Friday, March 3, 2017

One Word, Two Syllables


I read something on the internet the other day and it hurt my feelings. :-D

Joking aside, this one stung a bit because it was a slap in the face. I have been pretty outspoken on political matters over the last six months and *NEWSFLASH* that is not going to change. I care far too much about humanity to sit back and watch a large swath of "you get what you deserve in life" people turn this country and world into some polluted hell-hole.

This had nothing to do with that, though. It was specifically about something positive I am trying to do for *me* that has nothing to do with anyone else.

It was just one word that purposefully stood out against the rest of the statement. And - like any good social media manipulation - the rest of the words were positive messages, so that most people who read it thought, "this is so wonderful! Yes! This is great!" But I immediately saw, and felt, the intentional snark and hurt that word meant to convey.

Some queen bees/mean girls/fartheads are really great at this on social media. They often use it as a means to boost their own self-worth/self-esteem and regularly share "uplifting" messages with the "middle finger directed at someone specific" vitamixed together.

Don't believe me? Really? Have you never met a snarky person with a chip on their shoulder and read their social media? Look at mine from 2008-2011. "Message that seems to be a general statement. Generic "slams" mixed into it. Then a positive message again." Those slams are anything but generic. The author knows it, the person they are directed to knows it, and usually everyone else is oblivious. They read the message and shower the author with, "YASSS QUEEEEN!" *high five emojii*

But after taking a "fierce conversations" seminar back in 2011, I try really hard not to be "that person." I am not perfect, though - that's for certain.

But still - this one word - CAPITALIZED. I knew it was for me. This swift judgment in one single word was telling me I was doing it all wrong. All.

What is it about people with perfectly mediocre lives walking around telling the world, "I HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT." If I have learned anything from being a teacher, being married for almost nine years and having children, reading thousands of hours of non-fiction research essays - I have learned I don't know anything at all, and my way is most definitely wrong. People telling you how to parent your child (assuming you aren't abusing them)? Biotch, please. We are all individuals. In the same way my husband can eat an entire pizza and somehow lose weight (and I hate him) but I eat one slice and gain five pounds - we are all DIFFERENT. Unique.

Speaking of losing weight, I didn't lose a single pound last week and it threw me off, mentally. Then when I realized I probably wasn't going to lose weight that week, I self-sabotaged with food and no strength-training, and then I read the two-syllable word.

My desire to lose weight is because I am overweight right now and my nutrition since November 1 or so consisted of me eating french fries, fried chicken, beer and wine, pizza, garlic bread, tacos, nachos and cheetos with cheese dip. And exercising about two times... a month. I don't think it's so crazy for me to want to try to lose weight by eating healthy again and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. I don't think it's crazy that I would love to fit in the dresses and pants in my closet again, so I don't have to spend money on new clothes. I don't think it's crazy that I want to lose weight so that I am a more efficient cyclist and runner, and to place less wear and tear on my joints while doing those things. I don't think it's crazy I would like to lose the fat around my stomach because science proves over and over again it's particularly unhealthy to carry excessive fat in that area of your body. It's not radical for me to get off of my couch of privilege and do a better job of taking care of me and my family.

Those aren't crazy things. But they're very *personal* things. My eating healthy isn't taking away someone else's access to healthcare. My exercising isn't helping "build a wall" at the US-Mexico border. My participation in a weightloss program isn't denying a transgender person access to the bathroom of their gender identity.

I'm losing you, I know. Sorry. My point is that this person slammed me for a completely personal choice. And I don't get that. At all.

A different friend shared a video that inspired me very much today, and I am extremely thankful for it. I have always tried to talk about nutrition in front my kids - in fact they don't know this is a weightloss program I am doing at Lifetime. They know I am just trying to be "healthy" and they view "healthy" as eating well and exercising.

My plea to you is two parts: 1.) Have "fierce" conversations. Tell someone how you feel directly. Don't bottle it up and then snark it up on social media after stewing about it. 2.) Is it necessary? Is it kind?

If you've made it this far - this blog is not directed to anyone with whom I speak to on a regular basis. I would have already had a "fierce" conversation.

Anyhoo - here is the video. Have a great and kind day, friends:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

60-Day Challenge: Part 1

I've talked about my fluctuating weight before, but I will spare you the "before kids" and talk about it strictly from the fall of 2013 when I weighed 30 pounds less than I do now. Slowly and steadily I gained weight, partly because Mads wasn't really nursing as often anymore, partly because I had started training longer distances and didn't fuel properly, re-fuel or do enough strength training to prevent muscle breakdown, partly because I ate crappy food and partly because I drank a lot of liquid calories. A-hem.

I'll discuss my thoughts on all of those things eventually, but for now I will focus on my goals.

I want to lose weight.

A week and a half ago I "weighed in" with a LTF trainer. He asked me my goals, how I wanted to accomplish them, which plan I wanted to do (weight-loss or body transformation) and then tried to get me to buy a crap ton of very expensive things like personal training, nutrition consults, supplements, metabolic testing, etc. No, no, no, and no thankyouplease. The program itself costs $35, and I had $25 in LT$ (LT Bucks - you can earn them and spend them at the club on various things, even races). So, it was a no-brainer to enter a program for $15 where I have a shot at winning up to $10,000. I was on the fence about which program to try, but decided on weight-loss.

So... the scale.

185.4 pounds.

I am a 5'9" woman and in the fall of 2013 I weighed 153 pounds. When I raced IM70.3 Raleigh in 2015 I weighed 163 pounds. When I raced IMNC in October 2016 I weighed 173 pounds.

This was getting out of hand. But, that is what happens if you eat a large order of french fries and a fish sandwich and then eat your kids' french fries because "they shouldn't eat fried food" and you drink a sweet tea and then that night you need to unwind so you drink a glass of wine and by glass I mean the glass bottle and then you make a serving of hash browns before you go to bed at 11PM.

Yeah. A person is likely to gain weight if they maintain that sort of lifestyle for any length of time. And for me - that was how I had been living since Mads stopped nursing completely in April 2015.

I've read so much about nutrition, participated in various nutrition programs, spent money on nutritionists and licensed dietitians. I feel like I finally understand what my body needs at this point. So - I have been planning my meals based on the training for the day, the training for the following day (if it is long endurance, because I have a half marathon next month and one in June). The plan doesn't give you specific meal advice, so I am just doing my own thing based on, well - everything I have learned. Most meals look something like this:

Breakfast: half of the plate is veg, then a protein, a fat and a carb (low-glycemic fruit/sprouted grain).

Snack: Green smoothie with vegan protein powder

Lunch: See breakfast description

Snack: Nuts/piece of Ezekiel bread/fruit or in emergency - a "good" protein bar

Dinner: See other meal descriptions

Other than the protein bar, nothing processed. Trying to avoid gluten, dairy and bleached flour because my body isn't a fan, I've come to learn.

I stop consuming calories after dinner. I am operating in a slight calorie deficiency right now, because I am trying to lose weight. The hardest part is actually eating enough calories - because half a plate of veggies is really only 25-50 calories at most. I didn't eat enough last Thursday and paid for it Friday - I felt like death. So I ate a 10-inch pizza and felt better. Then I ran 5.5 miles on a technical trail the next morning. I don't advocate that nutrition plan every day - but it worked last weekend and I felt fine. Brain fog and fatigue usually indicate you need to eat, so I've been trying to figure out the difference between "I am going to keel over if I don't eat in ten minutes" v. "I am just a little hungry and that's ok for now." And the trick - I think - is to anticipate that before it happens.

It's also important to remember that stress screws with my blood sugar levels. If I have a rough morning with the kids, I am going to *feel* hungrier. This is just me - you may not experience this at all, or not notice it - but I do. When I have moments like that, I go back to the *insert very famous weight-loss plan that a very famous talk show host endorsed and discussed her love of bread* plan and try to remember the "zero" foods. They're filling, they're nutritionally dense, they'll do the trick - and they are most likely not going to contribute to my caloric intake for the day.

The plan is a lot of strength training and I definitely try to stick to that. I love the barbell strength class at LTF. You can really get a good workout! I am trying to do that twice a week, and just do easier body resistance training the third day. The plan calls for five workouts a week, but I am doing M-W-F strength
Tu-Th cardio
Sat endurance
Sun recovery.

I am going to bed earlier. Sleep does a body good.

That's that! It was just time to get things back under control. I weighted 179.6 on Tuesday (the first "weigh-in"). I certainly don't think I will get back to 153 pounds in eight weeks - nor is that healthy - but I am taking control of my health. No more taking that for granted.