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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Hobbling around the summertime

by Christine on June 10th, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates

It’s now June 2015, and it’s been a few months, so I thought I would give an update.

So you know how the last 6-9 months have been pretty crap for me? Well, I got to add some more crap on top of it. Nothing so bad as my band getting ripped out, or my dad dying. If nothing else, those three months gave me some serious perspective. Some things just aren’t as bad as having one of your family members pass away, you know what I mean?

No. Things aren’t that bad, but they continue to be not-so-great. In February hubby and I were skiing in the Adirondacks. I was having a great ski day…you know, really getting the hang of it? And so I thought I would try to conquer a BLACK DIAMOND.

Boy, that was dumb. About 8 feet down the sucker, I slipped on some ice and trashed my knee. It turns out I tore my ACL. And, as I’ve learned, the ACL is pretty important for things like: exercise, losing weight, going down stairs, and in general doing fun things in life like volleyball, rollerblading, playing pickleball, skiing, and other such things. My doc said I COULD live without an ACL. Many people do. But I would basically need to live a sedentary life. I said, “screw that!” and so I scheduled surgery. No way am I going to live life in an armchair. There’s a lot of the world left for me to explore! People to meet! Things to do! Adventures to be had!

Thus, I got to experience my second surgery in the space of 9 months. Let me tell you….even though the general recovery time for ACL surgery is longer and harder than gastric-band-removal-surgery, the fact that this healed quickly and has been pretty textbook has been SOOO MUCH EASIER. OMG. No infection and subsequent hospital visits. Everything is cool. I can’t quite go down my stairs at home, but you know…perspective. I’m on-track, I’m doing well, and I’ll “get there” in due time.

Here is a picture of an ACL. It’s the thing that keeps your knee together, more or less.

I just started physical therapy and had my first real appointment yesterday. That was interesting. I’ll update a bit more about that in a few days.

You know, I can’t help but feel and wonder if tearing my ACL in February had anything to do with fairly dramatic and rapid weight GAIN since my gastric band has come out. I guess I’ll never know, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a correlation there.

In the meantime…I’ve actually gained NO WEIGHT in the three weeks since ACL surgery! Isn’t that something?!  On the other hand, I’m about 42 pounds up from my Goal/Low Weight. Sigh. You know what that means: new wardrobe. Chafing when wearing dresses. Fat rolls when you sit down. Bathing suit season. OMG!

The week before my surgery, hubby and I took a much-needed vacation to Mexico. He actually surprised me with the trip for my birthday? Isn’t that fantastic? Even with a torn ACL, we managed to squeeze in a bajillion fun adventures–nothing too knee intensive. We went snorkeling (I got to pet a wild sea turtle!), we went snorkeling in an underground cave, we went to Tulum, we went rappelling and zip lining, and we went deep sea fishing. I caught a HUGE 43 inch, 20 pound Blue Wahoo! Fantastic!!!  When I was reeling that sucker in, I felt my dad’s presence pretty strongly. It was cool. He would have thought going deep sea fishing was fun. Pics below…and you can see my weight gain. *sigh*

About 2 days after we got back from Mexico, I went to Manhattan with some friends of mine, including my therapist. (I know, what a weird life I lead, that I socialize and go on trips with my therapist? HAHA! But, talk about “ultimate therapy;” he can help me so much more now that we’re closer friends!!) It turns out we did about 10+ miles of walking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And it also turns out that I was sick from my trip to Mexico (Montezuma’s Revenge + a cold + ACL torn) and it turns out that I was SO FREAKING EXHAUSTED from that trip. OMG. So much walking. I was pretty much delirious the entire time. Our hotel overlooked the World Trade Center site though, so that was cool. (I know you’re wondering, and no no. Boys in one room, Betty and I in another room!)

 

Then I had my surgery 2 days later, after all that romping around. I’m healing up now. Trying to get eating under control. Trying not to balloon up any more than I already am. Better watch out: With my new bionic knee, I’m going to be kicking ass and taking names pretty soon here!

So I wanted to mention this also: Since the beginning of the year, hubby has been losing weight, exercising, and training for a Spartan race later this fall. He’s been doing so amazingly! I’m so proud of him! I admit, I’m a little sad that I can’t be exercising alongside him these past few months, but I am cheering him on nonetheless! This weekend hubby participated in his first 5K/mud/obstacle course race thing. The team’s time was deplorable, but they had a great time playing in the mud and busting out the teamwork to finish the course. I’m super proud of hubby for doing it! I can’t wait to cheer him on at the Spartan Race this fall!

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Balance

by Christine on March 23rd, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Well, the month is closing in….and I can say that since my (awful, terrible) doctor’s appointment at the beginning of the month….

I haven’t gained any weight.

That’s terrific! I mean, it’s not LOSING weight–which I want and need to do–but I haven’t GAINED. And hey, that’s something I’m happy to celebrate.

I find that I’m pretty good about following a routine with respect to food at the beginning of the week, but things start to fall apart towards Friday and Saturday, including emotional binge stuff. I wonder why that is?

I got several walks in this weekend, including an hour trudging through the snow along the Erie Canal on Saturday. (No idea of miles…it was slow going in the snow and boots.) Sunday hubby joined me on a walk around a golf course at the State Park near my house. We stopped to watch the kids play hockey in the free ice skating rink in the park. It was another hour+ of walking through the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above, walking along the Erie Canal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above: Maple Syrup sugar house, and walking at the State Park)

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