couch-to-5 wha?

In my (seemingly never-ending) quest to get myself back in shape, I started the couch-to-5K this week. Only this time, I got a nifty little C25K app for my iPhone to help me along. (Thanks, Danielle!) So on Tuesday, I got up at 5 a.m., threw on some workout clothes, and headed to the gym.

Now, theoretically, since I’m just walking/running, I could do that outside, but I prefer the gym. Something about it makes me feel like I’m “officially” exercising instead of just going for a stroll around the neighborhood. Don’t ask me why my brain makes a distinction, I know it makes no sense. And I suppose that I don’t have to work out before the sun comes up, but I work during the day, and evenings always feel crazy to me (juggling cooking dinner, cleaning up, and then Catie’s bedtime routine, which seems to take longer every night because good LORD that child can stall). So, early mornings it is.

Also? I’m working out in Vibram FiveFingers. If you’re wondering why on earth anyone would want to wear such hideous things on their feet, this article from Wired gives the best explanation I’ve read of why “barefoot” running is better for you. For me, I have always had trouble with my knees, and if this can help me run without knee pain? Then hey, bring on the ugliest gorilla-feet shoes you got.

(Man, I’m just full of links today, aren’t I?)

So, yeah, I did it. And I thought I was going to die because it’s been about 6 months since the last time I worked out. But I didn’t die! Yay! I was all sweaty and red-faced and scary-looking by the time I finished, but I was also really damn proud of myself.

But here’s the catch: running without super-cushioned sneakers means that your other muscles – likes the ones in your calves, ankles, and feet – have to work harder. So after I finished out my workout, my knees didn’t hurt, which was awesome (yay for no knee pain!), but my calves? Oh lord, my calves, y’all. I’ve now done this workout twice (on Tuesday and again on Thursday), and I’m pretty sure my calves are trying to kill me. The stairs in our house have become my worst enemy. And as I’m sure Dave can attest, when I’m in pain, I whine. A LOT.

But you know what? I’m gonna do it again tomorrow. Because I’m still trying to pull myself out of that rut. (Hey look, another link!)

Oh, and I have an appointment on Monday to get some bloodwork done and find out what’s going on with the rest of me. I have a suspicion that my thyroid is way off (I’ve been on medication for low thyroid since I was 9 years old, and after 25 years, I can generally tell when something’s wrong with it), so we’ll see.

just as she is

So, to follow up on that last post, I started the South Beach diet on Monday. (With a few tips from the “Fat Flush Diet” thrown in, because I actually liked a couple of her techniques when I tried them last year.) Just your basic low-carb, low-calorie diet, and I’m trying to use The Daily Plate to help me track my calorie intake. Which is difficult, because it’s tedious and I tend to be lazy about documenting things like the handful of granola I grabbed as I walked past the pantry. (How do you even document that? How big a serving is a handful?) But I think it’s a good exercise because it’s making me a lot more thoughtful every time I shove something in my mouth (heh… that’s what she said).

And so far, it’s honestly been fine. I haven’t felt deprived at all. I’m staying well within my recommended daily calorie allowance, and I’m not starving. So it’s good. I figure that if I can stick with that ideal “lose 1 or 2 pounds a week” target, I should be down to my goal weight in about 4 to 6 months. It sounds daunting, but not nearly as daunting as it did when I was 265 pounds. Four to six months is nothing compared to that. It’s a drop in the proverbial bucket.

I’d really like to start working out too, but I can’t right now with my sinuses still all gunked up with this cold. Hopefully by the time my Vibram Five Fingers arrive in the mail, I’ll be over the majority of this cold and will be able to get started on my couch-to-5K again.

One thing that’s been on my mind a lot lately is how much of my mom’s body image issues I adopted as my own as I grew up. When I was little, I remember my mom always complaining about how fat she was, and she was maybe a size 8 or 10 at the time (so NOT fat in the slightest). I worry about passing those sorts of hang-ups on to my own daughter.

Catie in my winter hat

My plan is that if/when she asks me about my new eating habits (and I’m sure that she will, because the kid notices absolutely everything), to emphasize to her that this diet is so Mommy will be strong and healthy, and I will absolutely not say anything negative about my body in front of her (even though I might be thinking it). I just don’t want to put those types of ideas in her head. I don’t want her to internalize any of my own negativity or hang-ups.

pretty Catie with her flower

I never want her to think that she isn’t beautiful, just as she is.

fuzzy-headed, empty-tummied

I started a new diet today. Which, if we’re counting, makes this probably my third or fourth diet this year. But, every other time, it’s just been something that I tried to do on my own. This time, I have a plan. Duh-duh-DUHHH!!

Specifically, I’m doing the Fat Flush Plan. Which is pretty intense – low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat, low-everything-I-like. I’m modifying it a little bit, because while I get that her goal is to shock your system into losing weight, I also think this woman is juuust a teensy bit batshit insane. And I think that I can stick to the basic principles of her low-carb/low-cal/low-fat ideal without completely compromising the integrity of the diet. Because look, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to cook with flaxseed oil, because it’s flat-out disgusting. I’ll stick with my olive oil spray, thank you. Also, she instructs that you should eliminate salt from your diet, which, no. Cut back? Sure. But I want to enjoy my food, and salt plays a pretty major role in several things that I eat. (Besides, the main benefit from cutting out salt is that it makes all of her diuretics more effective, so I’ll lose more water weight, not real weight. Whatever.)

I am, however, doing a lot of the supplements and other things she recommends, like the cran-water (unsweetened cranberry juice diluted with water – mmm, bitter! Gag.), and I can drink hot water with lemon, no problem. She recommends this “Long Life Tonic” twice a day, which is her cran-water concoction mixed with a teaspoon of ground psyllium husks. Which I had to Google, because I didn’t know WTF psyllium was, and it turns out that it’s basically the raw form of Metamucil. Nice. So with this drink, you get bitterness and grit. Yum. Dave looked at it and said that if that’s the Long Life Tonic, he’ll just take the 5-year hit on his lifespan rather than drink it. I’m honestly not sure how long I’ll stick with it either, because it’s truly revolting. But I’ll try.

The author also frowns on caffeine and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which means my Diet Coke is a no-no. I’m not crazy, there’s no way I can go cold turkey off of Diet Coke, but I *am* trying to cut back to maybe 2 a day (down from my usual 5). So far it’s 1:45 pm, and I’ve only had one today. I also feel light-headed and headachy, which might be a sign that I’m working on a pretty serious addiction here. I’m trying a cup of (caffeinated) green tea to see if that helps.

As for exercise, I was doing really well on my couch-to-5K plan, and I had gotten to the point where I could jog for three whole minutes without stopping, which was a first for me. And then we had to go to Mississippi, and then the house move, and everything just sorta went to crap. So I need to get back into it. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon, as soon as the shock on my system with this diet wears off.

So, you know, if things seem pretty whiny and bitchy around here for the next couple of weeks, you’ll know why.