November 4, 2011

Roses and thorns

Provided all went well last night, I'm in Chicago right now, wandering around my favorite city in the world and waiting for Lorelei to finish work so we can explore together. I'm drafting this before I leave, so I hope that when this goes live, I'm as happy as I presently hope I will be. On deck for this trip: my 5k tomorrow (nervous), seeing some people I love, and enjoying a non-80ยบ autumn.

Since I'm away, there's no weigh in for today - I'll add it to my Fire Up update on Monday. All the more motivation to stay focused while I'm out of town!

Enjoy your weekends, folks. Make good choices!

November 3, 2011


I'm heading to Chicago today. I have a few plans, but am mostly going to just relax and take it easy. I'm really looking forward to some time away - as exhausting as it is, all the traveling is nice, because it's some time for me to process all the things I have on my mind lately. Specifically, my goal for this trip is to do some deep thinking about my recovery and what I need to do to get entirely back on track - I keep mastering one area but falling short in others, and I need all around balance if I'm ever going to break this plateau.

Part of my recent struggles has been my relationship stress, for sure - my relationships with my family, my friends, and of course, with Bobby. While in Chicago, I'll be seeing a lot of people, and I'm not entirely sure he will be one of them. We talked about getting together for dinner on Saturday night, but to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if I leave Chicago without spending time with him at all.

I've stayed pretty quiet about our situation - I guess hearing that reading about my dating attempts was like watching a train wreck made me retreat into myself a bit about it. I'm going to maintain my silence about the details, but I guess the best thing I can offer on the subject is a bit of wisdom from my dad: in a long distance relationship, you tend to learn a lot more about the things you don't have in common than the things you do.

Since I've been writing less here, I've still needed my outlets for unburdening myself of the thoughts and ideas. Skype chats with Lorelei have been great, and I can't wait to see her tonight for in-person catching up. And, of course, there have been countless talks with Justin.

We went out to dinner last night. First we went to the store to exchange my TV, then went to a restaurant downtown - my first restaurant meal since my dad was out here. We ate Indian food and talked, and while driving home, he said that his eating has gotten a lot better because of me. And I told him that was interesting, because I had just told some people about how observing his eating habits has been helping me get back on track with my recovery. And he said, so, we're good for each other.

True that.

Driving home, he asked what my favorite kind of ice cream was.
Pumpkin, even though it's seasonal.

What about from Baskin-Robbins?

Well, I don't know, because I've never been there. But anything that doesn't have too many chunks. Peanut butter, always.
And we started talking about peanut butter, and how good it is, and how bad it is for you. I explained to him about my problem with jars of peanut butter and bingeing. I told him how I binge - and why. I told him that being able to keep peanut butter in the house will be a huge victory for me someday.

He didn't tell me I'm crazy. He just listened intently. And I cannot tell you just how good it feels to open up to someone who's honestly listening.

November 2, 2011

Workouts: October

For October, my goals were to keep up the biking, try to find an organized race so I can try for my sub-30 5k, and complete my 345-in-2011 goal. I biked 519.66 miles in October, over 50 more miles than September! And I registered for a 5k in Chicago, which I will be running this Saturday, and a sub-30 finish is looking really good. I'm nervous but confident.

With my training runs, I logged 24.5 miles of running in October - more than double what I did in September - and I officially satisfied my 2011 goal of running 345 miles on October 30! I couldn't be happier. My first mile was in Connecticut, my middle miles were in Chicago, and I ended it in California. *sigh* It's been quite a year.

I can't believe it's November, but it's true. We're officially in the midst of the unholy trinity of difficult fall/winter holidays in terms of food: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Halloween was tough, but it's likely to be my only challenge - because of my family situation back in Connecticut, with my folks separating and all, I'm definitely not heading back for Thanksgiving, and whatever we end up doing for Christmas is certainly not going to be the food-based holiday of years past. So I'm breathing a little easier.

I don't want to believe that my weight is the same at the end of October as it was at the end of September, but that's true, too. 196, 196. A very hard pill to swallow after seeing the number of logged miles, but it is what it is. I'm still struggling with binge eating, and am seeking offline help (which I will be writing about soon).

In spite of the consistency with month-end numbers, I can feel changes in my body. I cannot for the life of me locate my measuring tape, but I can feel in my jeans that my legs are leaner and more muscular - it's the biking, for sure.

My workout goals for November are to run more and bike less. I'm not sure if I ever formally announced it on the blog, but I registered for another race the same day I registered for the 5k in Chicago...

The half, of course. Oh M G, indeed.

So I'm going to keep up with my training for that; in the interest of not killing my knees, I've been taking the bus and getting rides to work from Justin a few times a week. I know ironmen run and bike an awful lot more than that, but I'm not a triathlete - I know my limits, and I don't want to risk any injury.

I also want to incorporate other workouts into my routine - even if it's just Wii Fit, I want to get back into more diverse workouts. I got my teaching schedule for the spring, and it's going to be very different from anything I've done before: teaching afternoon/evenings! So I want to also start looking for a gym to join once the semester ends that I can also use in the spring. I miss the elliptical!

What about you? How was your October? What are your goals for November? Any races or challenges on the schedule? What's your game plan for surviving the fall/winter holidays?

October 31, 2011

Fire Up: Week Seven

My positive picture for the week:

I bought this necklace off Etsy - a bit eccentric, I know. But bees and skeletons keys are two of my favorite things in the world. I was looking for a necklace with a key, and when I saw this one, I knew I had to have it! I don't usually buy myself frivolous things - I'm all about functional gifts and rewards. So this was a pleasant change.

What have you done this week towards your goals?
(1) Weighed in at 196 on Friday. Eating well, moving plenty, staying hydrated. I feel great!
(3) My long run yesterday was 3.5 miles, which I did in 34:03 (a 9:43 pace). It's a few seconds per mile slower than I'll need to do at Saturday's race to finish sub-30. But I'm pleased with it, for sure.
(4) Got paid today, put most of my check immediately into my savings, wrote out a budget for the rest! Don't anticipate too many big expenses this month - besides a coat, since my 4X and 2X coats from last winter got donated back in Chicago.

What have you done to make you feel fabulous?

I wore a dress to last Monday's book club meeting!

When you're losing weight and dropping sizes so quickly, it's a bit easier to feel confident and lovely, but since my plateau, I've started feeling more self-conscious about my body. So to wear a dress in public was a fairly big deal. I felt pretty darn fabulous!

How do you pull yourself out of a slump or prevent yourself falling in to one?

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to get out of a slump, be it emotional or physical. Going for a run is always great - there's an incredible freedom of thought that comes when you hit the pavement for mile after mile. Writing picks me up too - either blogging, or actually writing on paper (which can be quite cathartic). My main tactic lately has been to try and focus on how many things are so good instead of fixating on the few things that are not.

Are you naturally positive or do you have to work at it? How do you keep yourself positive?

In spite of the rough patch when I transitioned from Chicago to California, I'd say I'm naturally positive - optimistic to a fault, I'd say. I always see the best in situations, which can be a bad thing sometimes because I tend to see only positives and not glaring red warning lights.

I'm on Holiday right now, if you could go away anywhere tomorrow (and work wouldn't get weird) where would you go?

The south of France, I'd love to explore there. Or Brussels - some of my students did a lesson on Belgium and now I have this intense urge to go there!