Monday, January 24, 2011

Tough one

It's been a tough day, and I worry it may be a tough week.

I spent all morning working on my proofreading job and fighting the urge to snack. Ended up eating two Weight Watchers ice cream treats before I left for work. I was in a bad mood after that, wondering why all of a sudden I'm having a hard time.

But since I arrived at work, I've managed the calories well, and I should end today only 9 calories over my 1,200 limit. I didn't do a lick of exercise today, which is why my calorie count is at the lowest number.

I'm not sure when the switch flipped, but all of a sudden I'm not feeling as motivated and energetic as I've felt in prior weeks. I'm so terribly afraid I'm starting to slip. Last night, I snacked way too much. I had the extra calories from doing 8 miles, but I shouldn't have used them all (and then some).

I'm hoping I can keep my head on straight the rest of the week so I can end the month well and on target. It's only a few days away...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keep going

I spent Saturday under a blanket proofreading all day long. I truly wasn't looking forward to going running today in this freakishly cold weather. Especially since I had to run 8 miles and I knew it would take me forever.

It DID take me forever, but I made it out there, actually driving to First Landing to run on the softer surface. Thank heaven for the sun being out, but it still was so cold. I wore two pairs of gloves and my hands still were freezing.

The big problem is that it took 4.5 miles for my calves to warm up. So I had to walk that whole distance. Then, I ran/walked the rest of the way. It felt good to finish strong.

I've eaten more than I should have today, snacking on Smarties as I proofread. Only 25 calories a packet. But those calories sure add up fast. Oh well.

It's going to be a rough week with this job due on Friday and being so behind. But I promise to stick with Diet Coke to get me through and not candy!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I was determined to make it to spin class today. I was looking forward to seeing my favorite instructor and spinning/lunching with friends afterward. And I knew if I skipped it, I'd have already broken the Friday tradition.

So when I found out I had a day shift at the newspaper, I was bummed. Mega bummed. But then my boss figured out a way I could go: If I got all my work done beforehand, I could take a lunch break and return after the spin/lunch combo.

Well, easier said than done. I had designer's block Thursday night and everything I tried, failed. I finally went home at 3:30 a.m. when the computer kicked me off - and out. I returned at 10 a.m. this morning and was able to finish up minutes before taking off for the 12:15 p.m. class.

I was beyond thrilled when my favorite instructor recognized me (after all this time) and gave me a hug and words of encouragement. I was pumped for the class and started pedaling wildly.

Fast-forward (well, slow-mo forward is more like how it felt) to 12:45 and my legs were dying. I considered stopping early but then remembered the mountain of work I had to finish just to get here. So I kept going.

At 1:04, the instructor had us do another 5 minutes of very, very hard climbing. I didn't think I was going to make it. I tried to distract my brain by thinking about work, singing a song to myself, but nothing worked. So I decided to pray. "Our Father," followed by "Hail Mary," and repeat. It seemed a little ridiculous to be thinking these prayers as the stereo blared "If You Want My Body," but it worked. The five minutes passed and, well, I felt blessed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


All I want to do is sleep. And it's all I've been doing. It takes a great deal of effort to uncurl myself from my blanket and get outside to run or go to work.

Which made me think that, possibly, I'm a bear.

I'm supposed to be hibernating right now! After all, I spent all of November and December stocking up on food - eating everything in sight - to prepare for this hibernation period. Why, oh why, then must I be awake right now?

Seriously, I have seemed extra lazy lately. I'm sleeping way too much, which is no good and just makes me more tired. The weather sure isn't helping my motivation to change that, though.

I'm still working out. Not as much as I need to be, but I'm doing something every day. My legs, however, just feel like lead. They're sore all the time. They are not looking forward to today's run or tomorrow's spin class. But I am determined to keep pushing them.

Overall, it's going well. I know I haven't indulged you with my current weight or starting weight, but I promise I will soon. My plan this time around is to check in every month. I have those big weight goals I shared earlier, but I also have smaller month-by-month weight and exercise goals to get me there. I'll share with you where I stand.

In the meantime, I'll work on waking this bear up....after a quick nap.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hardy har har

So I resisted the dessert party only to come into work and find the table behind my desk filled with leftovers from said dessert party.

Including red velvet cupcakes and Heath bar cookies.

I've avoided looking at them and am happy to say I haven't caved in.

But, really??

Doesn't seem fair...

...when I run/walk 7 miles instead of going to a dessert party, eat under my allotted calories for the day and step on the scale this morning only to see it's gone up.

Now, granted, I know my body and for some reason the scale is always up the day after I run long distances. I know it is what it is.

But I just looked at all the photos from the dessert party (for those who don't know what this is, imagine walking into a bakery filled with every single delicious thing you can think of and being allowed to eat whatever you want, as much as you want, for as long as you want) and it all looked so good and I started to think about how tasty it would have been.

It's not regret I'm feeling. I know it was for the best. But I just wanted to whine a little at the unfairness of it all!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A place for me

There is a place I can go where the people treat me like a runner, no matter how much I weigh:

Running Etc., the mom-and-pop running store in Norfolk, where I finally snuck in to get new running shoes today. Snuck in and saw one of my favorite employees, John, who asked, "Training for any races?" He always asks, always inquires about my past running injuries, always encourages me. As do the others who work there, including owner Mike.

Anyway, thought I'd pass that along. I faced one fear and was met with a good deal of comfort.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First step

Well, I made it to a class at the Y, finally. Granted, it wasn't a class where I could see myself in a mirror, but we're talking baby steps here. I resumed (after a 16-month hiatus) my spin class I loved so much back in the day. It was hard, to say the least, to get back in the saddle, but it felt great afterward.

It's also a great calorie burn, though I can never figure out how much I truly burn. Different sites have it ranging from 400 to 1,000 calories burned for an hour. I gave myself 600. That may be too much. But I don't tend to eat my burned calories anyhow, so it's all just for show.

I was glad I was able to get off the bike and not have wobbly legs. They even felt fine walking home. But I knew the real soreness was still to come. Little did I know it would be now, one hour later, as I sit here and type. SORE! I'm actually looking forward to my mid-work 1-mile walk tonight, so I can get them moving and hopefully not be in serious soreness tomorrow.

The eating has been going well. I did have M&Ms yesterday on M&M Thursday (it's so hard to buy them and put them out and not partake) but I included them in my calorie count and was pleased when I stepped on the scale today that it didn't backfire on me. I find myself craving peanuts/peanut butter a lot lately, and those peanut M&Ms were heaven-sent. Fun fact: 10 peanut M&Ms have 100-ish calories. Not-so-fun fact: The tiny little cups I use for M&M Thursday can each hold 20 peanut M&Ms...a lot more than I thought!

I will likely not work out tomorrow...going to instead have a marathon proofreading day. So here is my workout tally for the week:

Sunday: nada
Monday: 3-mile walk
Tuesday: 1-mile walk
Wednesday: 3-mile run/walk + 210 steps
Thursday: 3-mile run/walk + 1-mile walk
Friday: 1-hour spin class (and hopefully a 1-mile walk tonight)
Saturday: likely nada

I'm pleased with it. I'm trying desperately to not get injured, and any tweak I feel in my leg (always the left) worries me. I don't want to overdo it.

Side note: I realized today that I have a serious anger problem when it comes to how people view me at gyms. In the past, I've held grudges against certain gyms where the trainers treat me like an inactive, lazy person based on my weight. Today, when the trainer (a substitute for my favorite spin instructor) looked out at the crowd, which included other newbies, he stared at me when saying people new to the spin class need to take an intro class first. He stared so much I had to finally reply, "I've been here before." I was so angry at that assumption that, because I'm fat, I know nothing about exercise. I'm trying to be more understanding. After all, I know I don't look like an exercise enthusiast. It just hurts, though. Like I've said before, inside, I don't feel like this obese woman. Inside, I feel like the fit runner I want to be. The reality I'm not can be painful to absorb.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today's horoscope, read while sitting around in my pajamas being lazy and depressed about being fat:

Your problem is quite circular in nature. A total change of scenery will help you get into just the mindset to break the chain.

In other words, keep up this laziness and you'll remain fat and thus depressed which will make you not want to exercise and remain fat and thus depressed...

So despite a howling wind (seriously) all day long, I finally unraveled myself from my blanket and went out for a run. I can actually call today's run a run because it's fair to say I ran about half of the 3 miles, maybe more, maybe less but much, much more than I have for weeks. Anytime I felt like my legs were too tight, I kept picturing myself with legs like Gumby or Olive Oyl, all loose and rubbery. It actually worked, I think. I was able to finish without pain, and that's an accomplishment for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cluck cluck

So I was a chicken. I didn't go to the class.

I almost feel paralyzed with fear, and I have never been this way before. I think part of it is seeing how much I've regressed in my running and knowing it will be the same at the gym.

Of course, today's weather and my feeling very nauseated didn't help.

Oh, will I ever be the person I want to be?

Monday, January 10, 2011


I just got back from what I hoped would be a 3- or 4-mile run but turned out to be another 3-mile walk. This cold weather does a number on my already tight calves and they just wouldn't loosen up. Then some shin pain started and I freaked out.

I have an alternative to outdoor running/walking. But I'm terrified to use it.

I rejoined the YMCA on Friday. The last time I was a member, I took advantage of its classes (spinning and power cut) and loved it. I was heavy but not nearly what I am now. And while some trainers who didn't know me would look at me skeptically in class, like there was no way I could handle it, others were wonderful and helpful and encouraging.

Now I weigh more, and I've rejoined, and I'm ready to try again. But I really am scared. I'm scared of seeing myself reflected in those class mirrors. I'm scared of others seeing me and scoffing. I'm scared of the trainers who knew me when I was thinner being ashamed of what I've become.

This shame has also made me delay getting much-needed new running shoes. I'm ashamed to go to my favorite running store where they'll see me and what I've become.

During my walk today, I decided I would attempt tomorrow's 8:15 a.m. power cut class. And I made a plan to go to the running store later this week. I hope I will be brave enough to do it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh well

Turns out I can't run/walk today. I tried. I was up at 8. But my knee is sore - something I noticed while bike riding but ignored. It's the kind of sore I've felt before and the kind of sore that is no good.

Icing it now and hope it feels better tomorrow.

Keep moving

Oh what a day.

As I mentioned, I have a new proofreading job, but it's the sequel to another novel, so I wanted to read the first book first. After some hijinks, I finally got the book in my hands last night and started to read it this morning. The plan was to read part of it while on an exercise bike at the gym, just so I wasn't a complete slug on the couch all day.

I got off to a late start (surprise, surprise). When I was putting on my workout wear, I glanced outside and it was clear. As I put my outerwear on, I saw snowflakes falling from the sky. And despite having to walk to the gym, less than a half mile away, but still a distance in the cold, I was determined to still go so I packed up my bag.

Then I got outside. Coming down in a torrent were huge snowflakes .. but not really. It wasn't as solid as hail but those weren't flakes. It was more like mini snowballs were falling in a torrent from the sky and the wind was blowing them into my face. I walked to the corner and it was painful. I knew I would not be able to walk to the gym in these conditions (in a matter of minutes, the ground was covered in snow). I decided to duck into the grocery store for cover.

Mission aborted, I did some grocery shopping, picking up a few Lean Cuisines and some bananas. When I emerged from the store, it was still snowing, but not nearly as bad. Which made me reconsider aborting the mission. So I dropped off my groceries and went to the gym, pedaling for an hour as I continued reading my book.

I've never been a fan of the recumbent exercise bike, because it truly doesn't feel like you're getting a workout. But I figured it was the only piece of equipment I could use and actually read on (and use a highlighter for important details) and it was better than nothing.

I only burned about 300 calories biking for an hour, but even the 300 seemed like it was overstating it. When I stood up, my legs weren't wobbly (wobbly being a sure sign of a good workout), so I figured it wasn't all that good.

At home and showered, I finished the book. It was awesome. But I just finished now and it's 2 a.m. And I need to get up at 8 a.m. to get in a run before visiting a friend's house at noon. AND....well, that bike riding must have done something, because I am sore!

And I know that's a good thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Busy bee

It was a nice three days of laziness: the first three days since August where I didn't have another job hanging over my head. I could actually sleep in and not feel bad.

But a new proofreading job is coming tomorrow, so it's back to the grind.

My attempt at running this week didn't go so well, as my calves are extra, extra tight - the result of getting back into a regimen, I'm sure (and climbing lots of flights of stairs). But I've still exercised in some way every day this week. And the eating is going well.

I did have to back out of margaritas with some friends tonight, though, because I'm still in the beginning stages where I'm afraid I'll fall off too soon. I need at least a few weeks of a healthier routine before I add any twists.

Saturday: 5K
Sunday: 6-mile walk
Monday: 210 steps
Tuesday: 210 steps; 1-mile walk
Wednesday: 3-mile walk; 1-mile walk at work
Thursday: 210 steps

I's so minor. I need to start pushing it again. I think I was just so exhausted from all the work, I just relished being a slug this week, er, three days. But I've been a slug exercise-wise for too long now and really need to get out there.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I am a runner. I know I am. I know how to train properly, what shoes/clothes to wear, what to eat and when. I know all about various race courses and the pros and cons of Shamrock vs. Rock 'n' Roll. I know the lingo of PRs, tapers, negative splits. I have run three dozen 5Ks, a dozen 10Ks, six 10-milers and seven half marathons. I trained for a marathon and got up to 20 miles in my training.

Standing at the New Year's Day 5K on Saturday, dressed in a men's 2X running shirt that still showed my bulges, I know what I looked like: a lazy woman who decided to start her resolutions by attempting a 5K, probably because she watches "The Biggest Loser" and thinks if she can run a lap she'll one day run a marathon.

When you see a runner stretching her calves after a race by bending forward and touching her toes, you assume, well, she's stretching. When you see an overweight woman stretching after a race, you assume, as has happened on more than one occasion and again on Saturday, she's sick from running. Let's make sure she's not about to faint.

I am a runner. But it's not what others see when they look at me. And it's not what I felt like Saturday as I ran 3.1 miles around Mount Trashmore.

I was pleased that after a month of inactivity I still had the cardio ability to run a mile straight. And I really only walked when there were ice patches on the course (granted, there were many in the final two miles). But I could feel my weight with each step. Walking felt more like waddling. That word, which hasn't been in my vocabulary in eight years, actually popped into my mind numerous times on Saturday.

I am a runner trapped in the body of an obese woman.

In my head, I have glorious visions of training and races in 2011. But when I actually get outside and hit the pavement, I don't feel like Deena Kastor or Kara Goucher or the friends and coworkers who are in my running circle. I feel like 317-pound Diana gasping for breath as she walked half a block when her weight-loss effort began eight years ago.

I know I have come so far since that day in January 2003. I am proud that I've kept off 80-some pounds. I am proud I'm as active as I am and that the looks I get from others haven't stopped me from running. But if I want to be that true runner, I need to act like a true runner. I need to eat foods that properly fuel my body. I need to stop making excuses and Just Do It.

Recent exercise:
Saturday: Ran/walked 3.1 miles
Sunday: Walked 6 miles
Today: Resting (though it sure doesn't feel like it as I work at warped speed to finish and mail off proofreading job)