Thursday, September 18, 2014

crawl


2009-first marathon, first BQ...yeah
you have to crawl before you can walk...

july
i crawled. for a week i lay on my back barely able to get up without the use of my abs. i couldn't stand straight. when the pain was bad, i used ice or medicated. i got past it.

august
i walked. i walked as often as i could. to and from work and with the dog around the block. even then, there were days when i couldn't understand the exhaustion. i got past it.

september
i ran. it's not pretty. it's not fast. it's likely not even dainty. but i am out there again. i need encouragement.i'm tired. drained. defeated? sometimes. can't rest on my "used to be" glory. it's gone.

i'm back to the pre-runner me. it happened so quickly. i weigh more than i've weighed in years. i feel it when i run. i see it in the clothes i wear. so i can make a choice to sit around and wallow in what i used to be...

instead i've chosen to STFU and do something. i can be even better than i used to be. now, that's a goal worth having...

every adventure begins with the first step...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

bone deep

the lump is out.(read previous blog)
here's a funny story for you -- the only context i can give you is that my surgeon used to run and knows i do.

Pre-op
Nurse - so you run?
me - yeah i run, not much lately
Nurse - i should run
me - sure 
nurse - why running instead of anything else?
me - it was the most efficient way to burn calories, to get in shape and i could control when i did it
nurse - it's so hard to find the motivation but it feels great afterwards. 
me - you got it 
nurse - yeah, i should run

Operating room
loud nurse -- so you run major marathons? 
me: yeah i run marathons
loud nurse: but you run the MAJOR marathons? like Boston?
me: yep, i've run boston
loud nurse to anesthesiologist and every one else: she runs MAJOR marathons
*lights out*

Post-op recovery room
nurse 3 - do you remember waking up?
me: no
nurse 3 - you don't know what you said?
me: nope, can't remember a thing
nurse 3 - the first thing you asked was when you could run, and then you asked when you could lift weights
me - so what did the doctor say 
nurse 3 - minimum 6wks of low activity, and after that he'll let you know.

call for follow-up appointment with surgeon
me: hi, i'd like to book a follow-up appointment
receptionist: sure ok. i bet you want to know when you can run again
me: exactly

it's what i do, it's how i see the world, it's who i am 
running goes bone deep with me. as much as i may take a break to lift weights and do other things, it's inevitable that i'll go back to running.i think about the races, i think about where i'd like to run next. i look at the weather as a runner, i look at hills as a runner. i look at the seasons as a runner. 

simply put - i'm a runner through and through.it's how people see me and how i see myself.i always envied runners and now i'm one of them. unconditionally. i love it.

so tomorrow, i'll share some pics of some of my favourite runs over the past few years since i became a runner. here's an amuse-bouche to whet your appetite.

*andrew, if you're reading this, i'll get to BTR. i promised.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

giddy up


Texas, baby! if we ever meet, i'll have to tell you the story of how i learned to line dance. that trip was a blast and i loved every minute and have stories galore. isn't that what it's all about?
pain
on june 30, i'm having surgery on a lump that's been bugging me for years...it's nothing too bad the surgeon says. probably just a lump of scar tissue from an old incision. he doesn't know how deep he'll have to go to cut it out.but, it's time for it to go. when i run too hard, laugh too much, scream too loudly,it shrieks in pain and knifes my ovary.

cut it out
it will take time to heal, it's best to get rid of it. it doesn't stretch, it doesn't have resilience. it tears, bleeds and hurts. i have no time to be slowed down by it...sometimes people don't come back from hospitals...so i'm nervous

live big
i'm scared to die. i've come too close to death too many times so maybe that's why i am so aware of how short life is. i want to live.live big. live deeply. live love. i want to look back at my life and have no regrets knowing i seized and squeezed all the happy i could and held onto it anyway i could.

there's always so much to do...how do you fit it all in?

find the good stuff
running, unfettered by the self-induced pressure of doing better, fixing my form or any of that garbage, has always made me feel great. truly deeply alive. so visceral with each breath and each heart beat. even now, i don't have a way to fit in my weights with all the work travel, but when i find a place for running, that little bit of time brightens my day.

go the extra mile
fitting in the good stuff takes effort, especially since there are so many things on the "must do" list. but, it's always worth it. many runners go that extra mile.that extra bit of effort, that's the magic. it comes from a passion to push your limits - to simply just see, to discover, to delight in the keener sense of life.i gladly give up sleep or routine to make room for late night conversations, early morning runs, visits with friends.

hold on tight
it's so easy for me to slip away into the bleakness and dark.when i'm melancholy, i feel hollow. that's why i jam in things that matter to me. it makes for a full day, and it fills the emptiness i often feel. when i find the light from people i'm with or something that i do or an experience that's happened,i hold onto that brightness. even if it's just a glimmer at times, i don't lose site of it. i need it.sometimes i'll be disappointed and things aren't as great as i'd hoped for, but i don't regret giving life a shot.it's always worth it.

now, giddy the fuck up
it's really simple. you make space for the stuff that matters, for the stuff that makes you happy. you find ways to fit it in and hold onto it. if stuff doesn't add to your day, if it's always a burden, then cut it out and move on. as the saying goes, life is too short.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

beautiful pain

standing in the flames
it's a beautiful kind of pain
setting fire to yesterday
find the light.find the light.find the light...(eminem w sia)

the paradox of strength is that you have to be vulnerable to achieve it. you're stronger where you were once broken...not just true for bones.

i dropped the pretense of being whole and now i find myself more whole than ever. how does that even work. i always thought i'm so fucked up and carried it around. i thought my pain was invisible but it wasn't. my negativity, my depression - it was visible to everyone. when i told people that i struggle with how i see myself, i don't always love myself, and sometimes the days are too dark to get out of bed and the tears just stream down my face, i had the strangest response. no one rejected me or shunned me for it. i found the open arms of compassion and empathy...and i let myself be as i was, with no pretense. in the place of my self-imposed isolation, i found freedom and self-acceptance.

this paradox true even with my fitness - of strength being born through weakness. everything contradicts the way i'm used to thinking. i need to eat more so i can be more lean. i need to gain weight to be stronger. i weigh more but i'm thinner? ultimately muscle is stronger than scar tissue and so that's what i'm building in my mind and in my body. as i lift heavier weights, my mind is letting go of some of the heaviness.

everyone has something...i joined my coach's facebook group a few days ago.people are so candid and open with their thoughts and what they're working to overcome.i'm only as alone as i make myself. the stories of triumph over adversity make me wonder what the fuck i was worried about to begin with?

i still have tough days like this morning when i woke up crying because i didn't like what the scale had to say...the love and compassion shown by friends gets me through the sad days...those friendships have become stronger through my vulnerability. they're the keepers.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bootylicious

i had a butt lift... :)
but no one added any silicone to my derriere. :) ... here's the report i sent to my coach about the good news this week's observations brought me. i had a slump in february, travelled a lot, and then solo-parented for ten days without a kitchen (renos). so...now i'm back in the saddle...

but before we get to the report and the pix...
it's not all rainbows and unicorns for me...you know i think too much...here's what's been in my head.

i'm 45. weight lifting now. am i cliche? i hope not. most of my body looks better than it did when i was 25. but that spectre of aging is always with me.i have friends that are easily 10 years younger or more than i am and the age difference may not cross their minds but it is with me sometimes as i wonder how ridiculous i might seem to them. i wait for them to scoff at me as the young do to the old and frail; for them to gloat with their vitality and resilience.

i told my shrink that if i didn't find a way to deal with the ugliness of getting older, i wasn't going to be around in 10 years. there's no point in hiding that i'm vain, and i'm scared as fuck of becoming faceless, nameless and just an old lady that is invisible.

i've had it good. i've often fed off of the attention that vanity needs for sustenance to boost a flagging self-esteem and a voice that often used to say i'll never be good enough. fuck that voice though and fuck what anyone thinks about me. i'm stronger than anyone who mocks me with their self-centred arrogance. i've survived through a fuck tonne of awful stuff and i will never give in to being some kind of victim-even to aging.

this new found delight when i see how my body is getting stronger in places and ways it's never been before - that's motivating. i'm sure i'll get the crepy skin, the age spots, and the dangling tits that all women have as they age. (i hear labia dangle too. hey do you think women of a certain age and means get labia lifts along with a batch for their snatch?(hairdye folks))

but that's not the point for me - the feeling of strength - of lifting heavier and heavier weights with more fluid motion, it has been very insightful for me. it's given me a different way to fight my fears and to feel like i can be whole. that physical strength gives me inner strength and confidence i've rarely felt. it's so odd. just as i see flab give way to muscle, i'm seeing that despair i've had so often, lift. confidence is with me again and i wonder if i should even say that knowing how hard it has been to escape the darkness...but... fuck it. i'm taking the moment for what it is. life is for living and i'm not into regrets. not now. not ever...and yet, there are only three ppl i'd ever show these weekly pix to.still not there...but on the path...doesn't mean i'll be taking up twerking tho...in case you wondered.

ok, enough...pass the chicken please. i still haven't had enough protein and it's almost 10:30 pm. :)

Report to my coach...
Hi
Are you still down under? Are you competing? Thanks for the FB link. I'll get on there this week. We still have 2 feet of snow and even though it got up to 50F today, there's a snow storm on the way. Never move here Paul. I think you knew that already though. 

First the good news. As much as I hate having those pix taken, when i compare the side view of Dec 10 to March 10...i can see i have a butt and it got higher so my legs look longer...that's so crazy (in a good way) and I was completely surprised to see it. Now...more good news. I wore a fitted suit jacket yesterday. I've had it for 10 yrs and it fits my shoulders and chest and back but the middle was ridiculously loose. I could grab at least three inches of it...it didn't look goofy but i was really surprised. also, i have a waist now. it goes in. like other people. it doesn't just go straight from my ribs to my hips. it dips in. i don't think i've ever had a skinnier waist... as well, my booty shorts which fit me at 105-my race weight -they now are looser than before...but i'm heavier than i've ever been and that freaks me out. So does the fat on my back under my shoulder blades...at least, unlike winter around here, there are some changes that make me optimistic. 

i see the changes when i'm lifting because certain muscles are starting to show up. I also see the weights getting a little heavier each week. On my detailed report you can see how much more weight I can lift now than I did at the start. I feel strong. 

Diet - well - i do have my kitchen now. haven't moved everything back into it but it is it ever nice to cook again. So...I'm a bit off esp w 2 extra grams a fat a day this past week. The carbs are low but the days were wonky from day to day. This week I'm aiming for that level consistency again. I've changed the workout week so Day 1 is Monday so I can take Sunday off because I have trouble getting out of bed on Sunday mornings. lazy ass



Booty call
finally-- the pix...can you see my butt lift? it's awesome. i might start twerking any minute now...
nov 9                                               dec 10               mar 10

Sunday, January 19, 2014

steady as she goes - lessons & pics from week 10 weight lifting

PROgress - make sure you say that with a long o, yo. PROOOgress.

I'm on week 10 of my training. it's coming along well. i'm impatient. i want results sooner, faster but the changes are happening under my skin so i can't see them. i also keep slipping on my food...smart food or chips call my name and if i see a cookie the kids have left around, it may disappear without a sound...be careful around me.

really though, this balance of spacing out my food throughout the day and making sure i'm eating the right ratio of fats, carbs and proteins -it's challenging. more challenging than lifting weights that make my wrists wobble wobble wobble.

here's some emails between my coach and I. i like them because you'll see he's pretty patient with me and you can see my doubts. but i stick to the plan (mostly) and in the pix you can see, stuff is still happening though i feel like it is so so so slow. have i mentioned i'm impatient?

Me: 
Hi
Happy New Year!
The holidays are making me cranky because the days aren't consistent
and that irritates me when i'm trying to nail down training.

I've attached my report and some pix. Will send 2 more emails w the pix.

i just don't see any progress now...maybe it's the -15F weather that's
bumming me out.
Paul: 
Don't worry they are temporary and you should learn how to deal with social situations. -15, is that even possible. 

After looking everything over I am certain you will come back down as soon as you get back on schedule. The 11g of fat on average is 100 calories a day which is more than I would say your metabolism can adapt to at this stage quickly. However, getting back on track you will find it comes right off. It's the holidays and they should be enjoyed stress free. 

Come to Florida and get out of the cold. Don't change anything diet wise for now until we have a consistent weigh in. 
Paul Revelia
NGA & IFPA Pro Bodybuilder
Owner, Pro Physique Consulting

www.ProPhysique.com

Me:
 Hi
-15 should be illegal. :)

Ok, we'll stick to the current plan. I have a question about why my shirts are tight now.
I haven't gained much weight. I wore a work blouse today-buttons up the front. 
It gaped at the bust and was tight under the arms. It's never been like that before. 
Also I've noticed that with my long sleeve running shirts, the arms are pulling up and they seem short now...
is this because of the extra weight? Should i be trying to lose more? It's kind of a downer and makes 
me feel like a fatty.

Yeah-florida would be good right about now-but i'm not going anywhere warm until i'm bikini 
ready... and i have a ways to go. :) 
Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Paul:
Are you suggesting you are adding muscle, that's kind of what I like to do. You describe extra muscle in the shoulder, back and arm area. 
Me:
For reals? This is good? Ok. I have faith. Food will be better this week. Seriously. I have muscle...go figure....but i thought muscle was leaner? 

Paul:
Muscle is all lean, there is no such thing as fat muscle, they are different substances all together. If you add muscle it will increase your size, the fat you still have is there as well which gives the appearance of being bigger. 
Me: (in my head)
great. i have my fat layer and now muscle too...super size me.

The proof is in the pudding...but since i pudding would mess with my macros, the pix are the proof.
Day 1 November 9          Week 4, December 10     Week 9 January 17

         

Monday, December 16, 2013

full

i've never eaten so much and lost weight. it's strange but it's perfectly rational. my approach to weight loss was calorie counting. it was great. i could live on coffee and eat a bag of chips for dinner, stay under my calorie goal and lose weight...the flabby crabby part is sort of a buzz kill though.

my coach works with me on my nutrition and the basis of the diet are macronutrients. He gives me target amounts that I'm to eat for fat, protein, fibre and carbs. Do you know how hard it is to hit the right ratio on target?

this macro diet has so much potential food diversity-it's fantastic.The whole family can eat turkey chili instead of beef chili and it's 70% less fat. I do have a protein shake most days and until now, I've mixed it with water, creatine, and chia seeds. At my new gym, before I ordered a smoothie, they provided me with the nutritional information I needed. I was pleasantly surprised.Sign me up for a pina colada mango smoothie anyday!

We went out for a birthday dinner at a steak restaurant and the restaurant's web site showed you the nutritional info for each item on their menu and allowed you to create a meal that met your requirements - before you even got to the restaurant...i didn't quite stick to the plan when i ordered the dessert  -- but i'm tricky like that - it's good to be spontaneous sometimes, no?

so, yes, abs are made in the kitchen. i'm really paying attention to what i eat. everything i eat, i put in my online diary. i have a running tally going all day long. it doesn't take long. the mobile app makes it easy. sure, it takes time...but i need to take the time to think through choices. i can see what the impact is going to be on my daily macro targets based on choosing one thing over another. another interesting observation is that my nutrition tracker also recommends a target number of calories for slow weight reduction. Using my macro targets, i rarely max out my calories but i am never hungry. here's what happened last week that taught me about food choices.

last friday, i was on a school trip with my daughter. we were spending the day outside tromping around the snow and having a campfire lunch of roasted hotdogs. I brought along veggie dogs - was happy to see how much protein they had. I hadn't counted on the white buns being so high in carbs.the sweetened hot chocolate really did me in (sugar means carbs, gulp). i was hungry by dinner and I had used up all my carbs. Well, I listened to my body and had a nutritious dinner. i chalked up the extra carbs to learning and moved on. i wasn't going to starve for the rest of the day and be cranky. when i look at the week overall, i'm right where i'm supposed to be.

so, i live, i learn and i'm feeling healthier. i see the difference in how much additional weight i can now lift compared to five weeks ago. for some reason, it seems like a lot of little muscles are showing up these days when i watch myself lift. the middle of my back hurts and it's a good sore. it's just a good feeling all over. it keeps me going back to the gym for more.

last week, my coach said the active weight loss phase is done for now and it's time to move into some the "reverse diet" phase and he added more carbs to my target - which i've learned does not mean a bag of chips! i have trepidation here because it seems wrong to add more food to become leaner, but i've put my faith in an expert and i've made a commitment to myself and i see results far sooner than i'd expected. here is a pic taken this morning from the end of week 5. It looks the same as Dec 2 (the pic i posted last week) to me but in other areas, i can feel more muscle...i'm just too shy to show you those...maybe someday.


5 wks, Dec 16 
Day 1, Nov 9