REALLY?

01/31/2012

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If I hadn’t live with this before I might be upset or at the very least confused.

All I have done in the last four weeks is accepted the idea that I want to be more active and that I can do more physically. I have walked over 50 kilometers during that time and went three weeks in a row losing weight.

And then I gain 4.8 pounds. Really? That’s right plus 4.8 pounds in one week. Tracked everything I ate, didn’t come close to using my extra points. . I went back and looked at all my tracking. Since I have been blogging and keeping records, plus 4.8 is a record for weight gained in a single week. I had to go back to September 29, 2011 when I gained 4.0 pounds in one week. The surprising thing is the very next week was the most lost in a single week. Minus 5.8 pounds.

I could blame it on the moon. I guess my body just decided to shut everything down and hold on for dear life. I must have scared my body with all the walking into thinking the end was near and my body needed to keep every ounce it could. What will happen next?

I will continue on my way. Not really looking to change anything. I have the rest of my life to get this right and one bad week is not going to stop progress.

Get back to you in a few more days


 
 
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Bring on the Capital 10 K, I am ready.

Sunday morning with my two daughters for moral support I walked the Capital 10 K “Route”. Not only did I finish it but I set a new personal best for 10 K, 2 hours and 9 minutes. The first half or 5 K is almost all up hill. At the very least for me it has two challenging hills. My time for the first 5 K was 56 minutes. The first time I have walked that distance under an hour.

Now before I go too crazy let me put this into perspective. The winner of last week’s Houston Marathon, Tariku Jufar had a time of 2 hours and 6 minutes. All he did was run 26.4 miles in about the same time it took me to go 6.2 miles. But I was overjoyed.

MENTAL ATTITUDE. So let us go back in time. October 4th I turned 65 years old. I was barely walking 2 K at a time. I wasn’t convinced I could walk a 5 K and I didn’t have a positive feeling about the Capital 10 K. James Russell tells me one morning that I am over thinking this and I have not really pushed myself. “Quit measuring everything for just once. Stop calculating the route before you walk it. Pick a spot without knowing how far… walk out and back. Then see how far you walked.” Distance 5.5 K. Alright point taken.

Then on November 19th Michele and I walk the Freedom Run at Camp Mabry. Wow what a hill at the end. But we finished 1 hour 8 minutes. Next December 18th the Reindeer Run 5 K also at Camp Mabry but minus the really bad hill. We finished 1 hour 4 minutes.

Hills! I hate hills…But I have to get over it. Literally! So I start walking the steep hills near our office. Then December 31st, I decide it is time to do walk 10 K. Enter James….”be reasonable on your first 10 K, stay on the Town Lake Trail because it is basically flat.”  I finished in 2 hour and 33 minutes. Boy that was tough. More mid week short walks up more hills. 8 days later I decide to walk a modified Cap K, walking 10 K but only one set of hills. This time I finish 2 hours and 29 minutes. It was tougher and I was really weak at the end. Then seven days later I decide to walk 5 K over the first set of hills that are part of the Cap 10K. Time 1 hour 2 minutes. My time was improving but I was really hoping to get a 5 K under an hour. That brings us up to Sunday 01/22/12.

I have walked three 10 K walks in 22 days. My attitude has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I am still not fond of hills. But on November 19th at Camp Mabry I stopped on the hill because I couldn’t make it up the hill. Sunday after walking 4 K over the first set of hills, I started up the hill on Enfield and told myself I got this. I can do this. With eight weeks to go before the Capital 10 K I know I can do this.

But I don’t think Tariku Jufar has anything to worry about.



 
 
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Well I did go back and double check and only one other time did I have three consecutive weeks of weight loss… until this last Thursday.

Minus 1.6 pounds makes three weeks in a row of weight loss…for a total minus 8.4 pounds in the last three weeks.

This is the time of the year when everyone is trying to quit something or improve themselves in some way. New Year’s Resolutions! 


I have people notice that I am losing weight and immediately they ask “What’s your goal?” Answer…”To live this way for the rest of my life”.  “Yes but you must have a target weight.”

No not really. Once I though if I could weigh the same as I did in high school that would be reasonable. But for now I am just going to keep living this way the rest of my life. I think my body will eventually just settle to a point where I just continue to maintain. Not sure what the number is right now and I don’t really care. I am enjoying the success and the freedom being 57 pounds lighter.

In particular, for the first time in my life enjoying getting out and exercising. 


 
 
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TOWN LAKE TRAIL MAP
As you all know exercise has not been my friend. I have shared with you recently that I have had the desire to walk more and do more. I guess as I am getting lighter and healthier, I want to get out more. Those feelings in conjunction with our ATX 100 group and the great weather have helped me want to move more and go further.

Then a couple of days ago another natural phenomenon came over me. I found myself really stressed out and without explanation or prompting I decided I am going to walk this out. So I changed clothes, tied on my walking shoes and drove into Austin so I could walk the Town Lake Trail. An hour and a half later I was sitting on a bench thinking that all the worries were somewhere behind me on the trail. 


The location is a plus and it is worth the time to drive into town. Pushing myself helped clear my head and on top of that I felt better about myself.

So here is some of what the experts say about exercise… 

·       It improves blood flow to your brain, bringing additional sugars and oxygen that may be needed when you are thinking intensely.

·       When you think hard, the neurons of your brain function more intensely. As they do this, they can build up toxic waste products that can cause foggy thinking (you may have experienced the feeling that your brain has "turned to cotton wool"). By exercising, you speed the flow of blood through your brain, moving these waste products faster. 

·       Exercise can cause release of chemicals called endorphins into your blood stream. These give you a feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of well-being.

There is also good evidence that physically fit people have less extreme physiological responses when under pressure than those who are not. This means that fit people are more able to handle the long- term effects of stress, without suffering ill health or burnout.

 

Who knew endorphins…the one thing I didn’t try in the 60’s.



 
 
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I am having some trouble keeping up with the blog. And apparently not everyone is getting the email notifications. If you were on the email list before and you are not receiving emails now or would like to be added, please go to contact page and ask to be added.

Good new, last Thursday’s weigh in resulted in another loss….minus 2.0 pounds. I really like having back to back minus weeks. I would have to go back to all the previous tracking pictures and see what are the most weeks I have shown losses without a gain. I am pretty sure it is three weeks.

All of us who are trying to become healthier experience plateaus while trying to lose weight. This is natural. I have had so many ups and downs in my life long weight loss journey that it seems like every new loss only parallels some previous high or low.

However, I will take another loss and keep doing what I am doing, because it is working. 



 
 
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Exercising is NOT NORMAL for me! However, I did it again I walked my second 10 K in 8 days. It was great. When I say great, I mean I felt great that I went out and did it again. This time was more difficult in some ways and easier in others.

This second 10 K route was more aggressive. As previously mentioned, I am getting ready to walk the Capital 10 K March 25, 2012. The Cap 10 K route has two pretty challenging hills in the first 5 K and then the last half is gently downhill all the way back to the finish. It is the big hills that I have a mental and physical problem with…so this time I changed the route so that I picked up the Cap 10 route just before the second hill. Surprised myself that it wasn’t that difficult to get up and over and I felt really good. (The image is from my iPhone. I use Nike Plus app with my phone to keep up with time and distance.)

However the hill caught up with me at the 8.5 kilometer mark. I was drained and felt like I had just flat run out of gas. I kept going but by the time I finished I found the closest park bench and that is where I stayed for 20 minutes… shaking and just a touch nauseated. But I got over it and made it to my car where I had a protein shake and half a sandwich waiting for me. You would think since I am hauling around an extra 150 pounds that my body could use up some of that instead of shutting down. I need to get some feedback about what I should eat before and during these long walks.

Again it was a beautiful day in downtown Austin. I was satisfied that I walked the 10 K route with the hill and actually finished with my last week’s goal of 15 minutes per kilometer. When I think back I wasted a lot of time getting across busy intersections waiting on cars and street lights. And to get out of traffic, I got off the street and on to the trail before I should have and got lost.

I am making progress physically and gaining a more positive attitude about my ability.


 
 
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Before Thanksgiving our Weight Watcher leader tells us that the average American gains 8 pounds over the holidays…Thanksgiving through New Years. I am not too sure that the data is accurate. I have looked at a variety of articles and research and the range seems to be as low as + 2 pounds and as high as + 8 pounds, with + 5 pounds the consensus. Then the question was asked if we would be happy to make it through the holiday and have a zero net gain?

The reality is that most people don’t realize how much they eat everyday of their lives regardless of the holidays. One of my previous favorite places to eat lunch is a catfish restaurant here in Austin. After starting Weight Watchers I decided to write down my normal lunch and calculate the Points. (You can click on the Weight Watcher’s link on my site to learn more about Points). When it was all said and done my normal catfish lunch was 68 points. My current DAILY POINT goal right now is 65 points. It is no wonder that in August 2009 I weighed 418 pounds, when I was consuming more than twice the normal daily calories needed for a person in one meal.

So who knows how many pounds the average American gains over the holidays? All I know is that with the minus 4.8 pounds this week, I overcame the previous week’s 3 pound gain and ended the holiday season with a net loss of 6.4 pounds.  I call that progress and a lifestyle change.

Now with the New Year ahead of me I am more determined to continue living healthier for the rest of my life. I see another 10 kilometer walk in my future. 



 
 
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Wow that wasn’t my best week or my worst for that matter. I am still trying to get through the holidays and beat the national average of gaining 8 pounds over the holidays. Even with this big jump I am minus 1.6 pounds with one more weigh in this Thursday. I have picked up the pace to make sure this next weigh in is a loss.

Picking up the pace means walking further then I have ever walked before. One of my goals along the way is to walk the Capital 10 K in March. I have had my doubts about my ability to go that distance, since I have never walked that far in my life.

Saturday December 31st I changed all that. I walk my first practice 10 K and got it done. I am not breaking any speed records by a long shot by I survived and now I know with 12 weeks to go I will only get stronger and faster. But I couldn’t help but set myself a goal of 15 minutes per kilometer and I almost made it. Total time was 2:33:44. 3 minutes slower than I projected. The Town Lake Trail route was not as hilly as the Cap 10 route but it was still a challenge for me. I was on pace to make the 2 ½ hours but with a half a kilometer to go I almost crashed. I sat down for 4 minutes and thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish. Then I decided that no one was going to come get me and how foolish I was going to look .5 kilometers from my goal. 



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Now there are some things about Saturday that are not normal for me….first of course I walked 10 kilometers. But before that I WANTED TO WALK THE 10 KILOMETERS. No one suggested it…I wanted to do it. Or at the very least give it a try. Finally maybe for the first time in my life, I felt like I was enjoying this whole exercising walking thing. I mean really, it was great! The Town Lake Trail is beautiful and the City of Austin is awesome.

The energy of the all the people out on a beautiful winter day was contagious.  Young, old, fit and trying to get fit, all types moving at their pace and enjoying the day. I walk my neighborhood out of convenience, but if you can get yourself to a place where there is a sense of nature and community you will can be inspired.

If you need more inspiration about the Town Lake Trail check out Jen Ohlson’s book, “Every Town Needs a Trail” 



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