Couch to 5K – Day 1

I run effortlessly, the wind cooling my face and blowing my ponytail playfully behind me. My legs never tire as my feet pound the ground beneath me. A sense of freedom and adventure come over me as I realize I could do this for hours.

In my dreams that is.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve had dreams of running. Running along roads illuminated by streetlights at dusk and the middle of the night with nobody else around. Running up and down paths in the woods with only the trees to keep me company. The dreams can be so realistic that I often spend the couple of minutes right after waking up wondering if this is indeed something I do in real life. The running I do in my dreams requires no effort, my breathing never gets hard, my muscles never ache and demand me to slow down, and nary a drop of sweat glistens on my brow.

The reality, it turns out, is a tiny bit different.

Today, many months after I had planned on starting, I took my first tentative steps to running in my actual, real life. Me. Running. Outside. For more than the few seconds it takes to catch a bus or cross a street.

I put on my running shoes, started up the Couch to 5K program and hoped for the best.

And it was pretty alright.

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My running pants, with what I like to think of as racing stripes.

I only ran for a total of 8 minutes during the 30 or so minutes I was out there but it didn’t feel as bad as I feared it would. It actually felt kind of good. Weird, I know.

 

Back on Track

This past weekend I was reminded how easy it is to fall back into bad habits. It started on Saturday with a birthday gathering where it would of course be rude to turn down the offer of a slice of cake and because there were two different cakes on the table I had to sample both. To be fair both slices were more sliver-like than I would have gone for in the past but still.

Then dinner time rolls around and how can you resist some crusty garlic bread to go with the soup? You can’t.

Well, I couldn’t.

Oh and look, there’s a bag of potato chips in the kitchen. Let’s have a small bowl of that while we’re browsing the internet.

Add to all this that I had skipped two Insanity workouts that I had told myself I would catch up on and I was feeling like I had let myself down as I headed to bed Saturday night.

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My unused workout/yoga mats… silently judging me…

Luckily a new day brought a new resolve.

I made better food choices all day and by Sunday night I had done both the workouts I had skipped earlier that week. I spent over an hour sweating, squatting, planking and being told to Dig Deeper! and though I felt exhausted by the end of it I also felt like I was back in the groove.

I think it’s important to remember that a little wobble in your day or your week doesn’t have to signal the end of all the hard work you’ve put in up to that point. In the grand scheme of things one day will not affect your overall journey if you recognize it and make an effort to get back on track.

And because I’m not about to give up cake and chocolate and all the other good stuff, I’m looking for ways to make my favourite not-so-great-nutritionally-speaking treats a bit healthier.

If you have any suggestions for healthy substitutes please let me know in the comments!

Easier… but not easy.

That day last September. The day I pushed “play” and for the next 40 or so minutes I was reduced to a sweat drenched, pain-filled, and gasping puddle on the floor. After months of keeping on pushing “play” I still find myself on the floor at the end of a workout, dripping in sweat and gasping for air. The difference now is that I can do more and for longer periods of time before taking a brief pause to recover. It never gets easy but it does get easier.

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Sweat… so much sweat…

Since my first post about having lost over 9 kilos over the last few months I haven’t really revisited the subject and that got me thinking about why I haven’t. While the weight loss hasn’t been massive I’m quite proud that I’ve stuck to my workout plan, something I’ve never done before. I’m proud that I’ve been making some better choices when it comes to what I eat. Yet every time I’ve sat down to write about it I’ve found an excuse to do something else.

It could be a general writing slump I find myself in or it could be that I’m hesitant to share my journey for fear of going back to old habits. Not that I’ve made a complete turnaround but I am proud of how far I’ve come so far.

My workout of choice has been Insanity. Mostly because Shaun T (who is the creator of Insanity and the man who every day shouts at me to keep my core tight and dig deeper!!!) doesn’t make me want to punch him in the throat. A reaction that I get when I watch almost every other workout instructor.

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The weight loss has seemed to have hit a plateau these last few weeks but I do feel stronger doing some of the moves. Moves I wasn’t able to even do in the beginning. I’m hoping to soon graduate from doing mostly knees-on-the-floor push ups to proper ones without my arms screaming in rebellion.

Here’s to digging deeper!

If anyone else is on an Insanity journey (or any other workout for that matter) I’d love to hear about it!

Ouch

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Lately not a day goes by that I don’t have some kind of soreness somewhere on my body. I can feel it in my arms when I reach for a jar on an upper shelf of the kitchen cabinet. I feel it in my stomach when I get out of bed in the morning. I feel it in my legs when I go downstairs to do laundry.

It’s a price I’m happy to pay.

 

Not a New Year’s Resolution

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Did you know that a small bag of sugar, a carton of milk, two small packages of cherry tomatoes, three apples and a small bag of potatoes weighs 6.3 kg (just under 14 lbs)?

Walking home from the grocery store today the sun was shining and though it was a bit chilly it was a beautiful day. I would have enjoyed it a bit more had one grocery bag not been digging into the palm of my hand a little too roughly. Being a curious sort, once I got home I headed upstairs with the bag and plunked it down on a scale.

6.3 kg.

It dawned on me that up until recently I had been lugging that amount, and almost 3 kg more, around with me every day. Every walk around town, every trip up and down the stairs, and every visit to the store.

My New Year’s resolution started late last August with no fanfare, no big announcement. Just a few small changes that have added up these last few months. I’m down just over 9 kilos and though that may not sound like much and I have a ways to go yet I’m glad I didn’t wait for a new week to start, or a new month or a new year.

There’s more I want to do and more changes I want to make and I hope some of you will tag along for the ride as I jot down my thoughts along the way.