Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yo, Chubs, Let's Go For a Run.

It sucks to be an overweight athlete.  Body of a cherub, heart of Wonder Woman and all that.

Obvious reasons include - squeezing into spandex, finding appropriate clothing that is cut in a flattering and covering way, being slow (dang is THAT ever frustrating)...swelling of the feet and ankles (stuffing my club feet into tennis shoes is a challenge at times), bra strap fat, muffin top, etc.

Less obvious reasons include - being constantly on a diet but constantly burning so many calories that I'm always HANGRY.  I can't win.  I volley back and forth between thinking I'm not eating enough to trying new stupid diets.  I've done the Renegade Diet, South Beach, Weight Watchers (points ad nausea), Low Carb, Low Fat, Calorie Cycling, Carb Cycling, Road Cycling...oh wait that's not a diet.  But you get the picture.

Recently I cut *most* of the dumb-dumb calories out.  Dumb-dumb calories are the ones you ingest that make you want to then eat something salty to go with.  Beer, alright.  Beer.  And yes, if I have a beer I want a plate of nachos to go with it.  I'm like the mouse and the cookie, dang.

So a month ago I cut that consumption by 75%.  No change in  my weight.  What the actual heck?

Most diets want me to eat only 1200 calories per day.  To put it in perspective, yesterday I biked 15 miles (500 calories) walked 5 miles (200 calories) and swam 1.5 miles (300 calories) Basal Metabolic Rate (the calories I burn just existing in a 24 hour period) is 1400 calories.  So...500+200+300+1400 = 2400 calories burned yesterday.  I stuck to my diet, went to bed hungry and have nearly eaten two of my co-workers today.

Will I be lighter for any of my efforts.  Probably not.

In addition to 7-9 hours of triathlon training per week, I do weight bearing exercises twice a week for 30 minutes -- push ups, squats, step ups, deadlift and lats.  I have a job where I walk 4-5 miles in my 8 hour work day.  I eat all of my veggies most days.  I take a probiotic, fish oils and make coconut oil and/or water a part of my diet.  I sleep 7-8 hours each night.  I meditate and read my Bible every morning.  I pet a cat on a daily basis for corn sake...I belong to a church, I'm married, I have kids, friends, family - I am about as spiritually and emotionally healthy as a person can GET.

Why, why, why, why, WHY am I still overweight?

What am I missing??  I'm officially sick and tired of it.  I'm thinking about meeting with a Nutritionist to see if they can steer me in the right direction.  Frankly, with my big weight loss of 70 pounds about 12 years ago and my loss of 40 post baby pounds 5 years ago - I figured I knew all there was to know about diet and exercise.  I've had 100's of day streaks on MyFitnessPal - that's free!  I really don't see what a Nutritionist is going to be able to tell me that I don't already know or do.

Not sure what going to a nutritionist costs - but I'll bet it's more than I can afford.  *blurb*  I guess there are worse things than being a chubby Triathlete.  As long as I live healthy and am mobile for many years to come, that's really my goal.  Right?  Right.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How I Feel About March

March is a strange month and a strange time of year.  I'm reminded of things I don't want to think about and my mind starts to play tricks on me.  I look to God's Word, my Friends and Family, of course my Husband, and Prayer for encouragement and strength.

It's been a while since I've been so candid about this part of my life -- sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago, like I was a different person (and believe me, I was!).  Other times, it's so close I can smell and feel the environment that I wish would stay "long long ago."

Without going into too much detail, I will paraphrase this story of my past by saying:

A long time ago, I lived with someone who was very sick.  This person didn't love himself or anyone else and lived his life as such.  Holidays were always a reason to abuse a variety of substances, and St. Patrick's day was a week long "event" due to this persons Irish ancestry.  I could never prepare myself for what would happen.  It was like a Mac Truck out of control.

One year, there was a baby coming!  My pregnancy had been very stressful.  Living with someone who had gotten so very sick, it seemed as if each day was like that out of control truck.  With a little boy to take care of as well, I was always afraid of the coming doom and never felt safe.

I knew nothing of Jesus at this time.

March was about surviving.  It was about laying low, trying to do everything right.  Easter was only different because maybe we went to a family dinner.  No gifts, no decorations, no money.

I labored and delivered alone, that March.  Shortly after, I gathered my young children and a few belongings and tried to escape.  After a year of hell and with the help of my sister, I was finally free.

I knew nothing of redemption at this time.

Now, bring your mind forward in time.  Many years forward.  All you really have to do is blink.

I have a life that is, by any standard, perfect.  I live with someone who loves me, very much.  I am encouraged in all of my endeavors, supported by strong hands and embraced each day by kind and understanding arms.  

That baby just turned 14.  She is funny, artistic, intelligent...and safe.  Our lives are like a huge, palatial yacht on calm seas.  I have more than all I could ask for or imagine.  All because of someone, many years ago, who was willing to pay the penalty for sin.

I know Jesus now.  I know redemption.  I know without a doubt that He had ME specifically in mind.  Twelve years ago, when I really decided that I couldn't "do" life without Jesus, I knew what people were saying about a "personal relationship."  I understood in my head that that was possible.  It took a lot longer to feel it in my heart.

March has always been hard.  This year, Easter - the celebration of Jesus redemption, is here very early.  In March.  This year, I play a small part in a theatrical portrayal of Jesus life.  I play - His mother.  I watch as he is mocked and crucified, then laid to rest in the tomb.  I rejoice at finding the empty tomb three days later.

I expected it would not be hard to muster tears of sorrow for my role as Mary Mother of Jesus.  That little boy I went through hell to protect 14 years ago, hasn't been my best friend of late.  He will soon be leaving for the military and will not likely say goodbye. 

What I didn't expect were the overflowing tears of gratitude for a God that Redeems.  All things are redeemed through Christ.  Even something so small in the grand scheme of the Universe, as how I feel about  the month of March.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rest and Veggies

Totally (un)Toasty Tuesday Workouts

30 minutes of strength training
2+ mile run on the treadmill while watching Continuum.

It was a balmy 18 degrees at 4:30 this morning.  The real feel was FIVE.  I don't know why I hold out hope that my run will happen outside anytime soon.  It's only week two of Workout Jail and I'm already fussing and whining about being in the basement.  Reminds me of one of the kids that used to say "hotside" for outside.  He'd stand by the door and demand to be set free.  Yep.

Hold cold is it?  It's so cold that the cat won't even go out.  It's so cold that my skin is two sizes to small and cracking!  It's so cold's just cold.  How's that for some literary genius.

Ew, right?
I really should have run a full 3 miles this morning - but - I had to get started an hour earlier today so that I could be at work early.  I slept pretty solid (thank you Ambien) so at least there's that.  I just get so tired when I run after weight training.  Maybe I should mix it up and run first.  Though the warmup from the weights workout is so nice on my legs.
Pretty dorky at 5:00am

In our healthy living support group, today, the challenge was to do 2 minutes of planks.  I spend the bulk of last year working on core strength and planks are an easy to master exercise that helps build that up without a single crunch or sit up.  I actually like planks the best of all abdominal strengthening exercises and have seen tremendous benefit.

Now if I could just find a food or beverage that burned off the fat around those newly toned muscles...that would be something!

Actually doing pretty good on the nutrition side.  One pesky little component that I was limiting greatly until the dreaded Holiday Break, when I pretty much did whatever I wanted.  No matter - just time to get on the horse again.

Trying to convince myself that my body needs rest and healthy foods tonight...not beer and recover from a very stressful day.  Rest and veggies, rest and veggies, rest and beer, no, no, no.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Let Full On January Begin!

Monday is a Rest Day, Halelujiah.

Yesterday I got my 6 mile run done on the treaddy - but I waited til after Church thinking that I would be able to do it outdoors...nope.  So - I missed my swim, but I'll not be beating myself up for that.  No sir.  Also, a run that late in the day followed by sitting in my rocking chair made for some really sore legs in the night and today.  Just getting old, I guess.

Susan holding Stella being kissed by Cameron
I did manage to get a run in on Friday morning before we left for Kansas City, but needless to say - I wasn't feeling a Saturday morning long bike after staying in a hotel room Friday night.  The beds were super comfy and the place was quiet - but our 8 year old had a hard time settling down.  Couple that with her sharing a bed with our 13 year old aaaand you have a short and restless nights sleep.

We had a good time seeing my sister and two nieces, though.  I was really glad to get the cousins together.  I have a whole gaggle of cousins that I don't really know very well.  Also, my other siblings kids and my kids didn't really ever get to know each other, so I'd like to change that with these cousins.

Ya gotta make an effort with these things.

Yesterday was pretty hard on me.  Still having issues with our oldest son.  It gets easier to take and you begin to understand that it really isn't your fault no matter what they tell you.  But, I can't help but be deeply saddened.  I have been doing well at not internalizing these things - but I've been extremely prone to migraines and now have two lovely cold sores to show how NOT stressed out I am about all this.

In any case - just trying to keep my head above the waves.  Having a fitness and nutrition goal is tremendously helpful.  My 20 week Half Ironman plan begins on January 17th.  I've joined a healthy living support group on FaceBook to help me stay accountable and motivated.  I have plenty of love and prayers support.  I just need to make sure I squash any and all negative self-talk.

Easy, right?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 to 2016

This year saw lots of changes with our household.  I think the coming year will be equally interesting, but hopefully less frustrating.  But that's life!

This past year started out with a bang.  We had some issues with one of our children that uncovered even more issues, that just grew and grew until we realized we had a real mess on our hands.  I won't continue to talk about that.  It's sad and hasn't resolved, but will culminate with our son leaving for boot camp in June hi with no intention of ever returning.  Life has a way of working out, I'm told. 

In March, I was hired at Baylor Evnen!  I closed Small Steps Childcare after seven years of caring and cuddling for the best little people around, and went back to work.  It sure was an adjustment for our whole family!  I was really scared that I wouldn't fit in.  I've never worked in the legal field plus it had been a long time since I'd done any clerical work.  But, it seems the Good Lord knows what he's doing and my job has been a tremendous blessing in every way.  I adore my boss and enjoy the work AND I was awarded the firm's employee of the year award as voted by my co-workers!  It seems I fit in pretty good. :)

This summer was very different without my being home.  Our oldest daughter, Alahnnah, stayed home and cared for her younger siblings while David and I were at work.  Out of the 12 weeks of summer, we agreed to pay her to watch the kids for seven of the weeks, and I paid to take the kids to the daycamp at the YMCA for the other five weeks.  She made some money and it saved us some time and some money!  Also, I think they had fun. :)

During those weeks that the younger children were at daycamp, our teeny-bopper daughter had some fun adventures with the church Student Ministry on Mission trips and summer camps.

At the end of the summer, my youngest brother got married at Sunken Gardens in a beautiful ceremony.  He was in his dress uniform and looked devastatingly handsome.  Must be genetic.

This Fall I tended towards illness and missed one of my favorite events of the year,  Market to Market Relay.  In fact,  my fall racing was entirely a bust and I came to a pretty pivotal point in my personal growth.  Painful but necessary.

In the beginning of 2015, I began praying "less of me, Lord, more of you".   I didn't know what that would look like.  I had no idea the pain that would be involved in that kind of sanctification.  I don't regret it and will continue on.  However, after being stripped of things I erroneously tied my identity to, I have to say I am afraid of what's to come.

What's to come.
My intention for 2016 is to cultivate kindness.  To myself and to others. I think if I focus on that, the rest will be OK.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

What I Learned from The Sky People

Thinking It's Thursday Workouts

30ish minutes of weights from the Tri-Power book.
30 minutes on the bike - indoor trainer.  And HOW many miles did I cover after I entered the correct wheel size??  About 30% more!  Glad I fixed that little issue.

When I ride and run inside in the winter, I often work my way through a series on Netflix.  Currently, I'm working on Continuum and The 100.  The 100 is a Sci-Fi series that centers around a group of 100 young people that are basically incarcerated on a space station.  The earth has long been abandoned due to radiation contamination.  The elders decide that the earth might be viable again and - to save oxygen on the aging space station - they send the 100 to check it out.

Most of the 100 are ages 15 to 19 (though the beards on some of the boys say they are much older...)  It's been interesting to see how the conflicts and hardships they endure on the earth "age" them.  The main character is a smart, beautiful young woman named Clarke who is supposed to be about 18.

If I squint real hard I could imagine myself to have an 18 year old...oh wait...I almost do. :)

So this begins my transformation in how I look at television.  Where Clarke used to be someone I would look up to, maybe even look to for hair or makeup - possibly clothing - standards, now it's her mother - Abby.  In the series, Abby is the Medical Doctor on the space station.  She is on the ruling counsel and even becomes Chancellor as the series progresses.
"Abby" Paige Turco
"Clarke" Eliza Taylor

I have realized, lately, that I no longer relate with Clarke.  I no longer float in a weird "I have children, but they are little and not like that" gray area.  I, now, fully relate with Abby.  My older children are young adults.  My son will leave in June to pursue his career in the United States Navy.  My oldest daughter looks a whole lot like Clarke.


On the show, today, Abby (the Mom) had a tough decision to make and ultimately went against what the majority of the people thought and sided with Clarke (the teen).  I know, I'm a huge dork, but I got a little misty, a little choked up and a little proud when Abby said "I trust my daughter!"  Did the situation work out?  Yes, and no.  Just like real life.  Except in real life we aren't crash landed on earth and at war with the indigenous people group while 47 of our young people are trapped by psycho hyper-evolved humans who want to drain their bone marrow so that they can live on the surface again.

But almost.

Well, how was that for some rambling, eh?  Hope everyone has a safe New Year.  Try not to do anything you wouldn't normally do, and might regret.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday and I'm Still a Dork

What, it's Wednesday Already!? Workout

60 mintues on the bike - indoor trainer.  And just how many miles did I cover in that hour?  10.9...what!?  Really, that's it?  Garmin says I burned 525 calories in that hour.  11mph is like la-dee-dah lets go for a nice relaxing bike ride - not a 500 calorie per hour sweatfest!

Why do I tell you this?  Well - I tell you this because I figured out what a huge dork I am and why, after months of consistent workouts and better nutrition, why I am actually getting slower on the bike.


Back in the Fall, I finally got enough saved up for a new Garmin.  I was rocking the 310XT with it's beautiful 1/2" thick orange and gray face and monochrome display for two years.  Two years of a GPS enabled multi-sport watch that you can't wear anywhere else because it's SO DANG BIG.
The 310XT - functional, but huge.

So the lovely day occurred when I got the white faced watch with optional purple strap and I proceeded to configure the data screens and pair the bluetooth equipment and we went out running and swimming and biking and it was lovely.

Shortly after, I got very sick with cellulitis in my leg.  :(  Super Sad Face.  If you don't know what cellulitis is, look it up.  I'm not kidding when I say that I could have died.  It's basically a skin infection that goes septic.  I was on two different antibiotics + pain meds and I didn't work a whole day for 2 weeks.

By the time I got better, it was way time for the bike to be on the trainer for the winter.  I know, I know, there are other people that ride outside all winter.  But that is not me.  I don't like riding in the dark and I don't have the gear for the colder days.  So, I paired up my speed and cadence sensor and away I rode...well, I stayed in one place spinning my back wheel.

I noticed right away that I wasn't getting the mileage out of my effort and I figured it was because I had been sick.  Also, on the trainer, there's no hills to zoom down and it's a leeeeetle boring, so I tend to be slower.  But 50% slower?  Hmm...ok, time to get in shape, right?

Well, time has gone on now, and I have been very consistent with my workouts and *mostly* consistent with my nutrition (we shall go for very consistent after the first of the year).

This morning I figured it out!  OH MY QUAD.

When I configured my new Garmin VivoActive, I didn't put in the wheel size when I paired the speed and cadence sensor!!

Well.  I'm glad I got that figured out.  What a dork.  If all of that means absolutely nothing to you - that's ok.  Just understand that I have been building a tremendous amount of bike fitness with very little encouragement.   Sort of like running on a treadmill that's clocking you a lot slower than you're running so you run harder and harder to try to make it up.

So I fixed it and am anxious to see if it makes any difference, I just slow on the bike trainer!  Either way - I'll be super BikeFit by the time Spring rolls around!