Category Archives: Fitness and/or Fatness

lost weight loss

i am really, really good at losing 30 pounds. but only in between bouts of my true talent: gaining 30 pounds.

once again, i’ve hit that critical mass that spurs me to horror and a rueful determination to change my ways.

but, a lot has changed since the last time i was in weight loss mode and i have some things to figure out. the most impactful:  we moved. i used to live a five minute walk away from a gold’s gym, where i logged most of my running hours on the treadmill. on the weekends, i ran the 3.2 mile path around lake merritt.

but we moved to a new house and got married, all in the same month, so my workout habit fell apart in july of last year, as wedding plans ramped up. we did a friends+family 5k run around the lake the morning of our wedding, and that was the first time i had done any running in a long time. and the last.

photo by Ali Carras

after the hannavance 5k wedding day run, photo by Ali Carras

after the wedding, i spent some time just generally slacking off and being relieved to be human again. some time turned into a few months and then i sprained my ankle pretty badly at the end of october. any working out that i had been doing came to a complete stand still.

my weight watchers membership fee mocked me every month.

as is my way, the lack of exercise led to terrible/wonderful gluttony in my eating habits and the fatness just kept coming.

my tolerance for out-fatting 98% of my wardrobe stretched a bit too thin, and here we are. but no gold’s gym and no lake.

so i’ve been taking classes at a spinning studio (that is close by, but i have to drive to). it’s too pricey to do all the time, but is probably a good twice a week option. there’s a boot camp kind of thing super close by, and i’m signed up to try that out for a month, with a groupon.

i should try to get back into some running, but i’m scared. scared of all the progress lost and how hard it will be. and just dragging my feet on the idea of running without the convenience of a park and foot path.

but the bits that i am doing are helping me feel motivated to do more and are inspiring my eating habits.

which all means that i’m back to thinking and doing a lot about food and exercise and that means that it’s bubbling up here, too.

again. shrug!

 

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Filed under Chubby girl, I'll be up in the gym

that time when i strutted around with my shirt off

Last week, I attended FitBloggin’ 2013, a conference for healthy living oriented bloggers in Portland, OR.

There were a lot of bits about that trip that were worthy of note, but one of the standouts for me was participating in a fashion show.

It was organized by the incredible Emmie, who asked participants if they’d be willing to model with just a sports bra and no shirt ahead of time. Over email I was very cavalier about it. It’s just my body and why shouldn’t other people see what I look like in a sports bra? Isn’t that the whole point of modeling something? So that other people can see what it looks like on an actual body? It’s no big deal. And the more I act like it’s no big deal, the more it isn’t one. Right? !!

But as it loomed ever closer, I started to have some feelings. About the looking and the seeing and the putting it all out there. I was nervous. Scared, even. Feelings that increased dramatically as I was lined up in the hallway waiting for my turn to step out and walk the runway.

When it was time, I put on some cheap pink sunglasses and stomped out in the conference room and whipped off my shirt, throwing it aside with a maniacal vigor, displaying my shiny pink Enell sports bra in all its glory.

I blame the nerves. I was so scared that I just went balls deep. I did not so much as walk the runway, as strut it. Like a jive talking peacock. I’m not sure I could walk like this again now if I wanted to.

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Exhibit A: strutting

I got to one end, leaned over, and I shimmied. It was all “God wouldn’t have given you maracas if he didn’t want you to shake ’em!” It was a shimmy I had never managed to produce in any Zumba or dance class or in any of my own comedic stylings.

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Exhibit B: Shimmying

There was one more point on the runway that I had to get to and then it would be over. I was still riding on a wave of adrenaline. I know there was a huge room full of people, but I didn’t really see them.

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Exhibit C: a moment of sultry calm

The whole point of a sports bra is to control bounce, so I felt like I should probably demonstrate. In my mind I was going to do jumping jacks, but what happened instead, I think, was chaotic, gleeful leaping.

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And that was that. The entire group did some rounds all together, walking around in a line, with none of the pressure that the solo performance did.

fashion show final walk

We finished and I put my shirt back on, high on exhilaration.

It was scary, but I’m so glad and amazed that I did it. A million thanks to Emmie and Enell for the opportunity.

 

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Filed under About a blog, Fitness and/or Fatness

the ups and downs (and flats) of progress

 

There are a bunch of things that I need to blog about.  But for the moment, I’m taking a moment to share a thought about weight loss.

Here is my a line graph of my weight from the past year.

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I’m pretty good at losing weight, when I intend to.

I’m also pretty good at losing track of my intention and gaining it, too.

Lately, things have been going pretty well in that department.  I had that half marathon a few weekends ago, and the training for that (provided one doesn’t use that as permission to face plant into a tub of pub cheese) makes it fairly easy to lose without being overly stringent with diet.

And losing usually begets more losing – for me, anyway – until something happens.

This past week, I had some things happening.  More opportunities for boozing than usual. I took it easy for a few days after the half marathon.  I didn’t get in a long run over the weekend.  We went out for dinner a few times.  It was a good week, with a lot of fun times.  I didn’t do anything I regretted later.  I didn’t make terrible choices.  I just didn’t intend to lose weight.

And I didn’t.

And for the first time that I can remember, it was ok.  I didn’t feel bitter or depressed or unmotivated to continue.  I don’t have to post a loss every week.  And I don’t have to feel badly about it when I don’t.*

 

*I have not turned into some zen acceptance master overnight. When I say that I didn’t lose any weight at my last weigh-in, I mean that I weighed in at the exact same weight as last week.  Had that shown an actual gain, deserved or otherwise, you might be reading about my petulant pity and pie.

 

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Filed under Fat Tuesday, Uncategorized

more half marathon

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This is Michelle.  We did another half marathon together on Saturday, our third one together now.

We have a fairly complimentary running pace (although she’s faster, but will deny it).  And we live close enough to one another that we can manage to get together some times on weekends for our long runs.  It’s quite handy.

There is a strangeness, though:  our running camaraderie, which I appreciate tremendously, seems to largely depend on an ongoing disagreement we have.

She makes me do what I couldn’t do alone.  She not only tolerates my grumpus attitude, but responds to it with insane optimism and compliments.  When I grovel at her all pitiful and beg her to run with me because I am too full of hate to carry on, she’s all “that sounds awesome!  let’s do it!”

And then!  Then she gets all grateful about what I got her to do.

And so we bicker, about who made whom do what and who should take responsibility for the motivation.

But I am telling you, my time for this grotesquely hot* half marathon would have been at least 30 minutes longer without her.   I would have given in to a laborious jog/walk plod after the first three miles.  It could have been a very long, boring, and sad struggle.

Instead, even though it wasn’t the PR I was hoping for, it was still 20 minutes faster than my worst half times.  And our pace for the first 8 miles was actually surprisingly good.  And she somehow inspired me to all out sprint it at the very end.

I totally owe that woman some bacon.

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*Please don’t judge, but grotesquely hot means about 85 degrees.  When the temperature runs from 58 to 72 degrees all the time  forever, we suffer in any deviation.

 

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess, Uncategorized

another half marathon

I had to leave Craftcation early to come home and do something the opposite of fun:  another half marathon.

It was pretty fail and I’m still feeling rather ho-hummish about it.  Trying to let it go and focus on getting better for next time.

[Next time? Why not just focus on not running at all?  So many “I don’t know!”]

I finished in 2:56:56, which you can write an essay about and compare and contrast to my other times here.  (Are you on Athlinks?)

It’s about the same time as my last half in December. For which I was under-trained and walked a good chunk of.  I did get my training in this time, but those were slow, too.  So my performance wasn’t unexpected.

Ah, well.  Nothing I can do about now.

Despite the boo-hiss nature, there were actually quite a few positives from the race:

a.  I did it.
b.  I didn’t die.
c.  Michelle, came to stay with us and also ran it.  And she tied her PR, which is pretty excellent.
d.  My work husband came out to watch and I saw him just before Mile 10.
e.  It was an insanely beautiful perfect day.
f.  The spectators, bands, djs and cheer stations were awesome. The church congregation in their Sunday best cheering from their front steps, the woman yelling “You’re beautiful, you’re amazing!” from her balcony, the dude channeling a clothed thunder-down-under attitude while standing atop his flaming, Burning Man contraption, the little kids giving out high fives.

So there you go.  My 3rd Oakland Running Festival = done.  An event that I can’t help but loathe and love.

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at least it *looks* fun…

jumping and runningIn December, I ran another half marathon, The Las Vegas Rock n Roll.  It starts in the evening and part of the course is on the strip, so you get all the glitter and grandeur of lights at night to stick in your hat.

It was a fantastically sucky run for me.  I could complain a laundry list of stuff I didn’t like about the race itself, but the biggest problem was that I hadn’t done any running at all for about 2 months prior.  I had (and have) been firmly ensconced in a crapped-out period.

So, I’m bitterly trudging along through the hours, diligently passing by the race photographers, one after another.  Either they’re going to take yet another picture of me looking grim or…

 

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Filed under Fitness and/or Fatness, Running, the bitch goddess

and then there was half marathon again

This was half marathon #6, which seems like frequently enough now that I shouldn’t even bother writing about them anymore.

But if my mission is just to blog about my cats and my running, then by all means, Margaret!  Tell us about the running!

Despite a lot of moaning and groaning about it, I did complete a 10 mile run with no walking the weekend prior.

This was the San Jose Rock n Roll, known for being particular flat.  Hoot.

The universe bestowed a heaping of awesome on me when I met Michelle on the other side of the country last month.
She:
a)  lives in my neck of the woods
b)  was also signed up for San Jose
c)  runs just a little bit faster than me
d)  has fun levels comparable to puppies on a trampoline

In short, I was going into this run prepared, flat, and partnered up.

I really really wanted to break a 2 hour 30 minute time.

And lo, so I did!

Of all the pictures that were taken on the course, this is the only one that actually has both of us in it.
At least that girl in the middle back there is in focus.

And here’s one that shows me with both feet not touching the ground!  Did you know that running is technically defined as a gait in which both feet are off the ground at regular intervals?  A speedwalker (or any sort of walker) always has one foot touching at all times.  I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of myself  with no feet touching before, so I feel rather peachy about this, even if it is out of focus.

This was somewhere in the half way vicinity.  Some lady with a boom box was playing Living on a Prayer (we’re half way there.)  Clever.

More both-feet-off-the-ground!  Now with sunglasses!

I confess:  almost as soon as it was over, I was conniving that I could have been faster and plotting for how long it would take me to break through the next milestone.

But am trying to give myself a bit of credit for doing it and doing it better than I ever have before.  I do love that I did it.  2:26:34, 11:11 min/mile pace.

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I went to this thing called FitBloggin

A mere eleven days after coming home from Italy, I was back on an airplane to Baltimore to go to a blogging conference called FitBloggin.  It’s billed “For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.”

Which sounded reasonable.  And I was chomping at the bit to meet my friend, Caroline, in the real life.  We’ve been super good interweb pals who’d never met in person.

Hanging out with Caroline was awesome.  Of course, it’s really nice to just have a go-to-gal when you’re trying to socialize with 300 strangers, but I think we would have had a grand time even if had just been us.  We stayed up too late chattering into the night and we needled each other into getting up and doing all of the workouts offered.

me and caroline, at the hotel bar
picture stolen from caroline

Speaking of the workouts…
They were my favorite thing about the conference. We completed a yoga class, a Crossfit workout, and a crazy aerobics class on the first day. Then an intense boot camp, a trampoline class, and a Zumba class on the second day. The final day was just a 5k.

I don’t have enough hours in the day to do so much working out in my regular life, so this was a really neat opportunity.

Plus, I learned in a totally non-snarky environment that Zumba is not for me.

The 5k was especially awesome, because I ran it with a cool lady named Michelle aka The Running Jewess, who made me go just a little bit faster than I would normally be inclined to.  Which is just the right sort of running partner, really.  Full of the love-loathe.  AND!  She’s local (at Stanford) and also going to be running the upcoming half marathon in San Jose, too, so hopefully I will see her there.

Like at ALT Summit, there was a sort of inner-sanctum of bloggers who seemed to largely know one another already and who did the presentations for most of the sessions.  I knew of some of these folks, but not many.  And I was surprised to learn that the majority of the bloggers were weight-loss oriented.  If I had to guess, I’d characterize the attendees as 75% weight-loss and 25% fitness focused (although the two are not entirely distinct, of course).  And of those weight-loss types, maybe at least half of them were big losers — people who already had lost 100+ pounds or who were working on losing that much or more.

So there was a lot of emotion and sharing and story telling wrapped up in the experience of having lost or having to lose so much weight, and in a place surrounded by others in the same sort of situation, emotions were running high and there was much love and bonding.

For me, it felt a little like I was watching a really interesting tv show.  They were all compelling stories, but I couldn’t completely identify with them.  My weight hasn’t really ruined my feelings of self worth and I haven’t gone through some process of learning to accept me for me.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve been awesome since forever.

I was also not using social media in the same way that most folks there seemed to be.  They’d meet with their eyeballs and then turn around, walk away and then tweet to each other how nice it was to have met.  We were also strongly encouraged to “talk” to the sponsors via Twitter and Instagram, pretty much constantly.  Which is just a really different sort of blogging approach than I have… my philosophy is definitely geared more towards minimal followers and free stuff!
The sneakers I got, though, were pretty nice.  So, uh… thanks, @Reebok?

Overall, it great to have a venue to meet up with Caroline and very cool that we had all these workouts to do together. And I definitely liked lots of new people.  I didn’t get as much out of the sessions as many other people did, but my general impression is still a good one.

Next year’s FitBloggin is taking place in Portland, which is WAY more convenient for me than Baltimore was, so the temptation to go again is there.  No promises yet, but we’ll see!

Anyway, a few more pictures…

action shot on the trampoline
also stolen from caroline

triangle pose in the yoga photobooth thing.

jazz hands at the start of the 5k.
that’s michelle next to me in the yellow.

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Filed under About a blog, Fitness and/or Fatness

the fifth half

I completed my fifth half marathon on Saturday.

But don’t worry. I’m still that girl who hates running.

I think maybe I hate being bad at stuff more. The other half-marathons I did this year left me feeling a bit defeated. I did ’em, yes. But I didn’t prepare as much as I should have and I didn’t do them well.

Hence “Operation: Just Keep Signing Up For More Half Marathons”

This time around, I was moderately prepared. I made it up to a 9 mile training run the weekend before, which went surprisingly well.

Not surprising: the half marathon really started to tank after the 9 mile mark. Go figure.

So I didn’t break 2 hours 30 minutes, which I had been optimistically hopeful about. And I didn’t beat my best time to date of 2:34:15. But it was pretty darned close to that.

We got there a bit late, so started 15 minutes late with the 10K runners, which means that it was a long lonely time after I passed the 10K turnaround point. But I did start to catch up to and pass loads of the half marathoners.

So, until next time (on October 7)…

Run it up, you hate-runner! Run it up!

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

I’m especially good at spectating.

The San Francisco Marathon was on Sunday and my friend, Megan, was running, her first time with the 26.2.
Since it’s such a monumental accomplishment, we got up at 6:30 am to drive into the city and cheer her on.

We wanted to be in Golden Gate Park because we knew that that was a really lonely and endless part of the course (I did the 2nd half and David did the full last year.)

After some tomfoolery trying to get to where we needed to be while avoiding road closures, we scurried into the park, saw the runners and then we stood there.  With signs!

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People were loving David’s sign, “Run, total stranger, Run.” So may runners saw it and said “That’s me!” It was totally fun.

We knew Megan was going to be wearing a pink shirt and a white hat. We had a half an hour window in which she should be passing by us, around her Mile 15.

So we looked for Megan and we cheered for the total strangers. I teared up watching them go by.

After a bit, I noticed that most people had their names printed on their bibs. A bit too small to read easily, but you could pick them out if you looked. David got a total kick out of calling people out by name. I just wept and tried to pretend I wasn’t.

I started to wonder if all the people passing by seemed like they were probably slower runners than Megan, who’s roughly a 10 minute miler.

But who knows with all the different waves and the half marathon people mixed in with the full.

And then later, I noticed that all the people had green markers on their bibs saying “2nd Half,” for the second half marathon.
And they ALL said that.

What? Where are the marathoners? What’s going on?

So you see this little course map? The dark blue line is the marathon course and the lighter blue is the half. Most of the time, their course is the same.
But they take this extra little out and back extension here. The yellow arrows point to where we were standing. If we had been standing in the path, we would have actually seen the rest of the race course, just a bit further on.

So we didn’t see Megan around Mile 15 like we said we would. And I was preaching the gospel that “It’s hard doesn’t mean I can’t” to the half-marathoners before they had even hit the 2 mile mark.

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