Sunday, September 2, 2012

Not Perfect, Just Normal (I've Joined 33.5% of Americans)

Friday was one of the most exciting days in the history of my weight loss journey.  I weigh myself every Friday morning and this past week it was 149.4 pounds.  That's a healthy, "normal" weight, at least according to the BMI categories.  By some estimates 66.5% of Americans are overweight.  I used to be part of that group.  But now I'm part of the 33.5% who are not overweight.  It feels good.  And a little strange.  I've been overweight overweight for so long it's almost a part of my identity.  It's going to get even more strange when I reach my goal weight and I'm not actually trying to lose weight anymore.  That's now less than 5 pounds away.  I almost don't know how to feel about the whole thing.  When you work toward a goal for so long, over 5 years now and in many ways, my entire life - who are you without that goal?  I think answering that question will be a big part of my maintenance phase.

Eh, but for now I'll just forget all the psychological mumbo jumbo and enjoy the moment.  This was my last mini-goal before goal.  The good thing is I'm in full training mode for the Livermore 1/2 marathon so that will give me something to focus on, other than losing these last 4.4 pounds.

My workouts have been going along well.  On Thursday I went to the gym but instead of the treadmill I did a 3 mile run outside.  The run felt difficult almost the whole time.  In fact, my last few runs have felt harder than usual.  I'm forming a theory that if you don't do long runs, your shorter runs will slowly, over time, get harder.  In any case I was longing for a "good" run because with longer and longer Sunday runs on the training plan - well I don't want to start dreading them.  After the run I did chest/triceps/core for strength training (I think it's my favorite routine, I really like working my chest and triceps).  Friday was 25 minutes on the bike followed by legs/shoulder/core.  Now that I'm strength training only three days a week (instead of 5) I'll have to mix-up the order, otherwise I'll end up doing the same things on the same day (Mon: back/bicep, Thur: chest/tri, Fri: legs/shoulders), which just doesn't seem good somehow.   In any case, when 1/2 marathon training is over I'll go back to 5x a week.

Saturday was a day off from exercise but it was action packed nonetheless as we celebrated our baby turning two.  Can you believe she's two already?! I can't.  Here she is enjoying her cake.  Really enjoying it.
Our baby enjoying her (2nd) birthday cake.

When she likes food she gets almost giddy, kicking her legs, nodding her head up and down, and now she says, mmmmmmm.  I think she might have my foodie gene.  And a family picture, that's my mom with us.
Say Cheese!

The party was a great time.  I stuck to my food plan (1 hamburger, 1/2 cup potato salad, 1 serving of chips and 1 slice of birthday cake)....until I didn't.  I had another slice of cake.  I convinced myself they were more like half slices.  And before bed I had more chips.  And some cereal.  Good grief!  So I further convinced myself all these carbs will help me kill it on my long run the next day.  Carb loading, yeah, that's it.

I had the great fortune of being able to do my long run later in the morning; so nice to let my body adjust to being awake before I have to start running.  In my head the 8 miles seemed like a lot so I decided I had to run somewhere beautiful to offset the drudgery.  I started out heading for the Mill Valley/Sausalito path, the same one I did a 10 mile training run back in January for the Kaiser 1/2.  But when I was on the Freeway I had the idea to run in Tiburon, starting out from Blackie's Pasture.  I had no idea how long the path was or what it would be like but I figured I'd be running along the water and it was a beautiful day so how could I go wrong?

I parked and asked some cyclists about the path.  Unfortunately they said it was only about a mile long but that I could continue on through neighborhoods and run to downtown.  Why not?  I headed out on the path, which was totally flat and right next to the water.  I told myself just to take it easy, enjoy myself, and go at whatever speed made me the happiest, regardless of "pace".  Turns out that was a great plan.  To get an idea of how beautiful my run was just take a look at the map and notice how I was almost always next to water:

Blackie's Pasture / Tiburon Run Route

When the trail came to an end I ran through neighborhoods until I got to downtown Tiburon.  After running through the small downtown area I still had another 3/4 of a mile to go.  So I started down Paradise Drive, a popular road for cyclists with almost no shoulder but also very few cars.  I'd worn my bright yellow long sleeve running shirt so at least I was easy to spot.  But Paradise Drive meant a few rolling hills, I'd been enjoying an almost totally flat route thus far.  But I just kept running and I felt good.  In fact, I felt great.  The hills slowed me down a bit but they didn't cause me any pain.  I must have had some sort of endorphin rush because I was having all those "great run" type thoughts like, "I just love running, man this is so good, what a perfect day, I am awesome!".  Good stuff, right?  Around mile 6 I wasn't feeling as great but I was still feeling good and my mind stayed strong through the whole run.

It was an awesome run, just what I needed to get this training business underway.  My average pace was 10:36 minute miles, the run took me 1 hour, 25 minutes.  I'd be thrilled if I could maintain that pace for the 1/2 marathon.  I'm not setting any goals just yet though, I need to see how the training goes as the mileage goes up.  Here are a few post-run pictures.

A good post-run stretch.

The smile of a happy runner!
My eating for the rest of the day was a dud.  I had a healthy lunch but we ended up meeting Miguel for dinner after his soccer game and I had a beer and nachos.  Then, back at home, I had another piece of cake.  That cake is leaving the house tomorrow.  But I won't let my crappy food choices rain on my parade run.  Those were 8 miles of feel-good fitness, nachos and beer be damned.

Tomorrow I'll be in a bathing suit.  We're joining a friend for some pool-time.  It's been an awesome weekend and tomorrow's day off work will keep the good times rolling.  My next post will probably be after my Yosemite backpacking trip.  That's unless I have a freak out and need to vent.  Let's hope that doesn't happen.


  1. Yay for being part of the 33.5%!! Have an awesome backpacking trip in Yosemite - oh and great work on your long run, you are looking wonderful!

    1. Thanks! I just hit up REI last night and I'm going to get all my stuff together in my pack to try it on tonight. I hope the bears don't get me!

  2. What a runner! A thin runner! A dedicated runner! Congrats on the "being normal" goal reached! I know what it took to get there. Glad Myra had such a great birthday!

    1. Right? It's been a long road. Thanks for supporting me every step of the way :)

  3. I hit goal weight on April 4 this year, after being overweight and obese since I was around 12 (I am 35 now). I lost a total of 59 kgs (around 130 pounds) and I can totally relate to the identity thing. I have had to ask myself a lot of questions about who I am now that I am 'normal', and I still feel like a fat person 90% of the time. I still get surprised when I catch myself in a mirror, and I guess that will take a long time to go. Maintenance is hard - I'm trying hard to find a new kind of normal. Just like with the weight loss thing it's 2 steps forward and one step back, and so much of it is mental. It feels amazing though. You look fantastic, and it will be so worth it when you get there.

  4. Hi there! I just found your blog after Googling "weight loss blogs", and am so glad I did. It makes me smile knowing that you and I have had pretty much identical weight loss/weight gain journeys. I myself am also a woman that has been overweight my whole life and has gained and lost and gained lots of weight (-/+ 80 lbs. twice) over the years. But, I have never given up exercise, and the desire to truly be considered a runner and strength trainer. You are such an inspiration, Michelle. Even though I'm not much of a blog reader, I will definitely be keeping up with yours! Thanks so much for being so transparent, honest and positive.

  5. What an adventure to remember! And you're was all about doing it, enjoying it. Because you can. I love that. Hope you have many more of those.


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