My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

1st month with new plan

Okay so I’ve been working out with my new fitness plan for a month now.  And I think it’s going okay for the most part.

Tyler gave me a bunch of workouts before he left.  Different workouts to do on different days.  All are moves we had done together so I knew how to do them.  I’m seeing improvement in some areas.  There are a couple of moves I’m struggling a bit with, but I’m working on them.  I’m still getting used to working out alone.  It’s weird.  I’m so used to having someone there, encouraging you, pushing you, correcting your form.  It’s hard doing that alone.  Sometimes I can tell if my form is right, other times I can’t.  Occasionally there are others working out at the gym, and they offer help if they see I need it.

My cardio, on the other hand, is lacking a bit.  And it’s frustrating.  Tyler also gave me a new cardio regimen before he left.  About 2 weeks into it, my right foot starting hurting.  I don’t know what I did.  My doctor thinks I’m just putting too much pressure on it.  He recommended I slow down and get arch supports for my shoes.  I’ve done that, but I’m still having the problem.  There are some days that I can’t do cardio at all.  I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor again to see what else I should do.  Hopefully we can figure out what’s going on and fix it so I can get my cardio back on track.

My nutrition is pretty much on target.  I’m staying within a certain calorie range most days.  I occasionally have a bad day or a bad meal, but not often.  I’m getting better at controlling my food.  I still deal with cravings now and then, but I’m able to overcome them most of the time.

Tyler has started sending me workout videos.  Some of the moves are a bit challenging, but I’m okay with that.  I need to learn new things.  There have only been a few moves I haven’t been able to do, but I will continue to work on them.  I’m happy he’s still willing to help me from far away.  I worry sometimes that him helping me like this while at school will add stress to his life.  I certainly don’t want to do that.  What he’s doing is important.  Anyway, for now it seems to be okay.

So that’s the update for now.  Like I said, the new plan seems to be working okay.  I’ll keep the updates going.

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Run for Reece

This morning I walked/jogged my 3rd race of the year. It was the annual Run for Reece, which is put on by my friend Karen Walsh in memory of her son who died of SMA. This race has special meaning for me. First because it’s run by my friend; and Second because it was my first EVER race when I walked it in 2012.

When I did this race last year, I was incredibly nervous. I didn’t know if I was ready to do races. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be ready until this year. But my friends convinced me to try any way. I’m glad I did. It was the hottest/humidist day of July when we did it last year. And I walked the whole thing. It took me 1:28:58, but I crossed the finish line. I was so proud of myself!

I had been looking forward to today for a while. I was excited to see my friends and maybe make some new ones. And while I was hoping to beat my time from last year, I told myself that what’s important is to finish regardless of the time. But last week I started having issues with my right foot. I was freaking out because I didn’t want to miss the race. As it turned out, my foot is okay, just putting too much pressure on my arch. I got arch supports for my shoes, which are helping. And I’ve slowed down my speed on the treadmill. So I was all set for this morning.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. Nerves I guess. And the alarm seemed to go off way too early this morning. But I got up, showered, dressed in a new racing outfit I purchased, had a good breakfast, and killed some time online. Karen picked me up early so I could help with registration. The closer it got to race time, the more nervous I seemed to get. That’s a normal reaction apparently LOL. At least according to some of my friends who do lots of these races.

I chatted with my friends as they showed up. I was bouncing around trying to warm up my muscles so I could start the race jogging. There felt like a herd of butterflies in my stomach. Ya, I know that’s not right. A group of butterflies is not a herd, but they felt like a herd this morning.

Karen leads us in a little warm up, then gives a little speech. And then we are off running/walking/slogging! I’m the last of the crowd, but I don’t care. I have some tunes blasting in my ears and I’m trying to keep myself going. I jog for a few minutes but have to switch to walking. Thankfully the weather gods decided it does not need to be incredibly hot or humid today. It was a beautiful morning and a little breezy. Perfect weather for a race if you ask me. Anyway, I try to walk a few minutes and jog a few minutes, but it becomes too much so I just walk as fast as I can. Eventually I came upon a woman who is doing the race for the first time and she’s unsure of the route. We walk along together and I explain the route. We chat about everything along the way. We encourage each other to keep going. We make the loop around the park and head back the way we came. People that did the 10k are passing us know. As we near the end, I point out where the home stretch starts. We decide to jog to the finish line. We round the corner and start jogging. She’s a little ahead of me but that’s ok. My friends see me coming and start cheering. I love it! Who doesn’t like having their own cheering section!

Then I see the time clock. OMG! I’m going to finish in under an hour! Holy crap! I seriously didn’t think I was going to. I mean it was my goal, but because I wasn’t able to do at much jogging, I didn’t think I was going to do it. And I did it!! I crossed the finish line in 58:18. My best outdoor walk/run yet!! And my treadmill time is only slightly better. I was nearly in tears as I crossed. I kept moving so my muscles would have a chance to cool down. Friends are still cheering for me. I feel incredible. My foot was hurting but I didn’t care at that moment. I crossed the finish line and had a great time. What a day. What an amazingly fabulous day.

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Being on a plateau

Anyone who’s been on a weight loss journey knows that plateaus happen. And they know that being on one sucks.

For me, it’s a time when I really being to doubt myself. I try and try and try, but the scale doesn’t seem to want to move. I try to remember that it’s only temporary. I try to remind myself that I’m building muscle as I’m losing weight, and as long as I’m still losing inches, it’s okay. But some days it’s hard. Some days I just want to give up, throw in the towel.

I’ve been on a plateau now for about 3 months. And I hate it. I’m so frustrated some days. I’m not giving up, but it’s hard. There are days that I really struggle. But I’m doing my best to hold on. I have promises to keep. I intend to keep fighting until I win the war.

I’m pushing myself as hard as I can. A little too hard in the case of my cardio as it turns out. At the beginning of July, I amped up my cardio. I started walking a lot faster on the treadmill, and trying to increase my jogging speed and time. Well last week my right foot seemed to decide enough was enough. I started having pains in my arch. It seemed to be fine all day, even through my strength training, until about 30 minutes into my cardio when the pains would start. I happen to already have a doctor appointment scheduled, so I talked to him about it while I was there. He thinks I’m forcing it too much, that I need to slow down. Short burst of speed are fine, but extended periods are putting too much pressure on my arch. He suggested I get arch supports for my shoes and to slow down. And to let him know if it gets worse.

While I’m happy it doesn’t seem to be too bad, I’m disappointed in myself. I should have known better. I know that I can’t go from 0 to 60 like a car. I need to build up to faster and longer speeds. I need to stop being in such a hurry to get to the finish line. I’m anxious to get off this plateau, to move to the next level. But I need to do it safely. I need to stop looking for the quick fix. I need to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. As Tyler always tells me, “slow and steady wins the race.”

This plateau won’t last forever. Soon the scale will start to go down again. I just need to stay calm and train on. I need to keep eating as clean as I can. I need to continue my daily workouts. I need to continue to believe in myself. And if I have a bad day, I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again.

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New fitness plan

Once again, I’m being taken out of my comfort zone. No, that’s not quite right. It’s more like I’m being catapulted out of my comfort zone.

With Tyler returning to school to finish his degree (which I’m very proud of him for doing), our training will switch to virtual. Which, of course, means I will be doing much more on my own. And that has me a little worried. I do well when I’m working with someone, but how well am I going to do by myself? Will I be able to push myself hard enough? Do I know enough to make sure my form is correct? Can I keep myself from getting hurt? Can I keep myself on track?

So we sat down the other day to write out a new fitness plan. Goals for me to work on, rules I need to follow, daily routines to do. In addition, once he gets settled in, he will be making workout videos and sending them to me. We will also have an accountability session, where we discuss how things are going. And, of course, I will continue to do my food journal. I’m excited to see how it will all work. And hopefully it will work well.

I will be working out at least 5 days a week, preferably 6. I will do strength training 3-4 days a week, and cardio every day. And I now keep a workout journal.

Strength training is broken down into 4 categories — push day, pull day, leg day, and core. Each category has a variety of exercises to choose from. All of them are ones I’ve done before with Tyler. Each day, I’m to write down what exercises I pick from the list, what weight I use (if applicable), and any notes about each one. At the end of the workout, I write down how much time it took me to complete the workout. At some point, Tyler will review my workout journal.

Cardio is not much different than it was before. At the gym, it’s an hour on the treadmill, doing a 5k walk/jog (minimum), burning at least 400 calories. If I choose to do more cardio, I can pick between the elliptical, the stair stepper, and the AMT (all movement terrain) machine. I can also choose to do my cardio outside. If I do that, I have to do 10k. I’m still not super good at jogging, but I’m working on it. Part of my new goals is to improve my jogging. So I need to do a little every day, working up to jogging at least 10 minutes without stopping. That seems a little daunting to me, but I’m going to do my best.

As with any fitness plan, nutrition is very important. I think more so for me because I’m a stress-eater and an emotional-eater. The stress of this change could send me into a tailspin, but I’m trying really hard not to let it. I’m trying to be extra careful about what I eat. And making sure I write everything down, including the number of calories for each meal and snack. Tyler will continue to review this as well.

Tyler is a big part of my journey. I’ve come a long way with his help, but I still have a long way to go. I’m worried about getting off track and not being able to get back on. I know he’s only a text or call away, and that does help. I also have a lot of support at my gym, many people willing to help me as much as I need. That’s priceless to me. And I think I’m going to need all the help I can get as I get used to this new fitness plan.

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