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Rostov

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Everything posted by Rostov

  1. A lot of people round here aren't fans of calorie counting, but it worked really well for me. I'd suggest using it for a "diet audit" - eat what you normally eat, and log it on myfitnesspal or some other app. Once you have that data, look for ways to make low-pain changes... You've a scientific mindset... look for foods that are poor value for fillingness and/or calories and either cut them out, minimise them, or look for better value replacements. I'd be amazed if there aren't pain-free, low-cost changes you can make to your diet which you'll barely notice, but which will have a substantial impact (taken together) on the amount of calories you're consuming. This is what I did, and once I started seeing results and built habits, I was able to start looking for further savings. I know exactly what you mean by being intimidated by gyms and gym culture. But... the Beginners Bodyweight Workout can be done in the privacy of your own home. And as others have said, walking is a really good form of exercise. Do you commute by car, or do you have the option of getting off public transport a few stops early? Walking has been huge for me.... I walk everywhere now.
  2. First official 10k today! 48:40 - delighted with that!

    1. annieloux

      annieloux

      Dang. Great job!

  3. Re Crohn's Disease.... I have that too, and from what I know of it there is a weak genetic link. But I think the only part of your story that that might explain is this bit: i have always had stomach issues, terrible cramps sometimes, i pass blood (but the doctors dont know why and why it is only sometimes, i can go months without it happening) some of it seems linked to diet (pizza and indian food can make me feel like dying instead of the pain and I have a very high threshold. But it wouldn't explain the rest of your symptoms. And generally someone with active Crohn's Disease is likely to have little appetite due to constant pain and they usually end up losing a lot of weight. Some of your figures for your weight fluctuations sound very odd to me. How are you measuring and tracking? How reliable are your scales? Scales can "lie", not least because it's not unusual for people's weight to vary by as much as half a stone or even more depending on the time of day/week. Better, more objective measurements can be taken with a tape measure, and a sense of how your clothes fit. That's when I can feel my weight go up a little or down a little - whether certain items of clothing feel looser or tighter. Often when I was losing my excess weight I'd feel the difference in my clothing before the scale would move. Gaining two stone in two weeks just doesn't seem possible to me, even assuming that the "before" measurement was at your lightest and the "after" at your heaviest of the natural fluctuations in weight that we all have. I'm no expert, but I'm not aware of any kind of medical condition that would cause that level of weight gain. Did you feel any kind of difference in your clothing fit during that time, because that sounds much more like a tracking/recording error to me. How do you measure and track your weight at the moment? Do you just use scales (and just one set), do you track measurements, do you write down the numbers? It's tricky dealing with doctors. Something I read somewhere about GPs which resonated with me is that they're not trained to treat people with unusual or serious illness, but to spot people who have them and then refer them on to experts. Crohn's Disease is difficult to diagnose and easy to mistake for IBS, and I'd imagine that Gout is really rare, and so might also be hard to pick up on. Something I've learned about Doctors is that they respect facts and figures and objective measurement much more than subjective memories or impressions or whatever. Presenting a doctor with food diaries, with charts showing weight loss, effort made etc will show him or her that you're absolutely serious in what you're trying to do, and are more likely to refer you on. Believe it or not, the NHS would love to help you and invest in helping you achieve a healthy weight *now*, because if it doesn't, it's going to cost it a hell of a lot more later. You're a good candidate for that support if you can prove that you've been trying hard by yourself and making progress. Problem is, I think a lot of doctors hear the same thing from a lot of people - there's something different and wrong with me about why I can't lose weight beyond the reasons why everyone finds it very difficult. How do they tell apart those for whom this is true due to an unusual medical problem, and those who are lying to them, or decieving themselves, or just plain wrong? One option might just to be to say that you're determined to lose weight, you've done x and y and achieve z already, what extra help can they offer - perhaps a referral to a dietician or a nutritionist? If there is something wrong with you as you suspect, they're far more likely to spot it and to be aware of what to do next.
  4. I just think attempting and finishing a marathon at all is a massively, massively impressive feat. I'm training for a 10k at the moment and might end up going for a half marathon one day, but a full marathon just seems too daunting. Maybe one day I'll change my mind. But I wonder what proportion of people can say they've completed a marathon? It's pretty small, I imagine. Easy to forget this if you're surrounded by runners where completion and PBs and regular running are the norm, but well worth taking a step back and realising just what an achievement it is to run a marathon.
  5. Congratulations on your progress so far! Tinessael is spot on - if you don't enjoy running, try something else. The best diet/exercise regime is the one you can stick to, and if you genuinely don't enjoy running may reach a point at which you can't motivate yourself to do it any more. If you've already done the couch-to-5k, I don't think anyone can say that you've not given it a good go. But the trick is to find something else to replace it with that you do enjoy, rather than just stopping. Having said that.... my experience was that I loved running from the start, especially once I got some masterwork running shoes to correct my flat feet. It might be more useful to hear from anyone who's gone from hating it to loving it.
  6. You may already know this, or looking at the dates it may be too late, but just in case.... In the UK, our train companies are mostly parasitic vampire squids and fares are horribly expensive, especially if you buy on the day. Even if you're able to book online a few days before or even the day before, it's a little cheaper. You should be able to book tickets over the internet and then pick them up from a machine at the station using a code that they'll send you plus the card you booked the tickets with. I've just done a very quick check, and you're looking at 131 for a return ticket bought today leaving today, Booking a ticket today leaving tomorrow, and it's about half that. It can also be substantially cheaper to travel outside peak times. More info at: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
  7. I've got flat feet and am lucky enough to have a specialist running shop fairly close by. They have a treadmill and video equipment for gait analysis and then recommend shoes based on that. In some ways I suspect that gait analysis is a bit of a gimmick - probably all they do with it is narrow down the choice to a type of shoe. But even that is valuable. Of the three pairs that they recommended on the basis of that, the pair I bought are by far the most comfortable shoes I own or have ever owned. I wear custom orthotics in all my other shoes, but I'm lucky enough that one type of shoe was a pretty much perfect fit. The shoes weren't cheap, but they were worth every penny. For indoor sports I have fairly standard trainers which I wear with orthotics, and they're fine and I can run well enough indoors like that, but these running shoes just give me a bit of extra support/comfort/stability. Essentially they're the same as having orthotics, but they've got them built into the shoe, rather than fitted in on top. I don't know much/anything about barefoot or near barefoot running, but I can't imagine even trying it with feet like mine, especially running mainly on concrete/gravel/paths rather than grass or mud. I think there is something appealing about barefoot running, but my guess would be that if you don't have "survival of the fittest" feet and don't run on the same surfaces/terrain/conditions that we're evolved to run in, then going back to barefoot might not be the best idea. For what it's worth, my recommendation would be to head down to a specialist running shop if you have one nearby, get gait analysis and some advice, and try on different shoes based on that, then buy what's comfortable.
  8. My advice would be follow it to the letter once you've picked a starting point. It gets tougher fairly quickly, and if you're going to start part-way through, I think it's best to start at a point you can do comfortably. I think a good run should be one that leaves you tired at the end, but not one that wipes you out completely. I think "no pain, no gain" can be taken far too seriously. When I got my 5k personal best time, it hurt. If it hurt like that - or had to hurt like that - every time I went for a run, I probably wouldn't do it. Couch to 5k should allow you to gradually build up over time, and it's much better to start earlier on the programme than you're capable of and let it build you up than start too far into it, fail, and get discouraged. I'd also recommend only running every other day - I still don't run two days in a row - but you can do other exercise on the non-running day. Go for a long walk, or do the beginners bodyweight workout - that's what I used to do. I think it's very easy to overdo things and injure yourself by doing too much, too soon. It's difficult to hold yourself back and be patient once you've got started and are pumped full of enthusiasm, but I'd suggest only running every other day.
  9. I'd recommend the NHS couch-to-5k podcast - essentially you listen to the podcast, run when you're told to run, walk when you're told to walk, do it every other day and gradually build up. It worked really well for me, though I cheated slightly as I wasn't starting from "couch", but certainly wasn't at 5k. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx However.... although I've never played much hockey, I wonder how much running will do for you. If it's like similar sports (football/soccer etc), then it's not so much a case of constant running, but varying between sprinting, running, jogging, and walking. Having said that, being able to run 5k is a good start, though you might want to talk to your coach about hockey-specific running drills. It might be that internal training (run-walk-run, or jog-spring-jog) are better options, though it surely can't hurt to increase your stamina to the point at which you can run 5k. It's easy for me to say, but I don't think there's any particuar need to feel intimidated by other peope in the gym. A while back I started going to circuit training (at a sport centre near a university) which was full of young, fit student-types who were young enough to be my kids. But I just told myself that - regardless of results/pace/reps/whatever - no-one would beat me for effort. I think the reality is that most people who are serious athletes couldn't care less about who else is there.... they're there for themselves, their own fitness, and their own goals. When I'm out running, what passes through my head when I see others out running who are less fit than me (if I think about them at all) is that it's brilliant that they're out here, running, improving their fitness. I'd imagine that there will be a bit of a rush in the gym in the new year (following new year's resolutions etc), so it might be worth thinking about running outside. If you're at *the* most sports obsessed university in the UK, you have a lovely campus to run in. It's cold this time of year, but it's not that bad once you get going. Couple of layers (one with long sleeves), shorts, running shoes and socks were fine for me. Having said that, ice worries me so I don't run if it's close to zero degrees. Cue the Canadians and nothern Europeans calling me a lightweight Have you got some proper running shoes? They make a huge, huge difference, especially if you have odd shaped feet like me. They're not cheap, but it's well worth going to a proper running shop, getting gait analysis, and getting a pair that fits like a dream, rather than some Nikbokidas shoes sold to you by a child on a zero hours contract. Finally... if you're thinking about weight loss, that's really mainly about food intake rather than exercise. Calorie counting worked for me as a tool to work out what I could painlessly cut out of my diet or eat less of or switch for a lower calorie option, but you should probably think of it as ways of making permenant, sustainable eating/exercise/lifestyle changes rather than a short term chase after a "summer body"
  10. Sounds like it might be shin splints... calf pain, not from a muscle, from an odd spot where there shouldn't be anything to hurt like that.... For me, calf stretches and better orthotics/better fitting shoes did the trick.
  11. Short answer is I have no idea, but I've had something of a similar experience with bodyweight workouts.... I can certainly relate to the "hitting walls that my willpower cannot overcome".... I got that doing the beginner bodyweight workout. I made myself do it for weeks and weeks, but I just burned it out. I changed some exercises, started doing them in a different room, to different music, on a different day, changed the exercises again and so on. That enabled me to keep going to a short while, but ultimately I burned it out, didn't enjoy it, and drained the motivation tank dry. Fortunately for me, it got me most of what I needed from it in the short term. But I didn't like it... it made me vulnurable and claustrophobic, and trapped. But I could do similar things in a circuit training class without a problem, for some reason. So one question might be: do you like running? I do, so motivating myself isn't a problem.... though I have better days and worse days, and days where I'm counting the distance until the end with closer attention. If you don't like running, and can't make yourself like running, maybe it's just not for you. On a more positive note, have you tried changing things.... music, distance, route, time of day? Could a particular route become mentally linked to a bad run, opening the door to self-doubt? Is it perhaps worth going back to couch-to-5k and building up again?
  12. Another quick update. Went for a run on Saturday, just for a mile or so. Felt good, no immediate reaction, and it felt fine the following day. Weather permitting, I'll do the same run again tonight and then probably every other day for a week or so before risking increasing the distance a little. Decided against swapping toast for a banana. I tried it for a few days, and found it harder to resist food temptation later in the day. But I might return to this. Upper body strength work isn't really happening. Took the pull-up bar down, and it's still not back up again. Will try to remember this evening! Romance sub-plot. Met a couple more times. Not sure. Chronicles - about 2/3 written, but needs finishing and then some editing.
  13. I've had a similar problem with one ankle. Fine when running on a rebounder (mini-trampoline) or walking, but less so when running on roads. I've been to see a physio, who diagnosed a stability problem with my ankle. I've been trying to build my strength back up again with a resistance band thing, stretching with left and right rotations, forwards and backwards flexing, calf raises, and standing on one leg.
  14. Eggs and bacon for breakfast sounds awesome, but it takes longer than just waiting for the toaster, and I don't tend to leave myself that much time in the mornings. I tried eating a banana for breakfast instead of toast for a couple of days, and found myself much hungrier later in the day and more likely to start snacking. I think I might stick with the toast most of the time, but perhaps have a banana instead a couple of days per week. On a more general update theme... I'm down to 78.1kg (172 lbs, 12st 4) and I think that's probably enough, or nearly enough. I still think that I'm carrying a bit of weight around my stomach, but while my face isn't quite looking gaunt or sallow, it's probably not very far away. I think also I could continue to convince myself that I had weight to lose if I thought of my stomach as being the size it is after a big meal, when I'm pushing it out. The upper body stuff isn't going so well. I keep forgetting my push-ups, and my pull-up bar came down when I had visitors and hasn't gone back up yet. I'd got back to managing 2 (sort of), but there's no way I'll have 5 by the end. As regards the romance sub-plot.... met someone for a drink... went well. Will meet again. I've written up the beginnings of my story for the Chronicles challenge, but I need to make time to get back to it.
  15. There's an article from a US perspective on which English Premier League team to support. It's not bad, but misses out a lot of reasons why you shouldn't support Liverpool* (essentially Luis Suarez, but also probably the most delusional and unlikeable fanbase around). As an Australian you might want to look at which teams have Australian internationals if that's important to you. I've met some Australians who chose the English team on the basis of similarity of team colours to their Aussie Rules team, or because they lived in or near a town/city of the same name. I think my team, Everton*, have quite a big following in Australia because of Tim Cahill, though he left a while ago now. I also think there's an element of laziness in picking any of the top teams (or Liverpool) who are never out of the media spotlight (Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea). Tottenham you can just about get away with, I'd say. But having said that, you get to watch their games because they're on television all the time. http://www.nbcsports.com/joe-posnanski/how-pick-premier-league-club The other option is just watch some games and wait for a team to pick you.... [*Declaration of interest: I'm an Everton fan, with obligatory strong dislike of Liverpool]
  16. Thanks everyone. Oddly, "Rostov" is from the name of one of the families in 'War and Peace'... I think I borrowed it for a D&D character years and years ago, and I've had used it as a pseudonym in a few places since, though not for a while now. I think it's also a name of a river, and a fairly common surname in parts of Russia. So far this challenge is going reasonably well. I think I've put on a bit of weight over the last week or so - not much, but the scale is showing it, and I'm feeling it. In my search for balance I'm wondering whether I need to change another habit, and switch from having toast for breakfast to having a banana. There's a calorie saving there, and the problem with having bread in the house for toast for breakfast is that I'll eat it at other times too. It's an easy, lazy. snack. This time last year I'd have been delighted - delighted! - to know that in the future my guilty snacking achilles heel would be bread - but that's the old me. Having a banana rather than bread would buy me some extra calories, so I could either eat a bit more later in the day, or exercise a bit less, on average. Thing is, I like bread and I particularly like toast.... but maybe I should try this and see what happens. I've done pretty well with exercising my ankle, and in aligning my thoughts and plans to a new rehabilitation plan. I dropped out of the 10k, as I realised that what I thought might be a gradually improving cycle of injury-recovery, but with a general trend of improvement, may just be a constant injury-recovery-reinjury cycle which ultimately goes nowhere. So I'm going to take my time, and when I get back to running, it's going to be short distances only, and a very slow build-up. I've put my pull-up bars up again, and I can lift myself, lower myself, and not quite lift myself again. I've gone from 2-3 to 0.... it's true what they say about use it or lose it. Probably 5 by the end of the challenge is too ambitious, but I'd like to at least get back to where I was with it. Telling my story is taking longer than I thought, but I've had some ideas about how I might structure it, so that's some progress at least....
  17. Well done on this week! I know what you mean about self-consciousness and running outside.... took me a long time and a fair bit of weight loss before I was confident enough to do it. But it makes such a difference... Having said that, I also like running indoors in the privacy of my own living room on my mini-trampoline, TV on and volume turned up.
  18. Hello Turtle! Good goals.... I know what you mean about running being good for mood and general mental welfare...... Do you do all your running on a treadmill, or do you run outside as well?
  19. Been very busy, so very late to the challenge... but here goes... Backstory: Well.... I've lost over 70lbs in about 15 months, since I started counting properly. I am a shadow of my former self - my trousers were size 42", now they're 34" and loose. My t-shirts were XL or XXL, now they're L, and my autumn jacket is a (admittedl generously sized) medium. Point is, I've lost a lot of weight, and at the start of this challenge I'm about 79.4kg (175lbs, 12st 7lbs). I'm 5' 10", a height that has thankfuly remained constant. I've finished couch-to-5k. My 5k PB is 23:21. I've done an unofficial self-timed 10k in just under 55 mins. I can do 2-3 pull ups, and I've gone fron knee push-ups to standard to decline to one footed to walking. I've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. Main Quest: Healthily Ever After While I wouldn't mind losing a few more pounds, that's no longer the priority. The challenge now is to move from weight loss to maintence. I've watched some alarming documentaries about weight loss that indicate that a lot of people who lose a lot of weight will put it back on again... with interest... over time. I don't want this to happen to me. And I think it probably won't because I don't intend to relax and go back to my old eating habits now that I've lost the weight. I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing, and maintain those habits. But one of the things that I've learnt is that habits aren't permenant, and losing the good ones and acquiring the bad ones is always a danger. So my main quest - which I estimate will take the rest of my life - will be to keep my good habits and resist the formation of bad habits. For this challenge in particular, I want to continue to think about balance... balance between food and exercise; between exercise and other aspects of my life; just.... balance. Mission 1: Fix my damn ankle A constant refrain of my last few challenges has been an ankle stability problem. It was getting better, but I've had another setback recently and not been able to run for about three-four weeks. I have a 10k race in a few days which I'd love to do, and which I might just about be ready for. And whether I do that or not, the focus of this challenge will be fixing my ankle. Top priority. Everything else gets sacrificed to that. I've had problems on and off since December, and I'm chewing the furniture with frustration. At least now I have a diagnosis, some exercises to do to strengthen it, and a plan. So I'm going to do the exercises every day.. something which (bewilderingly) I've not always done... habits again, forgetting etc. I'm going to strengthen it again, and I'm going to build it up running again slowly. I'm going to fight my instict and exhileration at being able to run again and ending up running faster/further than I expected, and instead I'm going to go for short runs, slowly increasing distance. And when I'm back, I'm going to run a proper 10k in the autumn, I'm going to see if I can beat by 5k PB, and I'm going to run the whole ten miles of the canalside walking/running/cycling path. Just not during this challenge. Mission 2: Arms and the Man I've been neglecting my upper body strength... lost the push-up / pull-up habit. So I'm going back to that... push-ups and pull-ups every day, and by the end of the challenge I'd like to get to 5 pull ups. Lifequest: Rostov's romance sub-plot My last quest featured the challenge of moving on from a previous relationship, and either doing something positive about looking for a new one, or at least thinking about whether I wanted one at all, and what kind of life I wanted. Well, I signed up for internet dating, and while I've let to actually meet anyone, it's been a very positive experience in terms of self-esteem. I've developed some rejection resilience through learning not to worry about not hearing back from some people after sending messages, and I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the women who want to look at my profile, who want to contact me, or who have responded to a message from me. So it turns out that I'm not quite as hideous as I thought. Couple of irons in the fire as we speak which I think will lead to actual real life dates. My quest is to keep up these efforts, to continue to learn, and not to restrict my efforts on this front to internet dating. Sidequest 1: The Chronicles of Rostov I've recieved a lot of help and support and reassurance from this community, and I'd like to think that I've paid at least some of that forward. What I'm going to do is to write a full account of how I succeeded in losing weight, what my strategy was, what I learnt on the way, what I'd say to people who are where I was 15 months ago. I won't present what worked for me as suitable for everyone, but hopefully some people will find this useful. This will probably end up being quite a long post, so it'll take time to write and to get right.
  20. Calorie counting isn't for everyone, and I know what you mean by getting obsessed with it. I remember walking in a daze around a shop paralysed by indecision about what sandwich to buy, and how that would affect the rest of the day's calorie intake. But I think a good way to use calorie counting for a short time is as audit - you just log what you eat without worrying about calorie totals. After a week or so, you can look back over what your usual food intake is like, and see where there's scope to reduce your calorie intake. Spot the things that are poor value for calories/fillingness/deliciousness and look for quick and painless wins to cut your calorie intake. For example, I found that garlic bread and prawn crackers are very high in calories for what they are, that prepacked sandwiches can vary from about 390 to 650 calories, and that Chinese food is generally much lower in calories than pizza. Armed with that, I dropped garlic bread/prawn crackers, was more careful with my sandwich choices, and when I did have takeway food, had better takeway. On the other side of the equation, it turns out that soup is delicious and surprisingly low in calories, as are salads (with a bit of sweet chilli sauce), plain popcorn, and tomato salsa (eaten with breadsticks or just a spoon, rather that chips). It sounds to me as if you tried to do too much too soon with calorie counting. What worked for me was just to audit first, look for those quick and painless wins, and look for opportunities to exercise more, even if it's just walking.
  21. Final update and summary.... Main Quest: I'm nearly where I want to be. A few more pounds to go, and then I'm there. And then there are some choices to be made. What kind of life to I want to lead? How am I going to balance food and exercise to enjoy my food but stay at my goal weight? What about time for sedantry interests? Fortunately for me, I like exercise, I like running, and I like sport. So it's not going to be too hard, but it needs careful thought and reflection. My main question is reaching the end of my weight-loss journey, and starting on a new journey - to where, and how, and why, I've yet to fully discover. One thing is for sure - it's going to feature running at 5k and 10k distances. Result: B. I'm now out or damn close to where I want to be in terms of weight loss. I've done some thinking about what the rest of my life is like, and it's really a case of keeping my current eating habits going, and not allowing myself to slide back into old routines. I've heard about research which indicates that a lot of people who lose a lot of weight put it back on again with interest, so I need to be very careful about this. To offset food, I'm going to continue walking everywhere, and (weather and seasons permitting) take a longer route to work. When I shift my damn ankle injury I'll be running every other day, and until then I'll be rebounder running most days. I don't think I can decide now what the rest of my life will be like - I need to take it a week at a time, keep weighing myself and perhaps continuing to track calories. I'm doing less of that than before - perhaps I've learnt all I can learn from that. Goal 1: "Staying out for the summer....." I'm off on holiday for the first two weeks of the challenge. The good? Weather permitting, I'm going to be doing lots of walking. The bad? Away from my kitchen, my rebounder, my usual environment. Ice cream and high calorie local delicacies will be everywhere. Meals out. Now, everyone is entitled to a holiday, but my goal is to come back the same weight as I left. It's an A for this. I not only didn't put weight on, but lost a 1lb. I'm not entirely surprised - I did a lot of walking, and was fairly good at food restraint overall. Goal 2: Last few pounds I want to lose 4lbs over the next 6 weeks, which should get me at my goal weight. Another A. Start of challenge: 81.5kg (179.5lbs, 12st 11.5lbs) End of challenge: 79.7kg (175.7lbs, 12st. 7.7lbs) Goal 3: Train towards the 10k race The race itself is outside the goal period, but I'm going to put in place a training plan so that I can complete the 10k, ideally under 55 mins. An injury-hampered C for this. I've managed to run 10k over a flat course twice now, plus a 7k with the first 5k up and down hills. But that hurt, and rather than the usual week recovery time, it's been two weeks plus. My next training run will be 10k with some hills. The race I'm running has "undulating" terrain. I've been able to keep up the rebounder running (usually 1 hr at a time), and on my last run I found that I was able to recover while running - as if my energy bar was regenerating slowly - after a hill. That's new for me. I've got two weeks until the 10k, so one more run, lots of rebounder running, and some rest. Post 10k, I think my next running goal might be to improve my 5k PB, though I'd quite like to run the length of a local canal trail which is about 10 miles. Side Quest: Together Alone A couple of challenges ago, my relationship status shifted from "it's complicated" to "single". I think I've processed all that now, and I'm wondering about doing something positive to see if there's anyone else out there to re-complicate my life. Problem is, I'm not sure exactly how best to go about this, or even if it's a good idea. I mean, I like being free and single, and I'm quite happy as I am. And I'd much rather be happy and single than not happy and in a relationship. Some people need to be part of a couple - I really don't. So, although it's vague, at the end of this six week challenge I should have something to report back to myself about my thinking. Am I going to do anything positive (internet dating, speed dating, practicising flirting, whatever), or have I decided that actually I'm perfectly content by myself? Honestly don't know. It's a B for me here. I've signed up for a dating website, sent messages, got some back, had a few "winks", had people look at my picture. The messages mostly petered out, but one led to quite a few phone calls before it became clear we were just too different. One conversation still ongoing... so who nows. But oddly it's given me confidence - I walk with my head up these days, I smile at people, and I feel more resilient. I've sent messages that have been ignored, either because she wasn't interested, or hasn't subscribed and couldn't read it. I feel more confident about dealing with rejection than previously, and I think I'll be better at flirting in the future. Judging by some of the people who've looked at my profile or even got in touch, I can't be as ugly as I think I am. But I'm still ugly
  22. Final update and summary.... Main Quest: I'm nearly where I want to be. A few more pounds to go, and then I'm there. And then there are some choices to be made. What kind of life to I want to lead? How am I going to balance food and exercise to enjoy my food but stay at my goal weight? What about time for sedantry interests? Fortunately for me, I like exercise, I like running, and I like sport. So it's not going to be too hard, but it needs careful thought and reflection. My main question is reaching the end of my weight-loss journey, and starting on a new journey - to where, and how, and why, I've yet to fully discover. One thing is for sure - it's going to feature running at 5k and 10k distances. Result: B. I'm now out or damn close to where I want to be in terms of weight loss. I've done some thinking about what the rest of my life is like, and it's really a case of keeping my current eating habits going, and not allowing myself to slide back into old routines. I've heard about research which indicates that a lot of people who lose a lot of weight put it back on again with interest, so I need to be very careful about this. To offset food, I'm going to continue walking everywhere, and (weather and seasons permitting) take a longer route to work. When I shift my damn ankle injury I'll be running every other day, and until then I'll be rebounder running most days. I don't think I can decide now what the rest of my life will be like - I need to take it a week at a time, keep weighing myself and perhaps continuing to track calories. I'm doing less of that than before - perhaps I've learnt all I can learn from that. Goal 1: "Staying out for the summer....." I'm off on holiday for the first two weeks of the challenge. The good? Weather permitting, I'm going to be doing lots of walking. The bad? Away from my kitchen, my rebounder, my usual environment. Ice cream and high calorie local delicacies will be everywhere. Meals out. Now, everyone is entitled to a holiday, but my goal is to come back the same weight as I left. It's an A for this. I not only didn't put weight on, but lost a 1lb. I'm not entirely surprised - I did a lot of walking, and was fairly good at food restraint overall. Goal 2: Last few pounds I want to lose 4lbs over the next 6 weeks, which should get me at my goal weight. Another A. Start of challenge: 81.5kg (179.5lbs, 12st 11.5lbs) End of challenge: 79.7kg (175.7lbs, 12st. 7.7lbs) Goal 3: Train towards the 10k race The race itself is outside the goal period, but I'm going to put in place a training plan so that I can complete the 10k, ideally under 55 mins. An injury-hampered C for this. I've managed to run 10k over a flat course twice now, plus a 7k with the first 5k up and down hills. But that hurt, and rather than the usual week recovery time, it's been two weeks plus. My next training run will be 10k with some hills. The race I'm running has "undulating" terrain. I've been able to keep up the rebounder running (usually 1 hr at a time), and on my last run I found that I was able to recover while running - as if my energy bar was regenerating slowly - after a hill. That's new for me. I've got two weeks until the 10k, so one more run, lots of rebounder running, and some rest. Post 10k, I think my next running goal might be to improve my 5k PB, though I'd quite like to run the length of a local canal trail which is about 10 miles. Side Quest: Together Alone A couple of challenges ago, my relationship status shifted from "it's complicated" to "single". I think I've processed all that now, and I'm wondering about doing something positive to see if there's anyone else out there to re-complicate my life. Problem is, I'm not sure exactly how best to go about this, or even if it's a good idea. I mean, I like being free and single, and I'm quite happy as I am. And I'd much rather be happy and single than not happy and in a relationship. Some people need to be part of a couple - I really don't. So, although it's vague, at the end of this six week challenge I should have something to report back to myself about my thinking. Am I going to do anything positive (internet dating, speed dating, practicising flirting, whatever), or have I decided that actually I'm perfectly content by myself? Honestly don't know. It's a B for me here. I've signed up for a dating website, sent messages, got some back, had a few "winks", had people look at my picture. The messages mostly petered out, but one led to quite a few phone calls before it became clear we were just too different. One conversation still ongoing... so who nows. But oddly it's given me confidence - I walk with my head up these days, I smile at people, and I feel more resilient. I've sent messages that have been ignored, either because she wasn't interested, or hasn't subscribed and couldn't read it. I feel more confident about dealing with rejection than previously, and I think I'll be better at flirting in the future. Judging by some of the people who've looked at my profile or even got in touch, I can't be as ugly as I think I am. But I'm still ugly
  23. I think you might already have achieved the most difficult part, which is self-knowledge You know that your self image doesn't match onto how other people see you/what you've actually achieved, and you know that it's what's going on in your head that's incorrect. One of the challenges in losing weight, I found, is confronting the fact that you're overweight. I used to avoid mirrors, avoid photographs, and in general tried to avoid being confronted with the reality of how much weight I'd put on. Similarly, other people would seldom - if ever - comment on my weight. It just faded into the background where I could quietly forget that I was the elephant in the room. But when you're actively trying to lose weight and succeeding, you're confronted by it. When you get to the point that your clothes no longer fit properly and you need new ones. When you weigh yourself. When you look in the mirror looking for change. When other people comment on your weight loss. Suddenly, from being something that I tried to hide from, it's now centre stage. In some ways that's great, but in other ways it's difficult because the glare of the spotlight shows up not only how far I'd come, but how far I had to go. If that's your experience too, then I think there's an element of just gritting your teeth and powering through - keep on keeping on, because what you're doing is working. Current habits and routine (food and exercise) + appropriate scaling up where appropriate + time = success. Taking pictures, as alecto said, can be a good idea. I found tracking progress through belt notches and the feel and fit of clothes was useful. But I don't think there's a magic bullet for this issue - my body image still hasn't caught up with my weight loss, and probably won't for a while yet. But the main thing is that you know you're doing it, and that's absolutely vital.....
  24. Welcome, and congratulations on your progress so far! Ballroom dancing sounds like an excellent idea - I'm a great believer in finding a form of exercise that you actually like, rather than one that you have to make yourself do. I'd imagine that most people in the class will too busy watching their own feet (or trying not to watch their own feet) to notice or make judgements about anyone else. Is your husband signing up too - would be a good thing to do together, perhaps....
  25. Another update... I've been a bit bad at updating this challenge.... Goal 2: Last few pounds Started this challenge at 81.5kg (179.5lbs, 12st 11.5lbs), last week was 79.5kg (175.3 lbs, 12st 7.2 lbs). This will take me to my challenge goal or there or thereabouts if I maintain it, but I still think there's a bit more to go. There's still a bit more padding around my gut than I strictly need, but I'm not going to obsess about it - to the average observer I'm not overweight. Getting below the 80kg mark was terrific - MFP is telling me I've lost 32kg so far, which is fantastic. But of course it's not really about the scales - it's about fitness and health. Goal 3: 10k race training My ankle problem isn't clearing up as fast as I'd like, so I still have to wait 5-6 days between outdoor runs, and I usually end up waiting longer because I'm worried about it. I mentioned earlier a 10k run before my holiday, and a 7k just after my return. Since then I've got a new self-timed PB for 10k in 54:36 or so along a fairly flat course. Today I went for a much hillier route (for most of the first 5k) and managed 7k in 40:43. My next run will be 10k, with the same hill climbs but with more spacing between them. I got a sense today that I've unlocked a new running power - regeneration. Previously I've felt that my energy bars (one for cardio-vascular, one for muscular-skeletal) only go one way, and so I get worried if I think they dip too low too early. But once they dip below a certain point, they have the limited power of regeneration which makes them drop much more slowly. The 10k course is described as "undulating", so I think a sub-55 minute - essentially doing what I can already do over a less flat course - ought to be do-able. Romance sub-plot: I think all of the benefits above have continued and one or two interesting conversations have resulted. In short, a positive experience so far, and as much for my state of mind as for concrete results of actually meeting a future life partner.
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