Thursday, February 28, 2008

Say it only once

I had no idea.

I guess I should have, but I really didn't.

I had no idea how writing about my weight would resonate with so many people. I certainly didn't predict the response, but I am changed by it.

Thank you. Everyone.

The private notes. The comments. The support. The empathy.

Thank you.

It's really wonderful to know that Mom was right -- if you put positive and honest things out there into the world, you will get the same back.

Thank you.

Monday was a rougher day for me than I would have liked. I was really affected by this, mainly because once I said -- OUT LOUD -- that I was unhappy with my current weight and wanted to change it, I was committed to it. I don't usually say anything like that without making sure it happens. I only once said I was going to stop drinking. I only once said I was going to stop smoking.

Oh goodness. I just said I was going to lose weight.

Well. There you have it. Time to do it.

Tenacity is something I got from my Dad. He would never admit I got any positive quality from him -- asserting in the contrary that it was my Mom that passed on all my attributes. But my tenacity is from my Dad.

He's a researcher. Of somewhat a obscure classical musician. In a land far away (okay, Germany). In a far off time. Francesco Antonio Rosetti.

And he didn't just research this man's work and life, he slowly and surely learned everything there was to know about him, his world, who he knew, what he touched, how it came to be...everything. He cataloged every single piece of work this composer wrote. Every. Single. One.

The catalog is thousands upon thousands of pages. It took him 26 years to write.

That, my friends, is tenacity.

And I have those genes. I am my father's daughter.

:: SO ::

It's go time on the weight issue. And let me assure everyone who wrote about crash diets and extreme measures. That's not what I'm about and (thankfully) this isn't fueled by emotions that would elicit those types of decisions. I'm healthy now, I'll stay healthy through this.

But what I will say is that this is going to be more than just cutting back on chocolate and drinking more water. As I was saying to a girlfriend of mine this week over email -- if it were that easy, I would have achieved my goal weight by now. For me -- because of biology or genes or history or whatever -- I will need to go beyond what works for others.

I've already tried the preliminary tactics. Seriously, I've been heavy most of my adult life...I've tried most of the daily tricks people suggest. In fact, I've incorporated many of them into my daily habits already (lots of water, avoid too many sugars, whole grains, lean proteins). And while it's frustrating (okay, enraging) to have to continually respond to suggestions that I just try _blank_, it means that I'm already in a good place. But it also means I'm in a challenging position, because even in this good place, I am overweight.

Here's where I'm starting from...

Activity: well, duh. I train typically 5 - 12 hours a week. Swim, bike, run, weights/core. I work with a fabulous coach who is not only on board with this effort, but is a source of really (really) realistic advice and a commitment to my health. And my winning. It's a good mixture.

Eating: I don't eat fried. I prefer lean meats and I adore vegetables. I bake or saute almost everything. I pack my lunch almost every day. I never touch fast food. I read and understand labels. I am comfortable (ney, excel!) in the kitchen and do the grocery shopping and cooking at home.

Alcohol: Never will you hear about me worrying over the three or thirteen glasses of wine I had over the weekend and how it was all sugar and I could never have burned that off in time. Never.

Sleep: Love it. Get it all the time. In fact, I want more of it in my life. Carry some around in my back pocket and name it George.

Water: Drink it all the time. Love it. Rarely touch softdrinks and have a bottle of water with me all the time. Yum.

That is a good place to start. I have to remember these coming months that I am starting ahead of the game.

So what are the next steps? Here's my thinking...

First, talk to my coach. And I have. And the conversation will continue.

Second, keep the good habits. Start ditching any bad ones.

Third, get some baseline information. Done. I have weight history from the last two months (informative re: what fluctuations to expect and (ahem) when), a fat composition test, and a metabolic rate test.

Pay attention.
I started tracking my eating on Training Peaks, along with all the other training data I keep there. I'm hoping that patterns, habits, and weaknesses may reveal themselves there. It's also a good way of keeping aware of consumption on a daily basis. Accountability is good.

Get help. I'm ahead of the game on activity and healthy habits, but still overweight. Which, to me, says I should consult with someone who knows where to look for the answer. I'm working on finding some money (or insurance coverage) for consulting with a nutritionist -- one that the Elf recommends -- who knows endurance sports and endurance athletes. Because if one more person (ahem, my doctor!) says that I should try to work out a half an hour, three times a week...well, I may just kill them. Justifiable homicide, I believe.

Support. There are three irreplaceable people in my life, and two of them have joined me in this little quest. My sister and Mighty M. We're in it together. I suspect they will be invaluable.

So there you have it. The gauntlet. A little scary, no? But some of the most amazing changes I've ever experienced were absolutely terrifying at first. So I suspect this, too, will be transformative.

Thanks for coming along for the ride and being part of the process.


Wes said...

Go time! You are your father's daughter...

JenC said...

Sounds like you are well equipped to take on this challenge! You go girl!

I have high cholesterol and the nurses/doctors always say: you should incorporate more exercise - justifiable homicide is right!

Stef said...

I am so excited for you! If the nutritionist that the Elf recommended to you is the same one she recommended for me, she is EXCELLENT. She can help you with your everyday and your race nutrition because she is an athlete!

Best wishes with this I know you will be able to do it. You will be so much stronger for it. That, combined with the strength, compassion and tenacity you have already will just make more great things happen.

You are already a superstar.

Andrea Ford said...

Sounds like a solid plan. Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. I believe you can accomplish your goals :)

Kim said...

it's gonna be a kickass year. i can feel it. you can and you will do this :)

TrainingtoTri said...

I can't wait to read up on your progress. B/c there will be progress. In just the short time I have been reading your blog, I know you are someone who gets things done! I think a nutritionist is a great idea. Hopefully you can find one your insurance will cover.

LG said...

I would say Good Luck, but you don't need Luck - Luck has nothing to do with this. You have everything you need inside of you to get this done! It's merely a matter of learning how to use those tools, which with the ELF and a nutritionist you are well on your way!

and you are correct, you only need say something out loud - only once to realize its power! you inspire me.

LG said...

I would say Good Luck, but you don't need Luck - Luck has nothing to do with this. You have everything you need inside of you to get this done! It's merely a matter of learning how to use those tools, which with the ELF and a nutritionist you are well on your way!

and you are correct, you only need say something out loud - only once to realize its power! you inspire me.

Laurie said...

It does feel amazing to put yourself out there and to have people respond so positively. You expect the crickets to chirp but instead people come out of the woodwork and sympathize with you. We will continue to cheer for you along the way. You openness and honesty is so refreshing and real. I believe in you.

Steve Stenzel said...

You ARE starting from a good spot! Good luck!!!

BreeWee said...

I love your moms comment, so true! One thing I have really learned (having a sister who was battling with a near-death eating disorder) is that if you like you and you like the things you can do in life and if you are happy then you are eating right. Food makes or breaks us. If you can answer yes to being happy, like us, and are content with what we can do (race or train or career) then I think we have a GREAT diet going on. BUT if you dislike what you see in the mirror or are unhappy or can't run or do what you enjoy then food is the reason and we are being controlled by it...
You are a brave woman... I totally believe in you. A step at a time a breath at a time!

stronger said...

I was riding the trainer one night and there was nothing to watch on TV so I stopped on that show with the fashion guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy- the new nakedness show. The particular segment was showing a lineup of women and having the lady pick out the body most resembling her own (and acutally I think it was bust size that she was most self-conscious about). She chose the woman 2 or 3 sizes LARGER than her size. Then they had her body up on a billboard in either a 2 piece bathing suit or bra and panties and asked people on the street how she looked- I know it was TV, but every single person commented that she looked fabulous.

You are your toughest critic. MightyM proposed to you, not a 130lb you. As far as the rest of us are concerned, you could be 230lb and we'd love every last lb of you. What matters most is you loving every last pound of you and you loving your reflection.

I gain weight at the drop of a hat and I've noticed when I obsess about it, I hang on to the weight. If you can let it go little by little- I think you'll be surprised as you watch the weight fall away as well. Simple as three big inhales when you notice the thought creeping in your head.

TxTriSkatemom said...

heh -- I always ask the people who suggest that I walk for twenty minutes three times a week if I should schedule that stroll before or after my 10-mile runs. Yeah.

Looking forward to the trip, my friend, looking forward to the trip. Don't mind if I crib your notes, do ya? Didn't think so!!

LBTEPA said...

Well done not punching your Dr!
You go girl, your virtual cheersquad is out here!

triguyjt said...

I am impressed how you have put this out there....

keep us posted on your progress...and you will make progress

yes indeed

uncadan8 said...

It definitely sounds like you only need fine-tuning. And certainly that is where the nutritionist comes in and ought to be a huge help for you. Good luck! I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Jane said...

Ditto on everything you have said.

Sometime I have to use some cynical humour, such as "when the nuclear holocaust and famine come, all those skinny models and people with fast metabolisms will die first, and I will live on my extra poundage!"

Isn't it crazy even if you're a highly educated successful woman, this is still an issue?!

Love how you've been so open.

AGA said...

Bravo for taking such positive steps. Keep your chin up.

It's go time.

Go Mom Go said...

How did I miss this post, sorry I am late to the game...

You are going to do a wonderful job. Yes, it is scary but just think of all the support.

I can't wait to hear all about it!