Monday, November 24, 2014

The post about getting to run, a yoga class and Santa Claus

My food logs from the past four days. Although there are some veggies I'm
avoiding right now ie: Dinner on the 23rd, the family's eating those.

  • I am almost one week into my strict/clean eating plan. It's going well. Got right back in there. Just like riding a bike. And the bonus of doing it this time around? No processed carb and refined sugar withdrawal. If I felt off with anything, it was cutting back on my coffee the first couple days. But I'm sticking to my 2 cups a day rule...except for Friday. Had all day training on that day and I needed something to keep me awake! Also getting all the water in. I feel really good and it's no bother eating like I used to. I got lenient with some things and I think it's better to stay as clean as possible. So I'm reining it in. When I do reintroduce fruit, nuts and wine, I'm going to be much more conscious of serving sizes.
  • I finally got to run on the weekend. Yay! I ran 3k on Saturday to test out the went well. I ran 5k on Sunday, and even though my heel was a bit sore throughout the day, it wasn't horrible. And it was non-existent when I wore my runners with the formerly useless orthotics I paid $600 for. They finally came in handy. I'm actually running in them now for better support. 

Just before heading into my first yoga class.

  • Today is my rest day...I'm hoping to run tomorrow. Getting my ass kicked right now with a head cold. I'll run as long as the cold is not in my chest. I did attend my first yoga class yesterday. It was really very good for me to be so soundly humiliated. I am not flexible. Not even a little bit. It's definitely a challenge and I need to attend regularly so I can get more limber. I am a mess. But there is hope for me. I am supposed to be there right now. Instead I'm blogging from bed. Achoo! I'm considering getting up super early Wednesday and attending the 6am class...switching out my running rest day from Friday to Wednesday and striking a pose instead...DONE! Just like that. I'm up at 4:30 anyway.
  • This past weekend seemed like a blur. I was on the go all weekend. We went to the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday. The lamest parade ever. And as my hubby and I complained to each other under our breath, it was totally worth it because Julien loved it. Saturday was a nice family day. Lunch out, then the parade, then home for a crock pot roast for dinner. 
  • Sunday was a chore day. I woke up not feeling great. Went for a run, then the early yoga class. After lunch and a shower I went grocery shopping, put everything away, changed the linens, separated and began the laundry, folded laundry and made dinner. Julien had a friend over so I was also catering to those boys all afternoon. And I felt like crap by the end of the day. I kept saying I was going to bed, and hubby told me to go more than once, but I ended up reading bedtime books with Julien before finally heading to bed. Thought I was going to call in sick today, but felt well enough to go to work. I'm bagged now though. So a short and sweet check in post. 
  • Tomorrow marks the end of week one of #operation...(something clever to go here). I'm feeling pumped and motivated. Can't wait to see the differences in my body. I know the scale isn't going to drop leaps and bounds. Not like when I was bigger and losing weight but that's okay. I bought a pair of very form fitting skinny red cords from Value Village. I can't get them done up...not even close. But they are my goal pants. Hoping to be wearing them comfortably in a few months and be confident enough to wear them out of the house. I will keep going till they do fit because I am feeling positive. I have the tools to get to where I want to be, I just need to apply them and stay focused. Challenge accepted!

Santa Claus is officially in Hamilton.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The post about a gain, a training plan and a strict diet

My sexy new scale I got from Amazon. It only measures
weight which is what I want. I will be doing bi-weekly weigh-ins.
Link to scale

  • Yesterday was my first day of strict eating again. Today was my first home weigh in since last year. I got a much needed rude awakening. I weigh 172 pounds. That's 7 pounds over my "normal" weight, 12 pounds over my training weight and 15 pounds over my lowest weight. I am not buying into the "it's muscle" theory. 
  • My running has been pretty much non-existent over the past month due to my injury, but I have been eating fruit, nuts and drinking wine like I'm still running 50K a week. Doesn't compute. So starting Tuesday I began my food journal again and I began my 2-3 month plight of eating only lean protein and veggies grown above ground. No more fruit, nuts, root veggies, and limited higher carb above ground veggies (non-green). I'll only have those (ie: squash, red peppers), once or twice per week. And no more wine. I've also cut my coffee intake by 50% and upped my water intake by 100%. 
  • This weekend I begin training for the Boxing Day 10 Miler. Although I was supposed to start yoga on Monday, work kept me from the first class and yesterday's snowstorm kept me from attending the 2nd class. I have penned all the classes till the new year into my agenda I am taking that time for me and scheduling work stuff around the yoga classes. This morning I have physio and will be talking to Graham about private pilates classes. I want to do 2x per week and it can be billed under my unlimited physio benefit through work. So running starts Saturday, yoga Sunday and Pilates next week.

My training schedule for the month of December.
I'm hoping to do Pilates Friday and Saturday mornings

  • I am super excited. Next month would have marked my 2 year maintenance anniversary, instead I'm going back into weight loss mode. I want to drop my weight by about 20 pounds. I was my leanest last winter while training for the Around The Bay 30K. And despite my painful foot issues, I ran a good pace (for me) for a 30K. I have big running goals this year. I want to get a PB (Personal Best) on the Chilly Half, Around the Bay, and the Niagara Falls Women's Half. Even an extra 5 pounds for a runner can make a difference with speed. So I am motivated!
  • And I'm also pumped about seeing results again. Being the same for almost 2 years has been great, don't get me wrong. But sometimes when you work as hard as you always have and see no change because you're maintaining, it becomes old hat. I know that yoga and Pilates along with the running will change my body and make me a better runner. So this excites me. And having to restrict my eating again? I'm fine with it. It's not forever, just for now. And other than nuts and wine, everything else I eat is just fuel for my body. 
  • I will be putting up my food journal daily on my Instagram and Facebook Page. I'll try to do regular updates on the blog, but depending on how hectic life gets, the blog may not be as regular. But it will be a couple times a week (I hope).
  • So there you have it. My plan for the next few months. Dropping weight and getting my body fat% down. Would like to get down to the fitness level eventually which is 21-24%. I am super excited, motivated and relieved. I feel like I'm gaining strict control of myself again. And to be 100% honest, that is when I feel most secure with myself.

I don't pen in amounts that I eat because I'm following Dr. Poon's formula for
Phase 1 weight loss. Lean protein and leafy greens till full. All other (above ground)
veggies limited to 4 cups per day. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The post about getting weighed, food journaling and phase one

Physio this week. I have started doing strengthening exercises and he's
using a suction cup on my foot. Not sure how I feel about that...

  • It's that time again. Weekly check in time. Not much has happened this week. I'm still not running. I have 4 races coming up. So that could suck unless things get moving. My first race is the Boxing Day 10 miler here in Hamilton. I need to start training for that soon. My physio guy knows all this. He thinks that I can start running next weekend. I'll have make an adapted training schedule. It'll all be good. If I can't run it, hubby will have to run it in my bib. No big deal. Except that I want to run it...
  • I need to be smart about my recovery. Having to give up the Boxing Day race would suck, but I really want to run the Around the Bay again. So I'm keeping that race in my sights more. And my recovery is going well. HUGE difference between last week and this week with the Plantar Fasciitis. Other than when I first wake up, the heel pain almost completely disappears as I move around more. Only first thing in the morning is it really sore. After moving around for about 10 minutes, it feels much better. 
  • So I am trying to be very optimistic. And my PT is optimistic. He said I could do short runs this weekend if I really had to, but he want me to rest the full 2 weeks before running. That brings us to next weekend. I can do this. I went 10 weeks without running before and lived to tell. 
  • My biggest issue is I'm going stir-crazy. So I am getting the bike out this weekend and going for a long ride up the mountain. I've also penned in Yoga and Pilates classes for the rest of the year. Penned them in ink I did. I have to do them now. My first Yoga class is tomorrow. So back to the gym I go. I need to work on my core and balance for running anyway. So it all works out. It's gonna be a fecken cold ride, but I'll bundle up in layers.
  • I am blessed to have unlimited physio benefits through my work place. Real important for a runner. I can take private pilates classes through my PT practice and have it billed as physio. Definitely going to be taking advantage of that. Balance and core is my biggest problem.

Sunroof selfies from this past week. Yes I wore yoga pants for work on Friday. Rebel!

  • I haven't weighed myself in ages. I got weighed at the gym in July during my assessment and my weight was in the same range (164 pounds) it always is. It tends to hover anywhere between 160 and 170 depending on how hard I'm training. Before that I didn't weigh myself since fall of 2013 when I broke my ankle. I got my weight down to 156 at that time, but went back up to where I always am once I started running again. I know I gained when I was in Stockholm and London with all the cheese and wine I consumed and all the running I didn't do. My clothes didn't feel right and once I got back and started running again, they fit well again. But I really should be tracking my weight. And I do want to get leaner. So I bought a scale through Amazon. It's arriving on Tuesday. I'm gonna weigh myself, start food journaling again and return to phase 1 of Dr. Poon's diet for a month or so. Which means no more wine, fruit or nuts. Oi! But it's only for a month. I can do that. I didn't have wine, fruit or nuts for over six months when I was in serious weight-loss mode. 
  • I also have running goals. Which have to do with getting some PB's (Personal Bests). I want to PB in the Chilly Half as well as the Around the Bay. What will help with my speed is getting leaner. And I always have hip and butt baggage to lose. So I'm going to give it another go. I'm a bit excited to get back into weight-loss mode. Love seeing results. It's what makes weight loss motivational. The results. Maintenance is difficult because you still work hard, but nothing really changes. 
  • I leave you with some pics of my food from last week. I ate out four times because work dictated that I had to. That will never change. Unless I change jobs, and that will not be happening anytime soon. So I adapt. And from Tuesday till Christmas I'm going to have to start asking for specialized meals again. No dairy, sauces, dressings. It's all good tho. I'll be enjoying my nuts, fruit and wine soon enough. So today I enjoy my last #winetime till the holidays. Cheers:-)

Food from this past week. Salads, stirfrys, roasts, breakfast for
lunch and clear soup...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The very short post about being grounded and Canadian Running

Lotsa Sunroof Selfies to highlight my frugal fashion. No piece of clothing with
the exception of the leather cost me over $10. I'm a shopping goddess:-)

  • It's been an interesting week. Thought I singlehandedly cured my PF earlier in the week by digging out 2 heel corns. It brought me relief for a day, I ran (my best pace in ages), then couldn't walk the next day. I'm a loser. But, I went to physio on Thursday and got taped. Threw around the possibility that I could have a stress fracture. Thankfully I do not have a stress fracture and by Friday after my emergency massage to strip my achilles tendon, I had much better mobility. My foot is taped with super adhesion spray and I go back to physio on Monday. I have been grounded from running for at least 1 week, maybe 2. But I agreed (grudgingly) after losing the bargaining component of the 5 stages of grief Thursday evening with Graham in physio. Rest is really my only option at this point. 
  • Something exciting that happened is I got to appear in a running article on the website for the running magazine Canadian Running. You can read the story here. Loved doing this interview because the focus is on running. I've done numerous weight loss interviews which I also enjoy, but besides being a big (weight) loser, I'm also a runner. And I love talking about running. It's part of who I am. 
  • My two physio appointments are depicted below. My right foot has plantar fasciitis, my left foot is still swollen and bruised from falling down the stairs on Halloween. Don't know if I mentioned that the reason I fell is because my cat tripped me. She's been trying to kill me since we moved to this house. Not sure why since I'm the only one who feeds her. I think she misses the old neighborhood and is acting out her aggression the only way she knows how...
  • Short and sweet as promised. Excited to be making a HUGE 7 lb pork roast today. I'll do a pepper squash, green beans and roasted mushroom side with it. Can't wait. I have homemade applesauce to go with it too. Wishing you all a pleasant week. And don't forget to remember our veterans and soldiers on Tuesday. Lest we forget...

Thursday's physio included manipulation, double icing and a tape job.

Friday's physio was a single icing (after manipulation), getting stoned off of
aerosol fumes and a sexy tape job. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

No grains, no gains - What keeps me motivated

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about how I stay motivated to remain grain free. I lost my weight following Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet which is basically grain free. Once I was going to begin maintenance, I panicked when I looked at the maintenance program. It said I was allowed to have measured whole grains again. Being the binge eater I am,  I knew that I would never be able to stick to a serving of whole wheat pasta or whole grain bread. My addiction to carbs was too great. And I did well grain free for the 15+ months I was on the diet. That is when I decided to follow the Paleo lifestyle for maintenance. It's grain free and I don't have to stress about grains again. They're off limits and I need rules. Strict rules. That's why Dr. Poon's diet worked for me for weight loss. I can't handle choice. Structured and strict is what I need when it comes to eating.

Choosing this lifestyle is not right for everyone. But I know it's right for me. Because of my binging past (and my binge foods of choice were processed carbs), it only made sense for me to eliminate the root of my weight problem. And for me that's grains and refined sugar. Almost everyday I get asked what keeps me on plan. Why don't I ever indulge in something that I would deem "off limits". Short answer is that I can't handle it. I sit right by the "treat" table at work. Right now all my leftover halloween candy is on that table. My co-worker has asked me more than once how I resist the treats. It's easy as long as I don't have even one. I know that having one will lead to 2, then 3, then I'm eating all of it. I have no problem being around foods I don't eat, as long as I continue to NOT eat them.

So what exactly keeps me motivated to remain grain free? There are other underlying reasons now that I'm on maintenance. Some of them for health, some of them for performance, some of them for appearance. But all of them are important to me.
  1. My family, namely my son - If you know my story, you know that he was the catalyst for my lifestyle change. My AH-HA moment was when he was three and I was turned away from an amusement park ride he wanted me to go on for being too big. I continue to model a healthy lifestyle so that he picks up my good habits. My son is not Paleo.
  2. Running - Just for the record I am living proof that you don't need to "carb load" on grains to be a distance runner. I've struggled with running over the past year. I've been plagued with numerous injuries, but I'm always striving to do better. I've always eaten clean as a runner and it works for me. I'm hoping this coming year will see me healthier and stronger than ever.
  3. Playing dress up - Being able to shop in any clothing store in the mall with the exception of specialty "plus size" stores. This is so foreign to me. Prior to a couple years ago, I never shopped anywhere else but the plus size section. There's such a freedom knowing that I can go into any woman's store and they will have my size.
  4. How I feel physically is a huge reason why I keep doing it - I have never felt better. I rarely have stomach issues (unless I eat a ridiculous amount of cabbage, or dairy). My digestive system works the way it should. When I was morbidly obese my breathing was heavy and laboured. The only time that happens now is when I run. My body was also in a lot of pain being morbidly obese. If I have to be honest it still is sometimes, but due to running fatigue. Rest cures that kind of pain. It was chronic due to my size when I overweight.
  5. Simplified lifestyle - For me, remaining grain free is a foolproof approach to maintenance. The only time I've put on weight is when I've gone off plan (ie: excessive cheese consumption during my European vacation). Getting back to eating clean gets me right back on track.
  6. Being a role model - I have a strong desire not to let other's down who see me as inspirational, both in my personal life as well as over social media. When someone tells me that I have inspired them to run or begin a lifestyle change, I feel like I need to continue being the best I can be. I chose to put myself out on social media, so I should absolutely practice what I preach! 
  7. Success rate - I don't want to be another statistic. And I think I finally have this maintenence thing figured out. I know for a fact that if you fall back into old eating habits after weight loss, you will re-gain. I did it once already 14 years ago. Even without the running, my eating is in check. Some of my other Primal/Paleo friends may not have the activity level I do but still maintain because diet really is more important than exercise. And when I broke my ankle last fall and couldn't run (or do anything) for 10 weeks, I did not gain weight because I kept my diet clean. I cannot outrun a bad diet. That is the truth. People who are highly active can still be obese because of an unhealthy diet.
  8. The physical freedom that I have - I can do things I never could when I was morbidly obese. Go on rides, sit in the middle seat of the subway, do physical activities I never could before. Other than when I was a small child, I have never really experienced this kind of freedom before.
So there you have it. My motivation. Next month will mark my 2nd year of maintenance. Although I'll never forget what it felt like to struggle as a morbidly obese person, those memories are becoming more and more distant. Below is one of my favorite before and after comparison photos. It shows me how far I have come and gives me that extra push when I feel unmotivated to run. I actually like the way my legs and butt look in that photo. And I have never liked seeing myself from behind. I've still a lot of work to do to realize my running goals for this year (ie: get a "personal best" in the Chilly Half and the Around the Bay 30K this coming March). But even if I stayed exactly as I am right now, I can hold my head high and know that I have made a huge difference in the quality of my son's life as well as my own.

Now check out my blogging buddies and find out what keeps them motivated. Each with different experiences, each with a different story.

For Life -Jeanette
Garden Girl - Karen
The Sunny Coconut - Gwen

300+ pounds vs. 165 pounds. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The post about running, running and more running

Around 230 pounds                               Around 165 pounds

  • Besides what I eat day to day and whether or not I've had weight loss/skin removal surgery, the next most common question I get asked is about running. I have answered this in the past, but it's been a while since I dedicated a post to running, so for those of you wondering, here is my running history, in abbreviated form.
  • I started my weight loss journey at around 300 pounds. Two hundred and ninety-seven to be exact. I lost 67 pounds in 7 months and my weight loss began to slow. I knew I had to start doing some form of exercise to kick start things again. Enter the Learn to Run program through the Running Room. That is how I started running. I ran 3x per week for 10 weeks and started by running for 1 minute and walking for 2 minutes. The next week we ran for 1 minute and walked for 1 minute, then ran for 2 minutes and walked for 1 minute. The running time increased each week, the minute walk always stayed the same. By the end of the 10 weeks, I could run for 10 minutes straight and run 5K. Honest to God, I could barely run for a whole minute without feeling like I was going to expire when I first started running. I'm not going to sugar coat things. Learning to run was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 
  • If it wasn't for the constant encouragement of my clinic instructor Carol, I likely would have given up. But Carol believed in me which made me believe in myself. Prior to taking the LTR clinic, I never did any kind of physical activity. I lived the majority of my life morbidly obese and avoided exercise at all costs. Building up the cardio to run was uncomfortable and challenging. But I promised myself I'd see the LTR clinic to fruition. I told myself that if running wasn't my thing once the 10 weeks was over, I'd move onto something else.
  • By the end of the 10 weeks I lost 25 pounds and was hooked on running. I joined the 5K clinic and by the time that clinic was done, I lost another 25 pounds. So my weight loss certainly kick started again and I had the running bug. Even though it was hard to begin with, I became more confident as a runner and started setting all kinds of running goals for myself. I even started teaching other new runners the Learn to Run Clinic. 
  • Running has not come without it's challenges. I have been running for 2.5 years now. During that time, I have never run pain free. I noticed discomfort in my feet about 3 months in. After ignoring it for a spell, I finally got assessed by a podiatrist. I was referred to many specialists, and I was eventually diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma. This condition makes it painful for me to run long distance (10k+). And I have been told that there is no treatment for my condition. The steroid shots and surgery would put an end my running. So I choose to run with pain. I've gotten used to it. And you likely think I'm nuts, unless you are a runner. And just to clarify, running does not make the condition worse. It's just painful.
  • Running has also changed my body in a way that surprised me. It firmed me up in a way I wasn't expecting. I still have my problem areas, but my legs are strong and I have little loose skin on my stomach. You actually use 4 stomach muscles when you run. Who knew? I will perpetually have a weak ass though unless I work my glutes at the gym. Runners are known for their weak asses.
  • I am a distance runner. I run half marathons (21.1K). My furthest distance was 30K last March in a local road race. I start training for that again next month. I'd like to run a marathon one day, but may not be able to run the whole thing due to the Morton's Neuroma. I have to try though. I'd like to say I did at least one marathon.
  • Right now I am not my healthiest. I am dealing with a lot of injuries. Aside from the Morton's Neuroma which is chronic, I also have an old hamstring injury that is nagging me again, neck and back pain from weight training at the gym, and just a week ago I was diagnosed with the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis on my right foot. On Halloween morning, I fell down the stairs and twisted my left ankle. The swelling is almost gone and it caused me to rest for 4 days in a row. Today I run though. I need to. I'm feeling no worse at this moment than I usually do when I run, but emotionally, I need to run. It's been too long. 
  • Running is not for everyone. I didn't know it would be for me until I tried. And now that I'm running 5 days a week (when I'm not injured), it has become part of me and my daily routine. I plan my days around running. I'm a morning runner which means that I get up early to run when the streets are still empty and quiet. It's my time and something I actually look forward to. I am also blessed because I have a team of professionals that keep me running. A physiotherapist, chiropodist, and massage therapist all make it possible for me to run, as do great work benefits. 
  • Why so much effort you ask? Because I'm a runner and it's something I'm passionate about. It's a part of my identity and it's an important addition to my lifestyle and my maintenance plan. You don't have to be a runner, but it's worth your while to find an activity you enjoy. The endorphins I get from a good workout is more addictive than anything I could eat. That's the honest to God truth and why I run outdoors all year round. Even when it's -25C. So find your sport. Any physical activity is good for the heart and I promise, you'll never feel bad after a work out. But the turmoil I feel from missing runs can be soul breaking. And that is why I make running a priority in my life.