Friday, December 27, 2013

An Experiment: Ditch the Scale and Put on the Jeans

Another beautiful and merry Christmas has passed and a new year is quickly approaching.  I for one have really enjoyed the last week of relaxing some of my "eating ways" indulging in more wine and treats.  I haven't gotten on a scale every morning.  I haven't logged onto My Fitness Pal every day.  I've been happy and mostly carefree.  I haven't thought about food all the time.  I have been present with my friends and family celebrating and enjoying myself.  But the magic of Christmas is slipping away and old thoughts are creeping in.  Already my news feed is full of diet plans and resolutions to lose weight. Last night after a delicious Christmas dinner and dessert I found myself thinking tomorrow back on track!

Frankly, I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of getting on the scale each morning.  I am tired of logging into My Fitness Pal each day and logging food while I eat it.  I slipped back into more rigid ways of thinking and eating before going on vacation and I don't like how it made me me feel.  I worked hard last year trying to explore intuitive eating and finding a healthy balance.  I want to find my way back to that place.

So I'm contemplating an experiment.  I've been thinking about it a lot.  It scares me.  Which I think means I need to do it as my friend Jay would say.  I am going to start with one month and see how it goes. 

For the month of January I am going to stay off the scale.  I am NOT going to use MFP to count and track everything I eat.  Instead I will use my favourite new jeans I bought at Christmas and wore to some parties as my measure.  I will try them on and as long as they keep fitting I will know I am on the right track.  I will eat to nourish my body, but won't fret each morsel.  I know what my body needs and what makes it run well (literally).  

By doing this, I am going to free up all sorts of space in my head to think about other things!!  Instead of figuring out how much protein is in my next meal, I can be more present in my life.  I will pay attention when my curly kid is showing me a picture she drew.  I will spend more time doing the things I love like scrapbooking instead of going to bed early because I am afraid I will get hungry.

The experiment scares me because getting on the scale each morning makes me feel in control.  Somehow that number on the scale makes me feel in control of all the other things in my life.  But the truth of the matter is that it is just a number.  Earlier on this year I went through a period of really trying to explore intuitive eating.  It wasn't easy but I found myself feeling "lighter" in my mind and spirit.  I was happier and had so much more of "me" to give others (especially my family).

Recently I spent  the most amazing, magical, wonderful week with my family in Punta Cana!  I disconnected from world and reconnected with my family.  I was 100% present and in the moment.  We swam with dolphins and sharks, collected sea shells, lazed in the sun, floated in the ocean, laughed, ate and drank.  It felt so good to let go.  I ate what I wanted, mostly stopped when full because I knew if I wanted more I could have it. I enjoyed every bite.  I think I had rice with every meal when there! LOL.  I "worked out" 4 times while I was there (each time under 30 min).  I went running barefoot on the beach because I wanted to.  I didn't wear a garmin, I stopped and picked sea shells.  I ran as fast or slow as I felt.  It was heaven!  I didn't even listen to music instead I listened to the ocean.  On the plane home, I thought I need to keep this feeling.  I need to remember to exercise because I want to, to do what I love.  I need to eat with pleasure and until satisfied. Most of all I want to stay connected to my family and enjoy the moments.  I am so blessed and it's a shameful waste to let those moments slip away worrying about how much I weigh, or what size my pants are.

I cried when I first saw the Dolphin, it was just so surreal!  I was also in total "mother" over drive and holding on to Kasey with an iron grip lol

morning workout on the beach, best gym ever!

Relaxing with my little mermaids, feeling so very content

mmm dessert, no I didn't eat all that...but I sampled them till I found the ones I liked and gobbled those up 
As I write this I am even questioning whether my silly experiment is that important.  So you get off the scale, you put on the jeans each day?  What if they start to feel tight? Then what?  Quite frankly they are already a wee bit snugger after the Christmas Holiday Celebrations.  Should I panic? Should I cut back on the carbs?  Oh wait I had homemade biscotti with my coffee this am :)  No, it's ok.  

I'm going to: 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

End of the year wrap up and big goals for 2014

The year 2013 started off with a bang, literally FIREWORKS, Jan 14th in Disney running 42.2 km!

In 2013, I  ran 1061 miles or 1707km! (not too shabby considering I run 3 sometimes 4 days a week and have taken a running volume rest period since the October Marathon). I'm pretty proud of those miles, and let me tell you every time I drive down Woodroffe Ave, I do a small cringe.  

In those 1061 miles I ran:
2 Marathons
3 Half Marathons
a 5km and 18km race too.

 I ran fewer races this the year but focused in on two goals. I wanted to run a Personal Best at the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon, and I did in 1:50:36!  I also wanted to run a PB at the Toronto Marathon in October.  But knowing that may not be the case, told myself that most importantly I wanted to run a HAPPY race, give it my best, and be happy no matter what.  I wanted to be proud of all the work and dedication that it took to get there.  I ran my best race that day, finished with tears of joy when I saw my family, and crossed in my second fastest time.  No regrets on that one.  

I learned a lot this year about myself and what I want from my running, racing and fitness goals.  As much as I want to push myself to achieve goals, I want to enjoy the journey there, and living this healthy fit blessed life with my family.  I want to find balance training for events and yet also enjoying weekends away and events with my family.  Which sometimes means altering my training plans for that weekend.  I've learned that I need to be kinder to my body, and that I need to rest more, cross train more, train smarter.  I've also learned that I need to be kinder to myself, and that come race day whatever the result I want to be proud because I worked hard to get there.  

So since running the TO Marathon, I've been on a running break.  I've been doing 1-2 runs a week, and not of much distance.  I haven't taken a significant break from running since I started 3 years ago.  It feels good!  I ran barefoot on the beach in Punta Cana recently and it felt amazing, I was flying.  I felt so fluid and fast.  I feel rested.  Now I haven't been slacking off in fact I've been working out hard cross training and literally spinning some ideas around in my head.  My fit friends are making plans for next year and are up to exciting adventures.  I've been battling with the idea of running another marathon but I have to be truthful I feel a little Marathon spent.  I did run 4 in two years...I know that's peanuts to some of my crazy friends, but man that's a lot!  BUT.... I still like the idea of a BIG SCARY MAKE YOU HEART THUMP type of goal.  

So today I hit the REGISTER BUTTON on.....

The Canadian, 113 IRON DUATHLON in August.  That's a 2km run, 90km bike, 21.2 km run! RUN. BIKE. RUN. 

To get ready for that I also registered for an Olympic Duathlon (5km run, 44.4 km bike, 10km run) in June.  Which is shortly after running a fun Half Marathon in Peele Island with a big group of girlfriends.  I love that I have a super fun weekend away run planned, mixing it up and adding the fun back into running.   The Olympic Duo is "do able" but still new to me and hence a butterfly dance party in the tummy.  The Half Iron Duo, on the other hand, is down right scary just like the Marathon was the first time.  I'm really excited to have a goal like that in front of me again.  Thump. thump. thump.