Friends and Weight Loss

I have two friends. (okay, so I have more than two friends, but for this post, I only have two!)

My two friends are roommates.

One is very active and likes doing things like walking through tunnels and climbing mountains and sweating in general (followed by eating earned calories).

The other likes to wander under the pretense of shopping, actually shopping, followed by a meal full of calories that may or may not have been earned at that point.

Its kind of an interesting experience, and I’ve found that the only thing the three of us really do together is eat. A couple of weekends ago I met up with friend #1 to participate in a race, went home and changed to meet up with friend #2, shopped around at a used book store, grabbed lunch and then later we both met up with #1 to eat dinner.

Before I started on my weight loss journey, I can’t say that I spent a lot of time with #1. We had all the same friends of course, but it always more of group situations as opposed to our own little outings. That has changed now, because I am looking for all sorts of new and exciting ways to move my body and make it sweat. (That sounds kind of dirty, but I like it!)

What I’m finding now is that I’d almost rather spend less time with friend #2 because her lack of interest in sweating kind of annoys me. I understand I don’t necessarily have to spend all my time with either/or, but I would like to do things with her that don’t involve just eating delicious albeit high calorie junk food. I’m not going to let this affect our friendship. There are always healthier decisions to be made, and I’m well on my way to making them. I just wish all of my friends would join me, instead just the one.

That said, I’ll take what I can get.

How do you manage your times spent with friends who don’t enjoy sweating as much (or at all) as you do? Have you noticed a change in your relationship?


Stair Climbing and Burning Out

This morning instead of going to the gym, I climbed the Stairs of Doom five times. They’re relatively close to my home, so it was just a short walk to get there. I used my heart rate monitor, which I’m pretty much in love with. I was only active for about 20 minutes, and burned just over 200 calories.

I didn’t think to bring my camera because I was running a little behind this morning. All this sun is making it difficult to get quality sleep! I forget to go to bed because its still light at midnight… I wake up at three am to pee, and the sun is coming over the mountains! I’ve lived here for 5 years, you’d think I’d be used to this by now.

 After I came home, a little disappointed in my calorie burn, despite being covered in sweat, I decided to turn on a little music and dance for another 15 minutes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the next couple of months, and I’m starting to feel burnt out. If I want to see more results, I have to work for it much harder than I have been. Working harder also burns me out. Having my schedule changed burns me out.  Asking more of myself burns me out. 
I think the part that I keep forgetting is, The more I ask of myself, the more I’m able to accomplish. Perhaps I won’t reach that “goal” but I’ll be so much closer to it than if I hadn’t started at all.
Even though I have all these walks planned, I almost don’t even care at this point.Okay, even writing that doesn’t feel true. I guess I still just want to be at the finish line, and skip all the hard stuff- you know, the stuff that matters. The stuff that shows you who you are, the stuff the creates memories. 
As Miley Cyrus sings, 

Ain’t about how fast you get there

Ain’t about whats waiting on the other side

Its the climb
Yup. Totally just quoted a Miley Cyrus song.
Speaking of things leading me closer to my goals, I was invited to go on a hike this Friday immediately after work on the Bird Ridge Trail, near Girdwood, Alaska. It is listed as a moderate to difficult 2.5 miles one day with a 3500 elevation gain. My head is kind of spinning just thinking about it. Several other people will be going, including two of my documentary programmers for the AIFF this year (whom I recruited myself) so in theory it should be fun. But I don’t want to be that person that holds every one back. I don’t want people waiting on me, cause it makes me feel lame.
The view from the top of Bird Ridge (source)

I really really really don’t think I’m ready for such a hike. But if I never go, I’ll never know, right? Maybe I should go climb some more stairs…

How do you keep from burning out?

Weekend Overview

Last week was pretty amazing. I worked out 5/7 days, which is the first time I’ve met that exercise goal. I’m starting to find if I haven’t worked out before noon, my body starts going through withdrawls. I’m sitting at my work desk right now, and everything is sore, but all I want to do is sweat and move and burn. I feel so awesome afterwards I can barely stand it. Its completely addicting.

This weekend brought a lot of… food. I ate really well on Friday, until my co-workers “Broing” Away Party started, where I drank four or more beers (I lost count after two… I don’t hold my alcohol very well!), snacked on fudge, pizza pockets, trail mix, chips and queso and Tater Tots. I didn’t stress about it too much because the day before I had barely eaten 1000 calories after my zumba calorie defiencent, and on Saturday I did a really hard core work out for about 45 minutes that kicked my ass. I took a four hour nap afterwards. (It probably didn’t help that I was also hungover.)

The problem I experienced on Saturday was yet another food related issue. My eyes were too big for my stomach, you see. After my nap, I wasn’t really hungry but I hadn’t eaten since before my killer workout and decided I should have something. I made vegetarain tacos. It included mexican rice (rice, half a pack of taco seasoning, 1 can southwest style corn), taco “meat” (1 cup morning star meat crumbles, 1/2 pack taco seasoning) cheese and sour cream. I was full after 1 and half, but for some reason I just had to eat the whole plate. And I did. And it was terrible. I don’t know exactly what it was (it wasn’t so much that I had stuffed myself) but it happens almost every time I eat the veggie crumbles, I just get sick. Does that happen to anyone else?

Sunday, I slept in, and even though my body was super sore, I still zumba’d, still worked harder than I had ever before, and felt awesome afterward. For brunch I had quesadillas with left over rice (cause I’m never eating Morning Star Crumbles again… can’t do it.), after working out I had a bowl of cereal. Later that evening, I went to the theater and saw Black Swan with my friend and her boyfriend.

At BearTooth Theater, they serve real food like appetizers, pizza and burritos and beer, and whatnot, so I ordered a spicy bear burrito (Blackened tofu, grilled veggies, refried black beans, cheese, rice, cucumber-dill sauce, salsa fresca) and ate most of it, but really it just reaffirmed that I really don’t like tofu. I took a relatively large bite near the end and started gagging so I spit it out and put it rest of it aside. I also consumed a large coke.

So this week my new roommate is coming in, and I’m hoping she’ll be a workout buddy instead of someone who is just kinda in my way. My goal is to stay within my calorie budget, workout every day this week, though perhaps varying the intensity of the workouts. I just love the sore muscle feeling. Its so rewarding to lift my arms and feel the burn. Today’s weight: 305.8. Up .2 from last week, but considering how this weekend went down, I’m pretty impressed.

Happy Monday everyone!

When Change Rains, it Pours

On Wednesday last week, I tweeted about not having any real defined goals. So, over this weekend, I decided to define them. But first, a weekend recap.

Friday I was supposed to go to a concert a local bar, but I just felt horrible all day, so I stayed home and tried to get some rest. Saturday, my friend who recently came home from Afghanistan via the Army came into town and I took her to see Avenue Q. Avenue Q, for those who don’t know, is a wonderfully subversive musical with Jim Henson like puppets, and Gary Coleman as played by a woman. It is fantastic. I was really happy to be able to take her to something that was so hilariously upbeat considering some of the subjects they hit upon. And I worried that being in the middle of the row, and having a full audience might cause her some panic but she handled the whole thing pretty well.

Afterward, we went to Spenard Roadhouse for dinner, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Its very eclectic, casual, and trendy. Family oriented, but serves all your favorite alcoholic drinks. I don’t eat out often, but when I do, I try to come here. I love it. For dinner I had a veggie sandwich (apparently I am not a fan of fontina cheese- who knew) and split pea and ham soup (cause I’m a flexitarian now and I can eat meat when I eat out). Oh yes, and an order of super tots, which are possibly deadly. Tater tots topped with chives, green onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream.  We talked about all sorts of things, caught up on everything she’d missed while she was gone. She told me she started running while overseas, and I mentioned to her my goal of running a 5k by the end of the summer. She’s being stationed in Hawaii, and so, plans started forming in my head.

Because we had gone to the early show, when dinner was over, it was still kinda early, so we headed off to the movies and watched No Strings Attached. Did I love it? Of course I did. I love Natalie Portman and most romantic comedies. My friend dropped me off afterwards, and I comptemplated cleaning my kitchen. I think I watched How I Met Your Mother and went to bed instead.

It was a great day, but I couldn’t help but notice how much of the day I spent sitting. I didn’t particularly want to sit, but I couldn’t think of anything that sounded remotely fun that didn’t involves lots of sitting.

Sunday was my day of rest. Of course by day of rest, I mean it was my day of cleaning and school work, and watching Sarah Marshall twice- once with commentary and once without. For brunch I had easy mac and a fiber plus bar. I wanted to cook something, but my kitchen is half destroyed right now cause I can’t seem to wash all my dishes in one go, so I ordered an extra large pizza instead. Why? I don’t know. It seemed easier, I guess. I ordered a garlic veggie supreme and mozzarella sticks. (THIS IS HOW PEOPLE STAY FAT, JSYK). I ate half of it before forcing myself to go to bed.

The good news though. After my conversation with my friend, I started looking at races happening in Hawaii around my birthday. The closest one I could find is the Maui Marathon on Sept. 18th this year. I am going. My mother is going. My friend is going. Its going to be great.

Now, if you are actually viewing my blog, you might notice a new widget on the right side of the screen. Its to raise money for the Warmth Walk sponsored by United Way Anchorage on Feburary 19th. I will be walking. Its only a mile, and should go pretty quickly, but I thought it would be a nice way to get excited for Break Up (known in other parts of the country as “Spring”) and the Summer to come! So if anyone would like to donate some dollars, your help is much appreciated.

So to recap. Short term and long term goals have been defined:

Short term: Walk for Warmth; getting as physically ready for c25k as possible
Medium term: Womens Walk for Cure (or some such thing in May); start/complete c25k; other races as applicable
Long term: Flying my mother and myself to Maui for the 41st Maui Marathon in Sept (I’m going to walk/run the 1/2).; maintaining flexitarianism, make healthy food choices; see consistent weight loss.

This is going to be a great summer.

Redefining a Goal

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to do the Couch 2 5k program. It started out easy, and after Monday, when I repeated Week 2 Day 3 for a third time, I realized that trying to jog 3.1 miles in 4 more weeks was going to be suicide. I’m just not there yet. And I’m okay with that. The reason I jumped for something that might be unattainable is because I was looking for something challenging that I knew I could do. At some point, yes, I will be able to run 3.1 miles. Now that I know I can move my body, and enjoy its bulbous swaying, I know I can look forward to this. In the future.

Instead, what I will be doing is walking a half marathon. 13 miles in six or less hours. Right now, I know I can walk about 5 miles before I feel like falling over dead. I am very confident in myself to achieve this new goal in the 4 weeks allotted to me.

Originally, I had decided that as a gift to myself for completing the 5k, I would buy a new phone. Now that my goal has changed, (and all of my plans have changed) I decided that I will purchase a gym membership upon my completion of walking the half marathon. I figure, if I can dedicate myself to a half marathon, then I can dedicate myself to a gym. Come September, its going to start getting cold, and dark, and I’ll be in school and working 12 hours a day. If I don’t have a place outside of my house to decompress, I’m not sure I’ll make it through another winter.

Something I’ve learned about myself: I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Everyday I finished a C25k segment, I wanted to cheer. Hell, I did cheer. I didn’t think I’d get through it, but I did. But I know now that my progress with the program is going to slow dramatically until I get some of this fat off, and take the pressure off my knees.

Half Marathon August 15th. Anyone want to join me in preparing for this monstrous event? Its gonna be fun!

Motivation’s Death is the Start of a New Beginning

These last couple of weeks have been tumultuous at best, and down right heartbreaking at worst. My grandfather passing was not unexpected. In fact, as I’ve said before, its one of two deaths I was waiting for this year. When I got the news, my weight was 309.something. Yesterday is was 314.2. Thats about a five pound gain, and considering all the snacking I’ve done and stress I’ve been under, I’m not entirely surprised. The good news is, during the worst of it, my weight got up to 317, so I have been averaging out a little bit.

Despite all the stress and sadness, I’ve continued walking home from work every evening, and getting in at least one walk each weekend, even if its not very long or hard. I’ve been trying to pay attention to my food, but a lot of my meals are either eaten in front of my computer, the tv, or in secret. <—That needs to stop asap. And I have been listening to my body, but it seems like I’m just never really that hungry, so I fell into old habits of, “Its breakfast? I must eat breakfast. Its lunch time? I must eat lunch. Its dinner, you say? Well, then I must eat dinner.” That habit is definitely a little harder to break than the others. And while I haven’t been photographing everything, I am usually aware of what I’m eating, and whether or not I actually want it, if not whether or not I’m actually hungry and it will satisfy that hunger. I’ve been giving in to impulses and cravings on occasion. But there is still an underline of mindfulness. 

I’m getting bored now though. I think at this point, I need something to focus in on. I need a goal to reach. Originally, I wasn’t planning on setting goals because I just wanted to focus on my food intake and start noticing what makes me tick. Well, I have:

  • I crave solitude but hate feeling lonely or abandoned. 
  • I have kitchen issues because I have food issues.  (The issue being, don’t touch my food!)
  • Strongly dislike spending time with my roommate while she’s spending time with her boyfriend. 
  • Stress and boredom lead me to the kitchen. 
  • As soon as I’m alone, the first thing I do is see what I can eat. 
  • I internalize everything. Alone. 

 Food basically calms me down. It gives me a purpose. Food doesn’t reject you. It will always say, “eat me!”

Everything is changing right now. My roommate is leaving in the middle of July. I’m starting college in the fall. I thought I was moving, but apparently I am not.With all these changes happening, I need something to work towards. Something that’ll get me out of the house, keep me active and fill up my ever expanding free time before I’m shut in all winter with nothing but books and a new kitty to keep me company.

So, starting to today, I am officially going to start training to run a 5k. My goal will be to run in the Snow City Cafe 5k Race on August 15th, 2010. The number on the scale, its important. Seeing it go down is important. Feeling healthy, strong, and capable is much more important, I think. I know the best way to get this weight off is by exercising, because I love food.

I have had an emotional love affair with food for nearly 20 years, and I know that counting calories and cutting things out completely is not going to help me in the long run. Its just going to piss me off and leave me discouraged. Knowing what I’m eating and why I’m eating it is also very important, and I will continue to focus on that as well.

But exercise, well now. That’s a whole other ball game, isn’t it? While its possible to exercise too much, its a lot easier to recognize when you’ve had enough, when you need to do more, and having a tangible goal at the end that must be accomplished in order to record ones success is right there as opposed to an “arbitrary” number on a scale. Completing a 5k will mean that I am capable of running 3 miles. If thats something I can accomplish at 300 pounds, then great. How cool will my body be for pulling that off? If in the process of training, I lose more weight than I did when I wasn’t training, then thats cool too. I’ll still be able to run 3.1 miles at the end. (Not going to lie: I can’t wait to see how much weight melts off me from training!) (and hopefully my legs won’t collapse beneath my weight.)

Of course I will continue to eat as mindfully as I am able, and hopefully this new goal will further encourage me to listen carefully to my body’s needs and take care of them accordingly.

I’m so excited right now!

What To Do, Now Lost Is Over

So I’m pretty excited about this whole blog thing, and before I start talking about what to do now that Lost is over, I wanted to let everyone know that I will be participating in a Weight Loss Blog Tour. Its going live on Thursday, and I’m super excited about it. I hope to get to know some of the bloggers I’ve been following, and find some new ones. And hopefully who ever follows the links will find this blog of mine, and become instantly entranced at my mad writing skills. 

Or not. Its all good. :p. Anyway, keep an eye out, and I look forward to the following days with glee!

My roommate and I also work together, and a lot of my life is wrapped up in hers. We’re basically best friends. If it seems like I talk about myself as “we” more often than not, that’s why. She is there, where ever I go.

Usually, we rush home on Tuesdays, after work to catch Lost. We almost always miss the first 10 minutes, but thats okay because then we go back and watch it the next day On Demand.

But now, lost is over, and I’m not sure what we should occupy our time with. Going for a walk seems to be an obvious choice, and I’d like to do that, but I feel like maybe something… else might be more appropriate. I just don’t know what something else is. The only stipulations are, it has to be free, or free after buying a few cheap pieces of equipment. And interesting enough that, after doing 18 times, it hasn’t become dull and forgetful.

Any ideas?