Monthly Archives: August 2005

8/31/05 Self-Discovery (75)

Wednesday. Wisdom day. As usual nothing of the wise sort is coming through so hopefully something will reveal in the process.

I’m finding it hard to stay on plan. I’ve been documenting everything that I’ve been putting into my mouth and can I just say “no freakin’ wonder?” Monday and Tuesday I went way over my points, used my activity points and went into my weekly extra points. I am learning a lot about the way I eat which is often. I see now how essential it is to be well stocked with zero point foods for snacking, otherwise I’m leaning toward the whole wheat bread and peanut butter. I am finding a freedom on FLEX plan to eat foods that I wasn’t eating before (like whole wheat bread and peanut butter) but at the same time I’m seeing how many points there are in an innocent little one piece of bread and tblspoon of peanut butter. By the end of the day my million little meals are piling up into a lot of food.

There are some tricks to make this work and I see popcorn is going to become my new best friend. I have one of those microwave popcorn poppers and you can eat a ton of popcorn (no butter) for 1 point. I need some more fresh veggies around and need to come up with some fat free dips for them. (Less fruit, more veggies). Today will go to the grocery store and stock up. I see now also that my abundant eating of fruit is not really a wise use of points. A nectarine is 1 point. But if I ate a bag of carrots it is 0 points. Better to go with the carrots and feel more full.

Feeling full seems to be my objective. I keep reaching for dense foods because I am hungry. What I think I’m missing is bulk. I need to reach for more filling, fiber-rich foods to give me that full feeling. An egg doesn’t do it for me.

When I see how many points I can easily consume in one day without even adding in a glass of wine (which I haven’t been able to afford on the Flex plan) I can see where my weight is coming from. Forcing myself to write everything down is really revealing a lot to me. I think subconsciously I didn’t want to do that before because I probably knew the answer already and I didn’t want to hear it.

I originally said I was just going to do 2 weeks on FLEX but I think I am going to extend it for a little longer — not so much for the weight loss but for the understanding of what is going on. If I can use FLEX to help train me into habits that keep me in a lower calorie range on an average day, I think this will help me tremendously.

Today I have a Pilates session and then I’ll hit the pool again. I ran for 45 minutes yesterday doing pick ups and then did the pool for 1/2 hour. I’m enjoying the swimming which I think is a great crosstrainer and helps my knees. I’m still trying to teach myself to breath on both sides which is amazingly difficult for me. I am getting a little better but I’m not there yet. I’m trying to figure out where to put in a bike session this week — not sure it is going to happen.

We got our training schedule for September. This Saturday we will be running 15 miles and our goal is to get one 20 mile and one 18 mile run in before the race. I guess the idea is if we can run 20 we can run 26.2. Geesh, I don’t know — another 6.2 is another 70 minutes for me. But I guess if I’m already out there for 5 hours, what’s another 70 minutes?

Right now I’m totally focused on food. I think the workouts are taking care of themselves and I’m working pretty hard in the gym and on in my practices. I see a lot of similarities in the long journey to believing that I can run 26.2 and believing I can lose 20 more pounds. I’m not sure I really believe either one quite yet.

It is apparent to me that there is no easy way to lose weight. There are many levels of change — psychological, physical and behavioral. Sometimes I think I want to eat because of emotions. Sometimes I know I want to eat because I’m hungry. Sometimes I eat without thinking about it. (That’s the worst because then I have to write it down and I didn’t even get to enjoy it.) I guess it’s the same with running the marathon. Our coach writes that we are now entering the phase where running is more in the mind than in the body. Great, all this work on my body and now he wants my mind to be strong? He should have warned me earlier — that’s my weakest muscle!!!

Okay off to Pilates and then swimming and I guess now I have to throw in a meditation session too. It gets harder before it gets easier.


“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
Jack Kerouac


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8/30/05 My Anchor (76)

Tuesday. First let me say that I find it hard to believe that in 76 days I will be trained and ready for a marathon. Okay, now that I got that off my chest I will put my nose back to the grindstone.

Yesterday was a recovery day and I must say I was having some food difficulties. I am writing down everything I am eating and yesterday was an over the top food day. I tried hard to keep the points low, but I was hungry all day. I’m shocked at how quickly a few innocent little items add up. I documented the points but they were off the charts. I went 20 points over my daily recommended allotment and I didn’t even have any alcohol. I was just starving. At the end of the day I was still hungry but I just couldn’t bear to spend any more points so I ate an entire bag of carrots and went to bed hungry. I drank twenty gallons of water yesterday too. I earned 6 pts back by going to the gym and working out with Vanessa for 1 hour and then going to the pool and swimming for 1/2 hour (felt really good). Unfortunately I had to dip into my weekly bonus points to make up the extra 14. Considering I only get 35 extra points in the week, not a good way to start. But, what can I say? I was hungry!!! Hopefully today will be better.

I also noticed that I had to go to the bathroom all day yesterday. I didn’t show a big weight loss yesterday. I’ve seen this happen before after big workout days. This pattern brings me to the conculsion that when I have a big exercise day I must retain water for one day afterwards. I went to the bathroom so many times yesterday I might as well have set up my computer in the bathroom — I would have gotten more work done! Today I jumped on the scale and was down 2 pounds. So I must hold that water for some reason. Maybe the muscles are holding the water thinking I’m going to do something stupid like run another 13 miles!!

We get a big break on our workout tonight. Because I did the running test last week and because I did the 1/2 marathon on Sunday, tonight I have to run only 5 easy miles. Sweet!!! 5 take-it-easy miles. That sounds so ridiculously easy that it feels like I’m cheating. Like I’m stopping at Hagen Daz for a triple chocolate something or other. I’m looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is catching me cheat. We have the option of doing some speed pickups if we feel up to it, but my hip is a little out of sorts so I think I’ll take the double scoop route thank you very much.

I stopped down at the gym yesterday and got a massage for 1/2 hour (that’s all the time she had.) She was very good. She said the point where my hip is hurting is the point where my hamstrings all attach at the top. She recommended putting a couple of tennis balls in a sock and rolling it around. Sounds too hard — I’ll try the styrofoam roller first. I think I am going to try to go for weekly massages — try to work out the knots.

This is going to be a hard week for me. Trying to stay on plan. Document everything I eat (geesh no wonder I never wanted to do that before, I’m revealing some shocking things about myself.) Trying to stay focussed.

One of the things they talk about in WW all the time is finding an anchor. Something that brings you back to your determination and helps you focus on your goal. They recommend remembering a time when you were successful at something and finding something from that time to remind you or anchor you to your success. I can’t really think of anything in my past where I thought I was strong and successful (usually I feel like I’m stumbling over the finish line with little left in my system). But there is one moment that I can recall that changed my life and that is Lake Placid 2 years ago. That is the only moment that I can think of that just brings me back to focus on my priorites. The first time I stood in that stadium and the music was blaring and the people were going wild, something in me changed. One after another of the most amazingly determined people came running over the finish line (the same people I had seen struggling out on the course.) As they ran over the finish line the MC yelled out the phrase that has become my anchor and the one thing that can still make me put down the coffee cake. “YOU. ARE. AN IRONMAN!” And the crowd goes wild. YEEAAAHHHHHHH


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8/29/05 Week 32 (77)

Monday. Friday great day at WW. Showed me down 4.8. I worked hard last week for that drop, let’s see if I can get another 2 pounds down by this Friday.

Finished the half marathon yesterday in 2 hours 59 minutes and 13 seconds. I wanted under 3 hours so I got as close as a I could. My friend Missy ran with me the last mile — I thought I was going to pass out it was so humid. 77 deg., 82% hum., rain. I passed by the last water stop thinking I only had one more mile to go. Never again!!! I will nourish right up to the finish line going forward. I kind of bonked on the last mile.

All of my friends gave awesome performances yestereday. I’m so proud of each one. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts in this letter to my friend. I am so blessed to have such good friends. Extraordinary people surround me everyday and I am so lucky to have them in my life. Awesome people, simply awesome.


To My Friend,

I was thinking about you pretty much all afternoon but didn’t want to call in case you were napping (as I was). I think we were all feeling a little queasy from the humidity during the race. I really loved what you said yesterday about coming up with 13 wants, need and goals for the 13 miles we ran yesterday. I am going to definitely sit down and come up with my 26 for the marathon. What a great way to remind ourselves of our purpose. I found such encouragement in your words yesterday that I wanted to send a little back your way.

I think I have a little bit of qualification for offering encouragement as a charter member of back of the pack. We both know how it feels to be coming in at the end and we know that it just doesn’t seem fair that other people are zipping by us when we are working so hard. I also know what it is like to have an injury as a deadline is approaching and how much that can wrack you with apprehension. (I worried about the More half-marathon every single day while I was having my knee issues).

I want to make the following observations about BOTH of us. Everything I say here goes as much for me as much as I want to relay them for you. And, as I think about it, these items can go for everyone sitting at lunch yesterday. Yes there are 13 items here – a clear rip off of your 13 wants/needs/goals idea. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

1 – We ARE getting better. Remember my knees and how bad they were? Now I am 80% better in my knees. I’ll never get rid of the arthritis, but in general I’m much better. Have faith that your injuries will heal (and will be replaced by some other thing to worry about). Look at our friend coming back from breast cancer – she too had a lot of disappointments along the way but look at her now!!! Between all of us we have overcome a lot.

2 – It was unbearably humid out there yesterday. We finished, which was an awesome display of grit and determination. We ran 13.1 miles yesterday, 13.1 miles!!! With humidity and pain, how the hell did any of us finish?!?!? Did I mention it was 13.1 miles?!?!?

3- We both gave a lot of support to people who ended up finishing faster than we did, so we can take some pride in knowing that while we ran we were of service. I hereby promise to never get annoyed that I have to help another runner who then feels better and then blows right by me. Maybe it’s like being the sweep doctor – we serve a purpose out there.

4- We provide big doses of team spirit.

5- This one is really for you and not for me, but let’s just say that I hope to become the class act that you are. You never lose your temper (I’m working on that). You are always supportive of others (sometimes I’m a little selfish but I try to be supportive). You always have the team in mind first (I’m a little selfish there too, but I do try to think big picture once in awhile). These are qualities that cannot be measured in minutes per mile.

6. We are both loved by a lot of people out there. We have the biggest cheering teams. Okay we have the biggest teams because we are the last ones in, but really we have a lot of friends out there who love us and that just can’t be measured by a clock either.

7. I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated sometimes when I see people who are gaining much faster improvement than I am. I think we should both be in the 11’s by now. We’ll get there. In the big picture we are still beginner runners. Think how far we have come. In May of 2003 I couldn’t run a block. Yesterday we finished a half-marathon. Okay, maybe not as fast as both would have liked, but Jeez we finished!!!

8. As you said at lunch we have a lot to be grateful for. We are able to run up and down hills in Central Park push ourselves and take pride in our achievements (however down deep we have to dig to find them).

9. We beat every single person sitting on the couch at home eating Doritos. (Donald said that to me once and it did make me feel better.) It is true. A lot of people just didn’t show up yesterday. We showed up and we fought a lot of demons to cross that finish line. Just showing up in the park says a lot about us. I think we should be proud of the people we have become and are becoming.

10. Yesterday was an investment in our next run. 2 weeks ago I had a terrible run (that hot day on the Westside highway.) I was nauseous. I spent the day recovering (as I did yesterday). I had real doubts if I could ever finish a marathon. They say the work you put in shows up 11 days later as improvement. I believe them because I believe the only reason I finished yesterday was because 2 weeks ago I killed myself trying to do 2 hours and 52 minutes. Last week I had to walk a lot of the 13 miles and finished in 3 hours 18 minutes. Now this week I finished in 3 hours and I didn’t have to walk. In 11 days you too will find benefit from the pounding you took yesterday. It hurt to go through it, but you will find improvement. “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”

11. We don’t do this for the money — well we do it to raise money but not earn money. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that when I start to get frustrated. It is not like anyone else cares how fast or slow we go – only we care. It’s all relative. Even our friends who are faster are fighting their personal demons out there just like we are. Their demons might run a little faster but they are out there none the less.

12. One of the things I love about both of us is that we are determined. Plain and simple we just don’t give up. We know what it is like to limp over a finish line. That’s kind of cool in a sick way. We are testing our limits. We are passing our limits. We may be back of the pack but we finish with dignity.

13. This is not about one race. It is not about yesterday’s half marathon and it is not even about the full marathon. This is a lifestyle change in our lives. I was saying to my brother over the weekend that I was afraid that if I stop exercising I will gain my weight back. He said, “Why would you stop exercising? It’s part of your lifestyle now.” I realized he was right. Regardless of how we do at the marathon (I may be crawling over the finish line), that will not be our last finish line. Just one of many to come.

So I want to congratulate you on your Personal Best (PB) yesterday. With less than perfect training preparation, with an injury and in incredible humidity (that humbled runners a lot faster than we are) you stuck it out. You persevered. We persevered. We fought back the urge to quit (that 102nd street transverse is there for a reason, right?) We fought back the tears of frustration. I’m proud of you and it’s an honor to call you my friend.


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8/25/05 Test #2 (74)

Thursday. Thanksgiving. I am thankful that after 11 a.m. this morning I am done working out until Sunday morning!!!

Tuesday night did test #2 with our marathon training group. We ran 5.5 miles and did one-mile tests within the workout. First we warmed up by running from E. 90th street down to E. 70th. From there we ran a mile as fast as we could (to the mile marker at W 64th). I ran it in 10:18!!! Yeah!! Last time I did it in 11:05. I don’t think I could repeat that because my lungs and legs were burning but I did it. The second mile I did in 10:58 last time I did it in 11:35. I will say, however, that the weather for test #1 was miserable — hot and humid. The weather for test #2 was pretty nice — 80 degrees and clear. Nonetheless I have never run a 10:18 so that was good for me. (One of the women I run with ran a (9:05 so that gives me hope!)

Yesterday morning Missy and I got up very early and rode to Piermont taking the infamous River Road. Definitely hilly but not as hard as my CT Hills. You go up and over a few small hills and then do a long incline of about 40 degrees. It is the length that gets you, not the height. Nothing to laugh at but nothing to be afraid of either. I never doubted I could finish, whereas in CT I doubted whether I could finish. Missy just flies up the hills as I’m lumbering along — when I was getting near the top she came back down and climbed part of it again! Nut! (But, impressive!) Sylvia is doing much better, but I didn’t feel she was 100% — I still felt a wobble in tires. I may have them look at her again. I also need some hill climbing skills — hmm, maybe dropping more weight would help. I get my turn on the downhill since Missy weighs less than air and I well, don’t. I can use gravity to pick up speed. She’s still faster than me, but I’ll work hard to catch up.

After our 3+ hour ride to Nyack I had my first Pilates class with Erica. She turned out to be really nice and a very good and thorough instructor. We’ll work out once a week. I had some difficulty with my quads (gee I wonder why?) and promised next week to be fresher. The machines were interesting, but not as interesting as they look.

This morning we have a 6:40 a.m. run with our coach. I hope I am up for it. I have discovered Tylenol Arthritis formula and have been popping those like there’s no tomorrow — better be careful there…. After our run workout this morning I have another workout with Vanessa which should just about do me in. Then finished, done! Yeah!! Until, of course, Sunday which is the New York Grand Prix Half-Marathon, gulp — let’s see how I do. Don’t forget I wanted to do the half-marathon last March and couldn’t do it. So let’s see what happens this Sunday. I haven’t been nervous about a race in a long time… The time deadline is getting me. I’m so borderline that I’m nervous.

Food wise I am very proud of myself. I have written down every morsel that has entered my mouth since last Friday. I think I am going to see a big weight drop on Friday. Partly because of the huge amounts of exercise I have been doing this week. But writing everything down really has made me grab some carrots and snap peas a couple of times when I might have grabbed something else. Also made me serve myself a smaller portion of ice cream yesterday. I got a strange craving for it — and I never crave sweets so I got the fat-free, no sugar added chocolate icecream and had just 1/2 of a cup. That was 1 point. Then I proceeded to add two tablespoons of trail mix to it for crunch — that was 3 points!!!!!!!! Ah well, I had the points to use.

One thing I will say about FLEX (writing down points) vs. CORE (just eating whole foods) is that suddenly a wide variety of foods entered my life. I’ve been eating toast in the morning which I have been enjoying. Ice cream (or a chemical variant of ice cream). I’ve also cut down on some portion sizes of things like shrimp. Not sure how long I can maintain FLEX, but I will do it for at least one more week. I think there are a lot of little lessons being revealed to me through FLEX.

So all in all, rough exercise week and it is only half done. I am salivating over having two days in a row to do nothing — Friday and Saturday. Although would I be terrible if I said I have been thinking of doing a short, very short, swim on Friday? Have I crossed the line into compulsive exerciser? ROFLMAO!!! Compulsive exerciser, Ha! Like that would ever happen! Compulsive couch potato, compulsive cupcake eater maybe, but compulsive exerciser? I doubt it….highly!!!


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8/23/05 The Pain Pleasure Principle (76)

Tuesday. Well yesterday went pretty well. I went to the gym and ran for 50 minutes on the treadmill and then worked out with my trainer Vanessa for 1 hour. I managed to track all of my points throughout the day. I actually ended up going over my daily points because I went out to dinner. Had I NOT had the foccacia bread and then the second piece of white bread (why oh why oh why?!?!?) And if I had stuck to my original appetizer of grilled vegetables and not switched at the last minute to portobello mushrooms which came laden with mozzarella cheese, I would have been within my point range (using my activity points). But alas, I had to use 3 of my extra points. Not too bad. Bigger point is that I recorded everything I ate and I got my workouts in.

To be honest I am just looking for a little control. I am really okay with whatever weight loss happens — slow, fast, none, a little increase (underline a little). What were upsetting me before were the steady increase and my lack of control over the situation. I knew I wasn’t being faithful to the plan but I wasn’t documenting where I was falling off so I felt at a loss to explain exactly why. So, although the idea of tracking my food everyday is a bit overwhelming (actually it wasn’t that hard but don’t tell) I think the feeling of relief to have myself back on track outweighs my need to be “free.”

I’m reminded of something that Tony Robbins says a lot on his audio books (yes, I listened to Tony Robbins and I don’t hate him so there!). He said, you will continue with a behavior until the pain of continuing is greater than the pain of not continuing. For example, you will continue to drink until the pain of drinking too much overcomes the pain of not drinking — for some people the pain of drinking too much never outweighs the pain they feel when they don’t drink and they can’t stop. It’s the same thing with overeating or any other seemingly destructive behavior. I say seemingly because as Dr. Phil would say (and no I don’t like him, but I have to give credit where credit is due) you are doing that behavior because in some way it is working for you. You are getting something from it.

Just to throw one more name in the puddle, as I mentioned earlier in the week Oprah says all the time “it’s not about the food. Figure out what is bothering you.” I spent a lot of time this week trying to figure that out. In my case I just don’t think right now I was overeating so much because something was bothering me. I think I was getting pleasure out of eating and drinking well and the pain of gaining weight was not great enough to counteract the pleasure of eating and drinking too well. That is until Friday. When I gained 3+ pounds the pain of gaining weight became greater than the pleasure of eating and drinking.

This balance of pain and pleasure speaks to the importance of remaining focused on long term goals. I’ve said a many a time, getting me to lose weight to wear a smaller size jean or gain approval from Vogue would never get me to lose weight. The marathon and further endurance goals does inspire me. Sometimes on a day to day basis I forget to keep my mind on the long term goal. When I refocus on that goal I stay motivated. The pain of not finishing the marathon is much greater than the pain of not having dessert (or foccacia). This week I want to sketch out some “winning strategies” (ww term) for meeting my goal. I need to get the connection between the marathon and my kitchen and my restaurant eating. I’m thinking I could start wearing a bracelet or something to remind me of my long term goal.

I may not be able to reach my speed goal by November 6 (quite frankly finishing in 6 hours is going to be an accomplishment). But, I’m only 15 pounds from my weight loss goal for the marathon. How great would it be to cross that finish line 40 pounds lighter than when I started this whole thing back in January? That would be just awesome. Not even the weight loss, the setting and reaching two goals. That would be the most exciting part.

I’m also aware that over the last 8 months (yes I’ve been doing this blog for 8 months now) that I have learned, unlearned, relearned lessons over and over again. I’m not sure when they become a part of my subconscious mind — right now the knowledge is there but it has not become internalized. I guess that’s just part of the process. Keep trying over and over again until I get it right.

For today, for right now, I feel good. I feel in control and ready to push ahead.

Tonight’s workout will be a mile speed test (about 6 miles in total with 3 single mile tests.) Weather doesn’t seem that bad — this could be good!!! Let’s see if I can make the pleasure of beating my personal best outweigh the pain of running hard.


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8/22/05 Week 32 Check In (77)

Monday. Feeling good. Lost 4.5 pounds since last Monday and most of it was from this weekend — oh who am I kidding? All of it was from this weekend. I was so mad on Friday morning after seeing my weight up yet another week that I vowed to go on the Flex plan (where you count every point that goes into your mouth). It’s much harder for me, but I counted every morsel from Friday through Yesterday, coupled with my 3 hour + run on Saturday I’m down 4.5! Now I just need to lose 4 more to be back to where I was. So that’s this week’s goal. For the next seven days track everything I eat (even if I go over points write it down — no matter how egregious). I feel really good this morning like I took a big slap at the dragon and he went back into the cave. He’s been breathing down my neck for the last couple of months.

My kitchen stocked to the ceiling with food from COSTCO — tons of fresh fruit and veggies, my shrimp even my old crabmeat favorite back in stock. I got some nice whole grain/high fiber/no sugar added bread out at COSTCO which is new for them — they never had any before. I got free-range eggs which I may have to quit eating because I think I am having an allergic reaction to eggs but have not confirmed yet.

I took another rest day yesterday and you know what? I don’t feel a bit guilty. Nope, not one iota. I felt okay yesterday, but in a bad executive decision I cancelled our bike ride due to impending storms that never showed up. I went to COSTCO instead and puttered around trying to clean up my apartment. I feel so good this morning that I am ready to attack some big workouts. So I’m all about the added days off right now. I’d rather workout feeling like this (energized and ready to go) then feeling tired and dragging myself to the gym.

Today is 3-4 miles EZ run followed by 1 hour with Vanessa working on core.
Tuesday is Group Training Session and we have test #2 to see how fast we run 1 mile now. Wouldn’t it be great if I improved? I ran the mile in 11:05 and 11:35 last test, wouldn’t it be fun to run it faster? Last time it was extremely humid (uh, when it has NOT been extremely humid this summer?) So wish me luck.
Wednesday morning Missy and I will reattempt our hill climbing session.
Thursday morning I have to run 4-5 miles EZ.
Friday I will be going home to CT for my Dad’s bday and returning on Sat. night to get a good night’s sleep for Sunday’s 1/2 marathon which I want to finish as close to 3 hours as humanly possible.

I had a little familial breakthrough and proud of myself for coming up with a plan for a small problem. My father’s birthday in August has become our family’s big traditional get together. Brothers fly in from wherever and we have our big once a year family dinner where everyone is there. Thanksgivings and Christmas are spent with family but usually in small factions not all together. But Dad’s birthday we all get together and have a big dinner and lots of wine, laughs etc. We all nurse hangovers the next day.

Unfortunately this year Dad’s bday celebration falls on the night before the NYC Half-Marathon Grand Prix. The Grand Prix starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. I could get up at 4 a.m. and make it down to the start line, but I probably wouldn’t make such a great showing. I really want to do this race because I feel it is a half-way point in our training and will tell me how I am doing. Plus the whole team is doing it, all the coaches will be there — it will be a great training race. But I couldn’t figure out how to do Dad’s bday party at the same time. On Friday night my brother’s and I are all going to the Rolling Stones concert so I know I’ll get my partying in then. I want Saturday to be a pure day with no alcohol and a lot of sleep. So I came up with the idea of a birthday brunch! Perfect solution if only I could get my family to agree to it. I offered to cook a brunch at my parent’s house if everyone would come over. Then I would leave early afternoon.

Amazingly enough it went over. Everyone said okay. They will all show up at 10 a.m. and have brunch and celebrate Dad’s birthday. Then they will all go out and have a traditional birthday bash at our local tavern later after everyone goes to sleep and I go home to dream about finish lines. Added benefit? I’ll be the one cooking so I will know that I can have a lot of fresh fruit and veggies out and make a big frittata kind of thing. I think this will be just as much fun, my folks who are in their 80’s will have more fun. The boys can go out and play at night. It’s a win/win situation for everyone. Perhaps a new tradition?

The nicest thing that happened though was when I was explaining to one of my brother’s my dilemma about my scheduling and apologizing for screwing up the family tradition he said “don’t be silly, you have a life to live too.” Wow, that was huge. First time my schedule has ever been acknowledged. (I’m usually the organizer and not on the receiving end of schedule adjustments). It made me feel good that everyone was willing to adjust to a new way of celebrating. It made me feel good that they all acknowledged my training needs. It made me feel good that I came up with a solution. One downside is now I have to cook for a bunch of people –a small price to pay. It will probably be fun.

So now I’m empowered to have a nice healthy dinner tonight when I go out. Hopefully a nice piece of fish and some salad. Whatever I eat, just count the points. I might even splurge with a glass of wine. I’ll try to stay away from deep fried, non-whole grains. Let’s see how I do. I’ll have 2 hours worth of activity points so I should be good.

So that’s where I am this week. At the bottom of a slight incline. A small hill if you will. I know it is uphill but I can see the top. Short goal. Just 7 days — get through the 1/2 marathon, hopefully lose some pounds, feel strong, lot’s of sleep.


“It’s all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.”
Mick Jagger

–right, THAT’s the trick……

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8/21/05 Tenacity (78)

Sunday. Well lot’s to talk about between Friday and this morning. I guess in order is appropriate.

I had to work at a client site all day on Friday so I had to find an early morning WW meeting(I missed last week). I ventured up to Broadway and found one there. Yuck! If I had stumbled into that meeting on my first day back in January I never would have stayed. It was exactly what I didn’t want. She gave us some ridiculous assignment to look up items in a book to plan a meal. I stayed for 5 minutes and excused myself. What a load of hooey.

The bad news is I am up 3 1/4 pounds over the last two weeks. I knew I hadn’t been eating right. For whatever reason I insisted upon putting my foot down on the gas pedal and barreling my car at 100 mph until I crashed into the brick wall. Seeing myself up yet another week was the brick wall. I knew I had to do something.

I Tivo’d Oprah the other day and although it was a repeat she had on some fat people and was discussing their weight loss with them. She kept repeating over and over again — “it’s not about the food, it’s not about the food.” She kept saying you had to find out what the other issue is. I’ve been wracking my brain and trying to figure out what it is. Undue stress? No. Boredom? No. Loneliness? No. I don’t know what it is. I just keep coming back to the feeling of deprivation and rebellion. I deserve this treat because I’ve been working so hard. I’ve been working so hard at what? I don’t know but I feel deserving of good food and good wine. I don’t think I necessarily pick the wrong foods but I’ve noticing so many non-core foods just effortlessly slipping their way back into my life.

For example, I invited my friend Corinne out to go hear Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists (love them) in Central Park. I made a picnic. We both like wine so I brought some wine (that’s fine — count points for that). I made some shrimp and cocktail sauce – fine. Then I’m looking for something else to bring and I go to the store and find a big tub of hummus with pine nuts — can actually see the olive oil on top — hmmmm getting a little suspect here. Well I need something to dip in the hummus don’t I? Next thing I know two smaller size bags of Tortilla chips are dancing happily in my grocery basket. Oh, party mix? Sure, let’s throw that in there too. So what started out as a low fat picnic turned into a high fat fest with nuts and chips and hummus. I think we ate some shrimp. In one moment of bad decision in the grocery store I gave myself permission to have these chips and dips for this one night. But the night before I gave myself permission for something else and night before that something else.

A couple of things could have made this less awful. Instead of getting the Sambra Hummus (which is admittedly more yummy but also in a bigger container) I could have bought the Tribal Sheiks brand which is a smaller container. I could have bought babaganoush instead of hummus which is less fat. I did search for baked Tortilla chips (guiltless gourmet) but couldn’t find any. I could have bought one small bag instead of feeling the need to have both white corn and blue corn. What’s a party without variety?

It seems when I decide to look over the cliff I can help but to throw myself off. There is no half-way for me. Either on the diet (yeah, yeah, eating plan) or I’m off. There is no guard railing for me. Compromise? What’s that?

So after the WW meeting, disgusted with myself for gaining more weight and disappointed because the leader was such a bore and wishing I had made it to the good leader in mid-town, I immediately went through my litany of what I would do. “That’s it — no more wine until you lose 20 pounds. No more bread, no cheese, no Thai food, no nothing!!! You are to be punished!!” “You are going to do double whatever Vanessa tells you to do in the gym.”

Even I was shocked at that voice that came hurling out of nowhere. Christine, one of our running coaches, said something very nice to me after practice about how inspiring I was in our workout. She said she could see how hard I was working and how strong I was. (I like that — how strong I was). But, she also said that I am very hard on myself and that once I started to get some confidence in myself I would see more improvement. I started thinking about it and said “hard on myself? I’m always cutting myself a break. Always giving myself permission to slack off to have just one more something. That work will still be there tomorrow.” I really feel that I’m lazy sometimes and my drive is an attempt to counteract that. Let’s sit around and eat hagen daz and watch “The Way We Were.” Okay that was fun but now we have to pay for our crime.

Of course I’m sure a million people were watching me muttering as I walked down Broadway looking for a cab. I never realized that so many people out there muttering to themselves were saying things like “if only I hadn’t had that brownie — life would be different.” I realized that I needed to find a happy compromise. I couldn’t just say “no wine” forever because that’s a sure fire way to send me running to Napa Valley. I can’t so no to anything — I’m a reactionary — what you tell me I can’t do, is the first thing I will do. Screw you. Aren’t I so clever, so defiant, so overweight?!?!!?

So my plan comes back to Weight Watchers. I promised Marilyn (my original leader) back in January that no matter what I wouldn’t quit. I think tenacity is one of my greatest qualities. I learned that word in 7th grade when a teacher called me tenacious. I went home and told my mother that my teacher insulted me. I told her he said I was “tenacious.” She looked at me like I was nuts and asked me what I thought tenacious meant. “I don’t know” I said “but something bad.” Once I learned that word tenacious I realized I am tenacious and I have been called tenacious so many time in my life and every time I agree. I am tenacious. I know I have weaknesses — who doesn’t? But when there is a deadline, when there is a goal — I will meet it.

So my plan to meet this goal is to stay with WW but for the next two weeks I will switch over to the Flex Plan and start counting points. It won’t be forever — just for two weeks because I find two weeks to be the magic number for getting into a groove. I started immediately on Friday and wrote down everything I ate. I did the same for Saturday and I will do the same today. Somehow, some way I will start to get this under control again and back on track. I have to get a little pissed off to get motivated. I’m really pissed off. I do best when I come from behind — down a set, down a mile, in the hole. I’m ready for the next round.

Yesterday we had to run 13 miles and I wanted to run it in under 3 hours. I was on track until the last 4 miles. My knees started to give out and I stopped to stretch. The I stopped to help some other people and we walked/ran all the way back. I didn’t need to walk but I needed someone to motivate and they were dying. My time ending up being 3 hours 18 minutes. Not good. Next week is the grad Prix. I am not going to be so nice (actually I am not going to be so needy — I needed them more than they needed me). I am going to take Tylenol and if I see anyone walking I will say “see you at the finish” and keep going. Anything over 3 hours they don’t record. I did well with my hydration and nutrition. Now I just have to get a massage or two in so I can keep my muscles loose. No matter what I will cross that finish line — the 3 hour mark is the goal. If it doesn’t happen now it will happen next month. No matter what I will lose 20 more pounds. If it doesn’t happen right away, it will happen. That I can promise.


“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.”
Amelia Earhart

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