So anyone who reads my blogs will sense a theme at the beginning - it generally starts out with an apology for being gone so long, being infrequent with the blogging, and an empty promise (not on purpose, I swear!) to be better about being more consistent with the updates. I'll spare you the excuses and empty promises this time (sorry, I'm not sorry?).
This blog is going to be a collection of random happenings that have occurred over the month of February and (for the most part) first half of March. It might seemed scatter brained and that's cause it is - because that's who and how I am - it's organized chaos though, I promise!
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Team in Training
I believe I mentioned this in a previous blog and said I would go into more details about it later - so here I am: When I first started running in July(ish) time frame, I was barely able to run for 1 minute - 2 minutes straight and could hardly complete a mile... Fast forward to today. I have completed two 5-k races and am signed up for a 10-mile run in April, but that was not good enough. I wanted more. I wanted a half. That's right - 13.1 miles of pure heart and soul. Never in my life did I think I would ever be saying or typing that phrase - if you had asked me prior to July whether I would choose spending a month in jail vs. running a half marathon, I would have screamed "JAIL" before your sentence was even complete. But, since I've started this journey I have realized that I'm stronger than I have ever been or could have even imagined being. So, I'm up for a challenge - the farthest I have ever run is 5-miles (and that was last weekend) and so 13.1 is going to be difficult. I needed something that was going to push me - drive me to actually train and go through with it once I made the commitment. Take a plunge so I couldn't chicken out. In the past when I am having a hard time motivating myself to go out for a run, I think of my good friend Maddie who suffers from RA. She can't run. At the age of 19, she had already had both of her knees replaced - even if she wanted to run more than anything in the world, she couldn't. So when I am having trouble finding the motivation, I run for her. When I was in college, I volunteered for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I loved the cause, and I fell in love with the organization. I mainly dealt with the fundraising aspects of the organization, but I had talked to the Team in Training section and knew a little bit about it and what they did. I was never a runner, so I always kinda looked up to everyone that worked and volunteered with that part of the office. So, when I was brainstorming ideas for half marathon motivation - DUH - Team in Training was the answer. I am officially signed up to run 13.1 miles of sweat, tears, and possibly blood in San Diego, CA in June of this year. I am currently fundraising so if anyone IS interested in donating to the cause I would GREATLY appreciate any support - even if it is only $5. The link to my page is: pages.teamintraining.org/nca/r
nr12/dcooch. It's going to be a life changing experience for me and for the people I help who are suffering from blood cancers.
I LOST 40 LBS!!
Second life update - kind of a big deal. 40lbs? I think of the Biggest Loser when they give the contestants the weighted vests and make them work out with the weight they have lost in lbs strapped to their backs/ chests... I can't imagine running AT ALL with a 40lbs vest strapped to my body. Forget about it!
Some things I have learned over the course of this 40lbs:
In keeping with the running terminology, it is NOT a sprint, it's a marathon. I have HAD slip ups SO many times during the last 7 months, but each of those slip ups taught me new things about the journey I was on. Approximately NONE of those slip ups kept me from getting to my ultimate destination. I regret 0% of the yummy Mexican food I ate (oh how I love you Chipotle and Guapos - how your cheese enchiladas and chips/ salsa have me yearning for you on a weekly basis). I hate myself NOT AT ALL for some of those late night McDonald's and Taco Bell runs. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in admitting that I sometimes only get up at 6am on a Saturday to run with my Team in Training team because I know I'll be eating an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese when I'm done. You know why these things don't really matter to me? Because none of those things ruined the bigger picture which was me getting healthy and changing my life. All in all, I am more healthy now than I think I have EVER been in my life. I don't eat Taco Bell every night - maybe it's a once-every-two-weeks kinda thing, but it's actually THOSE things that KEEP me going. I realized why I was never successful at losing weight before-- I was restricting myself too much and making it too hard for myself to find anything that worked for me consistently. So, I allow myself little goodies every now and then because that's what I need to keep going - and that works for me. There are weeks where I have lost 3-4 lbs in a week and there are weeks where I have seemingly gained 5+ lbs in salt and water and food and garbage, but all in all I have lost a total of 40lbs in the 7 months since I started this journey. You know what that balances out to? A 1.4lbs loss per week. That's pretty freaking AWESOME, in my opinion. For some people, cutting out sugars, carbs, processed foods, etc comes somewhat easy to them or even if it doesn't come easy they cut things out cold turkey successfully - I'm not that way. I can't just cut things out that easily. I have to ease into stuff. So, I stopped eating as much of the unhealthy things that I used to and replaced them with healthier options like freggies and I tend to try and go towards eating foods that fuel my body better. It's hard to run any distance if I have taco bell in my body - my body responds better to healthy carbs and protein and freggies (but let's be honest, who's body doesn't??). When my body responds better, my mind responds better and vice versa.
I have never let a "slip up" discourage me - and instead, I actually plan for "slip ups" in my eating/ work out plan so that I never feel deprived of anything and I always have a positive direction to head in afterwards. I never beat myself up for eating a certain type of food. Ever. I don't like thinking of high calorie days as "bad days" because I think we too often associate high calorie foods as being "bad food" and it makes us feel like we are "bad" if we participate in any form of their consumption - and WHY would we have this delicious food on the planet if we aren't allowed to sometimes indulge in it??? If I choose to have a high calorie day I have a plan to execute that will even all the high calories out. For example, if I want to eat a burrito the size of my face at Chipotle, I go for it! BUT - I need to workout before I eat it (or later in the day, once I've digested everything, of course) and I make the choice right then and there that I will eat very clean for the rest of the week so that it all evens out - and usually that is enough to satisfy my craving and still have it not affect my overall progress in my weight loss and health goals. Let's be honest, sometimes you just need a Chipotle Burrito to hold on to your MENTAL HEALTH - that's part of this, too, you know? We need to be mentally balanced, as well.
Obviously these things are my personal weight loss journey experiences. I'm not saying they will work for everyone, but they work for me. I'm more physically in shape than I have EVER been in my 23 years here on earth, and I'm happier now at 210 pounds than I was at 140lbs when I was in college. I think that has a lot to do with the amount of effort I have put in to get to this point and the things I have learned about my strength and my abilities to accomplish goals I have set for myself. When I was at 140lbs I didn't appreciate that weight. I was never physically happy with myself. I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm more confident in myself now than I was then. I attribute that to my weight loss and my physical and mental strength. I am so much stronger now than I ever was at my lowest weight - and that's because I WORKED for it this time around. I'm physically proud of myself for the first time in my life - and you know what that means? Once I finally get to 150 or even (GASP) 140, I will be stronger than I have ever been and I will be able to appreciate myself at that weight because I will know deep down what it took for me to get there - not just PHYSICALLY but also MENTALLY.
I have more updates for you guys that I will put in a blog for tomorrow. Things to look forward to: I joined a new gym (YAY!!!), I got a life changing device called the Body Media armband, I have a tumblr now (fitblr and healthblr), and I have updates on how our big move is shaping up. Talk to you all tomorrow!