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Tunnel, Meet Light November 27, 2010

That was a pretty bleak post I wrote this morning. But you know what is so very awesome about being part of a healthy living community? You put your ugly stuff out there, and people come through for you. This is so very true. So first I got a bunch of supportive tweets. Then I got a phone call from my WW BFF (who also happens to be an awesome WW leader). She said, “It sounds like maybe you need to go to a meeting.”

Light bulb! I have not attended a WW meeting as a member in so very long. And that is something that we are supposed to never forget, that we are all members first. As it happened, HER meeting happened to be starting in less than an hour. So it got me out of my sad woe-is-me pajamas and into some exercise clothes (yay) and over to the meeting.

I felt like such a sad sack in that meeting, but it moved me. Something clicked. The theme was “Learning from Experience.” The thing is, these weekly WW themes can be SO DEEP if we let them be. I sat there and muddled and pondered and thought about what I can learn from this experience. I realized a few things. One, that I was not particularly enjoying my food these past few days because I was eating out of resentment. I wasn’t really savoring or tasting or enjoying my food, which is one of my own cardinal rules. So I vowed that I would really try to go back to savoring as much as possible.

I also realized that I had just been waiting, all this time, almost two years, to see myself stumble and FAIL. Because that little Gollum inside me has been lurking in there, chewing on dead fish and muttering, “You’re not all that, missy.”

Last night I stayed up and caught up on the Makeover Week episode of Biggest Loser. I just cried all the way through it. For those of you who have not been watching Season 10, there are these two women, Elizabeth and Ada. Elizabeth started out the season keeling over during the first challenge and having to be taken away by ambulance. Ada is this fierce Asian-American woman whose parents have been punishing her her whole life for the deaths of her brothers. Anyway, Elizabeth is often physically overwhelmed by challenges; she gets asthma and just has to stop. Ada is a total WARRIOR and really an unstoppable force but she clearly has all this hurt stuff inside. Her family is clearly still punishing her and they suck.

Anyway, in this episode there was this mega-stair challenge. They had to run up like 100 flights of stairs which believe me, is no joke. OR they could take this trolley train thing, for less credit. After like 50 flights of steps, Elizabeth was really struggling (oh I could relate!) and decided to take the train. She felt way behind and when everyone else was done, she was only at 70 and she just could not see doing those last 30 flights alone. She threw in the towel and then was really really upset with herself.

I’ve been that Elizabeth so many times. I’ve had asthma. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. I had pre-eclampsia and gall stones and messed up ankles and allergies. I always had stomach aches when I was little and I just never saw myself as a very healthy person. I would give up so easily. Even when I was on my high school track team, I’d often keel over IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE and start throwing up or throwing some joint out of whack or whatever; ie not finishing because I was so afraid of coming in last.

But as I was watching I realized that I’ve also been Ada. I’ve felt like I’m not good enough (to live). And I’ve also been a fierce unstoppable beast in the gym. I’ve been all those things. They all live inside me.

After I went to the WW meeting I felt a lot calmer. I felt like I had a lot of things to think about (I still do). Then I went to the gym. I got on the elliptical for half an hour. It felt good and sweaty and clean. Then I got on the treadmill. After 12 minutes my feet and ankles were SCREAMING IN PAIN. I got off. I swore a whole bunch. I got back on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes.

So I got a good workout. But the running part sucked big time. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I do know that I am determined to FINISH that damn half-marathon no matter what. I might very well be crawling.

To finish up on the Elizabeth/Ada thing: at the gym the next day, the trainers gave Elizabeth the opportunity to complete her final 30 flights on the stairmaster. And she did it and felt really great about herself. I was so happy for her. She also had her inner fierceness inside. I think we all do.

So I’m feeling calmer, better, sweatier. I want to thank everyone for the support you sent my way earlier. Everyone who texted me, tweeted, emailed and commented – you boosted me up a lot. WHICH IS WHY I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY. Thank you.

 

Struggle.

Filed under: emotions,struggle — Susan @ 1:17 pm

It’s so much fun to write posts about things like “The Best Run of my Life!” It’s not so much fun to write about where I am right now. But for the sake of honesty I think it’s important. It’s not easy and joyful and mindful and strong every single day.  Some days suck. This week has had some great moments but it’s also been kind of sucky.

  • I feel overweight. This is not just my imagination and “feeling fat.” The combination of last week’s vacation and this week’s Thanksgiving has not been a happy one. I’m sure I could have been more mindful on both counts, but it was what it was. Thus feeling the F word in a big way and then wanting to beat myself up for not doing better. SO not fun.
  • I feel super cranky. Partly because of the first point, but also because of some interpersonal tensions I do not feel at liberty to write about. Just… argh.
  • My body feels like CRAP. I had TWO absolutely awful walks this week in which I could not run barely at all. My ankle is feeling suddenly unstable, achey, wobbly, painful. What is up with that? I don’t know. It started really twinging when I took this pretty hike in the elk preserve last weekend, and it has been bothering me a lot since then. I am noticing that my ankle does very, very poorly on hills. It really sets it off. I noticed last night that it even bothered me in bed while I was just lying there, and I woke up with it throbbing. UNHAPPY. I have a half-marathon one week from today. UNHAPPY.
  • My fasting blood glucose was up in not-good land this morning. Great.
  • Realizing it is going to be in the 30s in Las Vegas at the time of the half, and worried/freaked out about freezing and being even less able to accomplish this thing.
  • Cranky/sad because once I had an absolutely packed, overflowing, 3-bedroom suite at Vegas and now I am going to be alone there (alone!!) on Friday night. Junior and Pubsgal are coming on Saturday, but I need to figure out something to do Friday so I don’t have a massive pity party and hit one of those mile-long buffets.
  • I’m premenstrual. Which means that I will probably be in full-blown crampy gore-fest right during the half. FUN. But which also explains my extremely terrible foul mood.
  • Tomorrow is LAUNCH day for the new Weight Watchers plan, which I should be so excited and happy about, but given the state of how I am feeling about myself, I am less rah-rah than I’d like. I hope I can pull it together by Wednesday.

It is pouring rain outside and I am not going to go for any long run. I actually think I need to go to the meditation center more than I need to go to the gym, but I guess I will go to the gym. I am feeling extremely uncentered.

 

Who Wants a DirectLife monitor? November 26, 2010

These people do! The entries for the DirectLife activity monitor giveaway have begun to roll in, and I will be posting/linking to them here. So excited!

I would love to have a DirectLife monitor because it sounds like a tool that truly would help me get healthy. This year I had a wake up call. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Number one thing I need to do is manage the diabetes by diet and exercise. I have lost 35 pounds since June. But I still have a long ways to go. You may ask what makes me think I will be successful this time. Well in August my son, who is 11, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Along with this he also has epilepsy, tourette syndrome, and learning disabilties. So my wake up call is I need to be on this earth as long as I can so that I can assist him into adulthood. I am 52 years old, and I have to make a change. My son needs me. So, please consider me for a DirectLife monitor —Cindy

  • Emily sent me an email entry, and I’m posting it here.

I was in my best physical shape during high school (last century), and one reason is because I was on sports teams where I had a coach who motivated me daily, whether it was through threats of extra laps in the pool, or encouraging me through charting the progress of my race times.  After going to college, I thought I could be my own coach.  But the older I get, the more realistic I am, and realize things are much harder on my own, whereas with others, even the seemingly impossible is doable (like cleaning my garage, or getting through graduate school).

I’m thankful for the community and the coaching I already receive from my WW group and leader (Susan/Foodie!), as it’s helped me commit to sticking to the road to health no matter how long and winding that road is.  What with all the detours I’ve taken already, I know one thing that will help me stay on course all the more is the DirectLife Activity Monitor.  As a graduate student, I’m on a limited (translation: non-existent) budget, and so visiting a personal trainer at a gym isn’t something I can even consider.  I’ve experienced some success with a pedometer in the past, but what really excites me is that I can wear this while swimming (!!!).  Also, a year’s worth of coaching is something I sorely need, because there’s no fudging here and there, since someone else is looking at my numbers and holding me accountable in a way I know I can’t trust myself to do!  With the Activity Monitor, I hope to work towards my goals, starting with running a mile without stopping, and working towards completing a women’s triathlon before I’m 35.

Lastly, in what may come across as an attempt at shameless flattery, but doesn’t make it less true, if Susan uses a DirectLife Activity Monitor, loves it and recommends it, then I want to try it too!  Seriously, I’ve been inspired by her commitment to health, and come away from every WW meeting and blog entry challenged and excited to continue on this road, and the activity monitor is something I wanted to try, but due to my aforementioned budget (or lack thereof!), I I know I can’t on my own.  So, when I read about the giveaway, I promptly crossed my fingers and thought, “This is my chance!”

Colleen wrote in an email:

1-I’m a fitness instructor.  It would be so cool to wear it and report on my progress to the members I teach at the YMCA here in Eugene, OR.

2-I “removed” 70lbs using WW and now have come back to the program after being gone for 1.5 yrs.  I have tried various ways to track my food and activity, but when you teach aerobics and Pilates for a living, it is really hard to calculate what is your daily “job” activity points vs. what is your actual above and beyond activity points.  By that I mean, on some days I teach and am more energetic or sub for another teacher.  On those days I think I burn more calories.  On other days, I teach but don’t sub for anyone, so is it really a workout since it’s my job?  Should I be burning more calories doing something in addition to teaching?  The body is smart and I think it knows what it’s doing.  I always have trouble tracking activity points, therefore deciding whether I should eat them.  By working out a baseline with the monitor, I would be able to set some goals to increase or change my activity.

3-Health and wellness are my passion.  I am always spending money on shoes, trainings (which run from $100-$500), clothes, books, etc.  It would be awesome to get something for free that I would use to better my personal  health, but that I could share with others (well not let them borrow it or anything!) but talk about it, let them see how it works, etc.  It is such a great price point compared to the bodybugg that I think people could and would purchase one if they knew what it could do for them.

4-If I don’t win, I’ll still luv ya on twitter! J  Thanks for keeping us updated on Twitter about the new plan.  Your enthusiasm is contagious! — Colleen

 

Wow. These are all so compelling! I am not sure how I am going to choose.

 

It’s the Food, Stupid! November 23, 2010

Sammy's guacomole

Okay, I shouldn’t be calling myself Stupid. But nor should I be shocked or surprised to return from my little vacation (less than a week!) to stare at a brand-new, unwelcome number on the scale. I was so glad to be all active, and get in runs and hikes and shredding and such, but on the food arena? Not so good.

And the “food part” is really more than half the equation. Some say it is 70%. It’s definitely at least 50%. Food intake and activity are BOTH important. But last week I was being so focused on my activity, I sorta (no, not sorta) turned a blind eye to my food intake. Because it was sooooooooo good.

You know we all engage in some kind of weird magical or wishful thinking when it comes to food. It doesn’t count if… you’re standing up. Or if it’s after midnight. Or you’re wearing a blindfold. For me, I tend to discount my intake if it’s beautiful, expensive, gourmet or lovingly homemade food. I “know” that fast food or junk food can be excessive or whatever, but … what if it’s Chez Panisse? Or some other amazingly wonderful place? I tend to turn a blind eye.

We went to an area that has an incredible bounty of amazing food. It’s the home of Cowgirl Creamery and oysters and and and… we ate at amazing restaurant after amazing restaurant. Then when we were sick of eating out, our friends came up to visit us and brought a crazy array of homemade and bought goods and we had an insanely delicious feast. Juniorette has turned into the world’s most awesome baker and she brought (I am not kidding) the Best Scones I Have Ever Eaten In My Life, plus some beautiful pecan shortbread. Neither of which I could (or wanted to) resist. But here I am now.

It’s the tracking. If I had tracked all that luscious food (which I obviously did not) I would have woken up very quickly to the reality that I was going over my points in every which way. But I am back now. I’m home. I’m back on track and trying to not turn blind eyes anymore.

I don’t regret it. I enjoyed every single morsel. But I think if I had it to do over, I would’ve been just…a little…more… mindful.

chocolate pudding stuff from Stellina

clam chowder from the Busy Bee

black cod from the Olema Inn

Juniorette's pecan shortbread

Cowgirl Creamery cheese

Sammy's caramelized onions & mushrooms

insanely good homemade roast beef sandwich (I had mine openfaced)

 

DirectLife Activity Monitor GIVEAWAY! (including coaching!) November 22, 2010

So you know I am pretty much in love with my DirectLife activity monitor as well as the awesome individual coaching I receive from Coach Jen. She has encouraged me, nudged me, checked up on me, and helped me to keep up with my activity goals. And I know that it has made a huge difference in my health and weight-maintenance life.

Well, the DirectLife folks are pleased that I’m pleased. And they have offered a free activity monitor including a year’s worth of individual coaching to one of my lucky blog readers!!

This is, hands down, the best giveaway I have ever had the opportunity to participate in. It’s HUGE, people! You think a box of ice cream is cool? Well, how about a year of Coach Jen (or one of her colleagues) and the best little piece of jewelry you can own???

Here’s how it will work. This prize is worth so very much more than a random comment. It’s going to take a little effort. This is what you need to do to be considered for this awesome prize.

  • Follow DirectLife (@directlife) on Twitter, and tell them, “I want to win an activity monitor from @foodiemcbody because…” (finish in 140 characters)
  • Visit the DirectLife website and determine if you think it really is a good fit for you. I don’t want to gift this item to anyone who is going to put it in their sock drawer and forget about it.
  • Then you have TWO ways to convince ME. You can record a 2-minute video, or if you are camera shy, write a 250-word blog post on WHY you think a DirectLife activity monitor with coaching will improve your health and life, and why we should choose you. Things you might include: Have you ever tried an activity gadget before? Why do you want this one? How do you intend to reach your daily activity goals?
  • Link to this post on your blog and/or your Facebook page.
  • Post a link to your video or your blog post in a comment HERE. If you do not have a blog, you can email your 250-word statement to foodiemcbody AT hot mail dot com.
  • ANYONE IN THE WORLD is eligible to win this prize! No geographical restrictions! How cool is that.
  • Deadline: Monday, December 6th, 2010 at midnight PST. I will review all entries after I get back from Las Vegas.
 

Mister McBody, Meet Jillian! November 20, 2010

So we are on vacation. Not where we thought we were going to be on vacation, but a lovely getaway nonetheless. It turned out to be a road trip instead of a plane trip, thanks to $&*#! American Airlines. More on that elsewhere. Anyway, there was some rain in the forecast and Mr. McBody expressed some concern that instead of going to a hotel or resort, we are renting a private house without a fitness center. He definitely likes his fitness center, his machines. Whatever will we do?

Never fear! I tossed a couple pairs of hand weights, a foam roller and medicine ball into the car. This is the joy of car travel – you can take ANYthing with you! (I also brought a big bag of books, all the shoes I own and a ton of other stuff I would not have brought on the plane) Plus about 4 Jillian Michaels DVDs, including the 30 Day Shred, which has kicked my butt and made me happy on numerous occasions.

I went for a 4.75 mile walk in the cool rain yesterday morning. My DirectLife told me that this was pretty good, but only 70% of my daily target. Hmm. Who knew. Running is a much more efficient calorie-burner than walking. (duh) I knew I’d have to do something else.

I started in to bugging him around 2pm. He hemmed and hawed. Finally he set me up with a deal: If I would listen to a 20 minute podcast about WWII and the Great Depression (did you know he is a MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE history geek?), then he would do the 30 Day Shred with me. OK. DEAL.

I listened to the podcast. It was pretty good, and not the greatest hardship in the world, since in some parallel universe, I happen to be writing a historical novel set during WWII. So it was helpful, kinda.

The moment had come! But we are staying in a super fancy rental home with a space-age entertainment center, a cabinet full of electronic equipment that says DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING OR YOU WILL BE CHARGED $100, and a remote control with 500 buttons on it. We got the DVD into the player and could not for the life of us get it past the menu where you have to choose which workout. We wrestled with the remote for about half an hour, which burned about 20 calories.

Then we came upon the brilliant idea that we could play it on our laptop. Voila!!

He was a trooper. He said he’d go for Level 2. I was like, YEAH Mister! Jillian started it up and from then on there was not much conversation. But he hung in there, I hung in there (with 8 lb weights!) and we had a KILLER workout that left us both sweating rivers. It was excellent.

He was way impressed! On the way to dinner, he said (several times) “I’m really glad we did that! I feel great!” So yay. Maybe tomorrow (today?) we will try the Yoga one. He also expressed amazement that she did not humiliate us during the workout. Haha.

So go Jillian, you’ve got another convert! and maybe I have an at-home exercise buddy.

 

The Best Run of My Life November 18, 2010

Filed under: emotions,exercise,good things,health — Susan @ 9:56 pm

Today was, hands down, the best run I have ever had in my life. It was amazing for so many reasons and I will outline them here:

  • I did not have any distance or time goals. I just told myself that I was going to run as long as I felt like running. I ended up running for 5.44 miles, and 1 hour  and 20 minutes. Just the fact that I would voluntarily want to run that long, sort of blows all the neurons out of my brain.
  • I did have a mini-goal of keeping an average pace of 15 minute mile or less, accounting for any walk breaks. My final average was 14:48. Yay! My middle miles were in the 12-13 pace range (yay) and my beginning and endings were around 16. I can totally live with this.
  • Nothing hurt during this run. NOTHING. Not even my jankety old ankle. Not even my flat-as-pancake feet. Nothing.
  • It was actually relaxing. It actually felt really, really good.
  • I ran past the most beautiful scenery ever. It made my heart feel good to run around the perimeter of Cesar Chavez Park.
  • The weather was perfect. It started out cool and I was happy to have my snuggy sweatshirt on. It ended up warm and I felt nice and toasty.
  • Every single song on my iPod made me feel so happy and felt perfectly related to my run. I love running to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” (for obvious reasons?) and “Friend of the Devil” (…set out running but I take my time, the friend of the devil is a friend of mine…) But the song that always gets me is the Fray’s “You Found Me.” This song is my perfect running tempo and the lyrics just choke me up. Who found who? I found myself. Why’d I have to wait this long? I do not know.
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me
  • Next: at the EXACT same moment I needed to pee, what appeared right in front of me? A Port-O-Potty. See? A perfect run.

I was really almost in tears when I finished this run. I looked at my Runkeeper. I just kept staring at it. And couldn’t stop saying to myself, you just ran 5.5 miles, ALONE, not as part of a race event, not with any friends, not for any reason except that you wanted to. And it felt good.

LOOK AT YOU, you 51 year old diabetic person! LOOK AT YOU!!!!!
Happy.

 

 
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