30 August 2007

One step forward, two steps back........

Or, old habits die really hard. Or, can't see the forest for the trees. Okay, enough with the cliches and on with my point. Today I had a light bulb moment. The truth was illuminated and kicked me in the teeth. To really understand the depth of my enlightenment we need to go back a few days or months....

At the beginning of this year I had decided I would devote this year to losing weight. I took up weight lifting and interval training and Precision Nutrition. I was very excited and very motivated. I was finally going to lose this last bit of weight, get to my goal and be lean. If I lost this weight I would be faster, more competitive, able to place in my age group, a force to be reckoned with. I was off and running.

At first things went well. I did lose a little weight and could see muscles developing. I was happy. But then I wasn't so strict with my eating. A week's vacation lead to a week of eating out and lots of beer. There were parties and dinners out and this and that. While I continued to workout pretty consistently, my eating tanked. You can not lose weight if you eat with abandon unless you train 6 hours a day. I started to get discouraged.

Then I stumbled across Precision Nutrition. This was great. This was the way I trying to get my eating to be, only here it was all laid out for me. Precision Nutrition is not a "diet" it's a way of eating that optimizes your nutrition for activity. It also enhances fat burning since your body is getting all the ingredients necessary to run. Okay, I started this and was very excited. I felt great though I wasn't seeing any movement in the scale. In fact, I was feeling larger and out of shape while eating right and working out consistently. WTF??? So last week I started to really feel down about this.

For a couple of weeks the scale had not moved at all, which is very unusual for me. I was feeling bloated and flabby. I decided to cut back my calories just a little. That resulted in a headache that took days to get rid of. I realized I had fallen back into my calorie cutting mindset. I know that doesn't work anymore but it's a habit, I swear.

Monday I picked up my new bike. Tuesday I went for my first ride. I had so much fun. I realized that was missing from my routine, fun. I decided I needed to put some fun back in. Wednesday I went for a ride. The idea of doing a tri had crept into my head, Wednesday it took up permanent residency. Since my bike computer now has cadence, I realize how much I suck on the bike. I thought that working towards a tri would be great inspiration for working on my biking. Also, it would get me back into the water. These thoughts made me smile. I started toying around with how I could tweak my workout schedule to keep the weights and add all this other stuff. These thoughts really made me happy.

Then today, I read this post by GeekGirl and it was like a kick right between the eyes. It opened my eyes like none of the messages this week had. GeekGirl clearly has some of the same body issues I have and she did an Ironman. Yea!!! Way to go!!! It's really not what your body looks like, it's what it can do, and the human body can do some amazing things.

Exactly one year ago I wrote this post, and then apparently promptly forgot about it. Dieting is not a sport!! That is going to be my mantra from now on. Dieting is not a sport!!!

So, with all this new (old) found enlightenment, I have made some decisions.

First, I will continue to eat healthy and follow the Precision Nutrition way of eating. I find myself full, but never stuffed. I have no desire for junk food. Plus, I do get to cheat some meals so I'm never deprived of anything.

Second, I will NOT count calories. Once I start focusing on the numbers I get caught up in them and lose sight of everything else. If I eat good, nutritious food in moderation, counting calories is not necessary. I also will not count calories burned during a workout. It's important that I work at the proper intensity, not how many calories I burned doing it.

Third, I'm doing the triathlon on November 4th. This is the first one I ever did 3 years ago and it seems fitting to go back there as a restart so to speak. The swim is only 400 m - I can do that easy. The bike I did on my mountain bike the first time - I should totally rock that. The run, half of it is on sand - that sucks, but I can hang. When I did it 3 years ago, I did it in 1:50. My goal for this year is 1:30. I have almost exactly 8 weeks to train, I think know I can do it.

Fourth, I will only step on the scale first thing Saturday mornings. Never any other time. That thing has become such a controlling force in my life I have to break the chains.

You have no idea how excited I feel about these decisions. For the first time in months, the excitement to train is back and I'm looking forward to a challenge.

I have had these revelations before, as evidenced by my year old post. But I'm the type of person that has to learn somethings a couple of times before it sticks. I have to have these light bulb moments a couple of times before I really own the moment. I have to see it in action and working before I can claim it as mine completely.

So, if I start to dwell on calories and weight you have my permission to slap me and say, "SNAP OUT OF IT!!" This blog is once again focused on triathlons and running. Which is right where the focus should be.


Vickie said...

Good luck!

Natalie said...

Good luck! I wish I had your determination.

angelfish24 said...

Sounds good! To do the triathlon. I had fun with mine though I thought I would dread it. It helped me a lot to keep the focus on exercise and being health and away from losing weight. But, of course, I would live to lose a lot more and keeping up on the trianing or finding my next fitness goal should help with that.
Have a great weekend.

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