Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things I Learned While On Vacation...

1. It is very important that I continue to stock my kitchen with healthy foods, fresh veggies, and things that make my body feel good. When I'm faced with loads upon loads of crappy, carb and sugar-heavy foods (can I just note that someone in my family must hate me because they ordered pizza around 12 a.m. two nights on this vacation? I LOVE pizza!), I will inevitably eat some. Not gorge. But eat some.

2. To build on #1, if I do eat those types of things, it affects how my body performs. I was on W5D3 of my Couch to 5k interval training (which is a 5 min warm up, 20 minute run, and 7 min cool down) and I pooped out at 11 minutes. 11 minutes?! Really?! I KNOW I can do better than that. I was so disappointed in myself. Then I remembered the pizza from the night before and the Krispy Kreme donut I had with my bowl of oatmeal the day before. If anything positive came out of that sad, sad run, it was a reinforcement to remind myself how much my eating DOES affect my exercise. And as the focus becomes less about weight loss and more about what my body can do, the desire to eat good-for-me things is more and more tangible.

3. On a positive note, and building on the above two, I realize I have changed from last year. Last year Abbie's diet on vacation looked like a free-for-all. And, although the vacation diet was not as strict as my normal diet, it did include things that I normally eat (i.e., cottage cheese for my snacks, oatmeal as my staple morning breakfast, tuna for lunch, etc.).

So, to sum up, my ego was very much hit this past week, but maybe it needed to be. Here I was, all smug about my consistent weight loss, hitting my first mini weight loss goal. Look at all those losers, struggling with food issues! Not me, I got this! Well, no. I don't "got" this. Not yet. Complacency is how I let myself get this way in the first place. Although my life is about to get dramatically more busy as I start night law school in 3 weeks, I still need to keep exercise and healthy eating in the forefront on my mind. Yes, law school is my first priority, but exercise and healthy eating enable me to be the best law school student I can be.

First 5k is in September, and I'm scared. That's a big step in the exercise things-I-want-to-do checklist. But, I cannot begin to describe how great it felt to run this morning. 2-5 minute runs and 1-8 minute run. Those 5 minute runs are so much easier. The 8 minutes are a lot easier too, although by the 7th minute or so, I'm praying the podcast announcer will announce my time is up. This is such a huge NSV (for those who don't understand the lingo-I didn't either for awhile- NSV = Non-scale victory) for me. To be able to run. Like the dainty, flouncy, runners who make running look so effortless. Can I be one of those runner girls? I know the standard uniform is cute shorts and a sports bra/tank top combo, but can I be a runner too with my too-big t-shirt and sweaty face? Pretty please?

How is everyone's healthy eating/exercise habits coming along? And, by the way, if you ever have ANY doubt, you do most certainly "got" this.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vacations, boot camps and the like...

So I've been doing boot camp once a week at the gym.

And it's hard.

Like bust-your-butt-super-sweaty-not-sure-I-can-actually-complete-all-the-drills-hard.

But, oddly enough, I finished. I was on the verge of collapse at the end, but, I finished. Which I've always said is the most important part. And, as I was cursing the stupid class and the stupid weights and the stupid lunges that I was currently doing, I caught my reflection in the mirror...and just stared. Who the hell is that girl in the mirror?! The one with determination on her face and clean lines on her body? The one who, although sweating like a pig, was still on the heels of her classmates during the laps around the classroom? Boot camp is a dual-edged sword. On one hand, I look around and am so proud that I can be in the same class and (kind of) keep up with these beautiful, strong, fit people. On the other hand, it's a continuous reminder of how far I still have to go.

I think life is like that though. It's a continuous cycle of doing small (emphasis on small) steps, plugging at it and re-evaluating to see if it's working, how far you have left to go, and if the goals need to be modified. If someone had actually told me how much work this whole losing weight took, I might have quit even before I started. How much gym time, the overhaul of your refrigerator, the mindful eating. It's hard work! I'm not whining, but we're human, and we tend to get overwhelmed easily. However, I know I can have one day of good eating. A week of hardcore working out. A refrigerator filled with clean food that I know will fuel my body so that I can enjoy all the active things I like to do. And, and I completely believe this is the most important thing: I have knowledge. Knowledge of myself, and the way I react to stressful situations (cue eating your emotions). Knowledge of what greasy, fatty food does to my body (cue tummy ache and general feeling of greasy pores/grossness). And, finally, knowledge that one cheat meal is not going to "throw me off the wagon." There's got to be a balance somewhere, and I think I have my whole life to perfect it.

On a side note, I'm starting week 4 of my Couch to 5k interval training tomorrow. I truly believe I can run these stupid intervals, if I could just get over my brain telling me I can't. Someone once wrote on another blog that messages sent from your brain and your body (and vice versa) aren't like im's. They're like USPS. Right before Christmas. It always takes awhile for your body or brain to catch up when the opposite is giving out commands. So, although I wish wish WISH I could just get to the part where I'm a runner, life is good, and I happily zone out on my daily 5 mile runs, I'm just not there yet. It will just take patience (which I hate, but must learn to live with) and a whole lot of practice.

On another side, can I express how stupid-excited I am to be going on vacation this Friday? One week of sand, surf, and family time. And I get to do my week 5 of interval running on the beach! Can't get any better than that. ;o) I've been so excited to run on the beach, and it's just another reminder of how far I've come. Last summer, I don't even think I brought my workout shoes. Even though this is vacation, this is not a free-for-all. Yes, I will enjoy responsibly my intake of good-tasting food and live up every moment of the art of doing nothing, but I'm also looking forward to running with the seagulls flying, playing sand volleyball, maybe taking a surf lesson. Just being active. Being active, for me, is the greatest reminder that I'm alive. My body is not just a decoration. It's a machine. Built to work, and sweat, and move energy, and accomplish.

Hope everyone has fabulous vacations planned as well. I'll be thinking of all of my fellow bloggers as I sit on the beach with a chilled alcoholic beverage and chick flick novel in hand ;o)