Tuesday, December 6, 2011
100 Mile Checkup
It's been 100 days since I decided that my forties were going to be healthier, faster, and leaner than my thirties. Several factors led me to change my ways, among them a general disgust with how much weight I'd gained over the past year. I was also inspired by the A&E show "Heavy," and my friend Slick, who was running 5ks despite foot and knee pain. And ... to be brutally, unpleasantly honest ... I was (and am) tired of being one of those "fat Americans." One of the x percentage who is overweight. I was afraid if I didn't do something about it, I was going to continue putting on weight and getting lazier and lazier. I needed to go up a size in clothing, but I was stubbornly sticking to the size I have been for several years, telling myself I'd lose a few pounds. I am in middle-age now, and I just don't want to be one of those women who gives up on herself and lets it all go.
Decision made, I started out with CouchTo5k program in late August, but I am not naturally a runner, so it didn't really work for me past week six. It definitely got me started and I recommend it heartily. I just needed more time to get into it. I chose the week where I was best and picked it up from there.
Now here it is, 3 months later, and I am sticking to it in a way I never thought I would. I enjoy my treadmill time. I go to the gym even when I don't want to, when I'm tired or headachy, and whatever is bothering me stops as soon as I start running. I read in Runner's World to go and run even when you don't feel like it, because you never regret going, but you feel bad if you don't go.
I know myself well enough to know I won't keep up with it if it becomes painful, stressful, or too intense. I'm sure I could go all out and lose a lot of weight very fast ... but then I'd be limping every day and hating everything. That's how it was when I was in the Navy, struggling to meet the weight standards. I was exhausted, cranky, malnourished, and suffering from plantar fasciitis and stress injuries. I resented every bite of food I took, and nearly stopped eating the weeks before weigh-in time. The memories of that time (and the lingering injuries) stayed with me for so long, it took me 10 years after separating from the Navy to want to do anything fitness-related.
Part of the problem is that I'm just naturally sedentary. I spend a lot of time on my butt, knitting.
(trapped by cats and the dog...)
The only exercise I really got was walking the doggie, and she doesn't move very fast. She's about 7 now, and she likes a good trot, but nothing extended. She'll walk for hours, just not fast.
So! 100 days later. I've lost 18 pounds. The first 15 almost fell off, it was that easy. The last three, not so much. It is taking about 3 weeks now to lose 1 lb. I guess that's still okay ... I really can't cut any food out. I'm hungry all the time, and I just can't ignore it, or appease it with juice or fruit. Since I picked up the pace of the running, my metabolism has really speeded up. No more yogurt and fruit for breakfast. I need food!
I also bought myself a spiffy watch that tells me (among a dozen other things) my heartrate. I find that no matter how slowly I run (4.6 mph), my pulse is still outside of the upper limit for fat burning. I'm not really sure what to do about that ... I physically can't run any slower than 4.6. Perhaps my cardio system will adapt in a few more months?
Here's to 100 more days of reaching for the stars!
(Sorry for going out on a cliche)