It has been a week and I think I can finally wrap my mind around the whole thing.
I need to start by thanking a bunch of people…first no doubt about it is my Wife Michele. That is true about so many things in my life. She makes a difference in every way. Next our KIDS…. (By age) Jennifer, Jo-anna and James. James again because he has worked so hard to make the ATX100 Group a success.
Speaking of the ATX100 group…Thanks to Brenda for telling me after the Reindeer Run 5K that I could do it, I could walk the Capital 10K. And to Mark and Wilma for walking with us on that hot spring day. And so many more of you that it is hard to include all the well wishes. It sounds like I just won an Academy Award and that was my acceptance speech.
Prior to race day I had walked the 10K distance and this particular route 5 times before, all in an attempt to prepare. I woke up Sunday morning and told Michele I was going to make in less than two hours. My previous best was 2:09 and my worst 2:30.
I did a lot of things wrong. Here is the check list.
1.) Don’t drink alcohol 24 hrs prior-3 glasses of wine with dinner the night before.
2.) I wasn’t ready for the crowd and standing around for 1½ hours before the race-my back was killing me before I ever started.
3.) Pace yourself-I took off like a shot (FOR ME A SHOT) walked my fastest 1K, 2K and 2½ K-then whoops I started slowing down.
4.) Hydrate-see previous note about alcohol plus not enough fluids to start-Where the hell is the next water station?
What started out as a quest to be under 2 hours-turned into beating my previous best- turned into just surviving? Mark was grabbing two water cups at each stop just to keep me going. At the 5K I was exactly 60 minutes. Oh well there goes my best time. At 7.5 K I was thinking I just want to beat my worst time. At 8.0 K my therapist was waiting and congratulated me while he walked with me for a block. (I know, but it is true. It sounds a little Woody Allen like!) At 8.5 K Mark is telling me not to be a hero and get some help. But at 9.5 K, when the man at the water station said “O.M.G. are you alright? Here sit down. There is the EMS cart let me get you some help.” Damn that was cold!
I finished….not my fastest, not my worst, not last and I stayed ahead of the traffic control guys picking up cones. As I sat on the rock wall after the race I was drinking bottle after bottle of water and saying I should have done better. After listening to me whine for 20 minutes Mark asked me “What was your time last year in the Capital 10K?” I didn’t walk the Cap 10K last years! “Exactly!”
Five years ago I finished walking in the Turkey Trot 5 Mile to raise money for a charity. When I crossed the finish line, I walked over to a rock wall and sat down. Four years I sat on that rock wall and didn’t exercise. I finished the Capital 10 K walked over and sat down on another rock wall. Thirty minutes later and four bottles of water, I got up and said…
”What’s next?” My life’s journey continues…see you on the trail.
Another couple of weeks of a small losses. The last 5 weeks have been very flat. I think I have lost 2.2 pounds.
I am happy with how things are going right now. I have not lost sight of what I am trying to accomplish and my determination has not been damaged by a string of slow weeks.
On the up side, I have not had the large ups and downs. There hasn’t been a +4 pound gain one week followed by the large drop.
And more clothes are going out to goodwill and smaller clothes are coming in...I have much more room in my closet. Almost time to buy some new belts.
Next blog I will spend some time bringing you up to date on the
Capital 10 K!
In the last few days I have seen a lot of people that I haven’t seen in months or maybe even years. A lot of them remarked about my weight loss.
It got me to thinking about how people see me….I guess if I ran into someone that I haven’t seen in 9 years they would probably not comment. That’s because today I am 30 pounds heavier than 9 years ago. However, people that have consistently been around me for the last five years don’t hesitate to comment. To some of them it looks like I have lost a lot of weight. That number could be between 60-70 pounds which is a lot of weight…unless you were already 200 pounds overweight. Then it is a really great start.
No, I am not selling myself short here…61 pounds is a big accomplishment and I am very pleased to be living healthier every day. So the question still stands, “How Do People See You?” Or in this case “See Me?” And how important is what they think?
We all love the complements and it is nice that people notice. But this is a forever life style for me….and I need to focus on going day to day. Just like the good comments make us feel better, the non-comment can bring us done. And just like I can’t let one bad day on the scale discourage me from living my life, I can’t let what people say or don’t say slow me down.
Take the complement when you get them and just say “Thank You!” And when you feel like nobody is noticing, just give thanks for what you are doing. Remember all the clothes you gave away because they were too big. And give thanks for the people in your life that you love.
Michele, I love you more than cupcakes!
Another benchmark and proof that sticking with the plan works. -60.8 pounds!
Four weeks ago I experienced one of my largest weight gains in a single week. In the following four weeks I have lost 8.0 pounds.
I have mentioned before there are so many other positive measurements besides the weight loss…
1. When I started I could barely walk 1 kilometer. Now I have completed three 10 kilometer walks and numerous 5 kilometer walks. 5K is becoming the minimum distance not some far reaching goal.
2. There is more room in my closet because I keep giving away clothes that are too big. I wore a shirt last week that I bought five years ago. It was too small then, but like so many of you may have experienced when I bought it…”Well I am going to lose weight so it will fit soon.” I just didn’t think it would take five years. And now I have to buy new jeans again!
3. I have more energy and everyday activities that used to wear me out are now a breeze. I couldn’t go shopping at the grocery store without sitting down at least once to rest. Not now, I breeze around the store and out like nothing.
4. Parking…I don’t drive around now looking for the closest place to park. Now I park as far away from other cars as possible and walk. Well part of that has to do with the new red convertible I recently bought. I don’t want it to get door dings….but still, I walk.
5. AND speaking of new convertibles…it is small. I have been driving large SUV’s for the last 13 years. I would have never been able to get in and out of this thing if I was 60 pounds heavier.
There are no miracle drugs or quick fixes to losing weight and getting healthier. It is adjusting all aspects of your life in moderation and sticking with the plan…It Works if You Work It!
The bouncing scale has gone down one more time…minus 3.6 this week.
Obviously I keep reminding myself that it is the overall trend that is important. I am so close to minus 60 pounds and only 1.8 pounds away from losing 15% of my weight.
I had a pretty good week overall, even though I haven’t felt well. It has been nothing but sinus allergies and a cough. I spent two nights out of town on business so that is always a distraction or challenge regarding eating. I find myself making better choices. I don’t always make the best choice but I keep making better choices regarding portions and what I chose to eat. And I call that progress.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store and did the week’s shopping. Six months ago I would not have been able to walk around the store without stopping twice to rest. Yesterday I breezed through the place non-stop without any problem.
I am going to clean out some more clothes from my closet tonight. It is time to get rid of some more clothes that are too big.
Five weeks from today is the Capital 10 K. I am ready and I will be lighter and faster on March 25th.
So I am behind on the Blog again. I have to tell you I have been really busy. So let me try to catch up two weeks in one blog.
Two weeks ago I had my largest single weight gain in one week…+4.8 pounds. So what must go up must come down? Well not every time but it did this time. The next week I lost 4.6 pounds. That loss was very similar to my previous big gains followed by big losses.
And then a week ago I gained +1.6. So it continues. I weigh again later today and the scale will tell the story. Whatever the story might be, I will just keep moving forward and making better choices.
I am having some trouble explaining how I am feeling about all this. I don’t seem to be as excited about the process. I am feeling like what I am doing is not taking as much effort. Eating healthier and exercising is becoming part of my normal life. Healthy eating choices are becoming easier to make. Events that seem to center around food are still challenging…Super Bowl Sunday for one. But there are days when I track everything and it all seems so matter of fact.
So we will see which way the scale bounces next. I can’t help but notice that I am getting close to Minus 60 pounds and that sounds like a much better number then Minus 50.
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
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.
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.
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.