Training for Ragnar

by Christine on July 18th, 2016

filed under General Information

Howdy blogland!

So last post I explained that I’ve gained a sad amount of weight since losing my gastric band. Well, one of the things that didn’t factor into my weight gain was a lack of activity. I’ve been very active and continue to be active! Sure, when I had my ACL surgery last May, it slowed me down a little, but only a little. I continue to be very active.

Jogging

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: exercise doesn’t impact weight loss at all.

Let me repeat that. More exercise doesn’t mean more weight loss. And if you overeat, you can’t counteract it by doing more exercise. Weight loss and exercise are not related activities.

(I often forget that the exercise correlation to weight loss is just a myth. It’s helpful for me to repeat it.)

If you want to lose weight, you need to fix your eating. Period. Which I haven’t done.

Exercise is awesome though, so don’t get me wrong. I’m a big advocate of exercise! It helps with your energy and mood. Strength training tones your muscles (so that they work more efficiently). And let’s be honest: an active life is a HAPPY life.

Exercise doesn’t mean shit when it comes to weight loss, though.

So. Anyway.

I’m training for a Ragnar race in the Adirondacks that will be happening September 2016. The Ragnar race is a 196.2 mile running race that goes through mountainous territory. It starts in Saratoga Springs, NY and goes to Lake Placid, NY. It’s a relay-style race that you run in a team consisting of 12 people. In total, each person needs to run three “short” legs of the race. My legs are in the medium of the pack in terms of distance and difficulty. I’ll be running a total of about 15 miles over the course of the 36 hours.

I finished a C25K program recently, and even though I can reach a 5k, I have to stop frequently and walk. I am very frustrated at the moment because I don’t feel like I am making much progress on the running front. Plus, I need to be able to run further than 3.2 miles by September. I need to continue getting better at this, and I’m not. I’m stuck, and I feel frustrated.

I am trying to run 3-4 times per week, and soon I’ll start trying to tackle different landscapes to run in. (Right now I’ve been running around my neighborhood, which is pretty flat.)

If any of you readers are runners and want to offer up some advice to me regarding leg cramps, maintaining my breath, and acquiring distance, I am all ears!

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Trip to Switzerland and Italy

by Christine on July 14th, 2016

filed under General Information

A few weeks ago, hubby and I went on a fabulous trip to Switzerland and Italy. We loved Switzerland (Lauterbrunnen) and felt a little “meh” about Italy (Cinque Terre). At both places we stayed in apartments with full kitchens, so we were able to pick healthy foods up at the grocery store and cook at home. In Italy I indulged in delicious caprese (tomato + mozerella salads) every day! Yum!  The highlight of my trip, other than traveling with my awesome in-law family, was paragliding in Switzerland. Wow, what an experience!

Trip1  Trip2

Trip3

As you can see from these photos, I have gained quite a bit of weight since losing my gastric band. I’ve gained 45 pounds so far, actually, and when I see these photos I cringe.

Furthermore, this past weekend I went through my many tubs of clothing stored in my basement. I sorted through them so I have one tub per clothing size: A Size 2/4 tub; a Size 6 tub; a Size 8 tub; a Size 10 tub; a Size 12 tub. Right now I’m wearing a size 14. I’ve gone up five clothing sizes in the past two years, since losing my band, which is about right: I find I go up/down a clothing size every 10 pounds. Wow! That’s a lot of clothes to buy every few weeks! It was hard not to cry while going through that much-needed task.

So how did I get here? Well, a few things, really:

  • I lost my gastric band, and the magic of it.
  • My dad died, and I indulged in some emotional eating.
  • I started to gain weight, which was another loss, which I fueled by emotional eating. Much sadness happening.
  • I tore my ACL in my left knee, which was a long recuperation process and required me to be more sedentary than I was previously. Other health challenges include continuing to deal with post-lyme syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome and a low-acting thyroid.
  • I was very active socially, and I allowed myself to indulge in eating out every night, and glasses of wine with every meal.
  • I got lazy, and forgot that maintaining my weight was a priority.

Now, I need to remind myself of a little perspective: I had lost over 100 pounds with my gastric band. I may have gained 45 back, but I’m still down over 50 pounds from my starting weight. I lose sight of this very quickly. And I DO believe I can lose the 45 pounds I have gained, if I just figure out the right magic to make it happen. I am not doomed. (Repeat to self, many times.)

At the moment, I’m kind of at a place in life where I feel depressed and frantic about my weight, but I am working on putting together a gameplan to get back on track. This week I am starting to track my food intake, and wow, it’s a real eye-openers! Identifying where I am going off track is going to be helpful in putting together a plan for getting back on target.

I also plan on reviewing some old posts on this blog. I tried to be faithful about talking about what I was eating and how much/how often I was eating. I hope to use this blog to put together a gameplan again.

Expect more posts from me in the weeks to come!

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Boredom and Eating

by Christine on July 13th, 2016

filed under Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

Yesterday I was tracking my food, and I noticed that I was eating a LOT in the afternoon, because I was bored at work. Uninspired work-wise. Feeling a little down emotionally. And so I was eating to fill that void. An interesting article in physchologytoday.com suggests that there are two types of boredom: the garden variety-needing a pleasure fix, and something called anhedonia, which is a reduced sensitivity to pleasurable experiences. And the article suggests that trying to fix the garden variety version can cause you to develop anhedonia. Awesome. For me, boredom looks like ennui, but lethargy and tiredness also.  And depression.

I was reading up about boredom as it relates to Buddhism, to see if there might be a healthier way to approach boredom. One author linked boredom to craving: your cravings and wants are immediate, and they are always changing. “Craving is never faithful to its object. It always wants something else…that is why you get bored with anything and everything. It doesn’t matter how interesting or fascinating it is, you will get bored with it.” The author suggests that craving is an addiction, and that a solution is to control the mind and attitude so that the immediate moment isn’t so “boring.” Hm.

At any rate, here’s some suggestions for myself to stop eating to relieve the feelings of boredom while I’m at work:

  • Throw away the junk in the office. Replace with healthier options. (Duh)
  • Mandatory water-chugging breaks on the hour. Set alarm on my phone if necessary.
  • Get up and stretch/exercise next to my desk and/or a short walk outside.
  • Embrace the boredom and meditate it. Instead of trying to remedy it, savor it and explore it.
  • Create more variety and interest in other ways, like creating more enjoyable projects to work on, or learn something new on the job.

If you have other suggestions, let me know!!!

A good resource: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/boring.html

The PsychologyToday article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201206/i-am-bored-therefore-i-eat 

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