Where’s This Weight Coming From?

Hi bloggers everywhere! I’ve been gaining weight (only 5ish pounds) and not sure why. To summarize my recent weight background for you… I have gained weight and lost it off and on the last twelve years. After completing my masters degree two years ago which included a lot of sitting-time, stress and lack of sleep, I found myself 44 pounds overweight, but really at least 60 pounds higher than a weight I’m comfortable at. I refocused on eating healthy and exercise and lost 30 pounds in about nine months. I maintained that (and some more at times) loss for a whole year, easy-peasy.

My new best bud, Gracie.

My new best bud, Gracie.

Something changed this spring. I gradually gained 5 pounds. I think I have it stopped now, but time will tell. I’m not sure what happened, but here are some of my thoughts.

Exercise

The same: I’m still running. Not the distances I was hoping for, but 3-4 times a week, totaling 10-12 miles. Usually one day hills, one day speed, one day easy, one day “long”.
Different: I added two days a week of Insanity. It’s not at home with DVD’s but a class run through the recreation department.
Possible problem: Overtraining. It doesn’t sound like it, but honestly, I’m really tired a lot. First, Insanity is brutal. By the end of the 50 minutes you are spent and dripping with sweat. Second, I could use a second rest day sometimes. But I feel like I don’t exercise that much and really want to increase my mileage. Not sure what to do.
Possible problem: Hunger. I’m hungry all the time. I have been able to identify some of this due to fatigue. I’m eating to get more energy when I’m tired. The solution would be to either sleep more or train less. Drink more water.
Possible problem: Not enough distance for my long run. I prefer longer distances for my long run to burn more calories and to enjoy the runner’s high, with less miles on the weekday runs. Now to get myself to run longer.

Surveying the world from the safety of the brush

Surveying the world from the safety of the brush

Diet

Different: Eating lots of the wrong foods. Candy, sweets, chips type things. Grabbing for the easiest thing when I’m hungry, hungry, hungry.
Possible problem: Eating the wrong foods does not satisfy nutritional needs and causes even more hunger. Eating refined carbohydrates causes cravings for refined carbohydrates. There is only one solution to this – stop eating the wrong foods. This could also be contributing to my fatigue.

Different: I tried fasting 16 hours a day. This was an experiment I did for a couple weeks.
Possible problem: I felt deprived and starving. I think there was some backlash from this. I find myself eating faster now (aka shoveling the food in). I’ve never been a particularly fast eater, but now I eat sometimes as though it might be my last meal ever.

Different: I tried a high-protein diet with some girlfriends to kick off summer. I lost 4 pounds (ten pounds less than I weigh now).
Possible problem: Again I think there was some backlash to feeling a bit deprived. Diets suck!

Those are my thoughts, can you tell I’m a problem-solver?

Let's Go! Let's Go! Run! Run!

Let’s Go! Let’s Go! Run! Run!

Here’s my Action Plan:

  • tweak my exercise habits
  • cut out the junk food (so hard to do)
  • make sure I’m well-rested
  • start blogging again
Gracie, our two year old rescued Treeing Walker Coonhound

Gracie, our two year old rescued Treeing Walker Coonhound

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Brrrr

This has been the worst winter around here that I can remember. Cold and snow. Cold and snow. It seems to snow almost every day. We’ve had so many temperatures below 0 it’s crazy. Right now it’s sunny and -6F with wind chill -26F. I’ve really had enough and it’s not even February yet. I would like to hibernate for a few months. While I patiently wait for warmer weather, I will dream of my upcoming vacation to a warmer climate.

Comfort with Zero Calories

Comfort with Zero Calories

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Coconut Milk - 172 calories

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Coconut Milk – 172 calories

I’ve really let myself slide the last few weeks in terms of eating. I’m hoping when I weigh in Wednesday I won’t have gained. Today I’m trying to get back on track. Having fruit instead of caving to the sweets cravings. I suppose that’s partly because of the weather, but it’s apparent to me that when I eat sweets, I start craving them and when I don’t eat sweets, I don’t miss them at all. I also feel really lazy lately about cooking/preparing food. Honestly, it’s a good thing I don’t like fast food or I could see myself in the drive-through every day.

The good news for me is that I haven’t slacked on my exercise plan. Still on schedule. I’m getting closer to being able to run a whole mile. Last Friday I even did extra for my strength workout. Exercise is a bright spot in my day and puts a smile on my face.

We’ve begun birthday season for our family. We have one in January (last Friday), one in February and two in March, then my husband’s family birthdays April through June, finishing with my husband’s birthday in July. For my daughter’s birthday I made some of her favorite foods: chicken saté and cheddar beer fondue. Birthday cake was a Cheesecake Factory original cheesecake. Yikes, delicious but not good for weight loss.

Rough Spot

I’m having a small lack of motivation going on. In the last three days, I skipped two workouts and gained 1.5 pounds. I’m letting personal issues weigh me down and take my focus off something I value highly, my health. For me this could lead to a vicious cycle. When I don’t live my life according to my values, my self-esteem lowers. –> Low self-esteem lowers my motivation. –> And then I am less likely to live according to my values. –> There’s the cycle.

The key for me is to remember what I value and to live accordingly. This morning, I walked on the treadmill for 50 minutes and logged my breakfast. My plan is to log everything I eat today and for the upcoming days. I’m back on track for my fitness plan (couch to 5k) by switching today’s rest day with yesterday’s missed workout.

Rough spot endured and accepted. Focus. Smooth sailing right now. Accepted.

Blurry Proof

Blurry Accountability