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.