Saturday, April 30, 2011


This week I signed up for my first ever triathlon, which is being conducted by the Euclid Family Y.  Between May 1 and May 31, I have to complete 112 miles of biking, 26.2 miles of running, and 2.4 miles of swimming.  Things like the elliptical machine count towards running, I can accumulate bike miles in spin class, and the swimming is accomplished in 168 lengths of the pool. 

Quite frankly, I don't know how I'm going to get it done: are there enough hours in the day and energy in me to accomplish this and the rest of my commitments?  It's going to be a challenge for me, but it's not beyond my abilities.  I'm definitely going to have to increase my workouts and will enlist my husband's help in mapping out a plan to follow.

When I complete this triathlon I'll have earned a t-shirt (woohoo!), and I'm looking forward to asking for a smaller size.  Wish me luck!


April 30: fear -> self reliance

The more I thought about Thursday's upside-down crunches, the more insight I got into what was going on.  In order to not fall, it was up to me to keep my quads engaged and my feet up under this bar.  If I relaxed my grip, I would have slid down the bench and landed on my head.

My fear had to do with a lack of belief in myself.  Just like when I go through rigorous circuit training, it's me I'm relying on.  David tells me what to do, but it's up to me to do it.  There's always a moment of doubt, but with his encouragement (let's hear it for trainers!), I'm discovering that I am strong and can take care of myself.

The food/emotion equation is more challenging, I think, because emotions vary and food is always available.  I need to somehow take the self-reliance I'm learning in weightlifting and draw it to the part of me which faces food.


Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29: Fear

Recently my family went to the indoor amusement park, where our 8-year-old was in raptures about the Ferris wheel.  I would have contented myself with waiting and watching from the safety of the ground below while my husband and our 2-year-old wandered around the park.  After standing in line a while, though, our 8 & 11 came back to me; apparently the Ferris wheel appeared more intimidating in person that it did in our 8's imagination.

What's a mom to do?  Heave a sigh and get in line to ride the contraption, setting an example for her kids about facing fears.  When it was our turn, we boarded the swinging bucket and (much to my chagrin/dismay/horror) were on our way.  Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Partially to amuse my kids and partially to prevent myself from exploding from a heart attack, I hammed it up for my kids.  They loved the entire ride, teased me mercilessly, and endured me muttering "shutUPshutUPshutUP! IhatethisIhatethisIHATETHIS!  If you don't stop laughing, I'm calling off birthday parties!"  They laughed till they had tears in their eyes.  (note: My 8 in particular delighted in the ride and was a daredevil for the remainder of the day.)

My 8 asked "Why did you come on if you're afraid?" 

Why indeed.

Why do I balance upside-down from a wobbly pedestal and do crunches while my trainer tosses a medicine ball to me?

During yesterday's especially intense WOW session I voiced my fear of the afore-mentioned exercise and of a couple others.  I asked David "Why is lifting weights scary?"  His thoughtful reply: "It's not scary to me."  Thanks, David.

Doing those upside–down crunches on the pedestal scared me every bit as much as did the Ferris wheel.  I think I'm afraid of falling.  I know I wanted something to hold on to.

More and more I find that I need boundaries.  I need to know how many reps to do. I need to know how many more minutes I'm elliptical-ing.

And faced with the prospect of having to lose a seemingly infinite number of pounds, I have to comfort myself by creating a secure boundary.  I've asked a friend to help me mark off the next ten pounds.  Ten pounds are more conquerable than are ninety.

We've all heard that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  I think that in order to grow I need to confront my fears, find out what's at the crux of them, and learn how to move past them.  It's why I got on that Ferris wheel, why I did upside-down crunches while playing catch with a medicine ball, and why in the not too distant future I'm going to climb that rock wall.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28

Little by little I'm remembering the tools which helped me lose more than 50 pounds.  I feel like I spent April in a little boat on a foggy lake.  I can see the shore now, and I'm making a plan to get there.  I wish I could avoid those down periods, but the fact is I need to have tools in place to help me not get lost in them.

WOW today and a trip to the store all by myself for a brand new pretty notebook – even if it costs more than $5.00.

My goals: to get under 200 pounds and to drop two more clothing sizes in time to wear the next smaller jeans I own.

Goals – they've been missing from my life.  Now I've got them and I've got the tools to achieve them.  I'm already working towards May since April's in the toilet.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27 Status Check

Exercise – excellent; even dripping sweat! (from wrists, not forehead; I think my bangs are getting in the way)

Food – Monday was good, Tuesday involved too much candy (no more of that now, thank you!), Wednesday is off to a good start

Attitude – I'm dreading Saturday's weigh-in but won't fear it.  I've been reluctant to go to spin class; have opted for pushing myself on my own.  I'm floundering towards setting goals to get me moving in the right direction again.

Focus – My cup overfloweth with tasks just now; I'm grateful for the mental stimulation.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26: Fitness for Bookworms

Jane Austen famously wrote of "a truth universally acknowledged"concerning wealthy men and their need for wives.  I propose that equally true is the fact that we bookworms face our own special challenges when it comes to diet and exercise. 

1.     While there are coordinated people who can trot along on a treadmill, engrossed in a book and flipping pages without tripping over their own feet, I sadly cannot number myself among them.  I need to watch where I'm going or I bang into the guardrails on the sides.

2.      Books are as much an escape for me as is food.  When I was going through cancer treatment, I lived in the world of Harry Potter.  Interactions with animals take me to James Herriot country.  And summer days at the pool were perfect for Enchanted, Inc.  I can roam far and wide, forgetting about my to-do list while never flexing more than my page-turning muscles.

3.       I'll happily read anytime, anywhere.  Given the choice between TV and a book, I'll take the book.  Poolside lounge chairs are as conducive to reading as is a living room couch or a grassy patch under a tree.  I'd wager that I'd do quite well reading in a barrel of monkeys. 


Portion control isn't really my problem with food, but it is my problem with books.  Just one more page, just one more page, then, I promise, I'll put my book down.  The page becomes a chapter; the chapter becomes an exciting part; then of course the resolution; and then I need another book!

Trading in exercise for books has obvious plusses and minuses.

What gets me going when I exercise is audio stimulation – music!  But I so love a good story.  Perhaps I need to combine that awareness with my passion for reading.  The solution?  Playaways.  If you spend any time at all in Euclid Public Library, you can't help but have seen bright orange boxes containing these little gizmos: books which you can pause, rewind and fast forward.  The selection is almost painfully small, but I'm sure I can find something to get me through a few miles of cross-training.

So, for the next leg of this Weight Loss Journey, I guess I have to look work not only on diet and exercise, but bring my love of literature back under control.  After all, I want to live my own story and make my own memories.  How can my own life be worth reading about if it's so engrossed in writings of others that it never forms its own plot?