Monday, January 14, 2008

The Epiphany

It all started last week as I began to talk to hub about the possibility of going to Tucson to see my Aunt and do the Bingham Oro Valley half marathon race there in March. We started talking about me getting ready to do a half that quickly. I think I could do it, in fact I know I could (I'm planning to do 9 on the 9th of February), but again, it would be training to "make it through" a race, probably not much more.

It takes a lot of time and energy not just during but after I run. I have a lot of recovery on the feet and general body as the miles escalate and try to be "okay" but it usually takes somewhat of a toll. And it is even hard for me to cross train because my feet need rest in between running days. Hub is totally supportive of me going if that is what I want to do but also starts to have one of those heart to hearts.....

Do I just want to be a runner or is it the fitness/health/weight benefits of running that I really want? Is it really doing for me what I need it to do? Well, I want to be a runner because it feels cool, sounds cool, is challenging and rewarding, and does a lot for my head, BUT, all of this is because I want to get back to skinny me, you know, RunnerBody. My mom has type 2 diabetes so I have plenty of non-vain reasons -- real risks -- to be as lean as possible. And after the biggest, runningest year of my life, with lots of running milestones, I realize, it just isn't cutting it. In fact I am heavier than I started the year. If I were making gradual progress, the story might be different, but UP in weight?

Foot Guy and PT Guy both said, I might just be a 3 day a week runner with this body.... It's pretty hard to make fitness or running gains or poundage losses if that is ALL you are doing.

We go on to talk about the weight we both need to lose. We are always trying off and on, but we cheat a lot. And really, that just doesn't work for me. I can eat what I want if I don't mind being 160 but not if I want to be under 150. I used to weigh 150 for high school and college, but slowly made my way to 160. I got serious and dieted and worked out like crazy getting to 130. It was difficult to maintain and I went up and down a couple times. I think I was about 140 when we got married but then came kids. I seem to settle in the 160's unless I work pretty hard. I did manage to get back to 146 a couple of years ago for a trip to Hawaii and stayed around 150 for quite awhile, so it isn't like my post kids chances of being less are just gone, maybe just a little harder to accomplish now.

Anyway, after all this running, I am back to 160. I blamed it on the non-stop eating all over Italy, but really it has been an on-going thing. I take a challenge or be good for a few days and get to 156 or so, but then I'm off the wagon and go right back up. Every time I go back up, some of the clothes fit, I think I am dressing "smart" and delude myself that I really don't look "THAT bad." Then something happens and I realize, I really do look THAT bad.

And, I can't deny the numbers any longer. The running has not gotten me to RunnerBody. I do believe I have built muscle, hell, not everyone does a 1 minute plank, but I've still got a long way to go on the core and strengthening and definitely on the weight. I'll never forget a quote from an article I read about getting six pack abs. Anyone can have them, but to show them off you've got to be lean as well. They can't be covered in a layer of chub. I think it is time to de-chub....

Hub tells me the gym is having a fitness and weight loss challenge and he is willing to do it with me. We decide to do it and find out more details as we investigate. The Meredith Publishing Corp, which is responsible for countless magazines and books and happens to be located in lovely Des Moines, is doing research for a fitness and weight loss book they want to put out later this year. The challenge is sponsered by them and involves diet and fitness regimens you can use or not, weigh in and measurements, before and after pics (OMG!!) and prize money to the winners -- all through our gym.

We did our before and after pics, front and back, to take to the weigh in. I. was. mortified. How long have I been miss fun-loving with the larger than a house back-side? OMG, I need action. NOW. Seriously. This is so bad. I have been carrying the picture around in a folder in case I try to delude myself again. (and it does not resemble the lady with the branch having an epiphany, it is nearly as scary as fun-loving cartoon lady.) My hub asked if I was going to post the picture. It is so bad, I seriously can't fathom it unless there is an absolutely amazing RunnerBody after to go next to it.

So, I am going to try running 3 times per week, but with a lot of cardio cross training and lots of weight training. And, major lifestyle changes with the intake. Major. It won't be fun, but apparently I've already had more than my share.

I did cardio (35 min) + weights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ran on Thursday.

Friday off.

Saturday weights and toning.

Sunday cardio (40 min) + weights. (I did a 70 second plank!! The side ones still kill me though.)

Wish me luck. My challenge start was 161 and I weighed 156 on that scale on Sunday. If I can get some weight off and keep it off, then maybe I can handle some race preparation a little better.

52 comments:

RunnerGirl said...

The six pack can't be covered in chub? I love that!

Good luck, sounds like you're off to a great start!

E said...

Good for you for accepting the challenge. Incorporating the lifestyle change of eating well and exercising is difficult but not impossible.

I have been a runner on and off for a couple of years now, but only got back into it seriously last year. Together with a boot camp class, I am now working out 5 or 6 days each week, have lost 10 pounds, and 12 inches since last October. Running alone was not taking any pounds off for me either - cross training and lifting is a must.

Good luck and don't give up!

RunMama said...

Keep moving forward! I could use a little of your determination to rub off on me. I am totally inspired by you and thought of myself in this post.

RunToTheFinish said...

Running and weight loss can actually be much trickier than expected...you run so therefore you feel you can eat. Vicious cycle.

I applaud you for taking the before photo...never would have been able to do it. I agree, would like to work off the chub to see some abs, so I have just restarted Nutrionathon...I guess this was the week for new goals! Here's to you!

Christie said...

Good luck, Nancy. You can do it!!!

Laura said...

Nancy, when you do a regular (front) plank, do you balance on your elbow? Or up on your hands in push up position? I've seen it done both ways, and I'm just curious so I can see how I compare, though I'm sure I'm nowhere near 60 seconds :)

Deene said...

good luck. take a good inventory your other activities and develop a strategy towards weight loss. maybe you can also keep a food diary. if you can do 9 miles, you can finish a half.

Shelley said...

I am right there with you. After running for a year I found I had gained weight, not lost. I thought for sure I would be able to eat whatever I wanted if I was running and the weight would melt off! So I bit the bullet last week and started watching my intake - now I am down 3 pounds!

Tri+Umph said...

Best of luck, Nancy! If the pounding from running is tearing your body apart, why not get in the pool for some good workouts? Either swimming or aqua-jogging (I've never done it, but some people swear by it!).

You can do it, because you ROCK MY FACE OFF!

Unknown said...

I hear ya' on not wanting to post the before pic unless there is a really awesome after photo.

Even then I'm not sure I'll want to post the before of my problem area...

Single said...

It's so hard--just remember that there are many numbers/weights at which you can feel good. Living by the numbers only will kill you.

Best luck--I looking forward to hearing more about it!

Cranky

J said...

Nancy, I know exactly where you are coming from. My husband and I did Body-For-Life after my son was born because we had also been denying a lot of chub. Those before pictures are depressing, especially the back side. (I suggest you keep them private for now.) Over the years, we have slowly improved our habits. I still have some bad ones, but I have a lot of good ones now. The fitness is a big piece of the puzzle, and running can definitely be a part of that, but it is only a piece of the puzzle. There are lots of other pieces to that puzzle. You have accomplished a lot and come a long way, you just need to address some habits you are not happy with, and change them one at a time. (And only you can honestly say which bad habits are holding you back.) I wouldn't give up on your running and racing, because you enjoy that! I see what you are saying, though. I wish the best of luck to you, I know how difficult it can be. But, dang girl! 70 second plank? Awesome!

Jamie said...

Best of luck in this new adventure! I give you props on both signing up AND taking pictures. I don't have enough guts to take the pics :) I look forward to reading about your journey through this.

J said...

Hi Nancy! We were just having this discussion among us sisters in the hotel room in Orlando on Sunday...and believe me I can relate; all those people who say they can eat anything and lose weight just by running just don't get it that that doesn't apply to everyone! Incredible when you think you can be burning so many calories on those long runs. I have been working this exact problem all last year, and for me the only thing that was effective was getting serious about my food intake. Nothing crazy or faddish - just serious, good sense, healthy habits. And the other big one was working on ditching all or nothing thinking - you know what I mean, figuring you've just eaten something off plan, so the rest of the day (or week...) is blown so I'll just not worry about it and start over tomorrow (or next week...) Good luck, Nancy, you can do it, and I will be hanging around here to see how you do!

Amy said...

Sorry Nancy...you have an echo going and we have been having a problem sharing the computer and some of us forgetting to log out and posting comments under an alias...so that last comment from "Jenny" was actually from "Amy" (me)! Hugs and good wishes for your weight loss journey! And thanks for all your lovely comments on our blogs - we have been reading them out loud to each other and giggling all evening :)

Neese said...

I can so relate. Was always 150. Plunged to 135 once. Moved my way up to being 160 the norm. Now I'm at a solid 170 and the scale is friggin stuck there. You are doing awesome to lose like you've been, it CAN be done and good for you for making it happen!

Nat said...

Well good on you. I find it's really a diet / exercise thing and it has to be substantial exercise. .. alas... I wish I could remember what 150 felt like. (Not so good I was 20 and living off cigarettes, and coffee and all that.)

I was thinking I need core strength because ... shhh...my back hurts but I'm in denial.

Bev said...

Great plan. I don't see how people run 6-7 days a week. Four is about max for me.

It's great hubby is on board with the program. Please keep us updated. Sounds like you've got the motivation.

akshaye said...

Thats a great start.. Good luck to both of you! And I am sure the after pictures will make you post the before when you are done.

Sarah Kathryn said...

OMG, Nancy, I could have written your post!! I am going to LOVE following what you do!

I feel like I've met my twin. Everything you wrote I've said out loud and to myself. The challenge is a great idea. Good luck to you - I'll be following closely!

Pat said...

If you run in Tucson, let us know. I ran that race last year. So did javamom.

We should have a bet going. lose 10 pounds by March 14th or post a picture of yourself on your blog in a bikini or speedo. Nevermind, that's a crazy ideal.

Unknown said...

In my late twenties I was a bodybuilder and had six pack abs. I have told people numerous times that I still have them, they are just cover in these here layers of fat, protecting them if you will.

Good luck with the weight loss challenge.

Stuart said...

Get stuck in and you'll love it!

Bill Carter said...

Nancy

I always find your blog inspiring and this time was no different. I guess every one of us has to look at that most basic question about why we run... to be a runner or for exercise. Along with that is the fact that even if we had all the time in the world and all the motivation, running is hard on our bodies and we need to have time to recover.

Well, here is my answer to the whole question of what you should do.. and I know you weren't asking and already made a decision. You have to do what is right for Nancy Bell and not worry about anyone else. Not foot guy, not PT guy, and not even your husband. This is just too important.

I've seen enough pictures to know that you look great. You've worked through injuries and sickness to continue to train and be a runner. You also have to live a little and that trip to Italy must have been amazing.

I'll just shut up now...because I know you'll do great in '08:-)

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

cardio cardio cardio... oh and watch the food portions. See how easy it will be --lmao

Way to Go Nancy... I am on a major mission to get lean & mean for my 100's don't want to carry any extra if I can help it :-)

Cardio Cardio Cardio :-)

Brooke said...

Our stats are very similar. I started at 166 and am now at 163. My goal is to lose 34 lbs before my 34th birthday.

Viv said...

Who's been reading my diary...
You are going to do great with this challenge. What an awesome challenge to have, a real motivator. If you can do a 70 sec. plank I would say you are on your way. OUCH!
I am going through the same things right now, running 3 days a week mixed with st and extra cardio. I hope it works. I have such a long way to go. The first 55 lbs. I was gung ho now I find myself indulging when I should just step away form the food. Reading your commitment through this journey will keep me motivated. I am on your side..Go Nancy Go!

L*I*S*A said...

You'll step up to that challenge no prob. :)

jahowie said...

I know you can do it!! We all need to keep challenging ourselves. I'm glad that the hubby is supportive.

Marcy said...

Nancy if anyone can do it, you can!!! You have such an AWESOME attitude, and isn't that most of the battle right there? I'm rooting for ya chica! GO NANCY!!!!

My Life said...

You sound like you've got the plan all mapped out... just put your amazing mind to it and success will come. Here's to your becoming the healthiest possible you!!

My Life said...

You sound like you've got the plan all mapped out... just put your amazing mind to it and success will come. Here's to your becoming the healthiest possible you!!

Vickie said...

Hey, I'm with you on everything! My weight has been creeping up again too, not in noticeable places, but go try on bathing suits! You run as fast as you can when it comes to that. Anyway, I'm on my "once in every 10 years" diet too. Two days down. Let's challenge each other.

Gotta Run..... said...

Where to begin...

Pictures can be one of the best tools in keepingit real. This is a snap shot of what others see all the time. just the other night I was looking at vacation photos from past year and realized I was totally fat in 2005. i marched up stairs and put that ugly bathing suite that I have continued to wear straight in the trash. UNREAL!!

I say you should run and stay fits for both reason... it's cool and he is way better for your health.

You can do this and it will make a difference with your running!! you already know that. HM here you come.

Best of luck to your hubby as well.

Midwest said...

Nancy, I have so much respect for you right now. For the honesty in this post, but even more so, for the honest look you are taking of your situation right now. If you hear some noise vaguely to the east of you, it's me cheering. You are awesome.

Wes said...

You can be lean and fit running three times a week! Just throw in some swimming, biking, and strength training :-) No need to tri! Swimming is the absolute best total body (low risk) workout you can do. Just sayin, of course :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought running a half marathon was my ticket to losing the last 10lbs I've wanted to get rid of for a few years. Nope... I think I just ate more and gained more muscle! Sucks that running isn't a golden ticket, but it helps!

Lori said...

I really need to sit down and make a plan, too. I am loving the running, but alone it just isn't doing it for me. My problem is without a doubt food and alcohol intake. If I could just say no, it really wouldn't be so hard! LOL

Jess said...

Yeah, a lot of people (non-runners, mostly) have a vision of elite runners -- slim, trim people -- and assume that running automatically does this for everyone. Not the case. Like you said, running doesn't necessarily means you'll lose weight and MANY people gain weight while training for big races.

Good luck to you and your weight loss/toning up endeavors. I'm sure you'll do great and think of how much easier it will be to carry your slim self across a finish line when you're done!

Amanda MacMillan said...

Hey there, I just found your blog and I love the energy and the humor! You are so inspirational!

I did a 30-second plank at the gym this morning and thought I was going to die. I can't believe 70! I've found that I actually like side planks ... one elbow on the mat and the other hand reaching up in the air ... better for some reason. No idea why, because you'd think they'd be harder. The regular ones kill me, though.

I think you should definitely do a half marathon in March! I'd love to read about your progress and your training ... I'm also training for a half in mid-March, the Shamrock in Virginia Beach. I'm blogging about my experiences here: http://
pokedandprodded.health.com/poked_prodded/
amandamacmillan.html.

I'll definitely check back and keep reading! Good luck!

P.O.M. said...

You can totally do it!

When I turned 30, I was weighing in at 168 and I didn't even realize how big I was. Within the next year, I completely transformed my life. I dropped down to 132, but after marathon training, I was back at 146. That's what I'm working at getting off now (I'm about half way there).

By the way, I'm thinking of posting before and after BATHING SUIT pics - but they are embarassing. What are your thoughts on that?????

GOOD LUCK NANCY. We're all here for ya!

Christine said...

Im struggling with a similar race situation. Thinking about running one before my training is over. I wont be quite as prepared..but I really want to do it! Just see how 3 days a week goes and evaluate in a month if your body can handle a half mary:) GOod luck!

Nibbles said...

Nancy,

Have you tried the FIRST program? It sounds perfect for you.

Nibbles said...

Nancy,

Have you tried the FIRST program? It sounds perfect for you.

Michelle said...

Nancy, I can relate!!! I am still struggling to lose the last 20 or so pounds I want to get rid of. It is so hard!!!

I am rooting for you!! :-)

ws said...

good luck Nancy and it sounds like you are doing great already...besides, you can certainly train for and finish a half with 3 day a week running.

Does this mean when I show up in Des Moines you're going to be cooking a healthy meal for dinner?

Laura N said...

Oh girl, I can totally relate. It's wonderful that you have your husband to work with you and not against you. FOOD is our biggest issue in our house, and if you find a way to succeed in eating healthfully as a family consistently, Please Share. You're gonna rock the exercise thing, that's obvious. You have the commitment and the ability, now go and do. Can't wait to see you get all skinny minny this year.

zanne said...

you may be a whiz at the dream interpretation, but i looked into my crystal ball & you can so do this. i see a runner body, a healthy body, and a half maraton in your future. good luck! i'll be reading!!

onepinkfuzzy said...

good luck!

remember, muscle weighs more than fat and how your clothes fit is a better guage than the scale.

you can do it!

(does this mean you're coming to Tucson in March?)

Heidi Swift said...

wow. I just found your blog via the Runner's Lounge and I really loved the honesty of this post. I have to tell you, I've seen so many people come to this same conclusion and there are so many ways to approach this.

I wanted to ask you if you currently lift weights, or have considered lifting weights or even doing body-weight circuit training. It is, hands down, an absolutely effective way to shed fat. I know that goes counter to everything that we've been told for so long, and I know women think that they will "bulk up" (you won't), but it really does bring results.

Anyway, however you choose to go about it, your determination and stick-with-it-ness will get you where you want to go. Happy blogging, hope you don't mind if I subscribe!
Cheers,
Heidi

Sunshine said...

Yes, wishing you luck!!
Good to have a goal.. but also to know that there is good health in the doing of it all.

Database Diva said...

Hi Nancy, sorry to have been MIA for the last few weeks. It looks like I've been missing out on all kinds of interesting posts. I'm concerned that you are being a little too hard on yourself. No matter how much weight I lose, or what size clothes I'm wearing, I still think I look fat in photos. I think I look OK in the mirror, so I think there is something wrong with photos, kind of like hearing your recorded voice.

Studies show, that it is healthier to be fit and fat, than thin an unfit. You can lose weight through exercise, but you need to emphasize intensity over duration. I agree that the FIRST plan might be ideal for you, since it has 3 days of running and 2 or 3 days of non-weight bearing cross-training. I'll let you know if I lose any weight. I swear I'll just be giving you information, not bragging ;) Good luck with the plan. I'll try to get caught up on your blog soon!