Monday, January 21, 2008

Stepping Back On The Blog Treadmill ...

The funny thing is, I've been really good about getting on my actual treadmill lately, I've just fallen away from my online life here.

More real life. Less virtual life.

At the moment, I am eating a stupidly large salad, having returned home from the gym early because Brandon isn't feeling well and canceled our session. He's training for competitions this summer and thinks he might have strained something in his head. Ouch. But I logged some time on the treadmill there, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

He has me on a carb-cycle program which restricts my carbs to two meals a week. Tonight is one of my carb meals, and while it will be nice to eat carbs (in the form of oatmeal with a banana sliced into it), I gotta say, I don't really miss carbs much, especially since the carbs I was eating were potatoes and brown rice and such. It's not like my carb meal can be a huge plate of pasta or a box of donuts.

The idea behind this plan is that if you're not ingesting carbs, your body is forced to turn to fat for fuel. Does it work, you ask? Yup, sure does. I've been on it for a week and I can already see and feel the difference.

So now I'm noshing on my big-ass salad, a happy rainbow in a bowl: red, yellow, and green peppers, carrots, cukes, broccoli, grape tomatoes, lettuce, and roasted chicken, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar because I'm out of Paul Newman's Light Balsamic salad dressing. A trip to the store looms.

I was writing a comment on Back in skinny jeans earlier today and realized I was writing much more than a comment. I was writing a whole blog post. So I cut back on what I wrote in the comments and pasted what I'd first written in an e-mail so I could copy it here later.

And here we are. This is some of what I wrote to a woman who asked about how to stay on track, food-wise, on the weekends:

I've been dealing with food issues for my entire life. It's only since I've started working with a trainer (three months ago) that I've gotten a better grip on my eating.

As much as I wanted to be perfect from the get go, I still ate the occasional cheeseburger or pizza. And then I'd feel bad about it. But food addiction is just that, and it's going to take time to get a real handle on my eating.

But what's helped the most is simply the progress I've seen in myself. I've always been pretty educated about food and its effects, both good and bad, on my body. But I didn't respect my body enough to avoid the "bad" foods.

Mind you, it's not as though I'm never going to eat pizza again. I love pizza! But I'm much more attune to how my body feels when I eat certain foods. I feel good when I eat healthful foods. I feel crappy and sluggish when I eat fat- and salt-laden foods. And sugar? I literally fall asleep now if I eat sugar. My body crashes within 30 minutes.

Of course, like I tell myself, I didn't get overweight to begin with by eating too much broccoli. For me, there are plenty of emotional issues that fuel my food addiction. But the healthier I get, the more I can come to terms with those.

And while having a trainer might be a luxury not everyone can afford, being accountable to someone else is a big part of the puzzle. I see Brandon three times a week. He knows when I'm cheating, even if I don't 'fess up, because he knows how I should be shaping up, based on the work we're doing and what foods he has me on and what cardio he's told me to do. But he's a good cheerleader, too.

It's a wild ride, this journey toward fitness. Though "fitness" isn't a destination, it's a lifestyle. But until three months ago, being fit was something I only thought about. I'd see athletes and wonder what it would be like to live in a body like theirs. But that was all the effort I expended toward finding out. Wondering. That was easy. I can do many reps and sets of wondering, no sweat.

Last week, Brandon had me work on my delts on one of my least-favorite machines in the gym. I don't like it because I struggle with the move and I don't like not being able to do things. But last week, I sat down and did a set and it wasn't as hard as it used to be. Over the course of the workout, I did two more sets, still not struggling like I had in the past.

"Did we do a lower weight?" I asked.

"Nope. You're getting stronger," Brandon said.

He'd actually set the pin in the weight stack down a plate, adding 10 pounds to what I'd been lifting in previous weeks.

I'll be damned, I thought. Progress.

So the point of this post? I have no earthly idea. I've just been thinking about the past few months and the changes I've made and I marvel at the fact that this is me. I've never been this committed to something before. And I certainly haven't been perfect, but on balance, I've made many more good choices than poor choices and I show up to the gym three days a week and have happy moments when I realize that I'm lifting more than I've ever lifted before or when I catch a glimpse of myself in one of the gym's many mirrors and see a thinner version of myself looking back at me.

Not that "thin" is my goal. "Fit" is my goal. "Healthy" is my goal. "Thin" will be a bonus.


Blogger Mamacita Chilena said...

Making more good choices than bad choices is what it's all about. You don't have to win every battle, but winning most of them sure makes winning the war easier.

ok, did that sound really corny? haha, sorry! But I guess that's just the way I see staying at a healthy wait for me. Trying to win lots of little battles.

4:02 PM  

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