Archives
Categories

Fitness

Weigh In and Thoughts on Exercise and Depression

Weight on 6/12/14:                 255
Weight this morning:              250.4
Total loss:                                   -4.6 pounds!

For not dieting, I’d say I’m pretty proud of myself.
Like I said in the last entry, I’m trying to make better choices but I am by no stretch of the imagination counting calories/carbs/points right now.
In the weeks following my birthday(May 30th) I was making some very poor choices and, as a result, I gained those four pounds I just lost, but more than that I felt like total crap, and my blood pressure was the highest it has been in many many years. Like, since I was put on BP meds when I was 26 years old and 300+ pounds. That scared me. A lot.
The good news is that this week of working out for four consecutive days in a row(another mile and a half today!) have brought my blood pressure back down, and I have to say I feel pretty amazing.
This is not new information. I know how great I feel right after I work out. However, it has been well over a year since I exercised regularly enough for it to effect me even longer than the immediate endorphins.
This week I have been going to bed earlier and sleeping better than I have in a very long time. My mood has improved by leaps and bounds. I have been fighting depression a lot the last two years and it had gotten to the point where I just accepted it. I didn’t even notice that it was effecting those around me. I can’t even imagine being my husband and having to put up with me coming home in a foul mood every single day, not wanting to talk only shutting down and wallowing in my own self-pity.
I have felt like a completely different person since I have been exercising. It’s almost shocking. A complete 180 degree turn. I know this sounds like I’m gushing, and I guess I am – but if you have ever lived your life in the dark tunnel of depression, it’s amazing that all I had to do was get out and walk in the sunshine for a half an hour a day.
I’m sure that I knew that back when I was training for the half marathons the first couple of times, and that would make sense because I wasn’t struggling with the depression back then. Not sure if I connected the two things at the time because it’s been a long time since the depression was so encompassing as it has been lately.
I need to make sure I remember this. Hopefully, I won’t need to since I hope to keep on trucking with the exercise.

Three Days in a Row!

I was going to give myself a day off since I had done a mile and a half each the last two days and a girl has got to reward herself. By my lunch break, I had talked myself into only doing a mile, and that would be a sort of break but still have me moving. In the end, here is what I did:

6.18.14

2 Miles!!
Not only did I do 2 miles, but it is also the third consecutive day in a row that I walked on my lunch break. I haven’t done that in years. I usually start out with the best of intentions on a Monday and putter out to maybe twice during the week but never in a row.
I do feel I pushed myself a bit too hard for the heat out there today, but I’m still pretty proud of myself.
My official weigh in is tomorrow but I did sneak a peek at the scale this morning and I was very pleased with what I saw given that I haven’t been dieting, just trying to make small better choices in what I’m eating.
So while I seem to have gotten back on track with the walking(if three days counts – it does to me!), I still don’t have a lot of motivation to start cooking good recipes again.
I think that is mostly because the ones that I’m finding that I want to try are rather involved, and I’ve gotten so used to the time saving convenience foods that I’ve been preparing lately. Not much of an excuse, I know but my lazy butt has gotten used to having a couple hours of couch/tv time a night. And what is stupid is that, just like with exercise, cooking makes me feel better. I enjoy dancing around my kitchen cooking and grooving to my favorite music. I always realize this after I do it – just like running – but it’s like pulling teeth to get me motivated to do either.
I know that I will get there eventually. It’s all a process, and at least I’m making progress, right?
Oh and while I remembered to put sunblock on my face, three days worth of 1/2 hour exposure in the sun has left me a wee bit sunburned.

burn

My Very First Half Marathon

Wow.

Today was a pretty big day for me.  Okay, that is an understatement.  Today was a huge milestone in my life.

I walked the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon.

I say walked because that is what I did the majority of it.  I did jog a bit of it but by no stretch of the imagination did I run it.

It all started back when I began running.  I was doing quite well and was very proud of myself and it seemed like a great goal to sign up for a half marathon.  I was in a new romance with running and have a long standing romance with Vegas so it just seemed natural.  So I shelled out my money and signed up.

…then I strained my IT Band and it sidelined me for a good amount of time.  I was disappointed but was sure I could get my training back on track and be fine for the marathon.

…then I got involved in a local play.  It zapped a lot of my time and energy but I was sure I could get back to my training and be fine for the marathon.

…then I got sick.  TWICE.  But I thought sure…blah, blah, blah.

Yeah.

So the last few weeks I have been busting my hump, walking the loop on my lunch breaks and doing long distances on the weekends but I  couldn’t fight the fear that I just wouldn’t make it.  I had already shelled out the money so there wasn’t really an option of going back.  I had long conversations with The Hubs and he reassured me that I could do it but I couldn’t help fighting the nagging fear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew.

Today I finished the half marathon in 3 hours and 42 minutes.  Not the best time I was hoping for but I DID IT!  It was painful and the last two miles I REALLY wanted to give up but I DID IT!

I finished and found my husband and immediately broke down crying.  I couldn’t tell him why I was crying, but I couldn’t really stop doing it.  Everything hurt.  I was so sore and my feet were wrecked but that really wasn’t the reason I was crying.

I am still overweight.  I may always will be.  But I am nowhere near as HUGE as I used to be.  When I first moved in with The Hubs, I could barely walk our dog Romie down to the end of the block without my lower back seizing up and making me stop and catch my breath…and we lived in the MIDDLE of the block!   There was a point that I couldn’t tie my own shoes because I was so overweight so I always bought slip ons.

After I had lost a few pounds, I then had an anxiety problem that crippled me in the way of walking out in open spaces.  I literally needed to have something to hold on to to get to my destination.  If I didn’t I could only walk completely hunched over, staring at the ground until I got somewhere were I knew I would be supported.  I can’t explain it but I had an overwhelming feeling that I was going to fall down in open spaces.  I was so scared that I would fall and that fear just fed into my anxiety until it was out of control.  I don’t pretend to understand and I don’t know how to describe it to others but it was very much there.  It had a lot to do with my stress level at the job I had at the time because once we moved and I got a new job it gradually went away.

So as you can see, I had some issues with just being able to walk.

Today, I paid a good amount of money to walk 13.1 miles.  And I did it.  And I got a shiny medal for it that I will ALWAYS hold dear to my heart.

This medal means so much more than just finishing a half marathon.  This medal means that I have conquered so many fears and doubts about myself that I can’t even name.

That was why I couldn’t stop crying when I finished.  It was a release of many years of being held captive by my own mind and body.

I did it!

So many of my friends and family have helped cheer me on along the way.  Giving me hope and encouragement when I had none of my own.  You ALL told me that I could do it. You ALL believed in me and I didn’t believe in myself.  I love you so much for that.

Special shout out to my husband.  He was not only behind me every step of the way but he was there to lift me up when I fell.  He was privy to a lot of emotional downfalls during my journey and had nothing but positive words and actions to help me through.

Today when he met me after I was done I fell apart.  Because I knew I could.  I knew he would understand and get me through the rest of the day no matter what.  He is a special man and he had stuck through me from 300+ pounds to current and has never wavered with his love and devotion.

So while the medal means a lot to me and I will always look at it with pride, I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life that love me and help me out when I need it.  You know who you are.  :-)

I ran…I ran so far away

Heh, okay not really, but I DID run a mile today.

Today was my first official day back at counting points.  My life has gotten back to a somewhat normal status.  The play is running smoothly so we don’t even have to have a pick up rehearsal this week and my cold is finally fading.  My IT band was healed long ago so I really don’t have any more excuses.

Yesterday I prepared some low point chicken wraps for lunches and stocked up at the store on soups and bagel thins.  I portioned out cereal and crackers and all that good stuff and I feel like I am back in a good place.

Today I brought my running shoes to work but by eleven I had all but talked myself out of going for a walk.  The excuses were thin at best.  “It’s warm outside.”  “Michaelle’s husband is bringing the babies and I want to play with the babies.”  “I kinda feel like my cold is coming back, maybe I should just nap on the couch instead.”

So I told myself that I would just go out and walk until I didn’t want to anymore.  Even if that meant stopping after five minutes.  Well three minutes into the walk I was running, and I continued to run until my nike + GPS app said I had run a mile.

And I felt SO GOOD!  I can’t express how good it felt to run again!!  Now don’t get me wrong, my shins were on fire and I was sweating like a pig but I really felt the …I’m reaching for the word here, but I felt IT.  I felt that strong desire to run, the great appreciation of being out in the sunshine, the stress releasing from my body with every footstep that pounded the pavement.  The very feeling that got me so addicted in the first place.

It was so incredible to finally feel it once more.  I’m not letting it get away from me again.

 

Fitbloggin 11

As part of my self induced exile from all things fitness and diet I even stopped reading the blogs that I regularly follow.  It was just too depressing.  I mean, here are all these people doing good in their wellness journeys and then there was me.  To be honest, reading about how well other people were doing made me understand that I was only fooling myself with all the stupid excuses I was making on reasons I was faltering so instead of facing the truth, I just stopped reading.  Heh.  Nothing like a good case of denial.

As I was getting relaxing before I had to get ready for the play yesterday morning I decided to bite the bullet and open up my google reader.  Within a few posts I stumbled upon Roni’s post about next years Fitbloggin.  I remembered enjoying reading all the posts and seeing all the pictures of all those that had attended this years conference and I also remembered how much I wished I had been a part of it.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been seriously lacking in the goal department and I am very much goal oriented when it comes to my weight loss.

You see where this is going right?

Although it is a bit out of my price range, I am going to try my best to get to Fitbloggin next year.  It’s completely crazy to think that I can pull it off and that The Hubs would want to come along, but I really want to do this.  I think it would not only be a good motivation for me to get back on track but I REALLY want to be a part of something this cool and special.

So it might be a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, but I’ve already started a tentative plan as far as getting there and where to stay.  I’m also well aware of how close it is to NY compared to where I live.  I’ve been ITCHING forever to take a trip to see some Broadway shows.  I know that would make it that much more expensive, but it is still in the dream stages right now so don’t burst my bubble yet okay??  ;-)

So, as of right now I haven’t made a commitment, but it is my intention to attend Fitbloggin next year.

Anyone else going?

 

Wharf to Wharf

Its been awhile…
Well, with the injury to my IT Band I haven’t been doing much in the way of exercise. I did the stationary bike but its not the same. It doesn’t give me the same reaction that running does. I’m sitting still, spinning and watching TV inside my house. When I’m running, I am outside in the sunshine and fresh air moving all of my body. Its just so much better.
And as my exercise was not happening, neither was my tracking. The two went hand in hand with me. I no longer felt excited about the weight loss and eating good foods. I did a lot of small cheating and the end result as of last weeks weigh in was a six pound gain. Yeah.
But all my resting my IT band DID pay off and I was able to run/walk the Wharf to Wharf last Sunday! I only ran on the downhills because I wasn’t sure how my knee was going to hold up but I managed to shave 17 minutes off last years time, finishing in 1 hour and 41 minutes by their time. As anyone who has ever ran or walked a large race you know that it takes you quite a while to get to the start line once the timer starts ESPECIALLY if you are a walker because you are more towards the back of the pack. I started my own timer when I crossed the start line and my time from start to finish was 1 hour and 35 minutes. Six miles in 1 hour and 35 minutes!! That is HUGE for me. I was over the moon happy with that.
For those that aren’t familiar with this particular race it is called the Wharf to Wharf because you run from the Wharf in Santa Cruz to the Wharf in Capitola. Its a one way race so at the finish line you walk up to a large parking area where they get everyone on a bus that shuttle you back to Santa Cruz where your car is located.
It is also a very fun race because it has over 40 bands placed throughout the race course that you get to listen to as you run by.
For the last three years my husband(a guitarist) has been one of those bands. He always plays at the same location of mile 4.5.
Last year I took the shuttle back to Santa Cruz and had him come pick me up there after the race was done. That was just crummy. After walking the six miles you go down to the beach to get your prize packet and then hike up a big old hill to stand around in sandy shoes on sore feet for at least an hour while they get everyone on these shuttles. Ick.
So this year we figured that it would actually be easier for me to walk back to where Rob had been playing. I figured that my feet wouldn’t start hurting as long as I kept moving and what the heck, I had already walked six miles, what is another 1 and a half?? :-)
So that is what I did. I was wrong about my feet though. As soon as I slowed my pace they started to hurt and the blisters that had developed were making themselves known. But I did it! So Sunday I walked/ran 7.5 miles!
After I got to the car I did my IT band stretches but didn’t do any other ones. Why would I? I hadn’t injured any of them! Ha!!! Monday morning I could BARELY MOVE!!
You have to figure that I hadn’t run or walked in at least two weeks or so prior to this and then I pushed my body farther than I ever had but didn’t stretch after. Smart.
Everyone at work had a good laugh as I hobbled around like a 90 year old woman but I didn’t mind. It was just a testimony to the fact that I did the best I had ever done on a race and I was proud of myself.
The great news is that of all the things that hurt on my body, my knee was not one of them. I didn’t hurt my IT band! It is healed! Game on! Tomorrow I start back on my walking routine at lunches and the diet goes back into full effect!
In other news I am going to be participating in a local theaters production of Repo! The Genetic Opera. I auditioned Tuesday and I’m in. We have our second meeting tonight. The schedule is going to be pretty tight. Rehearsals are Tuesday through Friday from 6-9 PM, Saturdays from 11-4 and the occasional Sunday. So most days it will be from work straight to rehearsal then home and bed. Good thing I don’t have a social life. :-)
The good thing is that Rob is also in the play as the guitarist in the band so we can car pool. Also the tight schedule should limit my evening snacking so that will be a bonus. And as long as I stick to my walk/running on my lunch breaks I will not be lacking in the exercise because of the play so yay!

Oh and in case you are wondering, I lost 2 pounds this week and plan on getting back to my 10 percent goal by next week.

 

Get the Funk Out

I’ve been in a funk.  Ever since I hurt my leg I’ve been bummed.  The 10K is in less than a week and I can’t run it.  I will walk it but I don’t want to do any further damage so I’m not going to attempt even a jog.
So all I’ve been thinking about lately is how far I had come only to be stopped.  I was really looking forward to seeing how far I could run in the 10K and have been really down on myself because I can’t do it now.
Last night my husband sat me down and we had a talk.  Basically he is sick of the pity party and he had some very valid points.
He brought it to my attention how I have lost focus on why I originally started working out.  It was never about running a half marathon.  It wasn’t about running anything.  It was to help with my weight loss and because it made me feel better.
I’ve gotten so tunnel vision about numbers and distances and run times that I have lost sight of why I started in the first place.
I’m crying over the fact that I can’t run a 10K when 3 months ago I couldn’t run for more than 60 seconds at a time!  I’ve come a long way in a short time and my body is telling me to slow it down.  I may want to do well in races but the act of getting healthy itself is NOT A RACE.  There will always be a 5K or a 10K looming on the horizon that I can sign up for.  And let’s not forget the half marathon in December.  But the benefits of the exercise will last me a lifetime.
It’s so easy to lose sight of the little things that are the most important and that is what I have been doing.
So what if I don’t run any part of the upcoming 10K?  Is the world going to end?  Of course not!  The only thing that is going to happen is that it will just take me a little longer to do it because I’ll be walking.  Not that big of a deal is it?  No! I am doing great and no one can take that away from me, not even myself.  :D
In other news I headed over to Big 5 this noon and got myself a foam roller.
A while back when I was seeing the chiropractor regularly he recommended one for my back and I blew it off.  Since then Lisa has been singing it’s praises and that has made me pretty curious.  The final straw was when my runner sister in law told me it would really help my IT band.  Okay, I’m sold!  I tried it out really briefly when I got back to work and it really feels pretty good.  I’ll do it more extensively when I get home and update at a later date but I have high hopes for this thing.  :-)

I.T. Band Ickiness

A huge thank you to Lisa for commenting in my last entry about my knee/leg pain.  She said that knee pain in runners is usually having to do with an IT Band issue.  I did a quick google search and sure enough I have a textbook case of Iliotibial band syndrome.  What a freaking bummer.

It totally makes sense because I didn’t do anything for four days and then did two 30 minute runs without a proper warm up.  Normally I walk for at least five minutes before I run but lately I’ve been shortening the time and the last run I didn’t even walk for a full minute before launching into my run.  Stupid impatient me!  Also my pelvis has been known to tilt in the past and leave one leg shorter than the other so that might be happening again too.  Gotta make an appointment with my chiropractor next week.

So I’m bummed and totally self loathing because it is my own fault when my husband says: “But this is great news!”

Um, yeah…on what planet??

He proceeded to explain that we know the issue and it can be resolved.  It isn’t a pinched nerve like I first thought and it isn’t something that may sideline me from running altogether.  It is a completely treatable issue that won’t cost us anything to fix.  I just need to rest it and make sure I do everything correctly in the future when I do run.

As usual, my husband is right(don’t you hate that??)  I just need to rest.  I need to NOT stress about the upcoming 10K because there is nothing I can do about it.  I will walk it and it will be good practice for the wharf to wharf.

I remember Brooke had an entry fairly recently where the same thing had happened to her so I emailed her and she gave me some helpful advice and insight on the whole thing.  I am so absolutely grateful for the weight loss/fitness blog community.  In just two days I was able to diagnose and find treatment for a condition that was very mysterious to me and it is all thanks to the blogs and twitterverse.  Thanks guys!!  :-D

At any rate, I was going to attempt a walk today but it is still hurting quite a bit so I passed.  The hardest part is going to be forcing myself to take time off walk/running.  It has just done so much for my body and my mind, but I know I have to let my body heal or I’m just going to make it worse and be off my feet even longer.  Don’t you hate it when you have no one to blame but yourself?  Hmph.

Oh well, can’t change it now.  So I will be icing and stretching for a while and I’ll update with progress as it happens.

Oh and I just discovered Naan Bread and Hummus.  This can’t be good for my weight loss.  Hehehehe.

 

Pain

I work for a man that writes a health newsletter that promotes all natural type things and he has been doing it over 25 years. He recommends lots of different combination of all natural vitamins for all kinds of different ailments. In the five years I have worked here I have never had a real need to follow any of them.
When I first started running I was getting very sore in my knees, hips and ankles. Understandable since I had and still do have a lot of weight pounding down on my joints.
I decided to follow his joint pain protocol and eventually the pain did subside. I was never sure however, if the vitamins were working or if my body had just gotten used to the running.
Ever since then I have been breaking out quite a bit on my face. Not even really acne but more like a light rash around my nose. Dry spots that were easily prone to irritation.
I knew it either had to be from the running or the supplements. Well I wasn’t about to stop running since it was doing wonders in the way of shrinking my body and lowering my blood pressure and such so I decided to go without the supplements for a couple of weeks and see if that made a difference.
It takes a few days to get the supplements out of your system and I continued to run on those few days, taking care to wash my face thoroughly after each run. Then I got sidelined by my period, car problems and my own laziness and didn’t run for four days. When I resumed this past Tuesday I ran for 30 minutes and was struck by a pain in my thigh as soon as I stopped. Throughout the rest of the day the pain traveled from my hip to my thigh to my knee and back.
That night I soaked in Epsom salts and used icy/hot and then it went away.
Wednesday I set out to walk the loop, only walking because I didn’t want to cause anything else to happen to it and was only able to walk part of it due to the pain coming back on the uphills after I attempted a power walk.
Thursday I was paranoid enough just to only take a mild stroll down to the cul de sac and back just to get some sunshine. My leg felt pretty okay with that and so today I decided I would attempt a run again since we had to be at work early again.
I stretched and started out. It was hurting a bit but I soon got into the groove and it was fine. After 30 minutes of running I stopped and headed out Starbucks to get my reward for my early morning run(tall skinny caramel latte–2 points!) and as soon as I put weight on my foot after sitting in the car the pain was there and it was intense! After three steps it was fine again. This went on all morning and now it is finally starting to ease off.
So my question is, was my supplement regimen actually working and keeping away any joint/muscle pain the whole time Ive been running or do I have something seriously wrong with my right leg?
I don’t have an answer obviously but I started taking the vitamin protocol again today and will continue to see if it helps. I can deal with bad skin but Ill be danged if I’m going to stop running!
My other theory is that I have a pinched nerve in my back.
I had one once, years ago when I was at my heaviest. We had just spent a week in England I can only assume I got it from falling asleep in a sitting position on the plane for a long amount of time. The symptoms are kind of similar in the way that the pain happens as soon as I try to put weight on that leg after sitting for an extended period of time and then it goes away as I start walking. I don’t remember it traveling to other locations though. It was very painful but it was usually located to one spot on my leg. I also remember getting a numbness in that area for a couple of days before the pain started and I don’t recall that happening this time around. I DO remember getting a fluttering sensation in my hip/inner thigh area for a couple of days before this started though, not sure if it is related.
Back then my doctor gave me some stretching exercises and told me it would work itself out, and eventually it did.
The problem I have with that is my I have 2 10 Ks next month and I want to be 100% for both of them. I also don’t want to do any more damage by running through the pain. Ug. I’m just at odds right now.

I guess all I can do is take my supplements and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn’t I guess a trip to the chiropractor is in order. Pffffftt

Edited to add: The pain is now mostly in my knee.  Please comment if you have any advice or suggestions or are familiar with this sort of thing at all.  Thanks!!!!!!!!

 

Running–The New Anti Depressant!

Okay so when I last left you dear readers I had a raging case of PMS and was being very down on myself for not running.
It seems the two are related.  I took four days off of running and was miserable all four days.  Like seriously falling into a depression.  I have also noticed this on my days off in the past, I just never let it go passed one day off usually before I start running again.
Well what started with my usual Friday off extended through Saturday and Sunday due to my period and really bad cramps but I had every intention of getting back to my lunchtime runs at work on Monday.
The universe had other plans for me.
At any rate, it may be working for the best right now since we are down to one car and this is the end of quarter at Rob’s work I have to get up early and come in an hour early every day this week.  Perfect time to get my run in while I have nothing else to do and it is nice and foggy and cool out!
So today I started back up after four days and was able to run for 30 whole minutes–a new record for me.  I was running about a 13.5 minute mile, just a light jog really but since I was doing it more for endurance than distance or intensity it was perfect.  I was very proud of myself and to further the proof that I need to exercise to feel better(duh really?) I was in a good mood all day.
It’s so odd to me that I’ve been on anti-depressants for most of my adult life and all along I could have just taken up running??  :-D   Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to leap off my prescription or anything and I know it isn’t that easy but it is nice to know when I find myself falling into a funk that a quick jog might be able to perk me out of it.  I will experiment more and report back later!
The bad news is that I think I may have overdone it a bit today.  As I was finishing up my run I felt my hips start to hurt a little. Soon after I discovered my right thigh in the front was really stiff and sore when I stepped on it after sitting for a bit.  I iced it for awhile at my desk and after walking on it a bit it was fine but it would still flare up after I had been sitting a while.  It also changed position from my thigh into my knee for a bit than back to my thigh.  The thing that kind of bothers me is that it almost is reminding me of when I had a pinched nerve in the way the pain is changing position and acting in general.
I bought some icy-hot on the way home so I think I am going to go draw a hot bath and then use some of that to see if it helps at all.
So tell me, do you get depressed on the days you don’t work out?