Thursday, October 25, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This morning was an ugly run.  I was up before the dawn and ran in thick fog.  I didn't mind the fog or the drizzle.  Since I'm running a race on Saturday morning with my gal Beverly, my plan was to do my long run this morning.  I ran 11k and man did I have a difficult time with it. About 5k in, I felt the urge to use the washroom.  And not to pee.  If I happened to slow at all, the urge would come on stronger.  I also slept badly the night before and had a crick in my neck which caused me to be stiff when I ran.  And I had a pain in my foot that I had to walk out several times.  Just in case you're wondering, I did make it home before really needing to use the washroom.  I didn't even take my shoes off before running up stairs to use the facilities.  I also ran this 11k about 3 1/2 minutes slower than I did on Saturday, and that one was uphill for 5.5k.  So all in all, my morning run sucked the big one.

I have received a few emails from readers asking me about loose skin on my abdomen and they wondered how bad it was.  I've made reference a couple of times to my wrinkly stomach.  I thought it would be good to answer everyone at once and put it in a post.  Surprisingly enough, since the summer, the skin on my abdomen has started to firm up significantly.  I lost 100+ pounds 13 years ago, and my stomach is in much better shape this time around.  You wouldn't think so because I was under 30 then, and have had a baby since, so the only thing I can attribute this to is exercise. The last time I lost a significant amount of weight, I did absolutely no exercise. Although my only form of exercise right now is running (I swam in the summer...but not a lot), I do believe that the running has contributed to my "not so bad" midsection.   When I run, I hold myself erect and suck in my stomach.

We had a guest speaker come in for my clinic when I was learning to run back in April 2012.  I just remember his name was Paul and he was a physiotherapist who talked about injury prevention and the biomechanics of running.  Anyway, he said that when running, we should have our shoulders back, chest out, and stomach in.  He also said that holding our stomach in would give our abs a workout, so I have done it religiously since.  And I really believe it has worked well for me.  I also hold in my stomach when I'm walking and am very mindful of my posture.

I thought about this post all the way from Hamilton to Peterborough and back today and toyed with the idea of including pictures or not. Although the skin is loose, it's not as loose as it was, but I'm still self-conscious about it.  Since it's all part of my story I decided to share some photos.  Now this is about as risque as my pictures will ever get.  My hubby would freak if I wore anything less, and my family and co-workers do not need to see me in my skivvies.  I did wear my low-rise skinny jeans for the occasion just to give some validation that exercise is key when losing weight.  I do wish I took pictures in the summer just to compare.

For those who are new to my blog...I'm 42, have lost 117
pounds so far and had a baby 5 years ago.  I weighed in at
310 just before delivery.

I have done no exercise to target my abs except to hold in
my stomach when I run.  Since I run for about 5 hours per
week, that's a lot of stomach muscles being used.

Yay!  No back fat!

I'm actually not disappointed with how my abdomen is doing.  I think that with some exercise to tone my stomach, it will look better minus my last 13 pounds.  I have decided to give hula hooping a try. My friend told me that her stepmother had a pretty flabby stomach after birthing several babies.  While in her 50's she started hula hooping and within a few months, there was a dramatic change in her flabby skin.  She now has a pretty solid abdomen.  I'm sold.  I've also seen mention of it in a few blogs and I understand that the bigger the hoop, the better for working out your abs. It's inexpensive and 20 minutes a few times a week is all you need to see a change.  You can even do it while watching TV.  Now I just need to find a hula hoop which won't be easy since they're a seasonal item.

Now don't get me wrong, I also have bad loose skin.  I won't be sharing pictures of any those areas (and never the boobs) yet because I'm not that brave.  My upper arms are a mess, my boobs need a lift, and my outer thighs have saddle bags.  I'm hoping that my last 13 pounds will help with the saddle bags, and I'm going to start reciting the Lords of Acid song lyrics for "I Must Increase my Bust". Maybe not. I'm okay with my bust being MUCH smaller (I went from being a plus sized D cup to a regular B).  It means no discomfort when I run. I'd just like them to be a touch perkier. Nothing a good bra can't fix.  My arms on the other hand...they will likely require surgery. Bat wings are a horrible thing to have, especially when you're not a bat.