The Week in Review- Hard

I feel like every time I write here lately I’m complaining about how hard my life is, how hard my job is, how hard it is to stay determined to lose weight… The result is that I find myself avoiding writing so that I’m not such a Debbie Downer.
I like TED Talks, it’s true. I’m one of those people. I know they can be contrived and a little bit too much to deal with sometimes… That said, I don’t know about you, but I sincerely appreciate self reflective and thoughtful people. I like to surround myself with people who have active brains, who still think they can impact this world positively, who are thinking of ways to live life more completely, so I love the TED Talks and frequently go down a TED Talk rabbit hole. It never hurts to turn away from modern cynicism and intentionally look toward something positive, so here; watch this:

I watched this TED Talk right when it first came out in October, and one thing continues to stick with me- that hard is not necessarily a relative term. The talk is all about coming out of the closet. While, indeed, Ash Beckam is a gay woman who came out of a gay closet, she is using the closet as a broader metaphor for any hard conversation we need to have- be it coming out of the closet as a gay person, telling your wife you have just cheated on her, explaining to your five year old about an impending divorce or explaining why you are filing for bankruptcy. All of those are hard things to face and explain. At about the 3:30 mark, Beckam, says, “Hard is not relative, hard is hard.” She goes on to say that, “We need to stop ranking our hard against everyone else’s hard to make us feel better or worse about our closets, and just commiserate on the fact that we all have hard.”
That sticks with me. Throughout my life I have come in contact with people who, when I say I had a hard day, immediately knock me down by telling me that I don’t know what hard is. That I’m too young/privileged/inexperienced to understand what hard means. I liked that Beckam gave my hard credit. Life is hard, and when we are in the thick of it, hard is hard. Regardless of anybody’s perspective on the degrees of hard.
My life is privileged- I never want to imply that I believe anything other than that. But I also work really hard- at my job, in my marriage, as a mom, as a human- and sometimes those many hard hats get overwhelming. I never want to inconvenience anyone by complaining. I would prefer to put a truth on my website that showed me being ridiculously happy and successful- and I am most the time, but lately things have been hard and I can’t hide that away.
I committed to writing here for accountability purposes. I originally thought that meant surface stuff like, mileage and poundage celebrations, but this project has been as much about internal, emotional changes as about physical, nutritional and activity level changes. Those have been the hardest ones to contend with. I guess I’m saying I have to talk about the hard stuff. I have to speak to the hard, or else I’m not honoring this process of owning who I am to myself and the changes I am trying to make.
Speaking of my hard…
Right now I am in a challenging spot. I’m having a really hard time, nutritionally. Basically, I am eating as though I’m maintaining a high level of activity. I’m not terrible about workouts, but I can totally see why I’m not losing any weight. My skin is shrinking up beautifully, but I’m eating way too much of the wrong foods lately. I need to get that in control. My goal this week is to journal three times to inspire a return to smart food choices choices and reasonable portion sizes. I’ve started doing that thing again where I choose to eat a bag of pop chips that, while yummy, just trigger a deeper need for munchies since they don’t provide a whole lot of nutrition. I need to eat whole foods and get back on track.
Exercise this week was seriously compromised by a monsoon. I was supposed to run outside three times. On Monday it was gorgeous! Then it rained for the rest of the week. I’m from Seattle, so the rain doesn’t phase me that much, but this has been ridiculous. It’s like that stupid, fakey rain that falls in movies and renders the characters completely soaked in about thirty seconds kind of rain- that is what we are having all the time lately. I only got two runs in this week, not three, but I did get on the elliptical twice, as well, took two walks and did weights three times. While I didn’t meet my goals, necessarily, I feel like I made progress towards doing better. This week, my goal is to hit solid cardio (140-159 BPM) four times and weights three.
So, yeah, I’m in a hard spot in my version of life right now. I’m happy to report, however, that change is still underfoot. I’m taking control and attempting to make some pretty significant shifts in my life to insure a more successful future- both short range and long term across the board. Life has been hard lately, but I feel like the momentum is shifting and I’m swing in back to some balance. Thanks for sticking with me through the rough patches. πŸ™‚

After the birthday party we made the rumpus room into a more user-friendly space by moving our couch and putting the elliptical and bike in the middle. It looks like a gym, but we are in there all the time now. It looks a little weird, and definitely needs some tweaking, but I like it!
NKOTB are playing four dates in July in Vegas. I would do things to go to one of those shows. I’m not sure what those things are, but none of them, sadly, involve paying 600.00 for decent tickets after I’ve already paid to fly there, stay in a hotel and be on vacation for the duration. Booooo. Maybe 2015.>

The Plan

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish before summer gets here. My breaks have proven, over and over, that they are not good times for me to make strides in weightloss. Fitness, yes. But weightloss? Ha! I know that things can change and that this time could be different, but I’m going to try to maximize the next three months in an effort to get as close to a beach body as I can. (Beach body is a totally relative term. I plan on looking like a post weightloss beach body with batwings and wobbly bits waving in the wind.)
I will admit that Jude’s birthday came and went and I do not weigh 199. I weigh 205. I really can’t complain about weighing in at 205. That, right there, is a pretty awesome accomplishment. But it does tell me that I’m not working quite as hard as I could. I have lost about 20 pounds since the New Year. I’m pretty proud of that, honestly. I’m averaging about two pounds a week, but I had really hoped to push it to 25. It seemed do-able. My goal at this point is to be in the 180’s by the time school lets out in June. In three months time it should be possible to lose more than 16 pounds.
To accomplish this, my plan is to run, lift and watch the calories. The calorie intake is going fine. I have not worked out much in the past few weeks and I have still been managing to lose a little here and there. It’s the working out that has been hard. I think that now that Jude’s birthday is over and most of the major night stuff (open house, music night etc.) is done at work I will be able to start running again.
My goal, this next week, is to run three times. I am not going to put mileage expectations on it just yet. I’ll admit that I’m pretty freaked out at the prospect of running at all. I’m worried it’s been long enough that I’ve lost my stamina, so I’m taking baby steps. Silly, huh?
In addition to the run, I’m planning on lifting and doing my abs routine five times this week. That does not take the same kind of stamina as running- just determination and willpower. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to hit them each five times.
I find that when I make a goal for the week that I usually follow through, and when I make my goals, I also make my targets. So the last part of my plan is to commit to making goals every weekend for the next 8 weeks. The disappointment I feel in myself when I don’t make my goals is pretty intense (I’m more relaxed about scale goals- don’t worry), so hopefully the added pressure will hold me a little more accountable and will propel me more rapidly into the 180’s.
Man, that is an intense idea: me in the 180’s. Gulp. A few years ago, I never would have guessed that I would even be close to the 100’s at all. I never thought I’d see less than 250 again in my lifetime. 180’s.

This week had some wet days so Boy and I went for a splash walk in our rubber rain boots. It’s been ages since I walked through a deep puddle in rain boots. It is such an incredibly satisfying experience. πŸ™‚

New Month, New Day…

Whoa. Talk about hitting the brakes abruptly.
Number one:
Diet bet ended. It was a big brouhaha that, at the very end, I barely made it by the skin of my teeth. Seriously, the second bet needed to have a weigh in of 214.3 or less. I weighed in at 214.2. The next day, I didn’t have a diet bet going, so I worked out hard, but I followed that up with some Olympic style eating. I ate at least six cookies worth of cookie dough (BRADLEY!) and there were also some smuggled nachos on game day, even though there was no game on TV in our house. (We still gots the snacks, yo! {my inner 17 year old just died of embarrassment for my children}). I’m amazed at the havoc that is wreaked through the horrid nature of PMS and some crappy food choices! My final number, before I weighed in, was 215.

However, I still have managed to get higher…
217. Yep, that’s my current number. I know that PMS has a lot to do with it, but I’m not feeling super proud. I’m feeling SUPER ANNOYED! Ack! So now I’m two pounds higher than the diet bet. Not off to a real great start.

Goal number one for this month: don’t worry so much about the bet. Just eat right and exercise and it will work like it should.

This is the graph for my WiiFit meter. As I locomote around it records my altitude, distance and speed. Because it is for the Wii, the data gets recorded fun-style! I’m presently trying to hike out of the Grand Canyon, and have been working on that goal since early December. Altitude is difficult to come by when I spend so much time traversing around a classroom, for the most part, so I’m pretty far behind Bradley, who gets most of his steps outside.
I’ve also been running around Hawaii forever. Every step I take in real life is recorded, and for about every 2000 steps I get a mile! I started the Hawaii challenge (there are a variety of courses all over the world) so that I would be the first to get the Hawaii shirt (as you complete different tasks, you get different shirts to dress your character in. C’mon, any carrot is better than no carrot.) but it turns out to be taking forever! My family has completed all kinds of marathons through Tokyo, Australia and New York, but I’m still running around Hawaii!

Goals two and three for this month are to finish Hawaii and make solid progress or finish another marathon, and to get to Cedar Ridge on the altitude challenge. This means a few hikes and walks through the woods. I’m totally up for it!
This week my goal is to simply keep my food in check. I am wanting to eat EVERYTHING in sight. In these moments, I always assume the worst of myself. Everything I see wants to get in meh belly. Seriously. Today, all day, I was STARVING. Tummy growling, like, what gives?! I’ve been working out hard, yes, but this is ridiculous. I have to tell myself ‘no’ so often, that I feel guilty like I’m eating it too. Thought crime! Food is so present in my mind that I’m accusing myself of imbibing when I’m not. It’s weird. In the past, I wouldn’t have refused the craving, I would have nibbled a little bit here and and little bit there till there was no little bit left. I’m not saying I was perfect today. I ate 22 plain m+m’s, had one brownie bar and two tablespoons of half and half in my respective coffee and tea today. I was pretty good and stayed within my allowances- barely. Especially considering I wanted to play those old favorite classroom games, like: ‘How Many M+M’s Can Mrs. L Fit Into Her mouth’ and ‘Lets Eat Double or Triple Snacks Today!’
Keeping in check is where I’m at.
Also, a little exercise every day. Amiright? I won’t specify what or how long, but I just need to keep moving.
Yesterday it was a family walk and weights.
Today it was 20 aerobic minutes on the stationary bike and 20 of weights.
Just keep moving
Just keep… In control.
My favorite thing to say to my students at the end of a hard day or the beginning of the day after a tough day where we may have had a hard moment is,
Every day is a new day.
It’s trite, but true. Every day is a fresh start.
I need to remember that for myself too. Except I also need to remember that every minute is fresh, every hour, and every moment is an opportunity to start fresh and jump anew.
And every moment doesn’t need to be about losing or maintaining weight either. 217 is ok. It will go away when my PMS does, and when that happens it will be warrior week.
A new moment.
A new opportunity.
New day.
New month.

Diet Bet Beat

My goal at my diet bet was to weigh 214.7. I had all this angst that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but it turned out not to be a problem. I’m sure glad I blasted most of my holiday weight off, though. Bleh! I think I am definitely going to do another bet. I found that it kept me really focused in a different kind of way. I had a lot of pressure to get it done and I took it seriously, but now I find myself thinking thoughts that will get me off my path, so I’m thinking I need to make another bet. I have 13 pounds to lose before the middle of March, and I want to make sure to meet (or beat) that goal!

I’ve turned into a total weather wimp. If it is raining or cold I don’t want to go outside for a run! For a while, that meant that I was pretty much just skipping my workouts, which had me worried. I’ve come all this way, I don’t want to backslide. But then I figured out how to hook up my iPad to my elliptical and I just started going to town! Over the past few days I’ve spent about an hour and a half on that thing.
I posted the heart rate chart chart above as a reminder to myself about how to burn fat. I really push myself- hard. I had it in my head that I want to be in the 150’s for heart-rate, so that has been where I push to pretty consistently. After looking at this, though, I realized that if I want to target my fat, I really need to dial the intensity of my workouts back. I push to the 150’s and 160’s sometimes, thinking I’m only getting out of the fat burning in the 160’s! Yikes! That said, I have fabulous endurance and actually hit that runner’s high thing I’ve heard so much about. The other day, I was on the elliptical, around minute 18, and all of the sudden the workout felt amazing. I had a huge endorphin rush and my breathing felt the same as if I were walking, my muscles were not upset, my heart-rate was at 148-153 and I felt like I could go forever. I made it to 50 minutes. Not bad. πŸ™‚
Goals this week:
Journal my food at least one day
Take at least one run for 2-5 miles
Ride the elliptical at least 2 hours
Weights/floor work twice, minimum
I’m at that time of year where I never take pictures. My phone is empty of interesting things, so you get graphics for now. πŸ™‚

End of Break

It’s the saddest day in January. It is the last day before we go back to school. I always thought the last day of summer was bad, but man, this has been a tough day. Ugh. It’s so silly, but I just love being around my family so much that I hate to go back to work!
I’m going back at 217 pounds though.
That is a plus! I can deal with a seven pound gain/return to work. I also hit my workout goals for the break. I managed to run all 20 miles I had planned for plus walked a ton PLUS did WiiFit a bunch AND even did weights and elliptical. I was a good kiddo this break in the workout world.
Diet-wise, I’m not quite as proud. I’m pleased that I’m losing weight again, but the biggest reason I’m glad of going back to work is because I’ll have my schedule again. That will help me get the rest of the way on track towards meeting my eating goals. I’m so close to Onderland! I can’t wait!
I got to play with my new wardrobe this morning. I put together my outfits for the week and it was really fun to play with my new sweaters and stuff. My closet was getting pretty slim before Christmas.
Speaking of clothes…
Bradley and I went and took a screen printing class this weekend at the all ages venue Vera at the Seattle Center. It was pretty cool. We took the class and now, for a small fee, we have access to the workspace with the ability to turn out some product. We did it mostly for fun, but I’m thinking some tamarashazam tshirts for running would be pretty awesome. Perhaps I can even give some away!
Anyhow, this is a picture of us at the Seattle Center in front of the fountain (which you can’t see because of the glorious SUN!) right before the class. Cheers!


Diet Bet

I’ve been talking a little bit about and how it is to be one of my motivating tools this January. Today I headed over to the website to check in on the bet I’m joining and to learn more about the process.
The downside, to me, is that the rules and how to’s don’t always seem clear. I suppose that over time it will become a little more obvious what is happening and the how will become a little less mysterious. But in my ‘curiosity killed the cat, fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of philosophy, I paid for an additional bet just to see how it works! So now, I am signed up for the original 4% in four weeks bet and I also paid for and registered to be a part of a 30 day challenge. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do in those 30 days, but I figured if I just keep moving forward that hopefully the bet will pan out with something positive. My goal will be to lose about nine pounds. I can do that.
I tell you what, though. As soon as I laid my money down my game face came on. It may be a very good tool, indeed, if that is the instant way it made me feel.
If you want to join in, here are the links:
4% of Weight Lost in Four Weeks (Starts on 1/3, though you have a few extra days to check in late)
30 Day Challenge (Starts on 1/1)
If you actually join, let me know so we can cheer one another on!

De-Mystifying the DietBet Check-In
I’ll admit right now that if something seems technologically complicated I will bypass it. In that vein, I was skeptical of the dietbet photography upload business that on some websites can be such a frustrating pain. You see, to verify your weight you submit two photos- one on a scale in front of a mirror and the other of the scale with your weight and a special word that, I suppose, is the equivalent of holding a newspaper in a spy film. You are supposed to wear ‘airport security’ clothes- whatever that means. I just wore workout gear that didn’t weigh much.

Yep. 223. I can’t even… Seriously.
To make things even easier, Dietbet has an app for your smartphone that makes the process go from easy to simple. And to be clear, I edited these photos together for this post. Diet bet does not make you do that! Cheers for simplicity!
So, here’s to me losing 8-9 pounds in January!
Happy New Year!

Goal Met!

What’s the goal? To actually RUN finally. To follow through on my workout! Then to post about it on my website. I’ve done both of those things now. πŸ™‚

And if I were a bare minimum kind of girl, I would be done about now. Ha ha! But I’m not.
I have to tell you WHY I haven’t been running or posting. It’s because I’ve been so incredibly overwhelmed by life and, as a result, so freaking exhausted. Like, when you’re trying to stay up past nine o clock so hard but can’t, so you fake wake up over and over and act like you’re watching the movie by saying such observant things like, “Wow, look at that!” Or engaging in pseudo conversation like, “Do you think this move is good and why?” Before smugly laying my head back down, eyes drooping, convinced that Bradley has no idea that I’m actually dozing between statements. The next morning I hear about my snoring, though, and about my gibberish sentences or how I pick up conversations from dreams and bring them to him, live, in the real world, saying some embarrassing nonsense before I laugh, wilt then snore again. Yup, I’m reaaaal smooth.
So I let myself just take some time. Caught and recovered from a cold. Taught third grade to kids less than two weeks before Christmas. Top that! (Hello to my K~2nd coworkers, I bow down to you.)
I was thinking about my winter break and how I want to approach it, food-wise and exercise-wise.
I think it’s reasonable to expect myself to run ten miles each week. That lower mileage will help me get back up to speed. I’m still maintaining my fitness, but my lungs burned today and my heart felt flumpy. I need to get back into real shape again. It won’t take long, but I need to give myself some latitude.
As far as food goes, I think I’ll stick with my usual diet. I always allow myself a cookie or treat if I want one on days where I’ve worked out. This month I’ll just have to be super careful about sticking to that rule. And like Thanksgiving, I’ll let myself take Christmas off. Though, remember how I hit 213 on thanksgiving and wouldn’t let myself lose my footing? Wouldn’t that be funny if I woke up less than 210 on Christmas morning? I’d take that gift over cookies any day!
So there’s the goals: 20 miles and the same calories except on Christmas.
This week I hope to run a few more times and stick with my food plan.

Three Miles

I’ve taken a couple of runs lately where I’ve just decided to do a 5K. Initially, the three miles was daunting. 1/4 of a mile was daunting, for goodness sake, and I have the 5K up on this pedestal of, like, super hard difficulty level. I think I have a block in my head because when I go out and run three miles it is not a big deal. I marvel afterwards that it feels like I just ran a mile or something.
Anyhow, I’m not bragging it up here just for giggles. I’m trying to psyche myself up to say this next bit aloud: I think three miles should be my new short distance. Why? Because when I go out and run a mile it only takes me 11 or less minutes. 11 minutes doesn’t make a workout. I suddenly realized I’ve been getting all hooked up on the mileage and forgot about endurance! I need to run for thirty minutes to get that good fat burn. Guess how long it takes me to run three miles? Boom. Looks like my body is upping the ante.
Furthermore, as I get lighter the calorie burn is smaller. I need to work longer to get the same burn, so a longer run session should take care of that. I also need to reacquaint myself with my weights system. I’ve been a total slacker!
So, my new goal is to hit right around three miles 3-4 times a week and run five miles once a week. Add some weights, maybe a hike, of course some walks, and I should do pretty well. I told myself that if I can lose five pounds between now and Thanksgiving, I get to go to the spa the day before mashed potato day. So, a mini goal within the greater goal to lose 25 by 3/19/14. I’m currently stalling at 222… But I will be the victor!!

I went and checked out the statistics to see how I did in the 5K and couldn’t help but take a prideful snapshot of my results. I’m super pleased with my mileage – to run sub 11 minute miles was great for me! The other part? I’m totally happy with how I placed! I’m so happy to see I’m not last. Not even close to last! I fact, I think I did a good job! I’m excited to do it again next year.

Lastly, I went for a run with these two guys yesterday. I was planning on running with the big one, but the little one surprised us both at the last minute by asking if he could, please, come running with us. He told us he needed to work out. Of course we said yes, and off we went on an intervals mile with the five-year-old. He was awesome and so was the walk. Today he asked for a hike. Something’s getting into that boy. πŸ™‚