Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Past is in the Past

Christmas has come and gone like a crazy tornado that lifted wrapping paper, mince pies and half eaten tins of biscuits with it. All that remained in its path of destruction is:

1. The Post Christmas Bulge
2. A malnourished Bank Account
3. That Let It Go song from Frozen (hence this post title).

After my first weigh-in of 2015, I left Weight Watchers with my head in a weird place - sink or swim, rebuild my lego castle or push it off the table? As the dust settled on Tuesday evening I had time to think about what was really going. I remember hearing someone say before that, if like at play, you could step back and watch what was going on, it will help you can make more sense of your situation, so thats exactly what I did. I spent the next few days thinking things through.

I realised that I have been using my past successes as a crutch. I've been clinging on to excuses that were valid before but now don't carry the same weight. For example, I gave up smoking. That was nearly a year and a half ago - I need to let it go (as an excuse). You are only as strong as your weakest excuse and I have cashed that one in more than enough over the past 524 days (I just worked that out).

Another excuse which I've been sitting on is the wedding, and like quitting smoking, I don't regret using it as an excuse, but it's had its time and now I need to let that one go too. So, where does that leave me... Well, looking at my current weight trajectory I'm only going upwards. Looking at my running times, they aren't getting faster and I am sitting around the same place as I was this time last year time wise.

Now, here is where the stage direction comes in. Standing back and looking at the storyline unfold, I can see what worked for me in the past which I through accident or design, I left in the past. First things first, I'd stopped tracking, I'd stopped planning, I didn't have any small goals. With no goals or line in the sand to measure yourself against, it's hard to know if you are doing well or not. For that reason I have re-instated my Excel weight tracker along with the target line in the sand.

I've also realised, I'm in no rush. I'd be more than happy to lose 1lb a week between now and June. That would bring me to 12st 7lbs (my new goal) just in time for my Summer Holidays. This is reasonable, achievable and realistic - the three key ingredients to past goals I've achieved. This isn't a race, there is no finish line. Sinking is possible, but drowning isn't. I'm going to keep myself on track and accountable only to myself using my blue dashed target line.

It's been two weeks since I left my past successes in the past. This is what has happened:

The past is in the past. What matters from here on out is what I do from here on out.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Building my Lego Castle

I read a blog recently which compared weight loss, specifically motivation to lose weight with building a lego castle - and the image has stuck in my head. In her blog, Lyn talks about how initially the process of weight loss in motivating as you can see the results (and rewards) unfold right in front of your eyes. She talks of a Lego Castle, something you are so proud of as you put it together however near the end of construction you cannot find the next piece. While looking for it, you accidentally break off a piece already constructed - so you start to rebuild. This time however it's not as fun as it was before and in your haste, you break off another piece. Frustrated, you decide to give it a break for a while.

The story continues where a dog comes into the room and breaks another bit off the far end of the castle while you weren't looking. The story goes on and I totally get what she means, what do you do when weight-loss is no long enough to self-motivate?

For me my motivation has come from running. Running has always been my key. It was very self fulfilling, I was running more and getting better at it, so started to run faster. Because I was running more, I was eating more (and not the good healthy stuff) and some old habits slipped back in but I'd excused thanks to the running. In December, I ran nearly 270km, the most I'd ever run in a month. Going back to Weight Watchers in January I was hit with the following:

14st 1lb (+5)

Ouch! That +5 actually hurt. It was like a slap that still stings when you think about it. I could see my lego castle now looking like Hogwarts in the final scene of Harry Potter after Voldemort attacks. 

I was 12st 1. Now I'm 14st 1. This is what that looks like:

It took one year to build my Lego castle and then parts of it started to fall away. You can even see my attempt to re-motivate myself near the end of last year when I changed my goal up to 12st 7lbs (the red dotted line) from 12st. Despite my efforts, I've been able to recapture the speed, determination and resilience to chocolate I had initially. With my cheek still raw from the +5lb slap dealt on January 6th... I'm left standing at a crossroad... If I go left I'll demolish the castle or go right and keep building?

Demolish the castle or keep building?

I've said before and I'll say it a thousand times more - the hardest step is always the first one. The second hardest step has to be the one where you decide to keep going even when you can't see the finish line. Here comes the cold hard fact - There is no finish line. I really don't want to be one of those guys that is just focused on the number on the scale but it can be so difficult to overlook it.

The one thing I know more than anything else is the fact that I can build the castle, I've done it before. And I'll do it again. Motivation is like a tide, it comes and it goes. What I can do is work at it (my motivation) while it feels like effort and soon I won't even notice that I'm working at it. I've taken a step back and I know what I want, I know what it'll take and I'll work as hard as I need to to build my Lego castle.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year... New You? #Zero25K

Amphibian King in Oranmore are starting back up their Zero to 5K running group in Oranmore this coming Saturday (January 10th). Check out all the details on their FB page here. For anyone who has been following this blog or knows me, will know that the very first time I ran was back in January 2013 with this group.

I remember it so well, it was 8am on a cold dark Saturday morning when I turned up outside the store in Oranmore to take part in the 2nd running of the #Zero25K program. Deep down, I was scared... Scared I wouldn't be able to keep up. Scared I would be the biggest person there (I was around 16st at the time). Scared I would hate it. Scared I'd be trailing/holding up the group.

January 12th, 2013 (Thats me with the giant green floaty arrow over my head)

That very first morning, 56 people ran 3.1km in 27 minutes. I don't know what I had been scared of. I was able to keep up. I was one of the larger people there but no one had looked twice at me or asked if I had gotten lost. I didn't hate it. I did trail the group but do you know what... everyone has to start somewhere and that day was my starting day. When the run was over, my Nike App awarded me 'Fastest 1K' and 'Most Runs in a Week' awards. LOL, 1 run was all it took to win 'Most Runs in a Week'. Here's my Nike run data from that morning:

My first run - 12/01/13

Ten weeks later I ran my first 10K race in Kinvara in 61 minutes (link here). It wasn't a walk in the park but it was by no means hard either. Someone once said to me 'Running never gets easier, you just get better at it'. If I ever get a tattoo (I won't by the way), I'm sure that's what it would say. 

Over Christmas my Nike App hit 3200km, that's 2000 miles in two years. As that famous quotes goes 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step', my journey of two thousand miles began with a Amphibian Kings running group! I've clocked up 2 marathons, 9 half marathons and many 10Ks, 5 mile and 5K races since.

3200km = 2000 miles

Make that promise to yourself, for the next 9/10 weeks to turn up on Saturday mornings. Sean and the gang in will take great care of you each Saturday. Yes there will be days when its raining or cold, yes there will be days when you just don't feel able for it, but there will never be a day when you finish a run and regret it!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

December Runstreak: Days 21 - 31

And so it's done... 31 days of running for at least 30 minutes per day. My stats are as follows:

Time Spent Running: 23 hours 55 minutes
Distance: 269.7km
Average Pace: 5:19
Longest Run: 25km

So now it's New Years Day and I'm putting my feet up! They've done well. This month I covered more kms than any other month in the past 24. My previous best was September 2013 (just before the Marathon) when I hit 244km.

Day 21: A Sunday Afternoon 10K

Day 22: Wet Long Run

Day 23: Running in Different Shoes

Day 24: Christmas Eve Morning run to Renville

Day 25: Christmas Day (before Dinner!)

Day 26: Soaking wet after the Fields of Athenry 10K

Day 27: Squeezing a run in between sales shopping and babysitting

Day 28: Ice Ice Baby (Too Cold)

Day 29: Run around Maree

Day 30: My own Half Marathon

Day 31: The Last Nine KM