Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What idiot came up with the idea of pushing through the pain?

I'll start with saying that I killed it this past week. Twice a day workouts (the morning one is still especially soul-crushing given the time change), right at 1200 calories every day, even over 100 ounces of water a day. Then I added running back into the mix on Monday since the weather is finally cooperating with my asthma. It's been so cold that I haven't been able to do more than walk outside since November without having major asthma problems. So I expected it would be a bit rough starting back. And it was, but I pushed through. And the weather was so nice that I have been doing 2 five mile runs per day since Monday. That was where I may have messed up. My legs were in agony on Tuesday. When I walked, I looked like I was stepping on red hot coals or was perhaps severely constipated. But my motivation was so high and the weather was so awesome that I ran anyway. I pushed through 10 miles of pain yesterday, although actually the pain was weirdly less when I was running. My legs were still super sore when I woke up this morning to run. It was weigh-in day and I had a bad feeling due to my muscles soreness, even though by all rights I should have had a great week weight loss-wise. I was right to be worried. I was up 3 whole pounds  from my weigh-in last Wednesday. I weighed in on Sunday to, and I was down a pound from last week then, so really my scale is telling me that I have gained 4 pounds in 3 days by running 10 miles a day and eating 1200 calories. I'm sorry, but this really pissed me off. Part of me wanted to hurl that scale right out the window even though I'm pretty sure I know exactly what happened. When muscles are severely traumatized as mine have been the past few days (because all exercise is actually a form of trauma to the muscles anyway...that's why rest is important in order to repair the muscles!), there is inflammation and resulting water retention. So I know that's what the reason for my "weight gain" has to be. That only makes it slightly easier to bear. It's just frustrating working so hard and seeing the scale move the opposite direction than it should be.

Hindsight being 20/20 (or maybe 20/40 or so because sometimes even looking backwards things aren't so clear), I should have eased back into running more slowly. I got a little too gung-ho and set on pushing through the pain. I guess it's my inner bad-ass coming out. Hopefully the muscle soreness has eased off by tomorrow because I got an email today saying my soccer game tomorrow is back on! This is after game 1 being cancelled due to a blown transformer as previously discussed here, game 2 cancelled due to pouring rain, and the game this week was supposed to be cancelled due to some kind of filming thing (that apparently isn't taking place now). So I would really not like to hobble through my first game.

Anyway, so what I have been turning over in my mind lately is losing this last 30-40 lbs (surprise, surprise right?). For the past million months (or so it seems), I have been gaining and losing the same pound or two over and over. A plateau of epic proportions. But I came across a term I like better than plateau the other day. The blog I was reading referred to a plateau as "temporary maintenance." I think it has a more positive connotation. Because even though it is so, so easy for me to get down on myself for not losing weight, the truth of the matter is that I have never been able to maintain this particular weight before for this long. Last time I weighed around 170 lbs, I stayed that way for about 5 seconds (well, maybe longer than that, but in all honesty not longer than a few weeks). So that is something to celebrate because maintenance is no easy feat! While I'm not going to mentally berate myself, I believe I need to make a firm decision about losing this weight. I need to either to commit to losing the weight or I need to decide to be happy where I am at. Being at a somewhat "normal" weight like I am at right now, it's easy to be wishy-washy about it. I have people telling me I look fine just like I am. I am healthier than I have ever been. And while it's true that I could go through life at this weight just fine, I have made the decision that I want to finish what I started. I still have the weight to lose. It's not like I have body dysmorphia or something and think I need to lose weight even though I'm freakishly thin. Losing that weight would make me feel even better physically than I do now. And if it adds a bit more loose skin, well, what's a little more?

If you've ever read weight loss books or really any kind of self-help book (I myself have so many of these types of books, I could probably start a bookstore with them), you know there is a right and wrong way to set goals. The way that many people set a weight-loss goal is just to say "I want to lose 30 lbs." That's the extent of the goal and that's why a lot of people fail. And honestly, that's kind of what I have been doing these past few months, thinking I wanted to lose 30 lbs but not setting any kind of timeline or outlining what I needed to make that happen. So now, I'm putting out a new goal. I want to lose 30 lbs by September 14, 2014 (my 30th birthday...ahhhhh!). This amounts to 1.25 lbs a week. This is a reasonable and achievable goal. How am I going to make that happen? This took some real thought because I am already pretty compliant about eating 1200 calories a day and exercising.  But obviously I need to step things up to lose the weight because my body is used to what I am doing. However, I can't get too crazy and extreme because I know where that will lead me. Here's what I've come up with to help me reach my goal (while staying sane too):

  • Keep to 1200 calorie a day diet (it's dangerous to go any lower!) and record everything I eat. But start carb-cycling (Chris Powell's method), alternating high and low carbohydrate days and have one high calorie day a week to keep my body confused. This has worked for me before. I love carbohydrates and I know that cutting them out leads to weight loss, but cutting them out completely also leads to me being cranky and crazy. I can handle alternating high and low carb days though.
  • Keep twice a day workouts but switch things up to confuse my body and keep my body from getting so sore. Start interval training again. Alternate running with biking and the elliptical. Add swimming when it gets warm enough. 
  • Start strength training again!
  • Keep drinking at least 85 ounces of water a day, preferably over 100 ounces. Public service announcement of the day...divide your body weight by 2 in order to figure out how much water you need per day.
I think my plan is good because it is realistic and not that  drastically different from what I already do. Sometimes a few tweaks are all you need to get big results. That's what I'm hoping for!

No comments:

Post a Comment