Hot Hot Heat

I woke up Sunday morning,
I looked up on the wall,
The skeeters and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball.
The score was 6 to nothing,
The skeeters were ahead,
The bedbugs hit a homerun
And knocked me out of bed!
Singin’ – Eener meener and a miner mo,
Catch a Whipper Whopper by its toe,
And if he HOLLERS, HOLLERS, HOLLERS, don’t let him go!
Singin’ – Eener meener and a miner mo!

Remember that song? I think I yelled it on the way to school every day in first grade. Something about that whipper whopper…
***
Anyhow, I did wake up this SUNDAY morning, got up, headed downstairs and let the dog out. As she’s getting older she’s like a real geriatric person with weird sleeping patterns and everything, panting all night, only sleeps well with her ibuprofen… Anyhow, so I got up at about 6:00 to put her out and stepped outside to find it was ALREADY HOT! At 6:00 AM! And I’m not talking the kind of early morning heat that makes you say, “It looks like it will be a nice day.” No. This hot was all in your face from the moment it hit the land, breaking a sweat at 6:00. Sheesh. And I live in Seattle!
That said, it was a perfect moment to be all vacay cheesy – like I’m at a resort or something, so I started doing some yoga- just the sun salutation (how appropriate) and a few other simple poses that I learned from the Wii Fit. It felt like it should- all holistic and commune-y and naturish. The next step should have been to go to the co-op for some quinoa and bulgar or something (which I’m mocking but I actually really like that stuff πŸ™‚ ).
After communing with nature I went back up into bed and stared at Bradley until he woke up. Today is his 40th unofficial birthday (long story short- he has a 12/29 birthday that has always sucked because of its location in the year- who wants another gift to buy or cake to eat smack in between Christmas and New Years?! So we moved it to his half birthday, or really close to his half birthday), so I wanted to get our run out of the way ASAP because I wouldn’t have to worry about when we would do it, or the calories I will consume because of this day. As soon as his eyes fluttered open I asked for the run. Thankfully he said yes because it was 8:00 and already pushing 75 (remember – 75 in Seattle is hot).

20130630-162012.jpg
{In honor of my Birthday King, I invoked the force today…}
So we stretched, got dressed and off we went.
Heat running has been hard on me. I thought for a long time I didn’t like the heat because I just don’t like to sweat. It turns out the heat offers some other fun stuff. The biggest issue for me is getting overheated and losing my breath. For some reason it’s harder for me to get my breath in the heat. I get the shallow breathing, but not the deep breaths that replenish my oxygen. The result is that a little over a mile into the run, my chest tightens down so hard that I can’t get a good breath, so then I start very intentionally deep breathing, which doesn’t go deep enough so my breathing just becomes hyperventilation and from there it turns into a panic attack.
The last time (before today) we ran, I wouldn’t let myself stop. When I got home after three miles I was dripping sweat and could feel my heartbeat all over my body, so hard, and my lungs and chest were gridiron solid. I was having a hard time breathing. I stripped down, got into my bathing suit and jumped into the pool and as soon as the cold water hit me my lungs opened up and I could breathe again. I sat submerged in the pool as my heart beat -BOOM BOOM BOOM- and I cooled off, finally getting my breath again. I learned from that day the the heat really does impact me.
I’m wondering if it’s an asthma thing- I’ve heard of exercise induced asthma and heat induced asthma. Maybe I need to explore that a little bit more with my doctor. I also want to do one of those exercise heart test things that you do on the treadmill at the doctors’ to see if I’m just pushing myself too hard, maybe, and my heart is going to explode! I don’t have a real, authentic fear of that, but it’s not a bad idea to get a clean bill of health as I continue to move forward.
***
I took my heart rate today-
Immediately post-run: 153 BPM
Ten minutes later: 99 BPM
much later (resting): 63 BPM
My active rate is a little high for fat burn. I honestly don’t know how to run slower and walking is so awkward when you try to go too fast. It’s hard to break a good sweat walking, for me. I’m super impressed, however, with my resting heart rate! I’m in the ‘good’ zone- smack between ‘excellent’ and ‘above average’! I’m pleased with that.

Running Buddy

My little buddy took a lap with me today. I couldn’t have been more proud as he took off running around the track as fast as his little legs could carry him! It’s nice to have another running buddy. :

20130626-172211.jpg

Choose Your Hard

I saw a quote a few weeks ago that said:

20130624-220117.jpg
And I just keep coming back to it, considering it, pondering it.
Being fat was hard. I had to sacrifice a lot to be heavy- most obviously, quality of life, if not years of life altogether. Not to mention my fertility, watching my family skip events because I was over sized, lying to myself about what I was eating and how much I was moving. It hurt, my back, my muscles, knees. It was really hard being really heavy.
Losing weight is also really hard. It is hard to say no. It’s hard to make life changes that are so long term. It’s hard to go work out, to run every day. It’s hard to bend over and touch my toes because I’m ridiculously stiff. It’s hard to look at the clock and realize that you still have weight reps and it’s 10:00 PM. It’s hard to have PMS telling me to stick everything in my mouth and have to battle that craving for weeks at a time. It’s hard to circle the track once again.
Maintenance is going to be hard. Success stories are rare and percentages are not on my side. I’ve read that only 5% of people who lose weight keep it off (though this is disputed). It’s hard to look at the next 40 years with the awareness that I will never again go through a weight gain binge of just not worrying. It’s hard to think that I have to maintain a high level of fitness for always – even when I don’t want to. Hard.
Pick your hard. It think it’s obvious which hard I’m working on now.
***

You know that feeling you get when you’re dieting and all of the sudden you fall off the wagon? Then you spend the next week or so making deals and promises to yourself, setting timelines and making excuses and lying to yourself to cover up poor behaviors? This is where I’ve been over the past week.
Then, if all goes truly horribly offroad you find yourself, two months later, with 20 pounds regained and an oppressive sense of defeat. It’s terrifying, seeing your determination take a break, looking for motivation, inspiration and nothing reveals itself. And then you’re an island without the crutches you desperately lean on to keep moving forward and all that’s available is yourself, but you feel so weak. It is much easier to just chill on the couch with (insert yummy food here) while watching The Biggest Loser while also feeling your ability or desire to be The Biggest Loser ebb away. Yeah. Every time I step outside of this rigid eating plan I have for myself I flip out that I’ll never get it back. That I’m on that path to losing it.
It’s times like these that I fall back on just being a really honest cheerleader to myself. One that reminds me of the things I told myself in the beginning:
– It’s up to me to do this. It’s my willpower and determination that will decide my success in this project- not the ‘right’ feeling, the right time, finding the motivation, being on a roll or having good habits- it’s me. I can do it or not, but if I fail, that was a decision I made and I can only be upset with myself. If I fail it will be my fault. It all comes down to me.
It was hard to get back on track. Hard, but not as difficult as the first few times. Those times I was determined and willing to try based on the blind faith that I had in myself to do this for real this time. Now I have experience on my side that proves I’m capable of stopping the snowball and getting my food back under control. This time it just took a day and I was stepping back into better habits. It feels so good to be in control again. So good to fall asleep without hating the choices I made. It’s amazing to believe in myself. It’s like I’ve kinda beat this monkey that has been on my back for years. I know I’m still early on, but if faith and determination have brought me this far, why wouldn’t I just keep on using them to believe in this for a lifetime?
It’s good to feel in control again. Phew!

The First Official Monday of Summer!

20130624-173255.jpg
Know what I did on this, the first Monday of my summer vacation?
1. I woke up (9:30)
2. Ate breakfast (peanut butter smash)
3. Went for a run (11:00)
4. Sat in various chairs silently while working on my pro-cert stuff (12:30-6:30). I’m so over that crap.
Jealous?
Yeah, me either!
The good part is that I have an awesome husband who supports me in every aspect of my life, so I have not been alone in the typing or tantrumming. He’s been there to hold my hand through it all. Awww… True love. <3 I'm SERIOUS! I adore him. We are fond of saying that while our kids are the best decision we’ve ever made, meeting one another is the best thing that has happened in our lives.
***
I want to point out two things about my run.
1. I am slow, JUST LIKE YOU. See those splits?! I used to be all worried about being fast, but for now, as long as I’m all sweaty and getting an aerobic workout I’m fine. My goals these days are to keep it under 13 minute miles. For me, this is still a push. Speed will come with time and I do have the odd mile or miles that end up between 9:30-11:00 minute miles, but I am no longer pushing for that. I just pushing for the calorie and fat burn.
2. I am having a mental block about running ever since I took my break last week. For some reason I feel like I don’t have endurance anymore and I keep wanting to quit. Today I made small goals- I just want to get around the small block (.9 miles) became I just want to get around the big block (1.4 miles) and then I decided I wanted to cruise the small block again to add another .9 which, of course, turned into the big block again. I came to a point where I said to Bradley that there is no good reason I should stop. I just needed to push myself a little harder. Guess what? I got home in one piece and ended up running 2.9 miles total. I could have pushed farther, but I’m lazy. Next time… Mostly I just want to recognize that my head is playing stubborn games again and I can’t let it win. I’m in charge and I say that running is not optional at this point in my life! It is a necessity for both my confidence and fat loss.
***
I do have to say, though, that since returning to running last week I’ve run every stinking day. As much as it’s been a challenge to do it, I have been making good on my commitment to exercise every day.
Now, I just need to get the night snacking back under control. Last night I ate two chocolate chip cookies, two Oreos and a bag of pop chips. This was at about 10:00, two hours after I had eaten a bowl of ice cream. Great choices in yum (and after my run I still was within my caloric intake window) but it felt like a binge and I didn’t like it. Especially since the rest of my day leading up to that was stellar. I’ll do better tonight. Cherries and popcorn…. πŸ™‚
Hopefully fixing that will result in me losing some more weight. At my lowest a week and a half ago I was 229.8. This morning my scale read 235. Yup. I have PMS, humidity, water retention, muscle swell and all that, but seriously, that is five+ pounds. Not cool. Hopefully the night snacking issue will eliminate that problem.
***
(Side note- I’m complaining about weighing 235! Ha ha! For perspective- weighing 230 was my original goal. I think I’m doing just fine!)

Fooooooood… (said in zombie voice)

Let’s just say things have been nuts. I know I’ve said we are finishing my papers for recertification, and I tell ya, it is a time and energy sucker. And I miss my kids! AND I’m jealous of all my friends who are headed away to Rome, Disneyland or even just the nearby beaches! Perhaps I’m getting a taste of why people are often bitter about teachers having summers off! Ha ha!
To add to that, I have ridiculous PMS food cravings that have me wanting to inhale food nonstop. You think I’m kidding? Last night I was full and still needed to make a batch of popcorn to inhale. I decided, as I sat there with my food baby belly, that today was going to be different. So far I’m doing really well. I haven’t put anything in my mouth today that triggers cravings for other stuff. And I’m using my ‘Determination’ mantra. I’m determined to get back on track. DETERMINED!

20130623-163222.jpg
This is me at Ye Olde Country Buffet. It was Bradley’s deceased grandpa’s birthday the other day so we went to honor him. It was where we always went with him whenever we went out to eat. Breakfast at OCB is yummy. Lots of eggs, deep fried hash browns, hollandaise sauce… Even ice cream is included. And I ate it all. But I do think I fared better than this dude:

20130623-163447.jpg
He had a plate with nothing but a huge pile bacon on it alongside his glass of chocolate milk. I wanted to be him for a moment, honestly. Sitting there proudly eating bacon like it’s going out of style while reading your manga comic. Pretty awesome.
I, on the other hand, filled an entire plate with cantaloupe- which I ate because it was the only fresh fruit that looked and tasted ripe- followed by an egg, a biscuit, three hash browns and all washed down with an ice cream sundae. This all by ten o’clock. Starting the day like that wasn’t so great as ice cream called me all day long, chips beckoned, food sang to me. I craved it and sometimes gave in. I tried to eat carrots and cherries, but some other stuff (truffles and ice cream) made it down the hatch too.
The good news? We also did this:

20130623-163925.jpg
That, right there, was. 4.25 run/hike/walk. We discovered a park about 1.5 miles from our house that has trails winding all around in it. It was a beautiful and fun run. Our kids were at their grandparents, so we did take advantage of few moments to smootch all romantic style trailside before we trotted off to the QFC to buy a tea and then trekked home. It amazes me how much running has opened up our world. In the past I never would have thought to run to the nearby QFC on foot! But I went even farther! I’m so impressed with myself, frankly. Ha ha!
***
I wanna give a shout out to my girl Rhiann who, today, ran 20 minutes solid and over a mile for the first time in, like ever (her words)! I am so proud to have another running friend!!! Just keep swimming… Or running… Or just moving! Woot!

20130623-165143.jpg

Recommitted

20130620-210101.jpg

Today we headed out for the first time in a week. A WEEK! It felt really good. I asked to do the giant loop so off we went. I had grand ideas of a five mile run, but the mile back to the house is just a huge, long hill. It isn’t steep, it just goes on and on and on… When I was about 1/4 a mile from the house I did something I have never done before- I decided to call the run early.
As we kept running, I lost my breath and couldn’t get it back and I started to panic. Bradley gently prompted me to continue, offering a break, a walking moment, a shorter second loop, but I wasn’t having it. I adamantly decided to stop when we got home. At this point I was freaking out, when suddenly I caught one breath, then another.
Looking back, I should have sat on the porch, caught my breath and headed back out. I don’t know why I didn’t, except that I’m stubborn and silly. I had a really nice run. Bradley caught this:


It just seemed sweet. πŸ™‚
***
Along with running, I’m recommitting to my diet. While I’m staying right around my calories, I’ve been way more forgiving of myself lately. I’ve decided to start journaling again to have the accountability. It’s a good way to get my summer going right and get my diet back on the losing side of things!

And… done!

Another year is done. I spent Monday tying up loose ends with report cards and my classroom, Tuesday I was saying goodbye in class to my students and colleagues, and Wednesday found me whooping it up with my students at my house after Gigi had her last day of school. It was a short week but an insane week. Now life can resume… Kind of. We are hoping that my certification stuff can be wrapped up soon. THEN the summer can officially begin.
I have not run since last week. I was having hip issues again, then I was prompted by the busy week to just take it easy. I’ve gained two pounds. At least I think I have. The good thing about gaining two pounds that you’ve recently lost is that, if you do it fast enough, usually you can ditch the weight pretty quick. I’m hoping for that.
I have big designs on a five miler tomorrow. We’ll see what the body can pull off after taking the week off! Week off of running I should say. I was actually a pretty good kid with the weights, though, and completed two workouts since Saturday.
Tonight was a reminder of the Lj summers. After the party guests left we hunkered down for some Mario Kart madness, then out came the tickle bugs and wrestling and the iron claw and Toothless the flying dragon. It was terrific fun in the spirit of summer. Here’s how we ended our night:

20130619-214804.jpg

Party Food

This weekend has been a weekend for the weightloss warrior in me. We had my friend’s 40th birthday and a couple of Father’s Day celebrations. In addition to just seeing lots of family and friends (we also whooped it up my my parents, brothers and their families on Friday), I had to deal with lots of food choices. There were chips, sour cream dips, cake and all kinds of stuff to use self control around. I did pretty well. I was no angel, but I did well.
I encountered more than one person asking me if I was going to skip a certain food choice because of the high calories. I explained each time that while I’m losing weight right now, I am not on a diet, per se, rather, I made a life change. My life change is intended to last for life and I am not giving up chips and dip or birthday cake for life! I need to include those ‘no-no’ choices now so I know how to do it later as well.
I hope no one felt awkward eating around me. I’m so vocal about losing weight and stuff through my blog, not to mention that it’s also just very physically obvious that I’ve made some changes, that I wonder if people feel guilty by association. You know how there’s a stereotype that girls won’t eat in front of guys because they don’t want them to think they are fat (and if they are fat, clearly this is an anomaly because you’re modeling how little you eat)? Like that. Because to me, it’s all about being happy. If you’re happy as a clam at 350, that’s your business. If you’re not happy, I’ll try to help you. But I’m certainly not the one who will stand in judgement of your choices. It’s your business and I certainly understand my place.

20130617-195357.jpg
This is my random picture of the day. Nothing significant- Bradley just said he liked my hair so I had to check it out. Yup- looks good. Happy accident! LOL!

Connected

One of my oldest and bestest friends turned 40 last week. We celebrated at her house today with a rocking BBQ. Here’s the picture to prove just. How. Rockin’!

20130615-212833.jpg

Actually, she and I are total dorks, still to this day. As the class of 1991 turns 40, it would seem the way to celebrate is to act like it’s your 21st birthday all over again, wearing crowns and boas while in avid pursuit of getting wasted! I see nothing wrong with that. But Beth doesn’t drink. Thus, the picture above is a total faker just so we can be in the same cool kid club as the rest of the peeps on Facebook. Ha ha!

20130615-220230.jpg
*Back in 1991*
Ok, why am I writing about all this? First, because when I met Beth way back in 8th grade it’s like our souls touched or something and she left her fingerprint on me; I think I did the same to her. In so many ways we are like night and day with such different positions on life (she’s very conservative while I am very liberal politically and religiously), but there is just something about her. I just love her. From the moment we met we were inseparable and as a result, I was folded into her family easily and I’ve hovered in their periphery for years. I know her brothers, her sisters, her nieces, nephews, her dad. I’ve been there for weddings, a premature funeral, at hospitals when babies were born, in home church services and I’ve kept tabs on them through Beth as life has continued. I know these people like family.
Here’s the interesting part two: I was walking up to the house with my two kids when I saw Beth’s brother in law. I have known him for years, he was at my house in October, for goodness sake. So I say, “Hi, Brad!”
To which he responded, “Hi.” Then an awkward pause. A pause that stretched on as I saw him look at my kids and me, trying to tie the pieces together. Finally, “Who are you?!” He didn’t recognize me! I told him I who I was and we both laughed. I was glad he said something because that was the theme of the party for me! It prepared me with the knowledge that I look drastically different. Even more different than I knew. I was a mystery girl, even when giving the birthday girl’s husband a hello and a squeeze to which he had the strangest, most distant response. I wondered if I had offended him or something when, about 30 minutes later, he came in and told me he’d had no idea who I was! We laughed.
I realized not only did I have to reintroduce myself to her family, but I had to try to naturally weave together details about our shared past experiences, hoping that I would jog their memories of who I was and we could all avoid that awkward embarrassing moment of them not knowing who I am and me having to explain it to them. “Yah, I’ve known Beth forever. You don’t recognize me because I’ve lost over 100 pounds but I have met you, like, a million times,” is a weird statement to roll out. And a mouthful! Ha ha!
I have to assume that they are not alone in trying to recognize me. It’s both a celebratory mark, but also kind of a scary one. The Tamara I have been for years is really changing. Becoming unrecognizable. It’s magnificent evidence of my progress, and now I get a choice: renew myself or reinvent myself. Or perhaps a mix of the both? Tamara: version 2.0.
What an interesting but truly fun day!
***
This has been quite a week this week. I have been SO busy at work and after work that I don’t even have my report cards completed yet! Agh! The last day of school is in 3 days. Oi! I’ve been packing my room and doing all sorts of fun events like a field trip, read in, assemblies, field day and more. It’s been intense. I’ve been tired.
Regarding my goals and diet, I decided to take it down a notch and not stress out about it. I know, it was weightloss warrior week, but sometimes life dictates slowing down no matter what. I only ran about six miles this week BUT I hit the weights hard. Tonight will be my fourth workout this week, which means SHOPPING! I noticed my workouts got really easy as I went, enough so I decided that tonight I’ll do the seven minute sets instead of the five minute sets. My workout should be closer to 30 minutes.
I’ve found a butt workout that is easy on my knees, a belly workout that makes my entire abdominal wall cramp up in an unpleasant Charlie horse from time to time, and an arms workout. I assure you- I’m feeling it big time.
And even though I was super easy on myself as far as my food and exercise go, I still lost 1.5 pounds. πŸ™‚