Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Feeling my motivation slipping.

My motivation and determination is faltering again. Yesterday I failed to motivate myself to go for a run. I can make all the excuses I want: I was unexpectedly sore from my workouts the day before, I haven't been sleeping well, I'm just in a funk; but the only fact that matters is that I did not run.

Luckily for my goals (and my star filled calendar), I had already done my Yoga for the day when my resolve decided to take a vacation, so I got my 30 minutes of exercise in for the day.

I'm finding myself increasingly sore lately. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad sore though. It doesn't feel like the same kind of sore I'm used to from working muscles, more of a general stiffness and dull ache. I've also, somehow screwed up my sleep cycle. I am almost overwhelmingly tired during the day, and then frustratingly awake when it comes time for bed. This is vicious cycle for me, since the more tired I am the more I rely on caffeine to prop me up through the day. This morning found me too exhausted to wake up at my new early hour to get my yoga done. Instead I started my day late.

I suppose it's a victory, since I did manage to motivate myself to actually do the yoga, instead of just skipping it. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I am working out more, and more consistently, than ever. I am, however, lazy when compared to my two workout buddies. It's hard to temper my competitive streak and keep myself from pushing too hard too fast. It's hard for me to cut myself a break when I need one and just step back and let myself rest.

This is the last week before my next "official" weigh in and measurements. I can't slack off now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Shoes, and a new breakfast food

This weekend was full of goods and bads as far as fitness goes. Saturday, I did not work out, but I did manage to get myself some new running shoes. Nike Woman's Air Citius II+'s to be exact. The inaugural run for my brand new shoes was on Sunday, and it went well. I ran for 2 miles without a reoccurred of the calf pain that had been plaguing me.

This morning I tried some Greek Yogurt for breakfast (thanks Diana!), it was very yummy, and the small serving was acceptable to my stomach. I think I'm going to grab some more and alternate it with oatmeal.

So far I'm doing alright with my workouts...I've only missed two days out of the last eight. I hope I can up that percentage this week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Waking up early

Tried a new tactic this morning, literally. I made myself get up with my S.O. and do my AM Yoga while he got ready to leave for work. I am not a morning person, but I have to say, I feel more awake than I normally would at this time (9:30 am for the record.)

I figure doing this will allow me to step up my workouts, since I've been doing my yoga at lunch and then every other day hitting the gym around 6. This way, Yoga is done, and I can do something else at lunch time (still planning on hitting the gym every other day.)

This brings up an interesting point for me, I have been shying away from "new" workouts lately. Oh I've queued up a ton of new videos to try, and I still have a couple DVD's I haven't played through yet, but I keep falling back on "safe" workouts. Ones where I know how hard I'm going to work, and I know how long they are. I don't know how to get myself past this mental block other than to just do the new workouts.

Alright. Day one of this morning stuff is a success. Let's see how long I can keep it up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Warrior

This weekend was the first weekend that I have managed to get myself up off my butt to work out both days. Of course I followed that up by getting absolutely no exercise on Monday.

I did some yoga on Saturday, to try and give my legs a rest from the pounding they've been taking with the increased running schedule. I'm feeling it in my calves again, which has me worried. I don't want to sideline myself again, especially when I've been doing so well.

Then Sunday I did a Boot Camp Video that basically undid all the "rest" my legs were getting.

I'm focusing on the fact that I did really well the rest of last week, even if both my workout partners are kicking my butt.

I've been trying out new video's through Netflix a lot this past week. Crunch: Boot Camp Training was a little hokey (nothing like being called a recruit!) and I definitely needed heavier hand weights than I had, but the next day man were my legs and butt sore! I'm going to continue the trend and try more new video's this week, however I think I'm going to run out of new stuff to stream soon unfortunately.

The good news is that, dispite my frustration and getting my butt kicked by my workout buddies, I am loosing weight. Woo Hoo!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dojo Mentality

The other day I found a picture of me at the dojo I went to for years. The picture was taken after a belt test for another student, and we're all posed for the camera. The picture wasn't taken too long ago, maybe five or six years ago, so I know it was taken during a tumultuous time in my life. In the picture, I'm smiling, a big genuine smile. I look happy, and I know, beyond doubt, that I was happy when that picture was taken. Oh sure, I may not have been happy half an hour later when I stepped outside, but inside the dojo was always different.

I have always been able to push myself harder at the dojo than during any other activity. My personal limits were always there to be pushed, broken, and respectfully ignored. I was always a work in progress inside the dojo, and yet at the same time, more fully a whole person.

I have never been more at peace then in those moments meditating after a hard class, when my body was too tired to be a distraction.

We used to joke that only Martial Artists can understand Martial Artists. You have to be a special kind of crazy to enjoy a sparring class, or to obsessively practice kata. I'm not entirely sure that's true anymore. I think the same kind of crazy applies to most athletes. That ability to take the pain, put in the hours, and give yourself to the pursuit of just getting better at it.

I miss that focus. I miss that wholeness. I miss that drive to push my limits. My mind has been circling around this for the past few days, since I found the picture. I've been thinking about why the dojo was always a special place to me, what about it made me push so hard, and why I have been unable to find that mental space outside the dojo.

I need to find a way to incorporate my "dojo mentality" into the rest of my fitness routine, a way to make it all training.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Struggling with calories

One of my many battles with food revolves around caloric intake. The science of dieting boils down to a simple truth of input vs. output. In you burn more than you eat, you loose weight. Now inside that equation is a lot of math I don't understand. Variables based on metabolism and resting heart rates. Good foods and bad foods. Fast burning nutrients and ones that are easy to store. But on the surface it's simple. Eat less, Workout more, loose weight.

The problem for me is keeping that balance. I'm hungry and I want to eat. I like food. But for me to loose weight I need to keep my caloric intake under 1,300 calories. And exercise on a regular basis.

Most days I want to cry and scream that it's not fair. Especially when reading success stories that include phrases like "All I did was cut out soda" or "I switched to whole grains and lost 10 lbs". What about me? I already eat whole grains, and only drink diet sodas. I eat lots of veggies and not a lot of meat. If I put too much dressing on my salad it blows out my total for the day.

Eating sensibly seems like it should be enough. It should be enough to not eat junk, and to only eat when you're hungry. Today I am frustrated and hungry, and trying very hard to power through today. I want a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of mashed potatoes.

Stupid metabolism.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Good Start

Wow, this week is already off to a better start than last week! After doing some yoga around lunch time I was tired and had to pull on some of my new support system to motivate me to go to the gym.

Man was I glad I did! I had one of those runs where you feel like you can run forever. I was just cruising at my normal 5.0 pace, listening to some good music, and didn't want to stop. I was actually mildly upset that I had to stop. Stupid 30 minute limit. After my two minute warm up, I had to stop after only 23 minutes of running to give myself a 5 minute cool down.

Today I'm tired and sore. I'm looking forward to my daily yoga session to try to stretch out some of the kinks. I'm hoping to do yoga every day this week, to balance out the running and prevent the shin-splint like injuries I've had in the past.

I went over my calorie allotment yesterday slightly, but not too badly (I had some mandarin oranges that I shouldn't have.) Hopefully I'll make up for it over the rest of the week.

Finally, I started reading PastaQueen's book Half Assed. It's been on my list for a while, and I finally got a copy for Christmas this year. If you read her blog at all, the tone of the book is exactly what you expect, She's had me laughing even when I'm cringing at some of the stories. I'm loving it so far!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Breakfast Troubles

I am not a morning person. It is always a struggle for me to get myself out of bed, no matter how much sleep I've had or what time I went to bed. The first thing I need, to get me functional and working, is a cup or two of coffee. The last thing I want in the morning is food.

Strangely, when I wake up I am very not hungry. In fact, the idea of eating food first thing in the morning makes me a tad nauseous. I can usually force myself to eat a bowl of oatmeal or some cereal, but usually not until I've been up for a good hour.

I never used to think this was a problem. If I got up at 7, breakfast was usually around 9:30 or 10:00. Still plenty early to be called breakfast. But I don't get up at 7 anymore. With a flexible schedule my morning routine has shifted, and I wake up at 9. Breakfast? More like an early lunch.

With all the research out there saying how important breakfast is for weight loss, and a new study saying eating earlier is better, what am I to do? Am I doomed to a choice between sluggish weight loss and choking down food I'm not enjoying?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Fail.

After all of my determination and planning, and despite all of the new motivational tools I've put in place, the weekend was a fitness fail. I cannot express how bad I'm feeling about it. I'm struggling against the feeling that I am simply unable to keep myself going, and stay on track.

There are four stars on my calendar and I'm holding on to that. I am determined that next week will be better than this week, that there will be more stars. It just means that any reward I was promising myself will be pushed back a week.

I'm so disappointed in myself, and yet, now I have all of the tools in place. Now I have people I am accountable to, and I've given them the tools to be able to check up on me. As disappointing as this week has been, fitness wise, I'm trying to look at is as a foundation week. This week I got everything in place.

Next week will be better.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday, Week One.

Another First week down. Only one day (right in the middle no less) without a star on the calendar.

I made myself do Yoga today. I really, really, didn't want to. The sloth has kicked in. But I made myself, because I want those stars. And I want new running shoes, which is what I've promised myself as a reward for a month of solid progress.

I'm making sure to track everything I eat. Strangely this has coincided with me not being very hungry.

I've also started making use of SparkPeople again (I'm Morfit over there if you wanna hit me up.) I've got a long distance workout buddy on there now (hereafter referred to as LDWB), so I've got some additional accountability going on, and some more motivation.

Which I've been needing to counter the "just wanna curl up and hibernate until I feel better" that's settled into my chest. I'm making myself get up, go out, run at the gym (Ran for 21 minutes yesterday! Woot!), do yoga, and see people. I'm just moving through it till this passes. Having faith that it will pass is a new thing for me...would that be progress?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lesson Learned

Well yesterday was a lesson in humility. After all my big talk about keeping fitness as my top priority, and dragging a very unhappy S.O. to the gym, I started changing in the locker room only to discover I had failed to pack a sports bra. I debated briefly trying to run in my normal bra. The thought of running for half an hour with that little support for the girls, coupled by the fact that I had assumed we were going out after the gym and didn't want to have to go out wearing a drenched bra under my shirt, resulted in defeat.

This humillation was only made worse when we ended up not going out, simply going home. At first I had the thought that I would do a workout video after dinner, however, by the time people had sorted themselves out, dinner had been cooked and eaten, and The living room was clear enough for working out, I had completely lost my motivation.

The good news is, I stayed under my caloric limit for the day, so it wasn't a total disaster. Also, I will go to the gym today, and instead of Friday, I'm going to actually force myself to do a weekend gym visit on Saturday. I will hit the gym three times this week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making fitness a priority

One of my biggest roadblocks is my inability to prioritize fitness correctly. I will be completely committed to working out and eating healthy, and then something comes up. Friends come to visit, or we go out of town. There's a birthday dinner, or a friend wants to meet for drinks. So I'll push my gym time off thinking "oh it's only one day, I'll go tomorrow." But inevitably there's another sudden time commitment that shows up, and the workout gets pushed back again.

This happens often enough that it ends with me having seen the inside of a gym twice a week on a good week, and it has to stop. Regardless of what's going on in my life, or who wants me to be where when, I need to get to the gym three times a week.

This week is already a prime example, and it's only the first full week of the year! We found out recently that a good friend was going to be coming into town, and is going to be crashing at our place. He's getting into town today, and so this morning my S.O. mentioned he didn't know if we'd have time for the gym today.

The old me would have let him push off the gym time, making the priority time with friends. And while I still believe that spending time with friends is important, I really need to put fitness first. We can still meet up with friends, after the gym.

It's going to be a struggle this week, but I am determined to keep fitness as my top priority.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutioner, or Old pro?

Walking in the the gym yesterday, I had an odd experience. It's resolution time again, so the gym is packed with new people. People who don't know the rules, people who are just starting out. Every year I get annoyed with the influx of people and wait impatiently for the thinning to occur in February. This year, I was still a tad annoyed at the lack of available treadmills, but more, I felt like one of them. I felt like a resolutioner.

I ended 2009 with a cold, so my gym time was rather limited. Between the holiday rush and feeling run down in general, I did not end 2009 on a very healthy note. Oh sure, I was getting some exercise, mostly in the form of Yoga, but I was not eating healthy.

I've resolved to get back on track with my weight loss efforts. No more hiding my failures, no more lying to myself by avoiding the scale. My jeans are tight, I know I've gained weight back. Facing the scale this morning showed me just how much. 166.9 lbs and 34.1% BF.

Those numbers are devastating, but I'm trying to think of them as a starting point. Because really, I'm starting over. I'm using all of the knowledge I've gained over the past two years and I'm starting fresh. Does that make me a resolutioner?

All of the tricks I've learned are back in play, I'm back to keeping a food journal, and I've got my calendar back up on my wall waiting for more stars to join yesterdays. To keep it interesting, I've got a slew of new fitness toys that I haven't had a chance to use yet, and my order of fitness gear from Old Navy arrived yesterday. If I keep the momentum going through the end of January, I'm going to reward myself with new running shoes.

Which brings me to my second major resolution: I've resolved to run my very first 5k this summer with my Running Buddy. Making it to the gym to run has become a priority. I need to run at least three days a week, with cross training days in between if I'm to have any hope of upping my mileage to break that 2 mile barrier I seem to be stuck at. Depending on which race we pick, I may only have till the end of May (right around my Birthday actually) to set myself up for a decent 5k.

My plan for training is simple, for now. Add one minute of running time each week. Yesterday I pushed a little to see what I had to work with. I ran a "warm up" of ten minutes, pushing my speed up into what is close to a sprint for me. After stretching, doing some ab work, and a little rest, I got back on the treadmill and ran at my normal pace. I tried for 20 minutes, but after having to take two walk breaks I called it when the timer hit 20, giving me about 17 minutes of running.

I'm waffling on my starting time. Should I scale back to 20 minutes or start with a solid run of 25 minutes?

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now