Monday, May 30, 2011

Sent Coursing Back to Square One

Throughout the course of my "getting healthy journey" there have been a few setbacks.  Most of them have been weight loss related, but I have also had a few that send me coursing back to the same horrible mindset that I was in last summer.

Just a reminder, last summer was my "rock bottom."  I was staying in bed all day, every day because I was severely depressed about life in general.  My weight, my self esteem, basically everything in my life was spiraling recklessly out of control.  I would look at myself in the mirror with disgust.  I hated myself so I couldn't fathom how other people could possibly like me, or even want to be around me at all.

Once I finally kicked my butt into gear and the weight dropped off, my self esteem and feelings of self worth starting to soar.  I have felt more confident than I ever have in my life.

So, why is it that after all of my hard work that when someone slights me, I immediately feel like I did last summer?

Basically today I had thought that I was included in someone's Memorial Day plans.  Going to the beach on Memorial Day?  A chance to actually feel confident in a swimsuit?  Sure!  Sign me up!  Only, I come to find out this morning that I was actually forgotten about and had been excluded.  I didn't find out I had been left out until I contacted this person and they told me they had already left.

Aside from being extremely pissed off (I'm still pissed) I resorted back to those same feelings of self loathing.  In my head I just kept thinking "of course they don't want to spend time with you Maia...  You are so easily forgettable Maia.  No one wants you Maia."

Thankfully those thoughts didn't last nearly as long as they used to (nor were they accompanied by the binge eating that would have been present last summer) and I realized that it wasn't me, but in actuality was just the insensitive move of the other person.  But I hate that my head immediately went to those thoughts.  I went immediately back to square one.  It just goes to show that I'm definitely not at the end of my journey when it comes to my feelings of inadequacy.  Just like I have a ways to go with my weight loss, I also have a ways to go when it comes to my mental health as well.

I guess we need these little setbacks on this difficult journey so that we can be reminded of how far we have indeed come, and yet how much work we still have to do.  I feel like I need to reiterate Stuart Smalley's daily affirmation in the mirror.  Maybe it will help.  Because after all, I'm...

(Everybody join in!)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weigh In Wednesday 5/24/11

Highest Weight: 310
Last Weigh in: 247.4
Today's Weigh in: 248.4
Total Gain: 1

Total Weight Lost 61.6

Well, my last weigh in was two weeks ago and I'm up a pound.  Why did I not weigh in last week?  The answer is that I did, but I was so upset with the result that I didn't post it.  It had shown that I was back up to 251.4 and I was just not accepting of that.  I'm guessing that the 247.4 weight was actually a fluke and not accurate.  It wasn't like I had gone completely off that week with my diet and exercise!  Same thing happened around New Year's, remember?  So, I'm going to compare this week to last week's and say that I actually had a 3 pound loss this week.  Not too shabby I say!

I have some news regarding my sprint triathlon and summer training.  Will post that this weekend most likely.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

About a week ago I came to the conclusion that I wanted to cut my hair.  My hair was a couple of inches below my shoulders, which was the longest it had been since sophomore year of college. 

bye bye long hair!
I started to grow it out last spring when I could no longer afford to cut it.  I was at the very beginning of my depression and the growing of my hair was an inevitable result.  I couldn't afford to cut it and honestly I took so little care about my appearance that I didn't care.  When it started growing it was chin length and by the end of the summer it was close to my shoulders.  In the fall when I started to get my life back I decided to just keep letting it grow.  I still couldn't afford to get it cut, but at this point I tried to make it a positive.  I made it an experiment.  I knew I hated my hair long, but I convinced myself that I wanted it.

Then when I realized that the summer months were rapidly approaching, I got the idea in my head about cutting it.  So many people love long hair and think that its sexier than short hair.  They equate long hair with being pretty, but that was never me.  I honestly think that it takes a lot of self confidence to have hair really short, and the last time I had cut it uber short was the last time I attempted to lose weight and was confident about myself.  I feel like hair is something that people hide behind and I am tired of hiding.  I made up my mind that my long hair was the last thing connecting me to my old self.  The insecure, severely overweight version of Maia. A person whom I've come to despise.  The hair had to go.

I made the appointment last week and was looking upon it with glee.  I don't think I had ever been so excited about a hair cut in my life.  It was all I thought about.  Every day I just kept thinking, "One day closer!"  I felt like once I made the decision to get rid of it, that it was just this foreign substance.  It wasn't a part of me any longer.  It wasn't part of who I am now.

When I got to the salon today and finally sat down in that chair though, I fully admit that I started to get nervous.  Some old insecurities popped into my head... "What if it makes me look fat?"  "I'm not thin enough to pull off short hair"  "Will people look at me like and think I look stupid?"

I quickly shook those insecurities out of my head though and watched with relish as my stylist began hacking away with the razor.  After she initially cut it, I actually asked her to go shorter.  (She had initially left it longer than I asked to make absolutely sure I was ready to go this short.)  When I looked at the final result in the mirror I felt as if a weight had been literally and figuratively lifted off my shoulders.

As soon as I left, I felt a renewed sense of self confidence I hadn't felt in the past few weeks.  A new spring was in my step and a smile couldn't be wiped off my face. 

The new Maia now has an official new look and she likes it.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quiet please!!

Shhh, you're disturbing my quiet time!
Last night at the gym during my laps in the pool the girl in the next lane over from me started to make idle chit chat with me during one of my quick "breathers."  During these breathers I stop for maybe a minute before I continue on.  It's by no means time for a chat.  But I answered her politely and continued swimming.  From that point on, she kept talking to me whenever I would stop.  Whether it be to adjust my goggles (which were giving me more problems than usual last night) or to adjust my swimcap, swimsuit, take a breath, whatever!  I hated to be rude, but I really didn't want to talk to her because for me it takes my focus away from what I'm there to do. I am just now to the point where I'm finding my groove with my swimming (swam more than the triathlon distance without stopping!  woohoo!) and every time she talked to me I would then have to regroup and refocus.  Finally to avoid talking to her, I just kept swimming.  My arms were burning, my goggles needed adjusting and I probably had a swimsuit wedgie but I just kept going.  Passive aggressive of me?  Sure, but I just didn't want to be the uber-bitch at the gym that told the woman to basically shut up.

Is that horribly mean of me?  Since the time I began this weight loss journey back in September, I've mostly been exercising alone.  At the very beginning when I was just walking I would go with Stacia and it would be our "girl time" and that was great!  But as I started to push myself harder and I started venturing into unknown territory, I needed my mind to be focused on the task at hand.  I need to really concentrate on my breathing and also I found that I really loved to just zone out during my runs and use it as my time to recharge mentally.  I would bop along to my music and before I knew it, the runs were done!

With swimming I don't have my music to hum along to.  It's purely the sounds of the water lapping, my breathing and my thoughts.  Being around water to me has always equaled a zen like state, and to take me out of that is kind of jarring!

Maybe other people need that interaction with other people at the gym.  I guess I'm just really not one of them.  I see girl friends going to the gym and chatting to each other while they are on the treadmills.  I much prefer to sit on my stationary bike and pedal away to the music blaring in my ears.  I even tried to watch TV while I was on the bike and I found I can't do that anymore.  That used to be the only way I could get through a half hour at the gym, was to schedule it with something on TV I knew I would want to watch, but not now!  I've reach a point that I never before thought I would reach in my life...where going to the gym is enjoyable to me, and its part of my "me" time.  I used to always envy those people.  Exercising used to be torturous.  Maybe for those people who are trying to strike up idle conversation with me, it still is... (And before anyone says it, I don't think they are trying to pick me up... I think they are just bored.)

This all kind of goes with the advice I give...  Whenever anybody asks me what my secret has been to my success, one of my answers is always to say "Find something you love doing and do it."  Because if its torture?  You won't do it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To triathlon or not triathlon...

I've been going back and on something this week.  I was looking at the schedule of summer races on the New York Road Runners website when I noticed that there was a sprint triathlon in Queens on the 23rd of July.  As you know, I've been incorporating a lot of biking and swimming into my exercise routine lately and I've been running since last November.  So I figured, why not attempt to do all three in one race?

I've been thinking this might be a good new challenge for me.  This particular sprint triathlon is a 400m swim at an indoor pool, then a 13 mile bike ride through the Flushing Meadows Corona Park and finishing with a 5K run.  I've been able to do all of these accomplishments on their own (well, still building up to the swimming distance, but I'm close to doing it without taking a break!) but I haven't yet attempted any of these together.  I know I could do it, but I'm honestly a bit worried as to what this will do in terms of my weight loss.  I've taken a look at the training schedule and honestly I'm currently doing more than what the training calls for.  I guess I will just have to be super strict with my diet during these eight weeks to make sure that I do in fact lose weight.

I also just have to reiterate how much I am absolutely loving swimming.  Today was my fourth time going and I can already tell how much my endurance has improved.  When I first went, I could barely complete a few laps without having to stop and take a breather.  I was fine with it, because I knew I would get better.  I honestly just didn't realize I would get better at it so quickly!  I think I finally found a groove today because I cut down on my number of "breather" breaks significantly.  I knew that the swim for the triathlon was 400m, so I had that as my goal to do before I took a rest.  I came close!  I got 3/4 of the way finished before I just couldn't move my arms anymore. 

Doing these laps reminds me of how much I used to love to swim when I was kid.  All summer long I used to love to go to the neighborhood pool and swim and jump off the diving board and just have fun.  By the time I was in high school, I had become so self conscious of how I looked in a swimsuit, that I pretty much refused to ever go swimming.  I think that from the beginning of high school through this past year, I probably went swimming 10 times.  Maybe a little more, but certainly not much.  I am loving it so much, I'm actually curious about finding a person who could give me pointers so that I can improve my form and strengthen my different strokes.  I've been doing primarily freestyle thus far, and I would really like to get better at the breast stroke and back stroke.  Butterfly I don't really feel the need to perfect.  Anyone know of someone who could help me become a better swimmer?  I think the gym as adult swim lessons, but I think that might be for people who can't swim at all... Maybe not.  I suppose I should look into it.

OH!  Also, I have decided that I'm going to chop all my hair off.  I've been growing it out for the past year and I'm at that point that I always get to...  I just pull it back everyday into a ponytail because it just takes too long to do.  And it never looks as good as I want it to, so I'm chopping it OFF!  How short you may ask?  You'll just have to wait and see!  I'm getting it done on Saturday, so I'll be sure and post pics afterwards!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weigh-In Wednesday: 5/11/11

Highest Weight: 310
Last Weigh-In: 251.4
Today's Weigh-in: 247.4

This week's loss: 4.0
Total loss: 62.6

Hallejuah!  I have to admit that since my sister left, I was being pretty strict with myself.  More so than I had been in a while at least.  I was drinking tons of water, tracking my calories (down to the mini-Tootsie rolls I ate yesterday afternoon) and I've been kicking my butt at the gym.  Nice to see it pay off with a big number!  The last time I had unofficially peeked at the scale I was still sitting around the 251 range.

SO happy to be out of the 250s!!  Words cannot express how happy I am to get out of that range.  It's been FAR too long!!

235 for my 30th, here I come!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So, 10K... We Meet Again

Thanks to a nice little reminder email from the New York Road Runners Association, I was reminded that I have a 10K race to run this weekend.  My immediate response was, "Well, I'm not going to run it..."  Thanks to my disastrous last attempt at running a 10K, I have been taking a bit of a sabbatical from running and have been focusing on getting my exercise in other ways.  I joined a gym and have mostly been biking and swimming.  An elliptical machine was used here or there...

I have jogged maybe once or twice since the last 10K, the most being a 4 mile jog over a week ago.  Do I think I can do the 10K?  Yes.  Do I know if I want to rejoin the world of racing?  Not sure...

Besides the fact that I was exhausted during the last race (due to my error), I also realized how much I hate always being towards the back of the pack.  I'm always in the slow group and its a bit disheartening to watch everyone (including some walkers!) strut past you.  I know I shouldn't compare myself to others, because I know that some people are just naturally faster than others, but its really hard not to.  It's really hard not to feel like a bit of a failure.

But, while one half of me is really adamant about not running, the other half is REALLY excited about doing it.  I wanna see if my cross training will have improved my speed and endurance.  It might be a bit too early to tell, but I can't deny that I'm curious.

The race is Saturday morning, so I guess I still have a few days left to decide.  The final decision will probably be made Friday night at around 10 PM.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, which was when I used to weigh myself.   I had previously mentioned wanting to stay off the scale for a full month, but I will admit that I've peeked a few times just nothing official.   I think I am going to go back to weekly weigh-ins.  I am tired of not seeing the numbers move on the scale, and I think weighing in weekly will hold me more accountable.  So, no matter what the number says tomorrow, be prepared for a weigh in.  I will admit, I'm nervous.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm FINALLY out of the 250s!!

Until tomorrow!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Swimming, Harry Potter and Wii

Last week I finally got my butt to the gym by my work and got in the pool for my work out, and I have to say it was everything that I hoped it would be! 

It most definitely kicked my butt and I was only able to swim for a few laps at a time before I would have to stop and catch my breath.  I only swam for about 30 minutes because I was so exhausted by that time.  It's definitely something that I'm going to have to work hard to get better and build up my endurance, but I can't wait to get back into the water!  I felt so athletic getting into that pool with my swimcap and goggles on!  Almost like I knew what I was doing!

Words cannot express my excitement for this movie!
Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately.  My sister and her boyfriend have been in town since this past Wednesday and I've been hanging out with them.  Of course, what typically happens when someone visits?  Gym visits become non-existent and eating habits become worse.  Now, I didn't completely jump ship into the land of horrible eating, but I did dip my toe in the water.   I'm okay with it though.  It was a special occasion and I know that when they leave tomorrow that I will get right back on track to make sure that I hit my goal of hitting 235 by my birthday. 

I had SO much fun while they were here!  Wednesday night upon their arrival, we just chilled at home, grabbed a slice of pizza (just one, which isn't too horrible) and a few bottles of wine and just talked all night.  Thursday, we went and saw How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.  I have to say I saw this a few months ago when it first started performances and its improved a lot since then!  I really enjoyed it this time around, and I liked it the first time!  He's just so adorable...   Friday, I took off work for a few hours and we went to the Harry Potter Exhibition in Times Square, where they had a lot of different props, set pieces and costumes from the various Harry Potter movies.  (We evidently made her trip this time all about Harry Potter!)  I then went back to work and they went to go see Book of Mormon which is the musical written by the guys who created South Park, and is most likely going to win the Tony Award for Best New Musical this year.  Today we went to the Guggenheim, which none of us had ever seen before, and saw a great exhibit about Modern Art 1910-1918.  I hadn't realized how in such a short span of time, Modern Art went through so many mutations and periods.  It was kind of fascinating, and of course the museum itself it amazing to see in person as well.  Then tonight we had dinner at this AMAZING creole food restaurant in Hells Kitchen and came back to play a few fun filled hours of Wii.  They leave tomorrow morning to go visit friends in DC and then fly back to San Francisco on either Tuesday or Wednesday I believe.  It was such a fun filled trip.  Usually when I have friends or family visit I'm so exhausted afterwards and am happy to have my normal life back, but I don't feel that way this time.  I honestly wish that they were staying a few more days.  I guess I'll just have to visit them out in San Fran soon then!
My sister and my roommate sword fighting on Wii.  I almost cried they made me laugh so hard!

Anyway, that's what happened to me this week.  I have to work tomorrow and then I plan on hitting the pool/gym and then maybe seeing a movie tomorrow night, we shall see.  What have you guys been up to this week?  Anything exciting?