Category: fitness

Deer Creek- First 5k Race

The big race has come and gone and I finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was such an awesome journey.  I still can’t believe that I actually did it.  It was so exhilarating.

At the 5k Turn Around

The day started early in the morning.  Having taken some serious sleeping meds I actually got a pretty good sleep. Then I ate my traditional pre-race breakfast bowl and headed to meet Michele.  Michele is my trainer and kindly agreed to kayak for me at the race.  For having only kayaked a couple of times she did great and was very encouraging.

Michele and I at the lake. I got a new swimsuit for the race, inspired by the amazing Olympians I’ve watched the last two weeks. Too bad my cap wasn’t red. That’d be perfect 🙂

We drove down to Deer Creek Reservoir and met up with my swim family.  Some of them couldn’t make the race because of other commitments and some were overseas helping Gordon Gridley swim the English Channel (great job Gordon!) .  But a lot of my friends were there and I really can’t say enough about the bond I feel with so many of the other swimmers. They are just the best, cheering me on, waving in the water, hugging me when I finish.  It is so wonderful to be a part of.

Charlie’s Angels eat your heart out! Sue, Etsuko and me medals in hand.
Kate and I
Etsuko and I

It took a while to get everything started but at about 8:40 we were in the water and on our way.  I did better keeping with the main group than I’ve ever done before (and I didn’t finish last! 🙂 ). The water was like glass, beautiful and it is a gorgeous lake. The only challenge was it was hard to find things to sight to because the buoys were small and not a lot of large trees or formations to look at.

Isn’t that beautiful. I honestly don’t understand how anyone couldn’t love open water! It’s so amazing to be swimming in such gorgeous settings. So much better than a pool!

I made it to the 1/2 mile length fast and was surprised at how I clipped along the first half.  I’m not sure what my time at a mile was but I’m sure its the best I’ve ever done. There was a bit of confusion for me at the 5k turn around but Michele touched me with the paddle and let me know I was going the wrong way!

At about that point I got cramps in both my legs.  My legs felt tight the whole morning and I was honestly waiting for the cramp to come.  I could feel it dying to come out.  I was scared when both legs started cramping but I was able to wiggle the cramps out and keep on going.  Honestly swimming was the best thing for the cramps.  It was only when I stopped that their mischief started.

I did 2 feedings during the 5k eating gel packs.  They are so gag inducing but do help with the cramps.  I also had a vitamin water this time and I love that!  It was sweet enough to give me energy without spiking my blood sugar more than it already was from so much exercise.  It also has electrolytes and other vitamins to help with the race.  It definitely helped me finish.

At about the 2:15 mark I made it back to the 1/2 mile buoy and as crazy as it sounds that last 1/2 mile was definitely the hardest. There started to be more boat traffic and the big lumbering waves boats make are tough (tough both for me and Michele!).  I felt like the finish line was never going to come.

Race finished!

Then I saw it and I pushed and pushed, practically sprinting the last 50 yards.  To finish you had to smack the finishing buoy which I did in enthusiastic fashion.  Done!  I had done it.  Me the overweight girl from Draper had just swam most of a lake.  5k! I still can’t believe it!

It honestly was one of the best days of my life.  Every swim I do is one of the best days of my life.  I’m so grateful to have such an awesome sport in my life and to be considered an athlete.  Who would have thought?

Thanks to everyone for your love and support. It may not be gold but I guarantee you no Olympian has worn a medal with more glee than I wore my finishing medal today.  Hurray!

Finished, done, another one in the history books! Hurray!

Now on to Slam the Dam!  Next goal 🙂

Sue, Etsuko and me. Charlie’s angel redo? 🙂
Done! Such a great moment

Goings on

So I’m doing this awesome Wellness challenge started by old friend Heather.  The challenge is based on a point system where you get points for healthy eating, exercise and spiritual reading/goal setting.  I like that it isn’t solely focused on weight because as I well know sometimes the lbs can be out of your control.

“This challenge is based on a daily point system with each of the following categories awarding one point per day. At the end of the 21 days two winners will be chosen: the person who lost the greatest percentage of their total body weight and the person who has the highest total number of points. Be HONEST!!!

1. Drink 48 ounces of water a day.
2. 45 minutes of exercise (doesn’t have to be consecutive)
3. No soda or alcohol
4. No sweets a.k.a. desserts, pastries, candy, etc. (Sugar-free alternatives are okay)
5. No fast food or unhealthy snacks
6. Consume two servings of fruits and veggies each day
7. No eating after 8 p.m.
8. Read 15 minutes of spiritual or motivational text
9. Write in your journal or blog.
10. Make a personal goal everyday (getting 8 hours of sleep, organizing a closet, reading to your kids each night, etc.)

**You get ONE FREE POINT PER AREA, PER WEEK. For example, you can skip exercise for one day a week and still get your point or you can have one whole free day!

Pretty cool hah,
Well, the challenge #9 means I will be blogging a lot in the next 21 days.  Gotta get my points. 🙂

Luckily I have a lot going on.

As I said yesterday I made an offer on a condo but the sellers have been strange in counter offering.   At first they offered too high and included a bizarre contingency that they had to buy a house or the offer was void.  I thought that was crazy.  There is no way I would do something like that.  Forget it.  I could end up without a house.  Then they sent a counter offer that was less without the nuts clause but they took out closing costs so it was basically the same.

The truth is the sellers over-improved their house for the neighborhood and now they are expecting me to pay for it.  They said in their offer that they couldn’t go any lower because they would lose money.  I said I’m sorry but what they have into the house is not my problem.  I am concerned with what the house is worth.  I can’t pay more because they have over-spent.

I’ve gotten a lot of advice and am okay if I lose the house.  I love it but there are other homes, other days.  We will see if the sellers wake up and get it together.  Nerve wracking!

The other craziness in my life is next Saturday is my swim!!!  My practice 5k seems like decades ago.  I can’t even believe it. Lately I’ve felt weak in the water.  I felt really strong after my Great Salt Lake swim but lately I’ve been dragging.  I can’t explain it but its been very frustrating and makes me nervous for next week.  I wish I had time to do a practice 5k next week to feel more confident but there is just no time.

I’ve been trying to change my breathing so I’m taking shorter breaths but in the meantime it leaves me feeling weak.  Just frustrating and nerve wracking.

I wish it was this weekend, and I could just be done. 2 weeks before any goal is done is the worst.  It just about makes me crazy.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/when-goals-make-you-nuts/

 

At least I have end of the month next week so I should be kept hopping and hopefully the week will zoom by and I will be a finisher at a 5k swim!

So, that’s my rambling post for the day.  Let me just end by saying what a crazy Olympics this has been.  Great job Gabby Douglas, Rebecca Soni, Tyler Clary, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.  Wow!!! Its interesting because in Beijing Lochte and Phelps won everything but in London a lot of different swimmers have made gold.  It’s like they all just met together and said ‘let’s give everyone a gold’.  Pretty fun to watch.

I was watching Phelps race today on BBC and with about 15 meters left the coverage stopped! Talk about leaving me hanging! So I’m watching it now.  He did it!  Hurray! What an amazing accomplishment.  3 time gold medal winner in 200 IM.  So great!

They are all so amazing and inspire me to be awesome in my little effort next Saturday.

Let’s do it!

Ok.  So that’s my ramblings for the day.  More to come tomorrow.

 

 

This Fat Girl Kicks Butt

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I have taken up boxing.  This has long been an interest of mine ever since I took self defense at BYU.  It was such a thrill to be able to kick the tar out of my teacher (he had padding!).  Plus, it is the kind of thing that growing up big you don’t think you can do.  Not in a depressing, sad way but in a nonchalant, not even think twice about it way.  It didn’t even occur to me to try something like boxing let alone that I might actually be good at it.

Despite loving my class I let the hobby slip away and didn’t pick it up again until earlier this year.  Let’s be honest the last year and change has been tough for me and I can’t tell you how great it feels to get the stress out with each punch.  I started out going to boxing is for girls which I still attend and think is awesome but it is a bit of a drive from my house.  Still, I go when I can.

Fortunately I saw a trainer named Ben at my gym doing a UFC type of training and I was so excited! I asked him if he would train me and its been great.  He is such a creative trainer, always coming up with new tools and routines but my favorite is still the UFC, mixed martial arts routines. He’s also a super encouraging guy that makes me laugh.  We have great chemistry which is essential in finding a trainer or a friend for that matter.

I did it twice this week.  Make no mistake it is a hard workout.  I sweat like a marathon runner but it is so satisfying. I honestly never want to stop and only do so when my body revolts.

It’s also so exciting to see people watching me and I can tell they are thinking ‘wow, that fat girl can kick and punch’.  Booyah!  Everyone always sees me as this sweet smiling Mormon girl but there are other sides to me and how great to get that out in such a constructive and satisfying way.  I love it! It just goes to show that you should keep trying new things and thinking outside the box.  You never know when you will hit upon something that you not only like but are actually good at.  At the very least you will keep exercise interesting.

To me it the perfect contrast to swimming, which is all about fluidity and peace.  Boxing is tough, aggressive and exciting. The two makes for a perfect exercise life. Rahhh!

Here is a video of the training.  Doesn’t it look like fun? It’s so great!

Btw, I saw Warrior this week.  Loved it! Very inspiring with a good script and great acting.

Japanese Food and Bountiful Lake

Today was a super fun day.  I’ve been working really hard, exercising every day this week, so I decided to take it easy and have a relaxing swim with my friends.  I’ve been wanting to try Bountiful Lake and so when I heard my friends were meeting up there it was a perfect solution.

My friend Tenille wanted to go to our favorite Japanese restaurant Nagoyi Sushi in Midvale.  It’s in a strip mall and you would never guess it was that good.  Somehow my sister and I stumbled upon a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  It is also very reasonably priced.

http://utah.citysearch.com/profile/40097721/midvale_ut/nagoya_sushi_restaurant.html

I had the udon noodle bowl this time but everything I’ve tried there has been delicious.  If anyone wants to give it a try let me know and I will go.

yummy nagoya sushi

Then we went to the lake.  It was beautiful and not the sink hole I’d been warned about!  I wish I could transfer to others the excitement and rush I feel when I dive into the water.  It feels like heaven.  In Lynn Sherr’s book she describes it well:

“Swimming is my salvation. Ask me in the middle of winter, or at the end of a grueling day, or after a long stretch at the computer, where I’d most like to be, and the answer is always the same; in the water, gliding weightless, slicing a silent trail through whatever patch of blue I can find.  Tell me…to think of something pleasant and count backwards and I’m back in the drink, enveloped by an ocean, a lake, or a  turquoise box, carving long and languorous laps that lull me into serenity.”

Perfect description.

I agree with Dory from Finding Nemo:

“When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Today I decided to take things a little bit easier.  We had some new swimmers and so I relaxed and wore my more casual bathing suit. It was actually kind of nice to feel pretty in a bathing suit for once :).  My friend Tennille tried it out of the first time.  It wasn’t her favorite thing in the open water but I was proud of her for trying. She did very well.

My new favorite photo

There were 6 or 7 of us in the water and we just did a short swim but it was very pleasant.

Plus I got to try out my new waterproof camera.  I LOVE IT!

pretty suit for once!  Hopefully I’ll be tanned next time I wear it 🙂
Some of the girls in the water

So delicious food, good friends, swimming in beautiful nature, can’t get much better than that! I have such a great life!

 

 

No Vacation: No Distraction

Everyone knows I’m a huge traveler and love experiencing new places, cultures and food.  So you might find it surprising when I talk about my plans for the summer. I have decided to take NO VACATIONS.

No Beach This Year 😦

Here’s why:

I have a goal to swim a 5k at the Deer Creek Open Water Swim.  This is an ambitious goal- 3 times what I struggled to swim at the GSL race.  I know I will not be able to accomplish this goal without some serious dedication.   Even with the dedication it will be a challenge.

I had thought about going to Disneyland but I have to go to California for work/reunion (doesn’t count as a vacation, more like a business trip) and if you add Disneyland it will be 2 weeks away from my training.  I can’t risk that.

I also decided to put the  money I would have put to travel towards my training.  I have started meeting with a dietician and am taking UFC kickboxing classes (they are so much fun and the trainer is great!).  This week I was supposed to take the week off and rest my muscles…I have worked out every day.  Not too successful.  Sorry doc!

I’ve also been watching what eat even more carefully and am using myfitnesspal.com to help me keep track.  I found I was either eating too much or too little.  Now it is closer to the right balance.  By not going on vacation I am able to control my diet more carefully.

I still have vacation days to use but I plan on applying those to recovery days and then if I have extra I may take a trip in the winter to NYC.  Maybe New York for Christmas! (The Tony awards peaked my interest in a couple shows).

What I would love to do is save money so I can go to the swim camps in Costa Rica.   That would be a dream come true! It would also be an easy trip to go by myself because it is planned, group oriented.  I don’t feel like I am a good enough swimmer yet for it to be worth it but I’d love to go!

http://www.costaricadreamswimcamps.com/costaricadreamswimcamps.com/Welcome.html

I’m really going to miss the beach this year. It’s just not summer without the beach but at least I have a salt lake to enjoy and there is always the man-made strangeness of Black Ridge in Herriman.

Black Ridge reservoir (more like a cow pond behind some houses) strange place but nice!

I’ve just got to make sure that with no vacation I don’t make myself crazy.  I’ve got to find ways to relax within my normal schedule.  Especially with training this could be difficult.  I do not want to get over-stressed like I did before the GSL (no promises but I’m going to try!).

What do you do to relax when you can’t vacation or travel?

 

GSL Open Water Swim 2012

So I did it.  After all the hard work, training, anxiety, practice and even a last minute sinus infection I made it!  I completed my goal and swam the Great Salt Lake Open Marathon Swim.

Hail the conquering hero! Me and my medal!

It was definitely the most difficult race I have done so far both physically and mentally.  They almost had to cancel the race because of wind storms that had come in but luckily they abated enough in the morning to allow us to go forward.  Nevertheless, it made for choppy ocean-like conditions.  To make matters worse it was too windy to put out the normal course buoys.  These are helpful during the race because you can measure your progress more easily than looking at the finish line.  You have more to sight off and it is mentally more encouraging to know ‘I’ve done a 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile.

With no buoys I had to press forward and there were more than one occasion where I wondered if I could do it.  At one point I did some back stroke just to relax a little and not feel so stressed.  It helped (I think the kayakers thought I was crazy when I did that!).   I stayed close to the kayakers and that was helpful because they had a better vantage point to the finish line.  Plus, they were very encouraging.  (I need all the encouragement I can get in the water).

When I was 1/3rd of the way through I developed a strategy that helped me get through the race.  I figured I could do 100 strokes at a time and that would make the race seem smaller, kind of mini-goals.  Plus, the counting gave me something else to think about besides ‘wow, this water is salty.’ or ‘how come that finish line isn’t getting any closer?’.  After the 100 strokes I did a little bit of breaststroke just to use my legs more and feel like I was sighting better, shake things up a bit.  Then I rested for 20 seconds.  I’m not saying this is the fastest strategy but on this day with this race it worked.

Done!

I always learn something from these swims that I take away for my life and that’s my take away this time- you don’t have to conquer the obstacle in one mass endeavor, that feels too daunting.  However, if you can divide it up into manageable portions you can accomplish just about anything.

This week I got a blessing from an elder in my church and it said ‘if I have faith I will swim well and my swim will be an example to others’.  When you are out in those storms it’s hard to have faith in yourself, in the hours practiced, in the time spent mentally and physically preparing, but is that not the essence of faith.  It is believing in something that you haven’t seen, like crossing the finish line.  If I could believe, I could keep swimming, and I MADE IT!

Here I am at the finish line:

Thanks so much for all your support and love.  I feel overwhelmed.  Thanks to all my swim friends for helping me and becoming some of my most dear friends.  Thanks to my family and other friends for all your love and support. Thanks to my trainers and coaches for your guidance and help. Thanks to Josh and Gordon and everyone else who gave so much to make the swim happen. Most importantly thanks to God and Jesus Christ who carry me through all challenges and believe in any goal I set.   I am so grateful.

Hurray!!!!!!

Kate, Esther and I at the finish line
Me, Kate and Esther- showing off our muscles and race ink!
Esther, Kate, Jim Hubbard (who originally introduced me to open water), and me
Me with my new friend Etsuko. Both Etsuko and Esther are new to open water and they did great!
A group of my swim friends at the finish line.

Fat Stigma Never Leaves

This is a fascinating book on the history of Fat Stigma. https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/fat-stigma/

I read this article this week about the lingering effects of fat stigma.  It kind of was a downer.  Basically the study showed women of identical height and weight, one that had lost 70 pounds of weight and another who was naturally thin.  “Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight.”

“The findings, published May 29 in the journal Obesity, suggest that the stigma of obesity is so powerful that it can continue even after an obese person has lost weight.”

Sigh…I guess its good I’m doing this for myself and not to please someone else.  I see that stigma exists with overweight individuals but I always assumed that stigma went away when the weight is lost.  You think it would make someone more attractive not less? I don’t get it.

Oh well, at least everyone in my life is supportive and as far as a dating stigma, what can you do? If God wants me to be with someone He will make it work. I have not given up the hope that there is someone out there who will be more impressed by my journey not less so.

Still, human beings confuse me sometimes!  Why do you think we have such stigma and why can’t we let go of such judgmental feelings?

Once-Obese Women Still Face Stigma, Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) — Even after they shed their excess pounds, formerly obese women still have to contend with “anti-fat prejudice,” according to a new study.

Researchers asked young women and men to read about women who had either lost 70 pounds of excess weight or had stayed the same weight (weight-stable), and who were either currently obese or currently thin.

The participants were then asked about some of the women’s attributes, including their attractiveness.

“We were surprised to find that currently thin women were viewed differently depending on their weight history,” study leader Janet Latner, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said in a news release from the University of Manchester, in England. “Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight.”

The participants also showed greater bias against obese people after they had read about women who had lost weight, compared to after reading about weight-stable women — regardless of whether the weight-stable women were thin or obese.

The findings, published May 29 in the journal Obesity, suggest that the stigma of obesity is so powerful that it can continue even after an obese person has lost weight.

The researchers said they were particularly troubled by the finding that participants’ negative attitudes towards obese people increased when they were falsely told that body weight is easily controlled.

“The message we often hear from society is that weight is highly controllable, but the best science in the obesity field at the moment suggests that one’s physiology and genetics, as well as the food environment, are the really big players in one’s weight status and weight loss,” study co-author Kerry O’Brien, from the University of Manchester School of Psychological Sciences and Monash University in Melbourne, in Australia, noted in the news release.

“Weight status actually appears rather uncontrollable, regardless of one’s willpower, knowledge and dedication. Yet many people who are perceived as ‘fat’ are struggling in vain to lose weight in order to escape this painful social stigma. We need to rethink our approaches to, and views of, weight and obesity,” O’Brien noted.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/fat-stigma-biggest-loser/

GSL Clinic 2012

The medal I WILL be getting next Saturday!

Today was a great day! As you all know I’ve been training for months to get ready for the first race of the open water season- the Great Salt Lake Marathon Swim next Saturday.  To help us prepare Josh and Gords held a clinic tonight at the lake.  There was a good turnout with a lot of new swimmers (I’ve had 3 salt swims so I’m experienced 😉 ).

I went down with my friend Heidi.  It was her first time in the GSL so that was fun.  It’s always fun to carpool with a swim friend and chat.  They really are the best people I know.

Anyway, we started with some instruction from Josh and Gords about open water safety, equipment and the course.  I really appreciate the time they and their families give to introduce others to and support the open water community.

My friend Heidi and I after the swim

I bought a safe swimmer today.  This is a devise I’ve been meaning to get for a while.  It helps you be more visible in the open water.  Plus, it provides floatation if an emergency occurs.  I recommend any open water swimmer purchases onehttp://www.utahopenwater.com/p/safeswimmer-device.html

Then we got in the water.  It was cold at first but really not that bad.  I felt strong and got some sighting/swimming tips from my friends.  The nice thing about the GSL is you get tired you can relax and float!   The salt is still kind of shocking (My friend calls it going for a quick pickle!).  We swam around a 1/2 mile and it felt good.  I feel more confident than ever before about next week.  All my training is paying off!

One of my goals this summer was to introduce someone to open water swimming.  I’d love to nurture someone’s talent the way others nurtured mine.  Well, I have a twitter friend who I’ve never met but we chat on occasion.  I’ve told her about open water swimming and encouraged her to sign up for her local swim in September.  Today she said “thanks! I’ve been thinking about doing it for a couple years now, but you have inspired me to actually go for it!” That made me feel really good. It’s amazing how connected we all are to each other in a positive way. The idea that my little life might inspire another makes me so happy.  I’m glowing!

Today was one of those days that makes me happy to be me!

Perfect Saturday

So I’m a very social person but to me the perfect day is one that combines activities and ‘veg’ time as I like to call it.  Today is a perfect example.  I woke up early and then went to pick up my bountiful basket.  The last few have been a bit skimpy but not this week.  It is huge!  We went with the tropical and blackberry addition but it ended up being still just under $40.  Pretty incredible.  The tropical basket has little tiny coconuts.  I’m not sure how to use them but that’s part of the fun. The blackberries are divine.  I’ve already eaten 2 containers!

All of this for under $40!

It was funny when I was picking up my basket a girl looked at the artichoke and said ‘What the heck is that?’.  I guess spending a lot of time in California I was introduced to artichokes from an early age.  I can understand never having tried them but to have no idea what they are?  Funny.

After picking up my basket I went to Boxing is for Girls and it was intense but awesome.  They have you do around a half hour of circuit training and this time it was relays with various tasks.  Its amazing how something that looks so easy like moving on your feet and hands with your but in the air is super hard. Wow! The last half of the class is punching practice and its my favorite.  You do some sets to practice your form and then they bring out the punching bags and you can go at it.  It really is a blast.  My friend Polly came last week and I didn’t know if she was really liking it but after the punching she was psyched.  She even signed up for a pass.

Love this photo
Jab Jab!

After boxing I came home, made lunch and watched my DVR of Say Yes to the Dress (the Atlanta version really isn’t as good!).  Then I made some almond flour cheese crackers.  I was reminded of them by my friend Jill who had them when I taught my class on low glycemic cooking.   This time I didn’t have quite enough almond flour so I had to use some brown rice flour.  I also tried a spin on the recipe and added some Tabasco.   Yum!

cheese crackers. Loaded with protein and flavor. Don’t overdo it because they do have a lot of calories from the almond flour. Still delicious.

Cheese Crackers with Almond Flour (Gluten Free)
(Makes about 30 crackers, recipe from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. This recipe is half the amount in the book, so double it and make the full recipe if you prefer.)

2 1/2 cup blanched almond flour (not the same as almond meal) (I use honeyville farms made right here in Utah).
1/4 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar and lightly packed it into measuring cup)
3  T  grapeseed oil (or olive oil works great if you don’t have  grapeseed)
2 large egg

 Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grate 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cheese. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.Cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. Put one piece of parchment on cutting board and put dough on top, or half the dough if baking on small baking sheet. (I made the dough into the shape of the parchment.) Put second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll out with rolling pin until dough covers the parchment sheet.Remove top parchment and cut dough into pieces 2 inches square.  Slide the parchment with the cut dough onto baking sheet and bake crackers 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.Let crackers cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes (or if you need to bake another batch like I did, carefully slide first batch off to cutting board to cool while you use baking sheet to bake the second batch.)

I had kind of gotten out of my low glycemic baking.  Not sure why but I think I’m going to dive into it again.  Elana Amsterdam certainly has lots of recipes for me to try! :).

Now I have the rest of the day to relax, rub essential oils on my wounds (another banner exercise week, 4 workouts.  Next week I have one planned every day except Sunday.  If I can pull it off it will be one of the only times I’ve done that.  It’s the home stretch.  My swim is coming in 14 days!)

To me this is the perfect Saturday.  Got enough busyness to feel productive but enough relax time to feel relaxed.  After the week I’ve had I need to feel relaxed. Maybe I will even read for a while.  Luxury!

(I was just reading over the post and wondered- who is interested in the various activities of my Saturday?  Well, maybe nobody but there it is. Enjoy!)

Pain or Fat?

So recently I’ve been presented with a question- would I rather be skinny or free from pain?  The answer is undeniably free from pain.   Last year I started having chronic pain in my ribcage and chest area.  After over a year of doctors and misdiagnosis I finally found something that helped with the pain- turns out I have a low thyroid.

In February the doctor put me on levothyroxine and the results were amazing.  My pain was reduced almost immediately.  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me.  It was like a nearly 2 year monkey was finally off of my back.  My recovery from exercise improved considerably; thereby allowing me to push harder in my sets and train more frequently.

Last week, for instance, I had 5 days of intense training, one right after another. These were no ordinary workouts and yet Sunday came around and I felt pretty good.  A little bit of pain but nothing compared to the overwhelming, almost debilitating pain I experienced last year.

This was all very exciting! On Tuesday I went in for my second follow up appointment.  My trainer had noticed I had gained weight in February but I had dismissed it as one of those things.  You can imagine my shock that I was back up to 284! I blame the medicine because its the only major change that has occurred during that time period.  I was so frustrated.  Don’t most people lose weight when taking thyroid meds?  Naturally my freakish body can never have a normal reaction to anything.  It always has to be complicated.

Basically my doctor told me that the thyroid meds mess up your metabolism in good and bad ways.  Unfortunately they make you super sensitive to bad carbs and sugar.  Now I was not eating much sugar previous to this appointment but I was trying to work it in with moderation.  Evidently with this medicine I can’t have any of it. 😦

Its frustrating because in many ways I feel like I am setting myself up for eventual failure.  Nobody is perfect all the time in a diet and clearly moderation is not good enough.  I gained nearly 15 lbs since I started taking the meds despite my careful eating and training!

The thing is that I feel great! I feel energetic and healthy.  I think I look great.  So why does the stupid scale matter?  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Its just I worked so hard to lose that weight.  Took 3 years out of my life and to see it go away was so disheartening.  Thank goodness for my music because it was the lift I needed this week.

I also get frustrated being on the extreme diets because I feel like they make me super self-critical and over-introspective.  I feel guilty for everything I do, nothing seems quite good enough.  That’s why I avoided dieting for so long because it turns me into this person I hate.  People say ‘don’t diet.  Just make small lifestyle changes’.  Well, I’m sorry but small lifestyle changes don’t work.  I gained 15lbs on moderation and lifestyle changes!

For some reason going hard core is the only thing that seems to work and I refuse to have weight loss surgery. It seems like I’m stuck. Ahhhh! And then I think of that woman on the plane who wouldn’t sit next to me and I remember that so many people still see me as a fattie who disgusts them.  The whole thing makes me crazy and feel so frustrated.  I don’t know what to do but to try with the sugar fast and not give up.

In the end, I feel like I have to chose between feeling good and pain free and losing weight.  That is a really lame decision to have to make.  At least with the sugar fast I can tell my doctor confidently that I am doing all I can to eat right and exercise.  If I can’t keep it up forever well that’s a choice for another day.  I can do my best today and if I still gain what else can you do?

I just have to keep reminding myself that I did not start this process to improve my appearance.  I really didn’t.  I started this process because I wanted to have energy, to do more, to be more active.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to say I haven’t achieved that goal.

If it was the choice between looking a certain way and feeling pain what would you pick?  Be honest! Maybe God just wants me to look like this for some reason?  He’s gotten me to a healthy point but getting below 250 (my dream) seems to be an impossible task. I’ve been working so hard for over 3 years. Maybe I need to try something else? I don’t know but I am trying my best to not feel defeated and to keep trying. That’s all I can do- keep trying.

Still, its been a bit of a downer of a week.  Thanks everyone for your support no matter my size.  Thanks for reminding me that I’m still a good person and I’ve still accomplished great things no matter my weight.  Forget the stupid scale! (or at least try to…Sigh)

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/body-image/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/maggie-goes-on-a-diet/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/skinny-skinny-skinny/