Monday, January 23, 2006

Time to get tough

Looking back over my running times, it has to be admitted: going by the numbers alone, I'm actually getting slower. Yes, slower. I did the Race for Life in 35 minutes something, the JogScotland 5K in 36:50 , and the Great Winter Run in 37:18.

I know there are mitigating factors - the JogScotland run was a very humid day, and the Arthur's Seat run was the steepest. And the slowest times for both of these were over an hour. But still. Over six months, I was hoping for some improvement.

There might be some consolation if the numbers on the scale had moved substantially during that time - I might not be faster, but look at all the fat I've burned off! But they haven't. While I'm sure I have built some muscle, things need to start happening faster. I didn't gain over Christmas, but neither did I lose, and I've started to notice myself going back to bad habits - in particular, eating food because it's available.

When I look at the last few months, I'm a bit discouraged by the little progress I've made. If I'd lost as much as PastaQueen, for example, I'd be under 140 pounds. If I'd lost as much as YP I'd be 150. I know, I know, comparisons are odious.

Why am I being so half-hearted about this, especially as regards diet? Partly, I suppose, it's because I don't have quite such an impetus to change any more. I'm back, or nearly, at the size I was for most of my teenage years. I can wear size 14 dresses and tops, if not jeans. I might not be breaking the sound barrier, but I'm fit enough to walk a few miles or climb a hill without wanting to die (which I certainly couldn't do as a teenager). Things are relatively comfortable.

And yet. I still hate the sight of my thighs in the changing room mirror. I still wouldn't wear a sleeveless top on its own in public. I'd like to go swimming for once without dreading the walk from changing room to pool.

It's easy to scorn the resolutionaries who join gyms in their droves in January. Mine is full of them. On the other hand, they are making a change, not just jogging along in the same rut. Inspired by these ladies, I've decided to do something too.

First of all, this challenge. It's not a huge change to my routine, and to begin with at least will only mean taking one extra 25-minute walk per week. That sounds do-able.

Secondly, I'm going to start journalling my food again. Why I didn't keep doing this, when I had a permanent loss the week I did it, I don't know. But I have ten weeks until W-Day. That should be long enough to make some difference, surely?


Rosemary Grace said...

It's surprising how much mental energy and planning time wedding stuff takes up.

Just remember that many people don't even maintain the improvements they make, so going in spurts of "getting better" followed by spurts of makring time, you're still doing better than the average overweight couch potato!

Shauna said...

it sucks when you get to that 'comfy fat' stage where it is almost okay to stay where we are. i am finding it hard too! but i know if i was in australia in the middle of summer i'd have no trouble getting motivated. so easy to look relatively okay here when you can cover up the bad bits :)

and the arthur's seat course is pretty damn steep so you still ran a great time i reckon!

good luck with your challenge!

PastaQueen said...

I may have lost more weight than you this year but you can definitely outrun me. I walk about 3 miles a day which is just under 5K and it takes me at least 50 minutes. Also, since I started out so high I was able to lose more at the beginning because my basal metabolic rate was so high. There's no way I'm going to be able to lose another 130 pounds this year. It's probably going to be more like 60 at the rate I'm going. So don't beat yourself up! Though it is good to keep your eye on the prize and not get too complacent.

Jeni said...

Hi K. I'm glad you've joined the challenge too; I know it'll be a great motivator.

I know how you feel about getting comfortable but not quite to the sleevless shirt point yet. I always wonder, will I ever be happy with my body? And it's not that I'm not happy, I guess I just know it can be better. And so that's what we're working on: little improvements add up to a better, fitter, body in the end. :)

kathrynoh said...

Good luck getting back into it. I can understand not journalling cos it's a pain in butt but it does work.

Kiki said...

I have found that journaling helps

BethK said...

Hi K!

I haven't had much of a chance to comment letely, but I think you're doing great. You and the DB look so happy in those pictures from your race.

K said...

You are all so sweet!

I didn't do too well at the journalling this week - life got in the way (see above) but be prepared for lots of boring posts about oatmeal and cheese sandwiches in the near future. You are right, it is the best way to really keep track of what's going on.

And the running did improve slightly this week - 21 minutes without a break, instead of 20. Things ARE going to improve.