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Monday, June 13, 2011

Running, Part Deux

So I ran two 5Ks - One in April and one of May of this year and was disappointed to say the least. I realized very quickly that I am not an endurance runner of any sort and did not do extremely better on the 2nd one than I did the first. As well, I still felt like I was doing far more walking than running. Never really got into a grove of any I kind of started off to fall off the running wagon so to speak.

I just got frustrated with myself and I have always been one to quit rather than to struggle, to give up rather than perservere.

Hey, at least I'm honest about it right?

So after my last 5K, I decided that I would sign up for the Moon in June 5K in June of course as you can tell by its name...but put off actually signing up...and put it off...and put it off....

Until, fastforward, it is now the Tuesday before the race (which is Saturday) and my friend Joanne at the support group asks me if I am going to do it. I waiver...I hmmm...and I haw...and I finally give in and say OKAY.

Well I made a few errors going into this run.

Error 1 - I underestimated the weather. Wore capris and a regular tshirt (dri weave) when I really could have gone for shirts and sleeveless (I am not a fan of sleeveless but I'm all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone). But I was okay despite this error but I could have dressed better for sure.

Error 2 - Depend on your last pair of contacts to get you through the week...then of course, drop and lose your contact and therefore have to wear glasses for the race when you would have far preferred sunglasses to regular glasses.

It was neat though because as I got to the facility where the race was run, I ran into all kinds of people I know from my running class, facebook, students, coworkers etc. I felt like it was kind of a community. Wherever I turned, I bumped into someone I knew.

Well here's the synopsis of the run:

First of all, I felt weird starting the race for the first K and literally after 5 minutes of straight running, I walked for a while, then did this one other time. Then this amazing thing happened - I fell into stride with these two runners ahead of me. They were slow runners and I figured that their pace was good enough that I could do that pretty much the whole time. So I just decided to join behind them and pace them for the race. It was perfect! For the rest of the race, I kept at a slow jog but consistently ran the rest of the race.

So basically, I RAN. I RAN. I RAN!!!! I didn't stop! I kept consistently running and I could do it for the whole rest of the race. I had endurance. I was slow but steady :) It was really, really good. As we were waiting for the race to start I downloaded some music into my IPhone and found a perfect original mix of 80s music to get me going. At about a half K to go, I did pass these ladies though and I booted it to my favourite song of the moment. It was really good :)

The race itself was HUGE by the way. I've never been to a bigger race - HUGE!!

Anyway, I can honestly say that this is the first time that I have felt even remotely like a runner.

Disappointing though - even though I ran most of the event by far...I ran the slowest time of all my races. WHY? Because I ran and well running is FAR harder for me than walking. I am a fast walker. It has very little impact so I can go far faster as a walker than as a runner with high impact on my joints...but I figure if I can keep running, I can definitely improve my time, right?

Yesterday I was so inspired I ran to my friend Lisa's apartment (she's about 2.5 K) away and then I walked for a total of just over 10 miles :) WOOT!!


Monday, June 6, 2011

"You are too thin!".

A recent post I read on an RNY board was the following:

HELP! My family is driving me crazy. I've lost about 100 lbs. I still have around 40 more too go but my family is driving me crazy with the "you are getting too thin comments. I don't know what to do. I am not anorexic by any means. I'm not unhealthy. Why do they think I am getting too thin? I don't get it.

I hear this comment alot. Right away, what usually happens is that most people start with the "they are just jealous" responses. I often have a different response to this reaction. Here's what I wrote.


I know that it is an annoying thing when it happens because it happened to me. People often commented that I was getting too thin, looking gaunt when I got down to my lowest weight. At that point, I was just at the top of my "normal" bmi so I was no where near being too thin or anorexic myself. But here's what I think is happening for most people. These are the people that love you (a jealous friend might be different) but when it is people that you love making these types of comments, this is what I gather is happening:

Chances are if you have gone for surgery, that you have been overweight for quite some time. I know that for me, I'd been over 200 lbs since I was out of high school so that was a good twenty plus years.

For twenty plus years, people were used to my face structure and my body structure. My facial fat, especially my fat cheeks were pretty much the essence of me. In every picture over the last 20 years, my face was larger, puffier, cubbier. That's just how I was because of the weight. Although I was an "unhealthy weight" no one was really saying I was "sick at the time" so this to many people was "normal" for me.

After losing a huge amount of weight, the fat disappeared from my face. My face toned, and all of a sudden I went from having chubby cheeks to having dimples, to having facial lines (okay wrinkles), to having the "fat" almost sucked out of my face.

So what people had known as "me" for twenty years changed immensely. I now had cheekbones, collar bones, and the like. I was very different. People hardly recognized me. That's the whole point - what I looked like changed immensely. The features that everyone associated with "me" were now gone.

Talk about a complete change.

I now was much thinner.

Let's face it, when you lose a lot of weight - people often do associate this with being ill. Gaunt.

So how shocking it must have been for people to see me change from this big ol' puffy thing to something with wrinkles, lines, and dimples!! My very essence of me changed. I now looked so thin and pale. So many people started to worry because the change was so dramatic. I am sure that this is a very natural reaction for most. It took 20 years for people to get used to me. Now it might take another 20 for them to get used to the "new me".

It took a while for people to get used to this new me. Luckily it really didn't take them 20 years. A couple of years went by and my hubby often commented saying "I don't really remember you fat". :)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Get Real

Before you had surgery were you accountable for what you put in your mouth? I wasn't. I admit it. I ate a lot. I earned every pound I put on my body. I earned every size I went up. I'll be real here. I'm not proud of it at all.

Dinner before surgery was often fast food. I grew up in a house where regular meals were not the norm. Once I got my first job, my pocket money was spent on food. I'd even stop sometimes on the way home from work in the evenings and pick up fast food just for snacks. Before surgery, Thursday nights were spent watching Survivor or Apprentice, inhaling a container of Haagen Daz Caramel Cone Explosion ice cream. The whole container. My hubby was trained that if I had a very stressful day at work, that was he was to go to the corner store and get that for me.

As well, before I had surgery, I started to hide food from hubby. I'd sneak in ice cream bought on the way home, eat it, hide it and then put in the garbage (with other stuff on top to hide the evidence). I could eat normal meals but chips, chocolate and junk food, particularly McDonalds were a regular part of my life. I'm not proud of it but I'm honest.

Incidentally, I did buy a container of it when I was at about the three year mark. It made me sicker than a dog after less than half a cup. I pretty much poured the rest down the sink.

Now, if I have a "sundae" it is a one scooper. Anything more pretty much makes me sick. A chocolate dip cone is a once in a while treat but even that is a small. I tend to be more "purist" when I have ice cream - all the "stuff" that they add to it now (caramel, pieces of stuff, chocolate chunks -- all that just makes me sick and my reactive hypoglycemia can only handle little bits of that at a time. One cone is the maximum now and again. I pretty much go out for the one scoop. I don't bring ice cream into the house much - I'm well aware of my limits that way.

I see a lot of people going through their journey that are not honest with themselves and I wonder when they are going to develop a sense of accountability for their weight.  I over ate.  I ate a lot. I didn't exist on salads.  I won't lie about my habits.  I gained weight because of the choices I made.  It worries me when people say "I barely eat", yet I weigh 300 lbs.  There has to be something else there. 

Seriously? I cannot help but worry about people who aren't honest with themselves and their eating habits.  I grew up on crap. I had a mother that didn't like to cook. We had weird eating patterns at our house. No one ever ate a meal together.  We only ate potatoes and corn as vegetables. I swear I was in my 20s before I tried broccoli.  We don't get to be 200, 300, 400 lbs for nothing. I was 290 lbs at my heaviest, I had some meds that were known to cause weight gain but I'm also well aware that I just did not make the healthiest choices either. I LIKE food. I ate too much of it. I ate some healthy foods as well but even when I ate that, I ate too much. I would have 3 chicken fajitas (fairly healthy) but I'd also slather them in sour cream. (yum!). I'd eat a Tim Horton's muffin for breakfast which didn't seem like a ton of food but of course, when you read the stats for the muffin on calories or fat alone, they are pretty horrific.

This other lady online that I know eats Tim Horton's muffin for breakfast every day. She is 6 months out of surgery. You might not think it can happen but YES you can lose track of what you are eating even after surgery if you are not held accountable in some way. The longer out of surgery you are, the more "skewed" you can get about what you are eating. That's why you'll often hear "I'm 5 years out and I've gained 50 lbs". It's EASY!!! Far easier than you can imagine!

Do the Weight Watchers points plus system for one week and you'll see how much you eat. It's a great way to be accountable. You get 29 points a day ---- if you have the muffin it is 11 points! That's A LOT of points out of a daily total. Then you get to see just how not "healthy" they are. Worse yet a medium ice capp is 12 points and this is only a drink!  It is amazing how you can easily lose track of yourself even out of surgery. Eventually you get a 'skewed' sense of reality again of what you should be eating.

And while the first year, you'll lose pretty much no matter how hard you screw up....the second, third, fourth year....they are not nearly as forgiving. So if you feel like you are getting further down the road and you are getting off track, find a way to measure what you are doing. Find a way to keep yourself in check because it is very easy to get off track.

If that happens, it's time to go back to Overeaters anonymous, Weight Watchers, or getting out the old Canada food guide or counting calories again. Scary how quickly we can lose our sense of touch with food again even after surgery!Or do the Canada food guide, measure, weigh and see where you stand. You have to get a REAL idea of what you are doing wrong before you'll make great strides in making in right.