Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mind + Body Challenge Continues, So How Much Weight Have You Lost?

The quick backstory is, in January I went on a 21 day whole foods cleanse which was featured in Whole Living Magazine. The basic premise was to give up 6 things, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, refined foods/drinks, gluten, and dairy. It was an eye opening experience for me and you can read all about it in these posts


After the cleanse was over I found myself recognizing patterns I have with food and it has impacted my diet ever since. I think it's also very important to note that I no longer restrict any of the 6 things I initially gave up, but I do look at them in a new light. I tend to avoid bread and buns in favor of a lettuce wrap. Last night we wrapped our burgers in a steamed chard leaf, hello awesome! Instead of a peanut butter sandwich, I have peanut butter slathered on an apple. I have finally weaned myself off of sugar in my coffee (this was one of the last hold outs for me, being a new to coffee drinker). I keep my eyes wide open when it comes to consuming sugar after I went through detoxing off of it in January and try my hardest to limit my intake (not including naturally occurring sugars in fruit).

I would have to say the biggest change to my life post-cleanse is not my diet, but rather to my activity level. In a strange happenstance moment I was offered a trade for membership at a local gym and it has changed me. Something clicked after I started going to the gym regularly, either for cardio sessions or for core based strength training classes, also balanced with a few yoga classes to keep from feeling too tight. I started immediately seeing my body getting stronger and responding to the workouts, distances have become easier on the treadmill and I've upped the weights in most classes.

Now to the big question, how much weight have you lost?

It's a favorite! Because all of this work has to be correlated to a number right? Well here's the thing, the only scale I own is my WiiFitPlus. I took measurements and photos at the start of my cleanse, as well as weighing myself on the Wii. I initially dropped about 12 pounds, but gained a couple of pounds, and then got back to the lower weight. I've maybe dropped a pound or two since, but I don't weigh myself that much, maybe 2x a month. In case you can't sense it, this is not about how much I weigh. I'm trying to change my body by losing fat and becoming stronger and leaner. I don't know how that correlates to a scale. I really like to judge my body by how my jeans fit, there's no other truer measure to me.

Here's a photo comparing January to March, showing how my body has changed. On the left the shorts I was wearing were tight on me!


Here's a screen shot of my workouts from DailyMile, a website I use to track all of my workouts.

The number in the blue bullet represents the miles I completed that week, either hiking or walking/running. Underneath starting with the 1 represents from January on. The 3 on the left are from last year, I didn't use DailyMile faithfully then. The black shows other workouts I competed for the week when I scroll over the blue bullet. There you have it! I can track miles, specific types of workouts, etc all in DM. It's a great tool for me, as I love charts and graphs. 

As I see it, my journey has only just begun. I'll continue to update my progress! 

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Moment

As she walked away her head was held high,
the sun was reflecting golden blonde highlights in her sandy brown hair,
even though her back was towards me I knew she was smiling from ear to ear.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Running: My Breakthrough Moment

I simply want to remember this moment. The moment I consider to be my breakthrough, mental walls collapsing all around me and there I am...

Running, smiling, and still running. Still Running?!?!?!

I've struggled with running, deeming myself a walker, but always wanting just a little bit more than walking. My body never moved at the pace my mind thought I should be moving at, so I felt frustrated. To top it off I would constantly battle my mind that would tell me over and over, it's ok to walk now. WALK NOW. You can walk now. Over and over. Every time I stepped on the treadmill it was like this mental battle, mind vs. body and trust me, my mind has some kick ass will.

But...

I just kept at it. Everyday or as often as I could, I'd return to the treadmill and walk. Sometimes I'd run, maybe squeak out 12 minutes, 5 minutes, whatever I could. I always tried to push myself beyond my comfort (walking) zone. The oddest thing about my run or walk dilemma, is that I don't huff and puff when I run. I can feel my lungs expand and contract filling with cleansing oxygen, growing stronger every day. BUT... I'd still find myself return to walking, it was this huge mental obstacle for me.

Then...

I stepped on the treadmill tonight. After 5 minutes of walking I upped the pace and just started to run. I have a focal point off in the distance I like to remain in constant contact with, kind of like when you are trying to keep balance in a yoga pose. I just kept coming back to my focal point, the #50 on a weight machine about 15 feet in front of me, then it was a simple black knob on a white machine. Focus, move, and don't think about running, just move. Keep moving. Oh my goodness, I'm doing it. Move, run, move.

Whatever works, right?

It was absolutely euphoric. I did it. I ran for 25 minutes with no slowing down. I knew it was there inside of me, I just had no idea how to unlock it.

Now this whole other journey starts.

[photo is of from my cool down, it will be a reminder of the moment]