Posts Tagged 'Biggest Loser'

A Series of Small Steps

One of the few nice things about the weather turning cooler is I’ve been able to go for a run whenever my poor old decrepit body is awake enough and not worry about melting in the afternoon sun.  It’s getting harder to force myself to do these things, folks.  I look for excuses not to run…you know, the heat, PMS, kids keeping me busy.  But I know I need to run.  I feel better for it in the long run.  I can keep wearing the clothes I own and not have to shop for bigger sizes.  I can continue to eat like a sumo wrestler and not feel guilty.

I’ve decided, while the weather is nice, to keep running my three mile course.  It’s a nice neighborhood run with a few small hills but a lot of straightaways.  It’s a safe friendly route with no loose dogs running around to take chase.  I used to push myself to run the entire three miles, but  I’ve been cutting myself some slack lately and doing a combination run/walk, but trying to run more than walk.  I figure if I make it more enjoyable, there’s less of a chance to talk myself out of doing the three miles altogether.

I’ve found I can play little mind games to run longer than my mind and body want me to.  When I feel the urge to quit running and slow down to a walk, I pick a target not too far ahead and tell myself I can walk when I reach, say, that particular blue mailbox.  Then, when I reach that mailbox, I’ll say that I know I can get to the azalea bush up ahead.  Nine times out of ten, I’ll wind up running much farther than I would have.  Like Youngest Son always tells me, it’s my mind that’s weak.  My body is still capable of doing the distance.  At least for now.

Tonight, I’ll be watching the first show of the new season of Biggest Loser.  These people are amazing.  They are pushed to physical extremes that I can’t even imagine, and they have a lot more weight on their frames to carry.  Their weight losses are phenomenal, but they work out for up to eight hours a day.  My mind would give up during the warm-up.

Lucky for me, I’m not competing for a huge cash prize.  My desire to lose weight is more about aesthetics rather than life and death issues.  So I can continue to push myself to that next mailbox, or to the top of that little hill.  Then I can eat my dessert while I’m watching those poor contestants run a marathon.

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Make A Change Challenge–Week 6

Tammy’s Make A Change Challenge is in the final stages–only a couple more weeks to go!  Let’s just say I’ll probably never squeeze into size 6 pants again.  I’ll hang on to the size 8’s but I’m not even sure about them.   But I’m maintaining.  This is no small feat for a girl who loves food the way I do.  I’d rather run ’til I drop than give up the chow.

I subscribe to Jillian Michael’s (from Biggest Loser) newsletter.  One tip she had got me thinking:

Get Intense
Ever notice the color-coded exercise “zones” listed on cardio machines? There’s a “fat burning” zone, an “endurance training” zone, and so forth. The colors look nice, but how many times have you chosen the “fat burning” zone and watched as your fat stayed put? That’s because fat-burning programs keep you at a lower intensity level, when to lose weight you really need to burn big calories. That only happens when you exercise at a higher-intensity level.
Let’s look at the math. In a half hour of low-intensity exercise, you might burn 100 calories. Of those 100 calories, roughly 80 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned 80 fat calories. In a half hour of high-intensity exercise, you might burn 300 calories. Of those 300 calories, roughly 33 percent will be fat calories, meaning that you’ve burned around 100 fat calories.

This seemed logical to me, and in fact, I’ve often told people I could walk a marathon and I wouldn’t lose weight like I do when I run even just a mile a day.  So even though I’m still eating like Michael Phelps, I’ve started using my treadmill and working on increasing my pace.  I alternate laps between a walk (at 3 to 3.5) and a jog (4 to 4.2), then walk, then slow run (5 to 5.2), and continue the pattern each time increasing the run speed.  So far I’ve made it up to 7 on the treadmill speed.  I can handle the torture for 1 lap so I don’t quit, but I’m getting a heck of a workout overall.  And I lost a pound this week, without denying myself any goodies!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Big Daddy and Youngest Son are out giving blood today.  There was a time when I didn’t weigh enough to give blood.  That’s not the case today.  I just hate needles.

Youngest Son is so on a roll lately.  He actually got up early (for him) today so that he could run before he went to give blood.  One thing you don’t want to do, as Big Daddy found out the hard way this past summer, is to physically exert yourself after a blood donation.  It makes you not feel so well.

Youngest Son is in excellent physical shape.  He’s one of those strong-minded people that just never gives up.  That’s why he’s gotten straight A’s in 3 semesters of college (well, OK, the 2 English classes were A-minuses).  It’s why even the best high school soccer offense players in the region dreaded seeing him on their tail.  His calf muscles bulge obscenely.  He’s decided to join the college track team in the spring and he’s starting to prepare for it now.

I wish I had the same mind-set.  I can push myself at times, but only so far.  For a while, I was busting my butt running at least 15 miles a week.  Now, not so much.  I know part of it is the winter funk has set in.  I just want to hibernate when it gets cold.  And we’ve had too many goodies sitting around the house.  I don’t normally even crave sweets all that much.  But lately, I’ve had trouble passing them up.

Last night, when I stood on the scale, the dreaded number was reached.  This is almost the weight I was on the day I gave birth to one of my kids.  I can’t remember which one, but it was the only time I recall being weighed the day I gave birth.  It seems like kind of a cruel thing.  The number seemed obscenely large for me at the time.  For a lot of people, it’s a perfectly good average weight.  On Biggest Loser, it’s even a goal weight for some.  But for the girl who desperately wanted to reach 100 pounds in high school thinking perhaps then I’d get some boobs, it’s a scary number.

So, even though it’s cold as freak outside, I’m going for a short run.  I passed up the cookie tray this morning when I had my coffee.  I may have given up running 5K races, but I’m going to keep doing little things.  I just can’t turn my back on the good foods, but I will take smaller portions.  I’ll never be a size 4, but I’m determined to stay in the clothes that are now hanging in my closet.


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