Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 346: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

Goals for 2011: Three Fold!
This whole journey actually stared over 21 years ago for a deeper understanding  of how to live a more spiritual, healthy life.  In those first years I understood that I was a three fold being, spiritual, mental and physical and in this past year so much of my physical being has changed, but it would not have happened if that understanding of the three fold being had not been in place:

A higher power to guide me and being in touch with Him and all the peace, love, understanding, joy, and strength that is not only unconditional but unfathomable sustains each day of this journey.

Having a mind set that allows for learning and openness to change, being ready for the positive and acting in a manner that is willing to move from the negative to positive has been a blessing and to accept things when they are what they are. But to also know that this thinking is a discipline, that it is something I CONTROL when my thinking has taken me to places that act in opposition to the health and well being of my own self and if I want to be miserable and negative, well, then that is what I can choose.  

And finally being able to see my physical self and be able to see the changes, appreciate the good and find that I am capable of things that I never dreamed of but also just enjoy being able to do simple things and be grateful for that.

So in setting my new goals (that surpass what I am already doing) for this year, I want to do them in the three facets that make me a complete being: Goals for my Spiritual Life; Goals for my Mental Life: Goals for my Physical Life.

Yoga at least once a week: hope to have daily practice of some sort integrated by the end of the year.
Read one book a month on some spiritual text or philosophical writing. 
Walk on the beach/airlie/or other park once a month
Daily devotional morning and evening
Find an outlet to sing.

Take a class
Read at least one fiction novel a month
Have a game night once a month
Learn more about painting and color combos/paint

Run a 10k (the bridge run in Charleston)
Do team in training with Neesha
Get the final 20 off.
Learn to kayak
Move from 5k Tuesday and Thursday to 10k
Break 11 minute mile

When my childhood hero, Meadowlark Lemon was here in the fall, I got to sit with him and talk for a while and he talked about what he and his family do in their home for “goals”. They call it the “vision board”. Whatever it is that they want they write on the board and they see it each day and they keep their mission or their focus in front of them at all times.

It is my intent to take this practice into these goals this year and make sure that I have these goals in front of me and keep them in front of me. I want for myself, my family life, and for what I do to be a part of the success of this coming year.

While I have learned over the years that changes, surprises and things are always around the corner, I know, and I have faith that I will be given everything that I need in each and everyday to handle whatever is placed in front of me by my higher power, whom I call God.  It is not only a comfort, it is a celebration because I can plan and enjoy thinking about things to come as the outcome is not in my hands.

So, here’s to 2011 and the days ahead! One day at a time!

God Bless us all!

Day 345: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

it may be a week of vacation, but yes sir, I got my butt up out of the bed this morning and off to the gym. Yeah, sounds like I was really up and at em..but truth be told, as I got up I was thinking of everyway I could to call and get out of this morning! LOL! But, I knew that was the wrong thing to do. This week I really wanted to 'detox' from some holiday habits..

I have had some great treats and some "no regret" things that I have really enjoyed, but it is time to get back on the "a" game when it comes to eating and in the process I want to be on my regular track with my exercise.

Snacking is something that can sneak in so easily. So, that is the big one. At my mother-in-laws she had a ton of snacks, everywhere. It really is true that if you have it out of the house, life is easier. In alcoholics anonymous they teach to change "people, places, and things" and the same can be said for changing behaviors and actions with food in many ways. By not having "trigger foods" or unhealthy foods in the house, it is far less likely to sit down and eat them (because making a special trip for them gives more time to think about it) and having healthier alternatives around give things to reach for. Just like with the person who is changing drinking. No booze in the house..harder to drink.

I also did some prep this week with some of the veggies left from our party. I even made a couple of videos to share:

As you can see, these are about how to take time to be prepared and take care of me and us! By taking that time I am less likely to make bad choices and also I will have time to enjoy some really great food in the process.

I am really enjoying my time off this week. I have done some work around the house, taken myself out to lunch (michael is still with his mom for a couple of days), exercised, seen friends, run errands, and done some spiritual work that i have been needing to do. Nice.

So,  this week has been about getting out of the house those things from the holidays left over from the "treats" and getting back on track.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 342: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

amazing that Christmas day has passed and we are sitting here enjoying breakfast looking at 5 inches of snow outside the garden room window! It is beautiful!

This morning, or really last night, i was humbled by an article in the newspaper that featured this journey:

I was blown away when they called me and asked me to do this, and frankly, as "out there" as I am, this was a little intimidating to say the least. But, I figured, if there was a chance that my story could inspire ANYONE else to join in this life change..then it was worth it. Not to mention that I got to talk about those causes and agencies (some of them) that drive me and inspire me each and everyday.

I said names of folks who were part and parcel responsible for this journey and wish they had been included, but you all, I hope have heard me say them so often..Adam Freeman, my brother and trainer who has so helped me transform and be the best i can be. Ashley Miller and Kristi Tomey who brought me this gift of life and intervened. My mom, Michael for supporting me through the change and being so honest with me...and then so often i have talked about friends who set the example for me: Andy was the first, then Woody, and Connie. Then those who joined in who are so close: Louise, Joanne, Ken, and so many others! Blessed, blessed, blessed!

Of course this story did not come without some of the detractors having to have their say in the forums, making my sexual orientation and politics the issue over the work and the life change. But, I really meant what I said, I can only give them up to God and move on. I can't say that it is not sad when this happens, nor does it not disappoint when I know that there is such discord in those folks, but what I have learned over the years is that by sticking to what I know His will is for me and by staying true to the course and not be distracted or taking off course by the sickness of others, there is really nothing that cannot be done..nothing that we cannot do for each other.

Again, don't take this to politics..but true to what i just said is a story that I just read about one of my heros (who I have to meet before he or I leave this world!) Jimmy Carter. In Huff post yesterday, there was a story about this horrible worm that infected so many through their water supply. Carter made it a mission of his foundation to eradicate this worm and the horrific effect it had on folks. They have almost succeeded. If he allowed the detractors, particularly the political ones, to keep his time, he never would have been able to focus on so much good in the world and take care of himself and his family. What a powerful power of example he is!

I am trying to keep up with exercise right now. Yesterday before the snow I went for a run...Salisbury has hills! LOL!

it was a lot of fun. My mother in law has a house full of snacks! :) so, I am trying to stay to true to diet...but we will see! So far,  I am doing well!

We are off to CAREFULLY go downtown and look at the snow on the historic area!

Love to all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 332: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

I know..I am a little blog happy this week..but this one is important. This morning I was having a kick butt workout with between each amazing set of strength reps he was having me do jumping jacks..the most amazing feeling came over me as i went up and down..I felt my body being almost know..that feeling of a body that is I knocked out 40 jumping jacks in between each set like it was nothing...and it hit me how amazing that was..that after a I am doing something I just could never have dreamed of..that this is where I am and wow!

and then...

I went over and stepped on the scale...

No..I have not lost anymore weight and I am still on the plateau..and my head...I was heavy...I was jiggly..I was all sorts of negative crap..and Adam..God bless him..saw it..he saw what came into my head and without missing a beat said, "nothing will change..and I mean nothing if you don't see the positive and stay focused on that.." "that tightness and out of breath you are feeling is the fat that is burning off your body and you are going ot burn through this. But if you are thinking negatively, you are going to hold on to this and it will never change"..

I thought...damn..this 32 year old is a wise little yoda! :) facilitating my higher power this morning as he does so foten...and reminding me of that lesson that "what you think in your heart, so shall you be"...What a blessing. And I am here to tell you, my brother/trainer could not be that conduit if he was not in touch with something much greater than himself as well. It is amazing.

From that point on.even the exercises that I dread..I focused on as a means to a positive..but as I looked at myself in the mirror towards the end adn remembered that less than a year ago I could not even face that mirror in the heart soared...

well..Merry Christmas all!
and thanks be to God!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 339: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman another advantage to doing these five K runs is that many of them register through get active! I love the tips and the information that come through them and it is little irony that today I got two great articles that I have to on making a treadmill better and the other on keeping warm on a run. I HATE a maybe this will help me..and of course, as my video the other night shows..I need to keep warm in the current state of things! :)

So, here they are with the links to the the site!

When we think of treadmill running, most of us instinctively look down on it as a second-class form of running. But there are times weather, travel or other circumstances will have even the strongest opponent to the treadmill line up and start pushing the buttons for a workout.

Regardless of where you fall on the treadmill love/hate spectrum, running indoors can be incredibly effective. First off, treadmills are safe: no uneven terrain, no scary dark streets, no icy patches or road running. Second, treadmills are convenient: they allow you to have all your food and nutrition, you can multitask with news and/or music, and they are located in almost every gym on the planet. Finally, treadmills are simply consistent: not only do you get the same run every time, but you get to run in a temperature-controlled environment with similar terrain and conditions.

Inside Marathon Nation, each marathon training schedule is built around quality workouts. Think intervals, repeats and specific paces. Once the winter hits and the snow starts to fall, our athletes are faced with the no-so-fun prospect of trying to hit specific zones in less than ideal conditions.

The treadmill is the default winter weapon of choice to make sure that we can incrementally increase the workload and ensure increased fitness regardless of the weather outside. Having treadmill access means you have zero excuses for missing that next run workou.

Let’s take it one step further and see how you can make your indoor running insanely effective instead of something you just do to kill time until the temperature comes around.

Be Prepared

Running indoors when it’s cold outside can be logistically challenging. To make sure you are 100 percent ready for a great treadmill workout, you’ll need to have all the right gear and equipment to handle the indoor temps.

Treadmill Clothes : Regardless of your pace, you’ll most likely get your sweat on. As such, we recommend a well-fit technical T-shirt and a quality pair of shorts. Wear your regular running shoes — just make sure they are clean. Additional items to consider could be a sweatband (old school but effective) or wristbands (also to catch excess sweat).

Treadmill Gear : Given the indoor nature, you’ll want to keep yourself well-hydrated and as dry as possible. An easy to use waterbottle that you can operate with one hand is critical, and keep the water as cold as possible. A hand towel is also a good idea (I use a face cloth from home), just to wipe your face, hands, and arms as needed. If entertainment is your thing, you’ll want earphones to plug into your fancy treadmill—or at least your own music source if you are on a regular treadmill.

Warm Up Right

It’s all too easy to just jump on the treadmill and start cranking away at your set pace. This is forgetting that when you run outside your body naturally rolls into its optimal pace. Here’s a basic warm up to help make your workout as safe and effective as possible:

Walk for 3 minutes: Start easy and build it up to a brisk walk in the last minute.
Jog for 3 minutes: If you know your marathon pace, this effort is about 1 to 1.5 minutes slower per mile.
3 x 20/40s: This is 20 seconds fast, 40 seconds recovery. Goal here is to get the blood pumping and have you ready to hit your intervals / training session at 100 percent.
And let’s not forget about cooling down, too. Ideally you’ll be able to walk your run out. The basic golden rule here is one minute for every mile run; a five-miler will net you about five minutes of easy walking.
Focus On Your Cadence

The biggest difference between running outside and indoors is that on a treadmill the ground is moving while you stay in place. This is evident when we compare the two: an 8:00/mile effort on your regular run might net you a heart rate of 150bpms and a perceived exertion level of 7. But that same pace on a treadmill has your HR at 140bpms and feels more like a 5.5 than a 7. Don’t be bummed about the difference. Use it to your advantage by improving your form.

There are two ways to run faster: longer strides or more of the same length strides. Increased cadence is the easier part of the “running faster” equation, and a treadmill is the perfect place to get this done. You have a timer right in front of you and little else to occupy your attention. You can actually hear your foot strike and will be able to find the sweet spot for your foot placement (hint: it’s pretty quiet). And you can begin working on a cadence of about 180 foot strikes per minute (about 90 for just one foot).

Here’s How to Improve Your Cadence:

Establish a Baseline Number : Simply count one foot every time it hits the floor for about 15 seconds. Multiply by 4 and you have your current number. Remember the target is about 90, so do the math to see how big your gap is. For example, if my single foot cadence is 82, I have 8 steps to make up. A baseline goal is about 2 steps per week, assuming you are running four times weekly.

Week 1: Implement 5 x 1 minute focus intervals in at least three workouts. During each focus interval you are counting your strides to make sure they are at your baseline + 2 level. When not in a focus interval, run at your easy, self-selected pace.
Week 2: Implement 5 x 2 minute focus intervals as ODDS at baseline +2, EVENS at baseline +4.
Week 3: Implement 5 x 3 minute focus intervals. Within each 3 minute segment, move your cadence up from Baseline +2 to Baseline +4 and then to Baseline +6
Week 4: Implement 5 x 3 minutes again, only this time bump the cadence intervals up to Baseline +4 to Baseline +6 and finally Baseline +8.

Test Your Fitness

One of the biggest challenges to moving indoors is trying to reconcile the fitness you know you have on the open road with what you are doing for your workouts on the treadmill. There are fancy formulas and lots of tips out there to help you do the fuzzy math, but there’s a better way. If you see a good amount of treadmill running in your future, do a proper test to remove all doubt.

The Marathon Nation Treadmill Test: After a quality warm up (as listed above), run a 3-mile time trial effort. Start with the effort you know you could run a 5K outdoors. Evaluate how you feel every 1/2 mile starting at the 1 mile mark, adjusting the pace faster/slower as needed. At the end you’ll have your new "high-end" pace and heart rate and can now begin to dial in the remainder of your regular workouts accordingly. Note the treadmill should be at about 1.5%.

Use Incline to Your Advantage

Running on a flat treadmill is, by all accounts, similar to running down a slight decline on the open road. Combined with the treadmill’s inertia, you’d be tempted to over-stride a bit and lose your natural running form. Standard Treadmill Protocol (STP) is to set the incline at 1% as the baseline for all your runs.

As you begin to improve on the treadmill, the natural tendency is to increase the speed at which you are running via the magical up arrows…but remember this won’t really translate to the open road. Instead of just going faster, challenge yourself by increasing your base incline amount. Feel good at 8:00/mile and think 7:50s will be easier? Keep it at 8:00s but up the incline from 1% to 2%…and see how that feels. At the very least, try to alternate between incline and speed adjustments as you continue on your indoor regimen.

For those of you who’ll be running faster than 6:00/mile in your intervals, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gym treadmill that can handle it. Challenge yourself by upping the incline first, pace second. A 6:00/mile at 4% is the equivalent of a 5:32 mile… see if you can hang on! For more treadmill pacing via incline guidance, check out this Treadmill Pace Conversion Chart.

Good luck this winter. Stay focused. With the right work and proper attention, you can emerge from the cold with improved form and great fitness.

IT's COLD! How to Stay Warmer!
Just because chilly winters bring lower temperatures and fewer daylight hours, doesn't mean your running routine has to suffer. After all, running through the cold weather can help you cope with the winter blues, improve your energy level, and get you into the better shape you've been all year. Here are some winter running tips to get you through the snow and avoid slippery situations.

Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

It is important to be aware of the wind chill and temperature outside before you go for a run. If winds are too strong, it can penetrate through your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air around you. Your body movement increases air movement past your body, creating a windchill. If the temperature is below minus 20 and the wind chill is below zero, the treadmill may be a better idea.

Dress in Layers

Dressing in layers is important, but you don't want to overdress either. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which absorbs body sweat. Avoid cotton material because it holds in moisture and will keep you wet, ultimately making you feel more cold. An outer, breathable layer of nylon will help protect you against rain and wind. It also releases heat and moisture to prevent overheating and chilling. You should dress for the weather and from personal experience. If you haven't run in the winter before, go out for a test run in a couple layers around the block and add or take away layers if you feel the need to do so.

Cover Your Hands and Feet

Wear mittens or gloves and warm socks. This is important if you don't want to freeze or get sick. Your hands and feet get cold fast, and you should make sure to monitor the conditions of your fingers, toes, ears and nose for frost bite.

Many runners feel numb in various places of their bodies after a run at first, but they should warm up a few minutes into your run. If you notice a patch of hard, pale, cold skin, you may have frostbite. Get out of the cold immediately and slowly warm the affected area. If the numbness continues, seek immediate medical care.

Cover Your Head

Covering your head is very crucial. About 40 percent of your body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss, while helping to distribute heat to the rest of the body. When it's really cold, wear a face mask or scarf over your mouth to warm the air you breathe while protecting your face.

Don't Think About the Cold

Instead of thinking about the cold temperatures, think about the beauty winter brings and how in shape you will be. You will feel great and accomplished after a run in the wintery snow, where many don't even think to walk, more less run anywhere near this season.

Exercising outdoors can be very fun and beneficial, but it isn't for everyone. Cold air and temperatures are known to trigger chest pain or asthma attacks in some people. Before heading out into the cold, it would be wise to consult your doctor about your winter running plans if you have any medical conditions or concerns about braving the winter elements.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 329: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

Monday and the start of a new week! It seems to move so quickly..although I say that a lot..but it really does...It is astounding to think that I am fast coming up on a year since I started this part of my journey...what an amazing ride!

I have been running more lately and really feeling the effects of running on my body. I can feel myself not struggling as much and when I get to the end of the three miles, I could go for another lap. At this point..I am sticking to the 5k each time..I like that run and it feels good. I may want to increase it at some point, but for now, I am moving at a faster pace and making the most out fo that run.

I have been a little stressed and emotional lately (hey it is the holidays and both good and melancholy no worries) on some levels and FOOD is EVERYWHERE with the holiday season in full effect. Everywhere I turn there are snacks and treats and folks bringing things to us! It is very nice, but for me, those things just are not treats when they make me feel badly..or if, when I eat them, I become veracious and want more and more.

So, I am having to figure out ways to take care of myself to enjoy the holidays and still maybe have somethings that I don't normally.

When I go to parties I get a glass of water and carry that all night. That way I always have somethign in my hand that I can turn to in the face of chocolate covered whatever's and cheese filled whatchamacalits...

I go for whatever looks the healthiest being offered and really enjoy that and make sure that I at least have one of something fun and decadent..just not 15! :)

These help me feel a part of things, but keep me from doing more to myself than I would want.

I am working on our Christmas project right now. We are doing something very different than our usual Crystal that we always do each year:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Day 324: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

awesome day of celebrating and having some christmas cheer with my fellow santas at the "good friends" luncheon! 600 plus women who get together..give money, have a bag lunch and then use that money throughout the year to help those in need! What a way to celebrate! All we had to do was dress up like santa..say "merry christmas" sing..and then collect the money! I lOVED it! bringing christmas cheer is not a hard thing to do AT ALL! The best part is that I could not only fit into my santa costume I was a skinny santa this year. literally, last year, I could barely get the suit closed..and forget wearing a belt..and I had to have help getting on my boot covers cause if i bent down it would possible burst the suit! What a relief this year..What a relief! this blog is about charting the progress and sharing the story of this journey, so I gotta be honest. I needed that today, just like I need everyday a little reminder about my progress. But here lately I have been stuck on this platueau and as much as i say I am dealing with it and saying that I am being positive..I am worried more than I have been saying.

Partly because we are in the Holiday season and i am literally surrounded on all sides by treats and food and goodies and food and of course we are entertaining too and I am doing all these events. And partly because it is some pretty high stress right now and I am very tired. Ok..yep..I know HALT..hungry angry lonely tired..I am just having to move through it righ now.

It is VERY difficult to stay the course and VERY difficult to feel the kind of regularity I normally feel.

I know it sounds like some, as they used to say in something else I was involved in " high class problems" considering how far I have come..but I am feeling a bit off the beam as it were.

I am so grateful that I am showing up at least right now. I know that is half the battle. Having Michael's support and Adam helping me..that is HUGE! just doldrum's..ya know.

So, I had to share this...cause it just would not be honest if I didn't....
No worries though...I started my day at 5:30 headed to the gym..and no matter what..I know how many blessings are in my life. Thanks be to God for all of it and all of you!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Adendum: Day 320: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

See..this is why I am "learning"...and grateful to have someone who knows what he is talking about (and of course you all know I am listening in the morning while I am having my butt kicked! lol..OK..not really..but it is 6 in the morning..give me a little credit for what I do retain correctly! LOL!)
From Adam:

"It's an Adductor muscle on the inside of your thigh that you pulled. Abductor muscles are on the outside of your thigh. Adduction and Abduction are movements such as flexion and extension. Adduction is a movement that draws in closer to the medial part of your body. Abduction is the opposite, away from the medial part of your body. So there is no muscle called the adductor/abductor, but a group of muscles or exercise machines that perform those movements.

Just so you know...and knowing is half the battle! L.S. Bo...the Exercise Hero!!"

Gotta love him!

Day 320: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

you would think I would not get my butt kicked this morning since I got hurt last night..but noooooo! LOL! actually, it was good for me last evening to have a little pull, cause it reminds me to really pay attention and it helped us realize today an area I gotta focus some strength building on.

Adam wants me to get rid of the worry about speed on my running and focus on my heart rate. So I am strapped to the monitor again. It is dark when I run so I have to stop when there is a street light to check my rate and when I checked it the first time it was 160 and i was happy..cause i was bookin..the second time it dropped to 148..and he wants it over I stepped it up...the third time it was 160 again and then the fourth time it was 147..that's when I felt what I now know as the "abductor" give a little yelp...When I pushed off to get my speed up I must have done it too hard and the inside of my thigh lit up like a Christmas tree. This area has been being sensitive...but this was BAD! So, all my plans for the rest of the evening went out the window and I ended up soaking in my epsom salt blend for the rest of the night and taking it easy.

This morning, I felt it, but I was better..and Adam went to town on the work out..he had me on the other side of the bozo ball..not the hard surface but the squishy part..oh what fun that is to try and do squat presses on! I was off balance this morning...but with encouragement and Adam's patience, I got going. He was in a mood to keep my heart rate i was zipping through. I did not throw up..but that would have been nice! LOL!

all in all it was a great work out and I even got a text (equilvilent to a gold star) saying I did good! that actually made my morning!

Ya know..I don't care how long I do this or how much I change...the fact that I show up, one day at a time, the gift of being with someone that shows me what I can accomplish, and the feeling that comes from this never ceases to amaze me and show me what blessings are in my life.

thanks be!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 319: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

It is a great day..but I qualify it becuase yesterday was a little bit of a blip and one that I want to share as I would imagine that it is important for everyone on this journey. Seems I have hit a plateau. I was not expecting it and it happened. I have not lost any weight in a few weeks and have maintained...but funny thing is that my body conintues to change.
Regardless, when I weighed in yesterday and saw that, you can imagine that I flipped out. I thought I had truly done something wrong. Especially becuase the scale at the gym was off and at first I thought I had actuall gained two pounds. Turns out I had not after Adam got me back on it and talked me down (of course I freaked him out too!)..but it took mnost of the rest of our work out to get my mind straight again.

I did some research last night on the internet and from the Mayo Clinic I found this:

"You've diligently worked to improve your diet and exercise habits, and you've been rewarded by seeing the number on the scale continue to drop. But then for no reason you can see, the scale doesn't budge — even though you're still eating a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercising regularly. You've hit a weight-loss plateau.

Before you get too discouraged, you should know that it's normal for weight loss to slow and even stall. By understanding what causes a weight-loss plateau, you can decide how to respond and avoid backsliding on your healthy-eating and exercise habits.

What is a weight-loss plateau?
A weight-loss plateau occurs when you no longer lose weight despite continuing with your exercise and healthy-eating habits. Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau eventually happens to everyone who is trying to lose weight. At that point, losing additional weight becomes more difficult. Although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them, believing that if they just maintain a reduced-calorie diet, they should continue to lose weight. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can become stalled.

What causes a weight-loss plateau?
The progression from initial weight loss to a weight-loss plateau follows a typical pattern. During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop in pounds is normal. When calories from food are reduced, the body gets needed energy by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen holds onto water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it also releases the water — about 4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen — resulting in substantial weight loss that's mostly water.

A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose lean tissue (muscle). When you lose weight, you lose both fat and lean tissue. (The notion that overweight people have a slower metabolism is a myth. In general, the higher a person's weight, the higher the body's metabolic rate.) Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism. This means that in order to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially will maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss."

I was thrilled to find this and as soon as i get to see Heidi we will go over what I am doing and see about any adjustments from here. But I don't feel as freaked out as I did yesterday. Hell, just monday I got into a pair of 38 slacks! That has not happened since 1998! I feel awesome and I know that I have been doing so well.

The Mayo Clinic did make its own reccomendations about how to break a plateau and I gotta say I saw some areas that I could improve by reading over them:

Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.
Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories —

Well, you all have read about the "loosening of the rules" on a couple of occassions over the last few weeks. Not so much as to get me completely off track, and no regrets here, but it soes bode well that I should resume my focus if I am to contiune and break through this.

provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating.

This is a big one. I have learned over the years: Starve myself and end up not only failing but binging. If anything has been successful this year it has been eating three meals a day and being healthy about it. I can adjust my diet and intake, but never to an extreme. Extreme's equal failure!

Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories. Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

We do pretty well with our work outs and my general activity. I am not feeling like I need to add to this nor do I want to. I am up to a total of about 15 miles of running a week and then the work outs included.

But of all the suggestions, just staying to course is the best one and being true to the way in which I treat the things that are working and not getting freaked out!

This is part of the journey and I know that this too shall will pass me by as I run and move along the way!

Thanks be!