Monday, December 20, 2010

My first official setback

This past weekend I started to notice that while I was laying down to bed at night, I would cough a little.  Nothing major, just irksome.  Then, the cough got progressively worse and occurred throughout the day.  I didn't have any other symptoms, just a cough.  I took a couple of days off of running and thought it would eventually go away...

Oh, how wrong I was...

It's now Monday evening and I haven't run since Thursday.  I can barely walk outside.  It hurts to breathe the cold air in and out.  I was very fortunate and was able to get a doctor's appointment at Columbia's student health services (gotta love still being a student sometimes!  Free doctor visits!) and discovered that I have a viral upper respiratory infection.  Nothing can be done to make it better.  Just time.  My doctor told me I could get better anytime between 3 and 21 days!  I'm sorry, but that's a LARGE span of time there... Couldn't you perhaps narrow that down just a tad??

So, here I sit.  Waiting to get better.  He told me to just get rest, drink fluids and take vitamin C.  I could have learned that from watching Sesame Street...  This is the longest I've gone without doing any sort of physical activity since I started this back on Labor Day Weekend.  I'm a little nervous what this long break will do for my motivation.  I'm scared that once I stop, I won't start back!

I'm setting forth a challenge to everyone.  Please, please, PLEASE keep on me.  Ask me about my running.  Make sure I get back out there once I'm back to 100%.  I know I shouldn't do anything before I'm completely better because it will most likely cause me to have a setback and end up worse off than before...  Have no fear I will take care of myself.  But, please help take care of me too and make sure I get back out there!  I had a goal of 40 pounds lost by New Year's Eve and I'm still hoping to hit it!

Well, I'm back off to Kentucky tomorrow morning early.  Wish my safe and happy driving!  To each of you (few) readers, Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate)!  Hopefully the next time you'll hear from me, it will be from a non-hacking, fully healthy Maia.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I interrupt this blog to report...


I gotta say, that took a helluva lot longer than I thought it would...  I've been out of the job since last February essentially.  I did work for about a month in April - May, but other than that I have been spending my year trying to find ways to take up my vast amounts of time.

For those out there who are unaware, unemployment is hard.  It's an emotional beating like you haven't seen before.  You feel lost!  You don't know what to do.  You wonder why no one wants to hire you.  You question yourself and your abilities.

It's a very vicious cycle.  I was only able to help myself by finding a way to distract my mind during the daylight hours.  I am actually fortunate that I had a wake up call and started getting healthy.  It broke my depression.  Other people out there in the world of unemployment haven't been so lucky.  They are still wallowing in self pity.

The Fates
When I think about my life at this moment though, I realize that the Fates know what they are doing.  They knew that I had a messed up life and that things needed to get fixed before I dove head first back into a job.  They knew that I needed to start working on my thesis and I needed to get my health in check.  They waited until I had all areas of my life in control.  Those Fates are pretty smart cookies.

Basically, what I'm saying is...when things are supposed to work out?  They will.

Baby it's cold outside

Gonna start out with some more positivity...  Today I noticed I have been visited by some friends that I haven't seen in a very long while.  Some friends I hope are here to stay.  Those friends would be my collar bones!  I can see them again!  I couldn't tell you when the last time I could see these guys!  I'm not saying I want the scary looking collar bones that the terrifyingly skinny Victoria Beckham has or anything...  But, it's just another example to me that my body is shedding its unneeded fat.  So long fat!  Hope you don't come back again!

The other thing I want to talk about is two of the things I'm severely battling at the moment.  1.) It's really damn cold outside.  For the first few minutes and the last few minutes of each run, it's almost agony for me.  My nose is running, it almost hurts to breathe because the air is so cold, and my skin is completely covered in goose bumps. Granted, once I've been moving for a while I'm much warmer, but still!  I'm chilly just sitting here in my apartment so the thought of getting out there and running is becoming increasingly more and more difficult.  This bitter cold snap needs to end!  Even just 5-7 degrees warmer would make a huge difference I think.

2.)  Holiday food.  I knew it would be difficult, but I have a friend in town right now.  I am absolutely loving having her here, but it's something that kind of bursts my bubble I've created for myself in regards to my food choices.  There is more temptation to snack, or have a few glasses of wine, or even just make less healthy choices in general.  I've made okay choices so far.  I haven't completely fallen off the band wagon, but I know I could have been a lot better.  I think the real threat is next week when I go home to visit my family.  I will be completely without my stock of foods that I know work for me.  It's completely up to me to make the choices whether or not to indulge and its going to be tough.  When I don't have temptation around me, it's so much easier to be good, but place some cookies in front of me?  Ruh, roh...

Oh well, I guess I just needed to write down my frustrations at the moment so that I can say I've acknowledged them.  Once I've acknowledged them, I can face them a little better I think.  We'll see though...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, well... what have we here?

I have to say after last week's disappointing plateau, this week has brought some great accomplishments.  Tomorrow is my weigh day, so these aren't necessarily scale victories, although I am hoping to see a more positive number this week.

I'm talking about the thing I've been waiting three and a half long months for... a drop in size!!  That's right!  I've gone down a pants size!  My old ones were giving me a serious droopy diaper look (none too flattering) and so I decided to venture online to start looking for a couple of new pairs of jeans.  Being 6'2", stores don't usually carry pants long enough for me in the actual locations, so I am forced to buy online, try them on at home and return via the mail if they don't fit.  I took my waist and hip measurements and according to the websites that I normally buy clothes from, I was not quite to the next size down yet.  I was a full inch away!  BOO!  So, I decided to take my chances, order a couple of pairs anyway and if they were too small then I would just deal with my droopy drawers until I did fit into them.  Well, they arrived today and VOILA!  My thinner ass fit into those jeans!  EUREKA!  Guaranteed proof that what I'm doing is working!  Words could not express how happy that made me.

Another good thing that happened this week was I realized how much I actually can accomplish when I put my mind to it.  Sunday afternoon was POURING down rain.  Like, blowing sideways rain.  I hadn't exercised the day before because my ankle was giving me some problems, so I had to do something.  I wasn't going to be satisfied with just doing some toning/strengthening exercises.  Last week's plateau had me scared!  I knew I needed to go for a run.  Luckily it was slightly warmer, so what did I do?  I laced up my sneakers, put on a hat and my raincoat, I went out into that monsoon and I ran!  I couldn't run the Reservoir like usual because it would be riddled with puddles and would have been impassable.  So, instead I went on and found the northern loop of the park was a little over 2 miles long.  I set out, and just a few short minutes into my run I realized what I was in for: the run was FULL of hills!  Big hills...  I had to walk for a few minutes here and there but I did it!  The sense of accomplishment I felt when I set foot back into the apartment was unreal.  I hadn't felt that good since the day I realized I could run a full mile.  I did that same run today with Stacia in the 21 degree weather.  (Windchill was probably in the teens.)  It was still tough, I still had to walk a few times, but I have a new short term goal!  Hope to be able to run it straight in a few weeks.  We shall see.

Speaking of Stacia, she brings me to my last high point of the week.  Because of our schedules this past month, we hadn't been able to hang out for almost the entire last month.  I think the last time we saw each other was Harry Potter?  When she walked in the door she almost stopped in her tracks and said to me, "You're half the person you were just a few weeks ago!  You look AMAZING!"  She was near tears.  She was so proud of me.  It choked me up.  Most of the people that know me see me on a pretty consistent basis and therefore aren't able to see the transformation as well as someone whom I haven't seen in a while.

I know I said this at Thanksgiving, but I have to say this again.  I'm so grateful and thankful for all of my friends that haven't helped me through this.  Both the ones in NYC and the ones who I just talk to on facebook.  It's SO essential to have a support system like this when you are going through a life transformation.  They are who keep me going and push me.  At the end of the run today Stacia made me finish it out by running as fast as I possibly could.  Would I have done that by myself?  Um, no...

Aside from these wonderful little events, I did have a funny event happen the other night in the form of a date. A really bad date.  Like, a funny scene out of a romantic comedy, bad date.  We met online.  He's 40 and he seemed nice and normal. We had emailed for a couple of weeks, then moved on to talking on the phone and texting.  I felt comfortable enough to meet him for a date.  There had been a couple of things that made me go, "hmmm..." but I figured it was at least worth going on a date to see if they were deal breakers.  Yeah, he had one major flaw that was a definite deal breaker: he is perpetually stuck in the mid-90's.  We were going to watch a movie and when he took his hat off I realized he had that long style hair that a lot of guys had in the 90s.  You know the one, mid eye level and parted down the middle?  He was also wearing higher waisted light wash jeans.  All he was missing was a flannel. Yikes.  The worst part was when he didn't understand that I wasn't a fan of Phish.  He proceeded to play me song, after song, after song in an attempt to convert me.  He was a bit rude about it when I wasn't exactly happy.  "Well, since you don't seem to like anything, who do you listen to?"  While I enjoy some music that isn't exactly current, I have a feeling I would be able to sing a song of a few more Grammy nominees this year than he could...Needless to say, a second date will NOT be on the agenda.  Oh the joys of being single in New York City.

So, I have to say all in all, it's been a pretty great week.  No matter what my scale says tomorrow it can't take away my non-scale related accomplishments.  Nothing can take that away from me.

Side note:   My good friend is visiting me this week from out of town and so I most likely won't be writing anything new until after the holidays.  She departs on the 20th and then the next day I drive home.  (12 hours! FUN!)  I'm really looking forward to it though.  Will be a great couple of weeks.  Maybe I'll find time to eek something out though.  Who knows.  If I don't find time to write, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't care how, I want it now

Be forewarned:  MASSIVE self pitying follows!

So today was my weigh day.  The night before I weigh myself I can usually feel how the next morning will go.  Not necessarily an exact number, but I know if I'm going to see a good number on the scale or a bad.  Last night, I just had a feeling that I wouldn't like the number I saw.  I was right.  It was the EXACT same number I saw last week.


This tells me the thing that I've been dreading, I've hit a plateau.  Ugh.  I knew this day would come, but I was just kind of hoping it wouldn't.  Eh, we all have to have dreams.  So now I have to develop some new strategies moving forward to ensure that this plateau doesn't last any longer than I can help it.  I will be shaking up my calories, adding more exercise, and the key new ingredient is the addition of some toning and strengthening exercises.  That's the one area I've been remiss up until this point.  I would use my Shake Weight when I remembered about it and would do the crunches on my Wii Fit when the weather was just to nasty to go outside for a jog.  We'll see how it goes...

So, moving on from the plateau I'm bummed because I've lost over 30s pounds and guess how many sizes I've gone down?  If you guessed zero, you would be CORRECT!  NONE!  I'm still the same size as when I started.  Granted, when I started I was essentially a size bigger I just was in denial so my pants were very tight and now my pants are almost falling down.  But, I'm still not quite to the next size down yet.  I know, I know... I'll get there soon, but I'm getting to the impatient part of this process.  

This leads into my next whine: I'm tired of being the slowest person on the track.  I swear, every single person who is running or even WALKING on that track passes me.  I try to run faster, but I just am not quite there yet.  I thought I was going at a much faster pace tonight and felt really good until I looked at my watch and realized I had only cut about 15 seconds from my total time.  Really? 15 seconds?  Ugh...  

I know this will come with time.  I know that I've come a MASSIVELY long way... but I have a goal in my mind that I want to achieve and whenever I make a goal, I want to reach that goal as soon as possible!  I'm a very impatient person in all aspects of my life...

There are some other things that I could whine about (job, thesis, money, love life...) but I think I've reached my whining quota for the day.  For now, I'll just go back to watching "Top Chef: All-Stars" and rewriting my thesis statement in my head.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just keep running, just keep running...

I realized that I hadn't updated the blog recently as to how my running is going.  I've posted stuff on facebook about it (which all of you have probably seen anyway...) but thought I would put something on here for the random person who stumbled upon my blog because they googled "die strep throat" (from a post back in January.  I say this because I get at least one a week.  Random.)

Well, for those of you who don't already know, the running is going great!  I've accomplished things in just a few short months that I never thought I would have been able to.  I'm currently running 1.5 - 3 miles about 5 times a week.  I'm still quite slow, barely faster than my walking pace, but for me it doesn't matter.  It's the act of running itself that is important to me, because speed will come organically as I get stronger.  For me, the big challenge that I faced was finding my breathing pattern.  I was always that kid that would cough, gasp and wheeze through just a few short laps in gym class.  But, now that I've found an incredibly comfortable breathing pattern, I feel like I can accomplish anything!

So, I've decided to challenge myself.  The initial challenges of running a mile, and then running 3 miles are complete.  Time for something new.

I'm going to run a marathon.  

Now, before you get too incredulous let me tell you when I plan to do this great act... January 2012.

That's right, I'm giving myself more than a year.  Considering what I've been able to accomplish in just three months, I feel like I can do it.  My body (so far...) has been holding up quite nicely under the strain that running brings and I think that if I do this smartly, I can actually accomplish it!  For you seasoned runners out there, I'm going to be coming to you for tons of advice, so be forewarned!

The marathon I've chosen is the Disney World Marathon.  I've always been a Disney kid, and I figured at least this way I would be running through some pretty fun sites that will keep me entertained along the way.  Plus, if I get into training and find that the marathon might be a goal that is just too far at that point in time, the Disney World Half Marathon is held the day before.  I can downgrade to shooting for that as well.

I'm really excited about this.  It's going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and most likely tears, but I'm going to do it.  Why?  Because the whole point of me trying to get healthier was to push my body into being the best one that it can be.  I'm not going to do that just by taking the easy route through this. Why not see if I can achieve one of the greatest physical accomplishments a person can do?

And even if I don't end up meeting my goal, I will have accomplished a heck of a lot along the way, I'm sure...