Officially Registered *gulp*

This morning, I registered for my first real 5K race.  It’s not for another 4 months, but I’m sure that will come faster than I realize.  When I started dabbling in jogging about 4 months ago and thought it would be fun to challenge myself to a real 5K, probably in the Spring, it was just an idea.  Now it’s real, and I really need to push myself more.  I want to be able to run/jog at least 3/4 of it, preferably all of it, so I have a ways to go.  I am doing roughly 1/3 of it now, but in short bursts.

I am nervous but happy I have a goal to shoot for.

Bringing in the New Year With Hope

I haven’t been one for New Year’s resolutions for a long time because of all of the years I’ve said, “I’m going to lose weight” and didn’t follow through with any long term results.  This year is no exception, other than I am making several promises to myself.  I promise to continue on with the journey I’ve been on and keep pushing the boundaries that have been in place all of my life.  I promise myself time and energy spent on myself, knowing it’s worth it and that I can give more to others when I give more to myself.  I also promise to work on being gentler on myself and my emotions in hopes that this gives me more peace.

2013 was for the most part a great year.  But this past few months have been difficult and I’m finding it hard to want to celebrate a good year.  So instead, I’m looking ahead and planning for 2014 to be MY year for peace, joy, accomplishments yet to be made and limits to be pushed.  It’s not selfish, it’s about taking care of myself as it’s only me I have to depend on.

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Continuing to push myself at the gym.

Earlier this week, I had a discussion with my favorite fitness instructor that was interesting.  I’ve been attending her Zumba classes several days a week for a year and a half as well as a strength training class for about 6 months and even a few Yoga/Pilates fusion classes she teaches.  She is so amazing that I arranged for her to do a series of 6 Zumba classes for my coworkers and I.  🙂

In our discussion, we talked about the calorie burn of her fitness classes.  I track my food and exercise on Sparkpeople.com and love that it adjusts my daily calorie range based on my exercise, current weight and more.  Over the course of my weight loss, I’ve watched the listed calorie burn on my tracker drop from a high of over 700 calories for Zumba down to around 400.  During that time, my actual INTENSITY of my exercise has easily tripled from the early days when I could barely keep up to now where I do all the jumping and can do it full out.  I understand that moving a lower body mass is also significant but I swore I was working so much harder now than I used to.  But Velina made me rethink that.  She said I needed to use my sweating and heart rate as a more effective guage.  And the more I thought about that, the more I realized she was right.  I needed to push harder, so that class, I did.  She wore a gadget (not sure which one) that measures heart rate and shows the calorie burn from that information.  So during that day’s Zumba class, she burned 400 calories…and that shocked me.  She is partly so motivating because of her intensity and obvious love of what she’s doing.

I was given a coworker’s Fitbit Zip a few weeks ago when she upgraded to a fancier model and I finally got it running yesterday.  It’s been fascinating watching the data it records.  But I know it’s just one set of data that has to be taken with a grain of salt.  Talking with Velina made me realize that even though Zumba is now so much “easier” for me than it used to be, I still need to push harder, and that doesn’t only apply to fitness classes.

Today is a non-fitness class day and I usually do half and half on the elliptical and treadmill, most often for a half hour each.  But today I wanted to pump up my 5K training which was something that was making me anxious.  It may not sound like much, but the idea of going from running one continuous minute to two (the next step in the training I’m following) has been scaring me.  That’s DOUBLE!  But today, I did it!  Managed to accomplish just over 5 miles total between the elliptical and treadmill and ran five sessions of 3 minute walks at 3.5 mph with 2 minute run at 5 mph.  It felt GOOD!  And I didn’t DIE!  😉  I am getting really excited about this progress and even more excited about signing up for my first 5K sometime in Spring.  Woo hoo!

I needed this after the struggles of the past week.

Accomplished a big goal today. :-)

7 months into the beginning of this journey, I had made huge strides in learning to love exercise.  But I was a bit cocky in how much I had improved my fitness level (or, I had just been in such terrible shape when I started but was still way behind the average).  I decided to tackle what was considered to be a fairly “easy” hike locally called Teapot Hill.  Barely managed 17 minutes and that was with stopping about 5 times to catch my breath before giving up.  I was humiliated as I had gone with a friend and I couldn’t finish what we started.  To be fair, I was probably almost 300 lbs still and the first part of the hike is almost the steepest of the whole thing.

A year later, knowing that I had come a long way (and almost 90 lbs lighter) I tried again.  Took 8 minutes or so to get to where I had given up the last time and I continued on for another half an hour before I realized I was there by myself (stupid, I know) and the steepness of the drop offs near the trail scared me.  Turns out I was only 10-15 minutes near the top.

Today, a friend invited me to go and I almost bailed but ended up going.  And this time, I made it to the top.  Woo hoo!

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Fabulous news from the doctor today!

After 2 years away from seeing my own doctor, I had an appointment today.  Booked it to get my 8 year overdue pap smear and I had a list of questions for him.  Was glad to hear that my cervix looks “healthy” (LOL) but my other concerns were priority in my head.  One concern was something I’ve been dealing with for over 5 years but since the weight loss, seems to be worse.  After a knee injury about 5 years ago, that leg has been constantly swollen.  Back then, the doctor explained that the scar tissue in the injury site was making it hard for the blood to get out of my leg so it was more swollen than the other one.  Not much I could do.  Since the weight loss, I don’t think it’s REALLY worse, but just seems worse because the shape of my legs have changed.  Turns out after all this time, the edema is pretty much made a permanent home in that leg and the only way I’ll get rid of it is with compression stockings.  Not sure I want to do that, so I may be stuck with it.

But…the good news:  I’ve been struggling with the appearance of the loose skin because of the weight loss.  Most of the time when I see my unclothed body, I feel like I look WORSE than I did over 100 pounds heavier.  Knowing that it’s more of a psychological issue than medical, I was afraid to approach my doctor.  I’ve been secretly hoping that at the end of this journey I could look forward to getting the body that I believe I’ve earned through this.  But I can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars in surgery.  In Canada, though, there are times that even plastic surgery can be medically required and therefore, it would be covered by our medical plan.  So, I asked my doctor today about it.  He looked at my belly and right away, said I was a candidate for medically covered plastic surgery once my weight loss is done.  So a few months before I think I’ll be at goal, I’m to get a referral.  Then a plastic surgeon will look at me and if he also believes I’m a candidate, he’ll submit a request to have it covered.  So while it’s not a for sure thing yet, I have hope which is awesome.  Woot!

Almost cried when I got on the scale this morning.

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I made my short term goal and 6 days ahead of schedule.  As of this morning’s weigh in, I have lost 100.4 pounds.  About 6 weeks ago I had 12 pounds to go and decided to make it a goal to make it to the 100 pound milestone by the time I leave for Vegas.  I leave in 6 days.  In order to accomplish this, I pumped up my workouts and it paid off.

I am one happy girl this morning.  🙂

On a mission

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