Flexibility

Today is my long run day, but I did not run.  I am sure, during the training period that there will be many days where something is scheduled and does not happen.  Some of the time I will be able to anticipate it.  Some of the time I won’t.  It has taken a long time for me to be OK with this.

In the beginning I was on target, whatever the sacrifice.  Of course, at that point I lived alone. I wasn’t dating anyone seriously. I had no one to answer to but my thesis advisor and my cat, who frankly wanted me out of bed as early as possible so she could squeeze in some good nap time.  But of course, things still came up.  Ahem, an appendix rupture for example.

These days, I must admit, I find trainers who tell you to schedule the work out time and make it sacrosanct frustrating at best, implacable at worst.  It’s not that I disagree about setting the workout time as a priority, but I disagree with the idea that you must be unyielding. Because let’s face it, the great current that we sometimes swim against is immutable.   If you choose to swim against it too long you end up too exhausted to enjoy anything.  And, bonus, if you are someone who tends toward the obsessive end of the scale, you get to experience that failure on a altogether different level.

I’m not saying that everything should just flow along.  But, when facing a day full of errands, missed naps, new school year prep, and sick animals, it’s OK to let that long run wait.  Especially if it is something you want to enjoy, not just check off your list.

It’s Kismet Baby! or How I found The Carb Lover’s Diet

For most of June, J.D. and I had been talking around what we should try to do to get control of our weight.  We had been successful, in a time before Bean, on Weight Watchers.  And we considered going back to that.  OKOK, J.D. considered going back to that.  I really didn’t want to.

For the record, the WW program works.  But I have done it, repeatedly.  Obviously it isn’t going to work for me long-term.  The first time I did WW, I was eleven.  (Yes, eleven, so the Ginnifer Goodwin story wasn’t all that shocking to me.)  I tried it again in graduate school and again in my late twenties.  And despite following the program (the last time I was on for almost 2 years) and being every active, I have never gotten closer than 20lbs to my goal weight. The open boundaries of the program is a problem for a girl who can put down a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in a sitting.  (What?!)   Also, there isn’t anything new to help things along after you have been on program (in WW speak) for a long time, no Advanced WW if you will.

Regardless of my reasons, it all came down to the fact that I didn’t want to do that again. I needed something to force a change.  I wanted to be excited about my prospects.  And, let’s not beat around the bush here, I want to lose the weight.

In the midst of this, a newsletter from the Birmingham Blogging Academy showed up in my inbox.  The funny thing is that I opened it because I thought it was about Kathryn Tucker Windham, and I was looking for inspiration for my work blog.  (In my defense, the title of the newsletter was “The Greatest Story Teller in Alabama” and she had died a little over a week before.)  But the newsletter turned out to be about The Jen West Quest. 

I’m not going to say that I was immediately sold, but it is hard to argue with Jen’s success on the Carb Lover’s Diet.  As I read though the posts, the actual CLD website FAQ and looked more closely at the plan itself, it seemed like a really good fit. It many ways, the plan is close to how we were eating anyway.  The tweaks were familiar and (mostly) welcome.  Many of the reasons behind the plan were sound and the wiggle room was straight forward, leaving room for a glass of wine, beer, and ice cream.  The website filled in the gaps of information, like questions I had about my husband trying a 1200 calorie diet for a week.  (The answer:  most men should consume 300-400 more/day.)  The diet also received a balanced review from WebMD.  And best of all?  It was planned out for me.

Again, I realize that some folks don’t want a plan, but I wanted the responsibility of meal planning off of my shoulders.  First of all, I have a hard time finding time to do it.  Second, I find the whole process so cumbersome that I have learned to loathe doing it.  So here it was!  This plan could be as tailored and fussy as I wanted it to be.  AND if I didn’t want that, here was a weekly meal plan.  Some where in the back of my mind a woman yelled, “HAVE AT IT ALREADY!”

I was sold.

Where Are We Going?

So during the last week, I’ve been thinking about my goals.  I mean, it’s one thing to say to yourself, “man I need to lose some weight.”  But it is altogether a different thing to know where you are headed.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a planner.  (Hi, I’m D.  I’m a planner.)  I LOVE to have a plan of action laid out.  I cannot tell you how many training plans for races I have put on my calendar in the last three years alone.  Pre-kid those plans were usually carried out.  Post-kid? I could be flippant and say that the planning was just an exercise in futility.  But I think that it was more like an exercise on its own, practice seeing when and how I might fit some consistent running into my year with a new job, a new kid, in a newish place.

I looked at my BMI again this morning using the WebMD BMI calculator. I also looked at a calendar to get an idea about a couple of benchmarks, both for running and weight loss. And I think that I have a few good and realistic ones.

Weight Goal #1: sub 200 by UAble 5K
Weight Goal #2: 175lbs (the weight on my driver’s license) by Bean’s 4th Bday.
Weight Goal #3: 164lbs (no more “Overweight”) by my 35th Bday.
Weight Goal #4: sub 160 by the New Year
Weight Goal #5: 155lbs by Mercedes

Running Goal #1: Are UAble? 5K – 8/20
Running Goal #2: Race for the Cure 5K – 10/15
Running Goal #3: Vulcan 10K – 11/5
Running Goal #4: Studdard 1/2 Marathon – 11/20
Running Goal #5: Mercedes Marathon – 2/11