Saturday, April 30, 2011

Longest Run Yet!

Ryan and I are in beautiful Norland this weekend at my parents house.  They live in cottage country and its beautiful here with the forest and lake all around us, a great place to run.  I had it in my mind that we would go on a long run this weekend and I had been preparing for it doing a lot of hill work on the treadmill.  The road is not flat here like it is in Barhaven.  It is very HILLY!.  After last weekends success finally taking to the road and leaving the comfort of my treadmill behind, I got a little cocky and half joking suggested to Ryan that we try for 15km.  Well he was all for it, not questioning our ability.  I wasn't as confident but was game.  So we set out this morning to go for our longest distance yet, and on very hilly terrain.  I am happy to say that it felt really good, the weather was warm and not to hot, the sun was shining.  I even felt strong on the hills.   The hardest part of the run for me was going down the hills, I find the impact hard on my knees.  I tend to get a bit sore in my knees after 10km and today I felt the down hill impact and the last 3km were very hard.  Not painful, but not comfortable.  After the run I stretched and I took an ice bath to help recover.  The rest of the day I felt good, no pain.  I did feel a little 'sore' in my leg muscles but just the normal soreness for having run that far.  I am happy that the knee 'pain' wasn't lasting.  I need to read up on how to strengthen my knees so I can go the distance and not get hurt.  I envy Ryan, it doesn't seem hard for him.  I thought for sure I would have him on those hills today having trained for the incline but he was still a good 3 min ahead of me.  Well he was until I saw him heading for the ditch!  Maybe that's why the last 3 km were so hard because I couldn't stop laughing at his predicament.  Even with the aches and pains near the end it felt INCREDIBLE to run today.  I am so proud of us for having gone that far.  I love the feeling of running, it actually feels GOOD, and I truly enjoy it.  I can't wait for us to cross the finish line in September!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I want to be when I grow up

For the last few months I have felt a lot like a teenager again, contemplating what I want to be when I grow up.  I have been a stay at home mom (SAHM) for almost 5 years now!  I have about another 2 years left before  I return to the workforce, if we stay with the current plan of waiting till both the girls are in school full time.  So I have been contemplating and maybe even stressing a bit over what I will do when that happens.  Before becoming a mom I was a branch manger at a staffing company, and I was not happy.  When I entered the staffing industry I was attracted to helping people.  I helped a lot of people in those first few years and that was very rewarding.  But once I started getting into management the focus of the job changed and with it so did my job satisfaction.  Having been a SAHM the last 5 years has been very rewarding and enjoyable.  I don't dread going to work.  I don't hate Mondays.  I even used to get a nap!  So my desire is to find a new career/job that I enjoy just as much.  Now I love my SAHM Gig, but to be truthful I think the gig is coming to an end.  I feel like its time for me  to have an identity outside of being 'MOM' again.  A few weeks ago I was asked my name and I rambled off my kids names and forgot my own.  I feel like more and more the days are marked with frustration and the loss of patience with the kids.  Quite frankly, I don't want to feel like that anymore, which is one of the reasons I have been contemplating a change.
So what do I want to be when I grow up?  Its kind of exciting and a little bit scary to think about.  In university I studied psychology  and I volunteered with the Anorexia and Bulimia Association (I ran support groups and did public educational speaking).  My intentions upon graduating where to go into the field of Eating Disorder Treatment but somehow I got side tracked making money in my first job after graduation.  But the need and want to help WOMEN feel good about themselves has always stayed with me.  A couple years ago I even put together and ran one successful Body Art Journal Class at a local art studio.  The concept of the class was a group of women coming to together to talk about learning to love our jiggly bits while creating art.  Now here I am today almost a year into my new active life, blogging about it, cheering my friends on at Daily Mile, and Facebook and I have found a new way to make others feel good about themselves.  At the end of a spin class an instructor once said "don't take this feeling for granted," that glow, that rush, that feeling of accomplishment.  I have often thought how much I would like to help others feel that too.  So why not? Why not help them?  So today I registered for the Goodlife  Fitness Personal Training Certification Course running in May.   Its a small step toward starting something new, something exciting, and something very definitely rewarding. 
(thank-you Sabrina for all of your help and inspiration the last two weeks)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Membership

For years during my couch potato rein I would notice people out running along the canal or the neighborhood streets.  I would look at them with envy wishing that I too was out there running, thinking that for some reason that this was beyond my capability, that being fat had disabled me.  I admit that sometimes I even looked at them with contempt.  Fast forward to today, as I am out on Easter Sunday running along a rather beautiful path and runners of all types are passing by me.  Each time I would look up smile and give a small wave and every time I would get a smile and wave of encouragement back.  That's when it hit me....membership.  I belonged, I was part of this group of whacky people out running on an Easter Sunday.   It was a rough run today, the wind was blowing against me, my legs were tight, my feet sore (yep I am sporting like a badge of honor a blister on my toe) and yet every time one of these runners gave me a smile and wave I felt a boost of energy that pushed me onwards.  I felt part of something today even though I was out there on my own, and that was  a very cool feeling.

P.S. When I got home I tagged Ryan and he went out for his run, unfortunately because of the kids we can't run together.  He's fast that hubs of mine and I am so proud of him.  Tonight we are celebrating with his famous ribs!  Its been a very good Easter Weekend.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Breaking Mental Barriers

Today I feel like a warrior woman breaking down mental barriers.  I went for a run this morning, not on my comfy trusty treadmill at the gym, but out in the real world.  I have been avoiding the road since my last run New Years Eve, and it had become a mental block for me.  I was afraid to run on the road.  I was afraid that my training on the treadmill even with all the varied inclines and hill work would render me breathless and useless.  I was afraid that I would find out that I was not a runner.  I almost talked myself out of the road today and back onto the treadmill and then just deiceded to go for it.  I went out 10 min after wolfing down a bowl of cereal and a glass of water no less.  I didn't have it in me to wait 30 min and play mind games back and forth with myself.  So I just went.  I started off slow, easing myself into a comfortable pace.  I ran...I just ran and it felt GREAT.  I loved the freedom of not staring at the output on the treadmill worrying about how fast I was going.  I just ran at a pace that felt good.  I listened to my music, and my thoughts were free to roam not being tethered to the mill.  I thought about how happy I was doing this.  How blessed I am to run.  Thinking of blessings soon had me thinking of what today is, Good Friday, and I thought of the ultimate blessing in my life Jesus Christ.  I had a little prayer moment out there on the road, under the sun, talking to God.  Things were going very well on this run until my ipod died at 8.5km.  I was so mad, I would no longer know how far I had run, and I wouldn't know how fast I had run.  My thoughts threatened to turn sour but to my amazement I reminded myself of how good this run felt and that that was what mattered.  I swear I empowered myself in that moment and shook off the remaining mental chains as I kicked it hard home.  No music, just me and the road...pounding away.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Magic Top

I Katie Squires have a boob problem. My boobs have a mind of their own when I workout and have a tendency to come flying out. (Maybe its because I am doing too many boob dances at home and they have come to enjoy the freedom) I need to wear two bras to hold these knockers down, and a good tight top. Trust me by the time I get home from the gym all nice and sweaty its another damn workout to wrestle out of the contraption. I have on occasion risked wearing one bra when the laundry is building up. I would never dare run in only one hooter holder but surely spin class must be safe? Nope, almost had an escapee that time (bounce bounce bounce....whoa there nelly). Burpees....Better not! Have you heard of the Kinect for the Xbox? Did you know it takes pictures of you while you play? Yep we have a few of Katie Long Boob jumping over the wake with her boobs popped out! NOT PRETTY.
So where is this rather disturbing tale of the boobs going? I wore ONE BRA to the gym today! I did jumping jacks in ONE BRA! I picked up a tank top at Goodlife last night on SALE for $12.99 and I swear they should have charged a zillion dollars for its made of some sort of magic fiber. I will be sporting this lovely green tank at our next family game night in front of the Xbox.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zapped

I feel zapped today, POOPED, my gas tank is empty. I am longing for a nap, to curl up with a book till I fall asleep in the afternoon sun. I did a HOT YOGA class for the first time yesterday evening with my friend Mellisa. I loved it! It was such an amazing experience. I stretched my sore, tight muscles like I have never stretched them before, and I felt strong. The heat felt so good. My body felt warm and buzzing. I even loved the beads of sweat dripping off of me. But I wonder did I sweat away all my energy because today I seem to be running on empty.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time to let go of that worn out badge

I met with my new gym buddy this morning and tagged along for some of her workout. This woman is on a mission and I love working out along side her challenging myself to do more. I had to cut it short for a much anticipated meeting with one of the personal trainers at the gym. I felt really comfortable going in having already talked to her the previous week over the phone, and in general knowing that the trainers are very friendly and approachable. I went in hoping that she would listen to 'my life story' as it were, and that she would be able to help point me in the right direction, in terms of getting healthier and stronger. I have been working hard over the last 11 months, my life and my family's lives has changed in so many ways. It was good to hear from someone else that I am doing many of the really important things right. That I do indeed have much to celebrate. I also still have a lot of work to do. We talked about nutrition and strength training the two areas that I am lacking in. She gave me some very good concrete advice on how to do better in these areas. We also talked about my goals and what has been holding me back from achieving them. I didn't know at the time, but as we were talking something was clicking inside my head. As I type these words its becoming very clear to me, that the words that I have written over the last few posts, they are telling me something. Its time to let go of the past. When I was a bulimic in my youth I held on to that title like some kind of badge, it defined me. Then I got fat, and while healing much of my soul and mind I still hadn't healed my body. I wasn't much healthier at a size 22 than I was as at a size 4. Yes, I was more confident and happier at my fattest than I ever was at my thinnest, but I was still holding on to this notion that I didn't need to change, that I was ok. I had convinced myself that I didn't need to loose weight, that loosing weight was 'dangerous' for someone like me. I truly believed that I could be fat and healthy. But I wasn't. My back and feet hurt from carrying the weight around, and I had very little energy. I wasn't healthy at 258 lbs. That realization spurred the change that brings me hear to today. Those of you that have been reading my ramblings know exactly how far I have come (318.54 miles). But I am still holding onto that bulimic badge and its holding me back. I know that must sound really weird so let me explain. I have lost weight, and its mostly because I move a lot, and I have made some healthy changes in my diet. But I am so RESISTANT to really changing my diet. I am so RESISTANT of letting go of my handfuls of chocolate eggs. I keep telling myself that I don't need to change my diet to loose weight and be healthy. More importantly, I keep telling myself that I CAN'T change my eating habits because that would be a one way ticket back to Bulimia. I am holding on to that old eating disorder badge like some kind of security blanket. When in reality, those days are gone. I am in a good place, with family and friends that support me, and most importantly I love myself. I am not the same person I was at a size 4 or at a size 22. I am no longer my size. I do need to make changes to what I put in my mouth. I eat to much processed food (just because its BLUE MENU doesn't mean its healthy). I don't eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables. I eat too much food. Most importantly, I don't treat food for what it is FUEL. I am not teaching my children to eat healthy. If there is a sure fire way to make you change, its putting the fear of messing your children up in you. So yes, I do need to make changes to my 'diet'. These changes will better FUEL me in meeting my goals and living the life of an active Mom and family. These changes are not going to undo me.
Thank-you Sabrina, for really listening today and TRULY pointing this girl in the right direction.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Balance: letting go of the black and white thinking

I submitted this piece to the Yummy Mummy Club a couple of months ago but it wasn't picked up for publication so I thought I would share here with you. With Easter Chocolate lining the shelves right now it will be a good reminder for me :)

About 9 months ago I started exercising and getting my sweat on about 5 times a week. I ran my first 5km race weighing about 245 pounds. Since then I have lost (according to that hunk of metal torture) 40 pounds and lost 4 dress sizes. I am pretty proud of that and the two 10km races I have run.

So what miraculous diet have I tried? Share the details you ask (this is like good gossip). Why it’s the ‘eat what you want diet’. Yes that ‘s right, including daily chocolate fixes. No, I have not ‘dieted’ and it would seem through diligent exercise I have been successful in weight loss. Then it struck me this morning while recycling the plastic heart container that only yesterday held a bunch of colourful jubes jubes that the real secret is balance.

I believe, that I have or am close to, finally achieving balance in my attitude about food. Let me explain with this example, I bet it’s a familiar one. I have a sweet tooth and with all the Valentine candy out I can’t resist, so I bought a container of heart jube jubes. I told myself the candy was for Valentine’s Day, which is well over a week away. Who am I kidding thinking I am going to save it till then? So this weekend I ate some, and that handful led to another and that led to ‘two more…and one more and no more after this one’. By the time I was done, I had eaten a significant amount of candy (much much more than the suggested serving). Now the ‘old’ me would have panicked and thought that I had blown it, that all of my hard work at the gym was ruined because I had eaten that candy. I was no longer being ‘good’ because I had eaten the ‘bad’ food. I was ruined and might as well really blow it (you know go out in style). The old me would have then proceeded to polish off the rest of the candy, which would then lead to an internal dialogue of self-bashing. You know the ‘your so fat and that fat is the root of all evil talk’ that sends you looking for more food to feel better. Can you see the vicious cycle?

But the new me, the girl that loves the high after spin class as much or more than the candy rush, stops herself at ‘no more after this one’. This girl is proud of herself for stopping before polishing the whole box off, even if she has only spared four (and they are the kind she doesn’t like.) This girl smiles having thoroughly enjoyed her treat and knows that tomorrow morning is a new day and one where she will be running 7km while bobbing her head to Green Day’s Holiday.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Stronger

A little follow up post since my 'the world is ending I am 44% body fat' post.  Its been a tough week, as we lost our wiener dog Frodo this past Sunday morning.  We also took home a new puppy Monday to help us heal and open our hearts to puppy love again.  So the week has been one of getting used to a new family member and grieving Frodo.  I didn't workout Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (locked the keys in the car).  But I was back at it strong on Wednesday, running 8km at a good pace.  I was supposed to meet with a personal trainer on Tuesday for a consult but having locked the keys in the car was stuck at home, so I have rescheduled for next week.  I did get a chance to talk to her, and I mentioned that signing up for personal training wasn't in the budget for me now after the expense of Frodo's emergency treatment and the cost of bringing home Beau.  She was so understanding and said it was still worth coming in to talk and that she could at least point me in the right direction.  I have to say I was pretty impressed with that.  So I think for the most part I need to add more strength training into my fitness regime and I need to work on my diet.  Might I just say here and now that chocolate has been used this week as medicine for dealing with the events of the last week.  Not going to dwell on it, I have also eaten a lot of very nutritious food, next week we will put the chocolate away. While the 'diet' part wasn't so hot this week, I think I have done well on  adding the strength training in.  Yesterday, I ran a quick 5km (at a really good clip for me) and then did 30 min of core, abs, and leg work.  Other than some push ups and planks I didn't tackle the uper body for fear of hurting my elbow.  Wednesday evening I saw a physiotherapist and have started treatment on my elbow and hope to be 100% in a week or two.  I also got some great tips and exercises for strengthening my knees for running (all in the hips).  Then today I did something really cool.  I met up with a girl from the gym (see my treadmill cheer leading paid off, I have a new freind! LOL) and we worked out together.  She has been following one of Jillian Michaels circuits and let me tell you it has transformed her body.  I followed her through the routine, learned a lot of new stuff and got a great workout in.  I was SWEATING!  What I really loved was she pushed herself and me.  I would love to do this twice a week (Jenn are you reading this, have I freaked you out yet LOL).  The girls and I have also walked to and from school each day this week instead of driving.  Its not far but a great bit of extra exercise for us all and the dog.  Oh how I love watching that wiener dog run!  Hilarious.  The weekend ahead includes a Sat spin class, and my first road run of the season Sunday (looking forward to actually going somewhere).  So that's it from my little corner of the world.  Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reality Check: 44

Yesterday morning still riding my 12km run high, I headed out for a yoga class to stretch and recover.  The class felt SO GOOD, my legs in particular really appreciated all the stretching and strengthening.  I left the class feeling, revived and fit (I was able to hold poses longer and deeper yesterday than ever before).  Feeling this good do you know what I did next? (I must confess I was feeling a little peacockish) I headed to the personal trainer room and asked if I could use the body fat scale.  Those of you that have been reading my blathering know I don't put a lot of stock in the scale, but I thought that knowing my body fat % would be a useful tool.  BULL FROG.  I was feeling peacockish and wanted a NUMBER as a badge (trying to be honest with myself here and with you).  So I went in thinking ok, your still a 'plus' size girl I should expect something in the 30's.  My body fat percentage is 44% . I was floored.  shocked.  deflated.  After 304 miles I am still OBESE?  The trainer sensing my shock asked me what I have been doing.  I told her how I workout 5 days a week, running, spinning, a yoga class.  She asked me about my diet and I was truthful.  Although my eating habits are much healthier than a year ago, there is a lot of room for improvement.  She asked me about strength training and I told her that I used to do the Pump class twice a week, but injured my elbow a month and half ago and haven't been able to do it.  She thought that the lack of strength training was the  main culprit.  I have a consult booked with her next week to talk.  I am hoping that I can walk away with a 'healthy' plan to help me become my strongest and fittest. 
But that number 44 really threw me for a loop yesterday.  I left the gym feeling rattled and close to tears.  I had a tough week last week despite my running triumph.  I spent the evenings last week battling with myself not to eat when I wasn't hungry.  I was craving food for reasons that had nothing to do with being hungry.  The devil doesn't want us to succeed, to be happy.  I truly believe that last week the devil (and in this case he took the form of my past binging behaviors) was doing his best to undermine me, to send me tumbling back.  So I reached out for help, I called my Mom first to cry on her shoulder.  My mom is always the first line of defense.  Talking to her was like a booster shot, that started to attack the dark thoughts in my head and let the light back in.  I then called in my reinforcements Rachel and Laurie and they helped me come out of the crazy place. 
I think that this week was a reminder that the past does not lie that far behind, that I am not immune to falling back into old behaviors, and that I need to keep working on keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy. 
44% Body Fat, 100% Bright Soul!