What this blog *is* about

Today at the conference I did the following things right:

  • Ordered room service for breakfast so I could control what my food would be.
  • Picked up a banana for a snack with my mid-morning coffee.
  • Passed on the cheesecake served with lunch (Honestly, who needs a dessert with lunch??). Only ate half of the lunch lasagna I was served.
  • Ate an apple with my mid-afternoon coffee, bypassing the enormous, deliciously-fragrant cookies on offer next to the coffee.
  • Ate a kale salad and 1/4 of a chicken sandwich for dinner. No  alcohol with dinner today, either.
  • Ran intervals on the treadmill at the gym for 25 minutes. Ran the high-intensity intervals so hard that I could not have possibly done another when I was done.

I still have an orange in my conference-swag bag in case I get hungry later, plus I already put in my order for my oatmeal and coffee room-service breakfast for tomorrow. I’d call today a win on the weight-management-while-traveling-for-business front.

A bit of housekeeping…

If you email me to ask me to try a “free sample” of your New! Clinically! Proven! weight-loss supplement so that I can then promote it for you which is a great opportunity (!) for me, I will send your message to spam. That’s not what this blog is about.

If you email me repeatedly to ask me to post your article that is about topics that are not directly what this blog is about but are sort-of kind-of tangentially related, I may give your content a look, but I probably won’t post it.

If you email me an infographic that attempts to shame overweight people into losing weight for the good of…whatever, and ask me to post it, I will ignore you. That’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is where I mull on the steps I’m taking to keep off the 200 pounds I lost through diet and exercise. That is all. I’m not looking for externally-sourced content, and I’m certainly not looking to promote shady weight-loss supplements that are, on the whole, shams and scams attempting to fleece honest people out of their hard-earned money with a promise of easy results in an arena that I know damn well doesn’t come easy.  That’s not what this blog is about.

Small Measures of Success

This week I’m at a conference in San Diego, staying at a hotel all week.

Today I:

  • Chose wisely from the breakfast buffet. Including grabbing an orange to eat during the morning coffee break.
  • Didn’t eat the dessert that was served with lunch.
  • Ate an apple at the mid-afternoon coffee break instead of the chips and brownies on offer.
  • Avoided the Free Wine Trap laid out by the conference organizers at 5pm, and instead went straight up to my room to change for a workout.
  • Worked out so hard my abs are still quivering.

So that was my first full day at the conference. I probably could have done better with dinner, which was Ethiopian with my boss, but I did pass on dessert. So overall I feel like I made a preponderance of good choices today.

Funny story: At dinner there was a young couple at the table next to us. My boss says to me, making conversation, “If you won the lottery would you quit your job?” and I said, quite definitively and without a second thought, “ABSOLUTELY!” One of the young men at the other table grinned at me and I smiled, pointed to my dining companion and said, “That’s my boss.” He laughed and said, “Wow, that was an honest answer considering…!” I turned to my boss and said, “Would you quit your job if you won the lottery?” and he said, “ABSOLUTELY.” So we have an agreement.

Buckling Down

Friday I had an epiphany. Not in a good way. I went to try on my favorite blue cocktail dress and it was much too tight to wear. I know that I last wore it about a year and a half ago. To NOT be able to wear it when I wanted to jolted me out of my fantasy.

I had a rough winter, I was chemically depressed due to medication and my thinking became skewed. I continued to exercise at normal levels but I didn’t bring any discipline whatsoever to my intake. I ate whatever I wanted – it was weird, it was almost like some kind of mania came over me, I was eating whatever I wanted. I haven’t done that since…10 years ago. As much as I would love to live in a world where my body didn’t gain weight if I ate whatever I wanted so long as I exercised…I didn’t get that body, nor that metabolism. That fantasy doesn’t exist for me. I know that I have to control BOTH diet and exercise to maintain my weight, but for about 8 months I just…didn’t. I had a lot of other stuff going on, yes. This is, however, the first time I’ve actually just…let go.

Well, Friday jolted me back. We spent the weekend at a Masonic retreat for my husband’s upcoming duties, and I hit the gym both Saturday and Sunday morning. Yesterday I lifted weights so hard I’m sore today. But today I got up and ran on the treadmill hard anyway. Right now I’m sitting at the Sacramento airport, waiting for my flight to San Diego where I’ll spend the week at the Enterprise Data World conference learning about new developments in my industry, but I know that the hotel has a gym, and I’m committing right now to hitting the gym every single day. While exercise hasn’t been my main issue with this recent gain, it has been something I’ve been haphazard about committing to, not going if it seemed boring or the weather was a little off or I was feeling tired or whatever. Now I’m committed.

As for food: I am not going to be eating desserts while I’m stuck at the hotel this week. I’m not going to be eating pastries or the other types of baked goods they offer for snacks in the afternoon. I’m going to re-institute my policy of choosing the menu items for dinner that have the lowest caloric load, not whatever tastes good. masonicdinner

I’m really angry about this, but not at myself. Just…angry. Motivated. Re-committed. Determined. I’m not despondent, I don’t hate my body or anything, I just need to get back on track and now is the time.

Alas, I have photographic evidence that all is not hopeless. Last night before dinner my handsome husband and I took this picture, which just became my favorite picture of me (and him). First try, no re-touching, and we BOTH look good, how often does that happen?!

Anyway…I’m buckling down. I want to wear my blue dress again and soon!

7.5 Mile Run Report

I finally go to do the 7.5 mile run I’d planned…almost a month ago. In the meantime I caught a nasty cold and recovered from it, with all it’s attendant hacking, coughing, sniffling, and moaning. The afternoon I felt the cold coming on I did something I always do if I possibly can – I went out for a run. It’s true. Sometimes – sometimes – that will burn out the virus. Or something. I don’t know what the physical mechanism is, but sometimes if I do some hard, sweaty exercise right when I feel a cold coming on it will nip it in the bud, or at least reduce the severity.

Of course, it could also be my excellent immune system doing that. But don’t bother me with details! Anyway, it may have worked this time. Not that I didn’t catch the cold, but it was way less severe than the version my darling husband had. He had a fever of 102 for a couple of days, I never got a fever. He felt bad for more than a week, I had two days of feeling bad enough to stay home from work (that is pretty bad, considering I can work from home if I want, but I was feeling too bad to even do that). And then it was all just clearing out the mucus. I know…charming.

Anyway, the first time I went running after the cold (exactly a week after the run I took when trying to fight it off) was awful. Serious Articles will tell you that if you only took a week off you shouldn’t have lost any ground. That was not my experience (that’s an understatement). After my week off that included a cold I couldn’t even finish my shortest route (3 miles) without stopping to walk several times, and I felt extremely nauseous during and after my run. I even started thinking that maybe running so soon after a cold wasn’t a good idea.

I definitely lost ground. It took me about a week to get back up to running my 5.5 mile route. Oh, and Monday I resumed doing some strength training again, which is something I haven’t done in several months…maybe since last fall. I’ve been somewhat remiss, but when a routine gets to the point that even considering doing it feels like a massive, annoying burden it’s probably time to give it a rest. So Monday evening I ran through my strength training routine and my legs were SO WEAK. Tuesday they were sore, yesterday they were screaming. So naturally I decided to go for a run. You know what they say – aerobic exercise will help clear out the lactic acid in the muscles if they’re sore and you’ll feel better.

So I finally got my 7.5 mile run! It didn’t start out that way. I started the run thinking I’d do a 6.2 mile route and call it good. But the weather was so nice, and my legs weren’t hurting much once I got jogging that I just…kept going. I’m glad I went but I had a couple of observations:

  • 7.5 miles is too long to run without carrying water, and I hate carrying water.
  • It’s probably also too long to run with sore legs.
  • It’s not a distance I can see myself working into the regular rotation (but I could be wrong).

One thing I’ve noticed about myself is the first time I do a new route I invariably think it sucks. It seems really long and slow and boring… But if I do it again, then it’s fun. It’s seems as if familiarity with the route and knowing what to expect around the next corner increases my enjoyment.

I’ll save this route for when my support crew (husband) can ride alongside on the bike with bottles of water.

Also, my legs were thrashed last night after the run. Holy cow, I was hobbling around my 3-story house wishing I had an elevator all night. I finally gave up and went to bed around 9:30PM because laying down just seemed like a nice place to be. Today…much better!