so I am going to have to think of a (non-food!) way to treat myself when I reach that short-term goal. I only weigh myself once a week and am trying to concentrate on other things besides the number on the scale, like how I feel and how my clothes fit. I have already noticed a huge difference since I started running - most of my clothes no longer fit, which is great, except that I have not lost quite enough to fit into my pre-fat Mama clothes. I am trying to hold off buying anything that I (hopefully) will not fit into for long. I guess I need to invest in a belt! I have also noticed that now I actually seek out ways to get in extra exercise and eat healthier. Last weekend we BBQ’d at a nearby park with friends, and I took E out on a canoe for an hour and then a paddleboat for another 30 minutes. Whew!!! I have already started looking beyond my 5k and want to start training for a sprint triathalon (when I mentioned this to one of my friends, she asked where the real Liz was and started calling me a pod person). I have found tons of recipes on other blogs and in fitness magazines that I never would have considered trying before, but now I’m looking forward to trying to fit something new into the menu every week. Finally, one of the biggest benefits of doing this is that I am hopefully teaching my girls that fitness can be fun, and it’s not all just about your weight.

One thing I’ve decided to start is a weekly challenge. I have so much going on in my life, and a lot of changes that I am making and want to make. I tend to try and tackle everything at once, epic fail, and then quit. I fill my plate to overflowing both literally and figuratively! I’ve finally gotten it through my head that I need to take one thing at a time, develop it into a solid habit, and then move on to the next, and so I thought a weekly challenge would help me with this.

This week’s challenge: Do at least 30 minutes of some type of physical activity every day

To health and fitness,

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