Saturday, April 4, 2015

My First 5k

     I'm 31 and still learning. Learning about life, about other people, and mostly, about myself. I am learning about fitness and how strong I can be. I am learning what healthy is and how to do it every day regardless of what the scale says. I am learning to eat for fuel.

I realized a couple months ago that no one would change my life but me. Was I waiting for someone else to tell me to get off facebook? Or get up and go for a run? Or eat more protein and veggies? Any changes needed are up to me. I am the only person that can force change on myself. So I did. I made changes. I ditched Facebook Feb 19th, I started working out everyday, and I cut out carbs and sugar. Along the way I'm sifting through and finding what works for me. Like Paleo, it doesn't really work for me. I like dairy, I don't see any ill effects of dairy. Paleo is no dairy. I am a low carb, no sugar, tons of protein eater. I don't eat bread, pasta, or white potatoes. Unless I do. Ha! I had a large flour tortilla the other day and I felt so tired 30 min later. Again, a realization. Wow! Refined carbs make me sleepy and bleh.

I have mostly been eating protein shakes, tuna, paleo sandwich rolls (Lexi's Clean Kitchen), eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, cheese, fruit, and veggies. 

I also realized I wasn't eating enough calories. I upped my daily calorie limit by 400 calories and that seems to be helping my weight loss, although most days I still don't eat enough. I also do not eat back my burned calories most days. That means if I burn 300 calories working out, I do not eat an extra 300 calories. Some days I do, especially if I know I'm going out to eat or something, then I have some leeway. 

I have lost 16lbs since the middle of February. I work out pretty much every day and I am very conscientious of everything I eat. I log everything in MyFitnessPal and I use a Polar fitness watch to track my heart rate and calorie burning. I honestly think a non PCOS person could lose 20-30lbs doing what I'm doing. With PCOS I have to fight tooth and nail for each pound lost, so 16 is an accomplishment. 

I ate out twice last week and still lost weight. I didn't order what I wanted, but I ordered what my body needed. Salad with balsamic dressing and half a burger, no fries, and water to drink. This weekend is Easter. So far I have not had one piece of candy, we'll see about later ;). 

This morning I jogged my first 5k. For me, that's a surprise and I'm proud of myself. <--- that is new. I am learning HOW to be proud of myself. 
Oh the 666.....hahaha! I forgot to press start for 4 minutes, so it was closer to 700 calories :)

I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma about 20 years ago. Apparently my severe allergies put a strain on my system and cause asthma. I did 2 years of allergy shots 1-2x/week and although less severe, I still have a ton of allergies. Running/jogging is difficult for me. It can feel like there is no air. I typically don't run in groups or with other people because sometimes I just have to walk. But I have been pushing myself outside my comfort zone in fitness and pushing my body, too. I knew 3.1 miles isn't that far and I could do it. I am maybe the slowest jogger you've ever seen, but I do it. I kept reminding myself of this helpful mantra, "I only compete with myself." There was a miscommunication about the finish line, so most people went further. I did almost 4 miles. The first 5 minutes were hardest as my lungs were warming up and getting used to the 45 degree air. Then it was nice and I enjoyed myself. My legs are still sore from yesterdays workout, but they held it together. I am strong. I am capable. I can make my body work for me by telling my brain I can do it. This is obvious to some people, but for me, it's something I am learning. Mind over matter.  I am sore nearly every day. After arm days it hurts to wash my hair. After leg days it hurts to walk down stairs. After ab days it hurts to sing in choir (sing from the diaphragm!). But you know what? That's a sort of victory for me. I am embracing change, the challenge, and seeing what my body can do. 

I find my Polar watch to be motivating and helpful. I know 175bpm is pretty killer for me. 165 is really hard and means I am working it. 140 is so so and I better step it up. It's validating to be working really hard and feel like I might pass out and then see my heart rate is over 170. Like, aha! Yes! I AM working hard! It encourages me to work harder when my heart rate is less than 170. I love that I can see how many calories each workout burns. It's concrete numbers and I can watch trends. I love that stuff. For those looking for one, I got my Polar FT4 for $55 and free shipping on Amazon. I love it. Easy to use, sort of basic, and perfect for using during workouts but not wanting it on 24/7.

I don't wake up stoked to work out or particulary excited about another protein shake or tuna lunch, but I do notice a difference in my energy and mood if I miss a workout. I feel like I can keep up with my kids better and take on life better when I am getting a good 20-50min sweat every morning. I am still doing PiYo, which has gotten increasingly intense as I'm finishing week 2 in the second month. I'm not sure my plan yet for after the 60 days. Maybe a PiYo followup schedule? I need to do a little research. I love that PiYo builds my muscles while also increasing flexibility and making me drip all over my yoga mat- but without jumping around. Running is a huge calorie burner, but I want the muscle building, too. I shall keep y'all posted!

I know it can be scary to do something new and maybe even embarrassing to come to terms with how unfit you might be. But one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to discover how strong you are. It's already inside you, this strength, just waiting to be found.


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